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What can I do get my foot in the door?
Some job candidates have had difficulty in mastering the challenging interview process for the job of flight attendant. They have attended many interviews for various airlines, sometimes waiting for a year before they re-interview, only to be rejected again. But there is a way to get in the door the "back way". Entry-level positions enable employees to get a handle on what goes on in the industry and learn what makes an airline operate smoothly from the bottom up.
One very good way to enter the industry is through a customer service position. Other than the flight attendant, customer service agents or CSAs have the most contact with passengers. When passengers enter the airport, the first airline personnel they deal with are usually the CSAs, who are responsible for issuing tickets, boarding passes, checking luggage and boarding flights. It is of utmost importance that CSAs have good judgment, patience, a sense of humor and good customer service skills. There are often irate or otherwise difficult customers and CSAs must be able to work well in high paced and stressful conditions, as customers can often be difficult and irate. This position transfers well into an inflight position due to the heavy customer service skills required.
The reservations department can also be a good area to begin an aviation career. Reservations agents make airline reservations over the phone and handle credit cards and other forms of payment. Agents must learn all the city codes an airline uses as well as the aircraft boarding and safety regulations. Handling difficult callers with good customer service skills is part and parcel of the reservations agent job, and effective communication is of utmost importance. Reservations is an excellent field for learning all about an airline before you enter the inflight workforce.
For those who prefer a physical challenge, a ramp agent position is a good consideration. Ramp agents load baggage and cargo onto the airplane, handle fueling and servicing the lavatories. Other duties might include transporting aircraft supplies and cleaning the interior of the aircraft. This position is a good place to get hands-on experience with an airline.
Some airlines employ people specifically for cleaning and stocking the aircraft. These people perform such duties as vacuuming the carpet, picking up litter, cleaning the lavatories and straightening up the cabin. Some of these people perform provisioning duties as well, which include stocking beverages, paper supplies, utensils and condiments on the aircraft. This is also a good place to get a feel of what it is like to work for an airline.
Some other areas that are good starting places with airlines include clerical or office positions. If an airline has a home base in your city, there are often office jobs in many areas including crew services, human resources, purchasing, cargo shipping, accounts payable and finance, customer relations, pass bureau & crew scheduling. But even if you are not in an airline's home base, station managers and other departments at the airport use secretaries and other clerical help.
Some airlines have people who perform passenger service duties. This includes providing assistance to customers and supporting the ticket counter functions. These employees need to possess knowledge for assisting passengers with travel documents, baggage guidelines and general travel information.
No matter which entry path you choose, once you have successfully worked in one of these positions and have remained for a period of time determined by the airline, it is easy to make vertical and horizontal moves within the company. Airlines regard all their employees as necessary components of the team. It is the desire of most airlines to keep employees content, so transferring is a frequent activity and airline managers welcome promotion. If you have the desire to become a flight attendant but have not been able to break into the industry thus far, try another avenue to give you the experience you need, and you will find the way to your goal.
Source Credit: Airlinecareer.com
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