Many young people imagine that being an airline attendant must be glamorous and exciting, not to mention a great way to see the world. But what does the job actually require? According to Chi Xiaoting, a Chinese flight attendant for Emirates, the world’s largest airline, the most important skills and qualities needed for this kind of work are a strong command of English, a love of working with people, and a willingness to work as part of a multinational team.
U.A.E.-based Emirates last week expanded its presence in Southeast Asia with the launch of a daily Dubai-Phnom Penh service via Yangon, Myanmar. Ms Xiaoting spoke to Youth Today from China.
YT: Could you please introduce yourself and tell us why you wanted to be a flight attendant?
Ms Xiaoting: I am from China. Even before I graduated from college, I knew I wanted to go travelling; I really wanted to see the world. I discovered the Emirates job through their website and decided it would be a great opportunity to do that. I went to Beijing to apply, and after four rounds of interviews I was offered a job as a cabin attendant.
YT: What personal qualities did you bring to the job?
Ms Xiaoting: I was confident even before I applied for this job. I believed I would make an excellent cabin attendant because I’m good at interacting with people and felt I could offer good service to passengers. I am a happy person and I enjoy making the people around me happy.
YT: What is it like to be part of the cabin crew at the world’s biggest airline?
Ms Xiaoting: When I arrived for the interview, the sight of the red hat [worn by cabin crew] almost brought me to tears. I felt that this was something I could be passionate about. I feel really lucky to be part of the Emirates cabin crew. This job never feels routine; every day is a new, fresh start. I meet different people from all over the globe, so my life is different every day.
YT: What advice do you have for Cambodians who want to join Emirates’ cabin crew?
Ms Xiaoting: If you want to work for Emirates, firstly you should strengthen your English communication skills and learn as much as you can about different countries and cultures. This job requires staff to communicate with passengers well, so an international language [like English] is the best way to do that, and it’s necessary for anyone who wants to be a flight attendant.
More importantly, I think Emirates looks for people who have pleasant personalities, and who love to talk and communicate with people. You need to be customer service-oriented, and be mature and responsible. That’s what Emirates is looking for.