Details about Qatar Airways training and what will you learn during it

The Middle East airline companies are offering a 6-8 weeks training to their new employers, time in which they are learning everything about flying, the companies airplanes, how to react in case of an emergency, how to offer first aid and how to have the best on board service during the whole flight. In the end, the graduates are completely ready to operate their first flight and to embrace literally the job of Cabin Crew. The training is provided by the company, as part of the benefits of being hired. I think that every future Flight Attendant should know what to expect after an interview with an airline company, so I chose to write about how it goes the training at an Arabic airline company. Today, I am speaking about Qatar Airways.

I discussed with one of our former students, Cabin Crew for Qatar Airways, about how it was for her the training period at this company.

Training at Qatar Airways takes 2 months and almost 6-7 hours a day to study, in Doha academy. You have only one day free during the training period, Friday. “It was a little bit tiring because during the week you have to study daily, and in your day off it is s the only moment you had time for yourself”, says our How to be Cabin Crew student.

What did you study, what was the hardest subject?

We started the training with a short presentation of Doha, the rules we must follow and how to present during the whole training period (make-up, hair and outfit). It took place approximately 4 days. Then it followed the first training module, de Service one. It took 2 weeks and we learned about the equipment and products we have on board, menu presentation, wine and cocktails and communication methods.

After the 2 weeks of service, which were the easiest ones, followed the Safety module which took place 3 weeks, being the hardest and most stressful period of the training part, because you had to learn new terms daily. You had to know everything very well, exactly like it was written in the manual. At this module we studied exit procedures in case of emergency landing on water or land, how to use the safety equipment and fire simulation.

How was the ditching part (water landing simulation) ?

Ditching was the task I was most afraid of, at first, because I didn’t know how to swim, but when I arrived there I saw that it wasn’t that much complicated, because you are wearing a vest and you throw yourself in the water from a very small distance. You need to arrive to the shore from a relatively short distance, so it’s not that hard. A big inconvenient is that the water is very cold, but otherwise it is not that complicated, everybody passes this task.

The last part of the training was the First Aid module, here I learned about the pills we had in our first aid kit on board and how to use them, about different medical situations encountered on board like: panic attack, cerebral attack, fractures, burns, and so on.

How many exams you had to take during the training period?

We had one exam each week, and the percentage of promotion of the exam was 86%. This meant that you weren’t allowed to make more than 4-5 mistakes at a single test. The exam was multiple choice and had 50 questions.

How did you interact with your teachers?

The teachers, in general, tried to help us and to keep us motivated during the training period, because there were lots of moments when we had the impression that it is too much information for such a short period of time.

How it was to learn all the information in English, how difficult was to know all the technical terms by heart?

At first it was very difficult, it was hard to learn everything by heart, it was very stressful and I was very nervous before the first exams. Then I got used to the idea, and all seemed a lot easier, it become like a daily routine.

This is the story about Qatar Airways training period. I hope it will be very useful and to bring you closer to your dream.

Become cabin crew with our help! The How to be Cabin Crew course fully prepare applicants for the challenges they will face on an airline interview. This course is ideal for young professionals looking to get a head start in the profession, introducing the skills and responsibilities expected by the world’s leading airlines and more importantly give them the vital information and coaching that will help to ensure they perform on their recruitment day and in their interview to their best advantage. Book your place now – click here!

 

This course is designed to help you to prepare for cabin crew interviews with ANY international airline.

qatar airways

Qatar Executive is hiring corporate flight attendants

To be part of this exceptional team,Qatar Executive is recruiting the finest experienced crew worldwide with extraordinary potential and commitment. They believe in service excellence as a way of life. If you believe you have what it takes to be a part of this elite team, please take in consideration the following:

Qatar Executive is to become the leading provider of jet aircraft charter services together with premier aircraft management, maintenance and handling services in the Middle East and around the world.

 

They are looking for:

– dedicated and energetic individuals to join the cabin crew team.

