When I was a little Trend Attendant, kinda like in the photo above, I decided that I wanted to become a flight attendant. We flew to Curaçao every summer vacation, where we would stay for six weeks. It seemed so magical to me, working on an airplane, nice blue uniform, taking care of people and fly to all kinds of wonderful destinations. That flight attendant idea has always remained with some diversions to translator, singer and dancer. But fast forward years later my wish did come true. Working as a flight attendant is exactly as I thought it would be and luckily it didn’t disappoint. As with all kinds of other jobs, there are also some preconceptions to the job as a flight attendant. When passengers travel, it is of course the perfect time to get an answer to those burning questions once and for all. Which questions do we get? Read them and weep!
- Enjoy your vacation!’. No question but rather a comment that I often get hurled at my head (especially when I travel by public transport). It is thought that cabin staff are permanently on vacation and spend the whole day on the beach. Well this is a small part of it (the beach then) but it is still work. And you’re working hard before you arrive at a destination and we will certainly not stay on that beach for two weeks!☀️
- Imagine this: you are living your best life, you are super happy with your job and someone asks: “Is this your real job or do you have another job?” Haha, I was shook! It was impossible for the gentleman to imagine that making sure passengers have a safe stay on board, flying them safely from A to B and worst case scenario: evacuating a burning plane within 90 seconds, a ‘real’ job. 🤷🏽♀️
- “Free tickets?” True story: do you know how often I get requests to arrange free tickets, discounts, business class upgrades or a rebooking. (Also for the postman’s cousin twice removed). Flight attendant = not a travel agency. I wish! 😆
- “Do you always fly together / do you all know each other?” When we get this question it is always a good sign because it means there is a good atmosphere on board. With around 10,000 cabin staff you work with a different crew every flight. So usually you don’t know the entire crew. But call it a flight attendant thing: after two minutes on board it is as if you have known each other for years and sometimes tell each other things, you haven’t even told your best friend. And after a super nice trip you say goodbye just as easily and you may not see each other again for years (or never again). It’s not for everyone..
- “Where are we flying now?” During a flight the workload it is quite high. So there is no time to monitor the flight route. We can easily solve this by telling passengers to check the flight tracking system. And if it is not present, we’ll be happy to call the cockpit and ask, they always know exactly where we are. ✈️
- “Can you ask if the next plane will wait for me?” My friend and colleague Mercedes got this question the other day because there was some delay during her flight. We do have super powers but we can’t always move mountains (or planes).
- “Are you flying back right away?” Picture this: we report about an hour and a half before a flight. For example, if you fly to Buenos Aires, it will take about 14 hours. If you have to go back right away and fly back another 14 hours, then you’ll be working about 30 hours. To Paris and then back? Sure! Buenos Aires and back again, not so much..
- “Do your best at school, otherwise you also have to do this work” Ok, honestly: this never happened to me but it seems that a colleague indirectly heard this from a passenger who said this to her daughter. Because imagine that you have to fly all over the world. “Whether it’s an urban legend or not…we’ll never know.”😅”
- “He’s asking why you are brown”. During a flight from Beijing, a Chinese boy translated for his younger companion who was looking at me with big eyes. The young man had never seen people with different hair and skin color and just wanted to get some more information. After I explained it (and it was translated) a photo moment followed because of course this had to be recorded for his offspring.”
- “Do you mind if we have our meeting here?” Wait, what?
A businessman needed some time (and space) to brief his colleague…by means of his huge laptop… in our little boeing 737 galley…where we were working with two large trolleys..and three colleagues..and another passenger doing yoga.