“CABIN CREW MINDSET AND CUSTOMER SERVICE SKILLS”
by Lavinia Gherman, Editor-in-Chief
Our first “Cabin Crew Mindset and Customer Service Skills” workshop was organized on March 24th-26th, 2017 in Cluj-Napoca and four more were organized afterward, monthly, in Bucharest and Cluj-Napoca. Young people from South Africa, Italy, England, Republic of Moldova and Romania, sharing the same passion for aviation, gathered in order to learn more about this domain and the career of cabin crew. Some of them were not having any experience in aviation, while others were already flying as cabin crew for charter or international airlines. However, they were all ready for a transforming experience, investing in their personal development. This workshop was their best option no matter if some of them were having the ambition to become a flight attendant, promote their career to an international level or to a supervisory role. Coming together was the beginning, but working together proved to be very successful at the end.
During these intense days, our trainees received valuable information about the cabin crew job, airlines’ requirements, safety, service, and products on board the aircraft. Some of the exercises improved their intercultural awareness, while others showed them how to manage their time and stress level, issues that once solved would lead to the employer’s satisfaction and future hiring of the talented ones.
The trainer let everybody become accustomed to the airlines’ demands, explained how to choose the right answers that would make a recruiter smile during an interview and showed them how to be achievement oriented, in order to be soon part of a cabin crew team.
The most experienced aviation trainer with a solid international career within a five-star airline for over a decade, Nicoleta Gherman, not only taught the participants but she also made them understand what the cabin crew job involves and motivated them, often taking on roles as an advisor and mentor too. Mrs. Gherman was like a magnet. She answered all questions regarding employers in the aviation industry and cabin crew jobs. Everyone was paying attention, realizing how much they could learn. The trainer’s presence was felt, respected and she succeeded in connecting everyone with the topics discussed. She constantly challenged and encouraged the trainees to dream high and follow their passion, remembering everyone that they must be conscious of what they want to obtain in life. Mrs. Gherman also asked the group to compare the cabin crew job with other jobs they previously had, in order to get a better handle on what it would take them to get on board.
We did not stop here. We also offered practical demonstrations, using specific airlines’ equipment. A wine and food pairing session, hosted by Mihai Soare, Head Sommelier for Halewood Wines & Spirits, was a learning experience for every trainee. It showed them how to adapt the customer service, F&B, and service onboard for different cultures. Teamwork, situational awareness and overcoming obstacles were other areas we assisted them with. Problematic issues were solved keeping in mind that flight attendants are highly trained professionals, who fly around the world to carry out a wide variety of tasks, having a vision and behaving like a crew-star. They learned how to show interest in contributing to the guest welfare, how to represent the airline in a professional manner and most importantly, how to solve the customers’ needs.
At the end, it was hard to say goodbye to these three days and everybody felt like staying more, for another week. Receiving only positive feedback made us feel very proud. Andreea declared that “the workshop was interactive, professional and very organized. This offered me more information that I could think about the cabin crew job. Nicoleta Gherman is an excellent instructor and very well prepared, has a professional attitude and a great experience to learn from.” Ana wrote to us that “this investment was one of the best that I did until now. The most things that I liked were the trainer professionalism, her humor and the interactive way of the course. (…) for me, it was like a vacation, when I read a book about aviation. Now I am more prepared for the interview and for this new job.” Tudor was also “happy to meet so many lovely persons and really enjoyed the workshop”. Corina, Andra, Anita and Lacramioara felt like “being more enthusiastic to discover another side of aviation”, “through the trainer’ guidance promoting aviation career to a higher level”. Laura and Edith thanked us “for dedication and for all the tricks and hints given”, “taking Nicoleta Gherman as her role-model” and Cristina mentioned that “the workshop was covering everything, from presentation to safety and service, information really helpful during an interview”.
All of the participants realized that these workshop classes and focus on the cabin crew job would definitely help them find that company where they feel like finding themselves and even promote their career to a management/supervisory role on ground or on board. We are more than happy for them, as each trainee went home with an answer to a very important question “Will I find my destination here?” and the answer was: “YES!”