Careers in the Travel Industry: Airports & Airlines

Curtis Carlson Nelson has experience in nearly all areas of the travel industry.

When many people think of travel, they often think of airports and airlines. Within these large aspects of the travel industry, there is a wide variety of job opportunities and career paths one can follow.

There are many types of employment opportunities available at airports. Some of these, such as pilot or flight attendant, you will know very well either from watching movies or from travelling yourself. Others may not be so familiar to you, such as airport traffic controller and other behind the scenes roles. However, you can rest assured that no matter what your personality or set of skills, you can find a position that’s right for you among an airline’s employees if you feel your calling is in the travel industry.

Below, expert Curtis Carlson Nelson explains some of these job roles and opportunities found within the travel industry:

curtis carlson nelson travel careers

        Flight attendants are the airline employees to whom the general public has the most exposure when travelling. These people are employed to ensure the comfort and safety of the passengers about an aircraft. They will have some duties related to safety, such as educating passengers on the proper way to use the aircraft’s safety equipment, directing guests to follow the rules of the airplane, chaperoning underage passengers flying alone, and helping passengers get to safety in case of emergency. With regards to ensuring a pleasant voyage for everyone aboard, they provide ticket-holders with libations, get people comfort appurtenances such as pillows and blankets, and mediate issues between passengers. People who intend to go into this profession should feel comfortable working with people under stressful situations and be able to cope with long flights.

        On the ground, customer service employees at the airport are clerks who must also deal with the public. They assist people with their tickets, deal with questions, and make sure that baggage complies with airline restrictions in terms of weight or girth measurements. These people must also be comfortable dealing with the public under stressful situations, as travel often amounts to an intense and uncomfortable whirlwind of activity for passengers involved, which can lead to tension among the people. Throughout his professional career, Curtis Carlson Nelson has noticed that for flight attendants as well as customer service agents, experience in positions which require extensive public contact and strong communicative abilities are usually the most important factors to the hiring airline.

        One class of employee who does not need to deal with passengers for much more than brief stretches is the pilot. Pilots are hired to fly the plane. Other than that, they will usually be charged with informing passengers about the status of the flight and the place of departure and landing as well as placating nervous people in the case of inclement weather or emergencies on board. Pilots require specialized training in their field and so this career path requires more forethought and planning than airport customer service positions for those wishing to serve in this capacity.

        There are several other career paths at airports and airlines for those who are interested. Some require even less contact with the public than pilot, such as air traffic controller. Others are completely behind the scenes, such as people working to move baggage around or airplane mechanics. Flight attendant, customer service agent, and pilot are the three that come to mind most frequently when people typically think about jobs in an airline, but the field is by no means limited to these.

To learn more about the travel industry and career opportunities, check out Curtis Carlson Nelson on Quora.


Careers in the Hospitality Industry by Curtis Carlson Nelson

Hospitality is one of the fastest growing sectors in the world. According to the World Travel and Tourism Council, hospitality will represent 10% of total employment globally by 2020. Curtis Carlson Nelson has been apart of this industry for 20+ years.

Curtis Carlson Nelson is on the Executive Committee of the World Travel and Tourism Council and is excited to see these numbers continue to grow.


Careers in the Hospitality Industry - Curtis Carlson Nelson

However, most people think that hospitality jobs are limited to waiters, bartenders and chefs. In reality, the roles are quite diverse and encompass careers in event management, travel and tourism.

Below, Curtis Carlson Nelson describes the many different career opportunities in the hospitality industry:

Hospitality jobs typically require a high school diploma or hands-on experience in the industry. But some managerial positions might require a Bachelor’s degree as well. Different organizations arrange courses to train people in the hospitality sector, and make them more employable. The workplace can range from restaurants and cafes to hotels and catering services.

The kind of work can be split up into front-line and back-end staff. The most common positions arise in the areas of house-keeping, front office, food & beverages and the kitchen. Food service and lodging managers are there to ensure that the guests receive a satisfying experience during their visit. They are involved in daily operations, overseeing staff, reviewing budgets and providing customer service.

Food and beverage outlets seem to employ more people than other establishments due to their growing demand, and the increasing trend of people having their meals outside home. The waiting staff serves food and drinks to the guests and can work in a variety of places such as coffee shops, cafes, bars and fine dining restaurants. They are in direct contact with the customers, and make the first impression.

The kitchen staff positions depend on the size and structure of the establishment, and the kind of food that is being offered. The executive chef is in charge of the kitchen, and may employ other chefs based on their experience and demand. Each member is responsible for a specific section in the kitchen, and has to follow the directions of the head chef. Some places run an apprenticeship program too to train people according to their needs, and develop a pool of human resources for future vacancies.

The rooms and accommodation staff might include concierge and porters, housekeeping, laundry and guest reception. These positions often require multitasking skills but can provide a great pathway into future growth and career opportunities within the hospitality industry. Recently, establishments have started providing gaming and gambling facilities to their guests as well. Special staff is required to perform the roles of cashier, machine attendant and security guard. The person is required to hold a specific license before applying to these positions as it involves money handling.

The sales and marketing which Curtis Carlson Nelson specializes in, is another division in the hospitality sector which provides a lot of career opportunities. The responsibilities of the staff include making calls to potential clients, providing information about special offers, distributing brochures and participating in public relations exercises. In short, this department coordinates all the activities for marketing and promotion of the establishment.

The salaries in the hospitality industry are in the upper $40,000 range, but the hours can be long including work on the weekends since most businesses are open 24 hours a day. If you plan on doing a 9 to 5 job, then this might not be the right option for you. But if customer service is your thing and you want to establish a long-term career, then there are numerous opportunities available in this sector.