The day in the life of a United Airlines flight attendant
What's it like to work as a flight attendant for United Airlines? And what does it take to become one in the first place? A group of flight attendants at the airline explain all...Posted by Paddle Your Own Kanoo on Saturday, September 22, 2018
Mateusz Maszczynski is a serving international flight attendant with experience…
There’s no getting around the fact that this flight attendant recruitment video from United Airlines is really cheesy but it contains some really useful advice for anyone preparing to apply for a job as a flight attendant – for pretty much any airline. Take a look for yourself and then check out our summary of the most important points below.
Admittedly, United han’t had the best few years, with all kinds of accusations about bad service and other ‘incidents’ – some of which involved the airline’s flight attendants. But that’s not to say United doesn’t put a lot of effort into who they hire and competition is still incredibly tough – only those with the best resumes will get shortlisted.
When you’re preparing your resume or CV for your application you need to tailor it to the skills and qualities of the role you’re applying for. In the case of the cabin crew/flight attendant role, airline’s have very specific qualities that they are looking for in candidates.
We’ve covered this in quite a bit of detail in the past but it’s nice to see that’s it’s still very much true today as well. Some of the flight attendants featured in the video listed the exact qualities that recruiters will be looking for:
“A natural spirit of service”
One of the flight attendants said she treats passengers like they are guests in her own home, while another said that she thinks flight attendants should be “gracious”. Keywords you need to make sure are in your resume include:
Important note: As always, you can’t simply list these words off – you have to prove how you possess these qualities with specific examples of how you’ve put these qualities to use!
“Taking pride in your appearance”
Mentioned several times in the video was the need to be well groomed and wearing your uniform with pride. If you’ve worked in a customer facing role in the past, it’s relatively easy to mention in your resume that you’ve received praise from managers, co-workers and customers for your high standards of presentation and the pride you showed when representating other brands.
Service and a well-groomed appearance are important but even more crucial is the seriousness with which you take safety. Remember, the commercial aviation industry is built on its excellent safety reputation – flight attendants are a key piece in the safety puzzle and you’ll be expected to prove you have what it takes to uphold this responsibility.
Showing that you’ve taken responsibility for safety-related tasks, have followed instructions and standard operating procedures, as well as the ability to identify and deal with hazards will really make your resume stand out.
“You never know what you’re walking into…”
Or to be put it another way – resilience, the ability to adapt to fast-changing circumstances and a willingness to embrace change (whether that be something really short notice or a major long-term business change).
Recruiters are looking for candidates who can easily and quickly adapt and think on their feet (while keeping their cool, of course).
“One day you might be working 3-4 flights…”
And that’s tiring! If you can already prove you have what it takes to get up at the crack of dawn, work for hours on end with little or no rest and possibly even with jetlag then you’re the candidate that recruiters are looking for.
United is currently recruiting for new flight attendants at a number of bases across the United States. More information can be found on the official United Airlines recruitment website.
Full video transcript
“What surprised me most about the job is how rewarding it’s going to be. It’s such an amazing career, you’re always travelling to different cities. You never know what you’re walking into but it’s always fine. I absolutely love my career as a flight attendant because every day is a different adventure. One day you might be working 3-4 flights a day and the next day you might be lying on a beach somewhere… Probably shouldn’t of said that! I love being a flight attendant at United because I am literally connected to the world. I’ve travelled around the world – gone to the Great Wall of China, rode the gondola’s of Venice.”
“The possibilities are endless to where you can go. What really makes it special is the people you meet. I have best friends I met in training, I have best friends I met on the job and so for me, it’s really the people, customers included that you meet along the way. Each story kinda of adds a little something to your life and those are the moments I treasure. You work with some of the best people here at United. It’s amazing the fast friendships you build and the bond you build with your coworkers.”
The quality that a great flight attendant possesses is having the natural spirit of service. When I’m on the aircraft, I treat all of my passengers as though they were guests in my home. A great flight attendant posses qualities such as being gracious, being friendly, being patient, being kind and also being professional and taking pride in your appearance. The thing I would tell new hire flight attendants is really to come to work ready to work in your full uniform. When I put it on every day, it kind of feels like a little special events that brings pride to my job, so I love wearing the uniform.
“I would say a typical workday at United is not so typical because there’s all kinds of dynamic things going on. The duties of a United flight attendant are two-fold: The first part is going to be our safety focus and then the second part is our service. When you get to the aircraft you’re going to do your safety and service checks, make sure you have all the supplies that you need on board the aircraft for the service.”
“Safety is so important, so we’re going to make sure that we have all the equipment checked and that we’re ready for the customers to board the aircraft. As soon as those things are done, it’s boarding time and we’re ready for action. At the end of the day you feel like you’ve made a difference in the lives of so many, so being a United flight attendant is the best job in the world.”
Mateusz Maszczynski is a serving international flight attendant with experience at a major Middle East and European airline. Mateusz is passionate about the aviation industry and helping aspiring flight attendants achieve their dreams. Cabin crew recruitment can be tough, ultra-competitive and just a little bit confusing - Mateusz has been there and done that. He's got the low down on what really works.