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How Long Does It Take To Become a Flight Attendant?

Becoming a Flight Attendant is an exciting and rewarding opportunity to work with people from all walks of life. But how long does it take to become one? How do you get qualified, and what training can you expect?


In this article, we’ll look at the entire journey of becoming a Flight Attendant – from start to finish. We’ll discuss the qualifications needed, the types of training available, and the actual process itself.


Plus, we’ll provide insights into what is expected once you join an airline and how long it typically takes to become fully qualified. We will also give tips on how to accelerate your process of becoming a flight attendant.


So if becoming a Flight Attendant has been on your mind lately, read on!

Table of Contents

Overview of the Flight Attendant Role

airline workers, caterer, senior flight attendants, cleaners, agents

Flight Attendants are an important part of the airline industry. They provide a vital service to passengers, ensuring their safety and comfort while in the air.


There are three major roles that Flight Attendants play to fulfill:

Passenger Safety

Flight Attendants provide passenger safety by ensuring that passengers are familiar with safety procedures and have the necessary equipment to survive a crash.


This includes demonstrating proper seatbelt usage, educating passengers on evacuation routes and emergency exits, and providing critical medical attention during an injury or illness.


Flight Attendants also help during turbulence, instructing passengers to remain seated with their seatbelts securely fastened.


In addition, Flight Attendants are responsible for supervising the movement of service carts and stowing away carry-on items that could become projectiles during a crash.


Beyond their duties related to passenger safety, Flight Attendants must also stay up-to-date on aviation regulations and ensure compliance with rules governing flight attendants.


This includes attending regular training seminars and passing periodic tests to prove their readiness for work.

Passenger comfort

Flight Attendants provide passenger comfort by ensuring that the cabin is clean and comfortable, checking on passengers during flights, providing snacks and beverages as requested, helping with inflight entertainment selections, resolving customer service issues as needed, and responding to special requests.

Implement Airline Policies & Procedures

Flight Attendants must implement airline flight regulations to ensure passenger safety, comfort, and satisfaction. This includes adhering to airplane regulations concerning items like seatbelts and service carts, providing necessary medical assistance during an illness or injury, supervising the movement of service carts, stowing away carry-on items that could become projectiles during a crash, assisting with inflight entertainment selections, resolving customer service issues as needed, responding to special requests from passengers, ensuring the cabin is clean and comfortable throughout the flight duration.


In addition to these duties related to passenger care and welfare in a flight operations setting, for many airlines, Flight attendants are responsible for staying up-to-date on aviation regulations through regular training seminars.


This helps maintain a safe working environment while keeping passengers satisfied with their in-flight experience.


How long does it take to meet some basic qualifications for flight attendants?

Now that we know the three major roles of a flight attendant, it is easier to figure out the basic qualifications and skills needed to become a flight attendant and how long it takes for you to obtain those skills.


For most entry-level flight attendant jobs, you must be at least 18 and hold a high school diploma or GED, but for some airlines, you may need to wait until you are 21 to apply.


The minimum age requirement for flight attendants is a safety precaution and an industry-wide standard. Flight attendants must have the maturity & emotional capacity to deal with everyday work situations.

Customer Service Experience

Flight Attendants must have strong customer service skills and interpersonal skills to provide excellent customer service. They must be able to resolve conflict effectively and provide high customer satisfaction.


Additionally, Flight Attendants must be able to think on their customers’ feet and make quick service experience decisions to provide the best possible experience for passengers.


Those are why most airlines require at least one year of customer service experience, such as serving food in a restaurant, barista, and other customer-facing roles, before considering you for an interview.


However, some airlines accept fresh graduates without job experience as well.


Valid Passport

If you are applying for an airline with international flights, a passport is a must upon application. Depending on where you are, getting a passport takes time that can last from 1-3 months.


How long is the recruitment process for a flight attendant?

flight attendant application process overview

The recruitment process for Flight Attendants varies from airline to airline, but it typically takes two to eight weeks from the initial application period to the start date.


However, it can last longer than that, depending on how fast the process takes place or if the requirements have been met on time.

Application & Interview Process

The first step is submitting an online application, including a resume and cover letter. After the initial screening process, shortlisted candidates will be invited for a face-to-face interview with the airline’s hiring team.


During this stage, potential flight attendants are evaluated on their customer service, communication, and problem-solving abilities.


After the interview, candidates may be asked to take an aptitude test or complete an assessment center session to prove their ability to handle day-to-day tasks effectively.


After passing this stage of the recruitment process, applicants may receive a conditional offer of employment. The offer typically includes details such as salary, benefits package, work hours, and other employment terms.

Criminal Background Check

Most airlines conduct a criminal background check, a DOT requirement (Department of Transportation). This usually lasts for 2-4 weeks. Some airlines must wait for your background check to be cleared before giving you a training date.

Medical & Drug Tests

Medical and drug test is quick and can be done in a day or two. What makes it longer is scheduling an appointment with the clinic. So if you want it to be done fast, schedule an appointment near you as soon as possible.

How long does the flight attendant initial training program last?

After passing the flight attendant interview process with flying colors, you’ll begin your initial training program, which typically lasts four to six weeks, depending on the airline’s requirements.


Some airlines can last up to 2 months if they have more intense service programs, like in the middle east.


Upon demonstrating proficiency in the course, you’ll receive certification from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) or a similar equivalent, allowing you to start working as a Flight Attendant!


During this time, participants will learn about plane safety regulations and procedures, customer service techniques, emergency procedures, emergency equipment handling, basic first aid, and troubleshooting common issues on board flights. After a demonstrated proficiency in the training course, candidates can officially become qualified Flight Attendants.