– love travelling and meeting new people

– excellent interpersonal skills

– team players

Typical duties will include:

  • Providing outstanding customer service and customer satisfaction.
  • Assure all safety measures, regulations and policies are applied in the cabin.
  • Continually improve the service and update passenger profile
  • Solve problems creatively and follow through with customer feedback
  • To maintain a high standard of personal presentation at all times

Requirements:

  • Maximum age: 35 years, Single and Female
  • Minimum education: high school degree
  • Minimum 5 years of flying experience in a reputable International Airline, in a supervisory position.
  • At least 2 – 3 years of VIP/Corporate Airline experience will be preferred
  • Fluent in written and spoken English (ability to speak another language is an asset)
  • Excellent health and fitness
  • Social competence in a multicultural environment
  • Strong work ethics and committed to impeccable service
  • Professional, discreet, creative, proactive  and flexible
  • High standard of Personal Grooming, self-perception and presentation
  • Willingness to relocate to Doha, Qatar
  • Outgoing personality with good interpersonal skills and the ability to work with a multinational team
  • Non-restricted passport

Required Documents:

  • Updated CV (stating marital status, height/weight, date of birth and work experience with specific month and year)
  • Education Certificate
  • 1 Full-length photograph in business attire with plain background (must be less than 6 months old)
  • 1  Passport photograph (must be less than 6 months old)
  • 1  Passport copy
  • 2  Reference letters

Note: you will be required to attach the following:

  1. Resume / CV
  2. Copy of Highest Educational Certificate
  3. Copy of Passport
  4. Recent Full Length Color Photo – Business attire with White Background (Not Photoshop)
  5. Recent Passport Sized Photograph

If you are interested in this position, please apply online at this link:

https://qatarairways.sniperhire.net/UserRegistration.aspx?CompanyID=72&ChannelID=1787

Good luck to all!

Attend a How to be cabin Crew course and get prepared for your cabin crew career. We offer an intensive interview preparation course that will help you pass the interview with ANY airline company and get your dream job. More details about our upcoming courses here.

WIZZ AIR cabin crew recruitment days in March

Wizz Air, one of Europe’s fastest growing airlines and the largest low-cost carriers in Central and Eastern Europe,is continuously searching for cheerful, energetic and positive candidates for Flight attendant / Cabin crew positions  for the Central and Eastern European bases.

The cabin crew key responsabilities are :

  • Proper execution of the duties related to the safety of the aircraft (A320/A321) and the passengers
  • Maintain excellent customer service and creating “home atmosphere” on-board of the aircraft
  • Assist passengers who require special attention
  • Sales on-board, and cash handling
  • Punctuality and flexibility
  • Ability to work in a team
  • Keep the aircraft clean and tidy during the flight
  • Be adequatelyrested and properly groomed in order to conduct a flight
  • Performance of all the duties maintaining consistently the highest ethical standards

Requirements:

  • Minimum age: 18 years
  • Minimum height for ladies 1.65m and for gentleman 1.75m
  • Arm reach of 210cm while standing on tiptoes
  • Minimum high school degree
  • Fluent English both written and spoken, additional CEE language knowledge (either Romanian, Bulgarian, Polish, Hungarian, Lithuanian, Latvian, Slovak, Czech, Macedonian, Serbian, Ukrainian, Georgian, or Bosnian)
  • Valid passport without limitations (minimum 6 months)
  • Tattoos and piercing are acceptable provided they appear on parts of the body that are not visible when wearing uniform.
  • Ability to swim
  • Live or ready to move within 60 minutes of your chosen base and prepared to make this journey every day, at any time of the day
  • Customer service experience will be an advantage
  • Please note that if you wear glasses or contact lenses and your prescription are above +4 or below -4 you are likely to fail the mandatory medical examination

Company offer:

  • Competitive salary
  • Stable job in rapidly developing company
  • Friendly and multicultural work environment
  • Career opportunities
  • Complete and free Cabin Crew training
  • Employees and their families and friends have the opportunity to travel with discounted rates and on bonus airline tickets
  • Colorful lifestyle
  • Work is according to a duty roster (schedule) published monthly

The dates and places for recruitment in March are :

Bulgaria

Open Recruitment Day in Sofia

Date: 16th of March 2018, 9:00 A.M.

