Flight attendant, air steward, air stewardess
Air cabin crew help make sure that airline passengers have a comfortable, safe and pleasant flight.
Salary range: £13,500 to £30,000
How to become cabin crew
You can get into this job through:
- a college course
- an apprenticeship
- applying directly
You could do a college course like a Level 2 Certificate in Air Cabin Crew, or study a cabin crew module as part of a broader travel and tourism course.
You may need:
- 2 or more GCSEs at grades 9 to 3 (A* to D), or equivalent, for a level 2 course
You could start by doing a cabin crew advanced apprenticeship.
This will usually take 12 months to complete. You’ll do on-the-job training and spend time with a college or training provider.
You’ll usually need:
- 5 GCSEs at grades 9 to 4 (A* to C), or equivalent, including English and maths, for an advanced apprenticeship
You could apply directly to airlines for a cabin crew job. Entry requirements vary but good customer service skills will be expected.
Some airlines and private providers run 2-day cabin crew courses, which may help your chances of getting a job.
Some airlines also have online career quizzes you can do to test whether working as air cabin crew is for you, before you apply.
Being able to speak a second language gives you an advantage when making applications. You’ll also need to demonstrate that you have great customer service skills, so experience of working directly with the public is useful.
You’ll find details about working as air cabin crew from Careers That Move.
What it takes
Skills and knowledge
- customer service skills for working with passengers
- excellent verbal communication skills
- patience and the ability to remain calm in stressful situations
- to enjoy working with other people
- knowledge of public safety and security
- the ability to accept criticism and work well under pressure
- sensitivity and understanding for dealing with customers’ needs
- a desire to help people and a friendly manner
- to be able to carry out basic tasks on a computer or hand-held device
Restrictions and requirements
You’ll need to:
- be over 18 years of age
- have a good level of fitness
- pass a medical check
- pass enhanced background checks
You’ll also be expected to:
- have a smart appearance
- have a valid passport with no restrictions for the countries the airline travels to
- live within 90 minutes of your base
- have good written and spoken English
Many airlines also ask that you’re able to swim up to 25 metres.
There are rules about height and weight – these vary between airlines. As a general guide, most look for people between 5ft 2in (157cm) and 6ft 2in (188cm) with weight in proportion to height.
What you’ll do
Before a flight you could:
- attend a staff meeting about the route and schedule
- check supplies on the plane and make sure emergency equipment is working properly
- greet passengers and check documents
- demonstrate emergency equipment and procedures
During a flight, you might:
- make sure passengers are comfortable and respond to any requests
- serve food and drinks, and sell duty-free items
- make announcements
- reassure passengers in the event of an emergency, and make sure they follow safety procedures
At the end of a flight you’ll often:
- make sure passengers leave the plane safely
- write a flight report, including details about any unusual incidents
- add up and record food and drink orders, and duty-free sales
You could work on an aircraft.
Your working environment may be physically demanding and cramped.
You may need to wear a uniform.
Career path and progression
With experience, you could progress to cabin crew supervisor or a senior air cabin crew role.
You could also work in a ground-based job, like cabin crew training, recruitment, passenger services, marketing or sales.