6 shocking truths of UAE’s air hostesses

They live the high-life. Literally. Flying at 35,000 feet, approximately 22 days a month.

From hobnobbing with celebrities on air to getting free access to the most glamourous parties around the globe, the airline cabin crew lives a life envied by most.

But there is much more to it behind the glam veil. Khaleej Times spoke to air hostess in the UAE region to know what really goes on beneath the surface. To respect their privacy, we can’t mention their names and airlines they work for.

What’s best about the job?

When asked to single out the top perk of joining the high mile club, pat comes the unanimous reply: ‘Salary’.

“You feel rich working for airlines! There was a time I used to wonder when I could buy international brands like Prada, Armani, and Channel. Now after becoming a crew, I can easily buy Louis Vuitton and other luxury brands,” says the one flying for two years.

And how can we forget the incentive of travelling the world free of cost. As a cabin crew, they get approximately 90 per cent discount on tickets, 8 to 10 days off a month to either go home or travel to destinations.

Apart from the salary, the crew gets Daily Meal allowance for the layover days, inflight sales commission, and discounted tickets.

During their lay-overs, the cabin crew is usually put up at luxury hotels and get crew discount almost everywhere, including the best nightclubs in the town. “Like we pamper passengers on the flight, we get pampered by the hotel,” he says.

The weird on-air demands

Serving hundreds of passengers during a month, the crew is more often than not, subjected to weird demands by the passengers.

“I was doing my shift on an Indian subcontinental flight and after the meal service was done, one passenger gave me the Indian snack Dhokla and asked if I can warm it up for her. Of course, we can’t entertain such demands,” says the stewardess who started flying international after two years of domestic run.

Serving food is the most tiring work on the flight and they are met with unexpected questions usually. “When the menu reads chicken with rice, beef with rice, the passenger will still go ahead and ask for fish and rice, which isn’t on the menu,” shares another crew member exasperatedly.

Another strange incident was when a lady passenger asked the crew member to fetch her reading glasses from her bag that she had checked in. She had assumed that the cabin crew has access to the area where the bags are stored.

“Can I have some breast milk?” asked another female passenger mid-air. Few also ask them to throw a used baby diaper.

Do you eat airline food?

Extremely health conscious, most of the crew we spoke to weren’t fond of the airline food. “Eating the same food every day is boring. So, I prefer carrying home-cooked food for my flights.”

We heard it from more than one crew member about how they pack protein drinks, self-cooked food and healthy munchies before flying. One air hostess warns us that having the airline food regularly can take a toll on the health as it has preservatives. “The food is cooked and frozen immediately at very high temperature to preserve its freshness. This packed food is then heated and served to the passengers. we have to be careful as overheating could possibly spoil it.”

Are you among the ones who take the airline food home to be consumed once you land? Think again, as we are told that the food should not be heated again and be consumed as early as possible.

What do they do with their money?

Many of them admitted that saving can be difficult as they keep travelling to exotic locations and end up spending most of their salaries.

They know all the shopping hideaways to get the best bargain deals in the cities they land on. They mark their calendars to match the shopping festivals in each country.

However, we did come across one cabin crew who was saving up for her MBA she plans to pursue in 3 years. And another who bears her family expenses

Economy over business                       

Although serving the business class and first class passengers adds more money to their bank balance, many crew members still prefer serving the economy passengers.

Business class passengers demand more attention as they are paying for it. “The nature of the passenger demand is different in both the classes. In first and business class, we give a personalised service and the passengers know exactly what they want. They know their food, their drink and we need to keep checking on them. On the other hand, the economy passengers are easy-going.”

Unruly passengers onboard

Often called the ‘in-flight waiters’, the cabin crew are subjected to abusive behaviour by the arrogant passengers.  “If their demands are not met immediately, they get furious without trying to understand our side. They consider it their right to be angry but we are helpless and need to be at our politest best.”

One cabin crew gets emotional as she shares that even they have families waiting for them who freak out if the flight doesn’t land on time.

Before flying off, they have a simple message for the passengers – Just a little ‘please’ and ‘thank you’ can go a long way.

18 Secrets From Flight Attendants That Will Change the Way You Fly

Does a cheaper flight mean a less safe flight? What happens if your plane is struck by lightning? And why do we have to put our seats in the upright position for landing? The keepers of the answers to your burning questions are the very same people serving you cocktails and snack packs. Flight attendants see it all, and they know the ins and outs of air travel.

