Cabin crew life in the Middle East. My experience at Gulf Air

One year ago I was writing on my personal blog about beginnings. About the courage to step in an unknown field, about the strength no build a career from zero. About changes, decisions, risks. Looking now at all those things, I realize that I had the same feelings as many others in my place. The distance between the Middle East and Europe is more than just geographical distance, it’s also about embracing a new culture and spirituality.

Of course, this experience can be different from one individual to another. That’s why, I will share my personal, unique story, in which I learned to fully embrace the Arabic culture and to accept people for who they are, not according to their labels.

I arrived in Bahrain at 8 PM after 3 flights. I was tired, facing unknown, the heat and the dry air weren’t helping me at all. I never thought I’ll get used to such a different climate. I was feeling a total stranger. I guess for me, the most important thing that mattered at that moment was that I wasn’t alone at all. At Bahrain airport, we were greeted by someone from the company and permanently guided by this person. We received all the instructions about what’s next, some money and a sim card. Also, a bus took us straight to the accommodation. The next morning, the same bus picked us up in front of the building at 8 am sharp. So we learned from the first day how important is to be punctual.

I believe getting used to be a flight attendant in the Middle East is different from one person to another. For someone with a strong personality, life here can seem too disciplined. For a free, libertine personality can seem too rigorous. Luckily, I didn’t think those rules were too harsh, I looked within them and found their true meaning. One of the most challenging times for a European is during Ramadan. Ramadan is a strict fast which lasts 1 month. You aren’t allowed to eat in public spaces. The best is to only eat at home at that time of the year. One aspect that I truly respected was the way I was dressing. In Bahrain isn’t mandatory to wear abaya (long black dress) or to have your face covered. You can dress however you want. Still, I considered myself as a guest in their country so I adopted a more formal, elegant dress code when going in public spaces. So instead of wearing a top, I’d wear a T-shirt and because it’s hot all year I wore long skirts which were really comfortable.

If you don’t want to change your style, it isn’t a big problem, but you’ll have to get used to some prying eyes.

I believe training is the start of your aviation career. The training for Gulf Air takes up to 2 months with an 8 hours program, Sundays ’till Thursdays (Fridays and Saturdays are free days). The curriculum is indeed a lot to handle, but luckily it is spared into weeks of study with both theoretical and practical lessons. You’ll learn about medical problems, cabin service, safety and emergency procedures, security, ditching, grooming, crew resource manager, firefight and many more. You’ll have lots of situations in which you can apply your knowledge in practical exercises, so you can be prepared in any of the emergencies.

Even though at first it seemed impossible, the feeling I had when I received my diploma was totally worth it!

On my first day, I understood why the recruitment process was that long. Gulf Air Training Centre was waiting for us with everything prepared. Each classroom, each simulator, the building in which we’ll stay during those 2 months, the manuals, the free transport and many more. This shows that it took lots of preparations and they are really professional.

Our batch was formed by 13 people, 7 of them were Romanians, thing that for me mattered very much. During classes and training, we were talking all the time in English, but in our free time we were talking in Romanian and this is a real help. So if you have in your batch people with the same nationality as yours, make sure you’ll become friends! It really matters with the homesickness feeling. A good thing in Bahrain is that it is a safe city. You can go and have fun with your friends without any problems.

I believe the trainers felt the connection between us, therefore the courses went smoothly. For each course, we had another trainer. They all were well prepared and serious but at the same time very friendly and understanding. At the end of each course (which can last 2 days, up to 2 weeks), we had an exam. In order to pass to the next course, you had to pass it.

I can’t guarantee that each of you will feel the same as I did in an Arabic country, but I advise you to believe in your feelings and if something is not ok, listen to that. Make a change!

“Life can be lived anywhere. The environment is not important, what is really essential is the intensity of it.” – Cezar Petrescu (Romanian author)

 

Warm regards,

Roxi

 

*story written by our trainer, Roxana, from her own experience as a Gulf Air cabin crew. 
*story translated into English by our editor, Georgiana.

Join our courses! We prepare you to pass any airline interview:

  1. If you want to have a broad overview of the role and duties of cabin crew, airline companies profiles, stages of each airlines’s interview and how to pass them, we are waiting for you at our 4 days intensive course. We make your perfect cabin crew CV & pictures, we help you gain confidence and learn how to speak in public, so you will have a flawless performance at your cabin crew interview. Details and registration here.

 

  1. If you cannot attend our courses, regardless of where in the world you are located, we can work together privately. Through coaching sessions via web video (Skype or Google Hangouts), our trainers can work with you to improve your performance at the cabin crew interview and supporting you every step of the way to get you where you want to be. More details here

30 years among the clouds: meet Rucsandra, a devoted flight attendant and an amazing trainer

I met Rucsandra in the summer of 2016, through a mutual friend. I admit, when I heard how many years she has flying, I had a shock. Rucsandra entered the world of aviation in 1988 and from that point her life was among the clouds for almost 30 years.

Rucsandra Magdalena Mihai was a Flight Attendant for Tarom, Cabin Manager with a significant experience in this domain (she reached 20.000 hours of flying), but also an inflight auditor and certified trainer. She considers that aviation is about people, trust, knowledge and responsibilities, about honesty, passion, professionalism and competence. Every time she speaks about her work, her face lights up and her eyes are sparkling. Because she loves what she’s doing and she dedicated her best years to aviation. The world among the clouds had brought her many challenges, but also at the same time the opportunity to learn new things every day and to do her job with passion, love and why not, courage.

