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 asked to remain anonymous
Ø Tell us about yourself:
I am a bachelor degree holder of English language and it’s literature but I choose instead to work as a cabin crew and I was lucky enough to become one, very funny and approachable. I love travelling
Ø How long have you been a flight attendant:
Almost 4 years
Ø What is your role as a flight attendant and are you a domestic or international flight attendant? :
I work in international airline, now am working in economy class because I just shifted to a new company (both my previous and recent companies are international airlines)
Ø What do you enjoy the most about your job?:
Travelling to new places
Ø How often do you fly?
It depends on the schedule, whether am doing layovers or turnarounds 🙁
Ø What are your secrets to getting over jetlag quickly?
The first six months were really difficult now I sleep whenever required and I stay awake whenever I want, sometimes it goes wrong when I have days off because I like to stay awake in the night because it’s cooler where am living forgetting the fact that I have a very early morning flight where my pick up is at 0400, so what happens that I boost my brain and operate the flight without sleeping.
Ø What’s the hardest thing about this job?:
To be honest it’s a very physically demanding job, and very stressful due to the responsibilities and the thoughts you have sometimes during take off and landing, but the worst is a passenger who comes with the idea that he bought us with the ticket, when he starts giving us hard time just because he can.
Ø What’s the worst/craziest experiences you have ever had as a flight attendant:
A passenger who had a heart attack in my flight just an hour before landing, I had to do CPR and one of my colleagues had to use the AED (automatic electric defibrillator). Thank God we were blessed not to have a death on board because he survived after 10 min of CPR and electrical shocks.
Ø What’s the best way to deal with hard to deal with customers?
Just smile and do what they want because this kind of customers knows that they can cause you a lot of problems if they wrote a complaint about you to the company or did it personally to the senior crew.
Ø Have you ever been in a near miss or plane accident? And did your training prove useful:
Thank Allah never, though I had some severe turbulence once were few passengers and a colleague got injured.
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?
First of all the only people who can upgrade someone are the flight operation ( ground staff) managers, we as cabin crew we can never do that even if business class is completely empty. I believe that no asking nor smiling will get you upgraded, the only reason for ground staff to upgrade is that economy is overbooked and business is empty. Now to get a better chance to be one of the lucky ones I believe that signing in the loyalty program of your airline will increase your chances.
Ø Do you have a rotation for first, business and economy class or are there different levels of flight attendants? :
First and business class cabin crew are the same level (based on my experience in two major international carriers) and economy cabin crew are only for economy.
Ø Do you have a preferred of class to work in?:
I prefer working in first and business class, because it’s less crowded so the workload is less, but for some people economy is better because you can get away with things easier, passengers generally easier to deal with than business and first 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!)
Tax free salary, discounts.
Ø Do people really try to join the Mile High Club or is this just a “myth”:
People who really travel most of the time they are already members but you get people asking to join once in a while.
Ø Have you been a flight with any celebrities and were you star struck?:
I had a famous Arabic actress once and I had Richard Gere.
Ø Do you have to adhere to strict dress code and make up policies? Does it get tedious?
Since I am a man make up is not a problem but it really get tedious regarding uniform and hairstyle sometimes, do you know that even when we travel for vacation we have to be in business attire?! Otherwise we will be offloaded.
Ø What’s your favourite stopover destination and what do you do on your stop over’s?
This is a very difficult question, because I love all places but once you go there more than twice you will not like to go anymore, but let’s say, Seychelles and Maldives for relaxing, new York for shopping, Europe for good food, Asia for parting and south Africa for amazing steak.
The first thing I do is to check any historical sites in the city then food, local beer, and before I used to party after that.
Ø What’s the weirdest request you’ve had from a passenger?
” am so tired can you change my infant’s dipper “.
Yes this really happened
And a passenger with a British passport (not original British if you know what I mean) asked about the location of the toilet for people holding a British passport while waving it in front of my face and shaking his head 😉
Ø I have heard that’s flight attendants have their own “language” or codes, what’s your favourite ?
Not really but there are some things that other people might not understand, regarding body language or industry terminology. Or sometimes jokes like words, my favourite of these is ( galley FM )
Photo Credit front cover: Mauren Veras