Ever wonder what it’s like to be an airline pilot? Let’s see if you know your jets first…
1) You're flying a Boeing 787. What jet are you climbing into?
2) This one looks a little bit like the space shuttle. What cockpit are you getting into?
Ever wonder what it’s like to be an airline pilot? Let’s see if you know your jets first…
The Boeing Dreamliner has windows that tint with a touch of a button – but plane windows are about to get even fancier.
French aerospace firm Vision Systems is working on a plane window concept with ‘active vision’.
The idea is that the window tints automatically and also becomes a mini interactive screen that can show the plane’s flight path and be used to communicate with airline staff.
The new technology is similar to the current design used by Dreamliners, which is produced by Gentex
A representative from Vision Systems confirmed with MailOnline Travel that the technology for self-tinting windows already exists.
The system, which is named Nuance by the company, can be fully automated using parameters such as light, temperature and even the position of the sun to control the opacity of a window.
It’s an upgrade on previous systems, which required users to push a button.
The tinting technology on Dreamliners is currently being produced by Gentex.
It involves having a electrochromic panel that’s installed between a dust cover and the cabin’s regular windows.
The panel is coated with a special gel that becomes opaque when electricity is applied to it.
By pressing a button, users can vary the amount of electricity applied to the gel, which in turn changes the opacity of the panel, effectively eliminating the need for blinds.
Vision Systems’ technology is very similar but with some key differences.
The technology is solar-powered and offers UV protection, but could have interactive features in the future
Nuance is based on Suspended Particle Device (SPD) technology, which operates in the same way as the electrochromic panels except the film goes opaque when electricity is not applied to it.
The specification reveals that the transition between light to dark is just a matter of seconds, compared to several minutes in the electrochromic system.
It also offers 99 per cent UV protection when the windows are darkened.
It works via a device that will automatically alter the amount of electricity being pumped through the window depending on the amount of sunlight hitting it or variables such as temperature.
The company is also offering the same technology for yachting and motoring industries.
However, the interactive features, reported by Wired, including maps and flight paths, is still a work in progress but ‘not impossible’.
By news.com.au – UPDATE: It was reported on Monday evening Grant Hackett had phoned his alleged victim to apologise for his actions on a flight from Adelaide to Melbourne. The 35-year-old has pledged to donate a sum of money to a charity of the man’s choice.
— Robert Ovadia (@RobertOvadia) April 18, 2016
Grant Hackett has personally spoken to victim. Apologised. Claims matter now resolved. Hackett to make charity donation. More @theheraldsun
— Paul Tatnell (@PaulTatnell) April 18, 2016
‘I SERIOUSLY AND GENUINELY REGRET MY POOR BEHAVIOUR’
An “embarrassed” Grant Hackett has apologised for his behaviour on the domestic flight, during which he was alleged to have abused a fellow passenger.
“I seriously and genuinely regret my poor behaviour,” he said in a statement.
“I have stuffed up more than once and am working on these issues.
“It is embarrassing to hear and read the consequences of my actions. I apologise unreservedly to the gentleman on the flight. I am trying to make direct contact with him personally.
“I know I have to front the media and discuss my actions in a more appropriate and accountable way.
“I just have to sort a few things first so I can be as frank and open as I need to be. I apologise for the inconvenience.”
@7NewsMelbourne Hackett: I seriously and genuinely regret my poor behaviour. I have stuffed up more than once and am working on these issues
— Jacqueline Felgate (@Jacquifelgate) April 18, 2016
BREAKING: Grant Hackett says he seriously and genuinely regrets his behaviour on flight @7NewsMelbourne
— Lynne Scrivens (@lynnescrivens) April 18, 2016
7 News showed vision — filmed by another passenger — of Collingwood chief executive Gary Pert helping Hackett off the flight.
— 7 News Adelaide (@7NewsAdelaide) April 18, 2016
‘NOTHING REALLY HAPPENED’
A PASSENGER on Hackett’s flight has defended the fallen star on radio on Monday afternoon.
