Tuesday, March 10, 2015


Being a flight attendant is not for all the tall and tan and young and lovely. Being a flight attendant is being more than beautiful. Above all things, someone who aspires to be a flight attendant must basically possess wit, grit, and humor. The magic word here is chutzpah; she should have this in the right amount. Contrary to what we often see on television and magazines, the job is not all about inflight food service with a smile and providing total comfort to passengers. These are only secondary to ensuring the safety of the passengers until they arrive to their destinations. A flight attendant is tasked with multiple responsibilities inside the plane that she must be the sum total of a lot of qualities so as to function effectively.To be quite specific, she has to be street smart, cheerful, must have a natural inclination towards people, patient, courageous to either jump out of the plane or remain inside as the situation warrants it and as per captain's order, and adept in multitasking especially when the flight experiences full load situations.

Talking with a seasoned flight attendant is like talking with a professional boxer. Ask her about her inflight experiences and you will be amazed on how she handles situations involving unruly passengers, emergency childbirths and attempted hijackings to name a few. She certainly knows how to give the best jabs and avoid the fatal blows. In other words, she knows how to assess situations and act accordingly. Take for instance the experience of my friend, a senior flight attendant, during her last flight prior to her retirement. She had a "turbulent" flight for having a female passenger who started gulping alcoholic drinks prior to take off. This passenger certainly gave her hell 30,000 feet above sea level that lasted for the entire flight. Obviously tipsy, the woman unfastened her seatbelt during take off and landing, intermittently walked up and down the aisle, hollered and complained. Her behavior finally peeved a male passenger who stood up and said, " Hey lady, what's wrong with you? Have you not had sex for a long time?" A fistfight or hair pulling between the two passengers could have been the final scene, but my friend used her human relations skill, discretionary judgement, and toughness to prevent this. The feisty flight attendant certainly didn't buckle under pressure only to find out at the end that the woman was a mystery guest out to observe that flight but did an overkill by being too hyper and meddlesome.

So what makes flying so attractive? At first glance, everything seems to be about glamor with the uniform and the countries a flight attendant travels to. Indeed, it is. A flight attendant receives a big salary and allowance, gets to travel around the world for free, stays in deluxe hotels, shops in different key cities of the world; most often, marries a businessman or a high profile man. Long years of training and flying have kept her abreast with the do's and don'ts in social events and has learned to have impeccable manners. Yet, that's only a part of being a flight attendant. Flying is also about hard work during inflight service, having grit during emergency situations, and putting one's life on the line in every flight she takes. Flying is not just a job, it is a lifestyle. It is a combo of glamor, hard work, and heroism.

So, are you thinking of becoming a flight attendant? Think hard and ask yourself if you have what it takes to be one. If you feel half-hearted to be a flight attendant but you want to travel while working and don a stewardess' uniform, you still have another option. You can always work as a stewardess for deluxe buses like Victory Liner's until you are ready for take off.

My very first Cathay Pacific Flight Attendant Uniform still fits!
As a flight attendant of Cathay Pacific Airways
CX Induction l: before and after

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