I met Adelina close to 2 years ago when she became a valuable member of my beautiful VIP cabin crew team at the time.

Extremely polite and a bit shy at the beginning, she quickly becomes a friend you can count on and showers you with attention and caring. Sharing is definitely caring. By Adelina’s standards though, that’s just another understatement; caring is about giving everything you’ve got and that belief governs her every day life.

She is the type of person that remembers to stop and smell the flowers every single day and you can tell that she takes everything that comes her way as an absolute blessing.

Her guests on board are her family; her colleagues, even more so and she is always ready to sit down and share your grief, even during days when she can hardly pick herself up.

She’s had some character-building years and today she sat her strong self down and shared with us her view on the 6 years she’s been a happy nomad of the skies.

Tell us about yourself. When did you earn your wings and why cabin crew?

I was 24 when I decided to follow the path of the skies. Funny, but at the time I didn’t realize that it truly was the path of the skies, closer to higher level of feelings and it will end up making me a more spiritual person…

I always wanted to succeed on my own, and as every little child, I had a dream: to become an astronaut and explore all the unknown worlds, blending with all known and unknown civilizations and cultures, and as well to speak as many languages as possible, in order to easily comprehend the essence of life.

I graduated from Modern Languages Applied section in my hometown university. As I couldn’t become an astronaut (silly me :)), when I saw the opening for joining Royal Jordanian Airlines, as a cabin crew, it was like some internal voice just pushed me towards it.

It was close enough to the sky. 🙂 I had the interview in March 2009, and on 9th of May 2009 I signed my first contract as cabin crew.

How did the RJ experience influence your life?

Wow. That would be a long answer. 🙂 I will try to cut it short, not to bore our lovely and curious readers.

It was one of the best experiences in my life, truly. I had a lot to learn, and the best thing was that I was learning on my own, day by day, thanks to the everyday circumstances. I would say that those were the years that started completing me somehow, like a diamond that is slowly shaped into a brilliant. That’s when I started gaining more knowledge, trust, feelings, and learning how to apply and share them. I became aware of myself, and helped others to do that as well. Some of the best years of my life indeed!

How did you adapt to the Jordanian lifestyle and culture?

This question makes me laugh, remembering the fact that I was every single day mistaken as a native Jordanian girl… My face features resembled those of the local ladies, and I would often find myself surrounded by Jordanian passengers who spoke to me in Arabic. I would humbly smile, and tell them that I don’t speak or understand the language… After this short story you can imagine it was easy to adapt to their lifestyle because the Jordanians quickly embraced me, or so I felt. 🙂 It wasn’t easy to blend in with the Jordanian culture; there was a lot of novelty to it but the locals made things easy once again.

I haven’t seen so much warmth until then. Before I even knew it, I was one of them. But the essential thing that I discovered is that there is no we, or they. We are all humans and we are more similar than we think. And that settles it. Now that’s the spiritual answer.

Here is the earthling answer: 🙂

I had discovered new beliefs, new traditions, which were fascinating for me and at the same time hard to understand, hard to accept. But when you feel the warmth in their embrace, the hospitability… It was such a blessing, that you just can’t give up.

You stay and do your best, as they do! Even if at first it might be hard, time gives you the opportunity to see everything as it is: A beautiful and amazing culture.

Tell us about the nationalities of your other colleagues and how did you get along with them.

I am happy to say the RJ crew was quite a cocktail of nationalities, and I was more than happy to get to know them, and to allow them to know me as well. In such an environment you are actually a label of the country that you represent.

I am still deeply attached to Thailand, Sri Lanka, India, Lebanon, Algeria, Morocco, Russia, Ukraine, Turkey, Egypt, and last, but not least – Jordan, my second home. I hope and believe that they feel the same about my country also. 🙂 We made sure that we are all one family; we were working as a team and supporting each other at all times. Imagine a team of at least 1200 cabin crew. I simply adored all of them, I learned from them, and I hope they learned from me as well. I’m sending out a small “thank you” to the ones that might read this interview, they know who they are… 🙂

Was it difficult to fit into such a multicultural environment?

I was more than eager to learn about cultures, civilizations, traditions.

How can it be difficult, when you just adore every single being around you, and you are open to internalize all the knowledge they had to share? I wasn’t pushy with questions about their lifestyle, or culture.

I am the kind of person that sits in the corner and observes, and I was so happy to have all of these naturally given, and not pushed by questions… I travelled to many countries, and I had the chance to see my colleagues’ behavior in their own homeland and abroad.

This was simply amazing. I don’t have the words to express the blessing I felt, and still feeling, to be part of so many new experiences from different cultures… Of course, when there was something to ask, regarding their culture, I would. And their answers always came soothing as a balm for my soul, because the pride they feel when revealing information about their culture is priceless.

What’s your favourite city in the world, and why?

That’s a very difficult answer. I learned to love every country I travelled to, with everything it has to offer.

Every city is different, with so many amazing things to do, to feel, to explore… But I would say that the city I miss the most is Bangkok. It has both sides: the peace and quiet, and the serenity; and at the same time the noise, the fuss, and the lively atmosphere… It’s a contradiction, but an exquisite blend!

Plus, let’s not forget that Thailand is the country of the 1000 smiles… I have seen nothing but happy, welcoming people there. And I like to believe that I am carrying a part of their serenity and peace in my heart forever. I borrowed it, and I am taking good care of it. 🙂

Was there any funny or inspiring experience inflight that you would never forget?

