A Canadian Flight Attendant Reveals The Perks Of The Job & How You Can Become One
You can score some pretty sweet deals!
If you've been itching to travel lately and are thinking of a career change that will take you sky-high, a flight attendant might just have some useful info for you.
Narcity spoke to Anna*, a flight attendant of nearly 15 years who works for a major Canadian airline — and she had some advice for anyone interested in embarking on a career in the sky.
1. You Don't Need Prior Education
Right off the bat, if you're looking to become a flight attendant, Anna said you don't need any post-secondary education.
While she acknowledged that attending a university or college is of course helpful to have for any job you're applying for, she said that it is certainly not a requirement for those looking to work as a flight attendant.
Anna also said that she has heard of several people who went to what they referred to as a flight attendant school or did flight attendant training prior to applying for a major airline.
"There are a lot of people that I worked with, [..] some of them still work for the company, but they went to this six-week course on flight attendant training. I don't honestly even know what they were taught because a lot of it is so specific to your airline, and the aircraft that you're flying," Anna said.
According to Anna, if you get hired by an airline, they will give you your training, so there's no need to seek out any extra courses ahead of time.
2. Make Sure You're A People Person
If you're planning to work on a plane full of hundreds of passengers, you want to be sure you're a people person.
According to Anna, customer service skills are among the top traits airlines look for when hiring flight attendants, especially because more often than not, passengers are stressed and it'll be up to you to calm them down.
"It's my job to make them feel relaxed and enjoy. No matter what's happening on the ground, there's nothing you can do about it. So let me take care of you for the next however long it is," Anna explained.
Apart from some killer customer service skills, Anna said it's key for those looking to work in the industry to also have some background in leadership and conflict resolution.
"I know in sort of group interview situations, that's always something that's looked for, like who's standing out to lead the group in whichever decisions need to be made," said Anna.
3. Learn A Second Language
Get ready to dust off your old French textbooks from high school because according to Anna, all major Canadian airlines now require flight attendants to know a second language.
Anna did note that when she started in the industry it was not a requirement to be fluent in a second language.
"If you're fluent in a second language, you have a step up above me because I still am not fluent in any other language," Anna explained.
But good news if you already know a second language that isn't French — Anna said that any language counts, as long as you're fluent.
4. Take Studying Seriously
Once you get hired, there's some training you'll have to go through that Anna said you're going to want to take very seriously.
According to Anna, training can range anywhere from three to six weeks long and is full-time five days a week.
The training also includes several exams, which will require studying beyond just the in-class training, so be sure to have lots of coffee on standby because the tests can be tough.
"You can fail one exam, and then the next one, you're out. You don't get a second chance," said Anna, but she did note that typically after a six-month period, you can re-apply.
5. It's A Flexible Job With Plenty Of Perks
Once you've got the job and are truly settled, Anna said there are some perks that make all the hard work worth it.
"You can have very long days and very short rest, but you can also have amazing layovers," Anna said. "Like if you have a great crew, you really make the most of it and you go out for dinner and you have a great time and you make new friends."
Anna also said as a flight attendant you can score some pretty sweet deals with other airlines or hotels as well as some solid time off.
"If you love to travel, this is the job," said Anna. " Yeah I go to work and I deal with this, and then I get five days off in a row and I can go wherever I want."
*Name has been changed to maintain confidentiality. Narcity has verified her identity.
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