Essentially in aviation there are 3 types of carrier: the full-service carrier, low cost carrier and charter.
Full Service Carriers
Full service carriers can be divided up into 2 different types.
They either can be:
Full service carriers can also be point-to-point, meaning you return to the airport where you started, which is how flying short haul for Norwegian operates for example.
Or they may operate ‘multi jumps’ meaning you could start duty in one airport and finish in another in a completely different country.
These types of airlines normally only accept candidates with previous experience as cabin crew, so we advise that you also consider low-cost carriers as a new applicant.
Low Cost Carriers
Over the years they have succeeded in stimulating new unserved routes and often operate from secondary airports.
An example would be Ryanair saying you are flying to Paris, when in fact you are landing in Paris Beauvais – which is around 100km north of the city centre!
Working for a low-cost airline is a great first stepping stone in your cabin crew career as they constantly need new crew, and after a year or so you will be in a perfect position to be hired by a prestige airline (like Qatar for example!).
Low cost carriers do not tend to have the same positive reputation as a full-service carrier as they cut costs and services (but never safety!) to get you to your destination. And with a low cost carrier you normally finish work at your home base.
Finally, charter airlines have a business model where the seats in an aircraft are paid for by a travel company and then sold to their customers like TUI Airways.
A charter flight is an unscheduled flight that is not part of a regular airline routing, which means your roster can be very unpredictable.
A big bonus for cabin crew working for a charter airline is that you usually operate the flight to a holiday destination, stay with the guests in that holiday destination enjoying your time (sometimes in the same hotel even) before flying back with them.
It’s a really personal decision – but be honest with yourself when making it!
It’s better to start off with an airline and routes (be they long haul or short haul) that you feel comfortable with – if you honestly feel like you wouldn’t cope with some of a particular airline’s regulations or values then apply to an airline you feel you could be happy and proud to represent instead.