Provide personal services to ensure the safety, security, and comfort of airline passengers during flight. Greet passengers, verify tickets, explain use of safety equipment, and serve food or beverages.
Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities
The most important knowledge, skills, and abilities (KSAs) are listed for Flight Attendants.
Customer and Personal Service - Knowledge of principles and processes for providing customer and personal services. This includes customer needs assessment, meeting quality standards for services, and evaluation of customer satisfaction. Public Safety and Security - Knowledge of relevant equipment, policies, procedures, and strategies to promote effective local, state, or national security operations for the protection of people, data, property, and institutions. Transportation - Knowledge of principles and methods for moving people or goods by air, rail, sea, or road, including the relative costs and benefits. English Language - Knowledge of the structure and content of the English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar. Psychology - Knowledge of human behavior and performance; individual differences in ability, personality, and interests; learning and motivation; psychological research methods; and the assessment and treatment of behavioral and affective disorders.
Speaking - Talking to others to convey information effectively. Service Orientation - Actively looking for ways to help people. Social Perceptiveness - Being aware of others' reactions and understanding why they react as they do. Active Listening - Giving full attention to what other people are saying, taking time to understand the points being made, asking questions as appropriate, and not interrupting at inappropriate times. Coordination - Adjusting actions in relation to others' actions. Monitoring - Monitoring/Assessing performance of yourself, other individuals, or organizations to make improvements or take corrective action.
Oral Comprehension - The ability to listen to and understand information and ideas presented through spoken words and sentences. Oral Expression - The ability to communicate information and ideas in speaking so others will understand. Speech Clarity - The ability to speak clearly so others can understand you. Problem Sensitivity - The ability to tell when something is wrong or is likely to go wrong. It does not involve solving the problem, only recognizing there is a problem. Speech Recognition - The ability to identify and understand the speech of another person.
Aircraft escape or ejection systems - Emergency exit doors and windows, Evacuation slides, Slideraft packs, Window exit escape ropes Aircraft oxygen equipment - Chemical oxygen generators, Portable oxygen equipment, Protective breathing equipment, Supplemental oxygen systems Cool containers - Refreshment carts, Refrigeration units, Storage compartments Life vests or preservers - Flotation seat cushions, Life preservers Lifeboats or liferafts - Emergency rafts, Sliderafts
Calendar and scheduling software - AD OPT Altitude, Arkitektia Flight Itinerary, Bid Assistant, SBS International Maestro Suite, ValtamTech Flight Crew Log Computer based training software - IBM Lotus LearningSpace
By Brent Wittmeier, Edmonton Journal December 12, 2013
EDMONTON - A man is lucky to be alive after flight crews at the Edmonton International Airport used a defibrillator to restart his heart. The incident happened early Wednesday evening when an arriving passenger collapsed behind a U.S. security checkpoint, said Heather Hamilton, spokeswoman for the Edmonton International Airport.
“WestJet crew grabbed one of the defibrillators off the wall, used it, shocked the patient once,” Hamilton said, adding that United Airlines crew members also helped. “Fire crews were on site within a couple of minutes, and he was already able to sit up and talk to them.” Since 2009, Edmonton International Airport has installed more than 60 automatic external defibrillators with the goal of having one no more than a minute away. Chances of survival increase by roughly 75 per cent when an AED is used within three minutes, along with cardiopulmonary resuscitation and dialing 911, the Heart and Stroke Foundation estimates.
The airport’s AED devices are essentially foolproof. They give audible instructions. And since the machine checks for a heartbeat, it’s impossible to shock someone who doesn’t need it. If there isn’t a pulse, the patient is essentially dead, Hamilton said, so there’s nothing to lose and everything to gain. It wasn’t the first life-saving incident in that area of the airport. Airport defibrillators have saved at least three other lives. Last year, an RCMP officer and an off-duty firefighter revived a man behind the U.S. customs area using a nearby AED, shocking the man’s heart four or five times. Hamilton says she’s glad the man’s family won’t have to “cope with a really, really different Christmas.” But she also wonders if the message about the power of AEDs is getting out. It was crew members, not passengers, who stepped in. Hamilton hopes that incidents like this one will embolden others to act when necessary. While the machine automatically sets off an alarm, passengers shouldn’t be afraid to grab and use it. After all, a life might be at stake. “You’re not going to get in trouble at all,” Hamilton said. “You want the alarm to go off, the alarm is what’s bringing help to you.”
