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How to Become an Air Hostess

By: Maggie Lonsdale BA (hons) - Updated: 10 Oct 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The reality of working as an air hostess is a million miles away from the outdated perceptions of a ‘trolley dolly’ or a ‘waitress in the sky’.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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Share Your Story, Join the Discussion or Seek Advice..
[Add a Comment]
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
mimi - Your Question:
Hi my name is Divine and am 15 years of age am just about entering into the secondary school and my dream is to become an airhostess and am wondering what course to department to go for please I need your advice on how to make sure I have to pursue that dream.Please guide me.

Our Response:
You will need five GCSEs to include maths and English. There is a list of UK airlines on the Wikipeida here which might help you to do specific research by individual airline.
ACareerChange - 4-Aug-17 @ 11:13 AM
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!!!!!
nanu - 4-Aug-17 @ 5:59 AM
I am 15 yearold I become air hostess please gyive me advice
baloo - 2-Aug-17 @ 1:49 PM
Hi my name is Divine am 15 years of age and am about entering into the secondary school and my dream is to become an airhostess am wondering what department to take in other to pursue my dream of becoming an airhostess please advise me
mimi - 1-Aug-17 @ 9:55 PM
Hi my name is Divine and am 15 years of age am just about entering into the secondary school and my dream is to become an airhostess and am wondering what course to departmentto go for pleaseI need your advice on how to make sure I have to pursue that dream.Please guide me.
mimi - 1-Aug-17 @ 9:33 PM
Jassi - Your Question:
I have completed my 12standard with 48.56% So,now I dream to be an air hostess.PLEASE tell me I am alligible or not and what I have to do be an air hostessPlease reply soon.

Our Response:
We hope the above article tells you what you need to know. To apply for jobs you need to check with individual airlines to see what their requirements are.
ACareerChange - 19-Jun-17 @ 10:04 AM
I have completed my 12standard with 48.56% So,now I dream to be an air hostess . PLEASE tell me I am alligible or not and what I have to do be an air hostess Please reply soon .
Jassi - 15-Jun-17 @ 3:46 AM
Am soon pursuing a bachelor's degree in leisure and hospitality is there a possibility of you giving me a chance to join the air hostess team
Isabelle - 13-Jun-17 @ 12:08 AM
Hiiii.I'm sachi. I am 19 years old and doing A/L's this year. I would like to be an air hostess after my examinations. So can I know about the courses that I have to follow
sachi - 5-Jun-17 @ 12:11 PM
I am a simple graduate age about 26 years old person, if I want my carrier as like it. Then how have to do to get your opportunity to serve as it .
Rupam Kr Ray - 22-May-17 @ 4:49 PM
Morgan62 - Your Question:
Hi I'm Morgan , I'm 15 and would like to be an air hostess and was wondering what national qualifications I would need in maths and English. Many thanks

Our Response:
As the article says, you needs GCSE passes in at least English and Maths.
ACareerChange - 11-May-17 @ 11:26 AM
Hi I'm Morgan , I'm 15 and would like to be an air hostess and was wondering what national qualifications I would need in maths and English . Many thanks
Morgan62 - 8-May-17 @ 10:41 PM
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
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