Since October 2016, Rucsandra is part of our How to be Cabin Crew team and she takes care of the Cabin Crew preparation for our general Cabin Crew course and our private aviation course “Corporate Cabin Crew Training- Silver Service & Etiquette”– a new concept of training in our How to be Cabin Crew courses portfolio, dedicated to people who want to take part of the glamorous life of private aviation.

Tell us about your beginnings as a Flight Attendant. How it was to fly at the end of the 80’?

I started to dream about aviation from 1986, at the end of high-school. Back then, aviation was a very exclusivist world. Tarom was the only airline company in Romania and the biggest one from the South East Europe. It had a fleet of 80 airplanes, most of them Russian, AN-24, IL-18, TU-154, IL-62, but also some of them from the western part, B-707 and BAC 1-11.

Aviation in the 8s0’ in Romania was very well developed. Tarom was a very vivid company, who managed, from the first years to connect Bucharest with some of the most important European capitals, but also to develop routes to west-European destination and also to USA.

What determined you to choose a career among the clouds?

I was fascinated by airplanes and travelling since I was a little girl. I remember that I wanted to see the pyramids more than anything. I took my exams, studying a lot about geography, and then I saw an announcement for the Cabin Crew position at Tarom. My chance to fulfill my dream of flying, to meet new people, to discover different cultures was starting to take shape.

How long it took for you to become a Flight Attendant?

I had the luck to be among the 52 selected persons out of 2500, from a very rigorous competition, that was spread over the entire year. I started courses at Civil Aviation  School in October 1987 and I graduated one year later, when Tarom hired us, but I managed to start flying only in May 1989.

During my schooling, I followed complex courses, from knowing the airplane, meteorology, 2 foreign languages, geography, aeronautic medicine, service on board course, I passed through all the companies services, from issuing tickets, handling, to catering. It was an extraordinary period that taught me so many things. I had amazing professors, extremely dedicated and who were truly mentors.

Where was your first flight as Cabin Crew? How was the flight?

My first course was Baneasa-Tulcea-Constanta, with AN-24 airplane. It was a dream come true, I didn’t know what to do first, to enjoy the flight or to get used to the airplane. I felt very comfortable from the very first minute, and I knew I would have a very special relationship with aviation. In 1989, the junior employees were doing only intern routes. Immediately after December 89’s revolution, I started external routes, my first flight being Otopeni- Berlin- Copenhaga, with BAC 1-11 airplane.

What meant for you to fly along with state presidents of Romania and other countries?

I had the chance and privilege to be alongside state presidents of Romania and other countries, but this meant a special training, totally different, but extremely challenging, a very high level of knowledge, and an outstanding professionalism.

I know you have so many unforgettable flights until now. Tell me about a flight you won’t ever forget.

Each flight is different from another, every day you meet new people, stumble upon different things, try to solve different situations. But there are always flights that will be always in your memory, as it was for me the one from 2002, with President Iliescu, in which I worked for 11 days, in 7 countries. I left from Bucharest to UAE, Abu-Dhabi and Dubai, then Japan, Tokyo and Nagoya, then Vietnam, Saigon and Hanoi, then Philippines at Manila then Singapore, and back to Bucharest via Dubai. It was one of the most beautiful flights from my career, both through destinations, but also the multitude of feelings, places, people and events. I met so many special humans, with whom I am now still friends, I visited some unique places, of a stunning beauty and I remained with unforgettable memories.

You worked for the commercial line, but also for the private aviation. What are the differences? What new experience you accumulated working in private aviation?

The commercial line is extremely complex. But I think that the private aviation is more difficult, more challenging and full of satisfactions. Through the nature of qualities you need to possess and especially the fact that flexibility is the most important. In private aviation you develop your creativity, integrity, confidentiality , professionalism, personal abilities, analytic thinking. At the same time, you must split your time very well, to adapt to the requirements of the position you have, to improve you level of knowledge, to have patience, initiative, to be diplomatic, intuitive.

Tell us a funny story on one of your flights

I was on a flight to Istanbul, a short one, only one hour. The airplane was full, we were in the process of preparing the cabin for landing. One of my colleagues was collecting the remained glasses form the passengers table, on a tray. At one moment, the tray was full, so he advised a passenger, who was trying to put his glass on the tray, to put it in the pocket. Obviously, he meant the chair’s pocket. But the passenger didn’t understand this, and he put the glass in his jacket pocket, to my colleague amusement.

What meant for you to spend almost 30 years among the clouds? How changed you the aviation world?

I gave almost 30 years of my life to aviation, beautiful years, but not so easy. I grew up in a special world, different, challenging, and tempting at the same time, but extremely demanding. I learned new things every day. I learned to be tolerant, empathetic, to understand the non-verbal language and the passenger’s psychology. I learned to think analytically and to make quick decisions, to face critical situations, to have self-control at any moment. I learned that a smile will break all the barriers of communication and that the time spent in the air passes more rapidly, and working in a team will develop multiple abilities. I learned that having a family is not easy when you have this kind of job that you have to give up on many things, to make sacrifices, but in the same time you enjoy at maximum level the free time that you have. More important, to have with you people that will understand your strange work schedule, to understand that you may work on holidays, to be there for you unconditionally.

What do you love to do when you are not flying?

I spent so many years travelling and I have a hobby, photography. The clouds are still fascinating me, even after all these years – my daily office view.

