Cabin crew jobs are tougher than you might think

January 30, 2017 in News for Clients

Cabin crew jobs are tougher than you might think


Think back to the fifties and sixties; being a member of the cabin crew was one of the most glamorous jobs you could do short of being a super-model. Fly forward to today however, and there’s a very different story.

Perceptions of cabin crew jobs as a luxurious and stylish career choice are beginning to wane. This shift may see fewer cabin crew candidates entering the industry and competition for talented staff undoubtedly increase among airlines.

But what has changed? Is it the crew themselves, the passengers or something else?

What situations are cabin crew faced with on a regular basis?

The situations faced by cabin crew on a daily basis require a special set of skills to resolve, and the manner in which cabin crew handle these situations will say a lot about your airline’s approach to safety and customer service.

Here’s a quick introduction to some of the scenarios cabin crew are likely to face:

Strange requests

Cabin crew are faced with strange requests and questions on a regular basis.

Jet2 recently published a selection of questions posed to their cabin crew, including:

  •  “Can you ask the crew to fly lower as my wife is scared of heights?”
  • “How do you wind the window down?”
  • “What’s in the ham and cheese sandwich?”
  • “I’ve forgotten something, can we turn around?”
  • “The pilot said we’re landing ahead of schedule, is that Spanish or UK time?”

Skills required to resolve: 

Cabin crew must be able to look for meaning beyond the given statement, and know how to triage multiple requests simultaneously.

Strong, diplomatic communication and reasoning skills are also essential for cabin crew staff.

Aggressive passengers

Air rage incidents have increased massively over the last few years.

Scenarios regularly faced by cabin crew include:

  • Verbal, physical and sexual abuse (either directed towards them or other passengers)
  • Intoxicated passengers
  • Attempts to open the plane door/use machinery controls
  • Theft and other criminal activity
  • Mental health-related episodes

These situations can result in flights being forced to land early, and police action on arrival. However, for the duration of the flight, cabin crew must handle these scenarios alone.

Skills required to resolve: 

Cabin crew require extreme patience, a polite yet assertive tone, conflict resolution skills and a working knowledge of acceptable restraint techniques to handle aggressive passengers.

Difficult working conditions

Working at over 30,000ft creates difficult working conditions.

Issues regularly faced by cabin crew include:

  • Turbulence, lightning strikes and other natural phenomena
  • Recycled air and toxic fumes
  • Bacterial growth on unclean surfaces
  • Jet lag
  • Delays and disrupted schedules

Skills required to resolve:

Cabin crew need a calm, rational and dutiful nature in order to handle these conditions. A disciplined approach to time management and proactive attitude to cleanliness are also key traits.

How do these scenarios affect perceptions of cabin crew jobs?

Articles about cabin crew secrets are all the rage in the mainstream media right now. Such exposure is sure to damage the perception of cabin crew jobs as a glamorous career choice.
This might well result in fewer school/university students choosing a career path that ends in a cabin crew role. If the precedent set by the pilot skills shortage is anything to go by, this is likely to significantly increase competition for talented cabin crew staff in the near future.

Attracting top candidates in a competitive market

Keeping your cabin crew vacancies to a minimum in the current climate requires some specialist expertise and action.

These are some of the ways to make your cabin crew job offers competitive:

  • Use an aviation recruiter to find out what your competitors are offering
  • Add more perks to your job offer, including staff travel and incentive-based bonuses
  • Work out how much more you can offer in terms of remuneration (think about the costs associated with a disrupted service)

A specialist aviation recruiter like AeroProfessional can help you find cabin crew candidates with all of these skills and more.

We maintain a talent pool of active cabin crew candidates, enabling us to scale up and meet your exact staffing requirements before the vacancies begin to affect your operations.

Call on AeroProfessional to help you find the cabin crew candidates who can keep their cool under pressure.


Find out more