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How to Become an Air Hostess

By: Maggie Lonsdale BA (hons) - Updated: 15 Mar 2018 | comments*Discuss
 
Air Hostess Cabin Crew Airline Low Cost

The reality of working as an air hostess is a million miles away from the outdated perceptions of a ‘trolley dolly’ or a ‘waitress in the sky’.

With such strict safety regulations, a dramatic increase in low-cost flights and the tight turn-around times, plus regulations at airports, working as an air hostess, or rather, as cabin crew, is a very demanding job.

While there has been a large amount of negative press about cabin crew thanks to strikes causing travel chaos, the image of cabin crew is still very much that of a glamorous career choice. Many cabin crew may disagree with that though, as the role is fast-paced, relatively low paid and highly competitive.

So why is it considered an appealing option, especially for young men and women? Well, the travel perks are a huge incentive and even if you work for a low-cost airline, rather than a large international carrier, there are still plenty of opportunities to see different places around the world.

Salary Expectations

There are two quite distinct arenas for cabin crew employment opportunities – low-cost airlines and major international carriers. Although the salary expectations are not that different (starting at around £14,000 and rising to around £20,000 for more senior cabin crew) the perks do tend to differ, as do the conditions.

For low-cost airline cabin crew, the flights tend to be short, with a very quick turnaround and fewer opportunities for stops of more than one night. For the international carriers, it is common for cabin crew to have two to three nights ‘off’ in their destination city, with all expenses paid.

It is worth noting that these expenses have been curtailed in recent years, particularly since the recession impacted the travel industry, so hotels are less impressive and per diem (daily allowances) rates are reduced.

Cabin Crew Criteria

For all cabin crew, there is a raft of criteria that must be met prior to any application. Most airlines tend to have direct recruitment policies, with application forms available on their website (usually under the careers section) that must be completed online. Although there are a few recruitment agencies that deal with airlines, this is not a particularly popular route, so applying direct is a better bet.

As a rule, the criteria include minimum height restrictions (usually 5ft 2") and ‘weight in proportion to height’. Although this certainly helps the ‘glamorous’ image of cabin crew, it is also for practical reasons, as the cabins are small, with a number of tasks needed to be completed in a small space.

Applicants must also have at least GCSE level English and maths, with references available from the last five years’ employment. Applicants need to be well presented, with no tattoos or piercings visible, plus be able to swim and tread water.

Training

Most training is done in a group setting, usual at the UK base of the airline. For those applying to work at other UK airports, accommodation is usually provided for the duration of the training. This can be around four weeks, with classroom-based learning, flight simulation and empty test flights.

Career Development

Although many people see working as a cabin crew member as a relatively short-term career while they are young, free and single, there are plenty of opportunities available for career development, perhaps because so many people leave after a couple of years. There are senior crew positions as well as land-based roles, with many cabin crew choosing to work in an office role at the airline once their personal circumstances make the shift patterns and required flexibility of being cabin crew less appealing.

Other Careers in Travel

To find out what other careers are available in the travel industry, read our article Working In Travel in the Leisure & Hospitality section of this site.

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[Add a Comment]
I'm actually 42 yrs, only finishing my role as single mum , as daughter finishing her exams and tending her own life n career of choice, hence , I ask of you, wether I'm to old to choose career in air travel,, hospitality?, I check off all the boxes required needed ?.
Blondebearbloo - 15-Mar-18 @ 5:45 PM
I'm an upper 6 learner at Regina mundi secondary school my dream is to become an airhostess ,but I'm not good in maths is there any problem about that,what is needed for me to become one
shazy - 15-Mar-18 @ 4:19 PM
I'm a form 4 learner at Fatima high school at Zimbabwe my dream is to become an airhostess but I'm not that good in maths is it a problem, actually what do I need to become one
masheza - 15-Mar-18 @ 4:15 PM
Hi; I would like to ask you that i am doing my GCSE'S and next year i will be doing my A levels but only for 1 year and can i start the job when i am 17 instead of 18.
Simran - 7-Mar-18 @ 5:34 AM
I'm 27 and considering a career change. I have my English and maths GCSEs and wondering what else I would need to be an air hostess? In total I have 5years of working experience but in various sectors, is this ok? Are there any specific qualifications needed? I've always dreamed of travelling and would love to do this
stokesy90 - 17-Feb-18 @ 7:24 PM
Jj123 - Your Question:
Hey I've got my maths abd English gcse. And I'm doing my a levels. I know what I wanna do in the future but I don't know if I'll be good enough to get into university sof was wondering if the 5 years of work experience are they really needed or can I just started as soon as I'm 19 (