How is it for you to go from Cabin Crew to a position of a teacher and what do you think are the challenges of an aviation trainer?

Accumulating so much experience, I thought that I could give to others the secrets of this special job. I became in 2008 a certified trainer and I didn’t hesitate to put my knowledge and passion in the job of those who want to succeed in this world. I developed qualities that helped me guide them, motivate them and teach others to love aviation, to find satisfaction in this job and especially to not regret a minute the choice they make. For me, passing from Cabin Crew to Trainer was the result of my work of 30 years in aviation combined with passion and motivation. The satisfaction is higher when I see so many people that want to embrace the life among the clouds. It is what I wanted to do, in a domain truly special.

We prepare you to pass any airline interview:

If you want to have a broad overview of the role and duties of cabin crew, airline companies profiles, stages of each airlines’s interview and how to pass them, we are waiting for you at our 4 days intensive course. We make your perfect cabin crew CV & pictures, we help you gain confidence and learn how to speak in public, so you will have a flawless performance at your cabin crew interview. Details and registration here.

“Always have a big smile on your face!” – Our former student who is now Cabin Crew in the Middle East

Every time I have the opportunity to write about the story of one of our How to be Cabin Crew students that fulfilled his/her dream of flying, I realize how many beautiful things I can learn from each of them. Every student is a new lesson for us, because his/her unique story, his/her way of seeing life is different, and the way they succeeded shows us that nothing is impossible if you work for it.

Meet Alexandra, who now flies for one of the most important companies in the Middle East. She went to the airline interview on 21 august 2016, and 4 months later packed her bags and left Romania for Middle East. She was reserved at first, without so much confidence in herself, but she knew that everything we want can become real.  And so it is that at the end of 2016 her dream has become real.

*Alexandra followed our How to be Cabin Crew course in the period 9 – 12 June 2016 in Bucharest.

When was your first thought about becoming a Cabin Crew and what motivated you to choose this career?

During the two decades of my life I tried to explore more and more things in order to find out what will make me smile the most, I experienced from makeup to acting. But in my first year of university, I realized how perfect my life could be if I were a flight attendant. Back then, I thought that in order to have this career you need to go to an aviation school. I remember I searched for information and I asked some persons that told me my height is not accepted, and the school I found was in Bucharest, and I was in Cluj.

After a break of 2 years, after finishing my University, I moved to Bucharest for my master’s degree. I was following How to be Cabin Crew website for a long time ago and I think I read your articles a thousand times. This was what motivated me the most: You. I remember how one day I braced myself, I called Anca, I was shaking and my confidence was very low.

What did you know about this job before going to the interview? What attracted you most?

What I knew was vast information read on your website. Different stories, experiences, but not so many details.  In Bucharest, I started working in customer service and I enjoyed it. I thought that I can combine this with my passion for travelling. I was thinking that I am a dynamic person and easily adaptable and I will succeed in having a career as Cabin Crew. I started looking with admiration to the Flight Attendants when I was travelling and I remember once saying that: “This is how I will be!”

How did you prepare for the interview with an airline company? How many interviews did you attend before succeeding?

The How to be Cabin Crew course had done for me more than I could think of. Other than information about the airline company you apply for, it matters a lot how you present yourself at the interview, mentally and physically. I tend to believe that this course helped me to invest more in myself and to be more confident. I participated at the interview on 21 august 2016, the response was positive and they moved very fast. After 2 weeks I was already doing my medical analysis and I was making sure everything is good. I found out that another important Middle East company will come to recruit in Romania too, at the end of October 2016 so I decided to go there as well. I also succeeded there, but they told us we will find out the answer in December. On 16 November I had the leave date for the first company, I postponed it 2 times, hoping that I will find out an answer from the other one. But it wasn’t meant to be, so, on 14 December I made the big change in my life.

What influence had on you our How to be Cabin Crew courses, what you read on our website and the interaction with our trainers?

How to be Cabin Crew courses: other than the significant quantum of information that I accumulated, it helped me to discover a better version of myself. It made me believe in myself. I remember that our trainer, after the English test, told me: “you have what it takes, you can apply to any airline company, but you need to have more confidence in yourself” So yes, it helped me a lot, I came mistrustful and I left thinking “Don’t call it a dream, make it a plan”

Why do you think the recruiters chose you out of hundreds of applicants?

It matters a lot what you transmit, your face mimic says it all. You must be confident in yourself, to give clear answers, without any pause. Probably they saw that I wanted this very much and that I worked for it. And very important: always, but always, have a big smile on your face!

Any advice for future Cabin Crew?

Be yourself! Be always optimistic, smiley and confident. Start with the premises that everything is possible. We attract what we think of.

A message for How to be Cabin Crew team.

I hope that you will grow from year to year even more. And make more dreams come true.

I will always appreciate you,

Alexandra

We prepare you to pass any airline interview:

If you want to have a broad overview of the role and duties of cabin crew, airline companies profiles, stages of each airlines’s interview and how to pass them, we are waiting for you at our 4 days intensive course. We make your perfect cabin crew CV & pictures, we help you gain confidence and learn how to speak in public, so you will have a flawless performance at your cabin crew interview. Details and registration here.

The story of our student Teodora: Her dream came true after her 6th interview!

Our student Teo is an example of ambition and persuasion, because she attended 6 interviews with an airline company and she never gave up. In the end she was contacted not from one, but the two biggest airline companies in the Middle East.

When did you first think you would like to be a flight attendant and what was hidden behind such a decision?