Depending on different airlines’ policies, newly graduated Flight Attendants may receive additional mentorship and different training programs to gain further experience before finally being assigned active flight duties.

What is expected from new flight attendants once they are on the line?


Flight Attendants are expected to be knowledgeable in safety protocols, customer service, and culture. They must be able to safely and efficiently operate the aircraft cabin while always providing top-notch service to passengers.


Flight Attendants are responsible for performing cabin pre-flight checks, briefing passengers on safety procedures and rules, helping passengers with special needs during the flight, and responding to medical emergencies, unruly passengers, and conflicts among passengers.


They also need to have a sense of urgency and excellent problem-solving abilities to handle any situation that may arise during the flight.


Additionally, Flight Attendants must be able to perform basic tasks such as serving food or drinks on board flights as well as selling duty-free items or airline merchandise.


Furthermore, Flight Attendants should possess excellent communication skills to address any complaints from passengers effectively and appropriately. In addition, they should be culturally aware and sensitive to provide an outstanding experience for all customers regardless of their backgrounds or nationalities.


Ultimately, airlines expect Flight Attendants to always prioritize passenger safety over all else. Therefore, they must have the right attitude and mindset to ensure a safe and enjoyable flight experience for everyone onboard!

How long does a probationary period last?


A probationary period is a trial period for newly hired Flight Attendants to demonstrate their proficiency in their role. During this duration, Flight Attendants are expected to demonstrate the highest standards of passenger safety and customer service while on duty.


Probationary periods can last between 6 months to a year, depending on airline policies and regulations.


During this time, they will be supervised by experienced Flight Attendants or cabin crew supervisors as they learn the ropes of their new job.


A probationary period also serves to ensure that new hires are familiar with all safety protocols and regulations before taking on more responsibility within the cabin crew team.


Flight Attendants may have to undergo additional training during their probationary periods, such as mentorship and specific service programs. They should also anticipate receiving supervisor feedback on how they can best improve their performance.


At the end of their probationary period, if successful, Flight Attendants should expect a permanent offer from the airline with an upgraded benefits package and salary.

How long must a new hire flight attendant be on reserve status?

Reserve status is an important part of the training process for new Flight Attendants. A reserve status generally lasts from a couple of months up to two years or more, in which Flight Attendants must be available on call and may be assigned flights at any time.


This timeframe depends on the number of new hires a base accepts and the number of senior flight attendants they have.


During this time, they must be able to travel within 2-3 hours’ notice, with the expectation of being away from home for up to 6 days for commercial airlines.


Additionally, during their reserve status period, Flight Attendants must remain knowledgeable of flight schedules, routes, and any changes that may occur. This allows them to be prepared in case they are called upon suddenly.

Summary: How long does it take to become a flight attendant?

Overall, it takes about 3 months to a year to become a flight attendant. From the time of application to the time that you earn your wings. Some factors can lengthen the time, such as:


  • waiting for your turn for an interview during the application process

  • waiting for the result of your interview

  • waiting for your background check to be cleared

  • availability of training dates

  • number of flight attendants to hire

  • length of your airline’s initial training

Once you pass your initial training, you can start working as a flight attendant under probation, lasting 6 months to a year.

Tips on How To Accelerate The Process To Become A Flight Attendant

  1. Decide as early as now. If there is an airline that has currently posted a job opening, submit your resume through their website right away. Airlines mostly entertain candidates in chronological order. Therefore, the earlier they receive your application, the earlier they will read your resume.

  2. Having a flight attendant resume ready can save you a lot of time. You can easily tweak and submit it once they open their window for application.

  3. Study ahead and know what airlines are looking for in a candidate. If you already have an airline that you wish to work for, study its mission, vision, and culture so you have something to talk about during your interview. This shows how interested you are in working for them.

  4. Invest in materials that can help you sharpen your interview skills. Jumping from one opinion to another will confuse you and hinder your success. Create your journey by getting a mentor or by reading an interview guide written by successful flight attendants.

become a flight attendantGet Airline Crew Jobs’ Become a Flight Attendant Interview Guide to accelerate your way to success. Written by successful flight attendants, they’ve compiled 400+ interview questions from major airlines and how to answer them effectively. Go to site now!


Does Attending a flight attendant school will help me secure a job?

Many flight attendants, including me, didn’t attend a flight attendant school. However, I believe you can gain some helpful skills for the job. I only invested my time sharpening my interview skills by reading an ebook. I also spent a lot of my time researching the airline I was applying for so I would know what they are looking for in an applicant.

Do I need a bachelor's degree to become a flight attendant?

A bachelor’s degree or a college degree can give you an edge over other applicants. Airlines receive tens of thousands of applications per job posting, so having an advantage is always a good idea.

Will I get a practice flight before getting on the line?

Yes. There’s always a practice flight. It depends on the airline whether you do it before or after graduation. This is usually done once or twice before you get released on the line.

Will a flight attendant training program help me accelerate my process of becoming a flight attendant?

Invest in a program that will sharpen your interview skills to save time. Airlines have specific flight attendant training that resonates with their company values and mission. Many flight attendants didn’t attend a flight attendant school but got a conditional job offer because they passed their interview.

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Jezee Guico - WingsPro Founder - How To Become a Flight Attendant

Hi there! I’m Jezee, a flight attendant who finds joy in exploring the skies and hitting the road to beautiful destinations. When I’m not flying or driving, I’m passionate about creating and offering motivational support to those who need it. Let’s make every journey, both literal and metaphorical, a memorable one!

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