Identified only as “Steve”, he claims he was sitting one row in front of Hackett on the other side of the aisle (next to Aussie tennis player Sam Groth), and was adamant the three-time Olympic gold medallist had done nothing wrong.
“Nothing really happened, that was the frustrating part I think,” he said on Kiis FM’s Hughesy and Kate.
“I didn’t see any of that (the alleged assault). I must have been on a different flight, that didn’t happen.
“I saw nothing. There was nothing happening — that’s the whole thing.”
Co-host Dave Hughes challenged Steve’s assertion that Hackett was completely blameless in the matter, reverencing the fact the alleged victim of Hackett’s actions has come forward and unequivocally stated that the swimmer “tweaked my nipple”.
“No, you can’t say, ‘Definitely not’ because he’s said it mate,” said Hughes.
Steve said the alleged victim and his partner were drinking white wine while watching 80s sitcom The Golden Girls.
— Hughesy & Kate (@HughesyAndKate) April 18, 2016
FORMER swim star Grant Hackett is alleged to have “forcefully” groped a passenger and “tweaked” his nipple on an interstate flight after a dispute over a seat being reclined too far.
Hackett, 35, is in hiding on the Gold Coast after the incident yesterday that has plunged him into a fresh new controversy.
A passenger on the Virgin Australia flight from Adelaide to Melbourne told The Daily Telegraph the two-time Olympic gold medallist grabbed his chair and yanked it forwards after the passenger reclined it.
“Then he put his hand through and groped my chest and tweaked my nipple quite forcefully,” the shocked passenger said.
Hackett allegedly stroked his arm and said “it’s OK, it’s all right” but the passenger said he felt unsafe and violated.
One source called the incident “nasty” and claimed Hackett got out of his seat and threatened the passenger: “He was out of control.”
However, the passenger said he came forward to stop rumours starting about what happened. He denied the incident was nasty but said the incident had troubled him enough to make him worry about flying again.
PERT: ‘PRETTY IMPOSSIBLE FOR HIM TO WALK OFF THE FLIGHT’
AFL club Collingwood’s chief executive Gary Pert helped assist Hackett off the plane and walked him to a seat inside the airport terminal. Pert told the Herald Sun he saw Hackett on the plane tap the passenger in front of him and ask if he could put his seat up.
A flight attendant then asked Hackett to keep his hands to himself.
“I’ve heard all sort of bizarre versions of actually what occurred on the plane and a lot of it is completely blown out of all proportion,“ Pert told Triple M’s Hot Breakfast on Monday morning.
“Clearly Grant was having some issues on the flight. I’m sure he might have had a drink before he got on the flight.
“But he was sitting there quietly in his seat, wasn’t aggressive, wasn’t looking at causing any trouble. In fact a majority of the flight he was passed out asleep.
“I certainly didn’t see any (aggressive behaviour) during the flight. One of the passengers in front of him put their seat back and Grant appeared just to reach forward and touch him on the back because he wasn’t happy about the seat coming back. That was about the extent of it.
“I can’t talk on behalf of how the other passenger felt about that, but certainly there was no assault or major altercation.”
Seven News last night showed an image of what purported to show Hackett slumped in a wheelchair after the flight while police officers watched nearby.
“When the flight landed I could see that it would be pretty impossible for him to walk off the flight so I just advised the attendants that I knew Grant and knew that he needed some support so I helped him walk off the flight and when I got into the terminal and that’s when the Federal Police — obviously they’d been notified — they rolled up and said they’d take things from there,” Pert said.
In a statement yesterday, the Australian Federal Police confirmed a 35-year-old man was spoken to at Melbourne Airport. No charges were laid but inquiries were continuing.
BRENDAN FEVOLA WEIGHS IN
Former AFL bad boy Brendan Fevola, a human headline in his playing days, said he could understand what Hackett was going through.
“He would be pretty depressed at the moment,” Fevola said on 101.9 Fox FM’s Fifi and Dave.
“When I’ve been in trouble before and then it comes out in the paper, you just lock yourself in the house. The phone rings, there’s cameramen outside your house and taking photos and you do think, ‘What have I done?’
