Countries Visited (not including Turnarounds): Australia, Austria, Azerbaijan, Belgium, Bosnia & Herzegovina, Brazil, Canada, China, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Ghana, Great Britain, Greece, Iceland, India, Italy, Japan, Kenya, Latvia, Libya, Lithuania, Malaysia, Malta, Mauritius, Monaco, Morocco, Netherlands, New Zealand, Nigeria, Norway, North Korea, Philippines, Russia, Singapore, Senegal, Serbia, Seychelles, South Africa, South Korea, Spain, Sri Lanka, Sweden, Switzerland, Tanzania, Thailand, Tunisia, Turkey, Uganda, United Arab Emirates, United States, Vatican City
So yesterday I finally graduated as a brand new first class crew member. It was only 6 days in training college, but virtually all of it was spent in the service simulators, and the nights were sleepless and full of studying and coffee-drinking. I didn't exactly pass with flying colours, but as far as service goes, a pass is a pass, and I'll be taking to the skies in the best cabin of them all for many years to come.
What used to happen at the graduation ceremonies, at least when I was an Abinitio, was that all the batches had to perform a dance routine set to some form of music, whether it be classical, fast-paced techno, R&B or pop. Our routine was set to Frank Sinatra's Come fly with me, and was quite cheesy indeed. I KNOW there's some footage floating around of it somewhere, but mercifully my mate Nayan isn't familiar with Youtube and as such the general public is spared from my very awful attempts to dance.
Since then I found out (at my Business Class graduation) that they had since stopped this practice, which is disappointing as the new recruits are spared the same torture we all once had to go through. It was also something to look forward to after what can be a draining afternoon of hearing one member of management after another say basically the same thing.
And then I saw this...
It seems we're not the only airline that gets their steward/esses to dance. Whether they were asked to, or they just wanted to fill up their lunch breaks at college with some light excercise, here are the Korean Air girls dancing to "Trying to tell me to dance". In full uniform.
Well it's the day before I start my First Class Promotional Course, and rather than studying cheese, and wine varieties, and table settings, and ways to address royalty, I'm messing around on Facebook and stalking other people's blogs. Found this survey on Tray's website - perfect for procrastinating...
Which airline is lucky enough to employ you? I thought it would have been pretty obvious – International airline, Dubai based, multi-national crew. If the colour scheme of the blog doesn’t give it away then check the archives, there’s a pic of me in uniform there somewhere.
What city (ies) are you based in? Dubai.
If you could choose ANY city, what would your dream base be? New York, with Tokyo a close second
How long would you like to be based there? 3 years or so, however with the aviation industry there looking quite dire I don’t know if I could handle being there for that long a time
Have you ever done the nasty with a passenger you met on the plane? Not the nasty… but I did meet up with one on an Athens layover. Really sweet guy, we’re still mates. Never again though… plus the higher class you move up the less attractive the men get.
Have you ever wanted to? There are plenty of dreamy guys that fly with us. Sadly they almost always fly with their girlfriends or wives…
What's your favorite city thus far to lay over in? Toss up between Osaka and Milan.
Have you had famous people as passengers? Yes, but most of them are Aussie celebs.
If so, who was your favorite? Kostya Tzu
Who was your LEAST favorite? Shaban Moustafa. Would keep asking me for my phone number, then kept trying to give me his. Then the Egyptian purser walked though my side of the cabin and did a total freak out, was all "Do you know who this guy is?" and got me to take a photo with him. At which point the passenger behind him recognised him, and just so happened to have one of Moustafa's films on the A/V system. And then got his daughter from economy to see him, at which point several economy passengers knew he was on board, and tried to pass the curtains. A very crazy Cairo flight.
Who would you LOVE to have on your flight? Well I WOULD have said Ralph Fiennes, but I know where he’s been…
Are you a language speaker for your airline? No, I’d get less variety in my rosters if I were
What is your least favorite flight to work? Istanbul turnaround, closely followed by the Nairobi turnaround
Do you have a flight you actually ENJOY working? Nagoya. Loads are light, pax rarely eat (they even seem to clean the toilets for you in Y/C), and the premium cabin sushi is gooood. Also the turnarounds to the Gulf region are easy and the passengers really appreciate any attempt at Arabic.
Have you ever done the nasty with CREW MEMBER (on a layover)? Hell to the no.
What do you watch on TV when you're getting ready for work on a layover? In DXB I just surf the net with music on. At an outstation – Discovery Channel or National Geographic. Love my docos.
Have you ever dropped a passenger meal and served it? No. See Qu. 34.
