Ground Stewardess: Job Description, Duties and Requirements
The term, 'ground stewardess' is not a commonly used title in the U.S. However, airline companies in the states do employ personnel who work on the ground to ensure the smooth transport of passengers to and from their airplanes. One such type of position is called a 'passenger service agent.'
Passenger service agents are hired by airlines to attend to customers before, after or between flights. People in this position work intensively with the public, answering questions and assisting passengers with various needs. Some passenger service agents are hired to work on a part-time basis, while others work full-time. Work hours can be irregular, due to the fact that most airports operate 24 hours per day.
Taking reservations, issuing tickets, verifying passenger identification, printing boarding passes and helping travelers to check in their baggage at ticket counters are some of the responsibilities of passenger service agents. Ensuring the delivery of baggage and conducting security screenings of passengers and their baggage may be required as well.
Passenger service agents also work at departure and arrival gates where they check tickets, verify passenger counts and announce boarding sections. Other tasks include responding to telephone inquiries and providing flight departure and arrival information. Passenger service agents also assist those needing special attention, including the elderly and unaccompanied minors, as well as passengers who have missed their flights or hold tickets on flights which are oversold.
The Federal Aviation Administration's Aviation Careers Series publication on non-flying airline professions states that a high school diploma is the minimum educational requirement for a passenger service agent (www.ntl.bts.gov). According to a January 2011 search of job postings on CareerBuilder.com and Monster.com, airlines hiring for these positions also prefer applicants who have prior customer service experience. Airlines may also require candidates who are bi- or even multilingual in specific languages. Other attributes requested by employers include a professional appearance, cooperative attitude and flexibility in terms of scheduling.
Also per job listings, some airlines prefer computer experience with industry software, though this is not usually a requirement. Applicants may have to pass a drug screening and background investigation. Airlines may also require newly hired employees to complete a company-sponsored training program.
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