This week's blog is written by Annemae, a flight attendant based in San Francisco. Follow along with her travels on Instagram (@xannemaex) and her blog (https://www.xannemaex-travel-blogs.com).
My name is Annemae Belleza, and I have been a flight attendant for 3 ½ years now.
We don’t get to choose the base we are assigned, but luckily I was assigned to be based in San Francisco! This was the base that I was hoping for, since I am a California girl at heart. I am going to share my own journey to becoming a flight attendant and some tips during the process for those who have a passion for travel and might have an interest in pursuing this as a career.
THE HIRING PROCESS
After about a week, I received an email for a video interview. For this process, I had to sit in front of a webcam and record myself answering 5 questions, which asked about customer service experience, why you would be a good fit for the job, and also your reactions to certain scenarios. I saw each question pop up on the screen, and I only had one shot to answer it. This was definitely a little scary since it was timed and it was a lot of pressure to say everything perfectly.
After about another week, I received an email for a face-to-face interview. They conduct the interview in the closest major base to your hometown. Since I lived in Southern California, my interview was in San Francisco. They set up my round trip flight to and from the city, but I had to pay for my own hotel room near the airport for the interview.
As I have stated in my intro, we don’t get to choose where we will be based, since it all depends on the staffing needs of different cities.
In the interview, you will need to express that you are truly willing to relocate to whatever base you are assigned. They want to know you are flexible, that you will accept and adapt to a drastic lifestyle change. I don’t have any other advice for the interview but to just be yourself.
Once they determine you are a great candidate to be a flight attendant, you will be given a date to go to training for 8 weeks in another major base (mine was in Houston, Texas). I was given only 3 weeks before the training date, which was perfect time for me to quit my accounting job, pack up my stuff, and say goodbye to my family and friends.
Training is a place where you can prove that you are worthy of being a flight attendant. The trainers and management do not want you to fail. They truly want you to succeed! However, if you can not comply with the strict rules and cannot pass the examinations and evaluations, you will be sent back home!
Here is a list of what to expect and master in training:
Strict appearance checks
a. Wear a watch and business attire everyday, minimum height of 5’2, no visible tattoos
b. For females: clean up-do hairstyle/ natural hair color, neutral colored nails, only stud earrings for jewelry, natural makeup, black tights, plain black high heels ideally 2-3 inches tall, etc.
Strict punctual rules
Full familiarization of all aircrafts in the airline’s fleet (8 aircrafts total in my airline: Airbus 319,320, Boeing 737,747,757,767,777,787)
Know all standard operating procedures (e.g. special passengers such as visual/ hearing impaired, physical disabilities, unaccompanied minors, federal aviation regulations, carry on restrictions, safety regulations, etc.)
Know how to use and operate all emergency equipment (for firefighting, medical emergencies, decompression)
Familiarization of all emergency procedures (CPR, evacuations on land and water, turbulence)
Know all aspects of threats and security (terrorists/hijacking, armed individuals on board, prisoners on board, confidential codes, self defense)
Have a score of at least 80% on all examinations, which are taken on desktop computer involving multiple choice questions, matching questions, drag and click, etc.
Pass all detailed evaluations on ability to properly operate doors on every type of aircraft, ability to command and evacuate every type of aircraft in land emergencies and water emergencies.
Familiarization of food and beverage service on domestic and international flights
Galley and cart setup for service
Learn economy class, business class, and first class service flow for specific routes and premium transcontinental service flow
Pass the final comprehensive exam
Earn your wings!!
The pinning ceremony is the major event to show the world that you have finally earned your wings! This was one of the happiest moments in my life and was a moment that made all of my family and friends proud as well.
After you earn your wings, you will only have several days to relocate to your new assigned base. It is solely up to you to finance and find a place to live in that particular city.