An airline steward, also known as a flight attendant, is in charge of not only looking after the passengers on board, but also making sure that all security and emergency procedures are followed. The main goal of an airline steward is to ensure that the flight is safe and that proper emergency procedures are followed if something goes wrong. If passengers require first aid during the flight, the airline steward assists them.
A high school diploma is required to work as an airline steward. Candidates with a two-year degree or some college experience, as well as previous work experience dealing with people, are preferred most airlines. The airline steward must always be courteous while maintaining control of the situation and enforcing airline rules.
Anyone interested in working as an airline steward should enjoy working with people, be in good physical condition, and be able to stand for long periods of time. Knowing at least one foreign language is required for international flights. To work as an airline steward, you must meet certain height, weight, and appearance requirements. To easily reach emergency equipment stored overhead, a person must be a certain height. Tattoos, piercings other than the ears, and unusual haircuts are not permitted.
Remembering important information and procedures is a requirement of the job. In order to become an airline steward, a person must be able to think quickly in a stressful situation. The airline steward listens to a briefing from the captain about the flight, weather conditions, and any unusual circumstances before the passengers board the plane. The airline steward then assists passengers with boarding and checks their tickets. The airline steward informs passengers about emergency procedures and ensures that all seat belts are fastened once they have boarded.
During the flight, the airline steward provides food and beverages to the passengers. She also reassures anxious passengers and looks after those with special needs. When an emergency or illness occurs, the airline steward must act quickly to resolve the situation. Those considering a career as an airline steward should consider whether or not they would enjoy performing these duties.
Those interested in working as an airline steward must also meet certain requirements before they can begin their training. The person must be at least 18 or 21 years old, and depending on the airline, may be older. If she wants to work for an American airline, she must be a US citizen or a legal alien with permission to work in the US. An extensive background check is conducted to ensure that all information provided on the applicant’s application is accurate.
After being selected for training as an airline steward, a person receives three to six weeks of formal lessons from the airline. She’ll learn about airline safety procedures, proper attire, and rules. After completing the training, the individual tries a series of practice flights. She is being watched and is being graded on these and other tests. She is examined after completing training and, if approved, is certified to work as an airline steward the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA).
Not all certified airline stewards are immediately hired. The individual is placed on a waiting list until a full-time position becomes available. This can take years in some areas. The person in reserve is frequently called in at the last minute to work a flight and must maintain a flexible schedule. She is frequently asked to relocate to the area where she will work the most at the start of her job.
On-the-job injuries from falling overhead items or pushing the heavy carts are common problems for airline stewards. Over time, the work environment may also cause illness. Another factor that may make an airline steward sick is their unusual sleeping and eating patterns.