After 5 years as Cabin Crew: nothing is hard if you have your wings

Lili worked for 5 years as Cabin Crew for Etihad Airways. She left the company when she was pregnant with her first child, but she has flying deep in her blood. For her “nothing is hard for those who got their wings”. Lili is brave, she followed her dream and started working for Etihad Airways in 2008, when there weren’t so many information about this company in the Middle East.

I was so excited to hear her story as it radiates passion and dedication. Nevertheless, Lili is a beautiful soul, a former amazing cabin crew.

How did you start flying? Tell us about your first encounter with aviation

Dear Anca, through this interview I hope to inspire young people to fly, to chase their dreams and do things with passion. I got to fly because that was my faith. I didn’t choose this job, this job chose me. I never thought that one day I will do this or that I will arrive that far, I think I didn’t allow myself dreaming so far. But then I got my wings and I learned to fly. I simply applied to all the jobs I thought were interesting, even for those abroad and one day I woke up with a phone call from a recruiting agency who offered me the possibility to attend an interview with an airline company from UAE. (I hadn’t even heard of this country.) Normally, I would have ignored such an invitation, because I was called to go in another city to attend the interview. I was 27 years old and I wanted to leave the country, to see how the world is. I succeeded the second time, therefore in august 2008 I arrived in Abu Dhabi. It was a whole different world, at first it was hard to accommodate with such high temperatures, but I had the luck to know someone from my hometown who made the accomodation easier. We are still very good friends till this day, and she is my connection with UAE and with the job among the clouds. I had 2 months of intensive training. We had courses till the afternoon, we arrived home at midnight and the next day we woke up in the morning to study and at 11 am we were going again back to the academy. It seemed liked my dreem job fit me like a glove. And it was exactly like that. I graduated with high grades at Safety and it was my strong point along my career

You worked 5 years for Etihad Airways. How was your first flight? Where did you fly?

The first flight was extremely difficult, I was supposed to be an Observer during the flight, but I had to work exactly the same as the others in order to satisfy all the passengers requests, it was a very interesting experience for me. The flight was full, on a small airplane (A320). I must say that even before knowing about this job, I was passionate about the shows on National Geographic related to airplanes (Aircraft Investigations, Disasters in air). There may be a destiny, right?

How was a day for an Etihad Airways flight attendant?

A flying day was a real ritual, because it meant the same make-up, the same hair style, same uniform and a Briefing before each flight. After this, you will walk proudly with the whole crew under the starring eyes of the passengers. The flights were mostly tiring, but everything was fine as long as the crew knew how to communicate and work in a team.  If this didn’t happen, the flight would be a failure, but each flight is a lesson. This job/world taught me to be grateful (for the fact that I was born in Romania and I had the chance to have an education, for the fact that I knew 4 seasons, and so on.), I learned to be the best, to be patient, to respect different cultures, to accept that we are all what we are.

Tell us a funny story of one of your flights.

Hmm, there were so many. I remember on the second flight as an Observer when my colleagues along with the Captain tried to prank me. Ah, a whole flight laughed when the copilot forgot to deactivate “PA” (public announcement) and all the passengers heard their private conversation after landing.

Have you ever encountered an emergency situation? How did you react?

Fortunate, I haven’t had serious incidents in my 5 years as Cabin Crew. I once had a gentleman who fell in a deep sleep and his wife thought he died. In this kind of situations most important it is to remain calm, to talk with your passengers and to ask the help of your colleagues. In general, I am a strong person, I don’t panic and I manage to deal calmly with this kind of situations and to be useful when needed.

Which was one of the great satisfactions that this job offered you?

Seeing happy people: that hand shake when they left the airplane, that “thank you” in their language, the joy of offering a smile. And not least, the joy of seeing and living for a short period of time in all those places I had the privilege to arrive to.

What will be the disadvantages of this job?

Oh, the minuses…yes, they are plenty. Seen from outside, it is a wonderful job, and nobody knows what it truly means. It involves a lot of physical work, not only mentally, it is about working long hours, taking care of people, washing toilets if necessary, cleaning vomit and the list goes on. The idea is that from the moment you arrived in the airplane till landing, the airplane is your home, and from the moment the doors are closed till opening you are there for anything that the passengers need and trust me a lot can happen: babies can be born, people could die, accidents can happen, and so on.

