A cabin crew shared with us on a private online chat on what she thinks public don’t know about a crew’s life:
1) Health hazard imposes a lot of on us
Extreme fatigue that leads to incoherent thoughts. Exposure to constant UV sunlights, constant jet lag, extreme fatigue by minimum rest period, back pain, slip disc and so on. Not too mention, low immune system. Most people doesn’t know we’re constantly battling low immune system due to fatigue from a physical job. Even wearing on lipstick for extended period causes lip to crack, do you know that?
2) Surprisingly low basic that doesn’t match the minimum wage
We’re paid like labour workers, relying on allowances as it allows company to profit more from us.
3) The pressure to fit in uniformity
Most airlines impose an image that crews has to mould themselves into. Any deviation mostly result in punishment. Think of Emirates crew wearing a non-red lipstick. Or a Qatar crew having a longer cat eyeliner’s tip. This alone, will grant you a punishment from the management. Also, airlines don’t care what you do or how you mould yourself into their preferred image. As long as you DO IT!
4) False diet is prevalent among cabin crews
The conformity to look a certain way as demanded by airlines leads to cabin crews putting themselves under knives. When I first join the airline, never would I dreamt of being engaged by numerous plastic surgeons and aestheticians to become their clients. Again, I don’t blame cabin crews. A certain standards are imposed on them. To keep their jobs, they do what it takes to stay.
5) Lack of respect from the public
The public thinks we’re pretty but dumb girls. What do you know, you’ll find a lot of ‘anomalies’, people like me who deviates from our intended field to escape from our professional career. I was once a technician. Certainly not dumb. We are to keep our mouth shut because airlines rely too much on their image and the fantasy they sell to the public.
6) The job itself has no definite career progress
7) The absence of a strong union
Sure, we are presented by a certain “body” who claims to do us justice. But there are often influence and distractions, thanks, but no thanks to political motives and corruption.
As a crew, we are treated mostly like slave workers, with benefits as basic as they can give us. People don’t retaliate because of the high turnover labour rate. It’s easy to replace us, we’re not critical field workers. Our skills are inter-changeable.
Having said that, of course there are perks and benefits for being a crew. Let me just rephrase that, there are advantages being an airlines staff that is not limited to just cabin crews. But people don.t understand that. People see the so-called glamour life, but they don’t see what is behind the closed door when we arm it.
Written by and adapted from Naam (pseudoname for a local cabin crew who used to be a technician and has experience flying with more than 1 airline)
Tell us what you think now. If you are a cabin crew yourself, do you agree?