Our Response:
The five year's employment is not necessary - it just means that if you've not been in education, you have to be able to show what you were doing/have refences etc.
ACareerChange - 9-Feb-18 @ 3:36 PM
Hey I've got my maths abd English gcse. And I'm doing my a levels. I know what I wanna do in the future but I don't know if I'll be good enough to get into university sof was wondering if the 5 years of work experience are they really needed or can I just started as soon as I'm 19 (
Jj123 - 9-Feb-18 @ 1:45 PM
Hello, i am 16 and i want to become an air hostess in the future. I didn't do very good with my GCSE's and now i'm retaking my Maths and English in college. I'm currently in a health and social course but next year i want to train to be a air hostess. If i directly apply to a airline agency when i turn 18 and pass my Maths and English will they train me?
Georgia - 24-Jan-18 @ 10:13 PM
thx for respning to my comment
heena ?? - 24-Jan-18 @ 5:29 PM
Heena?? - Your Question:
I am 13 and I REALLY want to become and air hostess.English is not my first language, I can speak up to 4 languages.4 languages: English, Hindi, Gujarati and I am currently learning Spanish. Because I have dimples people surrender to my simile(apparently??).People think that I shouldn't be an air hostess but I have always learnt to follow my heart.And now that I am at the stage of choosing my GCSE I want to help because; I want to choose that correct subjects so that I can be qualified to be an air hostess. I would be an honoured if you replay to my message. Thx

Our Response:
Any subjects at GCSE will be fine as long as English and Maths are included.
ACareerChange - 24-Jan-18 @ 12:24 PM
HirhostDreamer - Your Question:
Hello. I'm Irena I'm 12 years old and i've always wanted to become and airhostes its my dream job and I reaserched about every single fact about AirHost and all the posebility, I've always wanted to become a Wizz Air Hostess and I know Bulgarian and English perfectly but I'm not that good in Maths, is Maths really involved in this job? And do I need O levels or A leves? Do I need to go to University for this job? And how long does it take to become this job? May you answer all my questions please, It will be my pleasure to know all those thing from now, and I will try to work hard on this process, Thankyou

Our Response:
Applicants must have at least GCSE level English and maths. You don't need A levels or a university degree. Please read the article above for more details.
ACareerChange - 24-Jan-18 @ 12:14 PM
I am 13 and i REALLY want to become and air hostess.English is not my first language, i can speak up to 4 languages.4 languages: English, Hindi, Gujarati and i am currently learning Spanish. Because i have dimples people surrender to my simile(apparently??).People think that i shouldn't be an air hostess but i have always learnt to follow my heart.And now that i am at the stage of choosing my GCSE i want to help because; i want to choose that correct subjects so that i can be qualified to be an air hostess. I would be an honoured if you replayto my message. Thx
Heena?? - 23-Jan-18 @ 7:11 PM
Hello. I'm Irena i'm 12 years old and i've always wanted to become and airhostes its my dream job and i reaserched about every single fact about AirHost and all the posebility, I've always wanted to become a Wizz Air Hostess and i know Bulgarian and English perfectly but i'm not that good in Maths, is Maths really involved in this job? And do i need O levels or A leves? Do i need to go to University for this job? And how long does it take to become this job? May you answer all my questions please, It will be my pleasure to know all those thing from now, and i will try to work hard on this process, Thankyou
HirhostDreamer - 23-Jan-18 @ 3:00 PM
Livs - Your Question:
Hiya I just have a question about any specific A levels. I am just completing GCSE's and am in the process of choosing A levels are there any specific subjects I should choose to be an airhostess?

Our Response:
Not really, as long as you have the relevant GCSEs as detailed in the above article. Airlines may consider it useful if you have a foreign language or a vocational qualification in travel, tourism, hospitalityetc.
ACareerChange - 10-Jan-18 @ 3:37 PM
Hiya I just have a question about any specific A levels. I am just completing GCSE's and am in the process of choosing A levels are there any specific subjects i should choose to be an airhostess?
Livs - 9-Jan-18 @ 8:37 PM
Hi, I’m 20 years old, I’m from England, I’ve experience of working with children, the elderly and working as a sales assistant and also a freelance makeup artist. I’ve got a C in English and btec science but a D in maths. Is it possible becoming an air hostess with a D in maths. I’m really wanting to become an air hostess, I need a different lifestyle and a career, I feel this is the best for me as it’s a dream job.
Sheila - 6-Dec-17 @ 10:27 PM
Ayuni - Your Question:
Hi I am Ayuni and I'm from Sri lanka. I'm 16 and I dream of becoming an air hostess. I have 1A* , 5As and a B for my GCSE O/Ls. To be an air hostess do I need to do any special courses? Do I just apply directly to a airline agency where they will train me?