Do you miss flying? How is your life now? What plans you have in the future?

Yes, I miss it, even if I don’t have time to think about it and my baby girl is offering me all the joy and satisfaction I need. I was still working for Etihad Airways when I got pregnant (I had a long distance relationship with my husband, he was in Romania, and Lia happened on one of our escapades in Istanbul). I flew for 2 more months with her in my belly and my last flight was the longest one. What can I say? It was an amazing experience, I will always say that, I am glad I had this opportunity. If I had another age when I left,  I would have arrived far… I left from a FJ position (First and Business Class Attendant), and I was about to become Cabin Senior, but I didn’t had the opportunity. I have a tattoo “Alis Grave nil” (Nothing is hard for those who have their wings)

Best regards,

Lili.

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

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.

flydubai cabin crew

Flydubai airline interview tasks

Flydubai airline company recently announced that they are recruiting cabin crew in Rome, Italy. The interview is Assessment Day, and you can participate after you have passed the online tasks and you receive an official invitation from them.

And because at the interview you must be as well prepared as you can, today we make sure that you know what are the task to pass at an Assessment Day Flydubai.

  1. Registration

At the beginning of the day, the candidates will fill in with their personal data a series of documents given by the recruiters (name, age, details about any tattoo, distinctive marks)

  1. Reach test

In order to be employed at Flydubai you need to have a minimum of 1.58cm. The recruiters will measure each of you, to make sure that the height is the correct one.

  1. Written test

They have 2 test types. One is in English (medium level, need to choose the correct response or to read a text and then answer to some questions based on it). Along this test, you will give one at mathematics too (calculate jet lag, exchange currency, aspects related to sales). The 2 tests need to be done in approximately 40 minutes.

  1. Presentation of the company: conditions, salary, benefits

The recruiters will present before the candidates their company in which they will speak about the salary, work conditions, company benefits and details about life in Dubai. Pay very much attention to these presentations, and eventually, take notes when you are hearing important information. It may help you at the final interview.

  1. Group discussions

The candidates will be divided into groups and will receive a topic. This way, the recruiters will be able to see if you have initiative, you can work in team, if you know to listen to others and to accept different solutions, in order for them to see if you are prepared to work in an airplane. Everything is timed, and you have between 7 and 10 minutes to discuss.

  1. Role-play

Candidates are divided into groups of 2 and will have the opportunity to play different scenarios in order to reveal their abilities as customer service. For example, you could play the role of an unsatisfied client from a restaurant face to face with a waitress or other situations in which you need to prove you know how to deal with a customer.

 

  1. Final interview

If you arrived till this task, consider yourself lucky, because you are one step away of making your dreams come true. Follows the final interview, a few minutes discussion with the recruiters, in which you will be alone before them, ready to answer to any question as good as possible. You will be asked details about aspects from your CV: where did you worked before, why you resigned, when was the last time you proved you are a team player. Or you can be asked questions about the carrier you want to follow, as a cabin crew, why Flydubai, how long do you want to be a flight attendant and so on.

After all these steps, everything you need to do is just wait for the “Golden Call” or the “Golden Email”. Usually, it lasts between one week-10 days from the day of the interview.

Salary:

Our latest information obtained from the Flydubai salary will be these (**these are not updated from 2013) :

Base salary: 3000 AED

Home indemnity : 3000 AED

Transport indemnity: 750 AED

Flying pay(varying on each flight): 2000 AED

Sales commission on board (variable) : 1000 AED

Total: 9750 AED (approximately, each month)

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. 

Our students feedback from our English for Cabin Crew

English for Cabin Crew is a very dearly course because each time our students are coming with a big baggage of emotions, unconfident in their public speaking abilities followed by a lack of fluency in English.After 3 days and almost 30 hours spent together, the magic happens: our students strip their emotions and fears, are more openly and the result amazes me every time. I discover confident people, prepared to face the tasks from an interview with an enormous smile.

A part of our English for Cabin Crew students,  from May 2016, wrote about their experience at our course and we are sharing it with you.

