Pilots at Southwest Airlines have rejected a tentative contract with the carrier that would have raised their wages by 17%. Talks have dragged on for more than three years, and in November 2014 the U.S. National Mediation Board stepped in to oversee negotiations. The decision comes three months after Southwest's (NYSE:LUV) flight attendants voted down a new contract.
The flight attendant training goal is to develop a professional, self-reliant flight attendant who is focused on customer service, safety and creating an environment where customers definitely desire to fly the airline again.
The Flight Attendant Initial Training Program is designed to provide you with learning experiences that enable you to develop the skills necessary to fulfill this goal.
The training program is structured to be both challenging and satisfying for you. The Training Center staff and instructors are dedicated to provide you the opportunity and support necessary for you to be successful in meeting all key objectives of this program.
Most Training at major air carriers is incorporated over a 6-8-week period that may or may not include a minimum of one day off per week.
During training you may be eligible to receive incentive pay (normally around $1,500). Trainees who are offered an opportunity to enter Phase II training and accept such offer may receive this incentive pay.
The flight attendant trainee must agree to enter Phase II training in order to receive the incentive payment.
During the intensive training program you will be trained through a variety of learning experiences including several training flights or IOE's (Initial Operating Experience). The learning methodologies include:
- Classroom style lectures
- Group discussion
- Interactive Workshops
- On-line learning
- Simulated practices with hands-on experience in the cabin trainers
- Training Flights (IOE's)
- Formal Assessments (i.e.- testing & quizzes)
Training proceeds at a rapid pace. You are provided with highly effective learning aids and tools to assist you in meeting the challenges of the training process. You will need to take the initiative to adapt these tools to your own learning style.
Your instructors are a team of experienced flight attendants, facilitators, management, interdepartmental trainers, and external subject matter experts. These instructors are assigned to guide your training activities. You will be assigned a supervisor during training. It is his/her responsibility to provide support and monitor your progress throughout training.
All Flight Attendants in training are responsible for their actions. Any unacceptable personal conduct may result in release from the Flight Attendant Initial Training Program at any time.
This is a great story about Flight Attendant Ron Akana.
Mr. Akana has held the No. 1 spot at United for the past five years, since Iris Peterson retired after 60 years of service at the age of 85.
While many of his older colleagues are still flying because they have to, Mr. Akana said he does not work for the paycheck alone. At one time, just after he turned 70, Mr. Akana was among the highest-paid flight attendants at the airline, earning $106,000 a year through a combination of pay, pension and Social Security — a situation that has earned him a “triple dipper” label by younger colleagues and airline bookkeepers.
Decades ago, hiring policies ensured that the ranks of flight attendants remained young. Stewardesses faced mandatory retirement by 32. If they married or became pregnant, they were out. In 1966, a New York Times classified ad for stewardesses at Eastern Airlines listed these requirements: “A high school graduate, single (widows and divorcees with no children considered), 20 years of age (girls 19 1/2 may apply for future consideration). 5’2” but no more than 5’9,” weight 105 to 135 in proportion to height and have at least 20/40 vision without glasses.”
Over the years Mr. Akana has taken his wife and two children all over the world free, including vacations to Australia, New Zealand, Europe and Hong Kong. There were also weekend jaunts to Chicago so the children could try deep-dish pizza.
Read the whole article at the New York Times.
Flight Attendant Job Interviews
In addition to performing flight duties, flight attendants sometimes attend or even conduct open house and interview sessions. You just might be interviewed by a flight attendant you will be working with in the future.
Excellent language and communication skills are essential. Applicants must use good grammar and speak clearly with a pleasant voice. Often during the interview process, applicants are asked to demonstrate basic abilities. Languages spoken will vary depending on the company. US airlines require that you speak English fluently. Languages include but are not limited to: English, French, German, Spanish, Cantonese, Hindi, Chinese, and Japanese. Applicants who desire to fly internationally generally must be fluent in a foreign language such as French, Spanish, German or Japanese. Bilingual applicants are desired and, may help increase chances of initial employment with domestic carriers, and may be required by some airlines.
Possible Interview Questions
Some of the questions you may be asked in a flight interview include but are not limited to:
- When were you last through emergency and first aid/defibrillator training? (bring copies of all training certificates.)
- Are you experienced on our type aircraft?
- Do you have culinary skills and are you good with food presentation?
- Do you know how much this job pays? What are your salary requirements?
- How do you feel about being away from home for extended periods of time?
- Do you have a current passport?
- Are your immunizations current for specific travel?
- Do you carry a paging device/cellular telephone?
- Do you have a current aviation ID card, such as Universal, Air Routing, or IBAC?
- Do you have reliable transportation to and from the airport or our facility?
- Have you ever worked as a Flight Attendant before?
- Do you speak a foreign language (if applicable to the company's operation)?
- Do you have a credit card for travel expenses until reimbursement?
Other requests or discussion topics during an interview include:
- What do you think the flight attendants primary responsibility is as a crewmember?
- You may be asked to perform a mock emergency briefing, pointing out the operation and usage of all emergency equipment, doors, window exits, etc. (this is normally to gauge the quality of your voice and self confidence)
- Do you have three to four references from past employers.
- How do you feel about a dress code and professional standards?
The Avjobs Applicant Portal has an "Online Practice Interview"
Spending 30 minutes a week practicing your interview skills is critical. The staff at Avjobs along with other industry wide personnel offices agree, the interview can make or break an applicant regardless of experience or training. It has been the experience of Avjobs and its employees that there is a "best" preparatory procedure for interviews.
The Avjobs "Online Practice Interview" section describes this preparatory process and provides tools and tips for you to be at your best. The "Online Practice Interview" includes audio, video and hundreds of sample questions. So turn up your sound and practice those interview skills.
Packing Tips For Flight Attendants
- Choosing a wardrobe of basics for your layover will help you deal with space limitations. Select clothes that will coordinate with each other.
- Try to stick to one color scheme (black/brown/navy) or select clothes that can be mixed and matched.
- Bring clothing that requires little care … wrinkle-resistant, quick drying fabrics.
- Check seasonal weather conditions where you will be traveling and be prepared.
- To save space and weight, prepare a kit of miniature toiletries in small plastic bottles. Don't fill bottles to the top, because the pressure may cause contents to expand. Pack bottles in plastic bags should there be leakage.
- As an alternative, many stores sell travel size toiletries, which are small and do not use up excessive space.
- Pack tightly. Packing loosely wastes precious space and causes clothes to wrinkle.
- Pack heavy items on the bottom of the suitcase to avoid wrinkles.
- You may also want to stuff any packed shoes with underwear or socks to save space, or prevent them from being crushed during your travels.
- Roll pajamas, nightgowns, sweaters and other casual wear to fill small spaces, when possible, BUT don't cram your suitcase full. If you have to force your luggage closed, remove a few items to prevent broken hinges or zippers along the way.
- Try the "interweaving method" of packing for your next trip. Drape longer garments such as dresses and pants across the suitcase with the ends hanging over the sides. Then, fold shorter items such as jackets, shirts and blouses around the longer garments so that they cushion each other.
- Be sure to include your name and domicile on a tag fastened securely to the outside of your luggage. You may also want to identify your luggage on the inside with your name, address, telephone number and domicile.