Junie – Joyfulness Of An Innocent Child Yet The Professionalism Of A Well Experienced Cabin Crew.
Cabin Crew Excellence
She has the joyfulness of an innocent child yet the professionalism of a well-experienced cabin crew.
Junie has been flying for Royal Jordanian for 8 years now and has been entrusted by the airline with wearing the traditional Yahalla dress, which means she is directly responsible for making the business class passengers’ every journey a memorable one.
She giggles and smiles tirelessly and by looking at her pictures, you can see that she takes great pride and finds so much joy in her profession. If you find her sitting in your briefing room, you know you’re in for a great trip.
Junie is beautiful, patient and very positive and today she accepted to sit down with us and share her own experience of flight.
Tell us about yourself. When did you earn your wings and why cabin crew?
I used to love the English language since I was in Kindergarten. My mom would encourage me to read every morning before school and my aunt and uncle supported my interest by guiding me to listen to international music and watch movies since I was a kid.
This proved to me a good base for my future as cabin crew.
I have a Bachelor degree in Humanity and Social Sciences, English major, of course.
I realized I wanted to be a cabin crew since I was in university.
When completing my degree I was taking temporary jobs at a local company in my home country, and worked as a receptionist, junior secretary and executive secretary for about 3 years, which were additional opportunities to improve my English.
Meanwhile, I sometimes sneaked to go apply for a cabin crew job with several airlines but failed repeatedly.
I almost got a chance to join Thai Airways, but I failed the final interview and that made me want to give up for a year… Until I earned my wings at Royal Jordanian Airlines when I was 25. I still remember celebrating my 25th birthday in Jordan while I was on training there.
Why cabin crew? It’s a dream job to most girls, and I’m one of them. The job that provides you everything you need in life, such as money, experiences, travel and plenty of shopping. What could I ask for more?
Also it’s an exciting job, you get to meet lots of people around the globe and it still fascinates me to be among the clouds and closer to the stars every day. That sounds incredible, doesn’t it?
How did the RJ experience influence your life?
I’ve been working with RJ for 8 years and I’ve gained so much knowledge and experience so far.
I remember my very first flight to from Amman to Kuwait. I knew nothing except what they trained us in class. In real life everything happens so fast and you can’t predict what would happen on every flight.
I was nervous and excited at the same time, but experience taught me to keep going and today I can handle whatever happens. It is like growing up in a school of life with million teachers from different countries and I continue to learn every day.
From Thailand to Jordan… What was the most difficult part of this transition?
I was born in Thailand and lived there until I moved to Jordan. So Jordan is the first foreign country of mine. I was too excited to change my location, never been away from my family before, but this was my dream and when it became real, nothing could stop me.
When I first touched the ground in Jordan, everything was totally different from what I saw in my whole life, people, culture, food, and climate. But I had another 50 Thai girls to explore with, so I was not afraid. The difficult part of this transition is being apart from family, but we could adapt ourselves and it got easier in time.
What do you think is the best thing about being a cabin crew?
To me, being a cabin crew makes me feel like I have everything. It’s not about how much money I have, we’re not that rich J, but it’s about doing what you love and what you get from what you love at the same time.
Just like they say “choose a job you love, and you will never have to work a day in your life” – that works for me.
I do get tired and fed up sometimes, but I always miss flying eventually, I miss seeing the world. From this job, I bought a house for my family in Bangkok; I live comfortably, not like a millionaire, but I can get whatever I want, plus I have lots of good friends from different countries. That’s enough for me.
What about the biggest challenge of the profession?
The biggest challenge of this job to me is to satisfy people, not only passengers from different cultures but also the colleagues as well.
When you fly, people around you change everyday as you fly to different destinations. Starting from your colleagues, you fly with random faces, some you know and some you don’t. People are different no matter where we are in this world. The question is how can you adapt and compromise to make every trip a successful flight. The same goes with the passengers; they come from different backgrounds and we never know what they carry with them today… Perhaps they had heavy luggage to pay for or got scattered seats from their family. Our job is to make them feel comfortable and satisfied, these strangers whom we meet for the first time.
Have you ever had any emergency situation on board?
I fortunately never had a serious case as I’ve heard from the other cabin crew.
It’s usually medical cases that happen on my flights, mostly on US flights because it is long haul, passengers get exhausted, especially those that are under medication or older. The good thing is that we always have doctor onboard, sometimes even more than one.