“It is my first course at which I felt I can be myself, that my dreams will become real. It was a course I will always remember, because I learned to excel and to have more confidence in myself.

I learned so many things for a career in aviation, and the atmosphere was incredible.

I will come back with pleasure and interest at the same time, at another course because I felt it was very useful.

Thank you for having the patience needed in order to make me understand the vast information about this job”

Alina

“My darlings,

I want to thank you for giving me the opportunity to meet you and to learn so many useful things from you. When I came here, in the first day, I admit I was a bit tense, thinking the others will make fun of me for the way I speak in public, in English. Due to you now I can say that I succeeded in overcoming my fear of speaking in public, thanks to your interactive games that you coordinated.

I had the chance to use the knowledge that I already had and I managed to learn more and more as the hours passed. You are close to my heart, thank you!

Yours faithfully,

Lavinia S.

“I came back with pleasure to participate at my second course with you and I encountered the same familiar and warming atmosphere. I found out new things, I remembered what I forgot, and now, at the end, I feel the same feeling of “I wish it won’t be over”.

I gained new friendships, which with certainty will continue outside the course and I hope we will hear again soon with good news about a certain “Golden Call”.

Thank you for all.”

Maria

“English for cabin crew was over my expectations. I thought I will learn basic informations about the big airline companies and the aviation vocabulary, but I was pleasantly surprised to see that I had to face clear, concise situations.

In the first day I barely said 3 lines about me, and half wrong, and when I arrived home, I opened my notebook and I started to do my “homework”, self presentation…I wrote a half of a page. I loved it so much and I consider that after these 3 intense days I remained with a big baggage of information. Many appreciations to our trainer and I will love to come back after a few months, to surprise you in the middle of a course and to tell you how I got my wings.

Thank you so much girls, wish you great success in the future! “

Andreea

English for Cabin Crew course is one of the most amazing experienced I lived. It gave me the opportunity to develop myself, I gained new friends, made me excited and happy that I managed to take part of it.

The knowledge achieved along this course were very useful and interesting, I left these course with much confidence in myself and I think I will succeed in having a beautiful career among the clouds, and all thanks to you! “

Alecsandra D.

“Today, 22.05.2016, the last day a How to be Cabin Crew, I realized that my participation at the English for Cabin Crew course was an excellent idea.

I always had financial and moral support from my mom, but this one was the only thing I chose to do without her “approval”. She helps me financially, but doesn’t want to accept that my life will be in danger flying so much.

At How to be Cabin Crew I felt like in a family. Every day I learned new things.

I considered myself hopeless. With your help and support, I can now say I leave from here happy, impatient and ready for a cabin crew interview.

Thank you,

Ps: #youaretrulyofferingwings  “

Raluca

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. 

How was it at our first How to be Cabin Crew course in Rome

I came back home from Rome after almost a week in which I fell in love with the city, with pistachio gelato and with our lovely students that were a big part of our experience in Rome. We had a great connection with them from the beginning and during the whole course, that in a short period of time they become extremely dear to us (I admit, it happens very often to me at our courses)

When we landed back in Bucharest, I realized with Georgiana that, beside our luggage, we came back home with a lot of good energy, new ideas and a life experience witch made us love our work.

After this first course held in Rome, I know that this city will become like a second home very soon. In the next months, How to be Cabin Crew wants to extend more and more in Italy, the country in which we will start to organize courses very often. We plan to launch a permanent preparation center in Rome, like we did last year in Chisinau, Republic of Moldova. But about that we will discuss in the following months.

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At our first How to be Cabin Crew course in Rome, we had students from Italy, Belgium and Switzerland. For 2 days, our students assimilated extremely useful information about what it means a successful interview, they learned very much through practice (practicing the task from the interview and lots of exercising  to highlight their creativity and team spirit), they improved their English language and learned to have confidence in themselves when they are going to an interview.

In the end, to me, as a trainer, and to them also, was very difficult to say goodbye so soon (I think we did it like 4 times before we actually left); we promised to meet again very soon, and till then, to keep in touch online. Once again, How to be Cabin Crew helped dreams come true, built beautiful friendships and offered wings all over the world.

How was our first How to be Cabin Crew course in Rome?

