Schools for flight attendant training are not numerous but when a review of all the educational resources available reveals that there are plenty of avenues to explore. From short and inexpensive online courses to residential training by specialist teams, there’s something for every budget. Airlines also provide training for ab initio candidates and while that can be ideal for some, others prefer to prepare by taking advantage of the independent training options.
Embarking on a career as a flight attendant is an exciting journey filled with opportunities for personal and professional growth. The aviation industry is in a constant state of flux, and airlines are constantly on the lookout for well-trained, dedicated individuals to join their cabin crew. This comprehensive guide aims to provide aspiring flight attendants with all the information they need to make informed decisions about their training and career development. From FAA and CAA-approved schools to online courses, books, and career prospects.
Schools for Flight Attendant Training in the USA
For those based in the United States, FAA-approved schools are the gold standard for flight attendant training. These institutions offer courses that adhere to the Federal Aviation Administration’s stringent guidelines, ensuring that you’re well-prepared for the challenges of the job.
Community colleges offer another viable path for those interested in aviation careers. Many of these educational institutions have aviation programs that include flight attendant training as part of the curriculum.
Major airlines like Delta and American Airlines offer their own in-house training programs. These are often fast-tracked and directly aligned with the airline’s specific requirements, making them an excellent choice for those who are certain about their career path.
US Airline Flight Attendant Careers
JetBlue: The Northeastern Choice
JetBlue is a smaller airline based in the Northeast U.S., renowned for its high hourly pay rates for flight attendants. Once you pass the hiring process, you’ll be trained at their centers in either Boston or New York City. The program lasts for four weeks and offers perks like high pay, a flexible schedule, and travel benefits.
Delta Air Lines: The Southeastern Gem
Delta Air Lines, a major U.S. airline, is known for its high-paying flight attendant roles. Trainees are sent to their Atlanta-based center for a six-week program. The training includes high pay, step incentives, and yearly raises.
United Airlines: The Midwestern Family
United Airlines, one of the five major U.S. airlines, offers a seven-week training program in Chicago. Known for its employee-friendly culture, the program offers great flight incentives, health insurance, 401K options, and vacation benefits.
American Airlines: The Southern Powerhouse
American Airlines, one of the world’s largest airlines, provides a six-week training program in Dallas. The program offers paid training and job placement at an American Airlines hub upon completion.
Alaska Airlines: The Northwestern Star
Alaska Airlines is recognized for its employee-friendly environment. The training program, which lasts between 4-6 weeks, is conducted at their centers in the Northwest U.S. Benefits include more than 115 travel destinations and union membership with The Association of Flight Attendants (AFA).
Flight Attendant Requirements
Each airline has specific qualifications for hiring flight attendants, ranging from height and health to age restrictions. It’s essential to check with the airline you’re applying to for its specific requirements.
Cost of Flight Attendant School
Most airline-affiliated schools offer paid training. However, if you opt for a non-affiliated school, you may incur costs ranging from $2,000 to $10,000.
Schools for Flight Attendant Training in the UK
In the United Kingdom, the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) is the governing body for all aviation-related activities. CAA-approved schools offer courses that meet the authority’s high standards, providing a solid foundation for aspiring flight attendants.
If you wish to work as a Cabin Crew in commercial air transport within a Member State of the European Community you must hold a valid Cabin Crew Attestation (CCA). This is a certificate of professional competency which permits you to discharge the duties of Cabin Crew on European Community registered aircraft. To be eligible for a CCA you must be at least 18 years of age and have successfully completed the required initial training course and the associated examination in accordance with EASA Aircrew Regulation Part-CC.Source: CAA: Cabin Crew Initial Safety Training
The BTEC National Diploma in Travel and Tourism is another option for those in the UK. This vocational course covers a broad range of topics, including cabin crew training, making it a versatile choice for those interested in the aviation industry.
British Airways, among other UK-based airlines, offers its own training programs. These courses are tailored to meet the airline’s specific needs and are a great way to get your foot in the door.
UK Airlines Cabin Crew Careers
Some UK-based airlines off their training programs. These courses are tailored to meet the specific needs of each airline and are a great way to get your foot in the door.
British Airways: The Flag Carrier
British Airways is the UK’s national airline and the largest in terms of fleet size and international flights. Known for its extensive global network, British Airways offers a comprehensive training program for aspiring flight attendants at its London-based training center. The program focuses on customer service excellence and safety procedures, and it provides a pathway to work in various cabin classes, including the luxurious first class.
