Most Recent Aircraft Type:
Airbus A330/A340/A350, Boeing B787
Cabin Crew - Airbus A330, Boeing B757/B737
Aviation Specific Degree:
English, French, Spanish
Society for Education and Training: QTLS status ; Level 4/5/6/ Diploma in Dance Teaching; Training for Private Pilot Licence
Passions, Interests and Experience:
Wellbeing, Competencies, Transferable Skills, Mentoring, Coaching, CRM/TEM, Sleep/Fatigue, Project Wingman
Why did you want to become Cabin Crew?
The first time I really thought about becoming Cabin Crew was when I was about 10 years old. I remember being on a flight to Pisa and watching everything the cabin crew member did with pure awe. I was fascinated and from that point on, the idea was always in my mind. I was addicted to shows like Airline, and always found myself looking up to the skies to see if I could spot a plane. I was bought a trial flight lesson for a birthday present, and all this did was fuel my love for the industry. Later, after a detour around a few other careers, and a little bit of a personal life crossroads, I spent some time with my friends who were crew, finally bit the bullet and sent my first application in to be short haul crew. Luckily, I was accepted, and for my first preference base at MAN which I could not quite believe.
I was addicted to everything about the airline industry from this point on. It is just an industry that gets under your skin like no other, with a lifestyle that nothing else can quite compare to. It is fast paced, ever-changing, dynamic, and sometimes scary, but you'll work with people that you'll have the strongest connection with... and for that there is truly nothing else in the world like it.
Thinking to the beginning of your career, how did you find your entry into the role?
My first employer was fantastic during the onboarding process. I loved every part of my training. It was well organised, there was plenty of support and I’m actually still good friends with lots of people from my training course as well as my trainers. It was tough, for the four weeks I was on training I thought of nothing else apart from aircraft diagrams, 12 point drills, and service flows, but I actually really loved being fully immersed in something that I was so passionate about.
The first few months flying were everything I wanted and more. Regular reviews on your progress were held, as well as support if you needed. My supernumerary flights (2 were rostered due to operating 2 different aircraft types) were operated with the same senior crew member who really looked after me, and gave me the opportunity to do absolutely everything operational/related to service onboard so that when I was then fully operational, I knew exactly what was expected.
Really I guess what I’m trying to say, is that my first months on the job were a dream come true.
What do you enjoy most about your job?
Easily the best thing about being cabin crew for me is the people you meet. And this works on two levels. The people you look after on board for one; in what other job can you witness engagements, first family holidays, honeymoons...honestly some of the things I’ve had the pleasure to witness is unbelievable and I love that I can really make a difference to someone’s journey and in some cases, people's lives.
The other half to this is the crew you work with. This extends beyond the cabin to flight deck, engineers, ground staff, the whole team. Some of my closest relationships and friendships have come from the people I’ve flown with. And even those that I haven't flown with but have connected with via social media and mutual friends. It's a strange bond but a bond in which you start your flight as strangers and leave as best friends. 3am galley chats putting the world to rights, the amazing flights with the views you cannot believe you're witnessing, and difficult flights where you walk off wondering how you made it through. You go through it together and your team have your back from start to finish. A bond like that is unbreakable and you just can’t put into words quite how amazing the people within the industry are. They are my inspiration, my reason to get up in the morning, and the reason I love the industry as much as I do.
What is most challenging about your job?
I think the most challenging part about being cabin crew is the instability. If COVID-19 has done anything, it’s to prove this but even before the pandemic it was the norm to expect seasonal contracts, unpaid leave, or even quieter periods where the doubt and worry creeps in. Having watched 3 major UK airlines in recent times leave the skies, when anything happens in the world, it is felt in aviation, and that uncertainty is always something that is in the back of your mind. The key to this is to accept it, enjoy the good and stable times, plan for the downturns, and increase your versatility to ensure your resilience. And most importantly, never lose your passion, and your reason ‘why’ you started.
What did you find was the most important part of your job?
The most important part of being crew for me was always the safety elements. Ensuring the safety of all passengers and crew was paramount for not only the obvious reasons of preserving life, but also the integrity and reputation of the airline. I took my safety and avmed exams seriously, with 100% in every single exam taken, representing my commitment to studying and ensuring compliancy with procedure.
Have you Mentored anyone before?
I have no official mentoring experience, however I have lots of experience in unofficially supporting my colleagues and friends with CV writing, interview techniques, and mental health support, learnt from my MHFA work.
Finally, why did you want to become a Resilient Crew Mentor?
Through the pandemic and my own redundancy, there have been key people that have helped me in both employment, and mental wellbeing to ensure that I can pay my bills etc, but also remain physically and mentally fit to fly, and generally safe and well. Without these people I can say that I would not be in the same position that I am today. I now want to be that person for somebody else. Our industry is full of incredible people, and when we pull together we can achieve amazing things. I know that if we can pull together now, and support each other through these incredibly difficult times.