#BeAnAwesome: Flight Attendant

Juliana Jimis advises students, 'as you begin to explore this career you need to identify your interests and passions. If you have plenty of initiative to learn new things, you can fly very high.' Jimis can be contacted at juliana@kbu.edu.my.
Juliana Jimis
Course Co-ordinator for the Hospitality and Tourism Department at KBU International College

What Will I Do?

Basically, a flight attendant is responsible for the safety and comfort of the passengers under his or her watch.

Among the duties of a flight attendant are:

  • Safety: double-check onboard safety equipment, be alert at all times, especially during night flights;  perform safety demonstrations, secure and cabin doors and stow equipment properly, and operate emergency equipment in case of emergency

  • Passenger service: assist with the loading of carry-on baggage, serve meals, provide ongoing assistance to passengers, especially anyone with special needs or young passengers travelling alone

  • Security: monitor the cabin during boarding, in flight and after disembarkation to ensure minimal  disruptions, and handle situations such as illness, small injuries, and intoxicated, aggressive or anxious passengers

  • Management and organisation: ensure meals and supplies are on board, and stay abreast of the roles of each crew member, and other related flight information such as flight time, aircraft type, number of passengers and crew-specific duties.

Is It for Me?

As an aircrew member, you will work and live in an environment that differs from land-based employment, experiencing the world of travel and meeting passengers from all over the world.

To become a flight attendant, you must be competent, people-oriented, physically fit and have an easy-going personality. You must be ready to cope with factors such as time differences and work scheduled at odd hours, ie early mornings, holidays and weekends. It also requires good discipline and good health.

It can be an exhausting and disorienting sometimes when you have to be away from family for certain period of time.

Combined with the irregular flight time, sleep and meal times, cabin crew typically have irregular sleep pattern and meals.

Here are some ideal qualities for this role:

  • adaptable
  • organised
  • disciplined
  • warm personality with sense of humour
  • approachable
  • good listening skills
  • ability to control crowds and remain calm in emergency situations.

How Much Will I Earn?

Most airlines offer a competitive wage and lucrative benefits package that include:

  1. Basic salary and meal allowances (depending on the airline)
  2. Great deal of vacation days besides annual leave
  3. Heavily discounted or free airline tickets for yourself and immediate family
  4. Health benefits ie dental, life insurance, retirement plan etc.


Anyone can apply for a flight attendant job without prior airline experience or special training depending on the airline. However, a growing number of airlines recognise the strategic importance of the 'hospitality element', and turn to students who have some travel/tourism/hospitality education or background in dealing with the public for a particular combination of skills and knowledge.

While SPM is the minimum requirement for those who want to work as flight attendants, candidates who have taken some travel/hospitality/tourism related courses may have the best chance of getting hired. Many major international airlines prefer candidates who speak fluent English and at least two major foreign languages.