The Royal Air Force has a rather interesting and unusual job advert posted to its official recruitment website at the moment – they’re currently hiring what are known as Air & Ground stewards (or as they’re more commonly known… Cabin Crew). The specialist team work on military versions of the Airbus A330-300 and BAe 146 aircraft and serve the most important of VIP passengers, including the Queen and other senior members of the Royal Family, as well as the British Prime Minister.
And while this is a military role, many of the responsibilities listed by the RAF sound no different to what’s expected of cabin crew at most commercial airlines. The RAF says the team are “responsible for the comfort, safety and welfare of passengers” and that duties include “greeting passengers as they board and exit the plane, providing special attention to passengers as required” and “serving meals and refreshments.”
All pretty standard stuff.
New hires would start off working on the A330-200 Voyager aircraft or as it’s officially known, the ‘Multi-Role Tanker Transport Aircraft’ (pictured above) – which is a military version of the commercial Airbus A330 – delivering troops or other military personnel wherever they are needed around the world or taking top brass military leaders into combat zones.
From there, an opportunity would then open up to transfer onto the smaller BAe 146 aircraft based at RAF Northolt where you would routinely serve the Royal family, the Prime Minister and senior members of the British government and armed services.
Not that the job is all about flying around the world – successful candidates will complete one tour of duty in the air and then transfer to serving in military messes or even providing mobile military field catering.
The RAF has produced this video about the role and while many of the duties are very similar to civilian cabin crew, the uniform is a lot different…
Expect the training to be much harder than the standard cabin crew role – while many commercial airlines run training courses of between 5-7 weeks in length, an Air & Field Steward will face a 16-week initial training programme. The RAF will initially hire successful candidates on a 12-year contract and the first tour would last between 3-4 years.
This might not be the role for everyone – don’t expect discount standby tickets but the RAF says it does have a lot to offer. Along with a first year earning potential of £18,000 post-training, new hires would also benefit from subsidised housing and food, healthcare and around 6 weeks of holiday a year.
If this does sound like the job for you then you’ll need to meet the following nationality requirements:
- A citizen of the United Kingdom
- or a citizen of the Republic of Ireland
- or a dual UK national
- or a Commonwealth citizen since birth
You’ll also need to meet these minimum criteria:
- Aged between 17.5 years old and 47 years old
- Proven education in English and Maths
- Able to swim 100 metres and tread water for two minutes
The RAF is particularly interested in hearing from qualified cabin crew who have at least 12-months experience in the past two years.
More details can be found on the RAF recruitment website here.
Mateusz Maszczynski honed his skills as an international flight attendant at the most prominent airline in the Middle East and has been flying throughout the COVID-19 pandemic for a well-known European airline. Matt is passionate about the aviation industry and has become an expert in passenger experience and human-centric stories. Always keeping an ear close to the ground, Matt's industry insights, analysis and news coverage is frequently used by some of the biggest names in journalism.