We spoke to two flight attendants who both work for one of the top three major US airlines — they answered our questions on the condition of anonymity. From the things that annoy flight attendants to tips and tricks they practice when they’re flying, these expert travelers have secrets that will calm your fears and may make you think twice before you complain extra loud about your dinner not being just right on your next flight. Read on for the juicy details only flight attendants can provide.

1. What are some things that annoy flight attendants?

“Discourteous passengers, touching the flight attendant to get their attention as we walk by, whispering (the airplane can be very loud and I’m not the best at reading lips!), complaining about weather and/or aircraft maintenance delays (we don’t have any control over this, and we are just as inconvenienced as you are).”

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2. Why do tray tables and seats have to be in upright position for takeoffs and landings?

“Especially the tray tables! During an evacuation, where every second matters to get away from the plane, if a tray table is down it will slow down the egress of the two passengers on the middle and window seat. If the aircraft were on fire, wouldn’t you want a clear escape path to the exit? Same goes for the seat back. Any added obstacle will slow egress in an emergency.”

3. What is something flight attendants wish passengers knew/understood?

“We don’t choose what we serve — we simply show up and serve what’s there, and if it’s not there, you’re not getting any. We also have no control when it comes to delays due to weather and/or aircraft maintenance. So please, be courteous to us in the event those may occur. As Captain Sullenberger said, ‘Better a delay than a disaster!'”

4. What are some common myths that people believe about flying that aren’t true?

“That the brace position is meant to kill you faster — I find this to be the most ridiculous myth; in a crash landing you wouldn’t want to be tucked away and brace your body for impact by compacting it and covering your vitals such as neck, face, stomach, etc. Even flight attendants have a brace position, and we do it every takeoff and landing!”

5. Does a cheaper ticket/airline mean a less safe flight?

“Absolutely not! A lot of variables make up the complex formula for ticket price such as time of booking, cabin, seat, frequent flyer status and miles, airplane configuration, in-flight service on that particular flight, optional items like baggage allowance or seat assignment. Basically, all aircraft are subject to FAA regulations, and we wouldn’t be in the business if safety wasn’t our number one priority. Airlines are able to customize their product to their brand, but safety remains the number one focus.”

6. What sort of training does a flight attendant go through?

“Training is on average five and a half weeks, most of which is unpaid. In training we learn and are tested to proficiency on certain items such as aircraft general, first aid, security, and evacuation drills. Only about four days is spent on service!”

7. What are flight attendants trained in, in terms of safety emergency situations, both plane and people-related?

“We have a lot of formal training in safety and emergency situations. Four of our five weeks of intense, six-days-a-week training was spent on safety and emergency situations. Most of our people-related situations are learned on the job. We have been hired/selected by other professional flight attendants for our ability to make good decisions and to be able to read situations and people with good judgment. So many of us are well equipped to handle these situations that come up, but sometimes it does take a second opinion of another crew member.”

8. What happens when one engine goes out?

All aircraft are certified to fly with one engine operation for a safe landing. The aircraft that fly over water are ETOPS certified. Airplanes are aerodynamic, meaning they are designed so air can easily flow around the airplane to decrease drag so they can glide in descent for an extended time with one working engine. One example is Air Canada Flight 143, which ran out of fuel at 41,000 feet and managed to glide and land without a loss of life. And then there’s the all too famous US Airways flight 1549 — so in short, engine failure isn’t like a flat tire, just a rare inconvenience.”

9. Can turbulence make a plane crash?

“No, but it can be unsettling and even throw people about. Due to modern technology, turbulence can now easily be predicted than ever before. In general the pilots know what’s ahead of their aircraft at all times, but severe turbulence does happen unexpectedly from time to time. Most turbulence-related injuries are actually to flight attendants, as we are more vulnerable being out of our jumpsuits most of the flight. The main danger to passengers is not being seated with their seat belts fastened when this unlikely event occurs or unsecured items becoming instant projectiles.”

10. What happens if the landing gear fails?

“Simple, we land without it! This event is actually called a ‘belly landing,’ where the plane lands on the belly without the gear lowered. This event has actually happened where LOT Polish Airlines Flight 16 landed with out the gear lowered with emergency vehicles and personnel on the ground standing by. The plane landed without incident on its belly, and the flight attendants warranted an evacuation — all 231 people were evacuated via the escape slides without injury or loss of life.”

11. Is it safe to fly during a thunderstorm? What happens when a plane is hit by lightning?

“Planes are designed to be hit by lightening both in the air and on the ground! Thanks to the engineers who design the plane. The skin of the aircraft acts as a conductor to keep lightning from entering the internal parts of the aircraft, such as the cabin or anything such as flight controls that may affect the well-being of the airplane, and the lightning is redirected out through the wings and tail. There may be damage to the plane (rare), but it will make a safe landing. Thanks to the engineers and plane manufacturers, an airliner has not crashed from lightning in over 45 years. From the passenger perspective, there may be a loud bang or white glow, but not to worry, the internal parts if the plane are protected.”

