The commencement of airline flight attendant training is very exciting. If you’re lucky enough to be hired by a large full service carrier then you have a lot to look forward to and really is where your flight attendant career becomes reality and the work and excitement starts.
In all likelihood you will be put up in a hotel or more likely a fully serviced apartment for the duration of your training.
My airline flight attendant training school class of 19 soon to be International Flight Attendants
This shot was taken at the self contained apartments we called home for about 5 weeks during our airline flight attendant training.
We thought we'd take advantage of the weather and a break in study for a group BBQ.
(I'm the one without shoes front left)
During training school it’s common for them to pair you with a roommate of the same sex. Training school numbers in my past have ranged from as little as 9 through to 30. (I should add that not all airlines will put you up in accommodation for training school. If you happen to live in the same city where the training will take place or you join a low cost carrier then chances are you are going to have to take care of your own accommodation during training school).
However, your excitement builds as you’ve checked into you fully serviced apartment, you’ve met most of the other successful applicants even though you can only recall two or three names and now you’ve arrived at your airline flight attendant training facility with smiles all round.
There’s chatter and laughter and with thoughts of getting your uniform and flying off into the far horizon and landing at a new and exciting destination is top of mind and stirs anyone’s adrenalin.
Then there’s the introduction from the airline chief of training and the explanation of the course curriculum and then the manuals are handed out.
This is typically around about morning tea time. I’ve been through four of these training schools now and typically there is a deafening silence in the room of new about-to-be flight attendants at this time due to the realisation that this is a job that requires a fair bit of application, discipline and a lot of study in initial training.
You’ll look at the manuals and say something like, “How on earth are we going to get through all this in the time they’ve given us?”
Yes the penny drops and while some are more than ready to go others are feeling very overwhelmed at the study and exams that are coming their way in the next 4 to 6 weeks. But don't worry, you will be taken through a course that many have done successfully before you. You will be trained by professionals on everything you need to know.
Your scheduled training hours are typically 8:00AM to 4:30PM with study time at your discretion. It is also common for airline companies to outsource some or all of the training facilities so don’t be surprised to see other airline brands and crew using the same facility.
If you accommodation is further than walking distance from the Airline flight attendant training facility that you are using then you’ll be provided transportation to and from training every day. This maybe a limo or this may be a bus.
Although as an ab-initio trainee you are not expected to know much about the airline system, but you are expected to learn and learn quickly. Don’t worry, everything will be explained to you and you will get through if you buckle down and do the study required.
You’ll learn through theory and practical exercises and you’ll cover...
You’ll also learn about everything else peculiar to aviation and your company.
And this list continues and when you’re in airline flight attendant training it seems at the time that the continual learning will never end.
Towards the end of your training, you will do what they call supernumery flying. This is where you passenger (abbreviated to pax) on at least four sectors to get a taste of the ‘real thing’. It is your opportunity to see, tell, smell, ask questions and basically observe and learn before you get your own wings and are out online for real.
At some stage through training you will be asked for your preferences as to where you’d like to be based. Obviously this is only open to airlines that have recruited for multiple bases and be warned that you are not always based where you want to be.
If I can give a little personal advise here having now flown out of 6 Capital city bases; and that is, if you don’t get where you want first up, take it with a positive attitude and enjoy yourself. You never know what that city holds as far as living experiences and for the most part you will end up enjoying yourself. I guess the big tip here is don’t complain, enjoy the time your there and put your hand up for a transfer when one becomes available.
At the end of the airline flight attendant training comes graduation day! This is where you are presented with your wings and it’s normally a mixture of emotions, most of them all good.
You get to invite friends or relatives, you get your wings from the CEO or company representative and have your personal and class photo taken and you enjoy a quite food and beverage celebration. It’s a great day and something that you will be very proud of and remember forever. So far for me that’s getting close to 20 years since my first graduation and the photos are pure gems to look back on.
Can you better your chances by attending a non Airline flight attendant training school?
Personally I think not because the bottom line here is that airlines will train you in everything you need to know, so there is no need to try to do it on your own.
The hardest part of airline flight attendant training is getting the job as a flight attendant in the first place so I have put together some flight attendant info that will tilt the odds in your favour.
Check out the Be a Flight Attendant program page here