A flight attendants main job role is to ensure the safety of all passengers as well as comfort. Contrary to popular belief, flight attendants actually are not training to serve food and beverages but rather are specifically trained on a variety of safety responsibilities as mandated by the Federal Aviation Administration. Before jet setting to new places as a flight attendant, one most pass an exhausting 4-8-week training course as required by each airline. Most airlines will provide accommodation and meal assistance during training as well. Receiving a contingent job offer is an exciting time, however, getting through cabin crew training will be difficult and you need to be prepared!
While each airline is different, most will have you complete classroom lessons first, a realistic drill, and a written and hands-on test. On the first day of training you will be tested on airport codes, 24-hour clock, airline vocabulary, and airline history. Be sure to study prior to arriving so that you are successful on your first written test. For the next few weeks, instructors will be teaching various lessons typically in PowerPoint style to include aircraft familiarization, emergency equipment, first aid/CPR/AED, evacuations, security issues, and several other topics. There will be a computer or written test almost daily to review the previous days lesson. You must pass each test with a minimum of score of 80% typically. It’s best to take notes from each lesson and study the evening prior in order to successfully pass each written exam.
Generally speaking, on top of classroom lessons, you’ll be able to practice evacuations, opening and closing doors, arming and disarming doors, and the location of emergency equipment the on simulators at training. On top of taking computer tests, you must pass applied tests such as demonstrating the proper evacuation orders for ditching and land evacuations, on board fires, loss of pressure, smoking, and medical situations. You will only have a few opportunities to successfully demonstrate each drill so absolutely practice and be prepared so that you make it to the final tests.
During the last two weeks, you will be assigned a specific base that you will fly from. The oldest person in your training class will have the highest seniority, and therefore pick their preferred base first. The final tests before being awarded your wings includes demonstrating emergency situations with other flight attendants on board as well as observing an actual flight and then being graded on working an actual flight. The Initial Operating Experience (IOE) is the final test to determine if you have acquired the proper knowledge to safety work a flight on your own and earn those prized wings. While stressful at times, the weeks will fly by and soon enough you will be flying the friendly skies as a flight attendant!