Flight Attendant Prep School

Flight Attendant Prep School

How the Professional Flight Attendant Academy helps you start your career as a flight attendant

Filling out the application

You would be surprised how easy it is to make an error while filling out the application. This simple step in itself is one way the different airlines eliminate some of their future flight attendant candidates. For many of the questions, you must be able to answer yes in order to proceed. What some people don’t expect and are paying attention for, is there is at least one or more questions that must be answered no to actually be a positive, desirable answer to the airline. If you don’t pay attention and you’re not careful, that one error will cost you a six-month delay, up to one year, depending on the airline’s policy for being able to reapply.

 

Video interview preparation

There are plenty of resources available online that are supposed to be useful for helping flight attendant candidates to improve their chances on getting selected. One of the most commonly stated responses to “how should I answer the questions?” that you see is “be yourself!” and “be natural, you got this!” If it were only that easy… If that advice was any good, every single person that applies to work as a flight attendant would be hired, but the truth is, you need to be prepared to answer their questions. We help prepare you to give a natural sounding responses, based upon your work history. They can hear right through a canned, rehearsed answer. It sounds unnatural and it will harm, not help your video interview.

 

Conduct Mock Interviews With You

Again, some of the worst advice you can be given is to be yourself during the face-to-face flight attendant interview. You can be yourself, however it must come with certain decorum and manners. Remember, flight attendants are the face of the airline. They are the most important marketing department and airline has, and they need to know each and every flight attendant can deliver the experience they want their passengers to have when on board the aircraft. In today’s social media world, we have all seen how fast news travels. Speaking of news, how often is it positive? Not that much, really. It’s mostly negative, and the last thing airline wants is someone to create negative news. That’s why the airlines want to be very selective with whom they hire. We help polish you and your interview skills to make you stand out among the other applicants.

 

Flight attendant training preparation

Our course developer, Donald Wecklein, has over 25 year’s experience in aviation, starting out as a flight attendant like you want to, then becoming an instructor, training program developer, and director of in-flight, as well as teaching many other flight attendant training required courses as you see on our website. Additionally, Donald has interviewed, selected, trained, and checked on hundreds of flight attendants over the years working at different airlines around the world. He knows the hardest parts of training where students are likely to struggle with or fail, and has proven and tested methods for making the hardest parts easier to understand and take away the nervousness from the performance drills. All this experience has been brought together in our professional flight attendant academy to prepare you as best as possible and get you through the training and start your dream career!

Join us, you’ll be glad you did!

Safety Information Cards

Safety Information Cards

Safety Information Cards

Safety information cards are found on all commercial aircraft, corporate as well. Information contained on these cards tells passengers about the safety features of the aircraft, location of flotation devices when applicable, the donning of emergency oxygen in the event of decompression, and other important information. Often passengers take for granted that when they board an airplane that they will arrive at their destination safely. Thankfully airline accidents are relatively rare occurrences, however, passengers do need to be ready and knowledgeable how to evacuate an airplane should the need arise.

It is important for passengers to read and review on each flight the safety information card located in the seat pocket in front of them. Some passengers may be frequent flyers and feel they know everything there is to know about the safety demonstration, but the aircraft they frequently fly on may occasionally be different.

Commercial airlines are required to provide one safety information card at each seat location, and have spares on the airplane in the event some disappear, either through aircraft cleaning for safety information card collectors (you shouldn’t be taking the cards off the plane!).

As an operator of an aircraft, there are many regulations you need to know, and there are many that you may not know or understand. This is where our expertise comes in. One example is a question I received about safety information cards on aircraft and their requirement.

“Is there a regulation with regards to the Safety Information Card requirement on board the aircraft? We have some conflicting information regarding the minimum required. Is it 1 per seat or 1 per row/seat grouping?”

My response:
Regarding safety cards being at each seat, in the United States there’s a regulation that requires the certificate holder to have a safety information card located at each exit seat. Keep in mind that your regulations may differ.

§121.585 Exit seating.

The specific paragraph reference: (d) Each certificate holder shall include on passenger information cards, presented in the language in which briefings and oral commands are given by the crew, at each exit seat affected by this section, information that, in the event of an emergency in which a crewmember is not available to assist, a passenger occupying an exit seat may use if called upon to perform the following functions:

However, for all other seats, 121.571 applies, and you’ll find that the requirements for passenger safety information card quantity is rather vague per regulation, as it states below “in convenient use for of each passenger,” not “one per seat.”

§121.571 Briefing passengers before takeoff.
The specific paragraph reference:  (b) Each certificate holder must carry on each passenger-carrying airplane, in convenient locations for use of each passenger, printed cards supplementing the oral briefing. Each card must contain information pertinent only to the type and model of airplane used for that flight, including-
That said, there is another factor to consider – airplanes must be configured in accordance with the LOPA, submitted during certification of the aircraft and/or configuration change. The condition it was in at the time of certification, including emergency equipment, briefing cards, etc, is how an airplane is to be configured for flight, except otherwise excepted by the Minimum Equipment List (MEL).

