Wednesday, March 9, 2011

The "Dark Side" of being a cabin crew

Below are the experience of one of my readers who was an ex cabin crew with a major airline.

Hello everyone,

I’m here to share my flying experience. I did not want to mention my name as well as which airline I was flying with previously.

I’m here to share my experience so that you guys have a bit of idea how flying life is. I never regret joining the airline and I’m just like you, to be a cabin crew is always my dream since I’m young and started when i was 6 years old. When I was young, my mum always said wait till she “KENA” lottery and she will buy an air ticket for me. It never came true; my era AIR ASIA doesn’t exist so there’s no such thing as EVERYONE CAN FLY.

I love meeting people, I love to travel and I love the MONEY too...but trust me being a cabin crew is not as easy as you think though. Is very glamorous but not so glamour behind the curtain I would say. The first 6 months is the hardest time because you are new and when you are a junior, everyone will know that you are new because there’s a “P” beside your name and P means under probation and I’m not under any other airline that is no bond.

This means that the contract offered was 5 years bond 2 years. No matter what, you can’t leave the company within the first 2 years. You can leave only after 2 years even you didn’t complete the 5 years contract.

The first 4 months during your training, you get to learn a lot of things about the operation, service, first aid and SEP. This is very useful and is a good knowledge even though you quit as a cabin crew but you know where to go if TOUCH WOOD anything happened in your flight. You get to know how to save people’s life and not even that if anything happened to your love ones you may save their life too.

My advice is when you just started flying try to be humble and try to learn from the senior as much as you can. Any airline you go, is a culture that you need greet everyone with a smile. Be there early to prepare yourself on the first flight. Always double check if you bring your tokens to check pax load and most important thing is your CREW PASS and PASSPORT. Without that, you can’t fly.

Ok, enough of the things you need to know. Now, lets talk about my bad experience. On my very first flight as a trainee I met a zappy fat crew and she’s a leading. Trust me, there’s a lot of bitchy crew especially the ranking crew. I won’t say all are like that, some only and some are the bad ones. Depends on your luck and also their mood very much. If your set of crew are having mood swing,

GOOD LUCK to u but then to make you feel more comfortable maybe because they don’t have enough LOVE that’s why they behave as such. So, what happened to my first flight? She was picking about everything I did. She yelled at me for no reason, and I really broke down. My set of crew, no one likes her even the IFS knows about that and everyone came to tell me I’m just the unlucky ones and is not that I’m not good enough.

I mean I know I’m not good enough of cause as this is my first flight and how good you expect me to be? I didn’t even have my meal and I was working all the time. She even scolded me for wasting my time talking to passenger for too long during laul period. Laul period means that when meal service is done and there’s when you interact with your passenger if you have the time.

Do I ignore the passenger if the passenger wants to talk to me? Moreover there’s nothing to do after meal service. SHE IS JUST BEING BITCHY.After that flight, I can’t seem to understand why she did that to me. But anyway, I really feel regretted and wanted to quit this job and go HOME. I called my mum and told her what happened. But I know that I cannot quit my job at that point of time. If I quit I will have to pay back RM30k to the company.

I dragged myself to work everyday because I got phobia and I don’t know who I am going tol fly with on the next flight. Whether they are the TOP 10 – TOP 10 means they are those whom are very well known ranking crew that are bitchy, NASTY and CRAZY!I felt so lonely and I hate to fly. Is so tiring, you don’t get to eat your meal on time sometimes you don’t get to eat the whole flight also when it is a full flight. Your body needs time to get used to it and it takes time to adapt.

You get very clumsy when you are still very new but never stop learning and ask for help from your senior. My batch mate encounter a ranking crew asking him if he knows how to check the toilet. He said he knows but this leading is treating him like he’s an idiot. How hard it is to check a toilet? Make sure the sink is clean, make sure there’s paper towel and toilet roll.

Put toothbrush and combs inside the drawer and display cologne, lotion and hand liquid without the cap on. Actually, I really want to say that cabin work is not hard as long as u know the procedure and where things kept and done. The senior always think they are smarter but actually this kind of work everyone also can do.

Is just that they have more experience in the airline so close one eyes also can get things done because you’ve been doing the same thing every flight. Is the same thing, but they make it as if they are smarter and make you look like an idiot. Lets continue the story, so he did everything that I had mention earlier and he asked him how many peanuts are there in a packet.

Do you have to know how many are there? Passenger won’t ask you how many peanuts in a packet right? So, again because we are junior the senior just want you to look stupid and there are the smartest.

Everyone goes through that, they are new before also but some people just want to make your life so miserable. Why? Because if they are so smart they won’t be here still flying as a crew. They will be some CEO or DIRECTOR if they think they are so intelligent.

 I had a flight to shanghai and it is a night flight. I met an IFS who asked us to stand at the cabin after meal service with lights off. She doesn’t want the passenger in business class to press the call light. The thing is all the passengers were sleeping and is only 4 of them in business class. OH MY GOD! Again, fly too long…she’s out of her mind. The call light is made for a purpose and how can you not let the passenger press the call light and eventually we standing there like an idiot.

There are also nasty passengers who make your life so miserable because they paid for the fare and you just have to suck it up. Also you are paid to suck up all this nonsense. You will meet different kind of weird people on board that you will never get to meet them if you are not a cabin crew. Funny request, horny passenger and crew, crazy passenger and crew and all sorts. BE PREPARED !

It is a very good experience. Trust me, all these people make a stronger you and after at least 2 years of flying you will get immune with nasty passenger and bitchy ranking crew. My advice is SAVE as much as you can if you hate the job but also spend some money to see the world, explore yourself out there. Meet as many friends as you can because you will never know one day they are the one who with be offering you a job. BE NICE also because you will never know if you will meet them onboard again in future.

When you become senior, be nice to the junior crew also and try to recall when you just started flying. They are nervous, panic and have fear with unfamiliar working environment and unsure how things are done. Junior crew be humble, be nice and hardworking so that the senior will feel that you are willing to learn and they will love to guide you when you are lost.

 Let the senior have their meal first, offer them a drink sometimes. Some senior are very particular with that and let them have their choice of meal first. Try to forget the bad ones after the flight and don’t let it affect your next flight. Learned from the mistakes and move on. No one is perfect; we are all here to learn from each other.

Before I forget, it takes 2 hands to clap. If you do not want to do certain thing, no one can force you. Be discipline and know your limit, know how to protect yourself. There’s a lot of wolves out there, the single one, married one and etc.

They are just trying their luck sometimes but learn how to say NO in a nice way. Don’t be fear, when necessary report to the office and he will lose his job because of that. For the guys, if the girl say NO then don’t try anymore. Is not worth to lose your job because you are lonely for just one night. Think TWICE!

Alright, that’s all for now I guess. Go and chase your dream and make it come true. You never try you never know. If you fall its ok to stand up be strong and face it and you will be fine. Talk to your friend if you have a bad flight, don’t keep inside your heart because is not healthy.

Cry it out loud if you need so and then move on already. All the best and best of luck, I hope you guys have good flight every day and be happy. Enjoy every moment and capture it. It is just the beginning of the learning stage. GOOD LUCK people!

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