Q & A: Your questions answered!

I recently put a picture up on Instagram asking if anybody had any questions related to flying / my job / travelling etc, so here they are! As always feel free to leave me any more questions in the comments 🙂

Just another view from "the office" :)

Just another view from “the office” 🙂

  • What do you enjoy most about being a flight attendant and living in Dubai?

Most definitely the travelling! I love being able to explore new places each month and call it my job! Dubai is great, especially the warm weather all year round! It’s such a cosmopolitan city and there’s so much to do here, and new restaurants/shops/bars popping up every week.

  • What was the most challenging/ hardest part of the open day/ job interview?

It’s been well over 2 years since I did my interview now, but I will admit I was very nervous! The hardest part was probably the final interview, as unlike in the group rounds, you are totally on your own!

  • Do you need any qualifications other than school to be eligible for the job?

Nope, you need to have finished high school and anything other than that is just a bonus! 🙂

  • Why do you think most women give up being a FA after a few years?

Most likely so they can start families!

  • Are there physical appearance requirements to be cabin crew?

I can’t say for sure if it’s the same at all airlines, although at mine you have to be able to reach a minimum of 212cm stretching on arm up, and have a healthy BMI.

  • Favourite place in the world you have visited?

This is a really tough one! I’d have to say probably either Rio de Janeiro or Costa Rica.

  • Have you ever experienced an emergency situation onboard?

Touch wood, I’ve never had anything very serious. The most common situations are medical related, and I’ve had people faint, need oxygen, have food poisoning, all those kinds of things!

  • How long does the recruitment process take on average and are you able to delay the joining date if you get the job?

For me personally it didn’t take very long. I applied online and then went to an open day shortly after, and got the call 2 weeks after my final interview! However I’ve known for some people to wait months to hear anything. You can definitely delay the joining date, especially if it’s say a few months to finish studying etc.

I hope you guys enjoyed this little mini Q & A!
P.s. Follow me on Twitter & Instagram @rachelwwilson for more regular day-to-day updates 🙂



  1. Jon
    April 11, 2015 / 8:21 pm

    So I’m interested in applying for Emirates, but I’ve come across sites saying how the company doesn’t treat their workers well, what is your experience with this? Have you felt like you’ve been treated fairly in your time working for them? Do you feel like you can easily address concerns/problems you have, without negative things happening to you? Thanks in advance.

    • April 29, 2015 / 5:16 pm

      Hi, I personally don’t feel that I am treated badly, in fact if I was I would resign and not still be working here after 2,5 years! Of course it’s a personal opinion and everyone has different opinions on how they should be treated or what is considered fair! I love the job and plan on staying for a while.

  2. Lisa
    February 14, 2015 / 11:22 pm

    Hey Rachel,

    I love reading your blog and it motivated me to apply to emirates as well. I have been accepted to assessment day and I am super excited. But, what I am worried most about is the reach test. I am a petite girl and I can only reach 212cm with my middle, ring, and index finger. I am on my tip toe, stable, with one hand. I read on many forums that you need to reach 212cm with all fingers across the mark. Some people are saying that just as long as you can reach it, even if it is just 1 finger, it is fine too. Can you please clarify.

    • February 18, 2015 / 1:45 am

      Congrats on getting to the assessment day 🙂 To be honest I can’t remember as it wasn’t an issue for me. Why not try emailing the company as they’ll be able to give you an exact answer! Good luck 🙂

  3. neh
    February 11, 2015 / 1:27 am

    Hi. A quick question
    in case of short height.. little less than the minimum requirement, m i still eligible to be cabin crew with emirates?

    And what is the salary structure like?

    Thanks for the lovely blog. Have a safe journey

    • February 18, 2015 / 1:34 am

      You need to be able to reach 212cm with your fingers. You are allowed to stand on tip toes. If you can’t reach then you won’t be accepted! Good luck 🙂

  4. Danielle bahr
    February 10, 2015 / 11:20 am

    Hi rachi, quick question. I have a small tatoo on the front of my foot. Do you think this would affect me getting a job with Emirates ?! Please let me know!!

