Before becoming a cabin crew, Kiet’s life was just like everyone’s else: Monday to Friday, scheduled from 9 am to 5 pm. But now being a flight attendant, it’s not the same anymore. He doesn’t have so much time off and his lifestyle is so different. Luckily we reached him between two flights and he quickly answered a few questions. As today is also his birthday, we wish him smooth flights and a very Happy Birthday!
What motivated you to become a cabin crew?
To be honest, I never thought of becoming a cabin crew. My friend saw a recruitment announcement for Qatar Airways that he wanted to apply and told me to apply too. So I applied and I was completely shocked when I found out that I got the job. Shortly I was based in Doha. That was my first cabin crew job and was quite happy to start from somewhere.
How did you prepare for the interview?
I didn’t prepare at all for the interview. I did not even do any research on the airline. I just attended the interview with no preparing in advance. I’ve never been so keen to live in the Middle East. It was a whole day (1 day) interview, first having to work in a group, at a roundtable of about 10 or 12 people, with a recruiter taking notes. Then some group activities followed. Then, if successful, candidates would be invited back for a panel interview with 3 recruiting officers on the same day, about an hour later.
Qualities of a Flight Attendant, in my opinion, should be: a people person, caring, not shy, good at doing Public Announcements, with a strong personality etc. My colleagues are all stylish and sophisticated, people with a big heart. For the new generation of cabin crew, I would advise them to study as many languages as they can. Also, this career is not for everyone! People might like to work on the ground and not get jet-lagged, or there are people who just love flying! It really depends on the individuals.
Describe your experience as a Qatar and Qantas crew.
I never worked for any European or Asian airlines. Australia is my home, so of course, it’s better to be working in your home country. Qantas is the best airline to work for, pay wise and offer good working conditions. Qantas London based crew get paid a lot more than British Airways crew actually, which is why a lot have resigned from British and joined Qantas. As a matter of fact, Qantas is the top paid airline in the U.K. As I told you, Qatar Airways was the first airline I worked for, so can’t compare with any other airlines. They really work for the crew hard, no easy life, payment was bad, extremely strict. I was there for 6 months, then I resigned and went home to Sydney, Australia, getting a job for Qantas as a Flight Attendant. In my opinion, I repeat Qantas is the best airline to work for, as the company really looks after you and payment is way better than in the Middle East. You get decent overnight sleep time. Having an employer taking care of us, made me still be here after 12 years. I was flying Domestic routes for 3 years and traveled all over Australia and Asia. Then I got transferred to Long Haul division, 9 years ago and got to travel the world on QF network. At one point the company cut back some ports just for cost cut, however, I’m now on Airbus A380 and I am quite happy about it.
We know there are some benefits of a cabin crew job. Some are attracted by seeing the world for free, others by the financial part. For me being able to get discounted tickets as a staff travel and 90% discount on flights is the most important thing. I am actually getting paid to see the world. Qantas cabin crew has actually such a good lifestyle! Love it!