For many of the public, they believe that cabin crew are 'waiters in the sky' but if you ask cabin crew they'll disagree. For all airlines, there are tough training programmes crammed with many practical and written examinations to ensure that the next employed crew are the best trained for the job. On top of this, crew have to go back to training every year to prove they are still able to fly; this means more door drills and exams - usually within a couple of days.
Cabin crew jobs are difficult to gain as many future recruits apply every month for only a hundred or so jobs, this makes it extremely competitive. The application process can take months to find out if you are successful in gaining employment and for many this doesn't happen the first time around. (Some cabin crew hopefuls then have to wait up to six months to re-apply!)
On top of competition to get the 'job of their dreams' - as mentioned before - they have to attend training. Airlines in the UK usually spend around 5 to 6 weeks training crew before they get their 'wings', however other prestigious airlines around the world can spend 3 months training. In China the competition for crew leads to many girls and guys going to cabin crew academies to stand out from their competition.
An idea of a 6 week training programme (in the UK):
- Week One & Two - SEP (Safety and Emergency Procedures); exams, door drills, locations of emergency equipment, threats onboard aircrafts, fires, survival skills, ditching and sooooooo much more!
- Week Three & Four - AVMED (Aviation Medicine); exams, medical training - scenarios such as: childbirth, strokes, heart attacks, minor injuries - basic first aid.
- Week Five & Six - CST (Customer Service Training); uniform standards, service standards in different cabin sections, role models and brand behaviour, plus the final exam in service.
As you can see cabin crew training is intense for a reason, if something goes wrong your crew know what to do for a range of possible scenarios. If you think that cabin crew just stand around looking pretty and serving food like you waiter at your local restaurant... think again.
"They are like human swiss army knives" says Rhod Gilbert a comedian who experienced being British Airways cabin crew for his tv series Rhod Gilbert's Work Experience on the BBC. If you missed the episode, I suggest you watch it on YouTube - It is hilarious as he attempts to become Cabin Crew in a short period of time before he jets off to New York as part of the BA team.
I haven't posted in a while but, I decided to finally do something. It is coming to an end of flying season for many airlines (summer) so I while be trying to get in touch with them soon.
I hope you enjoy my post and I will be back blogging soon!