6 Steps to Cabin Crew Promotion

Once you have got your dream job as Cabin Crew, it is certainly not a ‘dead-end’ job – there are plenty of opportunities within the airlines to get promoted. If you love new challenges and aspire to develop and improve, you can get promoted within the cabin (depending on the airline) working up to business class and eventually the first class cabin. If you would like to take on a supervisory role onboard, you can become a Purser or Senior Cabin Crew Member and be in charge of the crew on the aircraft.

If you wish to diversify further, you can venture into working in a ground-based role after flying for a couple of years. You can become a Cabin Crew Instructor and train new recruits and recurrent crew in safety procedures, aviation medicine and service standards. It is also possible to take a side step and become a Cabin Crew Recruiter – to find the best potential Cabin Crew for the airline. There are also options at the airline base in supervisory or management roles, such as Base Supervisor or Cabin Crew Manager.

1. Always go the extra mile in your work and exceed expectations

Do that bit extra to exceed the passenger’s expectations and make their day. If a passenger forgot to request a vegetarian meal and there was none available, you could go into the business class cabin and make up a special meal for them, using vegetarian items. The passenger gets his special meal but of business class standard and personalised. Work that bit harder in the team and help out your colleagues and you will be appreciated and get noticed on a subtle level.

2. Never be complacent about safety

This is the most important part of our job and for some it is easy to get complacent about safety issues and that can be a crucial mistake. Always report unserviceable items, check your safety equipment rigidly and report anything suspicious or unusual that may be a threat to safety on board. Know your procedures, inside out - show that you are a ‘safety professional’. 

3. Lead by example

Never expect anyone to do anything you wouldn’t do yourself and always be prepared to pull your weight whether you are Cabin Crew or a Senior Crew Member. You will gain respect by doing so and this is earned not expected! Share the workload and work in the galley if that isn't what you usually do or read out the public announcements or volunteer for selling inflight retail. Treat others as you would expect to be treated yourself and your workday will always be ‘a good day out’.

4. Have passion for your work

Any experienced crew member will tell you that after a year, you will either love or hate the flying life. Greet your passengers with a smile and be proud of your customer service excellence. It does become addictive and gets into your blood… Many Cabin Crew have that passion for their job, so much it becomes a complete lifestyle, not just a job and it shows!

5. Look after each other

We work very closely together onboard the aircraft and on occasion we will all have times when we are ‘tired and emotional’ and stress and jet lag collide.  Be considerate of if a teammate is having problems or is fatigued, share their workload and just give them time to talk or give them space, whatever is needed. Allow this to happen and look after each other, whether onboard or down-route. As Cabin Crew, you will make friendships that last a lifetime.

6. Cultivate integrity and discretion

Every day is different and there are plenty of surprises. These qualities are important for Cabin Crew who wish to be promoted, as you may work with very challenging passengers or VIPs and royalty. Keep passenger profiles private and avoid gossip and company politics - you will sign a confidentiality agreement also, so you should never speak out negatively about an airline that you work for. The airline needs to trust that you are discrete in your knowledge and actions.

The best way to get promoted is to work hard, prove your success and be inspired. You can move onto new challenges and put something back into a very rewarding and exciting career either flying or on the ground. You can also develop by moving to another airline in another country (there are always options in the Middle East, for example) or working in the business aviation sector, as a flight attendant on private jets. It is important to nurture your ‘soft skills’ whilst being Cabin Crew as they will help you to empathize, grow and create confidence. Having an open mind and gaining respect through your work will also help you transition into promotion.  Aviation is surprisingly quite a small world with a lot of opportunity, so if you decide to become Cabin Crew, it is just the start of your journey.