It takes a very certain type of person to become cabin crew and not everyone has the qualities needed to pursue the role or make it a long-term career. What qualities are essential to becoming cabin crew?

10/10 Personal presentation

Cabin crew represent their airline and high standards of personal appearance are extremely important. Grooming guidelines are very strict and are enforced even down to lipstick color or the size of the heel of a shoe. They are the face of the company and the ambassador for the airline, so must always look the part in their uniform.

9/10 Adaptability

Every day at work is different for cabin crew. There are different passengers and destinations, the working hours are always changing, and often you are working with colleagues that you’ve never met. Being adaptable is essential, as anything can happen on a flight at any time.

8/10 Calmness

Flights can be very diverse, and you never can prepare properly for an emergency, medical situation, or disruptive passenger. Being calm in stressful situations is very important and the ability to think on your feet and let your training kick in.

Swiss cabin crew

Photo: SWISS

7/10 Punctuality

Flights won’t wait for cabin crew if they are late, and delays can cause the airline to lose thousands of dollars. Not being punctual could lose you your job, it is a fact. Hence, cabin crew are usually well-prepared and early in order not to have a stressed briefing or flight.

6/10 Emotional intelligence

In general, most crew members are very aware of their emotions and of those around them, be it passengers or crew. They can sense if a crew member is not feeling right or a passenger is about to get angry. This is useful for diffusing any intense situations that may occur onboard the aircraft. It is also helpful when such close teamwork is required, and you may be working with people you don’t know.

5/10 Committed

Cabin crew are very committed to their work as it involves following strict procedures and regulations and every flight should be a successful one. The lifestyle also is something that crew commit to, as we sometimes have to move countries for our work and miss family events due to schedules, and it can affect friendships, relationships and family life, in general.

Air Baltic cabin crew

Photo: airBaltic

4/10 Patient

In general, cabin crew are extremely patient people. They deal with the unexpected on a daily basis and often have to adapt to changes in schedule, flight delays and being called out on standby. Dealing with passengers who are sometimes anxious, stressed or just plain angry requires a lot of patience.

3/10 Situationally aware

The nature of working onboard an aircraft in a safety-critical environment requires cabin crew to be very conscious of what is going on around them. This can be something they see, hear or feel that, in a normal work environment, would not be necessary. It could be as simple as an unusual noise not heard before or something said by a passenger but could be something that could affect safety on the aircraft.

2/10 Teamwork

Teamwork is very important. Cabin crew need to work well together on the aircraft for efficient, on-time service. More importantly, all emergency procedures are based on teamwork and assigned roles, for example, dealing with a medical emergency, putting out a fire onboard, or evacuating the aircraft, all depend on our role within the team.

1/10 Communication

Communication is the key factor for cabin crew on any flight. They must all communicate well with each other and the flight crew, to ensure that the flight works efficiently and safely. In aviation, this is part of crew resource management and essential for safety.


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