Initial Cabin Crew Training Course

Many people in South Africa dream of becoming a cabin crew member.

The position of a cabin crew member is a very responsible one and yet very glamorous at the same time. The primary responsibility of a cabin crew member is the safety of passengers and fellow crew members.

What Does the Job Entail?

The career of a cabin crew member demands long hours. As crew you will be required to sign on for your flight one hour prior to departing. This may be very early in the morning or late afternoon all depending on your destination.

As crew it is your responsibility to make sure that all emergency equipment (used in the event of an emergency) is on board the aircraft and in good working order.

During your flight, you will be required to take care of any passenger needs, such as serving beverages and meals, giving passengers blankets, etc.

There are many facets to the career of a Cabin Crew Member such as dealing with on board emergencies (medical emergencies, fires on board, etc), safety procedures that should be followed and using emergency equipment.

Flitedux trains the aspiring cabin crew member on all of the necessary modules and practical drills required in order to become a licensed cabin crew member.

A Typical Day in the Life of a Cabin Crew Member

Your flight departs at 07:30 to Cape Town.

You must be ready to start your pre-flight briefing one hour before departure; this would be 06:30 – this means going to bed early the night before, and presuming you live 30 minutes from Operations, leaving from home to work at 06:45. This will allow 15 minutes before briefing begins to check your mailbox, sign on, read your memos / briefing notices, and check your roster.

During your pre-flight briefing you will be asked questions or encouraged to discuss a scenario relating to Safety & Emergency Procedures and Aviation Medicine. You will be assigned a working position and you will be briefed on all that you need to know about the flight that day.

Once on board, the crew will stow their cabin baggage and check that all the emergency equipment is on board, correctly stowed and in date. A thorough security check will also be conducted.

Cabin crew will ensure that the cabin is up to standard for boarding passengers and catering will be checked to ensure that there are sufficient quantities for the services to be performed during the course of the flight.

When the aircraft has been prepared, the passengers will be called for from the terminal. Once they have been greeted, seated and a head count confirms the number of passengers on board, the doors will be closed and the safety demonstration will begin.

Before you can sit down for take-off, the passengers must be checked to ensure their seatbelts are fastened, seat backs in the upright position, armrests down, tray tables stowed and window blinds fully open. Hand baggage must also be stowed in the approved stowage areas. Once the cabin has been prepared for take-off and all checks are complete, the Senior Cabin Crew Member will advise the Captain that the ‘Cabin is Secure’. All cabin crew will be seated and wearing their safety harnesses. 

After take-off you will prepare for the service and commence serving the passengers. Once this is complete, you will need to clear the cabin. During the flight the crew will have to deal with passenger problems as they arise, serve drinks and snacks, keep catering stocked and ensure that the relevant paperwork is completed. You will also continue to look after the needs of the passengers for the duration of the flight. Above all else we must keep the passengers safe and happy.

When the Captain puts on the ‘fasten seatbelt sign’, you will check the passengers once again and be seated for landing.

On the ground you will bid farewell to disembarking passengers, complete another security check to ensure that no items have been left behind by passengers, supervise the cleaning of the aircraft and be ready to start all over again, ready for the next sector. At the end of the day, you will disembark the aircraft and report back to the crew room with the crew to sign off and check briefing notices and for any changes in rostering.

How Do I Qualify to be a Cabin Crew Member?

You will need to attend (and be found “Competent” in) a 6 week Initial (AbInitio) training course which covers the following modules:

Safety Procedures

Crew members will have an understanding of the policies and procedures in place to ensure smooth and safe operations. This section deals with any emergency situation covering both land and water emergency landings.

Dangerous Goods

This section outlines the entire Dangerous Goods procedures from Shippers responsibility through Freight Agent and Handling Agent to the airline and their responsibilities to their aircrew.


This includes all procedures relating to crew members, passengers and aircraft security including bomb threats, air rage and hijacking.