This happened somewhere around the first year of college. I always like to travel and to meet new nationalities, culture diversity, touristic places, everything you can see in one place and not in your country.

Of course, like any other person who fell in love with aviation, I saw many movies before, in which the life of a flight attendant was perfect from all perspectives. Normally, reality is never the same, that’s why last year I decided that I need to try and reach the point in which I would make the difference between what I saw in movies and what will happen to me.

Do you think your professional experience helped you until now?

I worked at a Call Center as a Customer Service Agent, not in English (the language we all speak as Cabin Crew) but in German. It helped me just for the simple fact that it taught me how to speak with the clients, to solve their problems in a useful time and to keep my calm.

How did you prepare for the interview with an airline company?

Firstly, I read, I searched information about how should I look and present myself before the recruiters. As you know, I participated at multiple interview with Middle East Companies and I am 100% sure that if I didn’t participated at your two preparation courses I couldn’t succeed.

You went at a Qatar Airways interview and you passed, but then you went as well at an Emirates intrerview and it was the same happy outcome. If it was to compare the two interviews, which one was the hardest? What task was the hardest for you?

Participating at 6 interviews, probably that a few months ago I would have said that the group task from Qatar Airways is the hardest. Now I’ve made up my mind. At the Emirates interview, I had the Role-play task (it was only my speaking with the 2 recruiters) which, from my point of view was the hardest. I had to give a solution for a problem, in a short period of time and I knew if my answer wasn’t correct I could fail again the Assessment Day. I had luck, I was very concentrated, very sure of my answer and then I received a big smile back from my recruiter, thing that made me to have more confidence till the end of the day.

What influence had on you the How to be Cabin Crew courses, what you read on our website and the interaction with the trainer team?

What I read on your website was extremely helpful, most importantly regarding my attire, the dress-code, make-up and everything about grooming. At the preparation course it was something else, I interacted with people who wanted the same thing as me and we exercised every single task that I encountered at the interviews I went. I am sure that if I didn’t attended your How to be Cabin Crew courses I couldn’t succeed in such a short period of time to reach my goal. Thank you so much!

What do you think, in your opinion, it is the biggest challenge for a Flight Attendant?

Each day has a new challenge, each flight, each passenger. Promptitude, calm and team spirit I think are the key elements in order to succeed in this job.

Tell me what are the 3 qualities a candidate should have, based on your experience?

The look, the first impact with the recruiter, he scans you from the first moment you walk on the door. The smile should be present each time on your face, the recruiter should see you are happy that you are there and that you have the opportunity to make your dreams come true through him/her, in a way or another. The third I would say is the way you communicate in English. Another advantage, from my view, represents knowing another language. Experience in customer-service counts very much, so, if you think about becoming a flight attendant, you should start working with people.

How did you spend your last months at home? Some special plans?

In my last months I spent them with my family and friends. I continued working till I left for UAE. I hadn’t had any special plans, I only went in a short trip in the mountains.

We prepare you to pass any airline interview:

If you want to have a broad overview of the role and duties of cabin crew, airline companies profiles, stages of each airlines’s interview and how to pass them, we are waiting for you at our 4 days intensive course. We make your perfect cabin crew CV & pictures, we help you gain confidence and learn how to speak in public, so you will have a flawless performance at your cabin crew interview. Details and registration here.

3 examples of going the extra mile for your passengers

When you are working as a Flight Attendant, the requests coming from your passengers are very diverse. Each passenger has different expectations from you, and each time, he/she will want to be treated as best as possible during the flight. Excellent customer service should be the expression to characterise best the activity on board. There will be many occasions when you will need to solve some conflicts on board, and you will also have to display a genuinely care for the comfort and safety of your passengers.

In my career as Qatar Airways Cabin Crew for 10 and a half years I encountered so many situations on board in which I had to come up with new solutions in order to please my passengers, that a single book will not be enough to write them all. I share with you in this article 3 situations through which I went in order to understand a little the way in which the cabin crew must think when we are on board.

When you are making a cheesecake with what you have on board

  1. The flight DOH-IAH(Houston) on 30 June 2011, on a Boeing777 (QR77), with a duration of 16 hours and 58 minutes – from Cabin Service Director position.

After the first service was offered in the cabin, a Qatar passenger at Business Class, place 5F, was extremely unhappy with the service of one of my colleagues towards his daughter. He accused her that she didn’t do the service by the book, because she did the description of the dessert when she took the order for the hot meal and not after, like it was normal to do, and the dessert asked, or some alternatives of that dessert, never arrived to his daughter (because a colleague already ate the last piece of cake, thinking that it was in addition). Alongside my colleague tears, I had to calm down the passenger as well, which I saw that he was a regular client of our company, if he knew exactly the procedure of taking the dessert order. Later, from the discussions I had with him, I found out that he was the manager of the purchase division of Qatar Airways Private Jet Department, meaning the right hand of our CEO! I tried to repair it with a combination of some desserts taken from the captain tray in order to please his daughter, but because he only wanted Cheesecake, I took from my economic class colleagues trays some cheese triangles that I mixed with some mashed forest fruits. I put this paste over some digestive biscuits, mixed as well with some honey in order to have some sort of dough. I melted 2 Godiva chocolates, that I put over these piece of “cake”… I prepared a cheesecake on board in some minutes! The client was of course very impressed of this Service Recovery method, the way we named this procedure of thanking our passengers in every way at Qatar Airways.

