Welcome to a series of Flight Attendant interviews, these guys and girls (aka “Trolley Dollies“) are some of the most interesting people I have ever met! They fly from destination to destination, put their body through hell, have to deal with unruly passengers and the ladies have to look perfect everyday, yet these crazy guys and girls come back day after day with smiles on their faces because they truly love their job!
Today’s lovely Flight Attendant has flown in Australia and the Middle East
Ø Tell us about yourself:
I’m very outgoing, have never been a fan of the corporate life or a 9 to 5, I get too bored to easily. I love adventure!
Ø How long have you been a flight attendant:
Ø What is your role as a flight attendant and are you a domestic or international flight attendant? :
Our primary reason for being there at all is for safety and security, the service is a bonus.
I have been both domestic and international
Ø What do you enjoy the most about your job?:
The travel, the people, that it can be unpredictable, the varied hours (though many wouldn’t agree with that)
Ø How often do you fly?
Depends on the length of the flight, I can do more flights a month if they are shorter ones or fewer if they are longer
Ø What are your secrets to getting over jetlag quickly?
When you fly for so long international jet lag is no longer a thing though you can nap just about anywhere. I always find getting no more than four hours sleep at a time whilst adjusting to a new timezone can help.
Ø What’s the hardest thing about this job?:
Public holidays do not exist, missing the birthdays or weddings of loved ones. It can be a lonely job at times.
Ø What’s the worst/craziest experiences you have ever had as a flight attendant:
During a very long flight we had a man come up to the business class cabin from economy and urinate on one of the sleeping passengers. Naturally this wasn’t bought to our attention until we had an (unerstandably) irate business class passenger covered in pee yelling, we never found the phantom pee-er after he ran back to the very dark economy cabin.
Ø Wha’ts the best way to deal with hard to deal with customers?
Like in any customer facing industry to remain calm and not to take it personally, when a passenger is angry they often feel the need to vent to the uniform. Once they have the situation can be turned around. In other situations you have to abide by safety procedures that’s when its our way or the runway.
Ø Have you ever been in a near miss or plane accident? And did your training prove useful:
I have been in more than a few incidents that could have been potentially fatal. Noone can know how you will react until you are in that situation yourself and I can say the drills, training and preparation are key, we always need to remain alert and ready no matter what we are doing at the time.
Ø I have read a lot of “how to get a free upgrade” tips, everyone wants to know the best way to get an upgrade to business class but in reality we know it’s not as easy as just asking or “looking the part”, how often are people upgraded? Does smiling and asking actually work?
This is a mystery even we cant crack! It helps if you are a part of the carriers frequent flyer program and you dress the part.
Ø Do you have a rotation for first, business and economy class or are there different levels of flight attendants? :
It is different for different airlines. The first airline I worked with it was just a rotation, depending on the position you picked for the day determined the cabin you would work in but it would be rotated. My current one it is on a promotional system so you start in economy and go from there.
Ø Do you have a preferred of class to work in?:
It depends on the flight, all of them can be pretty demanding however wherever there are fewer passengers is always preferred!
Ø What are the benefits of being a flight attendant (other than loving your job and being able to travel to another city or country!)
It’s an experience like no other, you become a social chameleon. You meet so many different people and really form lifelong bonds with the other crew. It’s a very united industry.
Ø Do people really try to join the Mile High Club or is this just a “myth”:
It happens, not as often as you’d think but yes it happens. The thought of it makes my skin crawl, an aircraft is not the cleanest of places.
Ø Have you been a flight with any celebrities and were you star struck?:
I have flown with diplomats, ruling members of a few middle eastern royal families, celebrities and athletes. Never have I been starstruck, it would be unprofessional (though I have had a photo taken once or twice)
Ø Do you have to adhere to strict dress code and make up policies? Does it get tedious?
Yes some of the dress codes got very difficult at times (especially for me covering my tattoos with makeup at 5am) however I can now apply a full face of makeup and perfect hair in under 20 minutes. When it comes to going out I have a lot more time to pick out my clothes!
Ø What’s your favourite stopover destination and what do you do on your stop over’s?
I love Germany, Australia and Thailand. Sometimes the crew all go out together other times if you have friends in a particular destination you will see them. Grocery shopping was a very common thing for us as we were unable to get certain things living in the middle east. In Thailand I always had my hair appointments to get to.
Ø What’s the weirdest request you’ve had from a passenger?
I had a man ask me for the lunch I had brought from home. Had someone ask if the ‘chef’ could make some chicken with rice as thats what he preferred and had a woman ask for pepsi to be put in a bottle for her infant.
Ø I have heard that’s flight attendants have their own “language” or codes, what’s your favourite ?
MDP- Mentally Disturbed Passenger. I don’t feel like ground staff put this on the passenger manifest enough…