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Want to fly all over the world?
Kirti Pandey |
May 04, 2005
ant to fly to exotic destinations all over the world? Rob a bank!
Okay, choose the other viable option: join the cabin crew of an airline!
You get good money, free airline tickets, travel to faraway locations, and you can interact with people from all walks of life.
Are you eligible? How do you get there? What is in it for you?
Here's more on how you can be part of this industry.
What it takes
~ The most important quality required for a cabin crew member is a pleasant personality and the ability to handle all kinds of people.
~ Since the job falls under customer service, it is necessary to have a cheerful disposition, quick reflexes and a positive attitude.
~ The age which you can join varies among airlines. Generally, it is between 17 years and 26 years, with some airlines going up to 30 years.
Says Lubna Kadri, who runs Indian Aviation Academy (IAA), an institute that trains aspirants for aviation jobs, "Generally, domestic airlines look for people who fall between 18 and 25 years. International airlines allow 21 to 30 years."
~ You must have cleared the 10+2 or its equivalent education.
Many airlines like their staff to be graduates.
~ Proficiency in English and Hindi are musts for a domestic airline. Knowledge of a common foreign language like German, French or Spanish is an added advantage for an international airline.
~ You must hold a valid passport.
~ Physical attributes play an important role in the selection process.
"In addition to a clear, unblemished complexion," says Shraddha Sankhe, an airhostess with Jet Airways, "you need the correct height and optimal body weight. If you are even a few kilogrammes overweight, you will not be eligible for a cabin crew position. Airlines are very strict about this."
~ You must have clear eyesight.
Without glasses, your distant eyesight must be 6/6 in one eye and 6/9 in the other.
Some airlines allow a slight variation in eyesight, but most prefer clear eyesight.
You will not be eligible if you suffer from night blindness or colour blindness.
~ You must be at least of 157 cm tall if you are a female; you must be 165 cm tall if you are a male.
Your body weight must be in proportion to your height.
~ You must be friendly, have good interactive skills and have a team spirit.
~ You must know how to swim.
It is not mandatory to get prior training for a cabin crew job, but it does help.
"The job seems glamorous from the outside," says Kadri. "Taking a course helps understand what it is all about. Our institute, for example, not only grooms aspirants, it also clues them in on the risks and hard work associated with an aviation job."
Institutes like Frankfinn Institute of Air Hostess Training, Indian Aviation Academy, Air Hostess Academy, and several others, teach candidates the finer nuances of in-flight customer services. They also groom them physically and mentally for the rigours involved with the job.
Most of these courses teach you the basics of customer service, personality development, communication skills, first aid and safety procedures.
Some take you aboard a plane. Course content varies depending upon the institute you go to and the degree of specialisation you are looking for.
IAA includes topics like customer service, personality development, communication, one foreign language, different types of aircrafts and galley locations, aircraft dressing and cabin cleaning, basic airport handling, reading of tickets and boarding passes, handling of VIPs, wheelchair passengers, infants, first aid, in-flight catering service, serving techniques of different menus, emergency landing and handling of difficult situations and safety procedures.
AHA teaches its students to swim and takes them aboard the Airbus A-300. Students must clear theory and practicals.
Some institutes award you a specialised diploma in cabin crew and in-flight services; others cover a broader spectrum, like diploma in aviation, hospitality and travel management.
These courses are not open to everyone.
"We take personal interviews for eligibility. Only then do we enrol the candidate in our programme," says Harsha Arshiya, a counsellor at Frankfinn. The scenario is the same for other institutes.
The cost: Varies from Rs 15,000 to as high as Rs 80,000, depending on how deep you want to delve into the subject.
You could train at
Most of these institutes have branches all over India:
Indian Aviation Academy
Opposite Fun Republic Cinema
Off New Link Road
Mumbai -- 400 053
Phone: (022) 3950 7722; 2674 9058
Web site: www.indianaviationacademy.com
Air Hostess Academy
South Zone 48
Lajpat Nagar Part III
New Delhi -- 110 024
Phone: (011) 2693 2771/ 72/ 73/ 74/ 75
Air Hostess Training Institute
D-14, Lajpat Nagar II
Near Central Market
New Delhi -- 110 024
Phone: (011) 2983 3105; 2983 2891; (0) 98117 02468
Web site: www.airhostesstraininginstitute.com
Frankfinn Management Consultants
721, Suneja Tower-II
New Delhi -- 110 058
Phone: (011) 2553 2757; 2557 3456; 2557 3457; 2557 3458
Web site: www.frankfinn.com
Aptima Air Hostess Academy
Campus North 38
Near Delhi University
New Delhi -- 110 007
Phone: (011) 2766 2213; 2766 2313; 2766 2113