Fly Away: The Fascinating Life Of A Flight Attendant

The adrenaline rush of flying high, jetting off to a different destination every day, witnessing some of the world’s most exquisite sceneries. Such are some of the fascinating bait that draws one to the blue-blooded life of a flight attendant. For an aristocratic life envied by everyone. Bewitching isn’t it?

I recently happened to discuss this with one my close friend who was once a member of this exhilarating lifestyle, the elite club or, like many confuse with, the Mile High Club and she gracefully took me through a short memory lane of her “flying affair”.Fly-High-Cover-Image_750x380So, what’s it like to be a part of the crew?

The Interview

Every airline has different ways to hold interviews, the one she worked in had 5 in all. The first round consisted of the mandatory physical (presence of body art if any) & personality check followed by some ubiquitous questions pertaining to the academic past, previous work experience, and reason to be here etc. post which your papers are finally accepted.

The second was the GD round where she was allotted a group and a topic related to the industry to discuss. In this round they look at candidates who have a strong opinion, can debate & come up with interesting solutions to the problems the topic might be around. The third round was probably the easiest of all for her. It’s a written examination to test the vocabulary skills. Having cleared these three she finally met the HR representative in the fourth where they spoke about her base, her reservations in serving alcohol and about being on the move, away from home. Finally, she made it to the fifth and the last round, which in my opinion is a fancy tag for a simple confirmation exercise. Talk about show biz eh?

The entire process takes about a week and once you clear it, there’s a medical check-up to go through before you begin your training.

The Training

From throughout her career, she was pretty excited to discuss this bit. Describing in her words “These are the some of the toughest and yet the most cherished and fun times in her journey of flight attendants”. The training is to prepare the candidates clear the mandatory DGCA exams for first aid, security and safety while keeping up with the impeccable grooming tasks. Fun right? Well, to be brutally honest, as much as they seem to be fun, they are equally daunting. But, having more such candidates sailing the same boat as you, it’s fun eventually.

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Source: Flickr

The Take-off

Having cleared the training programme successfully, she joined the club she long waited for. She was finally a flight attendant in a reputed airline. The perk of this job is that you get to travel to amazing locations if you are flying internationally. The best 5-star hotels, the amazing buffet spread, the allowance, partying with your crew coupled with amazing salary package (It can be as huge as Rs.60K a month, to begin with). But just as every coin has two sides, there’s also a downside. For instance, super bad hours that you are required to report at the airport by (at times by 2 am or 3 am in the morning for a flight at 5 am). This disrupts your entire biological clock, so if you are someone who doesn’t like shifts, steer clear of this profession. If you are flying in domestic flight, then there is a different challenge that if not quintessentially Indian, it’s more complex in our country owing to people belonging to different ethnic groups & region flying together. It’s basically being aware of bunch of customer profiles & catering to people accordingly.

On a broader scale, the profession entails you to interact with the people from all walks of life, try and solve a situation which you have no control over and ensure you provide the fliers a good experience they can take home. You become the face of the airlines, the front line soldiers who drive the airline experience while its airplanes fly.

Her Advice

This is a very noble career for a person to be in as it bestows on you the responsibility for the safety and security of the people on your flight. You get to deal with situations which a normal 9 to 5 job behind the desk might not expose you to. In the end, all of this just makes you a stronger person.  You learn a lot, you grow a lot, this profession makes you humble. So if like adventures, hard work, and think you have what it takes to be a flight attendant? Hop onboard.

And just to end on a cheeky pedantic tone, for those who really want to know what Mile High Club really is, go ahead and read here.

 

Note: The person narrating her experience is an ex-employee from a reputed and a leading airline in India. Names of both have not been disclosed to maintain anonymity and dignity. The images used are for representational purpose only.

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