Flying the world and staying in world’s best hotels is definitely an alluring thing, and for many, something they dreamed of their whole life. You can’t absolutely see one downside to this lifestyle, and honestly, there are not many. The challenges you will encounter you will see only once you start doing this job,
and after some time you will be able to decide if it is the lifestyle that fits you.
Some of the challenges that Cabin crew encounter are:
-Irregular sleeping schedule.
The monthly roster consists of day and night duties, which will make you come home often in the morning, or even early afternoon, after a long night flying. Your eyes will burn, be sensitive to light, you will feel like a train ran over you, and once you come home you will disappear in your bed, and wake up who knows when. But your make up will cover all of that, at least on the outside.
In the beginning it can feel overwhelming, the fact that many people will ask many things from you at the same time. You learn to multitask,
and try your best to remember all the things you had been asked for, not always successfully though. On a big airplane, it can feel is if you are in a kindergarten. Everyone looks up to you and simultaneously asks for, well, anything and everything.
-You will need nerves of steel.
Related to the mentioned above, usually (while working in economy class, which on Emirates nowadays (2020.) lasts at least 4 years), you will have a cabin full of passengers (427 in economy). You will need to get used to repeating the same sentence, over and over, as many of them don’t remove their headset while you talk to them. There is also the famous sentence “Coffee or tea sir?” where you will get the answer YES! “Would you like beef or chicken sir?” , and they answer “FISH!”. Multiply this with 400.
-Being watched at all times.
Wearing an airline’s uniform has always been fascinating to both men and women. You will be watched wherever you are, usually with admiration. You will get used to it, and it actually will start feeling good. So walk that walk!
-Having to work with new, unknown people on a daily basis.
As soon as you come on-board you will have to rely on your colleagues, even though you know them for approx 1 hour only, and an instant bond is created as soon as the duties start. This is a profession where you get to know your colleagues
very quickly. One of the syndromes of the cabin crew is that, after the service is finished and the fore-mentioned connection made, they talk with each other about anything and everything. You get to know many details, very quickly, like who lives where, who dates whom, who did what last night, etc. The famous Galley talk.
Even when you do create strong bonds with people on-board, once you come back to base, everyone picks up their own
suitcase, and say bye to each other with the phrase “Yes, definitely we gotta meet again!” Percentage of people who maintain friendships out of the aircraft is very small
unfortunately…. New flight, new people. It’s just normal. Then you’ll see that person in a while again, and you won’t be even able to remember from which flight you
know them, or in more extreme cases, not even their name. Weird, but everyone knows it and if you feel it, probably the other person is feeling it too.
-Not seeing your family and friends, and missing out on important life events.
This becomes a tough part as time goes by, but you always try to get some days off,
and hop on a flight back home to see them. And if you spend enough time away, you’ll notice how life back home is changing. Your friends get married, get
pregnant, make families… And you feel like you’ve been just flying and flying, and for you it’s as you’re stuck in time.
Now this is the aspect you wouldn’t expect. But this job, as much as you work with people, in the end is lonely. It is hard to create a strong friendship,
and it is hard to maintain a romantic relationship, when you’re always in some other country. When you’re off, it is not necessarily weekend, so if you have
a partner who has a normal job, it is very hard to match days off. If your partner is flying like you, well, it is even harder. I have seen people seeing each other
in the Headquarters, in the meantime, when one lands/another is leaving on his flight.
-Non-unity between crew.
I was noticing from the beginning how people on the crew-bus are isolated. Everyone has earphones in their ears,
and no one connects out of his/her own world. Ok, we don’t know each other, but it always gave me a feeling of sadness once I realize how everyone is actually lonely.
-Spending important dates in the aircraft.
Most of the New Years I was working. Also, my birthdays. You kind of forget what normal life is like, and while your friends walk down the isle on their wedding, you walk down the isle on an aircraft. Every day, night, moment, important date, you are in that isle. No one tells you this, but you learn it the harder way.
These are only some of the challenges you will encounter. In time you learn to live with them. Some are coped with easily, others start weighing on you in time.
Usually when one of them starts to weigh in too much, people pack up their bags and leave. For some it’s 1 year, for other it’s 5, for some it’s whole life.
Depends also on how much you find yourself in that new culture you’re living in, and how much of your life you create there. What fits one person, does not necessarily fit another.
Maybe you fall in love, maybe you create family, but even if you create good friends there, eventually, most of them leave. That is a heartbreaking part.
So it is all ever-changing. As our lives, right? As one saying goes: “Everything changes, only change is constant.”
I still highly encourage you to go and try. It is a life-changing experience.