We asked our regular blogger, Virgin Atlantic Cabin Crew member Lorna, to answer some of our questions (and give some real life cabin crew advice!) on what it’s really like being cabin crew, and what inspired her to follow her dreams and pursue this career!
What made you dream of becoming Cabin Crew?
Honest answer, I didn’t!
I wanted to be a nurse/midwife but I never achieved that as at that stage in my life, I didn’t think I was smart enough. I then ended up having my 3 children quite young and it was when they were 2 and 3 that I responded to an advert for a small airline based at Gatwick.
I got the job and that began my love affair with aviation and flying. So, I guess you can say I sort of fell into it, it wasn’t a lifelong dream or ambition!
What was the hardest part of the application process?
The waiting! If you are prepared and do your research on the airline that you are applying for, the application process should not be too daunting.
Of course you want to make yourself stand out (in a good way!) but with the internet and the various online forums, not to mention courses such as those run by Cabin Crew Wings, there is so much information to prepare you.
It’s the waiting to hear back in-between each stage that I have always found the hardest!
What is my favourite layover destination?
The city itself is absolutely beautiful, hot summers, although the winter is freezing. Gorgeous parks, good shopping, some great restaurants for all tastes and budgets, loads to do and the people are incredibly friendly.
What do I find most difficult about the job?
Airlines operate 365 days a year, 24/7 and I work shifts. Over the years I have missed my twins 2nd birthday – I sang Happy Birthday down the phone from Mombasa, numerous friends parties, birthdays, Christmas, new year and various other social events.
I spent my 40th in Hong Kong, it was amazing, but it wasn’t at home with friends and family. I’m not complaining, I knew when I started flying that this would be the case, but it’s still hard.
Scariest moment as crew
We did a fly past of the control tower for a visual check who confirmed it was down. I will never forget the silence as we came into land, looking out of the window and seeing emergency service vehicles following us down the runway.
Fortunately, everything was absolutely fine, but as I am human, the fear was there. I know we are incredibly well trained, and that training would have kicked in, but it was afterwards, thinking about what could have happened, is when the shock hit.
3 things I couldn’t be without
- Mobile phone – handing for keeping in touch with friends and family when away and arranging to meet up with your crew when down route.
- Make up bag – no one wants to see my natural face under aircraft lighting when I’m tired!
- Passport – for obvious reasons lol!
Advice for aspiring Cabin Crew
Never ever give up! My dream was to work for Virgin Atlantic, it took 3 attempts and approximately 23 years from 1st interview to being successful.
I worked for 5 other airlines and the police in between and built up a wealth of experience that made me a better candidate. Airlines get thousands of applications and they can afford to be selective.
Make yourself the best version of you that you can possibly be, don’t be discouraged, use any rejections to spur yourself on to being better the next time.