The passenger with whom I shared my salad

  1. Flight DOH-LHR (Londra Heathrow) in 2008, on an Airbus 330, duration of 6 hours and 30 minutes- from the position of First Class Kitchen Manager

During the first service, after we served the Mediterranean buffet and Arabic salads, in the moment an Arabic client asked for a salad, we realized we didn’t have any more of it. Usually, in these cases, we take a new casserole  and we go to our colleagues from business class and take a salad. If not, we were going to the economic class to check the menu, and if even then I was not lucky, I will check the crew trays and still could manage to find some salad, for example the one that is at the base of hummus. But, on this flight, the catering didn’t bring food to contain too much salad. I was needed to offer the passenger all kind of vegetables from first class (grilled), business class (steamed), or economic (in curry sauce). The passenger was somehow pleased. But, at the middle of the flight, when we were relaxing and I was eating my salad purchased from the supermarket, the exact passenger passed by me, throwing me a look of: “You didn’t want to give me salad, but you are eating one…?” I felt immediately that I could receive a complaint unfairly, and because of that, when the passenger returned from the lavatory, I was in my feet, with a plate of salad alongside me. Simple and very natural I approached him, asking apologize for not serving him the salad, but the one I had was from a supermarket because I am on diet. Without letting me to get another plate, he asked me a fork and ate all my salad. It seemed like he loved the Monte Vibiano dressing used on board, with all kind of tastes. At the end of the flight, he said goodbye to me and he also make it up for my gesture of sharing my salad with him.

When is the birthday of a passenger

  1. Many times, the passengers do not declare that they are celebrating a family event when they are travelling (honeymoon, marriage anniversary, and so on.) or the airline company forgets to bring on board cake for the passengers who are celebrating their birthdays on board. Because of it, every time we found about this kind of events, even if we don’t have a written rule in our Service on Board manual, we tried to surprise our passengers with a dessert prepared on the spot, with a glass of champagne from the superior classes, with paper written message that we put on the tray or aluminium figurines used to cover the casseroles. Here are some examples of surprises we prepared for our birthday passengers:
  • croissants in melted chocolate for a birthday
  • a muffin transformed in a birthday, with a Sponge Bob toy made out of paper on a tray
  • aluminum Figurines
  • buffet organized in the economic kitchen with the food remained from the business class for everyone who wanted a second portion.

We prepare you to pass any airline interview:

Join our online course and get your wings with the help of our trainers! Details here.

“I think the key is the smile”

We met Ana Maria in April 2016, at our How to be Cabin Crew course. She won the How to be Cabin Crew scholarship and she had the opportunity to join our students who catch their wings. Ana Maria came with a big smile on her face and ready to learn as much as possible, from the first day. We loved her attitude and we knew from that moment that she will receive her wings very quickly. This is what happened after a short time after our course has ended, because at the end of April she came to Bucharest to attend an airline interview and she passed all the stages.

When did you think about the idea of becoming a Cabin Crew and what was hidden behind this decision?

Over a year I read daily each amazing article you are posting on your website. For me it seemed always an amazing job. I saw myself in this posture and easily, I started to wish to make a real step towards becoming a Flight Attendant. My life seemed to have a different path, but as always, things clear up and my steps took me to the first airline interview a few months later.

How was for you the interview? How many candidates were there, how many remained for the final interview?

The interview was very well organized, strict, and the company’s expectations were very high. There were almost 150 candidates. It lasted two days, and we remained only 13 people for the final interview. I can say that were two days full of emotions and beautiful feelings, which seemed to have been very productive.

Have you applied for another airline company?

My first interview was the successful one. I waited for the positive answer a few months. During this time, I continued to apply to other companies from the Middle East. Even if the interviews have almost the same structure, the companies are always looking for different typologies. I can surely say that from each interview you are learning new things, and these experiences are always helpful.

You received a How to be Cabin Crew scholarship. How do you think our course has helped you?

The scholarship received from you was the best thing that could’ve happened to me. I learned a lot of useful things, I understood more clearly what this job meant, and the most important thing is that your feedback has helped me to feel more confident in myself. Thank you very much.

In your opinion, which is the biggest challenge for a Flight Attendant?

I think the most difficult thing is to be far away from your family and the loved ones. It is not easy to miss all the important things that happen in their lives.

Tell me what are the 3 most important qualities a candidate should display at the interview, based on your experience?

I think a friendly attitude is extremely important, but also to have confidence in you. As well, a big pleasant and warm smile is a must. Anyway, I think the key is the smile.

How will you spend your last days in Romania? Do you have some special plans? You will work during this period?

I wish to spend my last days in Romania with my family, to see my friends and to relax. I have a few more days at work, after that, I will start easily to pack my bags. Now I see each day different and I wish to profit as much as I can of these days.

A message for How to be Cabin Crew team

I wish with all my heart that you will continue to do the same amazing job you are doing at every course, to make every student happy with everything they are learning and also to show them your beautiful attitude and smiles. You are truly an amazing team. The 4 days spent with you were an incredible experience for which I will always be grateful. A big kiss from me!

We prepare you to pass any airline interview:

If you want to have a broad overview of the role and duties of cabin crew, airline companies profiles, stages of each airlines’s interview and how to pass them, we are waiting for you at our 4 days intensive course. We make your perfect cabin crew CV & pictures, we help you gain confidence and learn how to speak in public, so you will have a flawless performance at your cabin crew interview. Details and registration here.

Choose to fly!

