I dare you to catch Lyze without a smile on her face!

Beautiful, intelligent and contagiously positive, she might just be the perfect example of what an excellent cabin crew looks, thinks and acts like.

In between flights, she sat down and shared with us a very insightful piece of herself.

Reading through her interview, you will understand just how wonderful of a person she is.

When did you start flying and why did you choose this profession?

I began my adventurous new life with Emirates Airlines eighteen months ago.  After completing my Bachelors Degree in London, I realised I wasn’t ready to retire my passport and hang up my traveling shoes. I spent a great deal of time during University traveling around and I knew that I still had a lot of wanderlust left in me.  When I thought about what I wanted to do with my life, I knew that my feet just weren’t meant to be on the ground, my home was in the sky.  I have always enjoyed the rush of travel, the enjoyment of packing without a solid plan and knowing no matter where I land, it’s going to be an adventure. I wanted to see the places I read about in history books during my studies for myself, not just turn pages. I wanted to walk among the ruins in Rome, explore the hidden alleyways in Paris, and get lost in the hustle and bustle that is the Far East. For me, the sky was the answer. I knew I had the desire, I just needed wings.

What was the biggest challenge during your recruitment stages?

The hardest challenge during that stage was the wait for “the Golden Call”.  It was excruciating. I have never wanted anything more in my life than having that beautiful red hat perched on my head.  It was hard to continue an everyday routine not knowing whether or not I would be accepted for the job. My mother told me that I had to keep living and take each day one day at a time.  The days seemed to never end, however.  This topic comes up sometimes in the galley and we all remember exactly where we were when “the call” came.  We remember how many times we cried ourselves to sleep at night and how each day we tried to put on a happy face and wait until 5:00 Dubai time. Our hearts beat to the tick of every second on the clock. Now, remembering that wait, we take a moment to send well wishes to the thousands of future crew out there waiting for their own golden call. It’s a hard wait; the hours slip by like sand in the desert, and time crawls like the sun across the sky. But when it comes, nothing is sweeter than hearing the words, “this is your golden call”.

How did you feel when you received your golden call, confirming you had been admitted to join EK?

Before my golden call came I would wake up every morning and ask my mom “Did it come?”  “Was it a dream?”  My call came in at 6:04am and my first words upon hearing my recruiters voice was to say, “Is this real? Is this a dream?”  I don’t remember many details from the call, only the repetitive “No, Elizabeth this is real.  Welcome to your new home!  Welcome to Emirates”.  After the phone call ended I remember just crying. The depth of my happiness penetrated every feeling of sorrow I had been living with. It was the sun coming out after a long night of thunderstorms, I stumbled into everything trying to get to my parents room to tell them I made it. And then I sat at their doorway just repeating the words, “I made it, I made it”.

Leaving friends and family behind and relocating to a country half way across the world must have been overwhelming. Did you second-guess your decision?

I have never second-guessed my decision to work for Emirates. I think one of the unique things about me is that I am always looking towards the future.

I view the past as a stepping-stone towards the future. Everything that has happened has led me here. I don’t think of joining Emirates as having left my friends and family behind. Rather I view it as the start of a new future where I would make new friends and add new members to my family.

What’s it like to fly for one of the biggest airlines in the world?

Thirty-five countries in eighteen months. Every day I get to wake up and go to a job I love. Every morning I am able to look out the window of my office and see the North Pole, the Swiss Alps, the Pyramids, and K2.  I don’t just shop; I shop in Bangkok, Paris, Rome, NYC, and Tokyo!  I used to be that picky person who had a set menu of food, now I have the most adventurous palate. I’ve had baby octopus, fried scorpion, and fish coming straight from the ocean to my table. 

What is the biggest reward you had from the job so far?

The best part is that I get to share the world with everyone through the use of social media.  I am so grateful to be able to take my friends and family around the world with me through photos and videos shared on the Internet.  I am living proof of the truth in the quote ” Love what you do and you’ll never work a day in your life”.

Do you have a favourite destination and if so, what makes it special to you?

I don’t even need the needle of a compass anymore to lead me to my favourite destination; my heart already knows where it wants to go. 

For me all roads lead to Rome and my passport is full of stamps from the Eternal City. I know by heart the flights to Rome and when I have days off I’m waiting at the airport to board a flight to my favourite destination. There is something inspiring and humbling about being able to wander the streets knowing that civilisation began here. I find it incredible to be able to view these monuments to humanity and know that they have survived for centuries and will be here for centuries to come. It’s the only place in the world where I feel the past and present have combined to create a solely unique city unlike anything I have ever discovered before.

What’s the most difficult thing about being a cabin crew?

The most difficult part of being cabin crew is being able to adjust your body clock. Jumping on time zones is hard on the body and sometimes I have to sacrifice my layovers in order to try to catch up on the sleep I have missed. The best advice I have ever received on how to manage this was from my mother who said “eat when you are hungry and sleep when you are tired”. It’s important to manage your rest before a flight, to eat healthy, and keep hydrated.

Could you share with us a funny or inspiring experience you will never forget?

Recently, I operated a flight from Dubai to Munich.  When I found out that we had a new joiner on board I went to talk with her and make sure that she was settling in without problems. I usually give the new joiners a small welcome pack and my phone number just in case they find themselves with questions or just overwhelmed and needing to talk. When I knelt down to speak to the girl she interrupted me and said “Lyze! I know you; we talked about Emirates before I joined!  You gave me advice on my interview. I’m here because of what you said! You told me to be myself in the interview, and I did and I made it, I’m here!  She gave me the biggest hug ever and I knew then that my lifelong career was going to be continuing what I had started with Emirates eighteen months ago.

Are there times when the going gets tough? If so, what keeps you going with such positivity?

There are days that I find my job to be particularly challenging, but no matter how hard a flight has been I always make a point to leave it at the airplane door. You go into this job knowing that no two flights will ever be the same. You can do the same sector ten times but it will always be different. What makes a flight is the crew.  We really do work as a large extended family and like all families, sometime working together isn’t the easiest thing. But when the going gets tough, we all know we are in this together. We put our shoulder to the wheel and pull together to make every flight the best experience possible, not only for the passengers, but for the crew as well. So if the flight has been a challenge, I walk out of the aircraft and I leave any problems at the door. I know that tomorrow will be a new adventure and when you fly on the winds aloft, you can’t let anything weigh you down.

What would you advise aspiring cabin crew?

I would advise aspiring crew to do their homework. Don’t go into the interview not knowing about Dubai and about Emirates. Read about who cabin crew are and what we do. We are so much more than just beautiful smiles saying ‘Welcome Aboard”. We are trained for medical situations, trained in security, and trained to be fire fighters. We are the front line people who will help you make your destination safely.  We will hold your hand when you’re frightened and give our hearts when you’ve had to leave yours behind at the airport. And ask yourself why you want this job? Yes, you’ll say you want to travel and see the world, but what else do you want to accomplish from being cabin crew?  When you join Emirates, your life will never be the same. 

You will be changed for the better. You will leave your country and return a citizen of the global community. You will be cognisant of things you would never have known before. You will fall in love with the new and will always be looking towards a new day. The unknown adventure will call you away from the familiar and you’ll never see the future the same again. Each day will be a chance to write your story all over again with new places and new faces. After all, that’s why at Emirates our motto is “Hello Tomorrow!”

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