Whenever airlines advertise openings for flight attendants, the applications gush in. Southwest Airlines (LUV) recently received 10,000 applications for 750 attendant positions—in about two hours. A year ago, 114,000 people sought 2,500 flight attendant spots at the airline, known for its laid-back work environment. It’s the same at other carriers: US Airways (AAL) had 16,500 applicants this past January for 450 spots, and Delta Air Lines (DAL) got 22,000 for 300 to 400 positions a year ago.
Why such interest?
“In the job market the way it is right now, who wouldn’t want to get paid to travel?” says Leslie Mayo, a 27-year flight attendant at American Airlines (AAL), who lives in San Diego. The schedule is flexible, and “a day off is a day off—you don’t take your job home with you,” she says, preparing for a trip to Zurich the next day.
The opportunity to fly for free is a big part of the industry’s allure, even though most airline employees fly as “nonrevenue” standby passengers, waiting for an unsold empty (often middle) seat. At American, employees can get an open seat in first class for $150; coach is a third that price.
The salary is just OK. Few people ever get rich corralling a drinks cart, but a veteran flight attendant can make more than $50,000 annually—though no new hire will approach that amount, even at Southwest, which is noted for its relative generosity. To start, $25,000 per year is typical. Still, there are also many days per month on which flight crews stay home, another major perk of the job.
Southwest is a little unusual in that it calculates salary based on a flight’s distance and time. After their first year, Southwest’s flight attendants are guaranteed at least 80 flight segments per month, which are based on $22.36 for each trip up to 243 miles and 55 minutes or less. For example, a usual five-hour flight from Baltimore to Los Angeles counts as 6.2 trips, or $138.63. But that trip count could rise, based on whether the flight is longer because of head winds or air traffic delays.
Southwest is hiring flight attendants to help staff the larger Boeing (BA) 737-800 airplanes it’s added to its fleet, which require four attendants, one more than Southwest’s smaller 737s. For those who get hired, Mayo offers one piece of advice: Focus on the travel and health insurance benefits, not the paycheck. “You’re not doing it for the money.”
Southwest Airlines is hiring 750 flight attendants for its national fleet, and it has a large pool of applicants from which to choose.
Bloomberg reports that Southwest, the largest carrier at Raleigh-Durham International Airport by passenger count, received 10,000 applications for 750 open flight attendant positions. For those doing the math at home, that's a rate of 80 per minute.
This is the first time that the Dallas, Texas-based airline has hired flight attendants from outside the company since 2011, according to the report. Dan Landson, a spokesman for Southwest, told Bloomberg that new hires at Southwest will earn about $24.39 an hour and work a minimum of 66 hours a month, and that hiring will be completed in the next year.
Landson added that Southwest is bolstering its staff as it anticipates the arrival of 55 Boeing Co. 737-800 jets in addition to the 44 it already flies.
Southwest (NYSE: LUV) shares were trading up by 0.2 percent as of mid-afternoon on Tuesday.
Air travel hasn’t quite lost all its romance. Mark Gerchick Dec 22 2013, 9:25 PM ET
Only true aviation geeks are likely to celebrate, or even notice, the milestone being celebrated this year in the history of aviation: the debut, a century ago, of the autopilot. In June 1914, at a historic aeronautical-safety competition in Paris, a 21-year-old American daredevil pilot-inventor named Lawrence Burst Sperry stunned the aviation world by using the instrument to keep a biplane flying straight and level along the Seine. According to his biographer, William Wyatt Davenport, Sperry stood on a wing as the plane, in effect, flew itself—a feat that won him the event’s $10,000 prize.