Place: NOVOTEL SOFIA, 115N, Tsarigradsko Shosse Blvd., 1784 Sofia, Bulgaria

Date: 27th of March 2018, 9:00 A.M.

Place: NOVOTEL SOFIA, 115N, Tsarigradsko Shosse Blvd., 1784 Sofia, Bulgaria

Please arrive sharply on time. Please bring your updated English CV, preferably 2 photos (face and full body), and reference with you. Please be prepared that the process might take until late afternoon.

Open Recruitment Day in Varna

Date: 13th of March 2018, 9:00 A.M.

Place: Swiss-Belhotel Dimyat Varna, 111 Kniaz Boris 1 Boulevard, Varna, 9002, Bulgaria

Please arrive sharply on time. Please bring your updated English CV, preferably 2 photos (face and full body), and reference with you. Please be prepared that the process might take until late afternoon.

Hungary

Open Recruitment Day in Budapest

Date: 24th of March 2018,10:00 A.M.

  Place: Mercure Budapest Korona, Kecskeméti utca 14, 1053 Budapest, Hungary

Date: 28th of March 2018, 9:00 A.M.

Place: Mercure Budapest Korona, Kecskeméti utca 14, 1053 Budapest, Hungary

Please arrive sharply on time. Please bring your updated English CV, preferably 2 photos (face and full body), and reference with you. Please be prepared that the process might take until late afternoon.

Poland

Please note, that you may participate on any of the Open Recruitment Day events to be selected for one of the Base cities you prefer.

 Open Recruitment Day in Gdansk

Date: 14th of March 2018, 9:00 A.M.

Place: NOVOTEL GDAŃSK MARINA ul. Jelitkowska 20, 80-342 Gdańsk, Polska

Date: 22nd of March 2018, 9:00 A.M.

  Place: NOVOTEL GDAŃSK MARINA ul. Jelitkowska 20, 80-342 Gdańsk, Polska

Please arrive sharply on time. Please bring your updated English CV (please insert personal data protection disclaimer on it), preferably 2 photos (face and full body), and reference with you. Please be prepared that the process might take till late afternoon.

Open Recruitment Day in Katowice

Date: 20th of March 2018, 9:00 A.M.

Place: Novotel Katowice Centrum, al. Roździeńskiego 16, 40-202 Katowice, Poland

Date: 30th of March 2018, 9:00 A.M.

Place: Novotel Katowice Centrum, al. Roździeńskiego 16, 40-202 Katowice, Poland

Please arrive sharply on time. Please bring your updated English CV (please insert personal data protection disclaimer on it), preferably 2 photos (face and full body), and reference with you. Please be prepared that the process might take until late afternoon.

  • Cabin Attendants [Lodz base]

 Open Recruitment Day in Łódź for Katowice and Warsaw bases:

Date: 16th of March 2018, 10:00 A.M.

Place: Grand Hotel Łódź, ul. Piotrkowska 72, 90-102 Łódź, Poland

Open Recruitment Day in Warsaw

Date: 16th of March 2018, 9:00 A.M.

Place: Hampton by Hilton Warsaw Airport, Komitetu Obrony Robotników 39F Street, 02-148 Warsaw, Poland

Date: 27th of March 2018, 9:00 A.M.

Place: Hampton by Hilton Warsaw Airport, Komitetu Obrony Robotników 39F Street, 02-148 Warsaw, Poland

Please arrive sharply on time. Please bring your updated English CV (please insert personal data protection disclaimer on it), preferably 2 photos (face and full body), and reference with you. Please be prepared that the process might take until late afternoon.

Romania

Open Recruitment Day in Bucharest

Date: 27th of March 2018, 9:00 A.M.

Place: Vienna House Easy Airport Bucharest, 283 Calea Bucurestilor, 075100 Otopeni, Romania

 Open Recruitment Day in Sibiu

Date: 30th of March 2018, 9:00 A.M.

