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How to Become an Air Hostess

By: Maggie Lonsdale BA (hons) - Updated: 30 Apr 2017 | 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The reality of working as an air hostess is a million miles away from the outdated perceptions of a ‘trolley dolly’ or a ‘waitress in the sky’.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]
Hello there , I'm 16 , and becoming air hostess is my dream , can anyboady help me to know about what level of studies i must study , is it spm enough ? Anybody please help me to know about it !!!!
Rageshy - 30-Apr-17 @ 2:35 AM
Hi my name is yangani i'm 20 years old turning 21 i'm interested in being an air hostess i would love to know what qualifications you need to have in order to became one and i love working with peoplei'm a very loving person and I'm a peaple's person i connect easily with peaple
Precious - 29-Apr-17 @ 5:05 PM
Hi,my name is Dahianna I am 27 years old I have done a cabin crew course and also have study other travel relating course; Travel Operations, travel&Tourism and First Aid training. my career and dream job is to become an Air cabin crew,at the moment i work as a supervisor for ucl university, i deal with a lot of responsibility,from delegating team work and meeting targets. i would like to know, if with my current experience and knowledge would be fine for me to apply? Or is there any particular course or training that i can do to benefit from to getting my dream job ?
delightful - 28-Apr-17 @ 12:00 PM
mell - Your Question:
Hi there, my name is Melissa,i am enquiring about the air hostess course, its something I have always wanted to do,in all honesty I have felt I haven't met the criteria ,what I do have experience in nursing/personal care,palliative care, food preparation, behavioural support, teaching assistant level 1, Mother of 2 children with a most supportive husband!

Our Response:
We don't offer cabin crew courses here. Most airlines offer training to new employees, so you should contact your chosen airline directly.
ACareerChange - 6-Apr-17 @ 2:26 PM
hi there, my name is Melissa,i am enquiring about the air hostess course, itssomething i have always wanted to do,in all honesty i have felt i haven't met the criteria ,what i do have experience in nursing/personal care,palliative care, food preparation, behavioural support, teaching assistant level 1, Mother of 2 children with a most supportive husband!
mell - 6-Apr-17 @ 2:56 AM
Annie - Your Question:
Hi my name is Annie and I'm 15 my dream job is to become an air hostess for Virgin Atlantic, especially as I come from a family of airlines and would like to carry the dream on!! As I said I'm only 15 and it would be extremely helpful if anyone could guide me step by step what paths to take whether it's staying on in 6th form or go to college someone help!!! :) Thank you,Annie.

Our Response:
Either 6th form or college would be useful. Here's what Virign says:
"You need to be a minimum of 18 years of age
In order to reach the overhead lockers on board you must have an arm reach of 210cm
You will need to be able to do the brace position which involves having your feet flat on the floor whilst sitting in our jump seat which is 45cm off the floor.
Good customer service experience
Have a minimum of three GCSE or equivalent level passes (it is not necessary to have done a crew related course)
Have no live criminal convictions or cases pending, including drink driving convictions.
We would also suggest taking any opportunity to participate in team activities (either part-time/summer holiday/Saturday jobs etc.) in customer service while you are still in school or college. This could contribute to an all-rounded experience that may be helpful when you eventually apply for a cabin crew role."
ACareerChange - 23-Mar-17 @ 2:38 PM
Hi my name is Annie and I'm 15 my dream job is to become an air hostess for Virgin Atlantic, especially as I come from a family of airlines and would like to carry the dream on!! As I said I'm only 15 and it would be extremely helpful if anyone could guide me step by step what paths to take whether it's staying on in 6th form or go to college someone help!!! :) Thank you,Annie.
Annie - 22-Mar-17 @ 9:11 PM
Hi I'm turning 31 years this year and I'm more interested in being air hostess. Will I qualify to be one?
Boh - 17-Mar-17 @ 1:29 PM
Hi, I'm currently 17 but very close to turning 18, I am ready to leave school and was wondering if anyone has a simple step-by-step sort of thing that I could follow to help me? This would really be useful. I'm looking at Virgin Atlantic and there is a few training courses set around the UK and one near me! Any help would be greatly received Thank you Maisie :)
Maisie - 15-Mar-17 @ 9:53 PM
Hi i am Sally... I am 18 years old, i just want to know if it's necessary to study all levels in order to be an airhostess... Is it??
Sally - 8-Mar-17 @ 7:31 PM
is it necessary to study all levels in order to be an airhostess
Sally - 8-Mar-17 @ 7:28 PM
Lady.M - Your Question:
Hi,my name is mahlatse and I'm 17 years old and I'm in grade 11,being an air hostess it has always been a dream and a wish,having a thought of serving people and meeting new different people everyday it's just a dream indeed,but the problem is that I chose the subjects that don't go with being an airhostess and I think it's too late to change my stream at school, so if I continue with the stream I'm doing then which courses should I take in college to become an air hostess?or where should I find help?

Our Response:
Most airlines will consider you if you have five GCSEs or equivalent including maths and English. Check with individual airlines to find out whether this has changed.
ACareerChange - 23-Feb-17 @ 12:37 PM
Hi,my name is mahlatse and I'm 17 years old and I'm in grade 11,being an air hostess it has always been a dream and a wish,having a thought of serving people and meeting new different people everyday it's just a dream indeed,but the problem is that I chose the subjects thatdon't go with being an airhostess and I think it's too late to change my stream at school, so if I continue with the stream I'm doing then which courses should I take in college to become an air hostess?or where should I find help?.
Lady.M - 22-Feb-17 @ 1:46 PM
Hi I'm turning 31 years this year and I'm more interested in being air hostess. Will I qualify to be one?
Nesty - 12-Feb-17 @ 3:00 PM
tex - Your Question:
Hi, I am 23 and left school after my 13th grade and currently working for the school as an administration officer. But I have a different dream job and that is to become an air hostess.I really wanted to become one despite of my achievements.I love to mingle with strangers and love doing house hold works and serving people mostly home visitors. So that always encourage me to keep on trying. So what do I do to attain a place?

