Airlines are always looking for that certain ‘something’ in their Cabin Crew, the ‘X factor’ if you will. The role is very extensive; you are the nurse, chef, waitress, cleaner, babysitter, tour guide, counselor and more! It is a very diverse and multi-faceted skill set but what qualities do we have that are adaptable to any workplace?
You have to be extremely determined to get a Cabin Crew job as the recruitment process is very tough and only 1 or 2% of all applicants actually make it through. Then you have to survive the training and exams as well as the probation period, before you know that you have really become Cabin Crew.
Patience in buckets is necessary. Not only for the recruitment process but also on a daily basis, when things don’t go to plan or the day is just plain stressful. Standby can test your patience as you are on call for 8 hours and never know until you get the call if you have to dash to the airport within minutes.
We are good listeners and we look after our crew as well as our passengers, counseling and problem solving as we go.
#4 Caring Nature
We are a caring bunch (mostly!) who do like to ‘look after’ our passengers with great service. We also know we can take care of you if you get sick onboard or if there is an emergency. We look after each other too whether we are down-route or onboard the aircraft, our crew are often our family.
#5 Good Timekeeping
We have to be on time, all the time – our job depends on it. The aircraft will not wait for us – doing so would cost thousands of pounds, just because we got stuck in traffic, the cat got sick or whatever. Being late results in a ‘black mark’ on your record. Be late during training and go home, for good.
Every day is different and we may well work with people we have never met before. There is no 9 to 5 and anything can happen, so we have to be practical and think on our feet all the time and find solutions fast.
Things often change at the last minute in this business and we have to adapt and go with a new strategy and fast. The flight may be delayed for example or we may have a technical issue and get stuck down-route, so you always have to be ready to accept change and run with it.
Someone once said ‘If you can’t say something nice, don’t say anything at all…’ in some ways this is very true of Cabin Crew. It is important that our teamwork is top notch and we pull together. If a crew member doesn’t work to standard we need to compensate and be diplomatic not have a reporting culture that gives a team a bad name. It is also useful to be diplomatic with our passengers especially when dealing with potential difficult situations.
We are the face of the airline so have to be picture perfect and uniform standard. We know all about making first good impressions and are trained to look the part.
Sometimes you have to use your discretion when dealing with a potential issue with either a passenger or crew member. A metal tube in the sky is not the place for anyone to have a meltdown. Most of us are very discrete and what happens on a flight stays on a flight.
#11 Customer Service Excellence
It is our job to always do that bit more – exceed the passenger’s expectations and go the extra mile. We are trained to know what a passenger wants before he even knows it. We will do our best to make your flight a pleasant one and hopefully we’ll see you on another flight.
#12 Safety Conscious
Without this there would be no Cabin Crew or no airlines, it goes without saying – it is a crucial part of our work and 95% of our training.
Our skills and qualities might be unusual to some workplaces but we always have something to offer in a new role if we step outside the flying world. Many people may see the Cabin Crew Role as a ‘dead end’ job – it isn’t there is a lot of opportunity. It also leaves us with a desirable skill set useful for so many other roles and those who decide to leave, tend to end up in professions such as nurse or paramedic and in the emergency services for example, the fire service or the police.