By: Nicole Beaulieu, Eaton College
Have you ever thought of adding a few flight attendant preparation courses to your hospitality or tourism programs? These are hot, hot, hot! A flight attendant career is perceived as being glamorous and students, of all ages, will often say they have always dreamed of being a flight attendant. Although it is true that airlines do their own training and that there is no diploma officially recognized by airlines, experience has shown that candidates with prior knowledge have an edge over other candidates.
Here are some of the considerations to help you make a decision: curriculum, equipment, program structure, and support. The following will provide you with some tips on upgrading your programs with a few new and popular courses.
A complete curriculum for a flight attendant preparation program is hard to come by. Textbooks are scarce and do not lend themselves wells to an educational program. This is likely why schools that have developed such curriculum tend to guard it preciously. It is undoubtedly an investment in time and resources. Nevertheless, it may be an effort well worth making. Nowadays it is possible to find practically anything on the internet, if not a well-developed curriculum, at least an idea of what needs to be covered and suggestions of how to do it. Topics range from Aviation Terminology to Emergency and Evacuation Procedures, to On-board Public Announcements. An experienced flight attendant may be able to make recommendations and write the curriculum. As far as equipment and props, this is where the “airplane graveyard” may be quite useful.
Yes, there is such a place as an airplane graveyard. In the United States one of them is the 309th Aerospace Maintenance and Regeneration Group outside of Tucson. This would be a great exploratory trip for any aircraft enthusiast – perhaps even a new type of tourism? – and certainly a good place to start finding pieces to create a mock cabin. EBay could obviously be another source for materials and equipment. A quick search reveals life jackets, masks and other on board equipment for sale.
Given interested prospective students waiting to enroll, curriculum development ideas, leads of where to acquire equipment and materials, the next stage to consider is the possibility to incorporate such courses in the current program curriculum at your institution. Each institution proceeds differently and a program review is possibly the opportune time to make such recommendations. As some institutions may need to boost enrollments adding a few flight attendant courses may be just what is needed to refresh a program and make it more attractive. Here are a few more benefits of incorporating such courses:
· Complementary content to both tourism and hospitality courses
· Transferable skills: polished customer service, safety and security
· Closer ties with airports and airlines
Feeling motivated but not knowing where and how to start? Consider turning to your ISTTE network for help, support, experience, and knowledge. Become a member, contact other members, get more tips and you are well on your way to developing your own courses.