Hello CabinCrewHQ readers! We are excited to introduce our newest feature in our growing blog community – an Interview Series featuring different cabin crews! We’re looking for flight attendants who want to share their knowledge and experience about their chosen careers.
Our aim is to help promote this profession to the rest of the world and eventually inspire those who want to be in the aviation business. We hope that interviewing these cabin crews will give you a better understanding of the airline industry.
Flight Attendant Profile: Interview with International Fly Guy
First up, we have Jay Rob, more popularly known online as International Fly Guy. He is currently working for an airlines in the Middle East and has plenty of insights to share about his job. We can sense his great outlook in life and his chosen career. Good on you Jay!
A Fly Guy in Amsterdam
Can you tell us more about yourself?
The name’s Jay! Nice to meet you. In the cyber world I’m more commonly known as Fly Guy. My personal journey started more as a Mark Twain adventure than a city slickers guide to the globe. I was born in Raleigh, North Carolina but I call the Mississippi Delta home.
I spent most of my childhood barefoot exploring cotton fields and swimming in rice paddies right east of the Mississippi River. My father worked on the family cotton farm and mom was a flight attendant with American Airlines. My dad cultivated my love for the ground and my mom passed on her passion for the sky.
Where do you work?
I currently work for a major Middle Eastern airline based in Dubai. I don’t use names as I’m not a spokesperson for that airline. Just a guy who really loves his job. I started off with America West which turned into US Airways. At my first airline I worked ticket counter, gates, lost baggage office and the customer complaint counter in the airport. The last two being the worst airline positions ever!
How did you become a cabin crew? How many times did you apply?
I always wanted to fly but flying in the US had no appeal for me. The pay is bad, the hours are long, and the destinations are mainly domestic. I didn’t want to wait until I was 50 to fly international. In the US international routes go primarily to senior crew. A conversation I had with a flight attendant while working the gates at Phoenix Sky Harbor changed my life as I knew it.
She spoke of an international airline in the Middle East that was searching for attractive young people to stock their growing fleet of luxury jumbo jets. The best part was English was the only required spoken language. Her words were like a mirage to my childhood dreams. I applied for the job the next day. My airline didn’t hire in the US when I was applying. I had to go to Canada and yes I was hired on my first try. Thank goodness, because I had already spent nearly 1000 bucks in travel expenses to get to the interview.
Why did you apply for this job? – Based on your answer, were those goals justified?
I applied for this job because I love people, planes and places! This is a job that combines all of that. The main attraction to the airline I work for was that it was among the best in the sky and I wanted to work for the best. I feel this job has given me everything I could ask for in a career and more! I wouldn’t trade what I’ve gained from being a cabin crew for anything.
International Fly Guy in London
What’s the best thing about this job?
The best part of this job is no doubt the travel! I mean two days ago I was enjoying delish curries in Sri Lanka and tomorrow I will be tanning on Bondi Beach in Sydney. I get my fashion in Paris, my food in New York, my massages in Bangkok, and my tan in Australia. What other job lets you do that? Along with the travel comes making amazing friends around the world! I don’t know how I could ever leave this job because I have so many good friends spread out over six continents and I would never get to see them without flight benefits.
What’s the worst/hardest thing about this job?
The worst part of this job is working at times when you should be sleeping! Flying long haul is super hard on your body. I can now go 30 hours without sleep and not even think twice about it. That’s not something I’m proud of. When you arrive at a destination it’s so easy to just sleep as you are exhausted. You do this job to see the world and sleeping won’t let you see much of it.
However, you have to find a happy medium and just spend some layovers catching up on your rest. Your health depends on it. Speaking of health, when you first start international flying at all hours of the day you notice you get sick so much! You’re coming in contact with new germs your body has never had to fight off before and when you add on the fact your immune system is weak because of sleep loss you are a sickness target.
What were common misconceptions that you found out about cabin crews? Were those misconceptions proven right or wrong?
There are so many! Mostly the misconceptions I come across have to do with morals. A lot of people think crew are easy and just looking for hook ups or that all male cabin crew are gay. Both are not true. Of course there are many who partake in a crazy lifestyle that can come with this job. But others, like myself, choose to live their lives just as they were before flying. I’m still as religious as the day I started, if not more, and try to stay true to my beliefs.
Any favorite place/s that you always visit in your flights?
I love me some New York City! It is the world’s city and a city that doesn’t sleep. After visiting most of the major metropolises across the globe I came to appreciate how unique and amazing NYC is. I didn’t feel this way until leaving the US. I love going to NYC to catch up on great healthy products and foods. I’m Vegan so this is one city where I can eat until I pass out!
Another place I love to layover is Bangkok. I find the contrast of that city so mesmerizing. It can be so holly yet so dirty at the same time. There’s something for everyone in that town. I love the people, the food and the energy there. I feel so alive in Bangkok. It’s one of those places at first you’re like OMG get me out of here. But has you settle into the noise and hectic commotion you begin see the charm and fall in love. I also don’t mind visiting paradise islands like Mauritius and the Seychelles on work trips.
On a private beach in the Seychelles
What are your tips to cabin crew applicants?
My advise is don’t think that flying is the only job you will enjoy in aviation. I can tell you I enjoyed my job as ground staff much more than my current role as cabin crew. The only thing that keeps me from going back to that role is the travel you get as crew. So be willing to take a job at any position to get your foot in the door. I think most jobs in aviation are exciting!
If you’re too young to take a job flying, start gaining customer service experience. I didn’t start out flying. I did my time on the ground and that made me very attractive to the recruiters when I applied as cabin crew because they knew I could handle most situations relating to the customer’s flight experience. I always say don’t give up after the first try. I have heard of some people applying 7 times before they got the job. One of my good friends didn’t make it past his first open day. Was cut right away. On his second try he made it and is a shining star at the airline. So just because you didn’t make the cut on your first or second try doesn’t mean you’re not a fit at the airline.
How long are you planning to stay in this job? What motivates you to keep working?
I really don’t make too many plans in life. I let the wind take me here in there. That’s my gypsy spirit talking there. I will stay at this job up until the point I don’t enjoy it anymore. There’s nothing more annoying than a flight attendant that hates their job. They ruin the whole amazing flight experience for customers and their fellow crew. I stay motivated working for an airline that leads the industry. I’m proud to wear their uniform and to work on their amazing planes that are an industry best. I get motivated every time they announce a new destination or new world’s first in air travel. To be part of aviation history and say we did that first is a great feeling. Also my blog and cabin crew lounge on Facebook keep me connected to cabin crew around the world and it’s an amazing network to be part of and is a great motivation.
Connect with Fly Guy:
- Website: www.internationalflyguy.com
- Facebook: www.facebook.com/aflyguyslounge
- Twitter: @Flyguytweets
- Instagram: Internationalflyguy
*Photos provided by Jay.
There you have it. An interview with an amazing guy who is definitely happy with his job as a cabin crew! If you want more updates from him, you can check out his blog and social media accounts. Thank you so much for the opportunity and for sharing your thoughts, Jay. Keep the positive energy flowing!
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