By eliminating the need for taxing “hand flying” on long journeys, and thereby reducing pilot fatigue, Sperry’s autopilot ultimately made flying much safer. But it had another, less obvious benefit. It freed up pilots to do other things with their hands—and bodies. The brilliant young Sperry himself soon grasped the possibilities. Legend has it that in late November 1916, while piloting a Curtiss Flying Boat C‑2 some 500 feet above the coast of Long Island, he used his instrument to administer a novel kind of flying lesson to one Cynthia Polk (whose husband was driving an ambulance in war-torn France). During their airborne antics, however, the two unwittingly managed to bump and disengage the autopilot, sending their plane into Great South Bay, where they were rescued, both stark naked, by duck hunters. A gallant Sperry explained that the force of the crash had stripped both fliers of all their clothing, but that didn’t stop a skeptical New York tabloid from running the famous headline “Aerial Petting Ends in Wetting.” For his caper, Sperry is generally considered the founder of the Mile High Club, a cohort that loosely includes all those who have ever “done it” in flight (though precisely what constitutes “it” remains a lurking definitional issue).
“Flying,” the 1930s stunt pilot Pancho Barnes is often quoted as saying, “makes me feel like a sex maniac in a whorehouse with a stack of $20 bills.” Today’s overcrowded, underfed, overstressed airline passengers, consigned to travel in “just a bloody bus with wings” as Ryanair CEO Michael O’Leary puts it, are unlikely to share that enthusiasm. It’s all the more remarkable, then, that airborne sex remains on the bucket list of plenty of passengers, at least male ones. A “Sex Census” published in 2011 by the condom maker Trojan found that 33 percent of American men aspire to have sex on an airplane. (The top locale for women: a beach.) Similarly, nearly a third of the Brits who responded to a 2010 TripAdvisor poll said they wanted to try in-flight sex.
A lot of U.S. fliers may have already acted out that fantasy. In a global survey of more than 300,000 adults conducted in 2005 by the condom maker Durex, 2 percent of respondents worldwide (and 4 percent of American respondents) claimed to have had sex on an airplane. A 2010 survey commissioned by Sensis Condoms (when did condom makers become avid pollsters?) found a similar incidence of in-flight sex (3 percent) among its respondents. Assuming that about 100 million Americans have traveled by air, and discounting for lying braggarts, if even only 1 percent of them have indulged, then that’s a million or so Mile Highers.
Less-than-scientific anecdotes abound too. When Virgin Atlantic installed diaper-changing tables aboard its new Airbus A340-600 long-haul jets, in 2002, it wasn’t just mothers and children who found them useful. Within weeks, according to the airline, the tables were destroyed by “those determined to join the Mile High Club.” That said, the airline’s founder, the billionaire bad boy Sir Richard Branson, has waxed nostalgic about a tryst he had at age 19 in a Laker Airways lavatory (“It was every man’s dream”). Almost 20 years ago, Singapore Airlines, for its part, reported that a third of its cases of “unruly behavior” involved in-flight sex.
For the airlines, the “sexy skies” are all about marketing the fantasy. Actual in-flight sex is the last thing they want to deal with, especially since 9/11, when the preferred cabin ambience has become no-fun, no-drama—a shift more self-protective than puritanical. Is it just love, or is that couple huddled together in their seats trying to ignite explosive-filled sneakers? Even a visit to the bathroom can trigger a full-bore fighter-jet scramble, as it did on the 10th anniversary of 9/11, when a pair of F‑16s shadowed a Frontier flight until it landed in Detroit after two passengers made for the lavatory at the same time. Cabin crews working chock-full flights now also have no time, much less the inclination, to play chaperone.