“And at the end of the day it all comes down to alcohol.
Fevola added that he was offered to do the exact speaking engagement Hackett was in Adelaide for, but turned it down.
“I do feel a bit sorry for Grant … because he was speaking at the Adelaide-Sydney function for the Adelaide Crows and about a month ago they asked me to do it and I declined because I was playing footy.
“I get blamed for everything else so I’ll take the blame,” he joked.
HACKETT’S ROAD TO DESTRUCTION
The latest controversy comes after Hackett spent time in a US rehab clinic where he was treated for a sleeping pill addiction. He claimed he had lost his four-year-old son.
Photos of the incident showed Hackett looking lost with a singlet wrapped around his waist as a pair of shorts.
Before that there were two other high profile controversies. In 2011 he trashed the Melbourne apartment he shared with then wife Candice Alley, who was home with their twin sons.
As many as eight police cars were called to the luxury apartment after a distressed 000 was made to police.
Pictures emerged of the damage caused in the apartment — which included some of the items his wife most cherished like her piano, a dresser and framed photographs.
A bedroom door was also destroyed, as were some of the children’s’ toys were trashed.
The couple later said they were dealing with some “private issues”.
Months later he had an alcohol-fuelled night at Crown Casino during — and after — the Logie Awards in April 2012, where he was asked to leave a Channel 9 party and fell asleep in a stairwell.
At about 3am and the Olympian was approached by bouncers at a nightclub in the casino complex and told he should “call it a night”. Hackett is said to have fully co-operated with staff and promptly left, without an escort.
The following morning Channel 9’s Today aired footage of a sweaty Hackett at the party struggling to form a sentence. When asked by a reporter for his favourite song, Hackett stumbles: “I don’t know my favourite song ‘cos there’s are so many favourite songs. ‘Cos if I could name one I would.”
The following month he and Alley split and he was dumped from his ambassador role at the Alannah and Madeline Foundation which aims to protect children from violence.
By Stephen Rogers – A survey of cabin crew at Aer Lingus found that more than a third had to take medication to fight sleep disruption and almost half were going to work while sick.
The Impact trade union commissioned a report by Richard Wynne of the Work Research Centre on the health and wellbeing of its members in the airline based on a survey over a 28-day period.
One of the questions crew were asked was: “On how many days have you gone to work while sick in the past 28 days?”
Almost half said they had worked at least one day while sick and 25.5% said they had done so three or more times during the survey period. The report showed that while 28.6% said the illness was not serious enough to miss work, most said the main reason cabin crew continued to work while ill was that they wanted to avoid the disciplinary action (39.4%).
“There is a very high level of dissatisfaction with the company’s sickness absence procedures,” said the union’s assistant general secretary, Michael Landers.
“Just over 40% of cabin crew responding to the survey said that they were required to see the company doctor on the first day of their absence from work due to illness. This helps to explain the high levels of ‘presenteeism’ among cabin crew, and raises genuine concerns about health and safety of staff and passengers if people are continuing to work through periods of illness.”
Mr Landers said the report also revealed significant problems with sleep disruption, with more than a third of respondents reporting that they took sleep medication once a week or more often.
The union also claimed that rosters continued to present difficulties for cabin crew, with over 80% of respondents saying they had not had the opportunity for a meal break while working, and that this had occurred, on average, just over four times during the survey period.
Mr Landers said: “During the survey period a large majority worked flight duty periods of more than nine hours, while almost a third had worked at least one flight duty period of more than 13 hours. Overall, levels of satisfaction with the roster system were low, and remain a significant problem for cabin crew staff.”
The survey was conducted in mid-2014 when the company and staff were in dispute over rosters. Aer Lingus said no input was sought from it when the survey was being compiled. It said the airline has well-established processes and procedures which address health and well-being issues.
“The structures to ensure health and well-being of our employees sit outside of the normal industrial relations frameworks,” said an airline spokesman. “The in-flight working environment is highly regulated at national, European and global levels and Aer Lingus complies with all the relevant code.”