Keeping that in mind, there is another piece of information I recall, but cannot find at the moment. I am fairly certain at some time, in some FAA Order or Advisory Circular, it mentioned in the event the plane is lacking one safety card per seat, following the requirements of 121.571, a row of three seats could share two cards; a row of four seats could share three cards, or two, depending on circumstance, and place the cards so all passengers in that section of seats could gain access to a safety information card. If really dire, there could be one card per row of three seats, and that card would be stowed in the center seat back pocket.

Although I remember this, I am unable to cite the reference where this came from, or where it can be located. It may have been revised and is no longer applicable.

Portable Oxygen Concentrators

Portable Oxygen Concentrators

Some passengers may wonder whether their portable oxygen concentrator is allowed on board an aircraft. Should you look at the FAA’s website on Portable Oxygen Concentrators (POC), you’ll see that the website hasn’t been updated since October 2015. While the website itself hasn’t been updated, they did update the applicable regulation to POCs.

The applicable regulation, 121.574 Oxygen and portable oxygen concentrators for medical use by passengers, was amended on May 24, 2016. The Federal Register amendment to the final rule can be reviewed in the attachment. Additional information is found in Advisory Circular 120-95A. > https://www.faa.gov/documentLibrary/media/Advisory_Circular/AC_120-95A

The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) currently only permits the use of approved models of portable oxygen concentrators, subject to certain conditions and limitations listed in the regulations. If the POC model was approved for use after May 24, 2016 it will bear a label on the exterior of the device containing the following certification statement in red lettering:

The manufacturer of this POC has determined this device conforms to all applicable FAA acceptance criteria for POC carriage and use on board aircraft.”

This label is likely on the bottom of your POC, depending when it was purchased or approved.

This policy is similar to the one the FAA has regarding Child Restraint Seats “ §121.311 Seats, safety belts, and shoulder harnesses.
(A) Seats manufactured to U.S. standards between January 1, 1981, and February 25, 1985, must bear the label: “This child restraint system conforms to all applicable Federal motor vehicle safety standards.”
(b)(ii)(B) (2) “THIS RESTRAINT IS CERTIFIED FOR USE IN MOTOR VEHICLES AND AIRCRAFT” in red lettering;

The POC itself should have a marking on it, likely the bottom, that indicates it’s usable on aircraft. With the label on it, if approved for use after May 25, 2016, traveling with new POCs not listed on the FAA website shouldn’t be a problem.

Inogen is a very popular POC manufacturer and have a variety of products for different needs. Here is the Inogen description and suggestions for travelers bringing the Inogen One: http://www.inogen.com/resources/traveling-oxygen/faa-guidelines-oxygen-concentrators/

Each airline is required to have adequate policies and procedures to ensure compliance with the Code of Federal Regulations (CFR), as well as Department of Transportation Part 382, Non Discrimination on the Basis of Disability in Air Travel. If after looking at the decal that should be on your POC, depending when it was manufactured or approved, consider calling the airline and ask of there are any travel concerns you need to know about when traveling with your specific POC model. There are minimum power supply requirements you must bring with you, as well as you need to know where to keep all spare batteries, specifically in your carry-on bags, no spares in your checked baggage probable violation of hazmat regulations.

While it would be helpful, perhaps reassuring to travelers, to be able to look at the FAA website and see your specific model listed, my understanding is that the burden of maintaining current information and compliance with federal regulations is upon the airlines themselves. Again, similar to the Child Restraint Labeling rule where a decal indicating compliance with FAA criteria is applied, the FAA final rule states that the POCs that meet the acceptance criteria are either listed in the final rule or labeled. If labeled, and POC manufacturers likely apply the label to all approved devices they make, your POC should be accepted for transportation with you.

When in doubt, call the airline in advance. Don’t find out when you arrive at check-in.

Unruly Passengers Pay The Price

Unruly Passengers Pay The Price

Unruly passengers on board planes, depending on their offence, sometimes receive minimal punishment for their actions, yet the action taken against them is usually proportionate to the offence committed. Depending on the threat level, sometimes flights continue to their destinations, while some situations warrant diverting and removal of the disruptive passenger. For many years, diversion costs were absorbed by the airline, and the costs can go into the tens of thousands. Until now. A judge ruled that a passenger that was so disruptive and caused the captain to turn the plane around to remove the passenger will now be required to pay a fine, presumably the cost of the turnaround and possibly punitive fines, in the amount of 98,000.00 USD! I think it is fair to say that not only will this person forever rethink about their behavior on board a plane, hopefully the message will reach others like this one and make the public realize they will be held accountable for their actions, and they will pay dearly for it should the flight need to divert.

http://www.businessinsider.com/hawaiian-airlines-passenger-must-98000-to-airline-2017-8

Infant life vests and infants on a plane

Infant life vests and infants on a plane

Airlines may sometimes wonder how many infants allowed onboard can they have on any given flight. The answer can be simple, “X many are allowed,” but getting to the answer does require some research and safety risk management decisionmaking.

So, to start, how many infants are allowed on board a commercial airline? Are there any regulations that limit how many are permitted?

To the best of my knowledge, no, there is no regulation that controls or limits the number of infants permitted on an aircraft, however, there are factors that do directly affect the number of infants allowed on board a plane.

