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A Glimpse Into The Life Of A Flight Attendant – Melvin Birhiray

Being an air hostess is a dream job for many. When we think of those who work this job, the image that comes to mind is, elegance, poise, charm, smart, glamorous and sophisticated.

As a flight attendant, you get to meet celebrities, powerful people from various walks of life. You get the chance to explore different states and countries all over the world, all expense paid! Plus you spend most days/nights in 5 star hotels!
These are the perks and benefits, But keep in mind, it’s a tough job.

Ok, I caught up with Melvin a flight attendant. He’s Nigerian, Don’t mind his looks. Lol..
This handsome man was nice enough to share his work experience and the working conditions of a flight attendant on Bismark’s cave! So, have a good read.

Being a cabin crew, flight attendant or air “hostess”( as some passengers call both male and female cabin crew when they need our attention), isn’t a regular job like the financial institution, telecommunication, government parastatals etc. It’s more of a diverse career as we sometimes find ourselves being a lawyer, police man,
paramedic, FBI, nurse, fire fighters, waiter and what have you, all on-board the air plane. Though we do go through series of trainings like first aid, emergency procedures like evacuating the passengers if there’s an emergency, fighting fires, etc.

Being a flight attendant is not a typical 9 to 5 job. I sometimes (if not most times) get up as early as 4am and some unusual sporadic hours. There are days when you get delays, flight cancellations, that will nix plans for weekends and holidays spent working. The trade off and fun about the job is getting to see different parts of the world and not having to take your work home with you. Spending sunny days at the pool side of a luxury hotel or an exotic Beach.

Including the Continental dishes you get at the hotel buffets as well as all the exotic shopping sprees during the stay (thanks to the hotel allowances). Flight attendants are given a monthly schedule we call rosters. A flight attendant could work between 5 to 6 days in a week and get a day or two off. A flight attendant gets so extremely busy that he has no time for anyone or even himself other than going to a dry cleaning service to drop off his uniforms ready to be used the next day. Each work day really depends on the length of the flight and rotation. After meeting and briefing with other flight attendants, we perform the required safety and security checks before helping passengers board. We also prep up beverage and food trolleys for the cabin service. As a flight supervisor, working on the business (first) class cabin, I cook meals, and work with pilots to discuss details of the flight. After we finish our drinks and snacks service in the cabin, I engage with customers and make sure I’m visible in the aisles to keep them well taken care of. We are there for the customers’ safety and comfort and every interaction counts, so we make the most of it while in the aisles. As we have all tribes. Nationalities, classes of people with diverse cultural behavioural patterns, it’s important to be very patient and a good listener when you are a flight attendant.

Flying and dealing with passengers could be very tasking sometimes, as we have really difficult passengers who come up with different issues having in mind that all our attention should be focused on them without minding that there are other passengers that we also need to attend to. For example there are cases where during boarding, a
passenger orders you to carry his hand luggage and place in the overhead bin lockers, telling you it’s your job and you are being paid to carry their bags. Deep down inside you just want to punch the person in the face but due to the patience and training we have, we just wear that fake and cheerful smile telling him nicely we don’t lift passengers bags and pretend to assist by creating space in the overhead bin lockers where he could place the bag himself.

There are also different phases of a flight, like the air plane taxiing for take-off, then take-off, climbing( when the air plane moves from one altitude to another) cruising ( where the air plane stabilises and movement can go on within) and then descent ( air plane descending from one altitude to another) and eventually landing at the destination. At these different phases of the flight our bodies go through a lot of physiological changes.

Like gas expansion which could be in the stomach, ears, sinuses, swollen feet and so on. That’s why most times little children cry and people flying with a cold or just recovered from a cold experience pain in the ears. It is however advisable not to fly with a cold.

We also have occasions where passengers even use the air plane as a venue for birthdays, marriage proposals and even weddings.

I would conclude by saying the job could be very hectic, time consuming and very challenging. I didn’t mention competitive too. To become a flight attendant, you need to be patient, smart, withstand pressure and beautiful.

There you have it! I love this job already…lol


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