The Advantages and Disadvantages of Becoming a Cabin Crew
If you have decided that you want to work as part of the airlines cabin crew or are actively thinking about it, read my experience here. I have worked as a cabin crew member for over five years.
It's true that the crew gets to travel to new places, meet celebrities in first class, and experience the glamour of being an airline steward or stewardess. There is more to this job than just serving coffees, teas, and meals to passengers and ensuring your makeup and hair looks perfect at all times.
If you thought this is all what you will need to do as an airline cabin crew, think again.
I had some days when I felt like walking out on my job. (Do you remember the JetBlue cabin crew who flipped out on a passenger and walked out of the plane? Sometimes you will feel like him, but hopefully will have more self-control). Fortunately these days are not too common, and after a while you just learn to deal with them.
The job of a cabin crew is not as easy, and it has a deeper purpose than many people think. It has many advantages, but equally many disadvantages. If you want to find out more about the job, read on.
The Primary Role
The primary purpose of the cabin crew on all airlines is ensuring the safety of the passengers, crew, and aircraft. Passenger comfort and welfare is a secondary purpose (this includes the serving of drinks and meals).
Let's Start with the Advantages
There are many advantages as a cabin crew. You will experience new things, you meet many great people, you get to see some beautiful places and cultures. Here is a list of advantages and cool things that come with this job :
- One of the greatest advantage of being a cabin crew is, that you get to see new places. It is a bit like a free short holiday. And they even pay you for that! Now not many jobs can beat that.
- When you are on a 'real' holiday, you can get your holidays for a cheap price as most airlines offer to their workers discounted or free tickets, and in many places you can get great deals just because you are a cabin crew.
- You meet new people, experience different cultures, and even pick up many words from different languages.
- You can tell everyone you are a cabin crew - many people see it as a glamorous job.
- You can bag yourself a rich pilot or a rich man from first class! Need I say more?
- You will have a lot of free time (however you will often need to stay at home as you will be on standby, but it's still good if you are studying).
- You don't work with the same people/cabin crew/pilots every day. So if you dislike someone you can avoid them sometimes for months.
- You do not have to worry about what you are going to wear for work, you will have a uniform.
- Some airlines even pay for your accommodation, so you can spend your salary on whatever you want (clothes, clothes, makeup, clothes).
Now the Not-So-Glamorous Side
Now, did I mention there are equally many disadvantages to this seemingly "glamorous" job? Delays, grumpy passengers, crying kids you are stuck with in the air for eight or more hours. So what are the dark sides of being a cabin crew?
- Tiredness, lack of sleep, and those 12-hour shifts. Oh, and let's not forget the jet lag on long flights.
- Grumpy, annoying, and angry passengers—you will get at least one of them nearly on each flight. Some of them seem to travel just to annoy YOU. Some of them completely ignore the rules, thinking that they know it better (even though they have no qualifications in the industry). Also prepare yourself to be blamed for everything: delays, food, that crying kid in the last row, the weather, rising fuel prices, the mother-in-law . . .
- Forget about the family get-togethers at Christmas, New Year's Eve, Easter, or other holidays. Most airlines fly every day of the year.
- Have you ever experienced anyone being sick on you? Well you will experience it in this job.
- Bad diet. You will eat lots of junk at weird times. And no, it won't help your health or your figure.
- Knowing that some passengers see you as a "dumb airline waitress" and not a person who has the ability to deal with fire on board, medical emergencies, dangerous goods spillage, and emergencies where passengers need to be evacuated (and they also don't know you are able to do this in 90 seconds or less). Some of the passengers even dare to ask you what your job is and then tell you how you should do it.
- After few years, the job can become boring.
- Your skin, nails and hair will get weak and dry because of the flying. You will constantly need to use moisturizers and conditioners.
- Saying, "Hello, welcome on board," and "Thank you, bye!" hundreds of times a day, with a smile. And jet lag. Not fun at all.
JetBlue Cabin Crew Flips Out
Here you can see the Jet Blue cabin crew Steven Slater who got into an argument with a passenger after landing at J.F. Kennedy International airport, cursed the passengers, took a beer from the galley, inflated the emergency slide, and fled the plane.
Each job has advantages and disadvantages but at the end of the day, the job of a cabin crew is great for experience and if that is what you want to do, all I can say is go for it! You will improve your customer service skills, you will become a great team-player and learn a lot about people as you will be constantly working with them. You will have good days and bad days, lovely passengers and not so lovely passengers, but it will be always worth doing this job for those nice days and for those nice people. There is nothing more satisfying than a passenger appreciating and thanking for your efforts after a long hard day.