Topic Author
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Joined: Mon May 29, 2000 2:21 pm

Flight Attendant Training

Fri Aug 04, 2000 5:22 am

My friend who worked as a flight attendant for a United Express carrier is now in his second week of flight attendant training with United at Chicago!  I am wondering what the training program is like. What all do you learn? The training is 6 weeks long, so what do you do each week? Do they take you on to training flights? After training, will he be going right in to service? Basicly how does training for flight attendants work?

Is it true that SouthWest flight attnedants get training in how to be funny? or is that just a rumor? 
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Joined: Sat Nov 20, 1999 10:28 am

RE: Flight Attendant Training

Fri Aug 04, 2000 5:52 am

During the 6 weeks flight attendant hopefuls learn how to open emergency doors. They also learn how to serve food in all classes. Then they take a lot of classes. i know at American once you finish, you get to slide down an emergency slide (20 feet). For more information you can watch A&E Investigative Reports on LAX or the Airliners Story on Speedvision. Also, you might be able to find something at

RE: Flight Attendant Training

Fri Aug 04, 2000 6:02 am

I know that Alaska Airlines' flight attendants go through some swimming training.
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Joined: Wed Jun 14, 2000 11:31 pm

RE: Flight Attendant Training

Sat Aug 05, 2000 1:47 am

A good friend of mine was a Flight Attendant here at Northwest Airlines and they started off with the basic cabin information, then they moved to cabin service for all classes, and then they moved on to emergency evacuation procedures (looking to see if the way was blocked, opening doors, remaining calm, etc.), they also go through numerous classes were most of this information is drilled into their heads. They are then placed on a flight as a Student Flight Attendant for the hands on experience. Once completed, all Flight Attendants are placed on reserve status (on-call) for both domestic and international flights.

Hopefully, UALfa@jfk can provide more information.

Aviation is proof that, given the will, we have the capacity to achieve the impossible.
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Joined: Sun May 28, 2000 10:02 am

RE: Flight Attendant Training

Sat Aug 05, 2000 3:50 pm

Your friend is lucky. When I went thru training, it was 9 weeks long! From my understanding, training is a little different now, but she should still expect to be tested on all topics covered. -Literally with at least a 90% average. Emergency Procedures training requires a 100% accuracy rate in EACH area for her to graduate from training (irrespective of how well she performed in other areas).

I actuallly forgot the sequence of topics covered in training, but it included:

-United's corporate philosophy and mission.

-United's Fleet - all 9 aircraft, configurations, requirements, aircraft tours, etc. From the smallest (737-500) to the largest (747-400).

-Tours of ORD facilities, including catering ops, hangars, Domicile Offices and UA Flight attendant offices. Also tours of World Headquarters, incl. weather station, emergency response units, crew scheduling.

-Uniform requirements, appearance & "image" standards, incl. skin care, hygiene, hair styling requirements, poise and decorum, and mandatory consultations.

-UA customer profiles, incl. UA's who they are and what mkts they fly. Sensitivity needs. Handling children travelling alone, disabled pax, foreign pax without visas. Handling irate pax, and compensation guidelines for them.

-Predeparture safety checks (for each aircraft).

-Safety demos and announcements. How to correctly do them.

-Predeparture galley setup (for beverage and meal service).

-Inflight Handbook. REQUIRED BY FAA to be familiar with all of its contents, as well as how to use.

-Ticket taking procedures at the gate. (Sometimes FA's must do this before the flight instead of the CSRs)

-Knowledge of all beverages served, including all wines (and how to correctly pronounce them). Training on ALL alcoholic beverages UA serves and how to mix and pour them.

-Beverage serving techniques:
First and business class: Proper wine opening techniques, proper wine pouring, correct method of offering wines, and reading & presenting all wine labels; linen folding, sequence of service.
Economy class: Sequence of beverages served, and how to offer them properly.

-Meal serving techniques: FC, BC, and Econ Class. Widebody vs. narrowbody aircraft.

