Flight Attendants, Books, Lovers, & Emirates

You know I love to write about writing and flying. So imagine my excitement when I found out the flight attendant working in the business class galley on my commuter flight last night from Los Angeles to New York was also a writer. Her name is Barbara Goodwin, and her book, Hiding In Plain Sight, is a romantic suspense about…you guessed it…a flight attendant!

Senior flight attendant Judy Winston is on the wrong flight at the wrong time when hijackers try to take over her airplane while it’s still parked at the gate. During the evacuation, she’s abruptly thrown down the emergency slide by DEA agent Chase Danton. Chase has seen enough in his lifetime. He watches the brave flight attendant save the passengers—now he has to save her. The DEA suspects that a ring of airline employees are smuggling drugs on flights and Agent Danton recruits Judy to go undercover at her airline. Who is the ringleader? It must be someone high up in the airline…Chase’s demanding, no-nonsense attitude grates on Judy. Strong-willed, she won’t bend to his demands—or will she? When the drug smugglers find where Judy’s been Hiding In Plain Sight, Chase vows to protect her as they fall into a highly-charged, passionate and dangerous love affair.

Barbara was kind enough to give me a copy of her book, so as soon as I finish reading my other two books (Geek Love and Lolita) I’ll be reading Barbara’s book, a book I began reading on the flight last night about half an hour before landing. Granted, I only got to page 18, but I was very impressed with what I read, and I think you will be, too. Click here to read an excerpt

After the flight, I hopped into a Kew Gardens cab where I met another flight attendant from another airline. We were both in the backseat. He was young and cute and had way too much energy for someone who had just worked a New York – Burbank turn on his fifth day in a row of flying.

“We’re going out tonight. You should come with us,” he said, and he said this like he meant it.

I love flight attendants. Especially the young cute ones I don’t even know who invite me to go out with them to Manhattan late at night. Before I had a chance to tell him thanks, but no thanks, he opened his day planner and I saw his list of things to do. I couldn’t help but laugh.

“Girl what are you laughing at?” he said, and when he saw what I was laughing at, he blushed. “That’s right, I’ve got it on my to do list, because it needs to be done already!”

Right between buy groceries and pay the rent was…
3. Find a lover.

Oh it brought me back, back to the days when I, too, wanted it to be done already. How I missed those days.

KIDDING!

It was only a fifteen minute cab ride from the airport to the gardens, and in that fifteen minutes I found out that besides looking for a lover, the cute one had only been working at his airline for one year, and since he had nothing to lose (seniority wise), and had no intention of becoming a career flight attendant (that’s what he thinks), he was going to apply for a job as a flight attendant at Emirates.

“I want to travel, REALLY TRAVEL, and get my passport stamped on someone else’s dime. And then I’ll quit and do something else,” he said, and he said it like he meant it. I just smiled. At one time I, too, had meant it.

“I can’t believe they’re hiring,” I said.

The young cute one nodded, and then he went on to tell me about the five star layover hotels and the $500 per diem given to the Emirate flight attendants while they’re on their layovers. And then we started talking about their uniform,which led to a conversation about the Singapore Airlines uniform, which led to a conversation about how the Singapore crews have to change clothes several times during each flight, and how the crew actually has a crew shower located in a crew room onboard each flight. My head was spinning. How did I not know this?

“Are you sure Emirates is hiring?” I asked, again, not because I wanted to apply, but because two people had asked me if I knew of any airlines hiring.

“Go look online!”

That’s exactly what I did. As soon I got home I jumped on the computer and did a little research of my own. Here’s what I read…
In average, 90 new flight attendants join Emirates each week and the carrier currently employs 9,200 cabin staff from 116 countries. “Four years ago, the number of cabin crew was around 4,000. By 2012-13 we will have a total of 18,000,” Daly said. The carrier is sending recruiters throughout its worldwide network to hire more staff. He said just 5% of applicants eventually are hired.

You won’t get rich working for Emirates as beginning salaries for cabin crew members is approximately $1000 per month, plus an additional monthly flying pay of $600. You will, however, earn your money tax-free, be offered a three-year renewable contract, be given a free shared apartment (with your own bedroom) and have comprehensive medical coverage. Add it all up and the Emirates compares favorably with some of the better paying opportunities out there. One downer: you’ll be based in Dubai and only be able to fly home (at their expense) once annually.

Every new cabin crew will be provided with comprehensive training in our state-of-the-art training college. However to qualify for this opportunity, you will need to meet the following criteria:

Minimum age 21 years at the time of application.
Minimum arm reach of 212 cms (on tip toes), which will enable you to reach emergency equipment on all aircraft types.
Educated to at least high school standard.
Medically fit to meet aircrew requirements.
Fluent in written and spoken English (fluency in another language is an asset).
Previous experience in the service/hospitality industry is an advantage.
Finally, you will be the sort of person who has the natural ability to provide excellent service within a team environment.

If you are successful, you will be located in Dubai, the most modern and cosmopolitan of the Gulf cities, which is becoming renowned for its high-class tourist facilities and its high standard of living.

Interested? Then you’ll have to hop on an airplane and get yourself to Houston, Texas, where Emirates is holding an interview for flight attendants on September 20, 2008.

Good luck!

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Heather Poole View All →

Yeah, that's me, the one standing in the aisle wearing flammable polyester...

3 Comments Leave a comment

  1. Wow, you’ve been up to a lot! I got tired just reading about your conversation with the young cute FA!

    So, when are you applying to Emirates? 😉

    You’ll have to tell me how Geek Love is. I have been meaning to read it but never got around to buying it. Are you my friend on Goodreads? I have to friend you because I just finished a terrific book – The Raw Shark Texts.

  2. It’s been too dang long since I’ve checked in on you 🙂
    1. Geek Love, great choice. It’s been over 10 years since I read it but it still stays with me.
    2. An NYC-BUR turn? Are there any other city pairs with ruder pax? I’d prefer to pluck my hair out one strand at a time.
    3. Let’s all go work for Emirates! Sounds like a good time with cool hats.

  3. Why on earth would living in Dubai be a ‘downer’?! I’ve lived there 10 years, I travel all over the world as a travel writer (I spend about 250-300 nights a year in hotels) and I keep comparing Dubai to everywhere I travel and frankly it out-does them all. I think it’s the best place in the world! The quality of life in Dubai is so high – American, UK and Australian cities, for instance, just can’t compare. Europe is a another case altogether of course. But Dubai is amazing. For me, that would be the number one reason to work for Emirates, above all the others.

    Fascinating blog, by the way!

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