An international holiday is always a great idea but imagine if it was your job to be up in the air flying back and forth with the popular airline Emirates! Based in Dubai, Emirates is one of the world’s largest airline companies and is well-renowned for its excellent customer service thanks to its large and extremely competent team of flight attendants.
Flight attendants normally arrive at the airport around 2 hours before their flight, giving them time to check in (sometimes airports have a mini airport inside especially for crew!) and to attend a briefing about the flight. The briefing normally contains details about the flight length, safety procedures, airline capacity and expected turbulence, with the aim of working efficiently as a team and having a safe and comfortable flight. Emirates has rather iconic uniforms, and grooming and appearance needs to be of a high standard, which is important because the uniform helps to identify the crew members and makes them feel approachable.
After checking the aircraft to make sure it is clean and ready for passengers, it’s time to welcome everyone aboard. People are directed to the correct aisle for their seat and are helped to settle in and stow baggage – flight attendants play an important role in making sure everyone is comfortable and safe. Before take-off, safety checks are made of all doors, cabin equipment and alarm systems, and seats are checked to ensure life vests, oxygen masks and seat belts are present and functional. The flight attendants explain this equipment and the evacuation processes in the case of an emergency, and then the cabin crew will notify the cabin manager that everyone is ready, and it is safe for the aircraft to take-off.
It’s very important for flight attendants to be able to communicate effectively, as they interact with passengers throughout the whole flight (from boarding and safety demonstrations to in-flight service and passenger requests). At Emirates there are often lots of requests around serving food and beverages! As well as being friendly and approachable, it is vital for flight attendants to be assertive in certain situations too. Occasionally there are difficult passengers or medical emergencies, and these situations need to be managed confidently so that everyone stays safe and complies with the airline rules (luckily there is extensive training to help with this!). Flight attendants also need to communicate effectively with the rest of the airline team and the pilots, organising the meal and rest breaks within a team.
Landing and Disembarking
To prepare for landing, all of the in-flight service materials are stowed away and the passengers are notified that the aircraft will be landing soon. The flight attendants check to make sure that luggage is stowed properly, everyone has their seatbelts on, tray tables put away, window shades open and seats upright. It’s important that everyone remains seated until the aircraft has landed and taxied into position, and this is a situation where one might need to be assertive with passengers. Once the aircraft has landed, they monitor everyone leaving the aircraft and give assistance or guidance where necessary, and then check to make sure that no one has left any luggage behind (either intentionally or unintentionally!).
The workday of flight attendants does not end after landing! They have to complete several post-flight duties before they can engage in their preferred leisure activities, for example keeping fit, online casino gaming at Platincasino or listening to podcasts on Spotify. Spare headphones, pillows and blankets need to be collected, and other duties include completing post-flight paperwork (reporting any incidents or issues), making sure nothing has been broken or damaged inside the aircraft, restocking duty-free items and the bar cart and attending any debriefing sessions. Ideally, there would have been no emergencies on board and the flight hopefully ran smoothly and safely! After all this is complete, it’s either time to relax or explore a new city.
Flight attendants are an integral part of the airline industry, bringing a friendly smiling face, a helpful attitude and providing excellent customer service and teamwork. If this sounds like you and you have a passion for traveling, then it’s worth researching further – a rewarding profession in the skies could be awaiting you!