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Special FA Training For Working First Class?  
User currently offlineSoxfan From United States of America, joined Mar 2008, 865 posts, RR: 0
Posted (5 years 5 months 3 weeks 6 days 10 hours ago) and read 6656 times:

Hi All,

Do flight attendants get special training prior to being cleared to work a premium/first-class cabin (domestic or international)? I would imagine that, apart from upgrades, passengers traveling in the premium cabins are key to making two- or three-class airlines stay afloat. If there is special training, what does it involve? Are there special etiquette classes? I've been on flights in FC where the service has been absolutely fantastic, and on others where the FAs have just gone through the motions, so I'm just wondering. Thanks!

Soxfan  Smile


Pilot: "Request push, which way should we face?" JFK Ground: "You better face the front, sir, or you'll scare the pax!"
23 replies: All unread, jump to last
 
User currently offlinePilotpip From United States of America, joined Sep 2003, 3150 posts, RR: 11
Reply 1, posted (5 years 5 months 3 weeks 6 days 10 hours ago) and read 6626 times:

They're interchangeable here. Both flight attendants take turns or use seniority to determine who's up front and who's in the back. Same at most other airlines.


DMI
User currently offlineItalianFlyer From United States of America, joined Nov 2007, 1099 posts, RR: 2
Reply 2, posted (5 years 5 months 3 weeks 6 days 10 hours ago) and read 6604 times:

Same here....all about senority and the mood of your coworkers when bidding positions. We do have a "Qualified Purser" program, which I like, but if the QP is senior and wants to "junior" it down they can and often do. To my current airline's credit tho, they really try and keep a QP in place on widebody flights...even domestic/Hawaii. At my old airline I was thrown into the Lead position on a DC10 on my third trip out of training lol.

We spent about a day and a half doing First and Biz class service protocols in Initial...but like most things on the service side of the job...you learn what works & become proficient by actually doing it.


User currently offlineAirtran717 From United States of America, joined Aug 2006, 746 posts, RR: 4
Reply 3, posted (5 years 5 months 3 weeks 6 days 10 hours ago) and read 6598 times:

Granted this was several years ago, and with AirTran, but I did get promoted and then scheduled for additional training. For us it was only 8 hours, for one day. There was quite a bit of focus on the proper handling of customer service types of issues. cabin service is cabin service, so we focused on the customer and any variance of complaints and issues, including how to deal with difficult crews.

Our "upgraded" service consisted of just a couple of free drinks and a larger bag of snacks. The only major change from working the main cabin was that we were to use the Business Class passenger's name. Again, FL is a LCC, and the service isn't the same as international First Classes. I can't speak for other carriers, but I would imagine that there is appropriate training for appropriate levels of service.

717


User currently offlinePanamair From United States of America, joined Oct 2001, 4910 posts, RR: 25
Reply 4, posted (5 years 5 months 3 weeks 6 days 10 hours ago) and read 6598 times:
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Quoting Pilotpip (Reply 1):
They're interchangeable here. Both flight attendants take turns or use seniority to determine who's up front and who's in the back. Same at most other airlines.

Actually, many non-US carriers do have restrictions as to which cabin crew are allowed to work in the premium cabins, in particular the First Class cabin on long-hauls (with 3 classes of service).


User currently offlineEghansen From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 5, posted (5 years 5 months 3 weeks 6 days 9 hours ago) and read 6527 times:

Most narrow body aircraft in the US have less than 150 seats and thus only have 3 flight attendants in total.

It is very common to see an first class F/A finish her service in the front and begin serving some of the first rows of coach. Rather than using a cart, he/she will take drink orders, go back up to the galley and bring the drinks back on a handheld tray. I have seen this happen quite a few times.

Many narrow bodies in the US have only 8 seats in first class, so it is not practical to devote a full-time F/A to just 8 seats.


User currently offlineIAirAllie From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 6, posted (5 years 5 months 3 weeks 6 days 9 hours ago) and read 6482 times:

Yes, the postitions are interchangeable on domestic flights at most US carrier that is because all FA's do recieve special training on FC service in initial training (at least that is how AA used to do it). We had several training modules that dealt with first class service.

