Cabin crew Dubai diaries
We meet the people who help you reach your destination 5 Comments
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As many of us start to turn our thoughts (and our Google searches) towards summer escapes, spare a thought for the people who help us get to where we want to go – Dubai’s trusty army of cabin crew. Dubai
airline Emirates flies to 123 destinations worldwide, with new routes being added constantly, while Dubai International Airport now hosts more than 150 airlines across its three terminals.
And according to the latest report from the Airports Council, it’s the seventh busiest airport in the world. Most telling, however, is that passenger numbers at DXB rose by 16.4 percent in 2011, more than at any other airport worldwide, and figures are set to rise again in 2012.
To celebrate Dubai’s status as a thriving global travel hub (plus the fact it’s home to a staggering 15,000 Emirates cabin crew), we take a peek at the life of a pilot and a first-class air hostess to reveal what life is like working the skies. Fasten your seatbelts.
The first-class attendant
Ma Phyo Zarchi Lin, 31, Burmese (above)
It’s time to get ready for the flight. There are many ‘must-have’ items to pack in my suitcase, such as my favourite Japanese green tea, cookies, a lightweight umbrella, a pair of slippers and flat shoes (to be ready for any kind of weather – but I’ll add any other shoes or heels depending on where I’m heading). I also pack my skincare products, including facial masks and eye masks – essential for helping my skin rehydrate. This morning, I’m heading to Sydney – one of my favourite cities in Australia. I’m excited because I’ll have the chance to see one of my best friends, who lives there. Sydney has great food culture and, as a big foodie, there’s always something new to try. However, the two places I always visit are a Thai restaurant called Chat Thai, and a Chinese venue called Super Bowl.
I always try to arrive at the airport early to go through the onboard manuals. There are a few manuals to refer to, including a service manual, operations info, details on our frequent flyer programme, information on the destination… There are also several aspects on our pre-boarding checklist, including a mandatory pre-flight security check, and we also need to check all the passenger seats and other areas of the cabin. I also do some quick grooming: I put on my red hat, arrange my scarf and get ready to greet customers and escort them to their first-class suites.
On this particular flight I meet a couple who are celebrating their 50th wedding anniversary. It’s their first time in first class and they’re so excited. The rest of the crew and I make a bit of a fuss over them – we chat about their wedding 50 years ago. They hold hands the entire time. I find myself a little teary!
We arrive in Sydney – it’s late and we head straight to the hotel. I’m excited about what tomorrow holds. Some of the other crew members also want to explore the city, and I give them tips on things to see. Often we’ll explore the destination together – it’s a great way to get to know them properly.
Time Out Dubai,
Check out a Broadway musical or enjoy Christmas in the snow
Lunch, Lebanese style or see a classic fairytale
Check out the resident DJs at 360˚ or feast on free puddings