Despite turbulence in air travel this summer, widespread hiring continues for flight attendants
For many Canadians traveling by air this summer, navigating chaotic airports, airline cancellations and delays is daunting, but for flight attendants, it’s their daily work reality.
Part of their job these days is to hear about these issues from passengers.
“They’re on the plane with the passengers, so it’s a captive audience. And people want to let off steam…people want to ask about their relationships, their baggage, their pets downstairs,” he said. said Wesley Lesosky, CUPE component president. representing the flight attendants of Air Canada and Air Canada Rouge.
“It’s all going to be on the stewardess because she’s the only person there.”
Despite all the in-flight confrontations — whether it’s recent airline issues or COVID-19 regulations like masking — some in the industry say the job still has appeal and it still gets a lot of feedback. ‘interest.
“Incredible growth” in hiring
This weekend, Emirates is hosting a cabin crew open day in Toronto to attract new employees.
“Emirates, the world’s largest international airline, is seeking candidates to join its multinational cabin crew team,” the company’s press release said.
“The airline is looking for people who are passionate about providing a simple but personalized and impeccable welcome while creating memorable moments for its customers.”
Lesosky says Air Canada has seen “incredible growth” in hiring despite the new challenges of being a flight attendant.
“It comes with a lot more challenges,” Lesosky acknowledged. But “there are always the benefits of travel. There are always great benefits.”
Christina Ling, who runs a training school called the Flight Attendant Institute, agrees interest in the job isn’t waning.
“Despite the circumstances currently unfolding in the world of aviation, there is no shortage of people who want to pursue this career,” she said.
“Because it’s so unique and there’s just this mystique about it and the allure of travel.”
Ling says the sustained interest is largely due to the increased number of jobs available.
“There are so many open cabin calls…jobs are available, and there is no shortage of people wanting to apply for this career.”
Regarding the challenges created by COVID-19 — coupled with recent frequent delays and cancellations — Ling says she has adapted her flight attendant training to better prepare students for what they will face.
“A lot of the challenges flight attendants are facing right now are people not wanting to wear their masks,” she said.
“Hopefully my training will help them deal with that and any kind of scenarios that might come up in flight.”
Ling, a former flight attendant from a family of airline workers, says what makes the current climate difficult is how little control flight attendants have over the issues passengers face. are faced.
“We don’t make the rules. We have to follow the rules set by the airlines,” she said.
She says COVID-19 is still creating staffing issues, as airlines require a minimum crew-to-passenger ratio.
“It’s very frustrating for airline crews as we want to provide the best possible service given the circumstances of what is being presented to us at the moment.”
Another challenge, according to Lesosky, is salary. He says a first-year salary for a flight attendant is still around $26,000 a year. He says that since many Canadian flight attendants are based in Toronto or Vancouver, where the cost of living is skyrocketing, that’s not enough.
“It might have been a better salary years ago, but it’s not really keeping up with things anymore,” Lesosky said.
“I see it as a challenge when new recruits come on board.”