The hardest part of any Cabin Crew career is your first initial airline training course. It takes 4-7 weeks to complete training and it is essential that you pass all elements of the course. High standards and pass rates are expected and it is very intensive and also practical. The course covers everything from firefighting to aviation first aid as well as safety and emergency procedures. Prior to your first course, you may also undertake an online preparatory training if set by the airline.
In basic terms, the Cabin Crew training course covers everything that could go wrong during a flight and how to deal with various emergency situations. You will also learn about the safety equipment onboard and how to operate them as well as the specific locations of the equipment.
Safety and Emergency Procedures
This is the most important part of the course and lasts a minimum of 2 weeks. You will learn all the procedures used in any given emergency including landing on water or an unplanned emergency landing. With practical training in a mock cabin, you learn the door drills and will know exactly how to crowd control and evacuate an aircraft in under 90 seconds. Door operation is crucial and you will also practice using the escape slide.
This includes learning about life rafts and oxygen systems as well as fire extinguishers, smoke hoods and survival equipment. You will learn how they are used, how long they last for and where they are located on each aircraft.
Understanding how and why fires start also helps prevention. You will use the firefighting equipment to put out fires and also ‘rescue’ people trapped in a mock cabin filled with smoke.
This is to simulate an emergency landing on water. You must swim with a lifejacket and climb into a life raft. Survival techniques in the water will also be covered.
Aviation First Aid
This is an advanced first aid course covering everything from nose bleeds and air sickness to stroke and heart attack. It is a very thorough training and you will learn CPR and how to use a defibrillator as well as the medicines and first aid kits available onboard and their usage.
Knowing the layout and locations of equipment and the door operation on each aircraft is crucial. You may have to operate 3 or 4 types of aircraft so it is essential to learn the fine details for each one e.g. Boeing 737, Airbus 320 and Airbus 330. There will also be an aircraft visit for each type, so that you can be tested on door operation and locate equipment.
This covers survival techniques in snow, desert, jungle and sea, for both crew and passengers until rescued.
Crew Resource Management
You will learn about human factors in aviation and how communication and teamwork are so important. Examples of serious incidents will be given and researched, so you can understand how any why accidents happen.
Here you will find out how to run a service in-flight and any premium service such as business or first class. You may also learn about wine service and cultural differences.
You will be learning how to sell products onboard and promote them for maximum profit.
You are now a representative of the airline so have to achieve perfect set grooming standards at all times. In this class, you will find out all the tricks of the trade and how to look your best in uniform.
More subjects you may study are manual handling, security, dangerous goods, conflict management and even self defence!
It is a very intensive course and the skills you learn will last a life time. It is very hard work and you do have to put lots of effort in to pass the exams, which have a very high pass rate – not everyone makes it through! Once you pass all the exams, you will take two supernumerary flights under supervision, before finally receiving your wings.