Do you prefer working coach, business, or first class? Definitely First Class! I don’t miss Economy at all…
What is your favorite airplane to work? Anything other than the Scarebus. Which for us leaves the Boeing 777 “Bigfoot”
Do you know what crop-dusting inflight is? Uh, no, care to enlighten me? It’s a bodily function isn’t it…
Do you prefer working early flights or late ones? Afternoon departures are the best, as they’re usually for Euro layovers and come with a bigger allowance and the best timings to go out and see the city.
Do you like the uniform your airline gives you? Kind of, we’re getting a new one which is just AWFUL, and I wish the current one was a little more fitted. I love the hat though, even though it collects a lot of lipstick.
Do you take your laptop on layover? Depends on the layover, if it’s a 24 hr one then no, if it has free internet then I take it. We also have some pretty boring layovers where I kind of need it.
What is your LEAST favourite part of every flight? Collecting blankets. Some of the stuff you find on there is just nasty. And I’m not talking puke here…
What is the BEST hotel you've ever had a layover at? Well we don’t layover there, but for a Business Promotion we stayed at the Intercontinental in London in Knightsbridge. For the crew hotels, I’d have to say the one in Kolkata, Dar es Salaam or Brisbane
Where did you interview for your job? In Perth
What other cities have you been based in? Dubai’s my one and only
Favorite base? It’s the sandpit for everyone else too…
Why did you become a "flight attendant?" Was working at hotels and VIP Catering, felt like a natural progression for me. Plus after a few years here if I wanted to get back into hospitality it would be the ideal place to come from. I also wanted to wear the hat.
Did you apply at other airlines that didn't want you? No, they ask for too much, like languages and RSA certificates, and even then I’d be lucky to do domestic.
Do you like the airline you work for? I love the job to bits, but wish it could be based somewhere else. Plus it’s cracked down on small things recently which can be annoying. Ask me again in 3 years time.
Have you had the CEO of your airline onboard as a passenger? No, but I’ve been in plenty of promo pics with the Executive Vice Chairman. Really top bloke.
Have you ever dated a passenger you met? See Qu. 5. I also have a business card collection of all the guys trying to snag me, It totals around 10 so far.
Have you ever gotten into a disagreement with a fellow flight attendant? Yes, with the Purser about a year ago. I was galley operator in Business on a full Perth flight and we were handing out hot meals and I accidentally dropped two of them on the floor. One of them was a roast beef meal or something similar and had been in such high demand we were short of one, the other a pasta meal, and both could not be saved. Purser said to me "Why did you drop the meals if you knew we were short?" She also told me to try to save it, make it neat and presentable, so it could be served, and in a nutshell I promptly told her to get f**ked. I was so disgusted and it really made the trip home very crappy. Surprisingly I didn’t get called into the office back in Dubai.
Has a pilot ever hit on you? Of course. They hit on anything that moves.
Do you dislike passengers or pilots more? I’d rather deal with an angry pax than an angry pilot. It’s unlikely you’ll fly with the same angry passenger again.
Passengers ask annoying questions when they see you in uniform. What is your least favorite question? ”Which country are we flying over at the moment” Believe it or not, I don’t have time to look at the airshow during the 2.5 hrs it takes to serve 400 hungry passengers. Also “Is that your real hair?” And on a Sydney/Sao Paolo/Melbourne/insert 14 hr long haul flight, “So do you go straight to Dubai after this?”
What is the stupidest request a passenger has ever made of you? I wouldn’t exactly call it stupid, but we had this J/C pax from FRA-DXB once ask us to take pictures of this massive stuffed teddy bear he’d brought for his kids. We had the bear with the hat, with a life jacket, in the first class suites, in a tabard, with the oxygen mask, in front of a laptop, with the passenger’s starter meal, and propped against the toilet door with an empty bottle of Moet.
Is being a hostess with the mostess your only job? Yes, any others will violate my residence visa.
Have you gotten any long-lasting relationships out of your job? No, ‘tis the single life for me in the sandpit. But I hope the friendships I've developed are long-lasting.
So today I went to the Mall of the Emirates as it was time for a new iron. The old one had a plastic bag melted onto it after it fell to the floor in a classic Thai-blonde moment. I hadn't been there in about 3 months, when it first opened it was great, not too many people, and the Taxi queue was negligable, but it's appeal has gone somewhat nowdays.
I needed to get money out of the ATM, and had to wait behind this one guy who really erked me. What was supposed to be a 2 minute wait took a bloody lifetime! He'd take his card out, plonk it back in there, take a good 45 seconds to decide what to do, receipt and card would come back out, and in the card went again. 5 freaking times.
He can check his account all he wants, it's not going to increase the balance everytime he does so...