User currently offlineStylo777 From Germany, joined Feb 2006, 2976 posts, RR: 12
Reply 7, posted (5 years 5 months 3 weeks 6 days 9 hours ago) and read 6463 times:

Lufthansa has dedicated First Class FAs on their longhaul flights. as far as I know they get three days training and need to to refresher courses every once in a while.

User currently offlineDutchflyboi From Netherlands, joined Apr 2008, 333 posts, RR: 0
Reply 8, posted (5 years 5 months 3 weeks 6 days 8 hours ago) and read 6370 times:

At CO, all international F/A have to go to 2 days of international training (before they transfer to an international base), where we receive extra training to work the BusinessFirst cabin. For domestic flights we do not receive special training to work F/C (with the exception of service training that you receive at initial training).

User currently offlineSq_ek_freak From United Kingdom, joined Dec 2000, 1633 posts, RR: 20
Reply 9, posted (5 years 5 months 3 weeks 6 days 8 hours ago) and read 6350 times:

At EK you are separated into different grades that allow you to work either the economy cabin (GR II) or the business and first class cabins with extra training for each (GR I). You need to apply for an upgrade to get into the GR I pool from GR II, and if your application is accepted you will need to undergo extra training with regards to our premium service. There isn't a free interchange between F/J/Y crew, you work in your specified cabin, though sometimes crew will help each other out if circumstances dictate.


Keep Discovering
User currently offlineRolfen From Germany, joined Jan 2006, 1809 posts, RR: 2
Reply 10, posted (5 years 5 months 3 weeks 6 days 8 hours ago) and read 6260 times:

Special training at EK for F/J involves things such as how to deal with customers from various cultures, how to serve and present different foods, how to handle the porcelain sets...


rolf
User currently offlineLincoln From United States of America, joined Nov 2004, 3887 posts, RR: 8
Reply 11, posted (5 years 5 months 3 weeks 6 days 8 hours ago) and read 6244 times:



Quoting Soxfan (Thread starter):
I would imagine that, apart from upgrades, passengers traveling in the premium cabins are key to making two- or three-class airlines stay afloat

Not entirely true; I would venture that full-fare/unrestricted Economy passengers play as valuable a role... there have been many flights where my $1000+ Y class ticket put me at or close to the top as far as $$$ went among passengers on the flight (Granted many of those are on ERJs where first class isn't an option in the first place)

When CNBC did the "A day in the life" of American Airlines a few years back, they pointed out the specific passenger on a Transcon who had paid the most for his flight... he was in Economy, and IIRC, in a middle seat to boot.

Quoting Eghansen (Reply 5):
Many narrow bodies in the US have only 8 seats in first class, so it is not practical to devote a full-time F/A to just 8 seats.

CO usually has two FAs in First on the narrowbody flights (excepting the 733, which I'm a little foggy on and are being phased out anyway) -- even when there's only one FA up there, that FA is essentially dedicated to the cabin (occassionally they'll step back to assist with the meal service but that seems fairly rare IME)



CO Is My Airline of Choice || Baggage Claim is an airline's last chance to disappoint a customer || Next flts in profile
User currently offlineDutchflyboi From Netherlands, joined Apr 2008, 333 posts, RR: 0
Reply 12, posted (5 years 5 months 3 weeks 6 days 7 hours ago) and read 6195 times:

Quoting Lincoln (Reply 11):
CO usually has two FAs in First on the narrowbody flights (excepting the 733, which I'm a little foggy on and are being phased out anyway) -

737's are not being phased out at all (the older ones are). On the 737-300, 500 and 700 the minimum crew is 3, so on a meal flight the lead F/A helps out with the first round of drinks and takes the meal orders, and goes back to coach. on the -800 and 900, minimum crew is 4, so most of the times you will have 2 in f/c and 2 in y/c
757-300 has a minimum crew of 5 f/a 2 in f/c and 3 in y/c (we staff them with more) and the 757/200 (minimum crew is 4, but it is staffed with 6 due to the international flights) has 4 in y/c and 2 in business

[Edited 2009-03-30 12:19:30]

User currently offlineSmi0006 From Australia, joined Jan 2008, 1533 posts, RR: 0
Reply 13, posted (5 years 5 months 3 weeks 6 days 3 hours ago) and read 6001 times:



Quoting Sq_ek_freak (Reply 9):
At EK you are separated into different grades that allow you to work either the economy cabin (GR II) or the business and first class cabins with extra training for each (GR I). You need to apply for an upgrade to get into the GR I pool from GR II, and if your application is accepted you will need to undergo extra training with regards to our premium service. There isn't a free interchange between F/J/Y crew, you work in your specified cabin, though sometimes crew will help each other out if circumstances dictate.

