How Are the Career Paths of in-Flight Staff and Ground Staff Different?


With eyes staring beyond the clouds and feet firmly on the ground, the Aviation Industry allows brilliant opportunities for all those who seek success.

In the aviation industry, many opportunities have sprung up in recent years. In India and all over the world, aviation is booming. So is its contribution to increasing employment.

Two of the most coveted career categories of the industry are flight attendants and ground staff. While the former is also often termed as in-flight staff, the latter is alternatively known as ground operations team. They involve duties that take care of a particular segment of a passenger’s journey, making both crews vital to a pleasant & hassle-free flight for all travellers.

Before you can begin hunting for the best institute for ground staff training in India or Flight Attendant Courses, however, it’d be ideal to do some homework.

Once you understand what each of these, i.e. the In-Flight staff and the Ground staff, are responsible for & how they are different from the other one, you’d be able to discover where your skills and ambitions fit in.


1. Airport Ground Staff

The airport ground staff is like cogs in a wheel; essential elements for efficient functioning.

Support personnel, ramp agents, flight dispatchers, service agents, craft guidance marshals, baggage handlers, boarding handlers, & inventory managers are a few roles that the airport ground staff takes care of. The key responsibilities are vast and varied, the areas of application numerous.

From the point of entry into an airport premise till the moment of leaving one, a ground staff has to take care of every need of the passenger while they are not on-board as well as ensure that the in-flight staff has all that’s needed to provide a safe and comfortable flying trip for the customer.

Benefits for an Airport Ground Staff

  • Discounts on charges and reduced flight fares
  • Flight passes & companion passes
  • Dental, medical, and life insurance, depending on the airline company
  • Free travel for them and their family
  • Discounts on hotels worldwide

The Career Path of an Airport Ground Staff

The essential qualification for anyone to begin working as an airport ground staff is 10+2 or equivalent education in India. The usual next step is to understand the industry, the requirements, and the technicalities of the job, which most aspirants prefer to do under the supervised guidance of good ground staff training institutes.

The career of ground staff in aviation begins as a trainee and can end at the prestigious post of an airport manager in due time. The wages increase with time as well.

2. In-Flight Staff

They are also called cabin crew or flight attendants and happen to be one of the most glamorous career choices in the aviation industry.

The In-flight staff is a bunch of well-trained people who are responsible for ensuring that the passenger’s journey goes off without a hitch. From serving refreshments and helping the passengers settle in their seats to assuring their safety on-board, the responsibilities of flight attendants are centred around the flight’s travellers for each trip.

Benefits for In-Flight Staff

  • The opportunity to travel for free
  • Travel benefits, discounts, free seats, accommodation benefits, allowances
  • Flight passes for family
  • Premium cards to cover expenses during layovers
  • Flexible Duty Hours
  • Reasonably good salary plus allowances during layovers
  • Transportation for work trips
  • Insurance, health & retirement benefits

After finishing the training, flight attendants usually start with domestic trips and get promoted on to international ones with time. As their seniority of service increases, their wages also get better. So do their other benefits.

The Career Path of an In-Flight Staff

After qualifying 10+2, which is the minimum educational requirement to become a flight attendant, training comes as the usual next step.

A flight attendant starts their career as a “Ready Reserve” person, where they have scheduled flights, and they are on-call for any spontaneous changes in the roster. The career path, from this point, moves forward to the posts of Senior FA, Supervisor, & In-flight Manager.


Airport Ground Staff Versus in-Flight Staff- Where Do the Differences Lie?

If you balance the two, you will find that the ground staff and flight attendants are quite similar in most aspects, since they handle operations, albeit at different levels, to ensure the proper & smooth functioning of an airport.

Both have to maintain their calm under pressure, work well with teams, and adapt to changes rapidly.

But, there are differences indeed.

As a flight attendant, there is a lot more glamour quotient involved with the job while ground staff does not need to concern itself with the same. While the latter has a fixed-hour job in most scenarios, the former has a flexible schedule which allows them to only work for 75 to 100 hours a month, giving them more time to relax and rejuvenate.

There is plenty of travelling involved in the job for the flight attendant, which also happens to be one of this career’s most significant advantage. For the ground staff, travelling comes in the form of airline benefits. However, theirs are limited and reasonably so.

Where Do the Flight Attendant Courses & Airport Ground Staff Training Institutes Come In?

Between you and your dream job, whether it be that of an in-flight staff or ground staff, there lies the question of skill.

Considering the current growth in the aviation industry, the rapidly rising Indian aviation sector may create around 5 million jobs in the country soon. Right now, the right training, knowledge, & proficiency are of utmost importance as the industry is actively pursuing skilled personnel.

Then, there is the matter of technical knowledge. For instance, as a flight attendant, you should be presentable, confident, fluent, and well-versed in aircraft terminology. As a ground staff, you should know about the equipment involved in baggage loading and unloading, sorting, craft fueling, servicing, etc.

When you educate yourself preemptively with the help of one of the best institute for ground staff training in India or with the right Flight Attendant Courses, your advantage improves. Your skill set grows. In the eyes of an airline carrier, you become a package that has more value than an untrained person. Ergo, your chances of bagging your dream job go way up.

Would You Like Some Help?

Skylark Institute of Travel is an award-winning training institute with a stable footing in the Aviation, Travel, & Tourism Industry. Inspired by the government’s National Policy on Skill Development, we contribute to creating successful careers for aspirants by helping them develop the right skills for the trade with efficiency.

And, we’d be thrilled to assist you on this fortunate voyage to a flourishing future.



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