Cabin Crew Career Advice – November & December Topics

by Mihaela Moise, Crew Resource Specialist

Sonya: Hi! I have decided to attend the Open Day organized by Qatar Airways. Unfortunately, I don’t know if they are very strict regarding the physical appearance, having 5-6 kg more. Do you think that this extra kg will have a bigger impact?
You should know that grooming is very important. There were many participants who failed because of this reason at the interview sessions this summer. I advise you to wear a suit that properly matches your size, not too tight.

Tinna: I would like to ask you if flight attendants in the Middle East need 2 passports? This is what I’ve heard from someone I know.
Hi! Flight attendants do not need 2 passports. When they are on duty or traveling, they have only their personal passport, but it has to be valid for at least 6 months. The cabin crew who have a diplomatic passport (I know a case) cannot use it while on duty.

Ely: Why are we asked the full name and nationality of 3 relatives/friends, when we have to fill in the forms for airline companies?
Hi! Such information is necessary for the Human Resources Dept., used as references, but also as a contact for emergency situations, accident or death, etc. You must mention the persons who speak English and answer their phone number.

Ioana: I would like to know your opinion if you have time to answer. I received an offer from an airline company, including accommodation, transportation and almost 1000 EUR/month. What do you think…is it enough to live in Dubai? Do you think I can also save some money?
Hi! I am pretty sure that in your salary package, discounted tickets or even free tickets are included several times per year and the payment of monthly expenses (electricity, water and eventually line phone), too. Therefore as salary package, I believe it is a good one, especially if you fly a lot. Such a basic salary is offered only by private companies, so is it up to you how much you want to spend on your lifestyle. But I am sure that if you want, you can also save some money.

Daria: If I am only 1.57 m tall, do I have any chance to become a cabin crew?
Of course that you have chances! There are many companies which have as minimum height exactly 1.57 m. Even Oman Airline recruits female cabin crew with this minimum height. You only have to go and attend the interviews with great confidence. Good luck!

Sorina, current flight attendant: I have heard many wonderful things about you and I am trying for a while to send you a message. I graduated The Academy of Flight Attendants, 7 years ago, in Madrid, currently being a flight attendant for one of the 5-star airline companies in the Gulf. Because of some health problems, I am planning to give up flying, but I kindly ask you to give me an advice about how I could still remain in the aviation field, towards which area are you directing me?
I completely understand your problem; especially because I was in the same situation 4 years ago. But if you have a previous education in a certain field of study, I advise you to continue your studies or to deepen it. I had a colleague, who graduated from Dentistry. After 2-3 years of flying, she saved some money and so she opened a private dental cabinet. This is how she returned to her previous occupation as a dentist.
I also had colleagues and friends, who returned to their first love and after flying they became psychologists, dance, aerobic or yoga instructors, specialists in culinary art, tourism, etc. Even myself, I returned to my first “love”, journalism and I have started to write. Being a character who likes to share her life experience, I obtained the trainer certificate for this reason. If you are not thrilled about anything, then try to find a job in HR dept., where I am pretty sure you can integrate successfully.

Diana, cabin crew: Hi! I work as cabin crew for a local airline and soon I will attend a promotion interview for the Purser position. Even if there are not many available positions, I want to give it a try. I know you have a lot of experience in aviation (and not only), so I was thinking to ask you about possible questions and what are their best answers? Do you accept criticism? What do you think will make you a better leader? How could you motivate others?
Hi! If the position is that of a Cabin Senior Attendant, then the whole interview will be focused on the theme of leadership. Yes, they can ask these types of questions: “Do you accept criticism? What do you believe will make you a better leader? How could you motivate other cabin crew on board?”, etc. I advise you not to give negative answers at all. Any negative situation switches it in your own favor, giving only positive answers. For example, if you are asked how you will react if you are criticized by one of the crew members who is your subordinate, you can answer that criticism can be constructive for you. A Cabin Senior is also a human being, can make mistakes and therefore is good to know when we make mistakes, to be able to fix the problem immediately, to improve the quality of work done by cabin crew and the whole team.
The recruiters, most probably former Cabin Seniors with a lot of experience, want to see if you are able to express yourself as a future leader, they want to see in you a person who knows how to motivate the team and how to determine all colleagues to work along with you and not for you.
You will also encounter situations with “crew conflict”, a situation that must be kept under control. You must be a good coach and offer feedback in a situation where one crew member needs to be corrected.

Anca, stewardess: Hi! I am already flying for a European Airline, but I was called to attend and A.D. organized by a Middle Eastern airline. I wish to evolve and go on, I don’t want to work forever for a low-cost company and I believe that I am able to do better things for myself. I have one problem regarding the interview: they ask for 2 recommendation letters and my current company does not give me one unless I sign my resignation. What can I do?
Hi Anca! You can attend the AD without any problem, even if you do not have the recommendation letter. If you are asked for it, explain your situation honestly. It would be acceptable to obtain a recommendation letter at least from one previous employer or from any University professor. If you were part of some volunteering activities, then you could ask for a recommendation from that organization, too.

Violeta, former crew: I am glad to tell you that I really appreciate what you do and thank you for all your posts which I follow with great interest. I was a flight attending for a private jet company for 2 years (until 2012). Maybe you can help me with some pieces of advice, regarding the Gulf commercial companies.
Thank you for your appreciation! You have to know that most of the times you have to show your diplomacy skills at any recruitment interview. Especially if you declare that you worked as cabin crew for a private jet company, then they will have higher expectations from you. Experienced cabin crew are usually preferred; therefore, register yourself for the interviews and go with confidence, be sure that you will succeed. Of course, there is also the matter of luck: to be chosen from so many persons, who are continuously trying to give their best. I believe you do not have any problem with English, so it’s only your attitude that must be a positive one. Do smile a lot and do not take over the conversation inside the game group. Be in the middle, neutral, peacemaker and with a positive mind, willing to solve passengers’ problems and give the team all the support. Good luck!

Daria: I would like to know if the extra kgs are an obstacle to being a QR cabin crew, me having 3 kg more, reported to my height? I used to work in aviation, as ground staff, more exactly as lounge hostess, but I really want to become a cabin crew, as I know I am healthy and I feel good in my own skin.

Hi! Even if you have experience as ground staff, I advise you to lose some weight, because, yes, the extra kgs are an obstacle. If you want to obtain this job, I believe you will do your best. A cabin crew must look spotless and as an example, after a long and full of good food holiday, even me I was notified of my weight. At my height of 1.67 m, I reached having 65 kg and so the lady from the Grooming Dept. told me to lose some weight, because my uniform was too tight. So you can imagine that I would not be chosen for a recruitment interview.