Place: Ramada Sibiu Hotel, Strada Emil Cioran nr 2 Sibiu, 550025, Romania

Please arrive sharply on time. Please bring your updated English CV, preferably 2 photos (face and full body), and reference with you. Please be prepared that the process might take until late afternoon.

United Kingdom

 Open Recruitment Day in Luton

Date: 15th of March 2018, 9:00 A.M.

Place: ibis Hotel Luton Airport, Luton, Spittlesea Road, LU2 9NZ, United Kingdom

Please arrive sharply on time. Please bring your updated English CV, preferably 2 photos (face and full body), and reference with you. Please be prepared that the process might take until late afternoon.

Date: 16th of March 2018,10:00 A.M.

Place: Manor of Groves Hotel, High Wych, Sawbridgeworth, Hertfordshire, CM21 0JU, United Kingdom

Date: 24th of March 2018, 9:00 A.M.

Place: ibis Hotel Luton Airport, Luton, Spittlesea Road, LU2 9NZ, United Kingdom

Date: 30th of March 2018, 9:00 A.M.

Place: ibis Hotel Luton Airport, Luton, Spittlesea Road, LU2 9NZ, United

Good luck to all !

How I discovered How to be cabin crew team & courses

When I first found How to be cabin crew on Facebook, I told myself “Oh nice, what’s this?”

I think I checked the whole Facebook page and after that I went on the website. I read the whole website for days, then I thought, ok, I’ll apply for a course, why not? I have nothing to lose. So I made a paypal account and paid my course.

For me was, ROME here I come! First time in Rome, first time in Italy. I was confused, will it help me? Am I made for the job ? Will there be a lot of students?

Saturday, on 9th of July 2016, my course started at 11am. I received a warm welcome from Anca and Georgiana, the lovely How to be cabin Crew team. They were SOOO nice, I felt comfortable immediately.

This course made me very confident also about my English, because English is not my first language, and my dear teacher Anca motivated to trust more in myself. I liked a lot the way she held the classes, how she taught us everything regarding the various interviews with airline companies, how she explained each step, how much attention she paid to each one of us.

She’s a very elegant women, and motivates you to obtain the job. Spending time with her for me was like I was already on the plane.

Now, after the course, I’m more motivated and I am feeling 100% confident. During the course, the word BRAVO of my dear teacher was a real BOOST.

Also, through this course I discovered which are my skills and how to underline them better. I did not know I was creative until I heard this from my teacher.

I would highly recommend this course to every person who wants to make his dream come true => BEING CABIN CREW . I’m sure I will get the cabin crew job soon, and will be soooo proud sending you a picture with me wearing my beautiful uniform.

Thanks a lot,

big hugs and kisses,

Asma

Feedback from our student Asma

Prepare yourself for the upcoming interviews with the big airline companies. Attend our How to be Cabin Crew courses and make a step towards your dream job. Details and registration here.

Interview with former Qatar Cabin Crew, Zaheer Alvi

When did you first know that you want to be a cabin crew?

Since I was born, I was interested in aviation. My mother told me that whenever I use to see an aircraft, I use to call it ‘My Plane’. However, during my high-school, I always wanted to do something to get into the aircraft business and honestly, to see the world. I think the best idea was either as a pilot or being a cabin crew . When I started looking up aviation jobs, some of my friends and family discouraged me into becoming a pilot. They thought so many people have this job and they can not find a job for themselves. So, I started thinking about other ways of travelling around the world and that was the time I thought of becoming cabin crew.

 

How would you describe yourself before getting into aviation?

It might shock you that I was a very shy person before getting into the airline business. I didn’t talked to strangers and it was very difficult for me to trust other persons. I was mostly quiet and mostly misunderstood due to my quiet behavior in new places. I was so quiet that when I joined the airline business, many people use to think that I don’t like to work with them due to my behavior. But in time I managed to overcome my emotions, and to be more openly and friendly.

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For how many airlines did you work and for how long?

I have worked only for Qatar Airways for 14 years, because I was born in Doha and I never wanted to leave the place.

 

Which was the highest position that you had in the airline?

