We recently caught up with Roxana Leonte, a flight attendant who kindly shared what she does on an average day, challenges she has faced and her hopes for the future of aviation.
Why did you choose to pursue an aviation career?
I chose a career in aviation because I’ve realised that it is a passion and from my experiences I’ve come to realise that when you combine passion with work, the outcomes of your job are close to perfection.
What has been a highlight of your career so far?
Highlight of my job was being able to visit all of these amazing places and countries, and also all the aviation museums! I am currently pursuing a career in a different sector of aviation, which is engineering and safety management. I think it’s time for me to stay on the ground more!
What challenges have you faced in your career?
That’s a very good question. I would have to say, the psychological side of it. This job puts a lot of pressure on your wellbeing and health. Sleep deprivation affects your health, the chaotic lifestyle, different time zones and all that time on the airplane. If not handled well, it can seriously damage your health.
However, this is something that only flight crew will understand, because you never know how it feels, until you feel it yourself. And I believe that all my colleagues can agree on this one. As flight attendants we face challenges every now and then. Like medical cases, disruptive passengers, abnormal situations, but because of our training we handle them easily and with a smile on our face.
Give us an overview of what you do on an average day?
Alright so I’m going to ‘take you’ to work with me on a, let’s say, London Heathrow flight, A380-800, on an EK003 Departure.
- 07:45 – the report time will be 0545 am, which means at that time you have to be in the briefing room.
- 04:00 – Will be the first alarm to wake up, which mine is called ‘Prepare for departure’.
- 04:45 – The makeup is on and the uniform as well, along with the suitcase and cabin bag and handbag.
- 05:00 – Is the second alarm called ‘V1 rotate’ (I am a geek I know) which means I have to get out of the door because the bus is here.
- 05:45 – Arrive at Headquarters, where we pass security and immigration, then head for the briefing where we you meet your colleagues for that flight.
- 06:45 – We arrive in the aircraft where you take your designated position and do your pre-flight duties, which are safety, security and service. After all that is finished we prepare for boarding, and we greet our customers.
- 07:45 – We take off and we start doing our service, and make sure our customers are comfortable and happy.
- 15:45 – approx. We are landing into London, and after pax disembark we have to do our post-landing duties before we disembark for the bus to take us to our hotel in order to rest after the flight.
And we usually spend 24 hours in LHR, and then we head back to Dubai, on a similar schedule. The difference is that we have a fixed wake up call and a pick up, since we are all going together.
That will be the day of my life on a LHR trip. But that is summarised because there is actually so much going on that day, that by the time you get to your hotel room, you just want to eat and sleep!
What are your hopes for the future of aviation?
At the moment aviation is passing through some challenging times and it’s sad to see so many colleagues grounded and so many airlines going bankrupt, but I am confident in saying that everything will go back soon enough.
“Even throughout the darkest and scariest hurricane, the sun will eventually shine! We just have to stay strong!”