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Get set for a career in the skies!

Kirti Pandey | May 05, 2005

Dre you eligible?

Where can you train?

Cabin crewHow expensive is the training?

We answered these questions. 

But what are the perks of a cabin crew job? How easy or difficult is it to find a job?

What are the pros and cons of being cabin crew? Get Ahead gives you the answers.

Getting a job

~ No institute can guarantee a job with an airline, but most extend the assistance required. Ads in newspapers and on the web sites of various airlines appear whenever there is a requirement.

  • Jobs: An international airline is hiring!

    ~ If your application is accepted, you will be called for a preliminary interview, which is basically an introductory round.

    ~ If this interview is satisfactory, you will be called for a second round which checks your physical attributes, like height, weight and grooming.
  • ~ The next round gauges your confidence and public speaking skills through group discussions and a self-introduction.

    ~ If you pass all these with flying colours, you have to clear medical tests.

    ~ Next, your training commences. In some cases, you might need to submit a training deposit to the airways. This is refundable after a certain period of service. Jet Airways asks for about Rs 50,000 for a period of three years.

    ~ Then follows three months of training to learn the finer nuances of serving passengers and in-flight operations.

    Training details

    ~ As a trainee, you will be paid a stipend of about Rs 8,000.

    ~ Customer service, safety, first aid, crash landing in air and water are some of the topics are covered during this training.

    ~ The training is followed by DCGA exams that mainly consist of objective type questions and vivas.

    ~ After you clear this, you will be inducted into the cabin crew fraternity for a starting salary of anything between Rs 15,000 and Rs 30,000 for domestic airlines and Rs 45,000 to Rs 90,000 for an international carrier.

    Growth prospects

    ~ Different airlines have different hierarchies and designations.

    Cynthia Rubeque, who flew with Indian Airlines for almost 40 years, tells us about Indian Airlines: "From being cabin crew, you can go on to become a Check Air Hostess or Air Steward, who checks flights and cabin crew and writes a report about his/ her flying experience on a particular flight. Next comes assistant manager of in-flight department, who has both ground office duties and flight ones. From there, you can scale various managerial positions and also go on to become director of in-flight services at the headquarter level. However, it entirely depends on the airlines and the requirement."

    ~ A female can fly as cabin crew up to the age of 58 years in India; a male, up to 61 years. This is subject entirely to medical fitness.

    ~ "Five new domestic airlines and three international ones will soon start operations in Mumbai because of the Open Sky Policy in India. So 19 new airlines are slated to take off by the end of this year. So the growth prospects are tremendous," says Lubna Kadri, who runs Indian Aviation Academy, an institute that trains aspirants for aviation jobs.

    Some big names that are all set to hit the skies include Kingfisher, Go Air, Air One, Magic Air and Visa Air.

  • Train to be a commercial pilot!

  • Should you take the plunge?

    Every profession has its negative and positive points. Let's tally the good and bad in the career of cabin crew.

    ~ The good

    i. A lucrative career, it offers great monetary benefits.

    ii. It also brings the excitement of travel to foreign locations. "You meet different types of people from all walks of life. You leave Mumbai in the morning and are in Singapore in the evening. It is so exciting!" says Cynthia.

    iii. Shraddha Sankhe considers meeting a lot of people the most exciting aspect. "Even my colleagues for every flight are different. So you get to meet so many different people and go to so many different destinations," she gushes.

    iv. The perks include flying allowance, hotel stay, free flight tickets for yourself and family and medical benefits, among other things.

  • Want to join the Air Force?

  • ~ The bad

    i. Irregular work hours, missed festivals and holidays, irate and sometimes offensive passengers, night flights and hectic schedules are just some of the cons associated with the job.

    ii. You cannot afford to be complacent about your appearance or skills. "Even if you put on a couple of extra kilogrammes, you are grounded till you reach your ideal body weight," says Cynthia.

    iii. You have to undergo refresher courses and medical tests every year and every time you go on long leave.

    iv. The risk of crashes and equipment malfunction always looms large on any flight professional's head.

    v. The threat of terrorist attacks and hijacks have made the job a dangerous one.


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