-Mandatory "fine dining" experience at Chicago's Drake Hotel. (To make FA's aware of how "fine dining" is supposed to be, I guess).

-Cockpit tours and jumpseating.

-WEEKLY roundtrip training flights aboard actual regularly-scheduled passenger flights. This included one round trip international training flight to either LHR, CDG, or FRA. (My flts included to/from: ATL, LGA, DEN, TPA, CLT, EWR, MSP, IAH, and CDG-with an 18 hr. layover!)

-FA bidding. Requirements, procedures, strategies, and awards.

-Reserve FA requirements. Linholdiing FA requirements.

-Hotel & layover safety.

-Pay details and compensation info.

-Travel benefits and conduct when travelling on standby aboard UA flights.

-Union familiarization, incl. knowledge of the contract.

-Cockpit and cabin crew interaction.

-Pre-flight briefings and preflight flight procedures.

-International service reuqirements and guidelines.

-Purser responsibilities before, during and after flights.

**Emergency Procedures** (MOST important part of training. Remember, a 100% success rate is REQUIRED. Anything below that will send her home.):
-Evacuation drills.
-Opening aircraft doors for each type of UA aircraft.
-Safety features and unique evacuation requirements for each aircraft.
-Types of emergencies and how to handle them (eg., hijackers, bombs, flammable/hazardous materials, cabin deompression, inflight fires, ground fires, turbulence (various severities), loss of landing gear, aborted takeoffs/landings, seriously sick pax, engine failure, etc).
-Imminent crash procedures (both water and land crashings) and passenger announcements.
-Slide deployment and "arming/disarming" of doors for each aircraft.
-First aid supplies and locations aboard each aircraft.

From all of this, the most lengthy and emphasized part of training was domestic and international First Class and Business Class inflight service, passenger handling, emergency procedures, and, FAA regulations.

After she successfully completes training, she'll be off duty for two weeks to help her find housing and "settle" at her assigned base city. And yes, since she will be qualified to fly both domestic and int'l, she should be prepared to work anything from a 3-day Omaha-Chicago-Phoenix-Newark route, to a 4-day Chicago-Tokyo-Hong Kong trip.

(Hopefully, New York will be assigned to her. I wanna accrue some seniority here!) --just kidding.

I wish your friend much luck.

Topic Author
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RE: Flight Attendant Training

Sat Aug 05, 2000 4:04 pm

Thank you all! Many thanks to UALfa@JFK!   My friend, he told me that they will let the new people choose SFO or ORD. Since he lives in California, he is going to SFO. Isn't SFO more junior and ORD more senior?

Hey UALfa@jfk, do you fly transcon flights to SFO/LAX or do you do the international flights. Either way, if its out of JFK, its a 767 right?    
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RE: Flight Attendant Training

Sun Aug 06, 2000 5:44 am

Congratulations on your friend getting the opportunity to be based near his home! I certainly know how that feels since I was extremely lucky to get JFK out of training (I'm from New York).

As far as LAX/SFO-JFK transcons, yes I fly those A LOT. From NY, the transcons aren't terribly senior. However, for LA & SF based flight attendants, transcons to NY do go VERY senior. The transcon equipment utilized are mainly 767-200s and 767-300s to and from SFO. Since your friend will be on reserve for awhile, he can still count on doing some transcons as well as numerous UA Shuttle flights around the west coast. He will also occassionally do some international flights to NRT, SEL, HKG, PEK, CDG, etc. Basically, as a new reserve FA, your friend will get exposed to EVERY TYPE OF FLYING in all classes of service.

It's funny, because for many years, SFO was extremely senior. It's a little less so now, because of all of the new hires they put there. ORD is still the biggest domicile and it is NOT as senior as the SFO, LAX, SEA or HNL.

Tell your friend to continue to do well in training. I welcome him to the United flight attendant family.
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RE: Flight Attendant Training

Sun Aug 06, 2000 4:16 pm

Just a compliment to UALfa@jfk for that VERY informative post. Makes me as pax better understand what F/A has to know/do. Thanks!!
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