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.

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Primera Air is looking for cabin crew for its Stansted base

ASTA Aviation Staffing are actively seeking Non-experienced cabin crew /Experienced cabin crew on behalf of Primera Air.

Current base available – Stansted (United Kingdom).

Term: Permanent

Salary / Rate: Negotiable

Primera Air is looking for team members who can identify themselves with their values: Care, Integrity, Dynamic, Reliability and Fun.

Primera Air is strive to ensure that their customers enjoy a safe flight with high standards of customer service and is looking for exceptional people to offer this service.

If you are friendly, confident, have a passion for excellent customer service delivery and passionate about people and flying, please apply today.

Only applicants meeting the requirements listed below will be considered.

  • Applicant must hold a full Passport with unrestricted worldwide travel
  • Graduated from High School (grade 12)
  • Able to operate routes including Transatlantic (USA/ Canada)/ European Destinations
  • Criminal Record Check and a verifiable 5year employment history
  • Able to swim minimum 200 meters unaided and physically fit
  • Speak and read English fluently

BASE- STANSTED (STN )

Successful applicants will also be/have:

  • Safety focused
  • Friendly, calm and open minded
  • Willing to work in diverse environment
  • Have previous experience in hospitality, customer and sales services environment
  • have high selling skills
  • Service minded
  • Highly flexible
  • Strong communication skills

Should you be interested in this position and meet all the above requirements, please follow the online link and attach your CV, Attestation (if in possession), Medical (EASA), Passport Copy and Digital passport sized photo (white background)

For non experienced cabin crew, please apply on this link

For experienced cabin crew, please apply on this link

The company will confirm interviews/ open days via email.

Good luck !

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Flight attendants dealing with difficult passengers

When you become flight attendant, you’ll have to write a lot of flight reports; it is important to know that every unexpected event on board must be reported. Events may happen during flight, or while the airplane is still on ground. For example, when providing first aid, a complete flight report will help the doctors know more about the case afterwards. You must be aware that every single detail is of great importance. Many times reports are written, even if it is only about an insignificant headache.

Egyptian passengers

When flying to Egypt, there are some painkilling medicines, such as Panadol, that should be available on board for these kinds of passengers, who generally suffer headaches ever since embarking. The Egyptians smoke very strong cigarettes; whenever cigarettes are missing, severe headaches lasting one to two hours appear. A good example would be one passenger’s complaint about his carry-on baggage not fitting in the overhead bin. This passenger was constantly yelling, complaining of his headache, insisting on his baggage issue, and appearing considerably irritated by the presence of the flight attendants. His behaviour indicated he had been on drugs.

Hysterical passenger

One day, during boarding, one passenger who was afraid of flying, soon after asking for a medicine to stop her headache pain, fell into a hysterical crisis and started to slap the flight attendant who was trying to calm her down.

Pregnant passenger

Another day, right before landing, a business-class passenger who was seven months pregnant, announced the crew about her headache accompanied by strong abdominal pain. Everyone thought the labour was about to start. After discussing with her, the flight attendants found out she was only experiencing gas pains. She said her doctor gave her medicines, which were left in the hold baggage.

The Chinese passenger – or how to put in danger a whole plane

Another female colleague of mine also went through an extremely dangerous and unhappy experience, during one of her flights:

“I am one of those people who had dealt with many medical incidents throughout their flight attendant careers. Once I had a flight from Doha to Pekin; many of our Chinese passengers were coming from Algeria via Doha. There was one odd passenger who appeared to have his head in the clouds. Although he looked dizzy, he didn’t smell of alcohol. However, I decided to inform the Senior Cabin Crew about it. That passenger hadn’t been eating anything during the flight. But as long as he didn’t disturb anyone, we didn’t give him too much attention.

