Here it is, my first ever BLOG POST!! This post will be my story and journey about how I became cabin crew. I hope for this to be something interesting, different and an insight. Especially for those thinking of wanting to join this lifestyle and career, or for anyone who has always been interested.
In 2016 , June time, I finally got the courage and applied to become cabin crew for mixed fleet at Heathrow airport. One week later I was invited to an assessment day at British Airways headquarters. At this time I was also offered an interview at Virgin Atlantic, however as soon as I knew I was attending an assessment day for BA my decision was made. If I was to work for any airline, it would be British Airways. Ever since I was little, BA was the airline to fly with and the company everyone spoke about, and for me to be even considered for a potential job was literally a dream come true for me. All I have ever wanted is to travel.
I only applied in 2016, aged 20, because I was not at all confident in applying for the role. I knew my height would not be an issue but I thought my weight may be. I thought that my curvy figure would not be suitable for the job and that maybe they had particular criteria – as I know some airlines do! However, not all my hope was lost. I knew a family friend who had worked for the company previously and had told me not to worry at all, and that they do not discriminate and just carry out a simple medical assessment. After being told that I relaxed a LOT!
The preparation for the assessment day was intense, do I wear my hair up or not? What shall I wear? What questions should I ask? Do I wear heels? The questions went around in my head! But, I made sure I had enough good questions to ask if I got as far as a one to one interview as well as researching enough into BA, such as the different aircraft types, any new trips they fly to, or any new business arrangements that I could know about and potentially impress the interviewers in the interview.
The assessment day came and I was so scared and nervous. My mum was my rock at the time and helped me soo much, she gave me the strength and positivity to go through with it. She made sure we practiced interview questions (as mums do) and made me a packed lunch and some coffee that morning! My hair was in the most remade donut bun ever and the most perfect red lippy. Throughout the day I had never felt so nervous, my tummy was turning and I was very shaky, but I’m not surprised I had never been in a situation as big and important such as this before. I made sure I had a smile on my face the whole time! My cheeks hurt by the end of the day! I cannot talk about the interview day specifically but my advice would be if anyone is thinking to apply, or has an interview and/or assessment day soon then the advice I would give is to be polite, friendly and don’t forget to smile (your so nervous you may forget!) but most o all be yourself.
After going through the day which felt like forever, I managed to get called for a one to one interview that same day. I was so very happy but my nerves got worse.
After the interview I felt fairly confident to be honest, but also still very unsure on how I performed. The drive home was hard, I was so happy one minute that I had managed to get a one on one interview, but then worrying the next whether I did the best I could.
THE NEXT DAY I RECEIVED THIS!
I WAS IN! A lot closer anyway! In that moment I had never felt so happy. I was with my closest friend at the time and we just cried together! I rang my mum, my nana and grandad straight away! It had confirmed I got the job, but I still had a long way to go! Emails, emails and more emails later my references, uniform fitting, medical assessment, injections and E-learning online had been completed. It took months, but before I knew it, it was time for my six weeks of training at headquarters.
Being plus size I wasps nervous, worrying if they would have my size… Felt on top of the world when they said they have many many sizes and so I put the uniform on!
The training had finally started. I ended up staying up in London at a Travel Lodge hotel. It ended up being one of the best things I ever did as I shared a room with one of my now closest friends from my training group! Love you Carlie!
There were 20 of us in our training group! Thats a big group, but we all just clicked and got on so well! The training consisted of a lot, not all which I can talk about specifically, but the subjects were: Aircraft types, Aircraft door drills, Emergencies, Avmed (medical), Pool activity (swimming and life raft).
Okay so, the training for me was hard but totally worth it! For six weeks straight it wasn’t just learning in the classroom, every night was revision, more E-learning, manuals, practice exams, commands, practice drills and maybe a glass of wine snuck in there somewhere. The exams can be difficult but put in 100% and you’ll do it! But all that hard work pays off, I have made friends for life, learnt amazing things and memories I will never forget. But learning three different aircraft with sub type differences was not easy! Throughout the six weeks I definitely cried twice and I think everyone else there did too! Our group was so strong and did so well, we all passed our exams and graduated together! We still all chat now nearly a year and a half on in our group chat!
I still remember the day that we were all told which aircraft we were on! Your either on the A380 or the Boeing 747 on mixed fleet. When we were told we were all on the A380 the group had mixed reviews! The thing with the A380 is its the biggest aircraft out there, its modern and brilliant but its not the queen of the skies or travels to as many places as the 747. Saying that though us A380’ers get first dibs on the training on the Boeing 787 later on in your career, which goes everywhere and even more that the 747!
FINALLY! The day of exams and drills were done and passed. It was time for wings day!
Wings day was one of my proudest moments ever, unfortunately I was unable to have family attend due to the size of our group but that didn’t matter. When I got home my ‘Mumma Hayes’, friends and family had thrown a surprise congratulations party for me!
All in all, it was worth every minute. Good luck to anyone who is applying, has interviews or who needs that push to apply like I needed! You got this!