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 is from Vienna/Austria.
Ø Tell us about yourself :
I went to a hotel and gastronomie school and after my abitur (aka time off), I was au pair in NYC for one year.
My dad is British and my mom Italian, so I speak those languages fluently and I learned French at school. Then I studied psychology at University and worked in a gym.
It happened to me to become a flight attendant since one client in gym suggested to apply at Austrian Airlines and I did. I was accepted 1990 and wanted to fly as long as I study………I NEVER stopped flying and I still love my Job!
Ø How long have you been a flight attendant:
Over 24 years.
Ø What is your role as a flight attendant and are you a domestic or international flight attendant? :
I am Purser which is boss on long haul flights (above Senior flight attendant). I fly domestic and international on mixed fleet Airbus 320, A 340, Boeing 777 and B 767.
Ø What do you enjoy the most about your job?:
I love most about my job being constantly at different places with different people.
Ø How often do you fly?
No regular schedule. More days/flights on short haul, since we have to do certain flight hours.
Ø What are your secrets to getting over jetlag quickly?
Sleep a lot whenever is time and I do a lot of sport to stay in shape.
Ø What’s the hardest thing about this job?:
To be dependent on how your schedule is compatible with your private life.
Ø What’s the worst/craziest experiences you have ever had as a flight attendant:
The worst was a soft highjack in Marokko. Crazy things and people happen ever single flight 🙂
Once a pax was upset because we were late and said to me “you are a stupid bitch” and I answered ” and you’re a gentlemen, but maybe we are both wrong!?”
Ø What’s the best way to deal with hard to deal with customers?
Stay calm and friendly but make your point.
Ø Have you ever been in a near miss or plane accident? And did your training prove useful:
Yes! And definitely the training prepares you very well for all different (un)foreseen problems.
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?
Asking helps but not on board!
Ø Do you have a rotation for first, business and economy class or are there different levels of flight attendants? :
Purser always works in Business, Senior always in Economy and juniors choose their working-position. Austrian Airlines do not have first class anymore, but you had a special to work there.
Ø Do you have a preferred of class to work in?:
Definitely in Business Class
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!)
Lots of spare time, good payment (with my old contract) compared to the working hours, shopping worldwide, escape wintertime to warm destinations, cheap tickets and other bonus, no 9 to 5 job, no office, not the same faces every day, and much more.
Ø Do people really try to join the Mile High Club or is this just a “myth”:
Of course it happens! Some of them do not even go to the toilet and do it at their seats.
Ø Have you been a flight with any celebrities and were you star struck?:
I met many, many celebs, but I am not a groupie or an “autograph hunter” and always treated them as every other pax. I also worked at various Festivals for Austrian eg “life ball” or special “star flights” (Sports, politics, music, etc).
Ø Do you have to adhere to strict dress code and make up policies? Does it get tedious?
Very strict dress codes (uniform procedures) including hair, jewellery, tattoos, shoes, bags, luggage, Make-up etc (Even the condition of your uniform parts!)
Ø What’s your favourite stopover destination and what do you do on your stop over’s?
Bangkok and Dubai! These are my favorite “wellness” destinations! I do my Beauty Programm (mani, pedi, cosmetics), go to massage, do sports, go out for great Thai Dinner, party or shop, or only enjoy the warm weather at the pool…
Ø What’s the weirdest request you’ve had from a passenger?
Ø I have heard that’s flight attendants have their own “language” or codes, what’s your favourite ?
Yes we do! To be a trolley-dolly:-))
Photo Credit front cover: Mauren Veras