Air hostess with smile on her face talking to a passenger

How to Become an
Air Hostess

Dasha Castillo
By Dasha Castillo - Content Writer
|
Last Updated: August 02, 2023
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If you're considering a career as an air hostess — also known as a flight attendant — this article is a great place to start. Here we equip you with the latest industry trends, salary expectations and in-demand career certifications.

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What Does an Air Hostess Do?

Air hostesses are responsible for providing customer service to passengers and administrative help to the captain and other airline employees. These professionals work for airlines, on flights and in airport terminals.

Working as an air hostess requires excellent communication and customer service skills. They must remain calm under pressure, such as during extreme air turbulence or mechanical problems. This career requires working in a fast-paced, tight-spaced environment, which calls for quick thinking, good memory and organizational skills. Typical air hostess duties include:

  • Communicating safety procedures to passengers.

  • Ensuring the safety and comfort of passengers.

  • Controlling the aircraft cabin before, during and after a flight.

  • Serving food and drinks.

  • Counting inventory before takeoff and after landing and reconciling payments for goods sold.

  • Verifies that the emergency equipment is working.

  • Pre-flight safety checks.

  • Assisting passengers with tickets, luggage and seating.

  • Responds to inquiries and special needs.

  • Prepares end-of-day reports related to flight issues.

How Do You Become an Air Hostess?

The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that the median yearly salary for flight attendants in the United States is $61,640. With an occupational growth rate of 21% in the next 10 years, which is much faster than the average job outlook. Many of the perks of being an air hostess are free flights and travel opportunities, flight benefits for family and friends and a flexible schedule. Here are the steps to becoming an air hostess:

1

Flight attendant school.

While a college degree isn’t a requirement for becoming a flight attendant, candidates need to have their GED or high school diploma to be considered for the job. Once you land the job, you will receive intensive three-to-six-week training from the airline. During flight attendant school, you will learn customer service, pre-flight procedures, boarding, in-flight service, safety, handling emergencies, and managing evacuations with evacuation slides, oxygen masks, and life vests.

2

Complete FAA Certification.

Once you pass the flight attendant training, the next step is to get certified by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA). If the aircraft has more than 20 seats, the air hostess must hold a Certificate of Demonstrated Proficiency issued by the FAA.

3

Start applying for air hostess jobs.

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Air Hostess Skills

Excellent customer service and communication skills are vital to succeed as an air hostess. Dealing with hurried and stressed passengers requires verbal skills to provide detailed and concise instructions, soothe a scared individual or solve a seating problem. An air hostess must remain calm under pressure, such as during extreme air turbulence or mechanical issues. This career requires working in a fast-paced, tight-spaced environment, which calls for quick thinking, good memory and organizational skills. Finally, the individual must be willing to work long hours with an erratic schedule, spending days or weeks apart from their families.

Air hostess soft skills:

1Friendliness
2Empathy
3A positive demeanor
4Professionalism
5Independence
6Dependability
7Flexibility
8Cultural awareness
9Physical fitness
10Stamina
11Language skills
12Communication
13Initiative
14Time management
15Problem-solving skills

Hard skills:

1Intercom operation
2Safety orientation announcements
3CPR & first aid
4Emergency procedures
5Plane evacuation protocols
6Inventory control
7Counterterrorism measures

Insights from an Air Hostess

American Airlines Flight Attendant and Flight Attendant hiring expert, Kiki Ward, provides insights to help aspiring Air Hostesses (or Flight Attendants) in the interview below.

What is the common career path for an Air Hostess?

Most airlines require only a high school diploma or equivalent, so the career path is quite short. Customer service work is valuable as experience, but since airlines train their own Flight Attendants, you can really just begin anytime.

What should someone consider before becoming an Air Hostess?

Anyone considering the career should think about their ability to relocate, travel frequently and be away from home for, sometimes, extended periods. It cannot work for everyone, but it works great for many.

What type of person excels in this job?

They have to be adaptable, self-disciplined, responsible and dependable. Personality wise, they need to be friendly, receptive, approachable and professional.

What are some of the most important skills for an Air Hostess to have?

The most important skills set in the  job is related to safety because that is the primary role. Also, they need to be able to communicate with a diverse passenger base, so excellent interpersonal skills are a must.

What do you find to be the most rewarding aspect of being an Air Hostess?

Traveling for a living, working in a rapidly paced work environment, meeting new people and working with different colleagues keeps the career fun and fresh.

How Much do Air Hostesses Get Paid?

Air Hostesses are typically compensated with a yearly salary, with the median salary in the U.S. being $42,300, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. The lowest-paid Air Hostesses are paid $28,800, and the highest-paid make $72,600 annually.

Top 10 States for Air Hostess Salary

Air Hostesses in the following states make the highest median hourly wage in the U.S.

    Florida

    $53,900

    Indiana

    $47,200

    Georgia

    $46,100

    Texas

    $45,100

    Minnesota

    $43,400

    North Carolina

    $43,300

    California

    $42,900

    Colorado

    $41,500

    Massachusetts

    $39,600

    New York

    $39,200

    Air Hostess Resources

    View these additional resources to find out more about a career as an Air Hostess.

    On the Web

    Association of Flight Attendants CWA
    The world’s largest Air Hostess Union, with over 50,000 members of 18 different airlines.

    Thirty Thousand Feet
    A directory of websites, blogs and podcasts about aviation.

    On Twitter

    @APFA Unity
    The largest independent flight attendant union.

    @FA_org
    A place for cabin crew to connect and discuss industry news and topics.

    Child Life Specialist Books

    Become a Flight Attendant: Your flight to success
    Job searching tips from a former Air Hostess recruiter.

    The Flight Attendant Career Guide
    Includes hiring requirements, typical pay and interview questions for U.S. and Canadian airlines.