29 year old Roberta Griscti is a fine example of today’s high-flying (quite literally) woman. She was a member of cabin crew with Emirates Airlines, who will be hiring over 5,000 cabin crew members this year. Roberta will soon be working in the aviation field to share her experiences with applicants and further develop the cabin crew courses offered by IATA. Roberta was kind enough to give us an insight to her life as Cabin Crew from Malta with one of the most exclusive airlines in the aviation industry.
Why did you choose to become a Cabin Crew?
The main reason I joined Cabin Crew was my love for travelling. I was seeking adventure, and I wanted to meet new people from different cultures… and the money was good!
Was it difficult to apply for the job?
It was easy at that time to apply for the job, as open days are held every six months. However now a days application needs to be supervised in steps. I recommend to refer to a professional organisation that can assist and guide with the application process. On the other hand, the whole process of the interview and the team building exercises were very challenging. Anybody can show up for the open day, but only around 10% to 20% of the interviewees are chosen during the open days. It’s not just a question of being well-groomed and looking pretty. They are looking for people who have specific social and academic skills; you are not just a trolley-dolly!
Cape Town, South Africa
Are there available courses which guide you towards becoming a top-quality cabin crew member?
Yes, there is. I firstly recommend that you gain academic qualifications to meet the required standards which most airlines are looking for and easy to be obtained if an internationally recognised certificates, for example, IATA offers globally recognized courses, one of them is the “Airlines cabin crew training” certificate, which are tailored for those who wish to work in the aviation industry specifically Cabin Crew Career. They give you a breakdown of what it entails to be a member of cabin crew, and they teach you all the necessary terminology which has everything to do with aviation.
The courses intensely prepare you for both the open days and the job as a member of cabin crew itself. At the end of the course, you will have a full understanding of how the industry works. They differ greatly to the training given by airlines to their newly appointed members of staff. The training offered by IATA is universal and makes you flexible enough to work with any airline.
Beautiful islands in Thailand
You studied Accommodation Operations and you’ve also spent a year working at the 5* Grand Hotel in Italy. Have these experiences helped you in your position as a member of Cabin Crew?
Having a background in “customer service” and specially within the tourism industry assisted me, both in getting the job and also dealing with the everyday tasks of being a cabin crew member. But the beautiful thing about the industry is that people from different walks of life are hired in order to combine their different life skills to work as a team.
I have worked with doctors and lawyers who wanted a change in their career and who wanted to travel while being customer service professionals. It was helpful having them on board because their previous professional perspective came of use when dealing with certain situations which tend to occur during a flight. There are even behavioural psychologists who are hired to observe candidates during the interview process! Such details you can get to know only through a specialized course!
China. Welcoming open doors!
Emirates are renowned for their efficient and reliable cabin crew service. Were you given the opportunity to work as both a ground hostess and cabin crew?
No. You are assigned a particular aircraft and your role with that aircraft is taken very seriously. This is to ensure that you are a 100% responsible in your role and your focus is solely in that duty. You must be fully aware of each procedure that comes with the aircraft and its passengers and we are also taught basic First Aid. We are taught how to deliver a baby and how to give CPR, as we are responsible for every passenger onboard the flight. We observe every passenger and we are fully aware of each person’s medical history.
One time, I noticed that a woman’s leg was swollen and I prevented a medical dysfunction from happening. I made her drink lots of water and I gave her the required massages for her foot. This is all part of the service.
Mountains in Cape Town
You spend most of your time being away from home and your family and friends. Do you ever find this difficult?
Not difficult as in living away from home, but for sure I would feel home sick! This is because when I started the job, I got to travel and be exposed to new cultures, and through this, I could grow to be my own person and not just Roberta who is Maltese. I could be Roberta in an environment where everyone’s the same, and who is part of a team. As for feeling home sick, thanks to the “free tickets” I get as a perk of the job, I can easily travel to see my loved ones and call them from wherever I am in the world. The job itself and being surrounded by people of different nationalities fills your time and stops you from getting homesick. Home becomes a suitcase or a multitude of 5 starts hotel rooms you stay at in the course of a week.
Friendly people in Kolkata
Could you describe to us a typical day in the life of a cabin crew member?
As a cabin crew member, you tend not to think in days, that’s where the beauty of no routine is! Sometimes I have to figure out by contacting the hotel reception to remind myself where I am and what time zone I’m in. However, I usually take the hours in between shifts to roam the streets of the place that I’m in and I also have time to do a lot of shopping in different cities around the world, not forgetting more shopping at the Duty Free where Cabin Crew have great benefits and special discounts!
I’ve come to recognise each and every airport that we fly to just by looking at the layout of their duty-free stores. It is a Life Style job!
With my crew colleagues in Perth
Great Wall Of China
What advice would you give young people who are interested in joining the aviation industry?
The first thing that potential Cabin Crew has to remember is that becoming Cabin Crew now a days is very popular and thousands apply, you need to stand out among those applicants by having the passion for “customer service” along with training certificates in hand.
Europe, more International colleagues.
One must also remember that it is not as glamorous as others may portray the job to be. You still have to serve meals and you still have to deal with difficult passengers. But don’t let this dampen your spirits. Enthusiasm and passion is the key to finding job satisfaction in this line of work!
I was very lucky as it’s a job that taught me so many different things at a personal level and granted me with infinite memories!
Last days on board with a smile!
Back home to my little island! Love you!