Sunday, July 27, 2014

Emirates Cabin Crew - Her story


Written by Rachel

4:50am: My alarm goes off relatively early this morning, and it takes a couple of snoozes before I manage to drag myself out of bed.
I do my hair and make-up and put on my uniform, and make sure to have some breakfast before I leave. I’ve made sure to pack my cabin bag (which has my waistcoat, oven gloves, crew pyjamas and cabin shoes as well as a few other bits and bobs) the night before so that’s completely ready to go,and my big suitcase just needs a few things thrown in at the last minute like my make-up and glasses.

5:55am: I’m already downstairs in the lobby of my apartment building when the crew bus pulls up. It takes about 15 minutes to get to work and I usually listen to some music and go over our “safe talk” questions on my iPad.

6:25am: The e-Gate (like passport control) for my flight to Amsterdam opens 2 hours before departure time, so I go through, check in and drop my bag off.
I’m flying on the A380 today, and as there’s so many of us the purser sends us a pre-flight email with our positions. I’ve been assigned door MR1, which is also the duty free operator. I go and collect the duty free pouch and make my way to the briefing room.
In the briefing room we have our documents checked (passport, flying license, vaccination booklet, etc) as well as grooming checks to make sure our uniform is up to standard. We then get asked a safe talk question, which could be anything to do with safety and emergency procedures, medical, aircraft specific, etc. The seniors introduce themselves and talk about their expectations for the flight, and the pilots also come in to say hello and give us some flight details.
Todays flight: Dubai to Amsterdam, 6 hours 30 minutes, flying at 40000 feet.

7:15am: We make our way onto the bus which takes us to the aircraft. Once we are all onboard we start preparing, so putting blankets and headphones on the seats and making sure everything is clean and ready. We also do our security search, and each person has their own area.

7:50am: Boarding clearance is given and the passengers start coming onboard. Luckily the flight is only half full so everyone is on pretty quickly and we have plenty of space in the hatracks for bags.
We then start our pre-departure duties, which include handing out hot towels, menus, and toys for any children. Once we’re ready to leave, the safety video is played and we arm our doors.

8:25am: We’ve secured the cabin and are in our jumpseats ready for take-off. Everybody is hoping for an on-time departure as it means no cutting into our layover time in Amsterdam!
Once we’ve taken off and the seatbelt sign goes off, we change into our cabin shoes and waistcoat and start preparing for the service. Our first service is breakfast, so we prepare the carts with all the drinks and heat the croissants up in the ovens. Any special meals that have been pre-ordered are handed out first, and then we take the carts into the cabin and serve the meals and drinks. It’s a relatively quick service, especially as we’re only half full.
After the service myself and the other duty free operator go and collect our carts. They are kept upstairs so we have to go up and then send them down in the lift. We have to count each drawer to make sure the correct amount of items are there, and once we’re done we go through the cabin.

11:00am: I pop into the cockpit to say hello to the pilots and have a little break from standing! It’s always nice to go in and get a nice view out of the windows and have a chat with the pilots.

11:30am: We start setting up the bars ready for the next service, lunch. We go through offering savoury biscuits and a drink first, then come the meals with the bars again. This service takes quite a bit longer but at least it keeps us busy!

2:00pm: Once we’ve finished the service and gone through the cabin collecting any bits of rubbish, someone else wants to buy some duty free. I quickly go and do the sale, and then it’s time to close the duty free carts.
Before we know it the captain is making his PA that we are starting our descent. This means for us it’s time to change back into our jacket and high heels, and then we collect any blankets that have been used.

2:30pm: The seatbelt sign has been switched on, so we collect any used headphones and secure the cabin. We have to make sure everyone has their seatbelts fastened, seats upright, no bags or belongings in the cabin at the bulkheads or emergency exits, and make sure nobody is in the toilets.
Once we’ve made sure the cabin and galleys are fully secure, we go and sit in our jumpseats. It’s been a busy flight and my feet are aching!

3:10pm: Touchdown in Amsterdam! We are greeted with some typical European rain!
Once everybody is off the plane, we do our checks to make sure nobody has left anything behind, and collect any stray blankets and headphones. As soon as everyone is ready we go through to immigration, collect our bags and head to the hotel.

We arrange to meet at 5:30pm (actually 3:30pm, as we landed at 1:10pm Amsterdam time but everyone keeps their watches on Dubai time!) to go and explore Amsterdam!


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