Like any other job, the job of a flight attendant too, has its own pros and cons. The good things about being an air hostess are that you get to travel the world, meet new people, and gain exposure to different cultures. But the job of flight attendants is equally challenging as it requires working at odd hours and being patient and hospitable at all times.
Did You Know?
The world’s first male flight attendant was Heinrich Kubis and the first female flight attendant was a nurse called Ellen Church.
An air hostess is a female flight attendant who works for an airline. She is a part of the cabin crew and responsible for the safety and comfort of the passengers in flight. Her responsibilities include serving food and drinks, assisting sick passengers by seeing that emergency equipment is available, and ensuring that passengers are abiding by the airline safety rules. She also checks passengers’ tickets or boarding passes, guides them to their seats, and helps them find places to keep their luggage. She needs to comfort the passengers who are afraid of flying. In cases of emergency, she provides them with safety information and may even look after evacuation arrangements.
The job of an air hostess is considered glamorous. It is definitely an interesting job as one travels to many places and meets different people, but there is also lot of physical and mental stress involved.
The Fun Side
The job of an air hostess is prestigious and well-paid.
There is an opportunity to fly around the world and one gets to see some beautiful and exotic places where one can also spend some days at expensive hotels.
Meeting different people is a wonderful experience. One gets to meet interesting passengers.
One has the opportunity to improve one’s social skills and become an excellent team player.
One has to be patient and tolerant with the different types of people and understand the needs of people of different ages. This makes one more accommodating and understanding of people in general.
Traveling to different places and having an exposure to different cultures, helps increase one’s general knowledge and awareness.
Air hostesses working with international airlines have the chance to visit and explore foreign countries. Domestic airlines provide fewer opportunities to do so. However, starting to work with a smaller airline will train one and provide the skills necessary to increase one’s chances of working with a bigger company.
There are rewards for flight attendants when on a holiday. However, they vary between airlines. Many airlines provide air travel for free.
There are discounts or free tickets for immediate family members of the air hostesses, and the expenses for food, lodging and transportation are less.
Many airlines offer health care coverage for flight attendants who work in a full-time capacity, which includes vision insurance, dental insurance and many others. Many others provide a retirement savings plan or a profit-sharing program.
The Not So Fun Side
An air hostess experiences a lot of physical stress due to standing for a long time. She has to be on her toes throughout the journey, as the job responsibilities include assisting passengers to find their seats, informing them about safety rules, serving them food and drinks, retrieving bags or other items for passengers and so on. There is hardly any time to relax.
One has to work for long and odd hours, as long as 12 or 14 hours in a single shift. There is tremendous pressure and exhaustion due to lack of sleep and rest. One has to conform to a new schedule after every few months. Flight attendants can be called for work at any time; it may be early in the morning or very late at night.
One may require to work on weekends and even on holidays, which means one may miss birthdays, anniversaries, festivals, or other occasions to celebrate.
Due to the hectic work schedule, there is less time to spend with family and close friends.
An air hostess needs to look pleasant and cheerful at all times, no matter what amount of stress she is dealing with. She has to remain calm and patient under all circumstances.
An air hostess may come across ill-tempered and annoying passengers and have to manage them. She may have to listen to blames for delays, for the food, or other complaints from passengers but deal with them patiently.
The plenty of traveling and having no fixed routine can be very disorienting. It can take a toll on one’s health.