I had reached the position of CSD and the reason I never applied for a higher one (for an office job) was because I didn’t wanted to quit flying.

 

Did your private life have to suffer because of traveling so much?

Not really. The reason is that when you enjoy doing something, it will not affect your life or in other word you don’t have to suffer due to the things you are enjoying. No matter what kind of job you have, there are always cons and pros to it. We should remember that a good life is not about WHAT you are doing, it is always about HOW you are doing it. No matter which profession you are working in, if you are not satisfied or you do not enjoy doing it, you are going to suffer not only professionally, but also personally. As I was enjoying flying and always having new people around me, my private life was never affected by my work.

 

Were you sad when you had to stop flying?

Yes, it was a big change. For me, I think flying gets in your blood; once you get used to it, you have to really prepare yourself psychologically to quit.

 

Do you still keep in touch with your friends that you made around the world?

Always! The best thing that happened to me while flying was meeting new people around the world, working with them, travelling with them, getting to know about their cultures, religions etc. It gives you the feeling that you can just meet anyone and you know what they are expecting from you.

 

What are you doing at the moment?

After quitting I finished my studies and right now I have my own business.

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Can you describe in details a happy/unhappy situation that took place in your flight?

As I spend 11 years of flying in supervisor position, most of the times I have tried my best to make every flight a ‘Happy flight’ and I hope I succeeded. I think the most uncomfortable situations for me where when I had to report someone for not being up to the standards of the company. Luckily for me, I never experienced a fight with passengers or had to intervene in disagreement between cabin crew and passengers. The reason is that our crew was trained to follow the standards of the company strictly, and they always tried to make the flight as pleasant as possible.

Prepare yourself for the upcoming interviews with the big airline companies. Come at our How to be Cabin Crew courses and make a step forward towards your dream. Details and registration here.

cabin crew

What’s next if you have passed the final interview with an airline company?

Are you among the lucky ones who have passed their final interview and can almost call themselves cabin crew? Then it means that you can start imagining your cabin crew career, the adventures you’ll have and the wonderful experience that lie ahead.

Before all these happen, let us tell you what follows after an interview with an airline company:

1. Golden email/golden call

One week or around 10 days after the final interview the airline company will inform you via email or phone if you have been selected for the job. Be sure to check your email constantly and to have access to a phone line. You never know when the recruiters might contact you. It can also be during the weekend, so be aware that Sunday is a working day in the Arab countries. If your the answer is positive, you’ll also be informed regarding what else they need from you: certain documents, details about your work contract, medical check-ups, when should you quit your present workplace and so on.

2. Medical Check-ups

All airline companies require certain medical check-ups before hiring. For most airline companies you’ll have to present a complete set of check-ups before signing the contract. Etihad, however, has a different policy: the new recruits get their check-ups done after they arrive at the headquarters. Some of the check-ups you’ll need to keep in mind are: HIV test, syphilis, hepatitis B and C, a radiography for tuberculosis, a panoramic teeth radiography and a x-ray that proves you don’t have scoliosis. Emirates also requires a Pap test.

Besides, you’ll also be asked to hand in a list with all the vaccines you’ve gotten so far. The list must also contain the yellow fever and meningococcal vaccines. If it does’t you must get vaccinated as soon as possible.

Remember: When at the headquarters of your new employer, all the check-ups we have mentioned will be repeated at the company’s medical clinic, therefore they can rest assured that their new recruit is 100% healthy. Otherwise, the risk is that you might be sent home. Your health is a number 1 priority.

3. Documents – signing the contract

When all your check-ups are in order, the next step is signing your contract. Usually, a contract with an airline company is signed for a 3 years period. However, Qatar Airways requires a 5 years period on their contracts. You must have a valid, not temporary passport. Most Arab countries do not accept temporary passports!

4. Date of join – Plane ticket

Shortly after your receive the golden email/call you’ll also be informed about the date you’ll fly to your new “home, your plane ticket will be paid by your new employer.

