A lot of people thought that working as flight attendant could be the best job ever; I’m one of those people. With the chance of travelling everywhere, looking always presentable and meeting a lot of people; someone won’t ask for more!
Photo Credits: Shanna Babaran
I interviewed 3 people who are working as a cabin crew and asked them questions regarding The Real Life of a Flight Attendant. (*These Flight attendants would like to hide their identities, so I will be using screen names.)
Emma of Air Canada, Kate of Emirate and Jonas of Etihad.
Reasons Why they Decided to become a Flight Attendant
“I decided to become a flight attendant after spending 3 years abroad. When I returned home to Canada I knew I wanted a job where I could keep traveling and interacting with people from different cultures. And I love airplanes!” said Emma of Air Canada. It seems like we are right all along that travelling is one of the reasons why flight attendants decided to be on this field. I can’t really disagree with them.
While Kate of Emirates pointed “I loved how glamorous flight attendants look and I was fantasizing being that glamorous while walking the streets of all the beautiful cities in the world. In addition, the idea of being stuck inside an office and on my bum is repulsive to me. I have always wanted to see and take what the world has to offer”.
Personally, I love flying but I hate landing. Being a flight attendant would be the death of me. On the other side, Emma said she’s been working as flight attendant for 5 years now and Kate for 3 years, both has no plans to quit the job in the near future. Despite that Jonas of Etihad only been working for a year now, he enjoyed every moment of it since he left his apartment to work in this field.
Advantages and Disadvantages of Becoming a Flight Attendant
Same as any other jobs in the world, being a cabin crew has also advantages and disadvantages. Emma, Kate and Jonas agreed that the best advantage is to travel for free, having the opportunity to experience the local life during lay overs, discounts and privileges when deciding to fly out of working time.
While the disadvantages are the erratic and unexpected changing of schedule due to unavoidable reasons. Misconception of the job is another disadvantage, because the passenger thinks that they can ask the cabin crews to do anything, whereas flight attendants are there for safety purposes in the first place. Jonas quoted that “Because you (flight attendants) are not just a person who is serving a hot meal. You (flight attendants) are a doctor, a firefighter, a special person who can take care of the passengers while they are at 40000ft in the air.” The biggest down side of the job is being away from friends and family for a long period of time.
Airline service is a 24-hour service. I wonder what the schedule of flight attendant looks like is. “I usually work 15-18 days in a month. For international flights I am gone for about 48 hours at a time and it’s just there and back. Domestic flights can be just day trips or sometimes 3-4 day trips where we can go anywhere coast to coast.” Emma stated. Lay overs took 10 hours sometimes, depending on your schedule and location said Kate.
When I was in college, I have friends who are taking Tourism Management and hoping to be a flight attendant one day. Most of them are talking about weight maintenance and good dental records. Whilst Emma said “No. There used to be rules like that, but over the years the profession has changed a lot. I did have to pass a medical exam when I was first hired. Considering the environment we work in, I believe it is important to be healthy and physically fit but it is not a company requirement.”
On the other hand, “Yes, we have to maintain our weight (according to our height). In my airline, they are not too strict about the crew getting married. Sometimes a crew comes back from day offs and married already! As for having kids, when we reach 3 years of service, we get to take 6 months unpaid leave. But if we reach 5 years of service, we can take 1 year unpaid leave. Dental maintenance is wise option, again not strict. Some girls wear braces in my airline. I wear retainers.” Kate quoted.
Keeping a good social life can be tricky because of the schedule. “When I’m on base, social life is limited. Interactions are limited to housemates and the crew I get to fly with. I don’t go out a lot because my work base is quite strict. And we do have curfews. I keep in touch with my family through the internet. And when I go home for my day offs, I spend it with my loved ones.” said Kate about keeping her social life.
Weirdest Thing a Passenger ever asked you?
Passengers are obviously major thing that a cabin crew has to deal with. I asked Emma, Kate and Jonas for the weirdest thing a passenger ever asked them. Here are some:
Emma: “If the ice cream we were serving was vegetarian.”
Kate: “Just recently, someone asked me for a lighter. He wanted to smoke. That “someone” was a prince.”
Jonas: “I was travelling to Osaka, Japan and one passenger from the UK asked me if I can open the door for a while to smoke a cigarette and also to take some fresh air (from 42000ft.)”
How about something nice that a passenger have done to you?
Emma: “I appreciate when passengers are polite and friendly. I’ve also had passengers that bring us treats, that is always a nice surprise.”
Kate: “When they appreciate the work that we do, like when we get a smile or a reply or just a simple thank you.”
Jonas: “One passenger shook my hand and said to me “Please keep doing this on every flight. I ask him what I did. And he said: Put smiles on people’s face and this will make you the richest man on the earth!”
Question about Salary
Regarding with the salary; “The pay gets better as you work up the pay scale, but starting out it can be really hard. We get to stay in nice hotels on layovers.” Emma answered. The same with other jobs, you get what you work for, however the benefits and perks like discounted tickets and free accommodation with good hotels are another great side.
If these people are not working as a flight attendant, what would they be? All of them answered that, they are more likely ending up to be flight attendant as this is one of their ideal job.
Any advice for aspiring cabin crews?
“To be enthusiastic and develop their team work, this job could be a great responsibility but also an adventure. Try to feel every cloud from the sky.” Jonas said.
Hearing from a true to life stories with people working on the line of one of the delicate job is a one true inspiring experience. At the same time, I can see that behind all the glamorous uniforms and dazzling make up is a normal person who is just doing her/his job like all other people. Working long hours might be challenging but in return finding their happiness with their job is the best part of the day.
I would like to thank these 3 amazing cabin crews I was able to work it. You guys rock and see you one day!
About the Writer:
Hello! I am Mary Charie Ramos Ylagan I’m a bookworm, ice cream hyped (only chocolate flavour or something with chocolate on it, ah, I don’t even know why I’m babbling about this), writer and a traveller. I am a private person, like very. One of my friends even said that maybe I was a hooker before. But if you are highly curious about my personality (which I profoundly doubt), we should travel together. I’m sarcastic in an annoying way but my very close friends love it, though! Pulling some jokes is like a hobby to me, although this gives me hard time to open up my feelings. That’s why I looove my blog, it lets me express myself in a different angle.
Join me on my adventures here amaryroad.com.