Ditching & Survival

Required as part of initial and re-qualification training, and then must be completed every 3 years. Raft Management which includes survival at sea. A physical raft is taken to the pool and candidates are instructed to jump into the water and swim to the raft and get in. Survival techniques are discussed. Clothing similar to uniform worn on duty must be worn for this practical exercise. Trainees will be required to jump into the water and move from one end of the pool to the other without their feet touching the ground. They can use a life jacket or a flotation device, and must be able to assist someone else in the water. This is a CAA requirement.

Aircraft Type Specific 

This section applies to the identification and description of the different features of the specific aircraft that you will receive your rating on, and how to use its systems effectively.

Crew Resource Management 

“CRM can be defined as a management system which makes optimum use of all available resources – equipment, procedures and people – to promote safety and enhance the efficiency of flight operations.”…click here to view more 

Fire Fighting

A fire on board an aircraft is one of the most frightening things to deal with and if not extinguished could lead to the loss of lives and the aircraft. This module covers the types of fires and how to extinguish them effectively using the resources available to you on the aircraft. There are both theoretical and practical components to this section.

Aviation Medicine 

What would you do if a 45 year old male passenger were to tell you that he feels as if he has indigestion and yet he is clammy to touch and his left arm has “pins and needles”? This module covers every medical emergency that you could have to deal with on board an aircraft covering diabetes, heart attack, stroke, child birth etc. There are both theoretical and practical components to this section

Slide Jump

This is the physical evacuation from an aircraft including the practical drill of jumping out the exit and down an inflated slide.

Cabin Service Training

This section covers the purpose of the Manual and the Cabin Crew requirements of the manual. It also contains a summary of the information contained in each section.

Staff Regulations pertaining to cabin crew. Usually based on company regulations. This section covers the management of staff, supplying information to the press, gratuities, postal articles, alcohol and drugs, cabin crew manuals, marriage, change of address and or telephone number, travel documents, customs control, crew luggage, hotel accommodation, illness and injury.

Cabin Crew Duties. A job description is provided. This covers the expectations by the company of the cabin crew. This section covers all aspects of the expected role of Cabin Crew, including the duty roster, standby duties, pre-flight duties, in-flight duties, transit stop duties, end of flight duties, and duties during a delayed schedule or unscheduled flight, special attention to handling of passengers during the night, actions during turbulent weather at night.

Passenger Management. Public relations for cabin crew. This section empowers Cabin Crew with the knowledge of how to deal with passengers professionally and in different types of situations. Other aspects include addressing of passengers, differences in class travel, travel, reception and seating of passengers, passenger counts, seatbelt sign procedures, care of special attention passengers.

Cultural Interaction. Understanding the needs of different cultures and social environments of the passengers in order to achieve successful interaction with passengers, thereby influencing and encouraging their return.

Catering Introduction. This includes catering where special diets and doctrine foods are discussed. Particular attention is focused on Kosher foods, Halaal, Hindu, Vegetarian, other special diets and menu terms.

Wine & Food with a practical exercise of opening and serving wine and sparkling wine, and a wine tasting is conducted. 

Bar Formalities which are based on company policies.

Method of Service & Cabin Service Procedures. A detailed description of the method of both economy and business class cabin services is provided. Points included are galley preparations prior to passengers boarding, when passengers are boarding, after take-off, general points concerning bar service, tea and coffee service, meal service and galley attendant responsibilities.

Public Address Announcements. This section covers basic awareness of vocal technique and modulation – this includes the use of pausing. A well modulated voice will encourage passengers to pay attention to announcements. Even if the content of your speech is exceptional, it can be lost on your audience through poor delivery. Techniques are demonstrated to conduct professional safety demonstrations on board. A copy of a basic set on announcements is included.

Uniform Requirements. This section covers the dress code requirements of Cabin Crew at all times when on duty. A well groomed airline representative will instill confidence in the customer / passenger as the Cabin Crew appear confident, and part of a well managed organisation.

To find out more about how you can join the exciting world of a cabin crew member, please  contact us.