Missed our webinar with flight attendant instructor Christina Ling and her students Hani and Livia? You can still view the full webinar on our Facebook page at facebook.com/ctcfans, or continue reading for a quick summary!
Who is Christina Ling?
Christina is our lovely Flight Attendant instructor, who teaches classes at our Vancouver campus. She began her career as a flight attendant, flying for 15 years and then teaching for the past 6 and a half years. Over the years Christina went from flight attendant, to business class flight attendant, then to first class flight attendant, to eventually being a service director, which is 3rd in command on the aircraft behind the captain and first officer. She has always been a trainer and mentor and loved to give back to new hires, get them familiarized and help them in their new role. Christina calls herself an “airline brat”, coming from an aviation family where her dad flew for 35 years and her mom worked in the industry on the ground for 25 years, aviation was all she knew growing up. At 8 years old her dad took her on her first aircraft and she fell in love with aviation immediately. She would have been a flight attendant right then and there if she could have.
What can you expect from the Flight Attendant Program?
Module A is self-awareness, which is learning about yourself. “Did you learn a lot about yourself?” Christina asks her students. “Yes” says Hani, “self-awareness was a big help for me, just to get out of my comfort zone and be confident and not be a shy person, because I used to be a shy person, right? It was just a really great opportunity”.
The following module is about career development; how to write a cover letter and develop a resume specific to becoming a flight attendant, as well as the opportunity to do a mock interview. Students even learn how to look like a flight attendant, including creating that trademark flight attendant bun, as they say – “the bun means business!”. Grooming is very important.
One of Christina’s favourite field trips is the cultural field trip, which Christina has nicknamed “layovers 101”. When you’re a flight attendant it’s a privilege to to have a layover. As Christina says “I always made great use of that time. Sleeping is overrated! Get out there an explore the city and enjoy it for the time you are there. (While staying well-groomed of course).” Other field trips include airport familiarization at YVR and a trip to the Boeing Future of Flight Center where you can learn more about airplanes and how they are made.
You will also learn about safety while travelling abroad, as flight crew (and as a regular traveller) it’s important to be really aware of your surroundings and be respectful of different cultures. Being open-minded is also a must.
The flight attendant program will help you achieve multiple certifications such as Serving it Right, standard First Aid, firefighting, assisting people with disabilities, emergency aircraft water rescue and team building and leadership. It’s very valuable to show confidence and build strong leadership skills, as passengers will look to you to keep them safe. “We aren’t just waitresses in the sky!” says Livia.
“How did you feel after module A?” Christina asks. “It definitely prepares you for the next module that you’ll have to do, that’s for sure. But I also feel like a completely different person after module A, I’m so much more confident, I can speak in front of people, and I’ve made so many new friends.”
Onto module B, the technical unit. “Airplanes airplanes airplanes!” says Christina says. “Wonderful aviation stuff, lots of terminology. A secret aviation language.” Students also go through critical incident training. Decompression, turbulence, oxygen deprivation, wind shear, hypothermia, hypoxia, air piracy. Everyone chooses a different topic and puts together a presentation on it. Aircraft systems include the Boeing 737, Boeing 767, Boeing 777 and the Airbus A320.
During emergency procedure training, students get to use the Boeing simulator; our on-campus fuselage. Students go through evacuation training including ditching (evacuation in water) as well as on land. There is quite a bit of shouting going on for these exercises! The fuselage is also used for on-board service procedure demonstrations and practice.
Grooming is very important as a flight attendant. “Christina takes this very seriously, so don’t try to cut corners!” says Livia, “no excuses!”
“For a flight attendant this is extremely important because you wear the uniform with pride, you’re representing (in this case) your school, you’re representing your airline, and you’re representing yourself, so grooming is very important. The airlines demand it, and because you are representing the airline and the company, they want you to look a certain way”.
“I feel better, confident, I walk down the street, everyone’s like oh what airline do you work for? Oh you look so good. And the professionalism of it, it makes you feel good” says Livia. “Your positive professional image stands out among others” adds Hani.
Frequently Asked Questions
Do I need to speak French, or a second language?
Airlines will hire based on what they need. I recommend you apply regardless of whether you have a second language or not because it’s really about what an airline needs at a certain time. If you see an ad, apply anyway because you never know.
Are tattoos a concern?
Airlines are very conservative, and you are not allowed to have any visible tattoos or piercings. Freedom of expression is important too, however, airlines, major hotels, and cruise ships too will take this into consideration, so tattoos should be something to consider when applying.
Will you help me find a job?
Christina: There’s no guarantee but we will do our best to train you to the best of our ability. I’m very hands on and aftercare is really important for me as an instructor. We will assist you the very best way that we can.
Hani: Recruiters often go straight to Christina asking for students from CTC, which is a great opportunity.
Christina: I feel blessed that the airlines are really recognizing the diploma here from CTC and coming to knock on our door to look for grads and recommendations. A real shout out to all the airlines, very grateful to all the airlines for giving our grads great jobs, we just love and appreciate that.
Can I work for any airline?
If you’re wanting to work for an airline in Canada, you definitely need a Canadian passport, or a permanent resident card, depending on the carrier. So if there’s a certain airline that you want to work for, you just go and find their guidelines. There’s will be an age minimum, and a documentation minimum.
What are the age and height restrictions?
Every airline is different. You may be asked to do a reach test to determine if your height is sufficient to perform the job. As for age, there is no limit.
Livia: “I love CTC because it gives you a platform to learn about what you love and what you’re passionate about, and you make life long friends.”
Christina: “I have the most amazing crew in my class, every class that I have, and that’s important for me as an instructor, I want to cultivate wonderful relationships because that’s what I experienced as a flight attendant you know you will get to work with different people all the time so it’s really important that you’re able to work with different people. It’s so rewarding for me to be able to share my experience and my knowledge and what I’ve learned and paying it forward and giving back is really important for me and that’s why I just love doing what I do.”
Hani: “People just love her stories!”
Livia: “She has a story about everything and its so nice to hear about real life experience”
Christina: “I have the most amazing colleagues; industry experienced teachers for first hand knowledge and scenarios. We have the most amazing staff here at CTC, so nice, so accommodating, and the instructors know their stuff, whether it be hotels, business, or travel and tourism”
Get in Touch
Learn more about the Flight Attendant program here:
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