Life is about the choices we make, because opportunities will always be plenty, or we can create them, but it is our choice to make the change or not, to experiment or not, to fly or not.

I met so many people who told me they are scared of flying (or that’s what they think, because most of them never flew before) or that they have fear of heights. I can tell them that most of my colleagues have these fears, and it didn’t prevent them of working as Cabin Crew. To some, money determined them to overcome their fear, others only wish to travel the world, to see more and more, and what better way to do that then when you are young and financially limited?

Before this experience, I couldn’t imagine that I will manage to see all the places I only saw on TV, to live a little bit in the most unique corners of the world, that I would be able to live in a country with a different climate, another culture, another religion, and even more, I didn’t know I would accommodate. But one of our qualities as humans is that we adapt easily. I left home for United Arab Emirates to work as a Flight Attendant and in my mind I said I will only work for 2 years. 2 years that became 5. And they were the most fulfilling 5 years of my life where I experimented so many things and places that most of us don’t have the chance to see.

I can’t say that it is easy to live so far from home, to move to another country, with many unknown things (back then in 2008), but I can tell you that you will live wonderful experiences, you will meet people from all over the world, make new friends and gather so many memories, because this is about in life. Sometime I could only dream about these things, now I remember them with a big smile on my face. Die with memories, not dreams!

Before becoming a Flight Attendant, I flew 2 times on airplane, once with Carpatair and another time with Blue Air, and I wanted to do this more often, as a child that experiments something and wants to do it over and over again.

But, in contrast with a child, that gets bored easily by repeating the same game, I can say that I felt the same emotions each time the airplane took-off. And it’s not only about take-off, it’s the flight among the clouds. In my 5 years as Cabin Crew, I had the opportunity to admire so many “paintings” out there that nature offers us every day.

And we have the landing. The landing emotion can’t be compared with anything because you have so many mixed emotions: the emotion of touching the land again, emotion of a new successful landing, the emotion of arriving in a place that you wanted to visit or just arriving home after a long day. Everything in aviation is about emotions and memories.

That’s why it is said that this job gets in your veins, because, even if at some point everything you do it’s a routine, the job of Cabin Crew is a routine full of emotions and adventures, it is a lifestyle.

We prepare you to pass any airline interview:

If you want to have a broad overview of the role and duties of cabin crew, airline companies profiles, stages of each airlines’s interview and how to pass them, we are waiting for you at our 4 days intensive course. We make your perfect cabin crew CV & pictures, we help you gain confidence and learn how to speak in public, so you will have a flawless performance at your cabin crew interview. Details and registration here.

“If you are truly you, the recruiters will see that”

Mihai attended our cabin crew preparation training and a few months after he finshed it, he joined an important airline company from the Middle East. From this interview you can find out more about Mihai and the steps he followed in order to fulfill his dream of flying.

When did you decide to become a Cabin Crew and why did you chose this job?

I had this idea from a long time ago, especially when I was a student and I traveled to USA and I loved the thought to do this every day. But always it seemed like something hard to achieve or that it is impossible. But I found a job, in a management position, which promised a lot, but of which I was very disappointed and I couldn’t imagine myself doing that every single day for the next years. One day, when I came from work, I said I wouldn’t continue like that, I took a piece of paper which was actually a paycheck from the current job and I wrote “Find out what you wanna do with your f’in life!” (Yes, very dramatic, but that’s how it was). I posted myself in front of my laptop, I searched male stewards and I came across your website.

How was the interview? What was the hardest task?

The interview was ok. I saw so many persons before the interview that were speaking very well English, with the best posture, the perfect candidate from the first glance. But after the tasks have started, the little details learned at your preparation course made the difference and I could anticipate who will fail and who will pass. The recruiter was very friendly, but also very strict. Yes, in my case was only one recruiter. The hardest task was the final interview. Till that moment, if you had solid knowledge about what the Cabin Crew position means and the recruiter saw that, you could pass. For the final interview, I stayed more than one hour and a half, time in which she wrote every single thing I said and insisted everywhere she could find more details about me. In the end, it came out great for me!

What influence had on you our How to be Cabin Crew courses and website?

As I said above, a pretty big influence. I read in many forums, blogs and YouTube channels about what and how you should do, but the little details made the difference. Details that are not known about many persons and which you could not find on the internet. I had so many emotions because it was a serious competition, in my case we were 20 boys, and I remained only myself!

Why do you think the recruiters choose you? Which were your strong-points at the interview?

A relaxed attitude is essential. But is a difference between relaxed and indifferent. The attitude and an authentic smile, to be truly enthusiastic of the fact that you are there. Those people are doing this every day, recruiting, so they will tell the difference between a forced smile and an authentic one. At the same time, to not have major gaps in your CV. As I was saying, she asked me everything it is possible, from all the questions found on the internet, to details of everything I said, from CV, and not only. If something is not in accordance with what you say, your CV and everything, the recruiter could tell very easily and that’s final for you. I think it helped me very much my experienced in USA, where I had to work with different nationalities came from different backgrounds, and the fact that I traveled alone and I was a long time on my one.

In a short time you will start a new life. How do you think it will be?

Easy will not be, for sure. I will miss my family, friends and everything I will let behind, but after all I wanted this and it’s a unique occasion. If not now, when? I expect to have a culture-shock for a while, but it is normal after all. I am very curious, but also excited about this new chapter of my life.

What do you think is the best joy of a Cabin Crew?

