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 Australia.
Tell us about yourself:
20 odd year old, living in Adelaide (Australia), moved from Melbourne (Australia) to work for my airline.
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? :
Short-haul, which is domestic and international short-haul (e.g. Bali, Phuket, New Zealand, Fiji, Papua New Guinea)
Ø What do you enjoy the most about your job?:
I love the overnights when it turns into one big party with different crews from different bases. The staff travel definitely makes the job worthwhile too.
Ø How often do you fly?
Maximum 140 hours per roster (28 days), so usually 4-5 days a week.
Ø What are your secrets to getting over jetlag quickly?
I usually get asked this question once a week, and the biggest thing I can stress is to drink lots of water! I remember my buddy when I first started flying telling me to keep drinking water until you feel like you’re ready to vomit and then you know you’ve had enough. Also as soon as you get on the flight, change your watch to the local time at the destination.
Ø What’s the hardest thing about this job?:
Being away from home for such extended periods and working with a different crew sometimes everyday make the job difficult, although I would have to say the hardest thing would be when you have crew who are horrible, it can really make your day awful!
Ø What’s the worst/craziest experiences you have ever had as a flight attendant:
#Recently on a Melbourne to Brisbane flight had a passenger start screaming at me because there was 2 people waiting to use the lavatory, reminding me she was a gold passenger constantly and that she should be entitled to use the business class lavatory. When she got her way and used the business class lavatory, she still was screaming. There’s just no pleasing some people.
#Discovering that people have left their toenail clipping on the carpet, always disgusting
#Had a child that was scared of flying start projectile vomiting on boarding because he was so terrified.
Ø What’s the best way to deal with hard to deal with customers?
Try to understand why they are frustrated, usually what had stressed them out, makes us stressed too! Usually coming back 15 minutes later with a complimentary snack or drink and they will then be putty in your hands!
Ø Have you ever been in a near miss or plane accident? And did your training prove useful:
No accidents or near misses, however was in a car accident and automatically started yelling evacuation commands!
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?
On my airline, we will not upgrade people, no matter how lovely, attractive or amazing they may be, with many people in the airline being fired for much less.
Ø Do you have a rotation for first, business and economy class or are there different levels of flight attendants? :
Usually the cabin supervisor will attend to the business class cabin, however other crew are more than welcome to assist or attend to them during the flight.
Ø Do you have a preferred of class to work in?:
I prefer the business class cabin as you get a chance to get to know the passengers!
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!)
Having a different man in every port? But seriously, it’s an amazing opportunity to get to explore the world and get paid for while you are doing it! It’s also brilliant for networking with people you would usually never get to meet!
Ø Do people really try to join the Mile High Club or is this just a “myth”:
Yes. Far too frequently for my liking. Although why you would want to expose yourself so much in an airline lavatory is beyond me, they are riddled with bacteria!
Ø Have you been a flight with any celebrities and were you star struck?:
Recently had a boy band on my flight and was far too nervous to even go near them! Was disappointed that they left some things fans had made them on board to be thrown away though.
Ø Do you have to adhere to strict dress code and make up policies? Does it get tedious?
Yes, we have a book a few inches thick that we must stick to. You get used to always looking perfect at work, and relish that on your days off you can look like crap and no one can say a thing! On lay-overs we usually can’t recognize each other out of uniform!
Ø What’s your favourite stopover destination and what do you do on your stop over’s?
Bali, hands down! Depends on the layover length, but will usually hit the clubs that night and then sit by the pool the next day recovering!
Ø What’s the weirdest request you’ve had from a passenger?
Can you peel and then cut up my 1kg bag of apples for me? No ma’am I don’t have a knife, I’m not too sure how security would feel if I had one sharp enough for that.
Ø I have heard that’s flight attendants have their own “language” or codes, what’s your favourite?
BOB is a great one (Best on Board), however I always have a good laugh when we signal to each other when we need something (e.g. if you need a chicken sandwich from the other cart, you hit the call bell, then do the chicken dance)!