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Cabin crew

Air cabin crew help make sure that airline passengers have a comfortable, safe and pleasant flight.

Annual Salary

£13,500 to £30,000

Average UK salary in 2019 was £30,378
(source Office for National Statistics)

Working hours

30 to 40 a week

You could work: evenings / weekends / bank holidays; away from home

What's it all about?

Day to day tasks

Before a flight you could:

  • attend a staff meeting about the route and schedule
  • check supplies on the plane and make sure emergency equipment is working properly
  • greet passengers and check documents
  • demonstrate emergency equipment and procedures

During a flight, you might:

  • make sure passengers are comfortable and respond to any requests
  • serve food and drinks, and sell duty-free items
  • make announcements
  • reassure passengers in the event of an emergency, and make sure they follow safety procedures

At the end of a flight you'll often:

  • make sure passengers leave the plane safely
  • write a flight report, including details about any unusual incidents
  • add up and record food and drink orders, and duty-free sales

Working environment

You may need to wear a uniform.

You could work on an aircraft.

Your working environment may be physically demanding and cramped.

You can get into this job through:

  • a college course
  • an apprenticeship
  • applying directly
College

You could do a college course like a Level 2 Certificate in Air Cabin Crew, or study a cabin crew module as part of a broader travel and tourism course.

Entry requirements

You may need:

  • 2 or more GCSEs at grades 9 to 3 (A* to D), or equivalent, for a level 2 course
For more information
Apprenticeship

You could start by doing a cabin crew advanced apprenticeship.

This will usually take 12 months to complete. You'll do on-the-job training and spend time with a college or training provider.

Entry requirements

You'll usually need:

  • 5 GCSEs at grades 9 to 4 (A* to C), or equivalent, including English and maths, for an advanced apprenticeship
For more information
Direct application

You could apply directly to airlines for a cabin crew job. Entry requirements vary but good customer service skills will be expected.

Requirements and restrictions

You'll need to:

  • You'll also be expected to:have a smart appearance; have a valid passport with no restrictions for the countries the airline travels to; live within 90 minutes of your base; have good written and spoken English
  • Many airlines also ask that you're able to swim up to 25 metres.
  • There are rules about height and weight - these vary between airlines. As a general guide, most look for people between 5ft 2in (157cm) and 6ft 2in (188cm) with weight in proportion to height.
  • be over 18 years of age
  • have a good level of fitness
  • pass a medical check
  • pass enhanced background checks

More information

Career tips

Some airlines and private providers run 2-day cabin crew courses, which may help your chances of getting a job.

Some airlines also have online career quizzes you can do to test whether working as air cabin crew is for you, before you apply.

Being able to speak a second language gives you an advantage when making applications. You'll also need to demonstrate that you have great customer service skills, so experience of working directly with the public is useful.

Further information

You'll find details about working as air cabin crew from Careers That Move.

With experience, you could progress to cabin crew supervisor or a senior air cabin crew role.

You could also work in a ground-based job, like cabin crew training, recruitment, passenger services, marketing or sales.

You'll find details about working as air cabin crew from Careers That Move.

Skills required and how your skills match up

What skills are required?

You'll need:

  • customer service skills for working with passengers
  • excellent verbal communication skills
  • patience and the ability to remain calm in stressful situations
  • to enjoy working with other people
  • knowledge of public safety and security
  • the ability to accept criticism and work well under pressure
  • sensitivity and understanding for dealing with customers’ needs
  • a desire to help people and a friendly manner
  • the ability to work well with others
  • to be able to carry out basic tasks on a computer or hand-held device
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