Stewardess Job Description
More often called Flight Attendants, Stewardesses ensures the safety and comfort of airline passengers. They prepare and serve meals and beverages, communicate important safety policies and rules, and help to maintain the interior of the plane during the flight.
Stewardesses work in a team managed by a supervisory flight attendant member. They collaborate with the rest of the flight crew and also serve as their assistants. Almost all of them work for major airlines, although a handful work for chartered-flight companies. The position is expected to grow at about 2 percent over the next ten years according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, which is slower than average.
Stewardess Duties and Responsibilities
In order to successfully facilitate safe and comfortable air travel, a Stewardess performs many different tasks. We analyzed job listings for Stewardesses in order to identify these core duties and responsibilities.
Maintain Interior Cabin
The Stewardess maintains the cabin while the flight is in operation, helping to fix any problems with parts of the plane such as seat issues, restocking bathroom supplies and operating the inflight entertainment systems.
Assist with Boarding
Stewardesses run and assist with the boarding process. They call passengers onto the plane and ensure the process is orderly and rapid in order to meet takeoff times. They help passengers find their seats and assist with any special requests or needs during the boarding process.
Prepare Cabin for Takeoff and Landing
In order to assist the pilots with the takeoff and landing process, the stewardess makes sure that all passengers are safely seated according to rules and regulations. They communicate all safety information, rules and regulations to passengers before takeoff, and ensure that they remain compliant throughout the flight. They then assist with the timely and orderly de-boarding of the plane.
Serve Food and Beverages
Throughout the flight, the Stewardess services the cabin by offering passengers beverages, light snacks and meals. They both prepare and serve food and beverages, and they respond to special or additional requests if they are able.
Stewardesses are great communicators, who have a focus on customer service. When circumstances warrant, however, they assume an authoritative role to ensure order and safety in an aircraft’s cabin. In addition to these general skills and traits, employers are seeking Stewardesses with the following skills and qualifications.
Core skills: Based on job listings we looked at, employers want Stewardesses with these core skills. If you want to work as a Stewardess, focus on the following.
- Holding a valid passport and ability to travel internationally
- Meeting height and weight requirements for use and operation of airplane facilities
- Being able to pass an extensive background check
- Demonstrating ability to work highly flexible schedule
- Being able to attend and pass an unpaid training program
Advanced skills: While most employers did not require the following skills, multiple job listings included them as preferred. Add these to your Stewardess toolbox and broaden your career options.
- Knowing additional languages
- Airline industry experience
- Customer service or hospitality experience
Stewardess Q & A
Considering a career as a Stewardess or Steward (both known as Flight Attendants these days)? We talked to Tim Kirkwood, author of the Flight Attendant Career Guide, about the job. Here’s what he told us.
What’s the most rewarding part about being a Flight Attendant?
The flexibility of the job. Every day is different: different destinations, different passengers, different crews. Work scheduling is completely different from any 9-to-5 job, and can be moved to fit your needs for time off.
What is the biggest challenge faced by Flight Attendants?
Dealing with the multitude of passengers who seem to have checked their brains with their baggage. Many are generally clueless as to how things work on an aircraft (hint: it works just like things off the aircraft.
What skill do you use every day?
Diplomacy, and patience to deal with masses of people being squeezed into a small space.
Who succeeds in this job?
Someone who is easy-going, flexible, patient and open minded. There are already enough Flight Attendants who are too structured, and have control issues.
How should someone prepare for a career as a Flight Attendant?
Practicing any foreign language skills; if still in school, specialize in subject such as sociology, geography, current events, psychology. Work in a public-contact field, even if it’s working at a burger joint. It’s the best experience you can bring to the interview.
Are there any misconceptions people have about being a Flight Attendant?
Many people think it’s all about serving coffee to movie stars. They think when they get to Paris, they can just stay as long as they want. They think they will start out with a living wage. They think they will be flying Europe or Asia right out of training. Many don’t realize training can be as long as 9 weeks, and the trainee is not always paid while in training.
We searched the Web to find the best industry resources to help you continue exploring a career as a Stewardess. From thought leaders to industry groups, this list is packed with opportunities to learn, connect and engage.
On the Web
The Flight Attendant Life – Tips and advice for flight attendants
Heather Poole – Blog from the author of Cruising Attitude
The Dubai Diaries – Stories from a Dubai-based flight attendant
Association of Professional Flight Attendants – A major flight attendant organization
Association of Flight Attendants – The biggest association for flight attendants
United Association of Flight Attendants – Organization for flight attendants around the world
Cruising Attitude – Stories of crews and passengers from a flight attendant
The Essential Guide to Becoming a Flight Attendant – A comprehensive guide to becoming a Flight Attendant
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