If you ask major airlines what their favorite aircraft is to fly, you’ll almost always get the same answer: The Boeing 757.
Boeing designed the twin-engine aircraft in the early 1980s to fly short-and medium-haul routes, almost as a replacement for the Boeing 727, which had three engines and was far less efficient.
But Boeing overbuilt the aircraft, giving it far more power than it needed for flights from New York to Chicago. Eventually, airlines realized that they could do more with the aircraft, and in the past 15 years U.S. carriers have increasingly deployed them across the Atlantic from major East Coast cities. But the 757s still fly plenty of short-haul routes.
Last week, when visiting LAX, I chatted with Capt. Bob Raleigh, American Airlines’ chief pilot here. Now a Boeing 777 captain, Raleigh hasn’t flown the 757 regularly in many years. But he still speaks of it wistfully.
“It’s a sport car airplane,” Raleigh said. “It really is. It has unlimited power. It’s overpowered. It’s overbuilt. It’s a great airplane. Boeing did real well with that jet. It’s a shame for there not to be a replacement.”
That’s the problem for American and its competitors. Boeing stopped producing the 757 in 2005, selling the 1,050th airplane to Shanghai Airlines. In a sense, Boeing didn’t realize what it had, as the airplane has gotten even more popular in recent years, with more carriers using it for much longer missions. It may be overbuilt for shorter hauls, but it’s just right for flights between Newark, New Jersey and Hamburg, Germany.
Airbus appears a bit ahead in the game, according to recent reports. But don’t count Boeing out just yet.
Powerful engines providing stellar performance and short field capabilities are just some of the features that set the Boeing 757 apart from the rest. But there has to be something that pilots dislike on the airplane, right?
Well, there are two features in particular that I don’t care for.
I dream that someday someone from Boeing or Airbus will call me for advice on cockpit ergonomics. Each company does their best to lay out a cockpit to please the end user – the pilot. But sometimes there are just a few quirks that slip through. An item, which an engineer may spend only a day or two thinking about, can have a lasting impact on the pilots that fly the airplane for thousands of hours.
Generally speaking, Boeing takes pilot input into account when designing the pointy-end of their airplanes. The following two items that pertain to the 757 and 767 may seem nit-picky, but I thought I’d share them here anyway, even including a video to highlight my second personal peeve.
To be fair, these airplanes were designed in the late ’70s and went into service in the ’80s. And Boeing has, to some extent, fixed these issues in the 777. But here are my minor gripes, with a video to demonstrate the second annoyance.Chimes
You know the chime that accompanies the seatbelt sign when it cycles on or off? It happens to be my text message alert tone right now-appropriate, I suppose. Well, there’s a slightly more annoying sound in the cockpit that is supposed to represent various different alerts such as:
HF and VHF SELCAL – When air traffic control needs to get a hold of us, they have the option of sending a SELCAL (selective calling) ding that alerts us. Upon hearing the ding, we need to look either on the forward EICAS screen where the engine information is displayed for a clue as to what the ding was, or overhead to see if the SELCAL light is on. Unfortunately, some earlier airplanes didn’t have that EICAS notification feature, so we only have the overhead to differentiate the sounds.
Flight Attendant Call – We aren’t immediately sure if it’s ATC calling with a flight level change or if a flight attendant is checking to see if we need a bathroom break. The look around the cockpit for the various clues to the source can be amusing to someone riding in the jumpseat.
During the preflight, it’s a regular ding-fest. As we request the flight plan data to be uploaded to the airplane, dings come in rapidly (I’ve lost count at eight dings in less than a minute) for these items and more:
Forecasted winds at altitude uplink
Takeoff performance data uplink
Unfortunately, this is a time when the crew-chief on the ground calls us through a headset plugged in at our nose wheel. We may easily think it’s another nuisance ding and not answer him as these flight plan items are coming in.
As we taxi out, we could also miss a flight attendant call when the latest ATIS information is delivered or we get our load closeout information, which includes the number of people on board, the weight of the airplane and our stabilizer trim setting.
