Air Hostess Job Description
Air hostesses, commonly called flight attendants or stewardesses, tend to passengers on a flight. They review safety practices before the flight, bring passengers requested items such as pillows or earpieces, serve food and drinks, and ensure that passengers are comfortable throughout the flight. Air hostesses also conduct safety checks at various times during a flight, instruct passengers during a plane’s descent, and assist in the deplaning process after landing.
Air hostesses are employed by all major airline companies. According to the most recent statistics from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), a 10% employment growth rate in this field is expected between 2016-2026. The use of larger planes, with a greater number of passengers on board each flight, is believed to play a major role in this projected employment growth.
Air Hostess Duties and Responsibilities
Air hostesses are generally assigned several tasks that must be completed for each flight. We have examined several job listings and found the following to be among the most commonly mentioned for this occupation:
Attend to Passenger Comfort and Safety
The main duty of an air hostess is to ensure the comfort and safety of a plane’s passengers. Air hostesses review emergency and safety procedures prior to take-off, which includes demonstrating the use of any equipment. They also fill passenger requests, serve food and beverages, and tend to sick passengers, if needed.
Assist Passengers in Deplaning
It is up to air hostesses to instruct and assist passengers throughout the descent and deplaning process. They ensure that passengers are safely in their seats as the plane descends and that all garbage and loose objects have been removed and secured. Once the plane has landed, air hostesses assist passengers in removing all carry-on luggage and direct them to the exits to depart the plane.
Conduct Pre- and Post-Flight Checks
Air hostesses typically complete a pre-flight check that includes testing and ensuring that all safety equipment is in working condition. Following the deplaning process, air hostesses conduct a post-flight check to make sure all passenger items have been removed and seats and trays are placed in proper positions. They might do some light cleaning of an airplane’s interior as part of their post-flight duties.
Air Hostess Skills
Great air hostesses are interested in world travel, very good at customer care, highly sociable, and able to carry out a variety of tasks under time pressure. They should also be detail-oriented, organized, and possess the ability to work in a team environment. Air hostesses should be able to and react to crises and stressful situations in a calm and reassuring manner. Finally, air hostesses should be in good physical condition and be able to sit and stand for long periods of time. In addition to these abilities, air hostesses should display the following skills and capabilities:
- Communicating clearly with others
- Reassuring passengers in the event of an emergency, making sure they follow safety procedures
- Ensuring that passengers are made comfortable
- Maintaining a calm demeanor, positive outlook, and an empathetic nature
- Exhibiting excellent interpersonal skills
- Working with a culturally diverse population
- Looking and acting like a professional at all time
Air Hostess Tools of the Trade
Air hostesses must draw on required knowledge and the use of some equipment in order to complete all job tasks. If you wish to become an air hostess, you must have an understanding of the following:
- Emergency equipment – from breathing apparatus to defibrillators, air hostesses should be familiar with various equipment needed to address in-flight emergencies
- First aid – it is important for air hostesses to know how to administer basic first aid, such as wound dressing and CPR
- Survival training – in case of severe emergency, air hostesses are trained in survival skills—from creating a shelter to gathering food, finding safe drinking water, and attracting help
- Foreign languages – air hostesses are often required to communicate with people of diverse cultural backgrounds; it is helpful for them to be fluent in at least one, and ideally more, languages in addition to English
Air Hostess Education and Training
There are no formal degree requirements associated with being an air hostess; most employers require only a high school diploma. Many airlines require that newly hired air hostesses complete company-led emergency and flight attendant training programs.
Air Hostess Salary
According to the BLS, air hostesses are paid a median annual salary of $48,500. Those in the 10th percentile earn $26,570; those in the top 10 percent are paid $78,650. The highest mean annual wages for air hostesses are paid primarily in Northwestern states. Washington ($70,500), Oregon ($67,380), and Arizona ($63,710) are the top three states in the U.S. when it comes to mean annual salaries for air hostesses.
Air Hostess Resources
If you’re looking for more information about what is involved in working as an air hostess, you can refer to the helpful books, blogs and other references we have provided below:
Association of Professional Flight Attendants (APFA) – From news about current events and trends in the field to meetings and events providing networking and learning opportunities, APFA offers a wide range of benefits to air hostesses.
Association of Flight Attendants-CWA (AFACWA) – This organization, offering an overview of air hostess issues and current news in the field, is the largest labor union for flight attendants, representing nearly 50,000 professionals in the field.
I Heart Cabin Crew – This site offers blogs by and about air hostesses, providing career tips, best practices, flight attendant lifestyles, and many other details.
The Flight Attendant Life – From personal insights into this career to the best shoes to wear while working, this blog gives an in-depth perspective of working as an air hostess.
The Essential Guide to Becoming a Flight Attendant – Written by an air hostess and flight attendant consultant, this book provides a detailed look at this career, including benefits and schedules. The book includes role-playing scenarios and details about training programs.
Fly Girls Guide: How to Become a Flight Attendant – Based on the author’s YouTube video series, this book explores what it takes to become an air hostess, from creating a résumé to interview tips and much more.
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