Irrespective of the job experience at KLM, the cabin crew’s periodic training is always challenging.

KLM Training Facility at AMS-1
Photo: KLM

The members of the flight crew go through extensive training in different areas of flight. Whether it is flight operability, safety, or first-aid training, all flying crew (pilots and cabin crew) must pass the necessary training. Additionally, periodic training is required to keep their licenses valid for flying.

The KLM Royal Dutch Airlines crew members are no exception regarding periodic training. Simple Flying had the opportunity to obtain insight into the extensive training cabin crew goes through every year to continue to fly. While periodic training is relatively short, the complexity is the same as the initial training.

Training facility

KLM offers a variety of training facilities in its Training Center at Amsterdam Schiphol Airport (AMS) in the Netherlands. The facility houses nine Full Flight EASA Level D Simulators, a full-motion Cabin Emergency Evacuation Trainer, a Fire Training Unit, and specialized Flight Safety equipment.

KLM Flight Simulators at AMS

Photo: KLM

Initial training

Initial training of the crew members starts in this facility after the recruitment process is concluded. A typical cabin crew position requires a high school diploma, good command over English and another language (e.g., Spanish or German), and preferably having experience in the hospitality business (Hotel Management, Nursing, Restaurant, etc.).

Crew members undergo two months of extensive training; each training module takes anywhere between a day and a week. Trainees must take exams daily, covering what was learned a day prior. The trainees must pass daily exams with an 80% score and a comprehensive exam (theory or practical) at the end.

Periodic training

Every year KLM cabin crew must take (and pass) a two-day training to continue to fly with the airline. The first training day is online, through KLM’s e-learning center.

KLM Crew Training Center at AMS

Photo: KLM

The training includes all aspects of flight, from understanding the aircraft type to the steps involved in performing CPR; trainees must know it all. At the end of the first-day session, trainees are given a 1-hour exam. Simple Flying interviewed a Senior Purser at KLM; the interviewee stated,

“I took my yearly training last week. The exam includes 25 general questions and ten questions about the type of aircraft we fly. For example, I fly on Boeing 777s and the Airbus A330s, so I get ten questions for each aircraft type. We must pass the exam with at least an 80% Score. I have been a flight attendant with KLM for 35 years, but these training exams are always challenging.” – Senior Purser, KLM

The second training day includes hands-on activities that trainees must perform and pass. The trainees go through evacuation mock-up exercises, including jumping off the slides, fire extinguisher mock-up, cabin service exercise, and first-aid activities. According to a part-time flight attendant at KLM,

“Evacuation mock-up is the most challenging exercise during training. Since it is not done during routine flights, we must remember and perform all the steps in a limited time. We jump off emergency slides in the pool while assisting mock passengers. It is a tiring exercise, but our work is gratifying.” – Flight Crew, KLM

Training evaluators keep a rigorous check when performing all steps of the exercise. While there is no quantifiable score for the practical exam, all trainees must pass the practice test within acceptable criteria set by the evaluators. At the end of successful training, the cabin crew is cleared to fly for another 12 months from the day of their certification.

What do you think about the periodic training of KLM’s cabin crew? Tell us in the comments section.

  • KLM Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner PH-BHP (2)


    IATA/ICAO Code:

    Airline Type:
    Full Service Carrier

    Amsterdam Schiphol Airport

    Year Founded:


    Airline Group:
    Air France-KLM

    Marjan Rintel



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