Our Response:
Please check the information in the above article. There is a list of airlines available on the internet. Each one will give details of how to apply to them for a job in cabin crew.
ACareerChange - 6-Feb-17 @ 10:36 AM
Hi, I am 23 and left school after my 13th grade and currently working for the school as an administration officer. But i have a different dream job and thatis to become an air hostess. I really wanted to become one despite of my achievements. I love to mingle with strangers and love doing house hold works and serving people mostly home visitors. So that always encourage me to keep on trying. So what do i do to attain a place?
tex - 3-Feb-17 @ 1:29 AM
Hi I am 15 years old I am still in secondary school and I want to become an Air hostess it's my dream and wish to become an Air hostess I always love the job since childhood and wish to do the job at least once.... if for per time is okay just wanna do it once in a life time please guide me!!!!!!!!
Amixco - 31-Jan-17 @ 11:04 PM
I would like to be an air hostess
tornado - 25-Jan-17 @ 1:28 PM
Hi I'm 17 years in ofori panin senior high.Ma dream is to be an air hostess which program I'm I to read or what grade I'm I supposed to get to achieve ma goal. Thanks #Karol#
General - 15-Jan-17 @ 9:18 PM
I am 54 yes old am i to old to train to be air hostessI have been in bars hotels for last 25 yes thank you beverley
Fishface - 12-Jan-17 @ 9:08 PM
Good morning! I'm 20 years old. I have finished my primary and secondary school. I have got diploma in English and diploma in information technology. I'm familiar to communicate with peoples. I want be a Air hostess it's my dream and wish. what should I want to be a Airhostess? what should I want do? please guide me?
Fasla - 12-Jan-17 @ 6:24 AM
Hi I'm 14 years I would like to know about all the criteria of being an air hostess,because it's something of which I would love to do as I love travelling.I would also like to know whether If a person holds a matric higher certificate would it be a problem in applying for being an air hostess. At this moment i'mdoing grade 10. Its very nice that by reading this information about how to become a air hostess any body can get some ideas to make their dreams come true but I have one doubt that after 12th which courses are needed to become air hostess it my dream to become air hostess please guide me.
Nunky - 11-Jan-17 @ 9:36 AM
I would like to know about all the criteria of being an air hostess,because it's something of which I would love to do as I love travelling.I would also like to know whether If a person holds a matric higher certificate would it be a problem in applying for being an air hostess
Mpumi - 8-Jan-17 @ 3:01 PM
I'm 23 and I have been trying to get information about becoming an airhostess I do have the introdution but my height is stressing this is what I have been dreaming about all my life I'm willing to do anything legal to become one please help
fundee - 7-Jan-17 @ 6:06 PM
Deerab - Your Question:
Hello so I'm still in secondary I'm in 4th year and I have two more years left of secondary duhh. ??????????anyway since I moved to uk from Pakistan I have just been hooked on to being a Air hostess and now I am in my last year before I'm a senior and now I really need to start applying and stuff you know and I just don't really know what to do if I leave school after 4th yes should I go to college for training or if I stay in school what do I need to do.If you could please help and contact me with information.that'd be grand.thank you.DEERAB

Our Response:
If you are in year 11, you should aim to achieve at least 5 GCSEs including English and Maths. Checkout the websites of the various airlines to see what their requirements are in terms of any further education etc.
ACareerChange - 6-Jan-17 @ 2:12 PM
Hello so I'm still in secondary I'm in 4th year and I have two more years left of secondary duhh.. ??????????anyway since I moved to uk from Pakistan I have just been hooked on to being a Air hostess and now I am in my last year before I'm a senior and now I really need to start applying and stuff you know and I just don't really know what to do if I leave school after 4th yes should I go to college for training or if I stay in school what do I need to do. If you could please help and contact me with information.that'd be grand..thank you..DEERAB
Deerab - 5-Jan-17 @ 7:25 PM
Hi, i am 19 years old and i moved recently in the UK from Italy, i have studied economic and turism there, now here am studying English and Maths and I can speak different languages. I always wanted to be an air hostess, Please help me, for my future
Reb - 4-Jan-17 @ 5:28 PM
Hey I've always wanted to be an Air hostess I need someone help me fulfilled my dream. Currently a concierge agent at a resort and I've done reception before so I know alot about customer service and satisfaction.
Kimmiikimzx - 14-Dec-16 @ 12:53 PM
FUZZ - Your Question:
What about the maximum height restriction? Im actually 17 and im 1m75cm tall.

Our Response:
That height would be fine.
ACareerChange - 7-Dec-16 @ 10:44 AM
hae am 20 years old and always had a dream of being an airhostess i always admire them alot and recently i just admired them more after being to Jomo Kenyatta International airport have read some of the requirements but what i dont have mostly is that have never worked in any international or any hotel and also i havent learnt any foreigh language is there any chance of me become one of the hostess
Moh - 6-Dec-16 @ 8:30 PM
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Latest Comments
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    Re: How to Become an Air Hostess
    Hello there , I'm 16 , and becoming air hostess is my dream , can anyboady help me to know about what level of studies i must…
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