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At the moment my airline is still in the middle of the recruitment procedure. They’ve opened the vacancy for flight attendants at the beginning of September this year. I thought it might be nice to write a post about the initial course. I am going to get lots of new colleagues next year. So let me tell you what you can expect or what you’re up against. Exactly a year ago I got my letter congratulating me on becoming a flight attendant. I was so happy. Exactly nine months ago I started with my initial course. The past nine months have flown by.
What is an initial course? The initial course is the name for the four weeks course you have to attend before the airline lets you loose in the airline world. It’s four weeks of flight safety, service, observation flights and training flights. This also means four weeks of studying.
Before I started the initial course I did expect it to be a lot of information. So I was actually prepared for the worst. Also, I thought it would be difficult sitting in a classroom again for a straight day all week long. The last time I did that was six years ago 😉 But in the end, it was not that bad. Yes, you have to study a lot and there is a lot of information to digest. But it wasn’t that bad as I expected. Luckily.
During the course, you’ll be instructed on all flight safety procedures on board. Our main responsibility is flight safety. The service on board comes next. You have to know all the normal and abnormal procedures by heart. During the initial course, you will get to know this step by step. All this knowledge is tested every couple of days with an exam. The fun part about flight safety is when you get to practise in the swimming pool or in the simulator.
Besides flight safety, you will also be prepared on the service on board. In my case, we have different types of services depending on the duration of the flight. You’ll also be informed on how to wear your uniform. What is mandatory and what is not allowed. For me, it is mandatory to always wear lipstick and mascara when wearing my uniform.
My advice on how to survive your initial course? Tell your family and friends that you’re off the radar for those four weeks. Be prepared to read the material you’ve discussed in class every single night. This is the best way to keep up with everything. You’re also preventing yourself from having to learn everything at once in the end.
Every Friday evening I would get out and have a drink or do something else. It’s weekend and you need the weekend to relax and sleep. Get your mind off procedures and safety equipment. Because the rest of the weekend you’ll probably be studying again.