Inflight, these dings create a Pavlovian response. Around an hour after takeoff, flight attendants usually call with meal choices for us. Just as your mouth starts to water after hearing the ding, it’s always a letdown to discover that it was just the other guy updating the winds in the FMC.
Years ago, I met two Boeing engineers while I was riding in the back of an MD-80 to Dallas. On my left was an engineer who was the liaison for Boeing to the FAA as they made changes to the cockpit flight computer known as the FMC and to my right was an engineer who did the actual programing of any new features in the box.
They were excited to tell me about the new CPDLC or Controller Pilot Data Link Communicationfeature they were testing out on one of our 757s. The idea was that an Air Traffic Controller could send us a text message that would tell us to climb, descend, turn or change our speed. The test program would only be for Miami and a few of our 757s. Later this innovative concept expanded to other air traffic facilities for use primarily with the 777 and some newer Airbuses. After the test period, it was deactivated on the 757.
I couldn’t believe my luck. Finally I could give them some input about the ding issue.
“When ATC contacts you via this CPDLC thing, I would imagine there would be a ding?” I asked.
“Yes!” one of them said proudly.
I then prodded them on how we were supposed to differentiate the different dings for different functions, all sounding exactly the same, as they came in.
The engineer asked why we didn’t just look at the EICAS screen as it would either say, CPDLC, FMC, Ground Call, or Flight Attendant.
I explained that this was nice, but that more than half of our 757s didn’t have this EICAS ‘ding alert’ feature.
His partner jumped in, describing the studies Boeing had done that indicated that humans could only differentiate between five different sounds in a cockpit.
I sighed and pleaded for a simple telephone ring for the flight attendant call that comes in on the handset, and then for a few different tones for the rest. If I were to mistake the FMC alert for the HF radio call with these new sounds, how would that be different to what we have now?
I felt bad for them. Pilots love Boeing products so I think they were a bit taken aback. I dropped the subject and stretched out in the middle seat of the MD-80. I certainly wasn’t going to mention my second peeve to them. That is:
Dim and Dimmer
Depending on the airplane and configuration, there are between 32 and 34 different dimming switches and knobs to change the lighting intensity on the 757 and 767 cockpit lights. Of course, I knew you’d think I was exaggerating, so I made a quick video showing each light and dimming knob from a recent flight.
Don’t get me wrong. I’ve written earlier about how much I love the 757 and these annoyances are amusingly minor in the grand scheme of airplane design. Maybe flying the MD-80 for a while will give me a new level of appreciation for this grand airplane.
I don’t know about you, but I’m already planning my summer vacay. I’ve got enough crap to worry about that seats are pretty low on my list.
That being said, every single time I end up on a plane, I always end up with too little room. Between my boyfriend sleeping on my shoulder and the random beside me, I can’t escape. I know, that’s technically my fault for taking the middle seat, but I HATE the aisle seats.
Or I did at least. Now I’m not so sure. You know how there’s just never enough room on the plane? Well, a redditor has done us all a solid and given us an inside tip!
Chances are you’ll be booking seats differently from now on. SHARE this with your friends so they can cheat the system too!
I mean sure, you can get up to go to the washroom easily, but that’s about it.
Who needs elbow room anyways?
It turns out that redditors know more than we do when it comes to airplanes. At least the people who work for airlines do, anyways!
According to this reddit user, the aisle seat arms can go up! You just have to know where the button is.
Posted by Renee Penris en Aisha Mansaray for KLM Blog– KLM’s Boeing 787 Dreamliner has been flying for a month, now—a shiny, new aircraft brimming with the latest technology. I was offered a peek inside and—being the curious person I am—I tried everything I was allowed to get my hands on. So, what’s new? Which buttons are the handiest to know about? Which features make for a more pleasant trip?
