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CAREER PATHS / NOV. 21, 2016
version 6, draft 6

How to Become a Cabin Services Assistant

emirates female cabin crew
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The role of the Cabin Services Assistant is very niche because you are responsible for looking after the shower facilities in the first class cabin onboard the A380. Although the position gives you the chance to work onboard an aircraft, you are not considered part of the Cabin Crew and do not have to attend their training course.

1. Research the Role of a Cabin Services Assistant?

The main duties of a Cabin Services Assistant are:

  • To clean and monitor use of the shower
  • To book appointments for first class passengers
  • To offer a tailored service
  • To restock toiletries
  • To show the passengers how to use the shower

Some tasks that you will be required to do are:

  • Attend the pre-flight briefing
  • Keep an inventory of products
  • Monitor the schedule of appointments
  • Set up the shower for each new passenger
  • Report defects to the Senior Crew Member
  • Report anything unusual during the flight
  • Any other duty assigned by the Senior Crew Member
  • To clean specific areas of the aircraft

Hours, Salary and Benefits:

You will be working long haul routes so your shift can be between 8 and 16 hours. You will work at weekends and during holidays and have 2-3 days off after each trip. At the destination you will have some time off which can be anything between 12 and 72 hours.

Salary is variable each month depending on how many hours are flown and which destinations you go to. It is made up of basic, flying allowance and layover allowance. But it's generally between $500 and $900 per month.

The usual airline benefits apply and include health and life insurance, uniform and laundry expenses. You may get discounted travel after a qualifying period. If you are working in the Middle East, the salary is usually tax free and shared accommodation and transport are also provided.

2. Get the Basic Qualifications

To meet the basic requirements of the Cabin Services Assistant, you will need to have a high school diploma and be fluent in English, although any further languages are an advantage. Two years customer service in an international hotel chain is desirable along with hospitality and housekeeping experience. You must be over the age of 21 to apply.

Skills and qualities a Cabin Services Assistant should have are:

  • Methodical approach
  • Be friendly
  • Interacts well with people at all levels
  • Cultural awareness
  • Good timekeeping
  • High standard of personal presentation

3. Find and Apply For Vacancies

Applications should be made directly through the airline’s own careers website, or an agency that specialises in hiring airline workers, (more specifically one that deals primarily or exclusively with middle eastern airlines) where the latest vacancies will be advertised. If successful at this stage you will be asked to attend an assessment day.

Although you will not have to take part in the cabin crew assessment, the vetting process is still very strict for cabin services assistants working for airlines like Emirates. The airlines only want women who meet all their expectations. It is still like applying for a modelling job.

4. Explore Future Career Opportunities

You may progress into a Cabin Crew role after the initial 3 year contract. But, it is not a certainty and even though the selection process is tough the vast majority of Cabin Services Assistants working for airlines like Emirates are not promoted to Cabin Crew after their 3 year contracts.

You could move to working in housekeeping on a cruise liner or a VIP Lounge. The job has many benefits as it offers the chance to get paid to travel internationally without the need to undertake a Cabin Crew training course. It is also expanding as VIP services onboard aircraft in the Middle East continue to become more popular.

Although this career may not be for everyone especially as it does not have all of the glamour and status of cabin crew it has its benefits. And with the future prospects that it offers it certainly is worth considering if you love travelling.

Have you ever thought of becoming a cabin services assistant? Let us know in the comments section below…

See Also: How to Become an In-Flight Chef

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