Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Life as an Air Asia crew ( Flight Attendant )

Recently, Air Asia is having so many cabin crew walk in interview as often as twice a month and the reason they are doing so is because they are really short of manpower since the turnover rate and resignation is extremely high.

At the time of me writing this article, I am currently still working with this company and it is going to be my 5th year. 

Why do I say that the turnover rate is high? It is mainly because most of the people who resign felt tired and fatigue being a crew with Air Asia. There are some cases where certain cabin crew resign after only joining the company for a short period of 3 months. After a while, I could see them posting on the social network saying ‘I miss flying’ and started to post pictures of themselves in their uniform (*throwback). 

My advice is, if you are a person who cannot handle fatigue, do not join Air Asia!!! Of course once in a blue moon, you do get consecutive 4/5 days off, fascinating right? And what makes you happy is at the end of the month, you get your salary and you know that your hard work had paid off.

As all of you know that we have just move to KLIA2 and we (staff) have not got a proper parking at the terminal yet and we have to park at LTCP (Long Term Car Park) near KLIA 2 where a shuttle bus will pick us up from there with a frequency of every 15mins. 

Let ‘s say, your sign on (reporting time) is at 0600 and your house is 1 hour away from the airport + 15mins waiting for the shuttle +15minutes from LTCP to KLIA2 + 15mins walk to the office ( you can’t be reaching there at 0600 sharp right?), If you do the math, my calculation is you have to leave your house by 0415. So what time do you need to get up, probably 3am? Depends on how fast you need to get ready ( make up, bath, grooming and etc etc )

If you check your flying roster, your STA (standard time of arrival ) is at 1500, but in your roster it will reflect your sign off time at 1530, why the extra 30minutes you may asked? It is because you need to wait for the passenger to disembark, CLEAN THE AIRCRAFT, walk back to the office for debriefing and get to your transport. You might think that 30mins is enough for all these? My answer is no!!! 

At the end of the day, the fastest record I can achieve is to arrive at my car by 1615.
At 4pm, normally the traffic will start to build up and you may be stuck in a jam. You arrived at home by 1730, get yourself clean up, have dinner, watch tv, relax, and you might want to go to bed early if your reporting time is at 0600 again the next day. 

Bear in mind, the earliest reporting time is 0430 and the minimum time required from the moment you sign off until the next day you sign on is an 11hours gap. I am telling you, the 11hours gap is not sufficient if you are doing long flight all the way down. The scenario I gave above is an ideal scenario, what if there is a flight delay?

What do I mean by long flight or short flight? For us, we have:

-          2 sectors flight ( Eg: KUL-Shenzhen/ Shenzhen-KUL  8hours flight time)
(Eg: KUL-Sandakan/ Sandakan-KUL approx  6hours flight time)

-          4sectors flight ( Eg: KUL-BKI/ BKI-KUL/ KUL-PEN/ PEN/KUL  7hours flight time)
( EG: KUL-BKI/ BKI-KUL/ KUL-KCH/ KCH-KUL  approx.  8hours+ flight time)

-          6 sectors flight (Eg: KUL-MES/ MES-KUL/ KUL-PEN/PEN-KUL/ KUL-KBR/KBR-KUL 7hours + flight time)

So, which one is your favorite? The lesser hours with more sector or the longer hour with less sector? Minority of us love long flights and majority of us love short flight. But only 1% love 6 sectors because in one day you wouldn’t want to board passenger for 6 times, do the announcement for 6 times, exit briefing for 6 times right? But, if you are ok with this kind of routine and if you think that you can handle all these factors, do go ahead to apply.

A normal roster pattern is something like this, 4 days ON and 2 OFF or 5 days ON and 2 OFF. Bear in mind, in your last day working before you enjoy your day off, you will probably be touching down in between 10pm-2am and the last day of your off before you start working, you might have to sleep early because you have to wake up by midnight to get ready for your morning reporting flight. If you do the calculation, you only have 1 and a half day off. Unlike normal working hours, you get to finish work at 5pm on Friday and enjoy the rest of the weekends and also you do off days during public holiday.

The reason I am telling you all these is not to demotivate you but want you to think properly before you decide to join this airline. It is not like what you think and working as a FA is not as glamorous as what most the public think.  Maybe the first thing that came into your mind when you decide to join is ‘WHAO, I get to earn 4k a month (if you are still at the age of 20yrs old, this is definitely a good pay, right?)’

Things that you need to consider before you want to apply for this company are : -

1 )   You need to plan your year ahead by applying your Annual leave early, time required is 2 months before and you do not always get your Annual Leave approve.

2 )   You might not be able to celebrate important event or festive seasons with your family.

3 )   You will get ‘minimum rest’ all the time since we are so short of manpower now. You probably won’t get your ‘request day off’ approved. FYI, we can request three days off 2 months before of which the day we want our day off to be.

4 )   If you say that you are tired of working the normal 9 to 5pm kind of job, but are you aware that if you have an afternoon flight, your reporting time would be at 12pm, touch down at 12am midnight and by that time, you do not even have a chance to enjoy your day since your entire whole day will be gone like this. Once you experience this, you will start to appreciate normal working lifestyle like finishing work at 5pm as you get the opportunity to spend meaningful experience like having dinner with your loved ones or family. 

5 )   The airport is HUGE, the ‘on time performance’ is important and we (flight attendant) are only given very limited time before departure. So, you probably need to walk very fast the moment you leave the office to the departure gate. Turnaround time is 25minutes; you can only use 3minutes to clean the aircraft. You have no time to joke around too. 

6 )  Passion, this is very important. If you are a person who loves to complain about small little thing happening in your daily life or someone with bad temper, DO NOT APPLY!!! You know that we have maximum of 6 sectors a day, so you probably will be facing the same passenger complaining the same thing again and again, if you can’t take the stress, forget about this job.

I know on 31st May , there is a walk in interview for Air Asia, so do think twice before you go. I hope that once you get the job, you will love your job. If you are looking for a full service airline and want to experience night stop in different countries, do not waste your time here because once you sign the contract, there will be a 2year bond. 

I hope you enjoy reading this article and I just want to tell you that ‘you need to love your job in order to stay long’. I am not saying that working with Air Asia is not really that good but it depends on what you want in the an airline that you chose to apply. As for me, I love my job and that is the reason why I am still in this company after so many years.

All the best!!!

Above article written by my PAID guest writer. If you are interested to contribute your experience to FlyGosh, please check out Get PAID to be a guest writer for FlyGosh.com

As you may already be aware that I have max out my facebook 5000 friends limit therefore to continue to get updates on latest news and jobs opportunity for both pilots and cabin crew, you can LIKE the Fly Gosh Fan Page by clicking HERE