The same is the case with QF Long-haul there are BFrist crew who only operate in Buisness or first class, I'm not sure how long their training is but it is a couple of weeks I think (don't quote me on that) and selection is via application then interview.


User currently onlineStitch From United States of America, joined Jul 2005, 31011 posts, RR: 86
Reply 14, posted (5 years 5 months 3 weeks 5 days 13 hours ago) and read 5547 times:
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Quoting Stylo777 (Reply 7):
Lufthansa has dedicated First Class FAs on their longhaul flights.

For the second season of BBC's "The Restaurant" ("Last Restaurant Standing" on BBC America), two of the competitors were LH First Class cabin crew. Also one of the challenges was to serve a First Class meal on a BA 747-400 parked at LHR and they showed a training facility with a mock-up of a BA FIRST Cabin where they appear to train staff.


User currently offlineFxramper From United States of America, joined Dec 2005, 7298 posts, RR: 85
Reply 15, posted (5 years 5 months 3 weeks 5 days 11 hours ago) and read 5183 times:
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As far as US based carriers go, I wouldn't want to work in the premium cabins. American travelers are whiners in all classes, especially the one they actually had to pay a premium for. Put me in the cattle class with the rough necks please (knee pads not required).  rotfl 

User currently offlineItalianFlyer From United States of America, joined Nov 2007, 1099 posts, RR: 2
Reply 16, posted (5 years 5 months 3 weeks 4 days 13 hours ago) and read 4267 times:



Quoting Fxramper (Reply 15):
As far as US based carriers go, I wouldn't want to work in the premium cabins. American travelers are whiners in all classes, especially the one they actually had to pay a premium for

Honestly, I prefer working up front...as IAirAllie said...90% of the F pax are very frequent fliers who know the ins and outs of air travel and understand the up's and downs of our jobs quite well. Sure...there is a PITA 10% (or less) but whatever...you just roll with it...thats why they call it "work"  cool 

The reason why some crew in the US choose to defer F down to a more Junior person is that whoever fills that role is the pointperson for ANYTHING that goes wrong on that trip or segment. I have been called numerous times by management investigating a 1 minute delay that happened six months prior....a pax complaint about a Y F/A in June of 2006 or a two dollar shortage on liquor/BOB money from a segment in November. God forbid, when there is a medical or aircraft systems issue...it is the Purser/Lead/A/Flight Leader who has to fill out and sign off on the mountain of incident reporting paperwork. Many senior folks choose to avoid that kind of exposure for the sake of three extra bucks an hour.


User currently offlineAirTran717 From United States of America, joined Aug 2006, 746 posts, RR: 4
Reply 17, posted (5 years 5 months 3 weeks 3 days 10 hours ago) and read 4045 times:



Quoting ItalianFlyer (Reply 17):
The reason why some crew in the US choose to defer F down to a more Junior person is that whoever fills that role is the pointperson for ANYTHING that goes wrong on that trip or segment. I have been called numerous times by management investigating a 1 minute delay that happened six months prior....a pax complaint about a Y F/A in June of 2006 or a two dollar shortage on liquor/BOB money from a segment in November. God forbid, when there is a medical or aircraft systems issue...it is the Purser/Lead/A/Flight Leader who has to fill out and sign off on the mountain of incident reporting paperwork. Many senior folks choose to avoid that kind of exposure for the sake of three extra bucks an hour.

I don't entirely agree with this. I won't argue that it's sometimes true. But in my case, when I found myself in that position, I actually would rather have just flown in the back positions... to A) brush up and get some practice in positions that I didn't normally work, or B) just wanted to fly my trip and be left more or less alone... on the back jumpseat. I didn't mind the paperwork or responsibility, but every once in a while, it's just nice to hand the reigns to someone else...