It was incredible, this will be the answer. Incredible because I never could imagine that we will get these far, incredible because so many people from all over the world are watching us, read us and choose to prepare with us, incredible because we managed to make such a big step forward and we won this bet to start making courses all over Europe.

And you know why it is incredible? Because of our hard working team which works every day to make How to be Cabin Crew better day by day. Because of Georgiana, Nicoleta, Cristina, Aida, and recently Ana, with whom I know I can move mountains.

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Darlings, don’t forget that the sky has no limit. You can dream as far as you wish for, important is to fight for you dream!

Let’s fly!

5 mistakes you should avoid in you cabin crew application

When an airline company is having a recruitment event and How to be Cabin Crew team announces this information on our website and Facebook page, we receive dozens of emails with CV and photos from candidates. Most times we are looking over the documents received and send back feedback.

We made a list with the most frequent mistakes we find in a future cabin crew application:

  • Emailing people who don’t have anything to do with the recruitment process

In each article that announces a new recruitment we are mentioning the exact way in wich you can apply; if you have to fill in an online form we are mentioning the link, if you have to send your documents at a certain email address, we are specifying it. Read carefully all the information and send your application according to that.

  • Unprofessional email addresses

An email address like firstname.lastname@… is preferred most instead of addresses like free4love@…, blackpather@… What company (and not only in aviation) you think will let their clients on the hands of a person which uses this kind of addresses in an official way?

Also, in the sender box use the formula First Name Last Name, not writing Hello Kitty or ROBOCOP. I will think 3 times before opening an email from BOOP-BUP-BOOF or Red Riding Hood received on wings@howtobecabincrew.com . Who is Boop-bup-boof and why does Red Riding Hood wants to become a flight attendant?

  • Email written in your native language

The recruiters are most of the times foreigners. Every time you are sending your CV on email towards an airline company compose a text in English and don’t forget to double check it to be correct.

  • Unprofessional photos attached to your CV

A big NO to selfies, photographs made in front of your house, at the beach,on vacation or on your sofa. Photos in your night gown, in the club, and the list may go on. A friend of mine working as a recruiter told me some time ago he received a CV for a secretary job and the candidate attached a photo in her wedding dress. Do you think he bothered to look over the CV?

In this case, a professional photo means to have a one color background, preferably white or blue, and to wear business attire. (Jacket, white shirt, skirt-women/ trousers- men, shoes for the suite.)

  • Wrong CV

The CV has to be written in English. Make sure it is concise, relevant and no longer than 1-2 pages. If you need help with building a perfect cabin crew CV, our team can help you. Read more details about

Get prepared for your cabin crew interview with How to be Cabin Crew. Register now for one of our courses and get your wings! Details here.

Online interview at Flydubai

Because we received so many questions from you in the last few days on this subject, we are coming with more details about the online steps through which the candidates for a cabin crew position at Flydubai will need to pass.

The online interview at Flydubai

Before participating at an face to face interview with the recruiters from Flydubai, the candidates need first to pass a series of online tests.

  1. Online application:

You need to fill out a form, sent your photos and your CV and wait for a response from the company.

  1. Online testing :

If you passed the online application screening, you will receive an email from Flydubai, in which you are invited to pass an online interview.  This is divided in 4 tasks and lasts approximately 40 minutes:

Task 1: you have 3 sentence  and 6 points that you need to distribute according to the importance you give to each sentence.

Task 2: you have 8 minutes and a series of English texts, followed by an affirmation about the text. Your task is to verify which affirmation is true or which one is false. Your time is short, so you have to move quickly.

Task 3: You have 4 minutes to choose the correct synonym for each word from a long list and another 4 minutes in which you have to fill in the missing word.

Task 4: Logic test- you will have to choose the geometrical figure that doesn’t meet the rules from a series of drawings.

  1. Filmed Interview:

If you successfully passed the tasks from above, in approximately one week you will receive an invitation for an online interview, in front of the webcam, but without having someone on the other side of the screen. You must dress as if you were meeting with the recruiters face to face. The online interview is composed of 4 questions:

  1. Describe yourself and your work experience
  2. Why do you wish to work for Flydubai
  3. What it means for you customer service
  4. If you want to add anything else that you thing is relevant for your application.

