Flight attendants assist passengers during flights by explaining air safety procedures, answering any questions, serving meals and generally helping ensure passengers have a pleasant journey. In the past, flight attendants were also called stewardesses, stewards, and air hostesses.
Stepping Back in Time:
The position of flight attendant remained largely undefined until Ellen Church entered the aviation industry in 1930. A registered nurse who had taken flying lessons, Church approached Steve Stimpson of Boeing Air Transport seeking an airline job, possibly as a pilot. Instead Stimpson and Church created a stewardessing occupation for registered nurses.
Church's timing was critical. Stimpson, recently back from a long flight, saw the need for cabin attendants and urged his employer to add a courier to the crew. Stimpson had already hired three male couriers when Church visited his offices on Feb. 23, 1930. After meetings with Church, Stimpson tried to sell his idea of a nurse-stewardess to his superiors, citing the national publicity that would result.
William A Patterson, assistant to the president of Boeing Air Transport, decided to embark on what others in the airline industry considered a daring experiment. He gave his approval to hire eight nurses to work as stewardesses on a three-month trial basis. At 8:00 a.m., May 15, 1930, a Boeing tri-motor left Oakland enroute to Chicago with Ellen Church, the world's first stewardess, aboard.
Although some pilots complained that they were too busy to look after a "helpless female" crew member, passengers applauded the experiment. Accounts from the original eight nurse stewardesses confirm that the pilots initially did not speak to them, and some pilots' wives from Salt Lake City began a letter writing campaign to Boeing requesting the removal of stewardesses.
At the end of the three-month stewardess experiment, Boeing officials enthusiastically endorsed it a great success.
Church, was deluged by applications from both men and women eager to experience the adventure and mobility the new flying job offered. Church became responsible for directing and determining standards for the new job. In the station manager's absence, she supervised food service, bought equipment and handled the passengers in and out of Cheyenne, Wyo. Thus, Church pioneered another first; she was among the first women to work in a management position in the emerging aviation industry.
Flight Attendant Qualifications:
1-Flight attendants are normally trained in the hub or headquarters city of an airline over a period that may run from six weeks to six months, depending on the country and airline. The main focus of training is safety. One flight attendant is required for every 50 passenger seats on board in the United States, but many airlines have chosen to increase that number.
2-Multilingual flight attendants are often in demand to accommodate international travelers. The languages most in demand, other than English, are Mandarin, Cantonese, Japanese, Hindi, French, German, Spanish, Portuguese, Filipino and Italian.
3-Some airlines, have height requirements for purely aesthetic purposes. Other regional carriers have height restrictions because their aircraft have low ceilings. A typical acceptable range is from 5'2" (1.57 m) to 6'0" (1.83 m).
4-Flight attendants are also subject to weight requirements as well. Weight must usually be in proportion to height; persons outside the normal range may not be qualified to act as flight attendants.
Want to become a Flight Attendant and get to Travel around the world?
The following are places where you can get the needed training.
Delta Airline: http://www.flightcourse.info/
Southwest Airlines: :http://www.southwest.com/careers/flight_attendant.html
International Air & Hospitality Academy:
Picture: Duke University Library
Information:About.com, United Airlines,Wikipedia