But just before landing, while all of the passengers were sitting in their seats with the seatbelts fastened, the Chinese passenger suddenly got up, went towards the airplane’s door and tried to open it! I was standing right there, but he didn’t seem to care about my presence. I reacted immediately, asking him to leave and telling him how dangerous this whole thing was. After taking three steps back, he turned again to the door. At that moment, I realized it was no joke. While asking for my colleagues’ help, I found the physical force to grab him by the collar and push him back into his seat. Instantly, I asked him loudly to sit and fasten his seatbelt. We were about to land, so I had just a few seconds to get to my jump seat.

After landing, the passenger had to meet the airport security. Soon afterwards, we understood the reason for his strange behaviour: he had been physically abused in Algeria, and maybe even drugged.”

Lesson learned: flight attendants are captain’s eyes. They must be always attentive, since any insignificant event could be of great importance at an altitude of 10,000 metres.

Good luck to all future flight attendants!

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emirates_crew

Flight Attendants Are Brave Individuals, You Cannot Afford Be Otherwise!

I had the pleasure to meet Ingi Murtaza, one of our tatar ladies, an extremely ambitious and determined woman. She left Mangalia for the Middle East years ago, to pursue a dream, a dream come true.

Ingi confessed that “the period at Qatar Airways was very nice, with ups and downs only in her personal life, because on a professional level she could only ascend or promote. There are many beautiful memories, many colleagues I still remember with pleasure, that I continue to stay in touch with, even after so many years, and adventures around the world for which I have been paid for by the company. I engaged in the promo campaigns, organized by the company, also and not a day has passed without me celebrating everything we achieved there. I am proud to have been part of a of 5-star team! The recruitment interview was a standardised one not at all different from other airline company interviews. There are various aspects recruiters take into consideration and it’s very interesting. I remember that at the final interview, because of having curly hair, I was asked if there was any problem for me to straighten and maintain it so, which did not bother me a bit. “

Ingi was famous among the other flight attendants for being a very serious girl who was strictly following the rules. Although most of the cabin crew members, after landing, only have in mind what they should do at home or where to go shopping, Ingi told us that, in fact, she was always repeating the rules and commands to be followed in case of emergency. “It was a must for the company and it was something that was part of me and my work as a flight attendant, for me to always be prepared for unexpected incidents.”

Speaking of dangerous situations, she has had a few. “In almost 5 years at Qatar Airways, I may already be considered a dinosaur there because of my seniority 😉 of course you get a chance to go through different situations, either in Doha or abroad, but these situations always ended well, thanks to our quality training and we, the crew, have always taken the right decisions. It is in moments like these that we demonstrate that we, flight attendants, are brave individuals, you cannot afford be otherwise! “

After 5 years she chose to return home out of personal reasons and worked for two years for Wizz Air in Romania. She became, Cabin Service Manager, the same position she used to have while working for Qatar Airways. She regretted resigning from Qatar Airways, as she could not get used to working for a low cost company and confessed that, if she could, she would willingly trade her working experience with Wizz Air for the 5-star experience in Qatar.

Her overall perception about her work at a low cost flying company made her apply for a position at Emirates Airlines as ground staff. “I honestly did not know if I’ll be called for an interview and if I’ll be accepted. I became a supervisor at First and Business Class Lounges at the airport in DXB (Dubai), taking care of my colleagues whom I assist, guiding them in different situations. Ground work is not much different from working on a plane and I can say now that I have a complete picture of a passenger who leaves from point A and arrives at point B passing through the airport, flying and arriving to another airport in some other place of the world . It’s a beautiful job, different even as a way of life from the one of a flight attendant, but not as well paid as the latter. “

When she misses the flying part, she says for her it’s not a problem: “I simply watch the Emirates airplanes and it’s all gone; I also think that, for as long as I used to fly, there wasn’t something or someone stable in my life, and now it’s different, I can have a personal, normal life, I can marry and have children without the restrictions imposed by flying. Now I can see the advantages and disadvantages of both jobs, the ups and downs, the differences and the similarities, what is worth and what isn’t. “

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