A career as an air cabin crew is very demanding all over the UK. It comes with a lot of responsibilities and rewards at the same time. So if you are an aspiring air cabin crew, this article is for you!
This article will help you do an in-depth analysis of this profession. Based on that, you can accomplish your dream to become an air cabin crew.
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Air Cabin Crew- Introduction
Let us all admit that it is pretty fascinating when we look at the very glamorous and sophisticated air cabin crews when we fly! They never fail in looking perfect and neat.
The way air cabin crews carry out themselves and showcase their stunning personalities makes many of us want to get into this profession and fly the whole world and still get paid for it!
Some of the essential interpersonal skills for an air cabin crew member include:
- Customer support- to ensure all the passengers are satisfied with the airlines.
- Empathetic towards others- to build a good rapport with everyone.
- Multi-tasking- to ensure that they focus on everything combined.
- Good listening skills- to provide quality service.
- Assertiveness- to put their point across.
On the other hand, even though the exterior of this profession looks so charismatic and thrilling, they have a large number of duties and responsibilities during their flights. Let us discuss some of their duties and responsibilities required to outshine in this career path.
Duties of an Air Cabin Crew
Air cabin crews are the front lines of an aircraft. They are also known as the face of particular airways. Therefore, their duties and responsibilities are more customers centric in comparison to other employees in that airway.
Being in a customer-centric role has its pros and cons because customers can sometimes be tough to deal with. Also, it can be challenging to get your point across if English is not their first language.
Therefore, some of their primary duties and responsibilities required are discussed below.
Provide Exceptional Customer Service
Customer service is the first and most important duty of an air cabin crew. Providing exceptional customers is their priority and their primary responsibility.
They always need to make their passengers feel comfortable and relaxed because one bad review from a customer can ruin the airlines’ reputation as a whole!
Nonetheless, air cabin crews always need to have a smile on their faces and embrace any challenges they meet daily. It is always not very easy to look cheerful and optimistic. They might have issues going on in their personal lives, making it extremely difficult for them sometimes.
They need to be assertive to demanding customers, but at the same time remain polite. How many times have you noticed an air cabin crew losing their cool completely? It’s very rare. It tells us a lot about how much patience they have to keep to work in this field.
Therefore, starting from serving delicious meals on our flight to taking utmost care of our comfort and safety, they have to excel in customer service in all these departments. Sometimes they have to go out of their way to make their customers happy and give them a pleasant experience.
Maintain Safety and Security
A significant part of air cabin crew training includes maintaining safety for all the passengers. They are given very intensive training handling the situation if the air oxygen level drops below average or if they have to make an emergency landing due to an unforeseen problem.
Also, it is necessary for all the air cabin crews to be goods swimmers. If the aircraft has to make an emergency landing on any water body, these are the people in charge of explaining to passengers how to wear their safety clothing and calm them down.
Before a flight takes off, they have some other tasks too. They need to make sure the aircraft is well-equipped with adequate supplies and emergency pieces of equipment. Also, they have to demonstrate every emergency equipment to the passengers.
Similarly, they need to check if all the passengers have fastened their seatbelts, and they are abiding by all aircraft safety guidelines. After a flight lands, they need to assist passengers with their hand luggage items and make sure no one gets injured during the process.
Because sometimes passengers rush to get all their bags altogether, this makes older adults and kids more prone to be get pushed by the other passengers if the situation deteriorates.
Moreover, they must be capable to save others in scenarios such as drowning, falling sick on the aircraft etc. Air cabin crews also need to have first aid training for most airlines.
Be a Good Salesperson
Air cabin crews have specific sales targets during each flight. These targets would vary from airline to airline. The are several criteria in which they have a sales target attached.
If it is a budget airway, people have to buy refreshments, meals, or other stuff; the air cabin crews have a huge target to meet and more opportunities to meet those targets. They have to have good selling skills and present the items in the best possible way.
After a flight lands, they need to count all the duty-free sale items remaining. They also need to record food, drink and the number of sales made during the flight.
However, in other airlines, they still have targets to sell duty-free goods, newspapers, magazine, etc. They need to have a good set of convincing power and communication skills to do this.
Cabin Crew Entry Requirements
Air cabin crews have a lot of entry requirements. Unlike other professions, where they only need to be academically qualified.
They have a lot of different boxes to tick to work in any airline. The most basic entry requirement is that they need to be at least 18 years and above.
Although some people might argue that some of the entry requirements are completely absurd and unnecessary, it would be wrong to compare it with other professions and give this opinion.
However, you still have to meet all the airlines’ entry requirements and qualifications for all the aspiring air cabin crews.
Fitness and BMI
Firstly, in the UK and worldwide, air cabin crews need to be between 5 feet 2 inches and 6 feet 2 inches tall. There is weight restriction too, but it would vary depending on your BMI.
The calculation of your BMI (Body Mass Index) uses your weight and height. The formula to calculate your BMI is:
BMI= weight (kg) / height (m)2
For a male air cabin crew, a BMI of 18-25 is normal, whereas, for females, it is 18-22. Therefore, between 26-29 is deemed overweight for males and between 23-28 for females.