For each question you have 2 minutes, and for the last one, only one. In addition, you have one minute for each question to think about the answer.

If you have passed this round, you will get an official invitation from the company for the LIVE interview, face to face with the recruiters.

Good luck! See you among the clouds!

You can prepare for the upcoming interviews by attending our two day intensive training in Rome on 9-10 July. Find more information about the course here. 

flydubai cabin crew

Flydubai Assessment Day in Rome, Italy.

Flydubai Airline has announced a new recruiting of cabin crew in Rome, Italy. You need to apply online on their website and then, if you pass the online interview you will receive an official invitation to their Assessment Day.  The date for the Assessment Day will be announced the following days.

Requirements of becoming a Flydubai cabin crew:

  • High school diploma
  • International aviation experience is an advantage
  • 1 year experience in customer service or sale
  • Able to deal with passengers professionally in a customer facing and sales role
  • Fluent in written and spoken English
  • Basic numeracy skills
  • A valid passport allowing you to travel freely
  • Motivated, reliable, hardworking
  • Passionate, friendly & fun!
  • Excellent team player with the ability to communicate with many nationalities
  • Proud to wear the uniform & wear it well
  • No visible tattoos or body piercing which cannot be covered discreetly
  • Minimum height 158cms without shoes

 

You can apply online at this job accessing their page here.

 

If your dream is to become a cabin crew, came and prepare alongside our How to be Cabin Crew team. We are organizing a 2 day intensive course in Rome, Italy where you will practice all the interview tasks, find out everything about aviation and we take care that at the next recruiting you will have a perfect CV and professional photos. Book your place now!

Good luck and safe flights!

 

You can prepare for the upcoming interviews by attending our two day intensive training in Rome on 9-10 July. Find more information about the course here. 

Three major airlines, one single flight attendant: Antonia’s story

Antonia Talianu is one of the flight attendants who amazed us with their life stories. Now 32, she is a graduate of the Faculty of Journalism and Mass Communication, at University of Bucharest. Seven years have passed since Antonia went to Middle East to make a dream come true. Although it sounds like a cliché, she always wished to fly. At the early age of 15, she got a job that could allow her to travel, doing it whenever possible. Antonia told us how life as a flight attendant gave her freedom in many ways, from the way of thinking to the financial leeway. In a few months, she will become a mother, accomplishing her dream of having her own family too.

Oman Air, Etihad Airways, and Emirates Airline – an impressive chain of Gulf carriers for which you have worked. How did you find out about the interviews and how were they conducted?

To be sincere, at that time, you could gain access to more information only after getting hired by a Gulf airline. Unlike now, when there are so many forums, Facebook pages, or even personal development and professional counseling programs. I have found out about Oman Air from a job offers website. After applying, I was invited to a hotel, together with other 500 girls. It was the first time Oman Air was coming to Romania. The interview process took three days, and with each day passing, we were fewer and fewer. Eventually, 20 girls were chosen, but it was only me and a girl from Piteşti who had the courage to embark to Oman.

For Etihad Airways I’ve applied while I was already flying for Oman Air. I wanted a change, to really see the world, as Etihad Airways had many more destinations. The interview was quite difficult. I flew 45 minutes from Oman to Abu Dhabi. When I arrived at the Etihad head office, I noticed there were not more than 1000 girls who had come for the Assessment Day from all over the world. We started talking and I had around me there girls coming from America, Australia and even Venezuela. Some of them looked like real supermodels. The interview wasn’t different from that of Oman Air. It was a tough selection, lasting one day. We had no time to waste, but only to stay focused. At six o’clock that evening, we were 20 girls and boys waiting for the face-to-face interview. After that, I returned to Muscat, back to my work. In two weeks, I received my visa through an email, together with my air ticket.

Emirates, I have to admit, was my last attempt to live in the Middle East. As a First and Business Class Lounge Supervisor, I wasn’t flying anymore. They contacted me after finding my profile on a website, so that it wasn’t necessary for me to apply. At first I thought it was a joke made by my friends from Abu Dhabi, Etihad Airways being the only airline offering low-fare tickets not only for family, but also for friends. What followed was a Skype interview. After two days, they invited me to a face-to-face interview, sending me an air ticket, the visa and the hotel reservation. Out of the ten Romanian women coming in Dubai for the interview, I was the only one successful. After two weeks, I moved into a studio and started the training.