5. What to pack?

The airline company will pay up to 100 kg extra luggage ( Qatar Airways pays for 130!) so you can bring most of the things you need. Keep in mind when packing that you need clothes for all seasons as you’ll fly all over the world and you’ll experience all types of weather.

6. Training

Depending on the airline company, the training period will last from 6 to 8 weeks. Prepare yourself for an intense learning experience about everything a cabin crew member should know: aviation in general, types of planes, safety & emergency, service on board and so on.

Remember: You must wear business attire at the training sessions: black skirt or pants, white shirt and black pumps. You have to always respect the company’s grooming manual even when entering the company’s headquarters.

Good luck and see you among the clouds!

Join us on an exclusive 4 days training course. We’ll share everything you need to know to pass the cabin crew interview stages, we will edit your perfect CV and take professional pictures for your online application. At the end of the course, you will be fully prepared for the interview. Book your seat now! 

Top 10 Cabin Crew Final Interview Questions

The Final Interview is the last step you need to take while dealing with the recruiters. It may last from just a few minutes (as it is the case of Qatar Airways, when you are given not more than 5 minutes) to 20-30 minutes. It all depends on your discussion with the recruiters, what they are looking for on your CV, your past experience and the way in which you succeed to convince them of your future cabin crew abilities.

The discussion is usually a relaxed one; it’s just you and the recruiters. They will pay close attention to your answers, as well as to your body language. How you will support your opinions, along with your ability to take decisions quickly and give relevant answers will also be noticed.

There are some standard questions posed on the final interview. That does not mean, of course, that the questions will remain the same for each interview, or that the recruiters won’t ask you something specific, according to your own professional experience. You have to be prepared for anything, confident and optimistic during all the interview process.

Here is a list of the most commonly asked interview questions, whose response should be kept in mind:

  1. Tell us a little bit about yourself.
  2. Recall a time when a co-worker was not doing their job. Did you step in, and if so, how?
  3. Why do you want to be a Flight Attendant?
  4. What 3 strengths would you bring to the company?
  5. Tell me a time when you were overwhelmed at work. What happened? What did you do? What was the end result?
  6. Give an example of excellent customer service you provide.
  7. How do you feel about wearing a uniform at work?
  8. Why should we hire you?
  9. Do you want to ask us anything?
  10. Recall a time when you had to handle an unruly customer. How did you resolve the ensuing conflict?

Cabin Crew Final Interview Questions: How to answer?

Stay relevant in everything you say. Don’t give very long answers and always come up with practical examples, relating to your own experience. Be sincere and tell the truth in case you haven’t already found yourself in a certain situation. Don’t interrupt the recruiters and try to maintain a positive atmosphere. When you are done, don’t forget to thank them for their time.

My advice is to have the answers to the questions above prepared in advance (or at least have an idea). Don’t memorize them and don’t try to build perfect answers. Smile as much as you can and try to prove the recruiters that all your qualities recommend you for the position of flight attendant within that airline.

From cabin crew to air traffic controller

Alexandra Tomescu worked for two years as a cabin crew at Qatar Airways. She returned to Romania exactly 2 years and 3 months later, as her homesickness was continuously growing. The aviation “bug” was still there though, so, shortly after her cabin crew career ended, Alexandra gives the Air Traffic Controller test and goes to Miami for a 5 month training program at PanAm International Flight Academy. Today, Alexandra Tomescu is an Air Traffic Controller at the Sibiu International Airport.

I had the pleasure to meet Alexandra Tomescu many years ago, on a flight to KUL (Kuala Lumpur). I found, during that flight and layover site (staying at the hotel overnight) Alexandra to be not only a trustworthy colleague but a friend also. Although a petite cabin crew, she proved to have a big heart and a strong, but pleasant, personality. Years after, I was delighted to find out that, although she left behind this profession, she built her career up inside the aviation, as an air traffic controller.

How did you become a cabin crew? Where do the beginnings of your itinerary in aviation lay?

After I have graduated International Economic Relations at the ASE, I wished for a job in “International Logistics”. Twice a week I used to buy a newspaper where there were job advertisements and at some point, I saw the recruitment advertisement – Open Day – for Qatar Airways. I clipped the newspaper ad and thought it was worth a try, even if it wasn’t exactly what I wished for, although I, later on, joked that it was in fact the same field, only it was international logistics of the passengers.