1. The IFE console
Let me start with an exception—the “button” (as it were) that controls the entertainment. It’s not really a button at all, but a complete console, the sort you find on gaming computers. This makes it very easy to scroll through all the films, games, and music. Or, if you prefer, you can push right on the touchscreen. Feel like talking to someone? Using your entertainment system, you can set up a chat with other passengers who have logged into Seat Chat. So, you can send a message that reads, “Hey, 21-B, where are you headed?”
2. The air valve
The cockpit is equipped with a switch that regulates airflow. Of course, passengers don’t have access to that, but the airflow in the 787 is an enormous asset. The aircraft hull is outfitted with an air intake which, rather like a fish’s gill, can open to let air in. This source of fresh air is external and does not run through the engines (as on other aircraft).
3. The espresso machine button
In the galley situated right behind World Business Class, I have discovered the key to the brown-gold elixir: the espresso machine—complete with milk-foamer—so I can have an espresso macchiato at the flip of a switch. If you’re flying in World Business Class, I’d certainly recommend that you ask the cabin crew to make you a lovely cup of UTZ-certified sustainable coffee.
There is also a touchscreen with about ten different light programmes. The cabin crew choose the ambient lighting to suit the moment. When you first board the aircraft, the lighting will be bright and cool. During takeoff, it takes on a warmer tinge. During your meal, it transitions into a warm yellow—dinner by candlelight, as it were. When sleeping time is over, a four-minute soft-pink programme mimics the dawn to help you wake up. It’s remarkable to see just how you can create a different mood with lighting. I think these are the best buttons in the entire aircraft.
5. The baggage bin button
This is a sliding button that can move in two directions. It allows you to open the bin by moving up or down. The bin opens slowly to reveal an extremely spacious baggage bin. Very inventive and extremely user friendly.
6. The window dimmer
I just love this one! I think I pushed it about thirty times. The button is round and has five lights on the side. So each passenger can determine just how much light they want. When you push on the button, it activates an electronic gel that darkens the window. There are five settings (besides full light) from light twilight to full night-time.
You have to be a patient though — the window needs a little time to reach the desired setting. So don’t keep jamming the button again and again ;). By the way, did you know that the Dreamliner’s windows are about 30% larger than in other aircraft?
7. The seat button
This one is going to make you happy. The seats in World Business Class are flatbeds that let you stretch out fully. With a push of the button, your seat turns into a bed. You can stretch out your legs under seat in front of you. That makes any long trip a lot more pleasant. It’s pretty good in Economy Class as well. There, the seats can lean back 40% farther than in other aircraft. So you can really relax during your trip.
I’m curious—have you already flown on the Dreamliner? If so, which button did you think was absolutely indispensable?
So many girls (and guys) have dreams of walking to their departure gate with their crew, high heals echoing throughout the airport, passenger heads turning. They dream of a life is the skies, full of glitz and glamour. They dream of exotic love affairs, overseas shopping and relaxing beach days. They dream they will see the world.
However, if they think that’s the life they will lead as Cabin Crew, then quite frankly they can dream on!
I recently made a video about how great it is to be Cabin Crew
and had a very positive response from both prospective and current crew. However, my feedback was that it was rather one-sided. So in response to this I am going to write about some of the less glamorous sides of Cabin Crew.
I loved flying, however there were many pitfalls as well as benefits to the job. Yes, I was lucky enough to cross the world’s busiest zebra crossing in Tokyo, I did hand-feed a giraffe in Nairobi, and I did top up my tan in Rio. But the reality is that although I did experience these wonderful things, I wasn’t able to make the most of them because I was constantly so incredibly tired. With rarely over 24 hours in a destination, night flights and time differences to deal with, my body rarely recovered from one trip before I was off on the next. I was constantly wishing for my bed and often missed out on going out and doing things down route because I was so tired. All I wanted to do on my days off was to sleep.
On my last ever flight, whist collecting in the rubbish (which for a start is not glamorous at all!), I was handed a cup covered in sick, half of which dripped all over my hand. For me, that was confirmation in itself that I was doing the right thing by leaving. I don’t cope well with sick, and unfortunately I encountered it regularly in this job. I had people being sick all over their beds, covering the toilets in sick so that they are no longer usable, projectile vomiting across the aircraft, and the list goes on.
