Welcome back to my Feature of the Month series! At the end of each month I will introduce you to individuals who inspire me (based on their social media platforms/if i know them personally). I decided to not only feature “creatives” but also people in professions in which I’m genuinely interested in (not to switch careers, but to learn more about).
For this month’s feature I started with a Cabin Crew member. Have you ever wondered what it was like to travel all around the world “for free”? Obviously, this is only the glamorous side of things as our feature pointed out below. There were many questions I would have loved to ask, but as not to keep it lengthy this will not be an in depth interview. Continue reading below to see what Shanice had to say about being a flight attendant. As always, remember to spread the love (like, comment, share)!
Reading time: ~ 5 minutes
S: Hey! I am 26 years old living in England, UK and my family is from Jamaica. Currently I am cabin crew for an airline that travels to many destinations around the world and have been doing this for about 3 years now. Before this I was at university studying Event Management (so yeah completely different to what I’m doing now!)
Q: What drove you to become a cabin crew member? Has it always been your dream job, if not, how did it happen?
S: When I finished university I wanted to go travelling before I settled into the life after university routine. So why not get paid for it as well? So, I hadn’t thought about it until my last year but I don’t regret it one bit. Also, my mum has been cabin crew for many years too so it’s something that has always been around me.
Q: How would you describe a typical day in your line of work?
S: To be honest, there is no such thing as a typical day at work. It can vary from flight to flight and destination. I have a long commute to work so I like to give myself plenty of time to get to the airport and relax. We have a time to meet for our pre-flight briefing , then we make our way to the aircraft, do our checks, board the passengers and be on our way. If it’s a short haul flight then usually it’s just a there and back whereas if it’s a long haul flight then we get a minimum of 24 hours in the destination.
Q: What’s the biggest misconception about being a flight attendant?
S: My pet peeve is being called “waitress in the sky”. I can honestly say we did not go through 6 weeks of intense training to pour your gin and tonic lol. Our main priority is being there for your safety. So if you’re having a heart attack then I’m your girl! Another one is how glamourous the life of cabin crew is. Of course we go to some wonderful destinations and do some amazing things but at the same time it can be so tiring and you never know what time zone you are in so planning your social life can be hard!
Q: How many countries have you travelled to and which has been your best experience to date?
S: I have lost count now but the last time I checked it was over 50 countries or so. My favourite destination is Singapore and also South Africa but I have had some amazing experiences all over the world to just pinpoint one.
Q: How do you balance life and work?
S: Planning in advance is key with me. My schedule changes from month to month so I try and plan things when I can on my days off, especially with things like annual leave as that has to be booked 6 months in advance.
Q: What is the strangest thing you have ever experienced on the job?
S: I get asked some of the most random and strangest questions from passengers. For example, we could have just landed from a 10hr flight and you can be sure there will be someone who will ask “So have you got time off now or are you going straight back?”. If you know anyone that would do a back to back 10hr flight then please let me know as I would give them a gold medal!
Q: What’s the one thing you’ve learned while being a part of a cabin crew?
S: Never take an opportunity for granted. There’s been so many times I have been away and didn’t do something because I was too scared or because someone else didn’t want to do it. Sometimes you have to learn to do things for yourself. Also meeting new people and stepping out of my comfort zone. Every trip you meet someone new and it can be hard adjusting but it’s not long before you’re sharing your whole life over a cuppa tea on your break!
Q: A piece of advice you’d like to share with other young adults wanting to become a flight attendant?
S: I got a lot of my tips and research from other crew and reading blogs and that helped to inspire me loads. Definitely read and do research on the company you are applying for. Make sure that it is something that you genuinely want to do as the training can be hard and once you’re part of it then goodbye social life and sleeping pattern. However, the benefits are great so don’t let that stop you. Be yourself and enjoy it!
Thank you so much for sharing your story, looking forward to more of your social media posts and getting to know you better.