This is a big question for many of wannabe flight attendants. Our resident Cabin Crew Consultant Patricia Green explains the different courses out there, and weights up the pros and cons of completing a basic Cabin Crew course before applying to airlines for jobs.
Nowadays, there are many courses available both online and practical short courses. You can even study at college to be Cabin Crew! But does this help and does it give you any advantages over the competition?
Let’s start with the basic courses. These often run for 1 or 2 days and are made up of practical work with maybe a little pre-study. Basically, you will be finding out about what a day in the life of Cabin Crew
is all about and completing a few practical tasks like a meal service and safety demonstration. You will find out how to apply for airlines and practise interview techniques and they will advise you on how to look the part. These courses are best for someone who wants to know more about the job and if they would like it. Of course, some of these things can also be found online and with research but if you want to increase your confidence, it may be worth looking into.
The next type of course may include a week or two or pre-study by workbook or online and then a few days practical course. This may involve learning a little about aircraft types and the basics of safety equipment and a little about different airlines.
Following this, during the practical course you may learn how to do the safety demonstration, practise some safety drills and how a meal service works. There will also be advice on how to prepare for interviews and assessment days. These courses may help you if you wish to have more confidence before you finally start a training course as you will feel that you will know a little already and things like basic airline terminology.
Cabin Crew diploma courses
At some colleges of further education, you can take a diploma course over a year or two for Cabin Crew
. This is usually linked with other subjects in the travel industry, such as airline operations or ticketing and ground staff. These are a great base for a travel career and provides you not only with a good understanding of the industry as a whole but can give you a wide number of career options too, not just Cabin Crew, but working as ground staff at check-in or as a travel consultant.
Finally, in some countries there are Cabin Crew schools that train Cabin Crew directly for certain airlines. This is very specific and an arrangement between some airlines who do not have sufficient training facilities that meet the aviation authorities standards and the independent school. Therefore, experienced instructors are brought in to train new recruits specifically at aviation training centres all over the world. After finishing training successfully, Cabin Crew are put on a waiting list for the airlines and offered opportunities as soon as they are available.
All in all, it is a personal choice and you have to see which course would most benefit you at this stage in your career. Some courses maybe be beneficial if you need to work out if this is the right career choice for you or if you need a little confidence boost. The important thing to remember is that taking a course will require some investment and does not guarantee you getting a job, no matter what anyone says! Research your course well, compare a few if possible to make sure it is right for you and beware of scams – unfortunately this is something that is increasing! If in doubt, ask an experienced crew member to check for you. Taking a college diploma in Cabin Crew
or airline operations
may increase your chances of getting picked out for assessment but remember you need to get some customer service experience too.
Airline training for Cabin Crew
However, even if you do any of these courses you still have to do the full airline initial or ab-initio training course, so some people may say, why do a course at all? Every airline is different and will have its own standards and ideas about how new crew should be trained. Some will focus heavily on the safety aspect and less on service, whereas others may require you to learn another language or have a certain style of presentation and focus on grooming.
Because airlines are so specific about their own training course needs, no online or practical course is going to replace the airline training course that you will eventually have to do. So in some respects, there is no advantage. But if by taking a Cabin Crew course it helps you feel more confident about becoming Cabin Crew as well as knowing a few facts in advance of your training that can only be a good thing.
About me: I have been Cabin Crew for major airlines in the UK and Middle East for 6 years and also a SCCM. For the last 6 years I have worked as a VIP Flight Attendant working for very high profile clients and world leaders on their private jets. This last year, I moved to flying on a freelance basis in order to concentrate on working as a freelance instructor as well as setting up as a Cabin Crew Consultant, so that I could advise potential crew how to get their dream job and help experienced crew move from commercial to corporate flying. In response to many requests from fellow crew and students, I have written a series of E-books
to help guide new crew with lots of insider advice and useful hints and tips.
For more information please visit www.cabincrewconsultant.weebly.com
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Photo credit: Ryanair