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.
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.
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.