EasyJet: The Budget Leader
EasyJet is a British low-cost airline that primarily operates within Europe. It’s the second-largest airline in the UK and is known for its cost-effective travel options. The airline’s training program is streamlined and efficient, reflecting its operational ethos. Trainees are prepared for a fast-paced work environment and are taught to prioritize safety and customer satisfaction.
Virgin Atlantic: The Customer-Centric Choice
Virgin Atlantic is renowned for its focus on customer experience and innovative services. The airline offers a robust training program that emphasizes customer service skills, cultural sensitivity, and safety protocols. The training often takes place at their headquarters near London Gatwick Airport and provides a holistic approach to cabin crew duties.
Ryanair: The European Giant
Although headquartered in Ireland, Ryanair is a significant player in the UK’s aviation market. Known for its ultra-low-cost model, Ryanair’s training program is highly specialized to suit its unique operational needs. The program is rigorous but quick, preparing flight attendants for a high-turnover, efficiency-driven work environment.
Jet2: The Leisure-Focused Airline
Jet2 is a British low-cost airline that primarily serves leisure destinations. The airline’s training program is geared towards customer service, given its focus on holiday travelers. The training includes modules on safety, service delivery, and even destination knowledge to assist passengers better.
Each of these airlines offers unique training programs and career opportunities for aspiring flight attendants, making them excellent choices depending on your career goals and preferred work environment.
Online Flight Attendant Training Options
Udemy offers a variety of courses aimed at aspiring flight attendants. These courses cover the basics and offer a flexible learning schedule, making them ideal for those who are balancing other commitments.
Here is a small selection:
- How To Become A Flight Attendant
- How To Pass The Online Cabin Crew Interview
- Flight Attendant Exam Questions Practice Tests
Udemy courses vary in price and quality from the inexpensive to high. They may not be officially approved but they are sometimes created by people with experience, perhaps a whole career behind them, and these instructors can provide insights that you won’t find anywhere else.
Become A Flight Attendant
We cover everything you need to know about the Flight Attendant interview process and how to pass it. Everything from what to wear, to how to do your hair and makeup, we show you the most likely interview questions and we even tell you how to answer them. Valuable insights from industry experts to help take the guess work out of the interview process.
Written by Airline Crew & HR Personnel
Career Advice, Interview Questions & Answers
In-Person Training Courses
The Travel Academy
Based in the USA, The Travel Academy offers a comprehensive 10-week flight attendant course that covers all the essentials you’ll need to know. The course costs $8,900, with potential scholarships up to $1,400.
Cabin Crew Wings
In the UK, Cabin Crew Wings offers a two-day course that provides a quick but thorough overview of what it takes to become a flight attendant.
Recommended Reading For Wannabe Cabin Crew
The Essential Guide to Becoming a Flight Attendant
This book is a must-read for anyone serious about pursuing a career in this field. It offers invaluable insights into the life and responsibilities of a flight attendant.
How To Become A Flight Attendant
This comprehensive guide provides aspiring flight attendants with invaluable insights into the recruitment process, training programs, and the day-to-day responsibilities.
Turn Your Flight Attendant Dreams into Reality
Abbie Unger’s book is a comprehensive guide that covers everything from the application process to what life is like in the air. It’s a must-read for aspiring flight attendants.
Recruitment Process for Major Airlines
- Application Stage: The first step in landing your dream job is to apply through the airline’s career portal. Make sure your CV/resume is up-to-date and tailored to the role you’re applying for.
- Assessment Day: After your application is shortlisted, you’ll be invited to an assessment day. This usually involves group exercises and interviews to gauge your suitability for the role.
- Final Interview and Medical Examination: The final stages include a one-on-one interview and a medical examination to assess your physical and mental fitness for the job.
Career Prospects for Junior Flight Attendants
Opportunities for Promotion
Junior flight attendants have a clear path for career advancement. With experience, you can move up to senior roles and even become a purser or chief flight attendant.
Some airlines offer specialization options, such as working in first class or on international flights, providing further opportunities for career growth.
Career Shift Possibilities
The skills you acquire as a flight attendant are highly transferable. You can easily transition to other roles within the aviation and tourism sectors, making this a versatile career choice.
Becoming a flight attendant is a rewarding career filled with opportunities for growth and specialization. Whether you’re in the USA or the UK, there are numerous training options available to help you achieve your dreams. From approved schools and online courses to invaluable books and career development paths, the sky’s the limit for those willing to invest in their future.