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Best FA Role:- Long/Short Haul, Low Cost?  
User currently offlineVs773er From United Kingdom, joined Jan 2004, 284 posts, RR: 1
Posted (10 years 9 months 6 days 14 hours ago) and read 3232 times:

Hi, am looking into beginning my career as a flight attendant as it seems its the only starting point for a career in aviation!

Although I was wondering, as there are any fa's on this forum, which could shed any light on what would be the preferred airline to work for. Is there a preference to the different markets of the airlines:- long/short haul scheduled... B, VS etc, Charter airlines or Low cost.

Obviously if you love flying then I suppose hi-cycle airlines would be a great buzz to work for, or a short haul-scheduled carrier may be better for a personal life. Or maybe if your more of a 'people person' looking to see places very exotic then a long haul airline would be preferable!?!

Any feedback would be great.

Communicating. Keeping up foreign relations...
6 replies: All unread, jump to last
User currently offlineLegacy135 From Switzerland, joined May 2005, 1052 posts, RR: 24
Reply 1, posted (10 years 9 months 6 days 13 hours ago) and read 3223 times:

I did it for seven years, working for the former Swiss charter airline Balair. As we did sometimes as well scheduled flights for our mother company Swissair and had routes flown with Swissair DC-10's in 3-class configuration I got an impression of a little bit all of it.

What I am going to tell you now is for sure my personal standpoint of view: It might be tempting, going for a high cycle regional or low cost airline if you are an aviation lover. But always consider, you will become older and all this flying will become a routine as well. I would highly recommend to choose a company you could stay until retired, getting a good payment and have a strong social structure behind. You never now what will happen, so you shouldn't take the risk, saying well it fun and the rest doesn't matter.
The passengers traveling Economy are normally easy to treat. They go for a vacation and are grateful for all you do to them.
Those in First are traveling first because they can afford to sit for their own, enjoying the tranquility and the room. Many of them - you won't believe - re not even eager to have all the catering that is loaded for them. Most of them are easy to treat as well and you might find some interesting contacts in First class, as they may want to chat a little. Being a good communicator you can get to know the powerful people in industry and politics quite fast.
Business Class...... There are the good ones and those, who can travel once a year and the company pays.... Those are the real annoying ones.

So, showing you the passenger structures, it can be a very good job, working for a carrier mostly focused on the holiday and leisure market. The flights result as a "big party boat" and people love your services. You can also enjoy on most of those companies going intercontinental, nice layovers at the worlds best holiday destinations.
Working for a Legacy Carrier, I would chose a company as in the UK BA is. Big, solid and well introduced in the market. Offering you the benefits of a world class company, in additon to a large network, giving you the chance to see the world. Get to know this planet is actually one of the big benefits the work as an F/A offers and you should take it. You will get older and may feel sorry, if you didn't go for it.
Based in the UK Virgin could be an offer. I honestly don't know much of the company, but would consider it worth to be checked out. I can imagine, they have a good, motivated team. This is very important in this job as well. The downside may be, that they go long range only. But his as well isn't to bad if they offer a good scheduling and guarantee off days at home.
I definitly wouldn't work as an F/A for a regional or LCC. The fact is, they only go short range, have no layovers and mostly either short flights or full flights with minimum crew and maximum duty times. This is not much fun and they won't offer you a job with a future either, The reason is vers simple: They need young people, working for little salaries. Professional experience is not very important for them. On the other hand, companies like BA do need experienced people as well. So it's quite different.

Let me make a last word about the work of a F/A. People may tell you, that you will do nothing than serving coffee at FL350. This is only a very limited point of view of this job. You will be basically responsible for the safety of your guest. You make them feel home and you will leave an impression on them, that makes them say XX Air is great or...... shit... So, the F/A is in a very important position and good companies do know this and recrute the persons fitting with this. Even though, if you do nothing than shuttle ops for a while, a job is always as good as you make it. If you do it the way, your guests go of board, with a smile and full of satisfaction, you did a great job! And then it will be demanding and satisfactory  Wink

Good luck and kind regards

User currently offlineVS773ER From United Kingdom, joined Jan 2004, 284 posts, RR: 1
Reply 2, posted (10 years 9 months 6 days 13 hours ago) and read 3194 times:

Thanks Legacy - very, very insightful. I was thinking of a scheduled airline with good foundations also - I think prior experience for them is a must tho so must be gained with an LCC.

Thanks again.

Communicating. Keeping up foreign relations...
User currently offlineAlanUK From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 3, posted (10 years 9 months 6 days 12 hours ago) and read 3174 times:

VS773ER: If you're talking BA, they prefer people who have customer service experience, but they would rather people who haven't flown before, as they say "it's easier to teach the BA way if nobody has been there before with "their" ways!"...


User currently offlineVS773ER From United Kingdom, joined Jan 2004, 284 posts, RR: 1
Reply 4, posted (10 years 9 months 6 days 11 hours ago) and read 3140 times:

Thanks Al,
I have a rough idea of the kind of hours/shifts/schedules that LCC's and long haulers do. What about BA's more european routes and type being versatile on different a/c?

Communicating. Keeping up foreign relations...
User currently offlineAlanUK From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 5, posted (10 years 9 months 6 days 9 hours ago) and read 3077 times:

Well, I have been working long haul for two years now, but when I left short haul (and I don't think things have changed that much). It was an all bidding system, you have 10 days off a month minimum, and you choose where they go. You normally get about 8 out of 10.

You then bid for trips, as is number of days away (from 1 to 3), destinations, type of trips (there and back, nightstop, stand over), time of the day. etc. To give you a sample, most days on BA short haul, crew operate 2 sectors: one out and one back. ie: LHR-FCO-LHR. The maximum you can do is 4 sectors in one day. ie: LHR-MAN-LHR-GLA-LHR. The hardest trips are 3-day 8 sectors. ie: LHR-AMS-LHR-BCN /nightstop/ BCN-LHR-LYS /nightstop/ LYS-LHR-NCL-LHR.

I used to work an average of 32 sectors per month. Sounds like a lot, but that's only 16 trips (as in there and back), and most flights are only about 1-2 hour long. BA still have great working conditions on short haul... We'll see what Willy Walsh wants to do when he starts Sept 1st!

Hope that helps.

User currently offlineVS773ER From United Kingdom, joined Jan 2004, 284 posts, RR: 1
Reply 6, posted (10 years 9 months 6 days 6 hours ago) and read 3001 times:

It helps alot!

It actually sounds a fantastic lifestyle, i'm sure it's hard work and takes it toll on many part of your life but if you love flying then I can see why this job appeals.


Communicating. Keeping up foreign relations...
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