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Down To Earth With An Air Hostess

Posted in Cabin Crew Stories4 comments

Typical working day

I wake up by 4am every working day in time to prepare my children for school and for my office pick up by 5am. Being a senior, I should always be there before the others just to make sure everything is in place. Together with the others, I check all the emergency equipment to make sure they are in place and in good working condition. I have to do drills with the other attendants to remind us of the first Aid and emergency processes. I am a safety officer in the flight so I cannot leave anything to chance.

How it came to this

I always wanted to be an air hostess. Before, airlines never used to allow flight attendants to have children but now the rules are a bit relaxed. When I saw an advert calling for applications, I applied and was immediately taken in by Jetlink Airlines and trained at their school for three months.

What it takes

You must have a beautiful personality. Outward beauty and all the smiling are not the only things that employers look for. It is those qualities that cannot be seen with the naked eye that count most of the time.

Training

I trained as a marketer but when the airlines took me in, they trained me in flight attendance.

Challenges

As a mother of two children, I don’t get to spend enough time with my children. Sometimes I get home late in time to just tuck them in bed and wish them goodnight. In the morning, I leave very early and cannot bond with them, as I would like to. Being in a relationship, sometimes the spouse might think that you are too busy for them and not giving them enough attention. If you don’t have a spouse that understands how the job goes, then you might have to lose your job or your relationship.

To would-be attendants

Nothing comes easy and integrity and professionalism is the only way to make it. The only thing that we can ever get for free is failure. Be ready to handle the pressures that come with it like watching weight, annoying passengers and never ever have an affair with a passenger. This will be the beginning of your downfall.

When not working

I go out dancing with my friends. I can keep fit, have fun and relax all at the same time. My children are my greatest source of joy so I spend quality time with them when quantity is not forthcoming.

Wareer prospects

I would like to own a training school where I will be teaching young girls everything about in-flight duties.

Judy Yiembe – East Africa Safari Air

Typical working day

I am picked at 10am whenever I have a flight to Juba at 2pm. On arrival at the airport, which should be an hour before passengers board, I, together with other flight attendants, hold a meeting, where every crew in the flight is apportioned duties. We also prepare how to handle special cases if any. I then do a checklist to ensure that all the safety and emergency equipment are in place and in good working condition. These include the fire extinguisher; escape slides in case of emergency landing, first Aid kits and the doors. The oxygen masks and the floating jackets for the passengers have to be working and in the right place. After this, I prepare refreshments, and then board the passengers in.

My job is not only about serving the customers. My main duty in the flight is safety of the passenger then service comes in second.

How it came to this

Watching movies as a young girl, I was always thrilled to see nice-looking and smart cabin crews. So I decided to be an airhostess when I was of age. Unlike for many people, my dream has come true.

What it takes

You always have to be presentable. No passenger would want to be served by someone who is not well groomed. You must be able to express yourself with a lot of courage and clarity. In case we have an emergency, I have to talk to the passengers and talk and talk more because this is the only way they will not panic

Training

I trained in tourism and travel but when East African Safari Air took me in, I had to go for more training at their school.

Challenges

I always have to watch my weight. One cannot be overweight or underweight at any particular time. Some passengers too are overly dramatic. There was this time that we had a delayed flight and the passenger threw tantrums and could not take an explanation. But it is my duty to lend a listening ear and be of service to all.

When not working

My job gives me the satisfaction of working and at the same time to exploring my hobbies.

Travelling, meeting new people and learning their cultures, and shopping are some of the things I love. I take time to be with my family, friends and to watch movies.

To would-be attendants

Be ready to face all the challenges that come with it. It is not only about the glamour and smiling. In this profession, you are a nurse, doctor, midwife, counsellor, fire fighter and a lifeguard all at the same time. You have to get used to being away from your family. People have a misconstrued perception that cabin crew date their passengers. Maintain professionalism and remember this profession is not for the faint hearted or hot tempered.

Career prospects

In 10 years, I would like to sit in the cockpit of an aircraft of my own airline and have a feel of being served by the flight attendants.

Christine Akinyi Onyango – Kenya Airways

Typical working day

I leave home at midnight when I am scheduled for a London flight. After checking in, I join the others for a briefing by the flight purser. I ensure all security checks are done, refreshments are in place before I board in my passengers. Through the journey, I have to ensure that everyone is comfortable. I also have to be alert for any strange happenings like smoke. Cigarettes are banned in the flight but some passengers go ahead and carry them.

How it came to this

When I was young, my mother used to travel a lot, on her return, she would tell about thing that happen in the plane and in the countries that she went to. She also brought us a lot of clothes. I admired her silently and I told myself that one day I have to work as an airhostess. I failed my first test for cabin crew but second time I sailed through.

What it takes

Always remember that catering is not the main duty of the crew but safety of oneself, the passenger and of the aircraft in that order. So if you are a coward, you definitely stand no chance in this profession.

Training

I previously trained as a cabin crew and customer attendant. After joining the airline, I trained at the Emergency School in emergency equipment, fire fighting, ditching and passenger evacuation in case of emergency.

Challenges

The most challenging part of my job is people. Everyone has a different character and some of them are weird but when working, you have to overlook all this and work as a family for the sake of the passenger. Other passengers are also very tricky to deal with. I miss to spend crucial days like Christmas and birthdays with my husband and son but they understand. I always call them and so I do not get to miss them so much.

When not working

I catch up with my friends then stay with my family and cook for them. I like reading and watching movies.

Career prospects

I would like to be the Public Relations Manager at Kenya Airways. I will be working on the ground so I will be able to spend more time with my family.

4 comments

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  1. Hi am a student at Moi University taking a course that leads to an award of a degree in Human Resource Management.I would be greatful to undertake my attachment at Kenyaairways starting May -July 2010. I was tould to look for any internship advertisement online but I have not found any,how can u help mi

  2. I would like to thank you for taking time to share your story with us.Personally am challenged and touched.
    As you say Cabin Crew job is nt all about glamour en service but it takes courage en a good personallity. Am trained to be a Flight attendant in 2007 but dont have a job yet..Am not loosing hope yet have just finished my diploma in Public Relations en am positive this year my dreams will come true. I believe in courage and patience so long us i do want my heart desires.

  3. I ensure all security checks are done, refreshments are in place before I board in my passengers.

    Cabin Crew Jobs

  4. have always dreamt to be an airhostess.i always admire cabin crews from all airlines including domestic airlines.m trained in cabin crew,customer service and hospitality.i believe very soon i wil get a job as aflight attendant.

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