Almost perversely, as the reality of today’s air travel for the ordinary coach passenger moves from bearable to downright nasty, reviving the lost “romance” of flying makes marketing sense. Branson, the master marketer, beckons passengers to “get lucky” when they fly Virgin America jets outfitted with seat-back touch screens that let you send “an in-flight cocktail to that friendly stranger in seat 4A.” After all, if you’re busy punching your video screen to chat up some “friendly stranger,” you’re not griping about an airline’s $7.50 snack pack. And when Singapore Airlines proudly unveiled for global media its super-jumbo double-decker Airbus A380 jet, the hype was all about the glories of its 12 ultra-costly first-class “suites.” Combine two of the private pods (about $10,000 each for the round trip from New York to Frankfurt), and you can share a legit double bed, shown in publicity photos strewn with rose petals, alongside a gold tray holding an open bottle of Dom Pérignon and two half-full champagne flutes. What are you supposed to think? Then there’s Air New Zealand’s “Skycouch” (three adjacent coach seats that can be transformed into a flat, bed-like surface), popularly known as “cuddle class.” It comes with the coy admonition to “just keep your clothes on thanks!”
“Flying,” said the 1930s stunt pilot Pancho Barnes, “makes me feel like a sex maniac in a whorehouse with a stack of $20 bills.”
Could we return to the good old days when travelers were “mad men” and flight attendants were “sexy stews,” when the “sex sells seats” mantra drove some carriers to adorn “trolley dollies” in hot pants and go-go boots and to offer “executive” (men-only) flights between Chicago and New York? Not likely, at least in the United States, where women constitute more than 40 percent of frequent fliers and half of international air travelers, and make most travel-buying decisions. How many of these women are really looking to “get lucky” on their next flight? Being hit on by an unseen stranger while buckled into a seat at 35,000 feet, online commenters have complained, is at best “a little creepy” and at worst like being trapped in a “mile high stalker club.”
For those moved by the marketing, or otherwise compelled to act out the mile-high fantasy (Freud posited that the fantasy of flight itself has “infantile erotic roots”), there’s a better solution than flying commercial: your own plane. Think Playboy’s Big Bunny, a 1970s-era DC‑9 jet outfitted as a “party pit,” complete with a fur-covered oval bed, a shower, and a discotheque, all presided over by flight attendants (“Jet Bunnies”) in black-leather mini-jumpsuits: “Imagine Studio 54 with wings,” enthused a Playboy feature. That particular icon supposedly now resides, dismantled, in a small city in Mexico, but some air-charter services offer hour-long jaunts for adventurous couples wanting to live out the dream, or at least spice up their relationships. These outfits come and go, with names like Erotic Airways and Flamingo Air, but typically they equip their small Pipers or Cessnas with a mattress (in lieu of the customary four or six seats), overfly scenic spots like Cincinnati or western Georgia, and throw in a bottle of not-quite-vintage bubbly, all for about $500.
The sheets—no joke—are yours to take home as souvenirs.
* Jenny Lauren, 41, was arrested in Shannon, Ireland * Niece of Ralph Lauren forced airplane to divert from its route from Barcelona to New York * She told one female cabin crew member that she was 'f*****g ugly' * Lauren warned another that she was about to go ballistic, a trial heard * When a pilot intervened Lauren turned on him and called him an 'a*****e * The plane was delayed two hours and the diversion cost Delta Airlines £26,000 * Lauren's lawyer told the court that her client's behavior was out of character
By Sara Malm and Jill Reilly and Gordon Deegan and Daniel Bates and Ted Thornhill PUBLISHED: 09:33 EST, 8 January 2014 | UPDATED: 14:52 EST, 8 January 2014
A 41-year old niece of fashion icon Ralph Lauren was fined 2,000 Euro (£1,650) in relation to an air rage incident on board a New York-bound flight on Monday. At a hearing on Wednesday Judge Patrick Durcan imposed the fine on Jenny Lauren after hearing that on a cocktail of alcohol and prescribed medicines, she launched a foul-mouthed tirade against cabin crew on board the Delta Airlines flight. She also pushed one member of staff up the against the aircraft wall.
Ms Lauren pleaded guilty to causing a breach of the peace on board the Barcelona-JFK flight and being intoxicated. A third related air rage charge was withdrawn by the State in court.
Lauren bit her lip and looked to the ground in the dock as Garda Inspector Tom Kennedy told the judge air crew were left frightened by the attack. He said the flight had been in the air for two hours when an air hostess noticed the defendant crying in her seat, 21G, which would not recline properly. He revealed Lauren told stewardess Constance Topping to ‘get the f*** out of my face’ as she tried to help, and when told to calm down she became more abusive.