Our Response:
Yes usually it's a case of applying directly to airlines that have vacancies for trainee air crew. The above article gives an indication of the criteria and what you need to do.
ACareerChange - 4-Dec-17 @ 11:16 AM
Hi I am Ayuni and i'm from Sri lanka. I'm 16 and i dream of becoming an air hostess. I have 1A* , 5As and a B for my GCSE O/Ls. To be an air hostess do i need to do any special courses? Do i just apply directly to a airline agency where they will train me?
Ayuni - 3-Dec-17 @ 7:17 AM
My name is Ellie Queen and my dream is so become a qualified air hostess and a job that is exciting and I’m so looking forward to it when I leave school is they anything specific that I need to do
Ellie - 15-Nov-17 @ 5:28 PM
Maame- Your Question:
Hi my name is Hannah am 20 years of age and I just completing secondary high school and my dream is to become an air hostess please I need your help on how to make sure my dream come true I really like this job.am in Ghana and I want to come to school UK please what should I do I really want to become an air hostess

Our Response:
You will need to apply directly to UK airlines, bear in mind also that you will need to appropriate visitor/work visa.
ACareerChange - 6-Nov-17 @ 3:23 PM
Hi my name is Hannah am 20 years of age and I just completingsecondary high school and my dream is to become an air hostess please i need your help on how to make sure my dream come true I really like this job.am in Ghana and I want to come to school UK please what should I do I really want to become an air hostess
Maame - 5-Nov-17 @ 9:58 PM
Hi i am 13 years old and i want to become an air hosster could you give me any advices
Ham - 10-Oct-17 @ 7:50 PM
Hi Iam 15 years old and I really want to be an air hostess,its my dream.I just want to know about the universities in the uk that I can study in, and want to know how many languages do I need to know.please and thanks in advance
Nora - 27-Sep-17 @ 6:46 PM
Luc- Your Question:
Hi I'm sixteen looking to join virgin Atlantic when I turn 18. I'm undecided for where I should do an apprenticeship. I was thinking either as a waitress or someone dealing with customer service at a hotel or something like that. Where would be the best place to gain experience that would look good on my cv.

Our Response:
You could look at a customer service based apprenticeship, but bear in mind that some employers expect you to remain working for them for some time on completion of the apprenticeship. It might be worth looking at FE college courses such as BTECH or NVQ customer services related qualifications. You could consider part time work whilst studying which will help with any cabin crew application once you're 18.
ACareerChange - 20-Sep-17 @ 11:42 AM
Hi I'm sixteen looking to join virgin Atlantic when I turn 18. I'm undecided for where I should do an apprenticeship. I was thinking either as a waitress or someone dealing with customer service at a hotel or something like that. Where would be the best place to gain experience that would look good on my cv.
Luc - 19-Sep-17 @ 10:11 AM
Hi I am 16 years of age and doing history at school will I be able work as an air hostess I really admire air hostesses and wish to be one soon
Khathutshelo - 15-Sep-17 @ 7:15 PM
Hi im 15 years of ageand im very passionate about becoming an air hostess and im doing loads of research about this profession
Courts - 2-Sep-17 @ 4:25 PM
Mimie - Your Question:
Hie um Marcy um completing my A level please tell me what l can do to be an air hostess.

Our Response:
As per the above article, you need to look at the requirements for each individual airline to see what their application process is.
ACareerChange - 21-Aug-17 @ 12:52 PM
Hie um Marcy um completing my A level please tell me what l can do to be an air hostess.
Mimie - 17-Aug-17 @ 9:15 PM
nanu - Your Question:
I am studing in class 11 I wanna become a airhostess and can't decide what to do and how to start.plz help me out!!!!!

Our Response:
Please read the above article. You need five GCSE passes including English and maths to start with.
ACareerChange - 7-Aug-17 @ 1:55 PM
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