A Day In The Life Of A Cabin Crew

Hundreds of thousands dream about becoming cabin crew and take their chance at making their dream come true with one of the major airlines in the Middle East.

It is a dynamic profession that offers countless opportunities for personal and professional development and brings every single city in the world within our reach. It is true that the sky is the limit for most. For us, the sky is our amazing playground and we get to enjoy the view from our office in the clouds every single day.

From a distance, cabin crews seem to do very little besides being beautiful, elegant and traveling the world.

But there is more to it than meets the eye.

If you’ve been wondering what a day in the life of a cabin crew looks like, today we will take you on an imaginary journey. Today, you are the cabin crew and this is what your life looks like:

Rise and shine

You need to report for duty approximately 2 hours before flight to have enough time for preparation before it is time to meet your passengers.

You wake up, get dressed and made up and ensure you look impeccable before your company transportation (a common benefit for all Middle Eastern airlines) picks you up. Whether it’s 12 in the afternoon or 3 in the morning, there’s no excuse for not looking your absolute best!

You are bound to meet the rest of the cabin crew team and start your actual duty day.

The briefing

The pre-flight briefing is the first meeting time for all crew working on a specific flight. The team gathers for a 1-hour briefing in which the Purser (inflight supervisor) plans the inflight service, sets the expectations and assigns the working positions for each cabin crew.

A series of safety and first aid scenarios will be discussed to “test” your knowledge and specific flight information (any special requests, special handling passengers, etc.) is passed on to the crew.

In major airlines, it often happens that you meet new crew during every single flight and rarely get to see a familiar face of a crew you have flown with before.

On to the aircraft

Moving on to the airplane, you will start your assigned duties, conduct safety and security checks (to make sure all safety equipment is in order and to ensure no foreign object has been placed in the aircraft) and help each other in service-related preparations.

Once all preparations are done, a final cabin check is conducted to ensure the aircraft is clean and tidy and everything is ready before passengers start boarding.

Time to rock & roll!

During boarding, you will be standing in the cabin, welcoming passengers on board and helping them to locate their seats and store their cabin baggage quickly to maintain a smooth flow for all passengers’ boarding.

As a side note, we strongly suggest that you don’t lift any passenger baggage if you don’t want to have back problems any time soon. Lower backache is one of the most common health issues that cabin crew face because of luggage lifting and galley work.

You will be surprised how passengers can drag 10 kg cabin bags all the way to the airport, through the security screening, the lounge bar for the pre-flight beer and right up the aircraft stairs, yet they somehow can’t bring themselves to master one last spurt of effort to fling that back-breaker into the overhead bin.

If they packed it, they stack it! So graciously simulate you’re helping them lift it, but let them do all the hard work while you barely touch the bag with 2 of your fingers.

Boarding completed, cabin crew prepare for take off!

After takeoff, you will start the meal and beverage service together with all crew and will participate according to your work position and what you planned in the pre-flight briefing.

Depending of the flight duration, you may have more services in one flight. If you have, for example, a 10-hour flight from Dubai to Manila, departing at noon, you will likely offer passengers lunch and dinner and one hot or cold snack in between.

Other typical things you might need to offer passengers as part of the inflight service (besides the usual food and beverage standard) are:

  • Headsets for the inflight entertainment system
  • Blankets and eyeshades (generally during the long haul, night flights)
  • Hot or cold towels
  • Duty free products (payable)
  • Immigration/Landing cards (depending on the destination)

On long haul flights, you will take rest in shifts and while half of the team is sleeping or relaxing in the crew bunk, the other half of the team is looking after the welfare of the passengers and ensuring the cabins, galleys and lavatories are kept clean and tidy.

During very hectic flights, you might have to play the role of a nanny, a nurse, a lawyer, a genitor, a weather person and so much more.

Welcome To Your Destination!

When the flight is over, you will say good-bye to your passengers and conduct the post-flight security check to ensure nothing was left behind.

Once all other crew finished their assigned duties, you will pack your belongings and leave the aircraft to head to the hotel with the rest of your team.

Although it might sound like there is a certain routine to the job, we can assure you that there/s no one day like another in our profession.

We didn’t even go into detail on all the specific duties and only briefly went through a one-day flow to give you a quick insight into what actually happens during a duty day.

Each and every flight will bring about a new team of people, a new aircraft to fly on, a new destination and completely different passengers every single time.

Although there will surely be challenges, especially in the beginning when you are still climbing your learning ladder, there are also countless experiences that will grow you, as a person and as a professional.

You will form friendships that will last a lifetime and will explore places that you only dreamt of visiting while also getting paid for the journey.

You will build more than a career and will enjoy experiences that no other job can offer.

Needless to mention that the opportunities for future career paths are also way above the opportunities offered by any other profession in the world.

So no matter how grumpy your passengers are, how tiring your roster is or how tough the ride gets, always smile and remember how dynamic, rewarding and amazing our jobs really are.

Keep your chin up and smile because we are made of stardust and we get to play among the clouds every single day!

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