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Air Hostess

Be an Air Hostess 2pm Delhi, 6pm Mumbai, 10pm Calcutta… If this is what you’d fancy your jet-setting travel schedule to be, plus you’d like to get paid for it, then the airlines may be just the kind of job that ur looking for.

You must be A 12th standard pass, but a Bachelors degree is preferable,between 19-27 years with a minimum height of 5’3 for girls and 5’7 for boys and not more than 6’0. While it is a popular career choice for girls, boys can also work as pursers which requirers which requiruage to know). If selected you will be on training for 2 months in which time you learn about service, grooming, safety and first aid, after which you are initially put on 10 trainee flights.

The working hours depend on the sector you are allotted, which means that you may have to work night shifts at times. The max number of work hours per week generally does not extend to more than 30hrs. The entry level salary in domestic airlines is in the range of Rs 12,000 and can go to a max of Rs 20,000. International airlines pay packet may be anywhere between Rs 20,000 to Rs 40,000. That’s not too bad whether you’re fresher or someone with work experience. Airlines usually require that air-hostesses sign a bond of 3-5 yrs.

Career Prospects
One can move into other areas such as Ground hostess, Catering and Quality Control. One could also move up the ladder in 2 years and get into management as well as training of airhostesses. Airlines looking for you Jet Airways is known to recruit frequently and most freshers have landed a job with them and then moved on to other domestic or International airlines, like Singapore Airlines. International airlines which have regular flights from India recruit Indian hostesses & stewards, tho they often prefer to take those with experience on the domestic sector.

Middle East, Gulf Air, Emirates etc take many Indian girls but it is said that passengers, many of whom are not very well educated, can be difficult to handle. Cathay Pacific was a major recruiter before the Asian financial crisis forced the company to downsize its operations. Air India/ Indian Airlines being a government organisation has permanent employees on the roster who never seem to retire (air hostesses fly till they’re 55!) and sizeable SC/ST reservation. So chances of joining are right now somewhat dim. Ads for recruitment normally appear in all major publications, so keep a lookout!
– Clyde D’Souza

BLACK BOX
The perks Besides the excellent pay packet, you can enjoy free tickets for yourself and immediate family members. On international flights you can expect to do a fair bit of sightseeing and shopping. Socialite Parmeshwar Godrej used to be an airhostess where she met her husband, so who knows, you may just get lucky.

THE DOWN SIDE
While most girls are lured by the glamour factor, remember the job demands a lot of hard work and odd working hours which may affect your social/ family life. Frequent travelling and jet lag sometimes take their toll on health. However most airlines shift you to a ground job by the time you’re 35. Even tho statistics say a person is more likely to die in a car accident than in an air crash, the element of risk is always there.

You could be faced with an emergency situation like a hijack. Neerja Bhanot, an air hostess on board the ill fated Panam flight hijacked at Karachi airport in 1986 lost her life, even as she saved countless passengers on board with her extraordinary courage and presence of mind. She was posthumously awarded the Ashok Chakra, India’s highest civilian award for bravery. Experienced air-hostesses complain of getting bored doing the same job day after day and say that you must have high levels of energy. If you feel that you can handle the stress, possess a lot of patience to deal with annoying passengers (at times) and love meeting people then happy flying.

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