Subject Material

Working as a Flight Attendant

Published: 28.02.2013, Updated: 05.03.2017
Flight attendant

Flight attendants are also known as cabin crew and are employed to look after passengers on an aircraft.

From your own experience, what does a flight attendant’s job consist of?
What kind of training do you think they require?



crew, long/short haul, destination, turbulence, roster




Two Australian flight attendants are being interviewed about their jobs.

Flight Attendants


Based on the information in the interview, make questions for the answers below. Only check the suggested solution after you have completed your own questions.

  1. Qantas
  2. Positive and negative sides to it
  3. Cleaning up mess
  4. Travelling the world
  5. Time changes
  6. 17 hours
  7. The whole crew has to agree.
  8. A two month roster which they get two weeks in advance
  9. Inland Australia and international routes mostly from Melbourne, Sydney and Brisbane
  10. Los Angeles, San Francisco, Hawaii, and Hong Kong, for example
  11. Not really, mostly just turbulence
  12. A tyre burst
  13. Regular practices and every six months they have to pass an exam


Suggested solution
  1. Which airline do they work for?
  2. What do they feel about their job?
  3. What is one of the negative aspects of the job?
  4. What is one of the positive aspects of the job?
  5. Is there anything that they find particularly difficult about the job?
  6. How long can they fly in one go?
  7. What are the rules if they are asked to work longer?
  8. What is their work schedule like?
  9. Where does Qantas fly?
  10. What are some of the destinations which they fly to?
  11. Have they experienced any scary episodes?
  12. What happened to one of the women a couple of weeks ago?
  13. What kind of safety training do they have?





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Find Out

  1. Check out the map, Qantas, and find out where Qantas/Qantas Link flies to. Find examples in a) Asia, b) Europe (may require a stopover) and c) North America that you can fly to from:
    • Sydney
    • Brisbane
    • Perth
  2. At Qantas Careers - Flight Attendants choose either international, domestic or regional flights and make notes on the essential requirements needed to become a flight attendant.
  3. Sit in pairs and tell your partner what you have found out. What would you say was the most important skill required to become a flight attendant?

Time Changes

  1. The two flight attendants fly to destinations all over the world. Use the World Clock to find the time at this moment in the following cities:
    • Sydney, New South Wales
    • Perth, Western Australia
    • Los Angeles, California
    • London, UK
    • Hong Kong
    • Honolulu, Hawaii
  2. Copy the table into your text editor. Then use the Time Zone Convertor at World Clock to calculate the arrival times for the following flights (assume the flights depart today):
Depart FromToFlight Time
 Arrival Time
Sydney, Aus. at 08:00Brisbane, Australia2 hours 
Brisbane at 12:00Hong Kong8 hours 
Hong Kong at 08:15Amsterdam, Netherlands12 hours 
Amsterdam at 12:30Oslo, Norway2 hours 
Oslo at 15:35London, UK2 hours 
London at 21:50New York, USA7 hours 
New York at 11:10San Francisco, USA7 hours 
San Francisco at 18:00Honolulu, Hawaii, USA
5 hours 
Honolulu at 06:45Melbourne, Australia11 hours 



Arrival at:

  • Brisbane 09:00
  • Hong Kong 18:00
  • Amsterdam 13:15
  • Oslo 14:30
  • London 16:35
  • New York 23:50
  • San Francisco 15:10
  • Honolulu 16:00
  • Melbourne 14:45 the following day




Dialogue Practice

In pairs: One of you is a flight attendant and the other is a passenger. Make dialogues where:

  1. The passenger is polite and pleasant.
  2. The passenger is angry and impatient.

The passenger should:

  • Complain about the food
  • Buy something from the taxfree trolley
  • Ask for something to drink
  • Ask to move to another seat, because the passenger beside him/her is ..........