• veronicapaini

Ready for take–off? Not so fast.. Welcome to Flight Attendant Academy.

If it really was just a coke and a smile, I think EVERYONE and their grandmother- would become a flight attendant. I mean, travel the world... For free ??!!


But believe me, behind every smile, red lip and up-do, there’s thick, tough skin. One like no other. One I didn’t know existed for myself- until I went to flight attendant school.


To become a flight attendant, you need to graduate with flying colors. It’s expected you pass every exam, assessment, evaluation and drill. Complete all readings and assignments, NEVER be late and always early. Maintain a polished image – whether at 5am or 10:00pm. Smile- until your mouth hurts and always be ready to adapt.  


Now, this isn’t just for a week or two... most flight attendant trainings go for

6-8 weeks...Monday through SATURDAY

(I know, I cried every Friday night).

But it’s well worth it. Every sweat, tear, and blood shed preps you for everything and anything this business throws at you.



To sum it up quickly, my RESPECT and appreciation for this industry has skyrocketed.

From pilots and flight attendants, to gate agents, aviation technicians, air traffic control, security, customer service, and catering- my hats go off to all of you.


Because who would have thought- there’s nonstop HUSTLE beyond getting you from one point of the world to the next.

It’s a full-on production, not one day the same.



And boy did I just sign up for the wild card.




However, before you even GET to training you must undergo a rigorous application/ interview process, which sometimes can take months.



And if you made it thus far– they’ll fly you out for a face-to-face interview.

Well, yay for me. I made it and passed my Italian language assessments.

(I’m a speaker wooho!)






So, ready-for take-off? Yeah right.


More like: “Welcome to the most mentally, physically, emotionally, and scholarly months of your LIFE.” 


Forget finals week, hell week, or whatever you’ve experienced in the past. This is a WHOLE NEW LEVEL of madness.


But there’s a method.. to the madness. Of course.



Through training, your character is tested. Your perseverance, attitude, and ability to adapt. The work load is uncompromising and the expectations are held high. Sometimes class ends at midnight.. and sometimes it begins at 0500.

You're hit with back-to-back exams and proficiency tests later that day. Memorizing locations of supplemental oxygen, mastering steps of an unplanned evacuations, identifying possible hazardous material, and even knowing where the ELTS are located on all aircrafts. We reenacted any unforeseen circumstance and evaluated each other’s performance as we hammered our drills to perfection.



Any ounce of free time was spent reading, studying, completing diagrams and homework. I couldn’t remember the feeling of a “friyay” or “yayweekend”


They train you hard, but they train you well.


Day1 – our instructors said one word. ‘GRIT.’ Again, if it were easy, everyone would do it.





Unfortunately, throughout the process, you lose fellow classmates… some comrades can't keep up with the rigorous curriculum and failing exams will get you sent you home.


Yet as the weeks went by, we got stronger. Credit was due to our outstanding instructors who guided us along the way. Their patience was timeless even though they probably wanted to pull their hair out every time one of us asked, “ Well, what if….”

And trust me, the number of crazy scenarios I came up with in my head... I could write a novel titled “A Series of Unfortunate Events.”

So here’s a tip – just follow standard operational procedures. It’ll save you a lot of stress. Trust me.


But one things for sure- Hard work pays off.



Walking across that stage, on graduation day, ready to recieve your wings- is one of the best feelings in the world.



Now, I’m ready for take-off.

See you in the great skies.

xx

TheModernPilgrim


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