How long did you work for each airline and how were you promoted?

Oman Air is the airline of my soul. It was there where I have learned everything about culture, religion, mentality and behaviour. I have lived there for three and a half years. But I can honestly say it was thanks to Etihad that I become more mature. They are stricter, but also more respectful. I have been working there for one year and a half. Lastly, Emirates seemed incredibly relaxing to me; I was a different person then, more mature and with some experience behind. Besides, I used to work four days and have the next four days for rest.

At that time, Oman Air didn’t have its own system of promotion. After three tiring months of turnaround flights on a Boeing 737, I have shifted to Airbus 330, which meant flights to Europe and layovers, finally. It was the period when Oman Air was purchasing bigger airplanes, starting its flights to Europe.

Etihad Airways is an airline that cares for your personal development. So after six months, I applied and received the Cabin Senior role, being in charge of the whole Economy Class. My wide experience with Oman surely had a say on it.

In case of Emirates, it is not easy to get promoted, being a ground employee, even already a supervisor. In order to reach the next level, you must speak Arabic. Although I speak, write and read in five different languages, it did not make any difference.

For which one of the airlines did you most enjoy working and why?

I have most enjoyed working for Oman Air, as I had the chance to acquire everything step-by-step. The Omani people are extraordinarily friendly. That is why I have stayed there for three and a half years, starting from the Economy Class and after three months progressing to the premium classes. Wage differences weren’t too big between classes, but this was my opportunity to deal and interact with high society and royalty.

What was your favourite destination and why?

My favourite destination will always be London. I like to call this city “the country with all countries”. In my opinion, like any other big city, London makes it possible for you to experience different cultures, nationalities and various foods. I have long been fascinated by London. From Etihad I received the chance to visit it very often, through the monthly flight schedule which is built on your level of speaking a certain language.

What were your day off activities while living in Muscat, Abu Dhabi and Dubai?

In Muscat you don’t have many possibilities, except clubbing and exploring Oman. I have been hiking, visited oases, slept in a Bedouin tent in the peaceful desert and also found a family, with whom I still keep in touch, even now, after seven years. As for Abu Dhabi, there is a beach and entertainment everywhere; moreover, your cabin crew ID card lets you join all of the clubs and exclusive parties in town. About Dubai, I could say it was made for partying; but, as I had already experienced it, I preferred instead going to the beach or escaping everywhere around the globe for four days.

How would you describe your flight attendant experience at Oman Air?

My experience at Oman Air gave me the confidence I needed to get through all the interviews. I have always felt confident in my knowledge gained there, as well as in my life experience. My advice to both my friends and others who just look at my photos will always be to leave for the Middle East. What you learn there compares to nothing. Some of my happiest moments were those when I was taking by the hand a passenger afraid of flying, saved a life on board, and made someone smile through a small gesture. I could also improvise a vegan menu for someone who couldn’t have meal. I consider it the only possible way to resist tiredness and time zone changes.

Why did you give up flying?

There comes a time in life when you realize you want something else. Personally, I gave up flying because I was dreaming to have my own family and I didn’t want to lose any time. I have seen the world and spent all of my holidays in America, exploring each state one by one. My passport is out of blank pages for visa stamps. I had the opportunity to live an extraordinary life, filled with experiences and lots of things to learn.

How did you feel during your last flight?

This question makes me smile. My first and last flight had been both to Beirut. My colleagues used to nickname me “Dubai – Beirut”, which represented Oman Air’s longest flight; I was flying there at least four or five times a month. So I ended my flight attendant career with a last flight from Abu Dhabi to Beirut. They called me while I was at my base, in home standby, packing to come back home to Romania. I was on call until the very last moment.

How’s life in London, now that you are done with aviation?

Life is what you make it. In London, you have freedom and opportunities to do whatever you want. I don’t work in the aviation field anymore, but as an assistant building manager in an office building, I still get to meet pleasant people of many nationalities. The difference is not so significant, except now I am always on the ground, working from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. and having my weekend free.

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