The court heard Ms Topping went to brief her supervisor Jennifer Simpson at the top of the plane and Lauren, who was not a first-class passenger, nevertheless followed her through first class and in to the galley ‘at speed’ where she ranted, roared and shouted incoherently. Insp Kennedy said: 'Passengers were getting concerned and standing up out of their seats. She told the air hostess she was going to go ballistic and pushed the air hostess hard and she hit her back against the wall of the aircraft.'
He revealed her frightening experience continued with Lauren calling Ms Topping a ‘f****** ugly, blonde b***h’ and Ms Simpson a ‘fat ugly, unhappy, blonde b***h’. When a pilot on a rest break in the cabin intervened he was told ‘you're an a*****e’ by the defendant, Mr Kennedy added.
The flight had to be diverted almost 400 miles back to Shannon Airport, with the abuse continuing for more than an hour until touchdown when Lauren was arrested by gardai. Lauren, dressed in a black jumper, burgundy velvet skirt and boots, did not speak during the hearing and looked back to her friends for reassurance as the details were outlined to the packed courtroom. On touchdown officers noted she was incoherent and smelt of alcohol, despite airline crew stating she drank little or no alcohol on board.
When arrested under caution at the airport she replied: 'Can you say that in English please?' She later claimed she thought she had landed in Spain. More than 200 passengers and crew were on board the flight when the air rage incident took place. The diversion cost Delta 43,158 US dollars (31,770 euros/£26,269).
Ms Lauren's solicitor, Sharon Curley, said that her actions on the aircraft were ‘bizarre’ and completely out of character. She said Lauren has little memory of the incident despite only consuming three alcoholic drinks. 'My client is extremely embarrassed and extremely upset by her actions,' Ms Curley said, offering her apologies to the airline crew, passengers and gardai. She said when the 'stimulants' wore off and Lauren 'returned to herself' she was unable to believe what happened. Ms Curley revealed Lauren - a fine arts graduate with an unblemished record and no other convictions - has previously suffered from anorexia and written a book on her experience and won awards from eating disorder charities for her work.
The Delta Airlines plane was diverted to Shannon Airport, Country Clare, on Monday afternoon
While the first flight attendants were male and many early airlines had a ban on hiring women, flight attending would eventually become a quintessentially female occupation. Airline marketers exploited the presence of these female flight attendants. Based on my reading — especially Phil Tiemeyer‘s Plane Queer and Kathleen Barry’s history of flight attendants’ labor activism – there seem to have been three stages.
First, there was the domestication of the cabin. As air travel became more comfortable (e.g., pressurized cabins and quieter rides), airlines were looking to increase their customer base. Female “stewardesses” in the ’40s and ’50s were an opportunity to argue that an airplane was just like a comfortable living room, equally safe for women, children, and men alike. Marketing at the time presented the flight attendant as if she were a mother or wife:
Twenty years later, air travel was no longer scary, so airlines switched their tactics. They sexualized their flight attendants in order to appeal to businessmen, who still made up a majority of their customers. Here’s a ten-second Southwest commercial touting the fact that their stewardesses wear “hot pants”:
The intersection of the labor movement and women’s liberation in the ’60s and ’70s inspired women to fight for workplace rights. Flight attendants were among the first female workers to organize on behalf of their occupation and among the most successful to do so. Their work won both practical and symbolic victories, like the discursive move from “stewardess” to “flight attendant” that transformed women in the occupation from sex objects to workers. A quick Google Image search shows that the association — stewardess/sex object vs. flight attendant/worker — still applies. Notice that the search for “stewardess” includes more sexualized images, while the one for “flight attendant” shows more images of people actually working.
My impression is that today’s marketing tends to feature flight attendants in all three roles — domestic, sex object, worker — echoing each stage of the transformation of the occupation in the public imagination.
Cross-posted at The Huffington Post. Lisa Wade is a professor of sociology at Occidental College. You can follow her on Twitter and Facebook.