12. What are some reasons that a flight is completely canceled rather than just delayed?

“A lot of reasons can a play a factor with this, mostly crew legality comes into play especially out of our hub cities where we don’t have ready reserve flight attendants who can easily take over the flight. FAA mandates how many hours a crew can work a day in any given duty period — pilots are usually 12 hours and flight attendants are usually 16 hours. A long day’s friend is fatigue and fatigue is usually where mistakes can be made. Planes have been crippled and met demise under fatigue conditions of the crew. Sometimes the delay can be so long that they cancel the flight for the day and run an extra segment the following day.

Although cancellations are becoming more and more rare, with airlines running about 90 percent completion rate of flights. The most common cancellation is weather, where planes are late or never take off to come in or they just simply can’t operate a safe operation under the severe weather conditions and it makes sense to cancel the flight vs. stringing the passengers along to departure that will never happen.”

13. What are some tips you have for packing light?

“My suggestion is to wear your larger coat and bulkiest shoes on the flight if possible. Also pack things that combine well together. One skirt that goes with four different shirts or a dress that can be worn for day and evening. It cuts down on the number of items you’ll have to pack. Things like underwear, socks, tank tops, etc. can be shoved into boots if those are something you choose to pack instead of wear on the plane.”

14. What are the essentials you HAVE to have when you fly?

“(Noise-canceling) headphones, sweater/jacket/wrap or scarf, Kiehl’s in-flight spray, and empty water bottle to fill up after security checkpoint.”

15. What other travel tips/tricks/secrets do you have?

“Do not depend heavily on the airline/flight attendants. Things happen, we make mistakes, and sometimes we aren’t having the best day, but if you can make the flight attendants smile or laugh, you’ll never go thirsty. Always anticipate delays and your own needs such as temperature — bring a sweater, dietary needs — we aren’t a 7-Eleven, bring your gluten-free stuff from home, medication — keep it with you at all times, along with your wallet, keys, and passport!”

16. Any tips for beating jet lag?

“Drink a lot of water! My best advice is to get yourself onto the time of the place you’re going as best you can. If I get in and it’s 2 p.m. and I really want to nap, I force myself to stay awake until it’s ‘bedtime.’ It can be really challenging, but that’s why coffee exists.”

17. What’s the coolest place you’ve ever been?

“I have to say that being paid to work a flight to Maui and then getting to lay on the beach all the next day and then working the flight back is not such a rough life. As long as I have enough time, I try to get out and find some things to explore in every city. I also love Boston and NYC (places I’d never been until I got this job).”

18. What made you get into the airline business? What do those in the business love about it?

“I have wanted to be a flight attendant for a long time. I have always been drawn to the idea of traveling all over for work, the flexible scheduling, and the fact that I get to work with a variety of people. Why people stay in the airline business is due to the flexible hours and the travel benefits. And with many of the larger carriers, once you’ve worked with them for 15 years, you get lifetime flying benefits with that carrier.”

CAA planning to reduce flight attendant duty time

CAA planning to reduce flight attendant duty time(By Wang Shu-fen and Y.F. Low for focustaiwan)Taipei, Nov. 9 (CNA) The Civil Aeronautics Administration (CAA) said Monday that it is planning to revise related regulations to reduce the maximum duty hours for flight crews, in the wake of protests by flight attendants over long work hours.

On Monday, members of a flight attendant trade union in Taoyuan submitted a petition to the Ministry of Transportation and Communications requesting the ministry to revise the Aircraft Flight Operation Regulations.

A flight attendant said while the maximum work hours stipulated in the Labor Standards Act are 168 hours per month, the maximum duty hours for a flight crew as stipulated in the Aircraft Flight Operation Regulations are 230 hours for 30 consecutive days of work.

Yu Yi-shih (喻宜式), deputy chief of the CAA’s Flight Standards Division, said the duty hours for flight crews are counted differently from the work hours of other workers, pointing out that flight crew duty hours also include time spent on training and being on standby, among other factors.

The CAA nevertheless is prepared to revise the Aircraft Flight Operation Regulations to reduce the maximum flight crew duty time from 230 hours to 200 hours for 30 consecutive days of work, Yu said.

A public hearing will be held in December to collect opinions from related sectors, he said.