Beside the occasion of meeting so many people that you will remember a lifetime, personally I think the experiences and memories made. Both in the air and on the ground. It is enough to do something that many will not have the occasion to do, and others only dream about a life like this. And now it is the perfect moment to do it.

What advice do you have for the ones who will participate at our interview preparation courses, considering your experience?

Smile and be authentic. From the moment you arrive at the hotel, you must be polite with everyone, especially the employees. Socialize with the rest of the candidates. Don’t watch the rest as your direct competition. If you are truly you, the recruiters will see that, will appreciate it and you will have an advantage in front of the others.

 

We prepare you to pass any airline interview:

If you want to have a broad overview of the role and duties of cabin crew, airline companies profiles, stages of each airlines’s interview and how to pass them, we are waiting for you at our 4 days intensive course. We make your perfect cabin crew CV & pictures, we help you gain confidence and learn how to speak in public, so you will have a flawless performance at your cabin crew interview. Details and registration here.

The story of Ecaterina: The girl who worked for the 3 biggest airline companies in the world: Emirates, Etihad and Qatar

After 11 years working as Cabin Crew, Ecaterina is among the lucky ones who had the chance to work for the 3 biggest airline companies in the world: Emirates, Etihad Airways and Qatar Airways. At 25 years old, Ecaterina left behind  her family, her career and the life she was used to and flew to the Middle East. As she confesses, she left “Not just to see the world, because I had already visited it with my parents, both aviators, but to find out what my mother felt every time she was back from a flight; I managed to understand that feeling late, because most of the times I returned to an empty apartment, but when I had my family alongside or when I went home on holidays, my heart was full of happiness and sadness that I have to leave again.” Today, after almost 11 years, Ecaterina is ready to close this chapter in her life and finally put her feet on the ground.

How did you find out about the positions of Cabin Crew in the Middle East and where did you go for the first interview?

I worked for the biggest and best Arab companies in the world. At first I started flying for Qatar Airways, I continued flying for Etihad Airways and I finished my career in aviation at Emirates. When it comes to the job application, for example at Etihad Airways I found out that they were recruiting directly from their website, on the Career section.

How many years did you spent among the clouds? What was your route in the aviation domain until now?

I flew for 11 years! I worked for Qatar Airways 7 years and I can say that it is the company from which I learned the most important things: service quality, protocal, what means “excellent customer service”. I ended my career at Qatar on the position of Cabin Manager.

I moved to Etihad, where I planned to stay only a short period of time, on my road to Emirates. Between Qatar and Emirates there was then the rule of “gentlemen’s agreement”, which allowed the crew to apply for Emirates only after one year of pause after working for Qatar. I worked for Etihad 1 year and a half, but what I liked the most was the fact that they were very interested in my previous experience. They made me feel very welcomed and appreciated. From November 2012 I worked for Emirates as Cabin Crew. From March 2015 I decided that it was time for me to change my life and move on to another career.

How was for you to have a husband working in the same company as Cabin Crew?

I met my husband in 2004, after a few months after I started flying. We got married in 2011, when we both managed to move in UAE. We both flew at the same time for Qatar Airways, approximately 3 years, during those years, when the rules permitted us, we moved in together. We managed to have some flights together as colleagues and also as passengers while the other one was on duty.  Meantime, my husband resigned and he started a new career after preparing for 2 years in USA and UAE.  This was the hardest period, mostly because we only saw each other 2 times in the first year. But, the moment it was decided that Dubai will be the new home for him, I started to plan my move there. After we got married, my life completely changed. It was such a struggle to leave. But, as this job has its benefits I managed to arrange my flights to his delegated destinations, and he came with me in my layovers.

What was your favorite destination?

My favorite destination was and it still is Hong Kong. I consider that it is the most diverse place that I visited so far – the culture, people, food, clubs and pubs. Every time I arrive there it’s a must travel with the ferry.

What were your daily activities in Abu Dhabi and Dubai?

When it comes to my free time activities, I will mention the aerobic classes, riding the bike, going to the cinema, water sports, cooking, golf, going out in the city, electronic games, going to shisha and the list can go on.

What made you apply for Emirates?

I always wanted to fly for Emirates (EK). But it was not meant to be, until it actually happened. I know it is a big company, with an extraordinary reputation. Eventually, who doesn’t want to be part of such a company?  For any company I worked for, even if their publicity and image is spotless, you can stumble upon things that don’t work so well. But, I adapted easily to new rules and I managed to follow them properly to each of this 3 companies.

Why did you stop flying, especially after having such a fulminant career?

I stopped flying for Qatar and Etihad because my husband had a permanent work place in Dubai. From Doha I left without any regrets, because it started to become very tense, with too many hours of flying and it was too strict for a person of my age. The situation was different for Etihad, but I left because it was difficult to drive from Dubai, where I lived, to Abu Dhabi, where I worked. Practically I was in 3 places at the same time. I also had a car accident, and that was the moment I decided to remain only in Dubai.

How did you feel when you wore the Etihad Airways uniform for the last time?