I always liked travelling and so I thought it was a great opportunity to see the world, to get to know so many people, to discover their history, religion and customs and even get paid for it. What could be better than that? After the interview, where about 300 candidates summoned initially (if not more, because the hotel’s auditorium was full) I found myself to be one of the 23 fortunates, later on I was contacted for the confirmation and finally for signing the contract. I proceeded in this profession for two years, to be more accurate, 2 years and 3 months, 2 months being the training period at that time (December 2005 – March 2008).

What were you thinking of when taking off?

Take-off is my favourite of all of flight’s phases: a little adrenaline and the ferment of arriving at the destination, the adventure of discovering, each time, brand-new things.

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Which was your favourite destination?

Out of the ones I saw when working for Qatar, there were two: in Europe – Switzerland and in Asia – Kuala Lumpur. Without exaggerating, besides culture and scenery in Kuala Lumpur, I think I particularly fell in love with it mostly because of the crew members I was flying with then, that particular flight you mentioned when you talked about how we met ! I really had a great time there, especially since it’s been an almost 5 days stay, if I remember correctly. Today, things have changed. I revisited some of my destinations in Asia, and recently got to see Kuala Lumpur and Singapore and been deeply impressed by Singapore. It truly is the pearl of Asia!

What are your best flying memories ?

There are many beautiful memories. It would take too long to talk about each of them. But as a rule, the most beautiful flight experiences were those where your crew was homogeneous, where you got on well with everyone, teamwork was natural, and communication was as natural as if you knew each other for a lifetime. With such a crew, a demanding flight was becoming pleasant and passed swiftly, and once arrived at the destination, if there was a layover, you would walk and have fun like old friends do.

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Why did you swap profession?

The cabin crew profession is very beautiful and as Sasha, my Safety & Security instructor said, if flying gets in your blood, it’s difficult to get rid of it. Those who think being a cabin crew is easy, are very wrong. It is a very demanding job, both physically and mentally. You have a very chaotic schedule, flying at all hours, varying in duration, you travel the world back and forth, cutting across several time zones, you have to know very well everything you have learned during training, but, the most demanding of all, to satisfy all passengers requests with a smile on your face and according to a certain standard. Passengers do not care that you are there first of all for their safety and that serving them only comes after, on the contrary, they are mostly interested in service.

There have been flights where the area designated to me consisted of 75 passengers, each having their own needs and demands. In addition to this, the biggest sacrifice you make is your personal life. It’s hard to be so far away from home (home being your base, for that is your new home), to live your life on the plane and inside hotels and have a normal personal life. This job asks for sacrifices, and starting a family is the first. I considered this job couldn’t take me very far on a professional or personal level and felt that, that kind of future wasn’t what I wished for.

I encourage all those who wish to travel the world to embrace this profession for a few years, but they should also know when to stop. It is difficult to return back home and start your life from scratch, professionally speaking, because most companies ask for experience in a particular area and, even though thrilled that you have worked abroad, in a big company with many nationalities, they will inevitably prefer whoever has experience in their field.

I decided to change something in my life with my head, not with my heart … And to reinforce what I said above, after returning back home, only after 3 months of interviews at various companies, I managed to get a job as assistant manager. It was not what I dreamt of, but I had to start somewhere. Knowing that I could do more, and wishing to do it, I did my best to find something more competitive and challenging. And at some point, I found out about the air traffic controller job exam (FEAST test developed by Eurocontrol in Brussels – for those who wish to know more) which I can proudly say I passed, being the 3rd out of 400 candidates.cabin crew

Congratulations! What does your current job involve?

