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The hidden costs of being Cabin Crew

Once you reach the giddy heights of achieving a job as cabin crew what could be some of those lurking hidden costs?

Some airlines expect you to pay for the training course which generally applies to a few of the leisure airlines (such as Ryan Air and Jet2). Most airlines though will supply you with a uniform sufficient to cover a couple of your working days e.g. a couple of shirts, 2 suits etc.

But there will be some articles that you will be expected to pay for which will be part of your contract whilst working for the company.

Here is a snippet of what British Airways expects from their new recruits to dig deeper into their pockets.

  • Cabin crew Shoes: Black leather or similar court shoes.
    These must be completely plain in style, no buckles or fancy stitching etc. Ladies, no stiletto heels, or platform under the toe area. No patent polish. These shoes will be worn as part of your uniform when you are checking in for your flight and when you are walking to and from the aircraft and home/ hotels/ airports.

    Think classic. There is also a great company that regularly hold shoe days for the crew to purchase exactly what the airline require. M & S also another good option.

    A good tin of shoe polish is also a MUST.


  • Ladies: A 2nd pair of shoes: Black flat or small heeled court shoes to wear in the cabin. These are the most important purchase you will make towards your flying wardrobe. Treat yourself to a leather pair that fit like slippers as you will be walking many miles a day and your pins will be tired without them.

  • Girls: tights or stockings. My best advice ever after 28 years flying is buy a good quality pair of support as this will help prevent varicose veins in future years!

  • A cabin crew bag ‘wheelie’ something that is plain black, no logos or markings on and most importantly something that fits in the overhead lockers as this is where you will be stowing it. The company will expect a suitable name tag that is uniform standard (not pink and fluffy)!

  • If you are on long haul you will need a good hard suitcase either (Delsey or Samsonite with wheels). At the BA cabin crew report centre there is a luggage shop that offers good crew rates for these bags and a good guarantee if they break. They are usually the only 2 makes that crew use for their long haul work as they are the best quality product on the market that takes a lot of knocks on their travel. NO sticky labels are allowed on the cases from your last holiday destination. Plain black or blue is recommended. No rucksacks are allowed.

  • Uniform handbags are provided by the airline. (Sorry not the boys)!
Remember this is part of your uniform standards and must be exact in requirement!
Happy shopping.

About Hannah Vallance

Hannah is a Chartered Occupational Psychologist specialising in recruitment, selection and assessment. This means she designs and assesses at selection days just like the ones airlines use, which is pretty handy experience for Go Cabin Crew!

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