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Question Re.Flight Attendants In Different Classes

Mon May 03, 2004 9:09 am

There's a topic being discussed at the moment about the most luxurious flights people have had. Obviously, most of the people posting are referring to flights in C and F classes, and the quality of service certain airlines provide in these classes. It seems that the standard of service in these classes is extremely high, and naturally a lot of that is to do with the flight attendants.

Therefore, my questions are:

- Am I correct in assuming that F/As have to receive a great deal of extra training before being moved up from Economy to one of the higher classes?

- Is it possible for new F/As receive First training right from the start, and move straight into F class?

- Once they have qualified to work in these higher classes, do they stay there? Or, depending on crew requirements, do they get moved around the various classes? Or do they cover more than one class on each flight?

I also assume not all airlines have the same policy in these respects. Your thoughts?

Come fly with me, let's fly, let's fly away...
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RE: Question Re.Flight Attendants In Different Classes

Mon May 03, 2004 12:36 pm

It depends on the airline. It varies greatly.
At my airline NW, each flight attendant is qualified on each aircraft in the fleet. (all will eventually get A330 training)
Before the flight, the crew bids in seniority order for which position they wish to work. Generally on Int'l widebodies Business class is taken by the senior flight attendants. Theoretically a new flight attendant (on reserve) could end up working up front but that hardly happens. I worked the 747-400 upper deck once, and main deck business class about 3 times. Once it was only because the entire crew was replaced due to a delay with reserve flight attendants.
On int'l flights 98% of the time, I end up in main cabin.
On domestic flights, I always end up working as the lead flight attendant who serves first class.
At some airlines you have to get promoted to work premium cabins.
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RE: Question Re.Flight Attendants In Different Classes

Mon May 03, 2004 1:06 pm

I'd have to agree with Jafa. It all depends on the airline. In the U.S. with its highly regulated Union rules, seniority hath its privileges. That's why sometimes one reads about the "old ladies" in F/J because there is generally a less work load than the back of the bus. Some of these senior people should have retired years ago, but like the Energizer Bunny, they just keep going. In many cases, they are terrific! But, then again, one has to look at the individual airline.

In countries other than the U.S., many times the "premium" class F/A's are chosen for their ability rather than seniority. Of course, many of those airlines are not restricted by Union rules. Generally, these F/A's are more intuitive and sense their passenger's needs. That's basically why the foreign carriers are so far ahead of U.S. carriers in terms of service. Just go to the trip reports forum and see what the consensus says.

This particular industry is classified as one of the "hospitality" industries. When you have "robots" represented by organized labor groups, you tend to loose that touch called hospitality. It becomes merely routine. And that is not the essence of hospitality.....
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RE: Question Re.Flight Attendants In Different Classes

Mon May 03, 2004 3:25 pm

For China Airlines, I heard they have to pass a special class to be Business Class or First Class Qualified before they can start serving those classes.

As for U.S. airlines, many are based on seniority. I know a flight attendant, once based in Taipei, and she would bid based upon the season. She would do First Class or Business Class during the peak seasons when Economy was full. She would do Economy Class during the low seasons.