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How to Become a Southwest Airlines Flight Attendant
Becoming a flight attendant at Southwest Airlines requires few prerequisites, but quite a bit of training. While there are no height or weight requirements, Southwest Airlines has an unconventional company atmosphere, so their screening process is designed to ensure that you will fit in and provide a great traveling experience to their customers.
A high school diploma is the only educational requirement for you to apply as a flight attendant for Southwest Airlines. However, as you will assist customers, you must interact well with people. Flight attendants help customers board and disembark, address any concerns they have and serve refreshments. You must have effective communication skills to relay messages to the flight crew and make any necessary announcements; you will also do a brief safety demonstration on each flight, so you must be able to speak confidently in front of a crowd. There is no requirement to be bilingual, but it may give you an advantage over other applicants.
How to Apply
Southwest Airlines lists job openings on their website, with flight attendants listed under Inflight. The airline does not hire flight attendants very often; however, you can create a profile and upload your resume to be put in a general pool for a recruiter to call you when a flight attendant position becomes open, though you may also be contacted for other positions you qualify for. Alternatively, sign up to get automatic email alerts when a flight attendant position comes open, at which point you can return to your account to apply for that position specifically.
If your application is accepted, you will take part in a screening process to determine if you are a good fit for Southwest Airlines. Your first interview will typically be a group interview that allows the interviewers to see a bit of your personality and determine how you interact with others. Southwest Airlines focuses on personality -- they want funny, outgoing people, and their screening process includes questions to gauge your sense of humor. The ability to think quickly and make others laugh will benefit you during this process. If you make it to the next round, you will have an individual interview to determine if you fit in with the company. During this process you will also be subject to a drug test and background check.
If you are accepted as a flight attendant, you will undergo an intensive five-week, paid training course taught by veteran flight attendants. Trainees spend eight hours a day, five days a week learning how to respond to any circumstances while in flight. Medical training, including CPR and defibrillator training, are included in case medical emergencies arise on a flight. You will also spend time in a flight simulator learning how to respond to a variety of emergency situations, including learning how to open doors that have been locked, apply oxygen masks and inflate emergency rafts. This training is mandated by the Federal Aviation Administration, and you must pass the Flight Attendant Certification exam at the end of the training course.
- Southwest Airlines Inflight Opportunities: Flight Attendants
Harlow Keith has been involved in the human resources sector since 1998. He founded a human resources training company and has written several published articles. Harlow became interested in his field at the tender age of 15 while editing his father's resume.