I love my current job and barely see myself doing anything else. It is obvious that aviation got into my blood and even if I’m not travelling as often as I did while being a cabin crew, I get to see planes almost every day. I say almost every day because I work shifts 12/24/12/48, so, one every four days I don’t work. The air traffic controller profession is very beautiful, but also very demanding, not in vain they consider it to be the most stressful job in the world. As the name suggests, it mainly involves tracking and routing airplanes, preventing collision between airplanes both in air and on the ground, between airplanes and other machineries and to maintain the safe flow of air traffic in the space assigned. It involves both landings and take-offs, plus directing other aircraft in my area of responsibility. To have an idea, my area of responsibility is represented by a cylinder, 60 km in diameter, and 11000 feet (about 3500 meters) in height.

It is a very complex job, it demands excellent distributive attention, immediate responsiveness and making the right decisions in a very short period of time, responsibility being huge. We carry the responsibility for the entire journey of an airplane, from the moment the engines starts for the take-off, to the moment you arrive safely at your destination and engines stop. Pilots take care of the proper operation of an airplane, we handle safety, giving instructions for the routes to be followed, altitudes and procedures. This is the responsibility an air traffic controller has. As I already said, it is a complex job and there would be a lot to explain but hope to have made myself clear with the brief description above.

What can you tell us about the training stage in Miami?

If at Qatar Airways in 2 months I “graduated” 7 training courses: waiter, bartender, chef, policeman, fireman, nurse and human resources, the initial air traffic controller training lasted five months at the PanAm International Flight Academy. It definitely cannot be compared to the cabin crew training course in terms of complexity. For 2 months, we studied theory: aviation law, meteorology, navigation, navigation equipments, aircraft characteristics, phraseology, Air Traffic Management, human factors and briefing.

After the first month of theory, we began with the simulator also, direction giving exercises, similar to real life. In the beginning, exercises were simple, with 3-4 airplanes and in time, difficulty increased, reaching 20 aircraft with both departures and arrivals within 30 minutes, without any mistakes. In fact, this is the most important part: the simulator, because it teaches you how to deal with real traffic, both in normal and extraordinary situations and / or emergencies. Obviously, when one theory module ended, we would have a written examination and in the end we had a practical exam on the simulator, consisting of a normal directing exercise combined with extraordinary and / or emergency.

Divided between learning and having fun, during the 5 months in Miami I have also built beautiful friendships, for a lifetime, I hope. After returning in the country, a week’s course of Flight Dispatcher followed, concluded with a written test examination. A month later, I had to once again give all theoretical examinations at the Romanian Civil Aviation Authority, and only after that acquired the license of apprentice air traffic controller. An extra two months period of simulators followed and after that, I started this internship period in real traffic directing. 6 months of internship later, I had the AACR exam again, this time, the Examination commission arriving at the location. The examination consisted of a written test comprising all subjects, but made specifically for that particular area and after that, they observed the real traffic routing of aircraft. Only afterwards did I receive the air traffic controller authorization , with full one year rights. Every year we must deal with extraordinary situations and / or emergency on the simulator and have to undertake a written and practical re-examination.

The Flight Dispatcher ,at least level 4 ICAO English Language certificate and medically fit class III certificate are also repetitive check-ups. In conclusion: a complex process and an ongoing training, as the profession itself.

Was the information acquired during the cabin crew training course helpful for your training in Miami?

They are completely different professions, even though they both belong to the aviation field, consequently, information acquired during the flight attendant training course didn’t help much, during my training in Miami.

 

What’s atmosphere like in a control tower, compared to a plane?

If I have to refer to the people you work with, it is totally different. Inside the tower, there’s a handful of people, usually the same during each shift, consequently, friendships are closer and you get to know others very well, while on the plane you barely fly 2 or 3 times with the same people. During breaks, the atmosphere is relaxed but otherwise everyone is very focused on what is to be done and you must be authoritative and in control. There’s no room for hesitation or babble, and pilots must follow the instructions you give. And there’s also no room for “Sorry”, as opposed to a flight attendant’s approach.

Which of the two professions would you recommend to your child?

First of all, it depends on the child’s personality and what they like. Based on this, I would recommend one of these jobs or none. They both shaped me and helped me become who I am today, I think they both offer very much, but it depends on what one really expects from life and the limits they set for themselves. Aviation truly gives you wings …