The passengers themselves were more often than not lovely. However there were certain routes, on which the passengers infuriated me, namely African routes. The African passengers were, in large, disrespectful to the aircraft and the crew. On disembarkation it would quite literally look like a bomb had exploded with all the mess. Hygiene levels were often poor, and there would be a terrible smell that would gradually worsen throughout the flight. I often had passengers tell me that they are going to ‘piss themselves’, and the state of the toilets often indicated that they had. But my main bain with African flights was the way the passengers spoke to me and the other crew. I understand that there are cultural differences, and that perhaps it is acceptable where they are from to hiss and click your fingers at people. But I just struggled to deal with it myself. After 8 hours of being hissed at, I would get off the aircraft feeling rather low and infuriated. What especially annoyed me was that most of these passengers actually resided in the UK-so they should know better!
Another problem I had was my social life. If I look back at my pictures from trips with work, there are always big, social gatherings, usually involving substantial amounts of alcohol. This was great fun a lot of the time, but I just found it exhausting that every single trip you would be with different people and have to start up new friendships all over again. You would rarely see the people you have flown with before, and therefore it was very difficult to ever make any friends. It was even hard to meet up with friends on your days off at home as you would not have the same time off very often!
All of this aside, my primary reason for leaving the job was the money. Living in London, an average take home of about 1200 Pounds a month, was not enough to live on. I found that I was having to take Pot Noodles and such in my luggage for trips, so that I didn’t spend my allowances down route as I needed that money to live on. For me, that took away from the experience of being Crew a lot. I was forced to avoid doing some of the tourist things down route to save money, which defeated the point of doing the job for me.
I did this job for my love of travel. I thought getting paid to travel would be perfect. But in reality, it had negative effects on my health, I didn’t really see that much outside of an aircraft or a hotel room, and it has left me in thousands of Pounds of debt.
I am not saying that Cabin Crew is a bad job, it is in many ways a wonderful job, as I promoted in my video. I just wanted to show both sides of the coin, and demonstrate that it’s not all perfect working at 30,000ft.
Being a flight attendant has been my ideal career path since I have gotten to college. Being a Flight Attendant has changed a lot since the commercial jet age in the 1960’s. Let’s talk about why.
Flight Attendant versus Stewardess
Being a Flight Attendant in the 1960’s meant that you were referred to as a stewardess or a female steward. That meant that you were “attending” to the passengers needs while they were on the airplane. The most popular Stewardesses were the ones that were employed by Pan American Airlines.
To be qualified for the job you had to have a college degree as well as nursing training. Not only did you have to be educated you also had to be female, physically attractive, be a certain height, between a certain age, and weigh a certain amount (once hired there were mandatory weight checks). Being a stewardess was about having the perfect combination as a woman. You had to essentially take care of others while looking good doing it. According to ABC News, a girdle was a part of the uniform as well.
How has it changed?
A person in the 21st century that assists passengers on an airplane to ensure their needs and safety is now referred to as Flight attendant. The requirements to get hired as a flight attendant are much more reasonable. You must be at least 21 years of age, have a High School diploma, and have customer service experience. You do not have to be strictly female to be hired by an airline, but because this career is associated with mostly women few men apply.
Why the change matters?
Julia T. Wood talks about in her book Gendered Lives how there are certain stereotypes within the work place for both male and females. For females the most common stereotypes are being a sex object, mother, child, or iron maiden.
For males the most common stereotypes are being a sturdy oak, fighter, and breadwinner. Being a stewardess in the 1960’s portrayed two out of the four stereotypes for women. The women were made into sex objects by what they had to wear to work such as the girdle and tight blue skirts (for Pan American in particular).The women were defined by their sexuality and that was also how they were ultimately hired. Second, these stewardesses were also defined by the stereotype of mother. These women were expected to take care of their customers’ needs. That included listening to their concerns or pouring them a drink. Finally, the reason why the changes for flight attendants is positive is because these stereotypes are diminishing, making it easier for males to apply to be a Flight Attendant. Although, because of the male stereotype of breadwinner, which states that the males have to take home more money than women, could be preventing more males from diving into this position. I think that moving away from the traditional “stewardess” is great and I think that more men should consider breaking this gendered norm and apply to be a Flight Attendant. I mean, what person would not what to travel the world?!
