The world’s best airlines agree that staff training is what sets them apart.
As most frequent fliers will attest, the physical product you receive in exchange for purchasing a plane ticket is basically the same from airline to airline. It’s the airline employees that set the experience apart; which is why all of the top 10 world’s best airlines (as named by Skytrax) were also included in the 20 airlines with the best cabin staff.
The winner of the best cabin crew, Garuda Indonesia, was named the 10th best airline overall this year. But it is its fourth consecutive year with the best staff onboard, an honor which Skytrax CEO Edward Plaisted said was “remarkable and unprecedented.”
Having the best cabin crew starts with the hiring process. Garuda Indonesia has a lengthy hiring process that involves several rounds of interviews, meetings, and tests. A spokesperson for Emirates — which was also named one of the world’s best cabin crews — told Huffington Post that they look “for people who genuinely like people, people who will go out of their way to create a great travel experience for our customers.”
After a selective screening process, flight attendants who are hired undergo a training program that can vary in length from a few weeks to 15. After starting in a classroom setting and computer simulations, prospective flight attendants complete on-the-job training before finally working their first flight.
And even after working in the skies, the world’s best airlines continue to offer courses for cabin crew to improve their skills in safety, languages, food, and wine. Completion of additional courses can help cabin crew ascend the ranks.
This year’s list of best cabin crews did not include any U.S. airlines. Alaska Airlines was named the "best airline staff in North America," although they failed to place on a global scale.