The last flight was very nostalgic. I put an end and started all over again. Even if I stopped flying from March 2015, I can say, without a doubt, that no manual, no course, no human could have taught me so many things that I learned in all these years as a Flight Attendant, personally, professionally, from a cultural point of view and the list could go on. I will forever hold the spiritual joy that every Flight Attendant has when she received the gratitude of the passengers in my heart. For example, I will tell you a short story from one of my flights: At boarding time an elder lady came to me. I approached her, I welcomed her and I asked: “How are you? You seem upset”, because that was exactly how she looked. She started crying and she told me that she was separated from her daughter, she doesn’t know where she is and doesn’t think they have the seats together. I led her to the seat, I took the necessary details and I went to find out what happened to her daughter. After a little while, with all the arrangements made, I came back to her, with her daughter and I said:  “I brought your daughter and I arranged everything in order for you to stay together”. I can’t describe the happiness in her eyes, even if it was a normal thing to do as a Flight Attendant. At the end of the flight, the lady came to me, she hugged and kissed me and she said: “ I will never forget what you did for me!”

Join our courses and become cabin crew with our help!
HOW TO BE CABIN CREW is the biggest training center in Europe dedicated to future flight attendants. Our courses are 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!

Our courses are designed to help you to prepare for cabin crew interviews with ANY international airline.

“Every day in the uniform I want to make it an experience to remember’’

At the beginning of 2014, we heard the story of three friends who wished to become cabin crew, dreaming one day they will meet together in Paris and drink their coffee near the Eiffel Tower. After joining the How to be cabin crew course, the three friends have become cabin crew and their plan to meet in Paris for a coffee became true.

We met Gabriela, one of them, in February 2014 during How to be Cabin Crew Course in Bucharest. She had a tattoo, 28-year-old, many emotions, but despite all these, she was ready to become a cabin crew.

‘’I educated myself to reach for the moon; even if I miss, I’ll land among the stars.’’

When and why did you decide you want to become a cabin crew?

Although it looks like a cliché, I’ve wanted to practice this job since I was a teenager. Unfortunately, life’s way made me choose another path – namely customer care. Throughout the years, I educated myself to reach for the moon; even if I miss, I’ll land among the stars. Now I can say I’m closer to them than ever. I chose to make a radical change thinking it could be the biggest change of my life. And, with each day passing, I get more and more convinced I took the right decision.

How did your interview go?

The interview seemed to me quite easy, taking into account that I’ve attended the How to be cabin crew course, where I’ve received all the necessary information and practiced various exercises. I knew I was ready and I was sure of myself (I’ve practiced my self presentation many times, in the car, while driving). We had to pass a written test too: the first subject consisted of some English grammar exercises, and the second one was requiring us to imagine we were on board and had to present the new menu; it was then that I realized the imagination was the key. It seemed it was also the winner. After the test, the selected candidates remained for the one-to-one interviews. I’ve received various questions: about the airline, about me and my current workplace, motivation for this job, unpleasant situations at the workplace and solutions found. At the end, a text was read to me and I had to answer some questions based on it, so they could test my attention. I answered sincerely during all the interview process, adding a personal note. I refused to give standard answers we all find on Google.

Was it helpful for your interview all that you have learned during the How to be cabin crew course?

All that I have learned during the course was of great help. I have learned how to introduce myself at a job interview, received information about a flight attendant’s life experience, and had the occasion to put into practice possible situations encountered at an interview. We’ve received useful advices based on the performance of each of us and discovered how to structure the CV in order to highlight what’s important. I’ve learned how to build my answers by inserting words that could capture the interviewer’s attention. Lastly, I’ve found out how to be confident about myself and my knowledge. I’ve left the course happy that I had the chance to meet three wonderful persons, part of the How to be cabin crew team, whom I admire for all their passion put in creating this project.

What is your advice for those who are going to attend an interview?

To have faith in their own dream! And patience! No matter how skilled you are, the interviews aren’t at all comfortable. A lot of practice is required: in front of the mirror, in the car, in front of two or three friends. Besides, I think if you put soul in your answers and really believe in your passion for this job, then you took a step forward (leaving your future colleagues behind).

I remember you had a tattoo on the wrist. What happened to it?

You are right. The tattoo was on the right hand’s ring finger. After five sessions of laser tattoo removal, taken in Bucharest, I got it removed completely.

“Every day in the uniform I try to make it an experience to remember/unforgettable experience”

One day I made a child happy. During boarding, while I was helping passengers with their luggage, one child took my hand telling me he was knowing the captain. He confirmed captain’s name and told me he was in the same football team as the captain’s son. Once boarding was completed, while waiting for the flight documents, I announced the captain about that little passenger claiming he was his son’s colleague and knew him. The captain invited the child to the flight deck, explained him the technical details and took a photo together. During the flight, the child stopped me to thank me, telling me how proud he was about the photo. You could see the happiness on his face.

How did relocating to London seem to you?

In spite of the rain that looks romantic to me, I never thought I would wish to live in London. When I found out the name of my base, my best friend told me there would be no other place to better admire the clouds and the rain than London. At the beginning, it was quite hard to find an accommodation, but God brought in my way a great family, with whom I currently live. The environment is very pleasant, I adapted rapidly and I feel safe now. I’ve known people of different cultures from all over the world and I’m glad I have something to learn from everyone. I’ve also met extraordinary people who have heard about Romania, wish to visit it and speak fine words about our country. And, even I find it nice to live in London, my cabin crew bag has a little ribbon attached to it with Romania’s flag (idea stolen from another Romanian colleague).

In the near future, I would like to attend the required courses in order to become a pilot. The time spent in the air looks like a magical one to me. The sky is the place where I find my answers and from where I get the necessary energy for starting new things. I wish one day I will live in France and work for Air France. I’ve flirted with the idea of practicing this job in conflict areas, but those who care for me want me to be courageous on the ground.

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.