This is why Virgin Atlantic Sack Of Nigerian Crew

This is why Virgin Atlantic Sack Of Nigerian CrewThe Marketing and Communications Manager of Virgin Atlantic Airways (VAA), Mrs. Kudirat Scott-Igbene, has explained that it is no longer sustainable for the airline to continue to operate Nigerian crew at this time, saying that their services are no longer needed.

In an emailed message, she said the feedback that the airline got on the services of Nigerian crew was that, ‘this is no longer a requirement on the Lagos route’.

“We have decided that we will no longer have crew based in Lagos. This is by no means a reflection on our Lagos based cabin crew, the primary purpose of our locally based cabin crew has been to provide cultural expertise, and customer feedback has shown us that this is no longer a requirement on the Lagos route.

“The additional complexity required to operate an international crew base where there are no foreign language requirement means it is no longer sustainable going forward”, she said.

Scott-Igbene, who insisted that the airline was not winding up operations in Nigeria as it has earlier done about a year ago, while closing down its Nigerian call centre, added: ‘This announcement has no impact on our flying programme and we plan to continue flights between Lagos and London.

“After 14 years flying the route we remain committed to servicing the Nigerian people, whether it be for business, family or education”, she added.

She was reacting to the reports that VAA sacked all its Nigerian crew having allegedly given only three weeks’ notice and without any severance package to the affected staff.

This according to reports, is regardless of their length of service with the airline.

The reports claimed that at least 20 Nigerian air-hostesses were affected.

Cabin crew to be deported from UAE over pornographic material

He was reportedly detained at Dubai International Airport before he traveled to Thailand.

The defendant’s lawyer argued that the privacy of his client was unlawfully breached by the cybercrime police.

“Law enforcement officers did not obtain a proper search and arrest warrant from prosecutors to detain my client. His confession before police and prosecutors was obtained under coercion. The suspect did not have any criminal intention,” his lawyer said, according to Gulf News.

When asked, the defendant admitted using keywords [13 years, teen sex and porn] while surfing the internet and resorted to saving files, but said he did not share them with anyone.

Even with a ‘not guilty’ plea, the defendant will be deported from the UAE after completing his sentence, according to the primary ruling of the court.

The defendant has appealed the ruling and is seeking an acquittal. He will appear in court later this month.

Here’s What Would Happen If Flight Attendants Were Honest

Flight attendants do their best to make your flight enjoyable. Here’s what flight attendants are really thinking while you’re sitting in that tiny seat:

It’s gonna be a bumpy ride.

They do that safety demo knowing that your attention is elsewhere.They do that safety demo knowing that your attention is elsewhere.

And there’s always that moment when you need a drink but…2 And there’s always that moment when you need a drink but…

“…so I will not be serving you a Bloody Mary with Worcestershire sauce.”

While you’re on a jet, there is always that person who will not sit the fuck down during turbulence. And turbulence is not the only reason why flight attendants turn on the seatbelt sign.3 While you’re on a jet, there is al

Ugh.4 “…in fact, it’s going to make me go slower.”

“…in fact, it’s going to make me go slower.”

And there’s one thing they want us to remember: Be nice, because remember, they have a lot more control than we think, especially with our luggage…5 And there’s one thing they want us to remember Be nice, because remember

 

[via Buzzfeed]

6 Passengers Kicked Off Plane at LAX Accused Of Being Unruly Claim Discrimination

By cbslocal – LOS ANGELES INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT (CBSLA.com) – Six passengers kicked off a Spirit Airlines plane at Los Angeles International Airport Monday night accused a flight attendant of discrimination.

The travelers said they were singled out and booted off the aircraft because they are black.

“I’m really humiliated just for the simple fact that you hear about this type of stuff happening in America, discrimination issues and stuff like that, but to actually experience it first-hand,” said passenger Alexandria Wright.

Witnesses told CBS2/KCAL9’s Tom Wait the passengers were removed from Flight 868 after a white flight attendant accused a member in the group of being a threat.

It started with confusion over a seat, which the travelers claimed was double-booked. Then police came and escorted the three couples, all black, off the plane.

“It was more than just us having the conversation. Why is that six black people got kicked off the plane?” Wright asked.

The flight left for Dallas at 8 p.m. Monday without those six passengers, who said they were had not been rebooked as of 11:30 p.m.

After arriving at Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport, witnesses on the flight told reporters the banned passengers were being disruptive.

Spirit Airlines has not responded CBSLA’s request for comment.

