My Life As A Flight Attendant
It's no secret that we love traveling and helping others plan amazing trips, and a major part of these trips is flying. Some people love it and others hate it, but many of us don't realize everything that goes into a successful flight. Far too often the unsung heroes are the flight attendants. Contrary to the beliefs of some, flight attendants are primarily there to save ours lives, not feed us peanuts.
We had the privilege of chatting with Chima Travel friend Micah and he gave us an insider's look at what it's really like to be a flight attendant.
Q: How long have you been a flight attendant?
A: Five years
Q: Is each airline really that different?
A: Each airline has unique dynamics that make the travel experience different. For example, Southwest is known for being funny, as one of their values is "Don't take yourself too seriously". JetBlue is also a fun airline, but Delta is a bit more stern. Delta prides itself on customer service, but they don't have the fun factor. American falls between Delta and Southwest when it comes to fun, so each airline really does have its own quirks.
In addition to the airlines, each flight has different dynamics. Flying to New York City where people tend to be slightly abrasive is different than flying to laid-back San Francisco.
Q: What's your favorite part about being a flight attendant?
A: Being able to impact people’s lives every day. You never know why people are on your plane. It could be because of a funeral, birthday, or get together. I'm able to impact them by providing excellent customer service and a memorable travel experience.
Q: What would you say to someone who wants to be a flight attendant?
A: Read up on the many different airlines and don’t be easily discouraged. Aviation and travel are very competitive job markets. When you show up to an interview be the part, dress and act like a flight attendant. Put your phone away. Follow the simple instructions exactly. Nothing more, nothing less.
I applied to 17 different airlines during my senior year of high school. I got five interviews and one offer. When I wanted to move to a better position I received 50 rejections before I got a face-to-face interview.
Some people knock it out of the park the first time. Others experience rejection for years and find it too daunting then give up.
Q: What's one thing you wish you could tell passengers?
A: There are a few things. The first is to be understanding. Most situations they're going through, we, as flight attendants, are also going through. When flights are delayed, it delays our rest between flights as well.
The second is to not forget about the flight attendants. We're the face of the airlines and people want excellent customer service from us. If you get great service, thank us! It's okay to bring us snacks and shout us out on Facebook and Twitter.
The third is that we're trained safety professionals and it's important to pay attention to us. We're trained to take care of you whether we're dealing with a water landing or a double heart attack on the plane. We have a lot of responsibility when it comes to taking care of guests that many people don't realize.
Q: What's your favorite flight attendant story?
A: Being able to help a lady get a new heart. She was going to get a heart transplant, and we were able to contact the ground crew to hold her next plane for her. Because she was able to make the flight, her life was saved.
Q: What's your least favorite thing about being a flight attendant?
A: We're living our dreams at the cost of our families. We miss out on birthdays, anniversaries, holidays, etc. We fly for free, but we may be stuck in some random hotel while our families celebrate Christmas. Or we may be hanging out on an Australian beach while our families shiver at home. Either way, we miss out on special days and moments.
Q: Is there anything you wish you could change about the job or the industry?
A: I wish the airlines would work with each other to integrate travel experiences for crew / personnel.
We hope this blog post was as interesting and eye-opening for you as it was for us. If you're in the travel / aviation industry and have anything you want to share, let us know so we can feature you on our blog.
If this blog post made you want to plan your next adventure, stop by, call, or email us so we can help you plan it. You may even see Micah on your next flight :-)