Oh, there are tons. Piece of my soul is left with RJ. One experience I would never forget is based on a simple “Thank you”.

There is nothing more gratifying than hearing these words.

We had a flight from Amman to Jeddah. Usually these flights are fully booked, especially in Hajj season. For the ones who do not know the term of Hajj season– it is the pilgrimage season for Muslims.

Many of you know that in the Arab culture it is not polite for a woman to sit next to a man that is not her relative. It happens that I was in the economy area, and I was boarding. Suddenly a man entered, dressed traditionally in the white robe for pilgrimage, shouting with anger something in Arabic.

I could see around me that everyone was disturbed by this behavior, or by the words that he was screaming… I couldn’t understand what he was so angry about. I waited politely for him to reach me and, with a warm smile I asked him if I could do anything to help…

I empathized with him, and knew that it must be something serious. The man felt that in my tone of voice, I presume, and lowering his tone he told me that his family got different seats, spread all over the aircraft.

As cabin crew travelling every day, we don’t see the big issue since the flight was only 1h30min, and time passes very fast on board. But for a person that is going perhaps on the journey of his life, as a pilgrim, maybe even his first flight, along with his family, might have meant the world.

I could see his wife, his mother and children looking at me with sadness. I understood the situation immediately. I smiled at him, and told him that I will help him be seated with his family, but he just had to have some patience until I finished boarding, so I could “scan” the single passengers that would be kind enough to change their seats on board.

The man smiled back immediately, and I could than see a sign of relief on his face. He said in a low tone that it’s ok for him to wait, no problem. I was really happy to help him.

I found the perfect row for all 6 of them to stay next to each other, and all the other passengers were more than happy to change their seats. We were all a family, helping each other, that moment. The problem was not a problem anymore, and perhaps that man had the best flight ever. When he left the aircraft he shook my hand strongly and said the “Thank you” with his eyes not only his words…

Empathy is the best bet in this kind of situations. What means nothing for us might be the world for others. We just have to “tune in” to each other’s frequencies, and understand the other party as well. And as I always say, we are humans amongst humans, right…?

Why did you decide to change to VIP aviation?

As I always wanted to succeed on my own, my goal was to buy my own home… Life in RJ was extraordinary, and I am aware that if I wanted to spend there the rest of my life, it would have been the best choice. The lifestyle and salary there were perfect for living an excellent life in Amman.

But I wanted to return home, to my family, and to have my own family as well, and I couldn’t save enough living there, given the short term that I gave myself to return back home.

Plus, I wanted to personalize the service I am offering to a smaller group of people, in order to “spoil” them properly, to “pamper” them. I wanted my attention to be much bigger, and only with a smaller group of people I could have done that. And I found them. 🙂

How easy (or difficult) was it to transition from commercial to private aviation?

It was relatively easy; safety-wise, they have the same base, and I am focused on safety.

Service was a bit different, similar somehow to the first class service in RJ but still with important differences. Etiquette has a major role in private aviation.

Thankfully I had the best trainer ever, our Cabin Manager at the. She was very professional and skilled, and taught me everything I needed to know. I looked up to her; she was like a mother and teacher at the same time, she helped me take the first steps in private aviation… I can never thank her enough for all her support and patience.

What would you say are the biggest advantages of the VIP cabin crew job?

First, the salary. Then, I always worked for owners and having the privilege to work for the same people and turn the aircraft into a home for them is very rewarding. The crew team is also an important aspect. They are your family; you spend more time with them than with your actual family and they are always there through happy and difficult moments. There are other very attractive benefits; accommodation for example, is not only paid for but it is very spacious and fully furnished and equipped. At last, the longer layovers give us more time off than in a commercial operation and who doesn’t love long lay-overs…?

What about the disadvantages?

From my point of view, there aren’t any. Yes, you have to pay more attention to details, but it’s so worth it. It’s actually a lifestyle being a VIP Cabin Crew.

You are a very strong, determined yet positive person. What keeps you going?

Smiling. I smile, that’s it.

One of the most special people in my life asked me once: “What do you want to be when you grow older?” I simply replied: “A host”. It had so much more meaning than I knew at the time…

I love the look in my guests’ eyes and see gratitude; It’s worth a million smiles and I can never get tired of hearing “Thank you”.

I am going the extra mile to keep it coming that way, and making my “family on board” happy, it multiplies my happiness more than you know. How can I keep it going. Wouldn’t you, dear reader?.. 🙂

What advice would you give commercial cabin crew wanting to pursue a career in the VIP aviation?

First of all to LOVE this job.

Don’t do it for the advantages only; you will not find happiness or feel fulfillment. It’s useful to always remember, especially in private aviation: they are not passengers, not even guests; they are your family. Make them feel that way, have patience, and be empathetic and you will feel the results.

Leave your heart and soul on board, and never give up. We say in my country “Work is a golden bracelet” or “Find a job that you love, and you will never have to work a single day in your life”. It’s that easy… and as well: “Good luck!” 🙂

If you are a commercial or VIP cabin crew that still finds tremendous joy in the profession, join us in motivating the countless cabin crew applicants around the world! 
Share your experience with us (and the world) and tell us what keeps you going so together we contribute to a happier, contagiously positive cabin crew community.
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