User currently offlineThomasCook From United Kingdom, joined Aug 2004, 796 posts, RR: 8
Reply 18, posted (5 years 5 months 3 weeks 3 days 7 hours ago) and read 3976 times:

Hey,

Here at Qantas we have to apply to become a BFA (Business and First Class) Flight Attendant. Upon acceptance of your application you undergo a panel interview. If successful you are given 10 days of training including lunch at a 5 star restaurant to experience 5 star dining. I completed my training last June. Work positions are allocated randomly on the CSM's Blackberry but can be changed for development purposes. For example the Blackberry may allocate First Galley Operator or Upperdeck Cabin Operator; the work position will always be as a Business or First operator though.

Regards
ThomasCook



A380 Crew
User currently offlineL4DashTrash From United States of America, joined Jan 2009, 40 posts, RR: 0
Reply 19, posted (5 years 5 months 3 weeks 3 days 7 hours ago) and read 3934 times:

So, The answer to the question is, it varies by airline, as well as domestic/international. At Pace it varied by base, if you were sent temporarily to another base, you just had to have some quick on the job training and learn the ropes at that base. At Xtra airways they had one day of service training, including first class, while each base also had their own standards.

User currently offlineASFA737 From Serbia, joined Jun 2006, 13 posts, RR: 0
Reply 20, posted (5 years 5 months 3 weeks 3 days 6 hours ago) and read 3871 times:

Hello all. At AS we are interchangealbe to work F/C and main cabin. On aircraft such as the 737-800/900 we have four flight attendants sometimes that addtional FA will help with F/C service such as taking drink and meal orders before going to the back with the other FA's but all of us are trained to work up front and that training was incorporated with main cabin service.

I came from an airline before that did not have a first class cabin so for me the change has been good. I like working in first its like having your own little dinner party.

ASFA737


User currently offlineItalianFlyer From United States of America, joined Nov 2007, 1099 posts, RR: 2
Reply 21, posted (5 years 5 months 3 weeks 3 days ago) and read 3750 times:



Quoting AirTran717 (Reply 17):
don't entirely agree with this. I won't argue that it's sometimes true. But in my case, when I found myself in that position, I actually would rather have just flown in the back positions... to A) brush up and get some practice in positions that I didn't normally work, or B) just wanted to fly my trip and be left more or less alone... on the back jumpseat. I didn't mind the paperwork or responsibility, but every once in a while, it's just nice to hand the reigns to someone else...

I hear ya...thats why I said "some" not "all". Everyone has their motivations and that is the blessing of seniority....ability to call your shots!  Big grin

Was just trying to point out to the nonindustry people why many times they see the "greenest" of the crew working up front. Some of it has to do with the airline's political culture at the time....right now and my airline...no one wants to put their name on ANYTHING if they can help it :/


User currently offlineItalianFlyer From United States of America, joined Nov 2007, 1099 posts, RR: 2
Reply 22, posted (5 years 5 months 3 weeks 3 days ago) and read 3743 times:



Quoting ThomasCook (Reply 18):
Here at Qantas we have to apply to become a BFA (Business and First Class) Flight Attendant. Upon acceptance of your application you undergo a panel interview. If successful you are given 10 days of training including lunch at a 5 star restaurant to experience 5 star dining. I completed my training last June. Work positions are allocated randomly on the CSM's Blackberry but can be changed for development purposes. For example the Blackberry may allocate First Galley Operator or Upperdeck Cabin Operator; the work position will always be as a Business or First operator though.

Regards
ThomasCook

WOW!!

Now that's what I call a CLASS OPERATION !!! Big grin Sounds like an interesting programme...we will never see something like that in the USA though.


User currently offlineTonystan From Ireland, joined Jan 2006, 1437 posts, RR: 2
Reply 23, posted (5 years 5 months 3 weeks 2 days 14 hours ago) and read 3628 times:

BA we have Main crew who work Y or J and then grade ones who are specifically trained for First. However this is changing and within the next year or so we will have crew specifically trained for First and Club meaning all new crew will only be Y trained until they are upgraded. This will be done on seniority.


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