 

8 Pretty Pinay Flight Attendants That Will Make You Want To Travel The World

By – When In Manila, we pay tribute to pinay beauties! From pretty pinay doctors, to pretty pinay teachers, we’ve made top lists in honour of true Filipino beauties. This time around, we’ve compiled a list of 8 pretty flight attendants that will make you want to travel. Based on your nominations and in no particular order, they are:

1. Lhara Nario (Qatar Airways)1. Lhara Nario (Qatar Airways) 2 1. Lhara Nario (Qatar Airways)

2. Krizka Calderon (Qatar Airways)2. Krizka Calderon (Qatar Airways) 2 2. Krizka Calderon (Qatar Airways)

3. Jaki Vargas (Cebu Pacific)3. Jaki Vargas (Cebu Pacific) 2 3. Jaki Vargas (Cebu Pacific)

4. Ina Goitia (Oman Air (formerly))4. Ina Goitia (Oman Air (formerly)) 2 4. Ina Goitia (Oman Air (formerly))

5. France Camille Medina (Qatar Airways)5. France Camille Medina (Qatar Airways) 2 5. France Camille Medina (Qatar Airways)

6. Sushmita Abantao (Air Asia)6. Sushmita Abantao (Air Asia) 2 6. Sushmita Abantao (Air Asia)

7. Anna Javier (Emirates)7. Anna Javier (Emirates) 2 7. Anna Javier (Emirates)

8. Princess Faye Chavez (Cebu Pacific Air)8. Princess Faye Chavez (Cebu Pacific Air) 2 8. Princess Faye Chavez (Cebu Pacific Air)
Read more at http://www.wheninmanila.com/8-pretty-pinay-flight-attendants-that-will-make-you-want-to-travel-the-world/#prEgug6LbWtMCjM9.99

Time to pack your bags, people!

AirAsia beats out full service carriers for best cabin crew award

AirAsia beats out full service carriers for best cabin crew award
AirAsia Bhd CEO Aireen Omar being given the ‘Asia’s Leading Cabin Crew’ award by World Travel Group president and founder Graham Cooke, accompanied by the budget carrier’s cabin crew. – Pic courtesy of AirAsia

AirAsia has has become the first low-cost airline to be awarded ‘Asia’s Leading Cabin Crew’ at the World Travel Awards (Asia & Australasia) Gala 2015.

Other airlines nominated in the ‘Asia’s Leading Cabin Crew’ category include Air India, Cathay Pacific Airways, China Southern Airlines, Garuda Indonesia, Hainan Airlines, Hong Kong Airlines, Korean Air, Malaysia Airlines, Singapore Airlines, SriLankan Airlines and Thai Airways.

In a statement, group chief executive officer Tan Sri Tony Fernandes said: “We are the first and only LCC (low cost carrier) to be nominated in this category.

“Today is an example of what pushing the boundaries mean – we are not just a low-cost airline, but an airline that provides high value.

“Being awarded ‘Asia’s Leading Cabin Crew’ is testament that low-cost doesn’t mean compromise on quality.

“Service excellence is something we have been focusing on and the win today shows that we are moving in the right direction.”
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[via therakyatpost]

Ever dream of flying? Make it come true with Vietjet

Ever dream of flying Make it come true with VietjetTo keep pace with the rapid development of its domestic and international networks, Vietjet is currently seeking dynamic and customer-focused candidates to become the airline’s friendly and professional cabin crew.
Successful candidates will attend intensive training courses in Vietnam and other foreign countries and enjoy an attractive income and many other benefits as well as unlimited promotion opportunities within the group.
Requirements
– Age: From 20 to 30.
– Height: From 1.7 to 1.8 meters for males; from 1.6 to 1.75 meters (1.58 meters is acceptable for candidates with prior cabin crew experience) for females.
– Literacy: High school degree or higher education.
– English: TOEIC certificate with a score of more than 400 (or other relevant certificates).
– Personality traits: Active, dynamic, good communication skills; flexible in adapting to a new working environment and excellent customer service skills.
Sending an application to farecruitment@vietjetair.com is preferable. Candidates can also send their resume to Vietjet offices or bring one on the date of interviews.
Interviews will be held at 8:30 a.m. November 19, 2015 at Sofitel Plaza Hotel, 1 Thanh Nien Street, Ba Dinh District, Hanoi, and at 8 a.m. December 3, 2015 at Vietjet Training Center on Floor 9, CT Plaza Building, 60A Truong Son Street, Tan Binh District, Ho Chi Minh City.
Deadlines are November 15, 2015 for applications from northern provinces and November 30, 2015 for candidates from southern provinces.
For more information, please visit our website at www.vietjetair.com.