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:

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.

“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.

Punctuality. The key in aviation

“Time is money” is a slogan that adapts to any situation from everyday life, but when it comes to aviation any extra minutes that keep a plane on ground forces the company to take money out of their pocket. The same thing we can say about the cabin crew job: regardless of the employer company, there is a timetable that you have to follow with Holiness, and when it comes to punctuality, I can honestly say that means 90% of your business card. The story makes me to have already gone through this experience, and in the following I will tell you briefly my experience which has become a timeless:

It was my first month flying for Emirates and I had just landed in Dubai after a very long flight from the Philippines when I decided to check out the roster again. I had done this check somewhere at around 11.40 P.M, and the mistake that cost me afterwards was that I did not give importance to the date in which we found ourselves at the time. My roster was showing as follows: May 24 FREE, May 25 flight to Kuwait at 01.15 AM. After my interpretation I had two days off and the third day night departure to Kuwait. Checking date: May 23, flight date May 25. So from my calculations resulted that I get home, I have all the next day to enjoy Dubai, and the day after, in the night, go for Kuwait flight. The theory of an unexperienced and tired flight attendant. In reality, I had only one day off as after midnight I was already on May 24, and flight time being on May 25 at 1.15 A.M which meant that my preparation should start on my day off around 9 P.M. The fact that I did not checked the flight schedule carefully and I did not taken into account that it’s already 00.00 wich meant the beginning of another day, led me to failure for that flight.
I spent my first day off at the pool, in the evening I went out for a walk, and after that I went home where I felt asleep peacefully with the thought that it’s so good to have days off when you can really explore life in Dubai. But the next day early in the morning, shock and horror in my roster: “ABSENT” was written with big block red letters for the Kuwait flight. Initially I thought my phone or application was affected by the heat or the application got stuck, but after I called the number of the Crew Support, I was shocked to find out that I really missed the flight, and this incident will be documented in my file for the next six months. The first instinct was to cry because I was very nervous and it was not my intention to miss the flight, but after a few minutes I realized that I should calm down and explain to my manager what happened in fact and what was my reason for not showing up. Following this incident, which by the way I could have cost me being promoted I began to check my application twice on the phone, ask another opinion if I was too tired to figure it out, or even to use the Crew Portal which was conceived to avoid such situations.

One thing is certain: the cabin crew job makes you forget most of the times on what day of the week you find yourselves, what date and what time is at home, and that’s just because your home is up in the sky!

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The story of Adina, former student that became a flight attendant with our help

Her green-blue eyes are the first thing that makes you watch her closely. Warm smile, soft look and she knows how to make herself liked from the first interaction. She is Adina, our student who shortly will start working as Cabin Crew for Primera Air.

She came to know us last year in October at our meeting with How to be Cabin Crew readers, and after that event she hadn’t stopped working till she made her dream come true. She followed 2 courses with our team and in a few months her dream was real: she received the long waiting GOLDEN EMAIL.

For her age, Adina is an example of ambition and desire to overcome her limits. She has 21 years and customer service experience as far to another 5 years, this bringing her the winning ticket before Primera Air recruiters who saw in her the right candidate for the Cabin Crew position at their Scandinavian company.

  1. When did you thought you could pursue a career as a flight attendant and what was hidden behind such a decision?

When I started thinking about a career as Cabin Crew I was a teenager, somewhere in high school, in a small town from the beautiful area of Toscana, Italy. There I lived approximately 7 years, there I formed myself, and I finished high school.  I came back to Bucharest to continue my studies at Foreign Languages Faculty. I already abandoned the idea of working among the clouds till the second year of faculty when a good friend of mine and colleague told me that her dream after she finishes her studies is to become a Flight Attendant. That was the moment when I dreamed again about traveling the world and to accompany world travelers to their dream destinations.

  1. What is your present job? Do you think your experience helped you in any way at the interview?

At the moment I don’t have a job, but I started working from 16 years old because I always liked being around people and being useful. I started as a Customer Services for an Italian company, and then I worked as a Waitress and Bartender in a restaurant-bar. In the end, here in Bucharest I had the opportunity to work as a Receptionist at a hotel. I think these jobs helped me so much to form myself as a person and in the same time were a plus at the interview, as well as my knowledge of foreign languages.

  1. How did you prepare for the interview with airline companies? How many interviews did you attend before succeeding?

When I am interested in something I start a little research. The internet was my big source of information, I read all sorts of articles, I entered on many forums, I consulted different websites, among which was your website, “How to be Cabin Crew”. I started taking notes, details about each company and also started to study a little bit the aviation vocabulary. I decided to follow your courses, experience which brought me a lot of courage, and more ambition to make my dreams come true. Excellent trainers and a very relaxing atmosphere at your venue made all the information necessary for the interview and about this job to be assimilated very easily and with a pleasure rarely encountered.

  1. How did you manage to stay positive in the moment when you were eliminated from an interview?

It is true I participated to multiple interviews for different airline companies. In most cases I didn’t managed to pass the CV Drop, which disappointed me a little. I didn’t understand what was wrong, what was missing, why (even if everyone saw in me the stewardess girl in the movies) I didn’t succeeded to pass the final interview. After a few attempts, I stopped asking myself questions, I was more relaxed, I tried not to show the recruiters the perfection in me and I went to the interview more relaxed, exactly as I am. I imagined meeting the recruiters like I was meeting my best friends at a coffee shop where we talk and make plans for the future. I think I succeeded to bring that good feeling and optimism and that was what led to my success. I encourage everyone to not give up after a few attempts. I am sure that each one of us has a place in the clouds that is waiting to be filled.

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  1. What do you think it is the biggest challenge for a flight attendant?

The biggest challenge for Cabin Crew? Well…I think here the answer is more individual. For some missing home and the loved ones is the biggest challenge, for others the fact that they can not communicate in their mother tongue at their work place, having a different lifestyle, to confront with different and difficult situation and persons along the flight.

  1. Tell me what are the most 3 important qualities that a future candidate should possess at an interview?

After I participated to so many and diverse interviews I made myself aware that it wasn’t my fault. I started to think that at the interview day it must be “love at first sight” between the recruiter and candidate. This idea helped me stay in track when I was eliminated from another interview and to attend more interviews ready to win the recruiters. It is very well known that the preparation before the interview is fundamental. Information is the key. Confidence in yourself and perseverance are, as well, an important factor. And smile, lots of natural big smile, that bring with it warmth, love, optimism.

  1. Do you want to transmit a message for How to be Cabin Crew team?

The founders of this project succeeded to introduce me from the first moments in the amazing story of Cabin Crew Life, in what means life in the clouds. Good luck to future readers and candidates and to motivate them I remained that “The sky is not the limit, it’s just the beginning!”

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.

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.

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.