Air hostesses are called flight attendants in the United States. They provide customer service and safety assistance to airline passengers. In the United States, larger airlines must employ flight attendants by law. According to the Bureau of Labor and Statistics (BLS), flight attendants fly anywhere from 65 to 90 hours per month and may spend an additional 50 hours prepping aeroplanes for flights, completing paperwork and waiting for planes to land. Although each airline has different hiring qualifications, and each country has its own laws and regulations, there are some general requirements to being an air hostess, or flight attendant, in the United States.
In order to work for a U.S. airline, you must be an American citizen or a registered alien with the legal right to work in the country, according to industry website Cabincrewjobs.com. If you plan to work international flights, you will also need a valid U.S. passport.
Physical Health and Appearance
Cabincrewjobs.com also notes that because flight attendants interact with the public, airlines look for employees who have a professional, neat appearance that represents the airline's brand. Visible tattoos and piercings (except ears) are usually not permitted, nor are offbeat or unusual hair colours or hair styles.
Because flight attendants are responsible for passenger safety, it is also important that they are healthy and in good physical condition. Airlines will screen prospective employees for illegal substance abuse and to test general overall health.
For safety and security reasons, airlines must ensure employees are reputable. According to Cabincrewjobs.com, flight attendant applicants undergo a complete background check, which may date as far back as ten years. Anyone with a criminal history cannot become a flight attendant. In addition, failure to tell the truth during the screening process may result in immediate dismissal.
The BLS reports that although a high school degree (or its equivalent) is usually the minimum education required to be a flight attendant, airlines prefer applicants with college degrees. Those who have studied travel and tourism, communications, nursing or psychology may have an advantage over other applicants. The BLS also notes that airlines look for candidates fluent in two or more foreign languages for their international flights.
In the United States, all flight attendants are required to be certified by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA). To obtain this certification, candidates must fulfil a series of training requirements, including fire fighting, medical emergency, evacuation and security procedures developed by the FAA and the Transportation Security Administration. Certifications are specific to the type of aircraft the attendant will be working with.