One of the important aspects of travel by air is concerned with making the journey of the passenger as much comfortable and safe. It is in this respect the Air hostess/Pursers play their role.
This is a very promising career option with the vision of a smart, efficient lady in mind. Many young girls opt airhostess as a full-fledged career prospect because of the exciting experience of flying, visiting different places, interacting with different kinds of people on board and a very attractive pay package. Liberalisation of air policies have increased the private operation of air services and this has created immense job opportunities in this field. Even though this career gives exciting experience it is not as easy as it seems. This is a highly demanding job which requires a lot of patience and involves odd duty hours. To be more specific behind this career lies a strong conviction, commitment and hard work for learning the technical aspects of aircraft operation and skills to tackle difficult situation.
The air hostess is called the first person to welcome a passenger, her welcoming smile and greeting acknowledge every passenger. Inside the aircraft, she seems to be here, there and everywhere, greeting every passenger, guiding each to his or her seat, helping a passenger get settled, co-ordinating security personnel, giving directions as and when required and doing a myriad things. Basically, she’s on constant call all the time.
Eligibility for an airhostess-training programme is plus two/ or a graduate degree with a diploma/degree in Hotel Management or Tourism Management. The aspirant must be eligible to hold an Indian Passport and should be below twenty-five years of age with a minimum height of 157.5 centimeters. The weight should be in proportion to height. Further, one must be unmarried, with normal eyesight of 6/6 uncorrected vision in each eye. Fluency in English, Hindi, and knowledge of an international language is an added advantage.
A flight purser, male counterpart of the airhostess has to be a graduate below 26 years, and have a minimum height of 163 cm with proportionate weight.
The applicant should be physically fit with a pleasing personality and clear complexion. After the initial screening of applicants is completed the airline company calls them for a written examination, usually of the objective type (multiple choice). Those who qualify in the written examination have to appear for a group discussion followed by a personal interview of successful candidates. If selected you will be on training for 2 to 3 months in which time you learn about service, grooming, safety and first aid, after which you are initially put on trainee flights.
The training covers several topics, each of which deals with technical or non-technical aspects of the aircraft. Beginning with the history of aviation, the candidates are made to learn In-flight Service, Passenger Handling, Passenger psychology, Service of meals on the Aircraft, the art of conversation, Transactional Analysis, Emergency Evacuation System, Personal Grooming and Hygiene, First Aid, Confidence Building, Handling of visually impaired passengers, Making announcements, Emergency demonstration etc.
Personal Attributes: Common sense, sense of responsibility, initiative, friendly outgoing personality, politeness, physical stamina and the capacity to work for long hours on one's feet, ability to react quickly in times of emergency and a presence of mind, systematic approach, unruffled appearance, a well-modulated pleasant voice, and a proportionate figure with a graceful carriage.
With privatisation and foreign collaboration increasing every day, the future is bright for an air hostess. Most airline offices are looking to increasing their fleet and there is a demand for air hostesses. They can find employment with private owned domestic and international airlines namely Sahara, Singapore airlines, Jet Airways etc and government air services like Air India and Indian Airlines. Ads for recruitment normally appear in all major newspapers.
An Air Hostess has every chance to be promoted to the post of Senior Flight Attendant and then Head Attendant. Career as an Air Hostess would last for about eight to ten years, after that she could move on to the ground duties including the job of a Ground Hostess, Check Hostess, training of airhostess or work in the management level. One can also diversify into any one of the other departments in the airline industry.
The duty of an airhostess last throughout the duration of the flight. The job of an air hostess begins long before the arrival of the passengers. It starts with safety check on the aircraft, where she has to check the safety equipment, blankets, pillows, magazines, plates, napkins and medicines, etc. as well as the cleanliness.
After the passengers board the flight the job includes assisting passengers to settle down. Special care is needed in the case of sick travellers, VIPs, babies or children or elderly people traveling alone. Once all the passengers are seated it is the duty of the airhostess to go about ensuring that safety arrangements are in proper condition and demonstrate the use of emergency equipment.
They has to provide first aid if such a situation arise. Her responsibilities also include serving meals to passengers. In case of an emergency during the flight, she need to take responsibility and determine the most appropriate steps to deal with the situation.
In short she has to work continuously with presence of mind and must be on call all the time.
In the beginning, depending on the airlines you are getting into, your salary and other allowance may ad up to Rs.16,000 to Rs.35,000(approx) or more per month. The maximum you can earn as a senior airhostess is about Rs.75,000 per month in Air India or Indian Airlines. Domestic private airlines pay more. In foreign airlines, pay for a senior airhostess can cross Rs.3 lakh a month in Indian currency.