Star Alliance is pleased to announce that Air India will join as our 27th member airline from 11th July Delhi time. Air India will add 400 daily flights and 35 new destinations in India to our network and means we are the first alliance to have a member airline in the Indian sub-continent. Please join us in welcoming Air India to the network!
I would like to ask flight attendants around the world to please join me in congratulating the world's most senior flight attendant, Bob Reardon, on his retirement from a career that span 63 years. Bob holds two Guinness world records, one for being the world’s oldest active flight attendant and the other for the longest career as a flight attendant. On Saturday his flying career, which began in 1951 with Northwest Orient, which became Northwest Airlines and finally merged with Delta Air Lines, came to a close. According to one report, the retirement was not his choice as he had said he would never retire.
Dear Colleagues, Friends and Family of Robert “Bob” Reardon, August 26, 2014 at 11:52pm
Tuesday, August 26, 2014
Dear Colleagues, Friends and Family of Robert “Bob” Reardon,
Yesterday, the Company announced the retirement of Robert Reardon effective August 30,2014. Rather than a date to celebrate, it marks the end of a 62 year, 8 month career marred by a seven-month stressful and unfortunate ordeal. Robert’s pending retirement was not of his choosing.
Robert has made it very clear that he does NOT want any “celebrations,” “parties,” or “events,” planned or hosted by the Company. They would be inappropriate and insincere.
Instead, a gathering of friends, family and supporters will be held to honor and reminisce with Robert when he is ready to do so. Please be assured that when decisions are made, you will be advised of the details,with sufficient advance notice so you may plan/bid accordingly.
For now, we have set up a Facebook page so everyone may post messages, stories and pictures acknowledging Robert’s career, dabbled with his incredible memory, humor and wit. The world will most likely never have another “Robert-like” icon.
Please understand that Robert needs time to sort out and reflect upon the events preceding his retirement. We invite everyone to share Robert’s Facebook page with friends around the globe, as the Company announcement, via email sent yesterday, was addressed only to Minneapolis/St. Paul based flight attendants.
On behalf of“OUR BOB”, the current holder of TWO Guinness World Records, thank you for your support on his past journeys and into the future after the end of a life-defining career. As Robert has closed his notes, letters and commentaries thousand times, “Otherwise, all is lovely and serene. As ever, Robert.”
Thanks for taking us along for the ride.
Friend and colleague, Bruce Retrum Flight Attendant, MSP
A Fly Guy reveals 6 things flight attendants wished you knew, but don’t have time to tell you
1. Our sleep bank has a negative balance - Don’t let the big eyes, wide smiles and manicured appearances fool you; we’re tired… always. It’s not uncommon for cabin crew to show up for a 12-hour flight after only sleeping three or four hours. This could explain why some flight attendants don’t seem friendly.
2.You said with milk right? – Fruit flies have attention spans of only a few seconds. Well, give us fruit and watch us fly, because so do your crew. Our rapid memory loss is probably due to lack of sleep… but in any case, don’t be surprised if your flight attendant asks you to repeat your order seconds after you gave it. Cabin Crew enjoying time spent with their passengers
3. We like you, we really like you – We have a lot of things to do and often a short time in which to do them. Being busy often makes us look unapproachable and, as a result, the only interactions we usually have with our guests are requests. Most of us took this job because we love people, so, when we have time, we enjoy a friendly chat with our passengers.
4. Rude passengers aren’t the only pains in our necks - Name an injury and a flight attendant will probably have it. Broken bones, ruptured discs and pulled muscles are all reasons most flight attendants have a chiropractor or physical therapist on speed dial. According to data collected from Occupational Information Network in the USA, the role of flight attendant is considered the third most demanding job on your health.
5. Lonely, we’re so lonely - It’s hard to believe that someone who spends most of his or her days surrounded by a lot of people in a small tube could feel so alone. But the truth is, when the buh-byes are finished, we are by ourselves and away from our homes. The special life moments of those we love are often observed on Facebook instead of face to face.
6. We visit exotic cities and… sleep – Our job might sound like a vacation, but at the end of the day it’s our job. Occasionally we sacrifice days off in great places to recharge our batteries and stay behind that do-not-disturb sign.