Oxygen masks in the overhead Passenger Service Unit (PSU) do limit the number of persons in that seat row.

Most often, but not always (it is aircraft specific), there is one spare mask in each row; a group of 2 seats has 3 oxygen masks, a group of 3 seats has 4 oxygen masks, etc. The number of oxygen masks in the PSU restricts the number of occupants in that seat row, but not the number of infants.

– In a row of 3 seats, there could be one parent with two infants in Child Restraint Seats (CRS) and one lap child, totaling 4 persons in the row. With 4 oxygen masks available, this situation is permissible. This can be repeated in every row on board the plane.
– For thought, would it be safe to allow one adult to travel on a plane in a row of 4 seats with three infants in CRSs and one on the lap? Technically it’s acceptable, however there are risks involved; “what if…”  an emergency occurs, such as a decompression or an emergency landing. Could the safety of all infants be maintained by one person responsible for all infants?  While this scenario is far-fetched, it illustrates the decisionmaking that can go into deciding what’s permissible and what’s not. Such a decision is left to each individual airline to decide what limits to safety it’s willing to accept in its operation.

What about infant life vests? Are airlines required to provide infants life vests specifically designed for them?

To answer this question, according to the CFRs in the United States, you must reference applicable regulations to make that determination.

If the plane is going to conduct an extended overwater flight, regulations require that there has to be one life preserver for each person on board the plane
14 CFR 121.339 Emergency equipment for extended over-water operations
(a) (1) A life preserver equipped with an approved survivor locator light, for each occupant of the airplane.

14 CFR 121.340 Emergency Flotation means.
(a) Except as provided in paragraph (b) of this section, no person may operate an airplane in any overwater operation unless it is equipped with life preservers in accordance with §121.339(a)(1) or with an approved flotation means for each occupant. This means must be within easy reach of each    seated occupant and must be readily removable from the airplane.
– Note the words used is “each occupant.” It does not explicitly state infant.  Infant life vests are best for infants, but not explicitly required.
– See InFO 07013 Flotation Equipment for InLap Children (Revised)    http://www.faa.gov/other_visit/aviation_industry/airline_operators/airline_safety/info/all_infos/media/2007/info07013.pdf

The number of spare life vests does matter.

Here are a examples of limitations, regulatory and policy
– If a plane has 200 seats and 15 spare life vests, the plane is limited to 215 passengers, including infants. (I won’t get into seating arrangements)
– With all seats filled, and there are 16 infant lap children on board, one person, someone, has to get off the plane to limit the number of occupants to 215. The plane cannot be operated with more persons on board than life preservers available per 121.339. Either one person is denied transportation, or a parent with an infant (2 persons) is denied transportation.
– There are other decisions that can affect an airline’s policy with regard to infants on board; some airlines may restrict the number of infants on a flight to the number of infant life vests available on board the aircraft even though they may have additional adult life vests available which would meet the regulatory requirements of flotation means for each occupant. That would be an airline’s policy, not regulation.

As you can see, it sounds like a simple question, and to a degree it is, but there are factors that must be considered when airlines decide how many infants are permitted on board.

Links within the article:

121.339:  https://www.ecfr.gov/cgi-bin/text-idx?SID=4f809cc8cec29fbb9cf4bbe557781175&mc=true&node=se14.3.121_1339&rgn=div8

121.340:  https://www.ecfr.gov/cgi-bin/retrieveECFR?gp=&SID=d5b691520e3e7535c6a47f930148fd4e&mc=true&r=SECTION&n=se14.3.121_1340

Emergency Oxygen System

Emergency Oxygen System

Emergency oxygen system, the flight attendant, and the passenger safety demonstration.

On April 17, 2018, Southwest Airlines Flight 1380, despite flight attendants performing the pre-departure passenger safety demonstration, it was evident passengers did not pay attention based upon the emergency, a decompression, they would experience later in the flight. They experienced a rapid decompression during cruise flight flying from LaGuardia to Dallas, diverting to Philadelphia. A passenger seated next to the damaged window was pulled partially out of the airplane. Thankfully, there were passengers next to her that attempted to save her and bring her back in. Unfortunately, the female passenger passed away despite efforts to save her.

What happened was an outlier of an event, aircraft engines are designed to contain engine failure, but something went wrong which caused shrapnel to fly out of the engine and strike the aircraft, a piece of it striking the window, causing it to shatter and initiate the decompression. Flight attendants receive training on decompressions, and although they are very rare, they can and do happen. Considering it was a window that flew open and not a section of the fuselage, experienced a rapid decompression where loose objects throughout the cabin may fly towards the opening, however it does have a direct impact on the person seated next to the damaged window, which is to attempt to pull the person out. All details regarding what happened are not available yet, so to say anything early would be only speculation. What can be said is that flight attendants do need to know and understand their emergency procedures in the event something like this happens. All that we do know is that the flight attendants, flight crew, and the passengers who tried to help save the now deceased woman all did their very best considering the circumstances. The crewmembers did exactly as they were trained to do in an emergency, and for that, kudos to the crew.

Photos from the event also revealed that passengers do not pay careful attention to the safety briefing.