By iHCC for iheartcabincrew – Each airline is different. Every airline wants to be unique so they may be looking for something a little different in their cabin crew applicants; be it physical appearance or personality type.
However, the universal role of cabin crew is the same no matter what airline. So, there are common basic qualities that all airlines look for in their candidates.
Empathy shouldn’t just be towards passengers but also towards co-workers.
On the day of the interview, show kindness to the other applicants. Smile. Talk. Help.
Give way to other applicants. Don’t ever try to put someone else down just so you could shine.
“Wanting to travel the world is not enough…You need to be an empathetic caring individual who genuinely wants to help people. – CabinCrew.com
Be a human being. Be genuine.
2 Customer Service Orientation
You’ll be asked a lot of problem solving questions. Whenever you answer one, always keep the customer your top priority.
These questions bring out how good you are at solving passenger problems leaving them feeling satisfied, appreciated, and heard.
In your answers, show that you have the customer’s best interest in mind. Offer alternatives but don’t impose a solution. Let the customer choose the solution they desire.
A classic question that shows your level of customer service orientation is the Hotel Guest Question.
We’ll be discussing this in more detail and the best way to answer it in a later post.
Your plans to spend a weekend with loved ones could be an improbability due to changes in your roster. You’ll have standby duties and may have to be ready for duty within 20 minutes of being called. You’re definitely going to experience flight delays and cancellations.
You may expect to have 30 minutes to do your preflight ground duties but now you only have 5 minutes. You may not have all the resources you had expected to perform a job correctly. But you’ll have to be able to make it happen nonetheless.
Your company’s policies could change over night – not necessarily on your favor.
All these sudden changes do happen very often and recruiters want to see how well you can cope with disruptions.
Can you still ‘make do’ and make things work even under the stress and pressure of change?
Common questions for gauging your level of adaptability is:
In your answer, tell a story where you welcomed the change. Mention the positive results from it. End by talking about what you’ve learned from the experience.
“Show that you think of change as an opportunity to grow, not an ordeal to endure.– James Reed
4 Teamwork and Communication
As cabin crew, you’ll work in teams of people you may have never met before. You’ll have to show recruiters that you’re very capable of working with total strangers towards achieving a common goal.
Give a real-world example where everyone in the group pitched in resulting in a successful positive outcome.
Don’t try to sound like you’re the hero in your story. A good tip is to replace all the “I” with“We”.
Don’t say: I suggested that we start by arranging the chairs.
Say: We agreed that we start by arranging the chairs.
5 Cultural Awareness
As mentioned above you’ll be working with a different set of team every time you go to work. If you work for a multinational airline like the ones in the Middle East, you’re bound to be sharing the workplace with people of other nationalities.
Cultures and ideals might sound absolutely strange to you but you’ll have to put all these aside and work together as one unit.
This is a very tricky question. Don’t ever attempt to answer this by actually naming the nationalities you prefer to work – or not to work – with.
Show that you can work with anyone no matter the nationality, race, and religion. In fact, show that you’d be excited to work in such a diverse environment since it’s an opportunity for you to broaden your knowledge about humanity and the many cultures of this world.
6 Grooming and Grace
Flight attendants are the image of an airline. You must look the part.
Your grooming should be impeccable and your posture graceful. You’ll be working long hours and have to look just as fresh at the end of the flight as you did at the start.
Throughout the interview, keep a confident and poised demeanor. Watch for you grooming from your hair to your finger nails. Standards are really high in the airline business.
Keep these qualities glued to the back of your head throughout your entire hiring process. Starting from filling out the application form, onto the assessment day, and all the way to the final interview.
Whatever you say or do, always tailor your words and actions to these qualities.