We did have once a diverted landing. There was a severe sand storm in Dubai where we were supposed to land, so the Captain decided to divert and land in Abu Dhabi instead. We had a delay on ground 6 hours in Abu Dhabi, some passengers got nervous and some got mad.
We had to calm them down and tried to explain to them what happened, but not everyone is that understanding, unfortunately. We provided them with drinks and whatever we could to comfort them. Later on, one of the male passengers fainted so we had to call for medical assistance.
What is your favorite city in the world and why?
My favorite city in the world is Interlaken, Switzerland. I got a chance to vacation there 6 years ago.
Actually the whole country is amazing, they have breathtaking views everywhere, beautiful landscapes and mountains and crystal clear emerald lakes.
I’ve been to Zurich, Bern, Interlaken and Lucerne. We traveled by train across the country and I loved everything I could see through the window. Unfortunately we missed the train to Zermatt, where we planned to stay at a ski resort up in the mountain so I definitely plan to go there again in the near future.
Was there any funny or inspiring experience inflight that you will never forget?
I have many funny and inspiring experiences throughout my 8 years of flying, and I still can remember all of them but it might take days to tell you all about it but here are some of the stories I want to share.
Once I operated a flight to an Arab destination, and we had an elderly obese lady with a broken left hand in a cast. The flight was full, only 1 seat available in business class; she was seated next to a gentleman in the last row and couldn’t fit in the seat properly.
When we served her a tray for dinner, she couldn’t have a tray out in front of her because of the limited space of the seat. So I politely asked a gentleman who was sitting alone with the seat available next to him to switch the seat with the lady in order to give her more space to have her dinner comfortably.
Fortunately the gentleman was so kind and understanding. So I changed her seat and she could have her dinner tray on the seat beside her.
Later on, a mother traveling with her son and who were seated in the row before the elderly lady said: “You are so kind and helpful, I wish you were married to my son”. I blushed, smiled and everybody around started smiling. I felt very happy to help.
What is the most important lesson you learnt from 8 years of flying?
The most important lesson that I’ve learnt from flying is the importance of staying optimistic, no matter what you do. It has an impact on your mood and energy.
At least begin your day with a smile and the belief that it’s going to be a good day today. It’s really a good start when you go to work, your colleagues will be happy, your passengers will be happy and that will make you happy too.
Our smile is the first impression and it works wonders; no matter how you feel inside, just smile and everything will be smooth.
Teamwork is also really important for a successful flight, as long as everyone do his or her job properly. So I learned to begin with myself and hope that change will reflect on other people as well.
How do you stay fit while always on the go? Do you work out or have any special rituals to take care of your hair, skin, nails, etc.?
I try to always stay fit and be ready for the flight by eating good food with the right nutrients, even though I always have cheating days J, but I am selective on what I eat cause I believe the saying “you are what you eat”.
I always try to have enough rest, and not stay up late often. I know this job is really difficult to establish a bedtime routine, but I try my best to rest as much as I can to recharge myself before the next flight. And I always give myself a reward with relaxing massage, or aromatic oil massage to enhance my skin at the same time.
Whenever I have enough time for work out, not too exhausted, I do yoga on my own with my favorite DVDs. I like easy yoga for weight loss, yoga conditioning, and energy balance, it takes around 1.40 minutes for 3 sessions, and it enhances my sleep very well. Sometimes I go to the gym in the hotel where I stay during layovers, if I’m not too tired from shopping.
What about taking care of your spirit? How do you stay positive?
I stay positive when I think of my rewards after a tough flight. Soon after landing I’m going to get to eat good food, sleep in a comfy bed in the hotel, wake up for shopping, get to talk to my family… these things energize me every time I operate a long haul flight. Overall, I always think how this job benefits my life, that why I’m still flying.
Every time I make my passengers happy, it makes me happy. Sometimes it’s as easy as addressing their names and when they smile, I smile too.
So stay positive within yourself, your attitude of positivity reflects your personality towards other people around you, and they interact with you accordingly.
What would you advise candidates that are looking to become cabin crew?
I’d advise anyone looking to become a cabin crew, first to realize if they REALLY love this job. It’s not a difficult job but it’s not so easy either.
You need to have a lot of patience to handle all kinds of situations that might happen and you need to be very empathic. Working with people is not the easiest thing, but it teaches you so much! The rewards are totally worth the effort.
So be sure it’s what you really love to do, and you will never have to work a day in your life. I wish you all the best of luck.