However, if the BMI of both males and females is 28, 29 or above, they are considered obese. Airlines are very strict with the physical fitness of their cabin crews. Therefore, if someone is obese or overweight, they would be disqualified during the screening process.
Secondly, the air cabin crews need to be good swimmers. Because if they do not know how to swim, if there is an emergency water landing, they wouldn’t be able to save themselves, let alone the passengers.
Some airlines might have this as a mandatory requirement, but others might have a small training associated with the position. Therefore, some airlines teach them how to swim and know in-depth about air oxygen levels during the training process.
To summarise this, all the airlines want their air cabin crews very physically fit. Therefore, as air cabin crews, they need to be extra cautious about putting on weight.
Their diet should include a good variety of nutritious foods such as spinach, red meat, eggs, milk, etc. They should avoid carbohydrates and fatty foods the most and keep their intake to a very minimalistic level.
Thirdly comes their academic qualifications. To be eligible for air cabin crew training, a candidate must pass their GCSE A-levels examinations.
It doesn’t matter which subjects they choose for their A-levels, as long as they give in a minimum of 2 subjects. But for O levels, they need to have at least 5 subjects, including English and maths. So, don’t worry, even if you do not have straight A’s in all your subjects!
Lastly, vocational qualification also increases your chances of getting hired by any airline. Courses like Cabin crew/Air hostess Online Training would give you excellent professional exposure to the aviation industry.
This particular course is for one year, and you have the flexibility to do it online. However, you have to be at least 16 years of age to get enrolled. This course will teach you all the basics of the aviation industry, understand aircraft safety regulations and emergency landings.
Getting enrolled in a particular course in the profession would look very good in your career CV when applying for an air cabin crew position at any airline.
Because when airlines would see that an individual is already professionally knowledgeable, they would prefer hiring them over the others. A full-on fresher would require more training and time investment than someone already aware of the basics. Furthermore, for international travel, you have to have a valid passport from your country of origin. You will also need to pass a Disclosure & Barring Service Check (DBS) per UK requirements.
Air Cabin Crew Career in the UK
So now we have a clear understanding of the Air Cabin Crew daily responsibilities, their entry requirements for any airline, and the educational qualifications required.
But, how does this career look like in the UK? And how much do cabin crew earn in the UK?
Well, the United Kingdom has some of the most famous airlines. Some of the most popular ones include British Airways, EasyJet, Eastern Airways, Logan Air, etc.
Charter airlines companies such as TUI Airways are also very famous for their charter flight services worldwide. The popularity of charter flights has increased due to the COVID-19 pandemic because most domestic and international flights aren’t operating like before.
Therefore, this helps us demonstrate that the UK needs air cabin crews for all seasons, even during the COVID-19 pandemic!
Air cabin crews have a lot of perks and benefits. We all know that they have to work long shifts, look presentable the whole time, and always remain cautious throughout the flight. But, there are some rewards too.
The base salary for an entry-level air cabin crew in the UK would range from £15000-18000 annually. This amount is also dependent on the airlines they work for, working hours, and the departments. A first-class or business class air cabin crew is paid almost double that of an economy level cabin crew.
However, as the seniority level increases, they get paid even more and eventually shift to first-class or business class. A senior-level air cabin crew can make £22000-30000, a year. In addition to that, cabin managers can make more than £30000 a year.
However, on top of this base salary, air cabin crews also get paid by the number of hours they are on a flight! So, once the aircraft door closes, their pay starts getting calculated simultaneously! It means the longer the duration of the flight, the more money they earn.
However, some air cabin crews are just hired for seasonal purposes during the peak season. They work in casual shifts, so their work hours would not be consistent like the permanent employees.
On top of their annual salary, there are bonuses and other incentives attached to their paycheques. It includes night flights, being bilingual or knowing many languages, layover benefits and transportation allowances.
We spend thousands of pounds every year on holiday to our dream destinations. But, if you are working for airlines, they give out free plane tickets for their employees as well as their families.
These are a part of their annual bonuses and rewards.
In addition to that, if you are an airline employee, you will receive massive discounts on hotels and lounges all over the world. Be it spending a relaxing holiday in Bora Bora, Maldives or visiting some fascinating cities such as Rome or Venice. You get it all without having to save thousands of dollars!
Air cabin crews are in demand worldwide; it is an up-and-coming career. There are substantial opportunities to climb up the ladder if you gain good expertise and acquire all the required skills. Just like other professions, this profession also has its benefits and disadvantages. But more than that, what matters is your interests.
There are good amounts of interpersonal skills required to shine brighter in this industry. Apart from keeping yourself very professional-looking, you also need to maintain your physical fitness. Soft skills such as assertiveness, empathy, customer service, compassion, and calm are essential.
Apart from this, some airlines would give their air cabin crews a small training on how the aircraft operates. It is seen as a safety procedure in case the pilots need any sort of help.
However, it is up to you to decide if this career choice aligns with your future goals and aspirations. Take all the pros and cons into consideration before making your decision.
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