This career is considered to be highly glamorous and prestigious, and offers attractive monetary and non-monetary rewards. There are many girls out there who have grown up with the dream to become an air hostess. After all, who wouldn't want to be a part of the career that gives you the opportunity to fly across the globe, stay in fancy 5 star hotels, and see places which (most likely) wouldn't have come your way otherwise? Sounds amazing, right?
Of course, it sounds like the perfect job! Which is why, there are many guys as well, who strive hard to become a flight steward (air hostess is the term used for a female). Because the aspirants are many when compared to the number of jobs available, it would be beneficial for you to educate yourself and understand the requirements that employers seek when looking for the perfect air hostess. There are certain characteristics and traits that one must possess naturally. You see, training only helps grooming these characteristics to meet the professional standards. Therefore, in order to excel in this career, you must meet the requirements discussed in the following sections.
Requirements in Terms of Physical Appearance
The age limit varies depending upon the country and the specific airline. While in countries like India, they entertain candidates within the age group of 19-27, certain European countries may hire aspirants till the age of 35. There is no age limit in the United States, however, it is natural for the employers to hire young and fresh faces who are more energetic and vibrant.
Height and Weight
The actual purpose of establishing the minimum height criteria, is to be able to comfortably reach the overhead bin of the flight. The height range usually begins from 5 feet 2 inches or 5 feet 3 inches. However, different airlines will have different requirements. Also, the weight should be proportionate with the height.
It is imperative for the aspirant to have normal eyesight. Candidates who wear eyeglasses, contact lenses, or are color blind are not eligible to apply.
Another very important physical aspect to be considered is that you should be medically fit. If you appear to be perfect but have medical conditions like HIV AIDS, heart problems, mental issues, or any other chronic illnesses, you will not be able to qualify. Airlines perform really thorough medical tests for the same, and are really strict when it comes to this.
Requirements in Terms of Skills and Characteristics
Excellent Communication Skills
The primary duties and responsibilities of an air hostess involves interacting with the passengers aboard. She is expected to inform them about the safety drills, emergency situations, and is responsible for catering to their needs during the flight. Therefore, excellent communication skills are extremely important.
Hardworking and Multitasking
As glamorous as the job of an air hostess may seem, it is in no way, an easy job. One needs to work round the clock, adapting to the need of the hour. The job description includes various tasks such as - catering to the passengers, writing reports, ensuring the availability of food and beverages, making sure that the necessary devices are working properly, etc. Therefore, the ability to manage time and multitask is necessary.
How many times have we come across an air hostess that is rude and impatient! Would you ever want to fly with the same airline again? On the contrary, when we come across an air hostess who seems to be kind, polite, and compassionate, we make sure to travel with the same airline again. That is what an ideal air hostess is! Qualities like patience, kindness, and compassion cannot be learned, they need to be the key characteristics of the person.
Flexibility and Adaptability
The working conditions in this career need you to be adaptive to your work schedule. Sudden changes in the working hours, the need to work overtime, the inability to spend some time with your family because you need to work during the holiday season, all this is the part and parcel of the game. You need to be extremely committed to this career.
High school diploma is the minimum educational qualification. However, often, candidates who have completed their college degree are given first preference by reputed international airlines. A degree in mass communication, psychology, tourism, and so on, would be an added advantage. Proficiency in foreign languages, and, of course, English, would also help you be amongst the crème.
Air hostess must have the Federal Aviation Academy (FAA) certification, which is mandatory for all. The training prepares them for dealing with situations like, terrorism, providing first aid, fire and water emergency, and knowing how to successfully operate the emergency equipment and guide the passengers.
A good personality, some presence of mind, quick thinking, and amazing interpersonal skills, it takes all these and more to become an ideal air hostess, who through her good work and dedication, reaches the sky and becomes an inspiration to everybody who meet her, be it in the way she carries herself, in the way she treats others, or in the way she sees the world. Do you think you have it in you to become the ideal air hostess?