The primary focus of the curricula is on the safety standards and regulations established by regulatory organizations like the FAA, JAA, CASA, etc., with additional service criteria added by particular airlines. The industry average for training programs is seven weeks, although most airlines put their workers through programs that span at least five weeks and often as long as 12. Most classes meet six days a week, and they may last all day. These kinds of schedules are typical for working flight attendants, thus their training aims to help them get used to their new lives as soon as possible. There are no lengthy weekends, holidays, or trips home during training; simply several weeks of arduous work.
It’s not by ᴀᴄᴄɪᴅᴇɴᴛ that training is referred to as “Barbie Bootcamp”—flight attendants in training must work hard all day long while also maintaining a beautiful appearance! Aspiring trolley dollies are expected to arrive each day in full uniform, as if they were going to the office: with their hair up or well-combed, their heels on and their shoes shined, their hose free of hose runs, and their seams straight. You’re proving to your new employer that they made the appropriate hiring decision for the typical seven-week period. They won’t think twice about firing a candidate if they have reason to believe they haven’t, so trust me on this.
Exams are provided at least once a week, and occasionally tests are given every day. In each of the three training programs I attended, if a student received a score lower than 80 on a written test, they were given the opportunity to repeat it and were required to achieve at least a 90, or it would be so long, see you later. The practical tests were the most important, and we were required to receive a perfect mark on each one. If one didn’t, they wouldn’t have earned their wings.
During the initial weeks of training, cabin crew members often spend time becoming familiar with all of the equipment onboard, including as fire extinguishers, portable breathing apparatus (PBEs), oxygen bottles, first aid kits, and other items. A practical test might involve using a simulator to learn how to put out fires, diagnose different ɪʟʟɴᴇsses, splint broken limbs, stop nosebleeds, use CPR and EpiPens, and yes, even deliver a ʙᴀʙʏ. The ability of flight attendants to design a schematic of up to 12 distinct types of aircraft and locate each component of onboard emergency equipment may also be assessed.
After that, there are practical drills intended to teach flight attendants how to handle a range of emergency scenarios. These drills are the most deᴍᴀɴding and the place where the majority of trainees fail. The ability of prospective flight attendants to yell directions precisely, follow instructions precisely, and maintain composure and functionality in the event that a plane loses power, is plunged into darkness, is filled with smoke, etc. is tested both on and off simulators. Candidates who don’t show they can function under pressure like this are immediately fired.
Flight attendants learn how to deliver the caliber of in-flight service that their potential employer/airline deᴍᴀɴds during their last training session. In-flight service receives the least amount of training time, although accounting for 99% of a flight attendant’s real duties, as you can see in my piece on Highs & Lows of In-Flight Service: America vs. the World. Some airlines prioritize service-training more than others.
Instead, ᴍᴀɴy airlines choose to devote the majority of training time on making sure each flight attendant is ready for that 1% of situations that could be life or ᴅᴇᴀᴛʜ. Even if it was twenty or so years ago, any flight attendant will tell you that after their five to twelve weeks of training, they are still able to recall their evacuation comᴍᴀɴds in their sleep and name every piece of emergency equipment on the aircraft, where it is located, and how to use it.
Let’s see How Flight Attendants Are Trained in the ᴀᴡᴇsome video below.
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Video resource: Insider Business