Dream job?

By | Category: Travel tips & opinions

Fancy becoming a flight attendant? Helen Press, a former flight attendant with over 12 years experience with a major airline, shares the highs and lows of the job

Name: Helen Press
Age: 35
Nationality: British
Job:
Purser (the person who oversees the flight attendants, makes sure safety procedures are carefully obeyed and complete the reports of each flight) for Emirates Airlines.

helen

What attracted you to your job?
The lure of seeing the world. Breakfast in the Big Apple? Supper in San Francisco? Yes please! But as I found out the travel and glamour was and is definitely earnt.

How did you get your break?
I applied to a few different airlines, was invited to an interview and got a couple of offers. I picked Emirates Airline based in Dubai, partly for its reputation and partly because of the company’s location: the idea of being based in warm Dubai was very appealing!

Best bit about your job?
Getting to meeting interesting people and travel the world. I loved taking a taxi to Dubai International Airport and walk through the terminal toward some unknown adventure. The shopping opportunities were also excellent and I was able to pick up duty free bargains whenever I wanted.

Worst bit about your job?
The hours – red eye flights (ones that depart late at night) were a particular killer – the jetlag and pushy passengers.

Do you eat the plane food?
No, never. I once read that 63 percent of flight attendants do eat the food but I don’t as I think it is pretty unhealthy.

emirates2

Meet any celebrities?
Of course. Who? That would be telling…

What is your all time favourite destination and why?
San Francisco. Their tourism board’s tagline says it all: ‘Cool fog. Hot restaurants. Neighbourhoods to explore. Cultures to experience. Always more to discover…’

And the worst?
Without a doubt, Dhaka. The poverty in Bangladesh’s capital is beyond belief. You think you’re having a bad week but touching down in Dhaka puts everything in perspective and you realise just how lucky you really are. The poverty in Dhaka is truly shocking.

Any advice for those wanting to follow in your footsteps?
You have to want to do it – it’s hard work (long flights, unsociable hours) and not as glamorous as most people perceive – but no two days are the same. If you’re considering a career as a flight attendant, get hold of a copy of The Essential Guide to Becoming a Flight Attendant by Kiki Ward –
it’s literally packed with insider information.

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