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Career Highlight: Flight Attendant

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1. What do Flight Attendants do?

Flight attendants are responsible for providing routine services. They are trained to respond to emergencies, ensuring the safety and comfort of the onboard passengers.

Ensuring safety means that they are informed of the conditions in the cabin so they will participate in the preflight briefings with pilots, discussing cabin conditions and flight related details. Furthermore, they will conduct preflight inspection of emergency equipment. They are responsible for equipping passengers on board through demonstrating the use of safety equipment and emergency equipment and direct passengers on where to evacuate the aircraft in case of an emergency. While in flight they are tasked with the comfort of passengers and are seen serving and selling beverages, meals or snacks or taking care of passengers with special needs. 

They will primarily work in the cabin section of a passenger aircraft, directly dealing with passengers. This requires long standing periods and can be stressful and tiring. The job will get to see the world but also spend nights away from home.

2. What subjects do I need to take in high school?

International Flight Attendants are required to be fluent in English, therefore, English is required as a high school subject. Typically Maths is recommended. Some airlines may require you to be fluent in a foreign language. Therefore, though not required, a foreign language, where possible, is strongly recommended.

Among other things, you need to have a passion for hospitality, be attentive, have good communication skills, be decisive and have good physical stamina. 

3. How do I become a Flight Attendant?

The path to becoming a Flight Attendant may differ. Typically Flight attendants receive training from their employer. Most airlines require at minimum a high school diploma or the equivalent in order to attend training. Applicants for this training must be at least 18 years old, have a valid passport and have passed the medical examination and therefore be in possession of a Class II Medical Certification. Flight attendants should present a professional appearance and therefore the same is required for applicants. If successful, the applicant will go through a flight crew training program approved by the specific Aviation Authority of the country of application. This is a hands on training in an aircraft or cabin simulator to assist students to master emergency techniques. For an airline like Detlta this is a 7 - 8 week training. Once complete the applicant will be eligible for a job as a Flight Attendant.

4. What are some available funding opportunities available to fund studies towards being a Flight Attendant?

There are various avenues to explore when it comes to funding your studies towards becoming a Flight attendant. You can obtain a bursary, sponsorship or financial aid from various sources. You can obtain funding from the government. Or you can obtain it from various private facilities, such as the bursary from Qhumisa Research Consulting Solutions in partnership with QAS Aviation Academy - Plettenberg BAy. You can also apply for financial aid at the various aviation institutions or from banking institutions.

5. What career opportunities are there for AMTs?

Once you are a flight attendant career advancement is based on seniority. Senior attendants will be tasked to oversee the work of other attendants. As a senior attendant, you may be promoted to management positions in which you will be responsible for recruiting, instructing and scheduling. 

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