It is no secret that I was a flight attendant for a regional airline for a year before just recently starting training at my new mainline carrier. I have been under the radar the past couple of weeks and will continue to keep a low profile for the next few while I finish out my rigorous flight attendant training program.
Flight attendant training can be described using a number of adjectives: fun, stressful, scary, memorable, time consuming, difficult. These are just a few that come to the forefront of my mind. Although this time spent in training will be some of the hardest weeks of a new flight attendant’s life, it will also be some of the most rewarding. What’s funny about flight attendant training is it almost mirrors the feelings you will experience once you earn your wings and begin your flight attendant life.
You will be emotional and tired but also, unexplainably happy. You will make friends that you won’t see for a very long time until you run into each other at the airport eight months later. It will be as if no time has passed. The camaraderie amongst flight attendants is a special thing. The job creates very strong bonds between colleagues, and maybe this is because the only people that can fully understand being cabin crew is cabin crew.
The flight attendant lifestyle has many ups and downs much like training does. Some days you will wonder how you ever were so blessed with this wonderful job and many days you will wonder why you ever thought becoming a flight attendant sounded like a good idea.
I’m not sure if you caught me using the word “lifestyle” rather than job, but I use this because it is just that- a lifestyle. Some day you may find yourself waking up in New York and going to sleep in Copenhagen like Kara. Or maybe you will be like Celessa and wake up in Fresno and get back to base (SEA), then head to Portland for lunch with your mom. These are what we call “flight attendant problems.” I know right now you’re thinking, “Why would this ever be a ‘problem’!?” Get back to me when you find out that your relationships will suffer because of your transient lifestyle…
One thing is for sure, if you have aviation in your blood, you will know it within the first six months on the line. You will either sink or swim (or should I say fly?).
But first you must endure flight attendant training.
Because I am currently in training, I have come up with a few tips on surviving the program.
Don’t take it lightly- This is your first impression at your new job so give it your all. You have been blessed with this opportunity, so do your best.
Follow the rules- This I cannot stress enough. If you have a problem with being uniform compliant in training, you will most definitely not make it to the line where being out of uniform compliance is a much bigger deal.
Make friends- This is my second go around in flight attendant training, and I still cherish some of the friendships that I made the first time that I was in training. Try to not let yourself be so overwhelmed with studying that you forget to make these important connections.
Avoid drama- This goes hand in hand with the make friends piece of advice. Be friendly to everyone. Don’t be cliquey and avoid any drama. Do not be a trouble maker in your class, otherwise you will surely be sorry. Airlines have no problem getting rid of people they believe will not get along well with other flight attendants and passengers once on the line.
Take it one day at a time- You will be sleep deprived and frustrated at times. It’s a hard few weeks, but just breathe. Take it one day at a time. That’s the only way (besides having a little help from your friends) to survive this difficult program.
Be supportive- Help your classmates out and they will do the same for you. Help build a cohesive environment with a positive attitude. This will help you have a pleasant experience.
Trust the process- Many have made it through before you and your instructors want to see you succeed, so they will do all that they can to help you earn your wings. Do not try to go ahead, but stay at the pace they set. If you work hard, you will make it.
Study hard- Whether you’ve been a flight attendant before or you are just starting out, you need to keep the end goal in mind. Ignore the distractions. Stay focused on what your end result will be- a line flight attendant!
Lean on your loved ones- I miss my family, friends and significant other more than I can describe right now. I am well aware that 99.9% of my class probably feels the same way. Even though I am hundreds of miles away from all of them, how great is the technology that we have to keep us close? Take advantage of this. Let them listen as you express your frustrations, happiness, and stress. It will help you if you lean on them for support.
Take it all in- This is my most important piece of advice. These days seem long now, but they will pass. You will look back fondly on the moments that you had when you run into former classmates in the crew lounge.
Take it from this grounded flight attendant that although it is hard, try to enjoy it. I love when flight attendant hopefuls reach out to me for advice, and I enjoy seeing you succeed. So, I hope you hopefuls all read this blog post and get the chance to take advantage of the advice you find it in someday soon.
Check out this mini eBook that Kara wrote about Surviving Flight Attendant Training.
And…Keep your eye out for The Flight Attendant Life’s new Careers eBook coming out soon. It will help you better prepare for those flight attendant face-to-face interviews. If you haven’t already, check out our YouTube channel where you can find our free flight attendant career video tutorials.
See you in the sky!