    • February 10, 2015 / 1:58 pm

      Hi there, I think it depends on the size and more importantly location. If it’s not visible when you’re wearing shoes it shouldn’t be a problem, however if you can see it they won’t accept it.

  5. Kate Nguyen
    February 5, 2015 / 7:18 pm

    Hi Rachi, My name is Kate and I am in the process of applying to become a flight attendant with Emirates as well. I’ve lived in the US all my life and I only create resumes instead of CV like Emirates requires. I look it up online but the information provided is not very helpful. Can you tell me what specifically the recruiters are looking for when they look at your CV (certain words, certification, skills).

    • Kate Nguyen
      February 5, 2015 / 10:39 pm

      I apologize for the misspell. I meant Rachel

    • February 10, 2015 / 1:34 pm

      Hi Kate! So this is what I found online:
      A resume is a one or two page summary of your skills, experience, and education. While a resume is brief and concise — no more than a page or two — a CV is longer (at least two pages) and provides a more detailed synopsis. A CV includes a summary of your educational and academic backgrounds as well as teaching and research experience, publications, presentations, awards, honors, affiliations, and other details.
      I can’t really tell you what exactly they are looking for as to be quite honest I can’t really remember! Sorry I’m not much help here! 🙂

  6. Anonymous
    February 4, 2015 / 12:37 pm

    Do you ever go to Iraq and Afghanistan, do you have to stay over night in places like that ?

    • February 4, 2015 / 9:51 pm

      We fly to Basra and Kabul, but we don’t stay there as they are only short flights so we come straight back (known as a “turnaround”).

      • Anonymous
        February 5, 2015 / 4:08 am

        Oh okay thanks for your reply. How many flights or hours flying would you do a week? Like are your layovers counted as a day off or do you do your layovers and then still have like 2 days a week off in duabi like most people have for a “weekend”
        Also how long are most lay overs?

        • February 10, 2015 / 1:24 pm

          Most layovers are 24 hours. The layovers aren’t counted as days off as you’re adjusting to the time etc. On average we do 80-100 flying hours a month, so that could vary each week depending on which flights you have and if you have a few days off in a row. For example now I just came back from Zurich and have 3 days off in a row, but then I’ll be away on a 6 day trip to Australia and NZ!

  7. mel
    January 31, 2015 / 6:11 pm

    As a flight attendant, are you often required to do some operational activities while bending down or any others that could give you lower back pain? Thanks!

    • February 4, 2015 / 9:45 pm

      Yes, absolutely! Lots of lifting and bending involved in my job!

      • mel
        June 2, 2015 / 12:35 pm

        How do you handle it?

      • Anonymous
        June 6, 2015 / 6:53 am

        How do you handle all the work that may give you back pain. Is there any specific method on how to do things to prevent backpain? 🙂

        • June 18, 2015 / 9:50 pm

          We are taught ways to bend and lift containers that help to prevent back pain. However, it is still a physically demanding job so lots of people do suffer with back pain!

  8. January 25, 2015 / 3:32 pm

    Hi Rachel! I really like your blog. Can flight attendants bring their own food to their flights? In a flight to Europe for instance, how many times do flight attendats eat? As your job is really demanding I guess that you need to eat frequently. Thanks!

    • February 4, 2015 / 9:19 pm

      Hi, thanks for reading! Yes you can bring your own food 🙂 With regards to eating on flights, it totally depends on the person! Also on the time of day, how busy we are, etc.

  9. putt747
    January 19, 2015 / 1:41 am

    Thanks for publishing some great photos, and layover hop stories! how you deal with jetlag issues? Are you working in business class section for all of upcoming flights? Also, it’s true that EK crew keep their clock in Dubai’s time no matter where they are in Earth?

    • January 24, 2015 / 11:19 am

      Thanks for reading 🙂 Luckily I don’t struggle with jetlag too much, I find it tough when going to the US but other than that I just try and adjust to the time of the city I’m in! Yep, still in business class for the time being. Hopefully I’ll be able to work my way up to first class within a year or 2! I can’t say if all the crew keep their watches on Dubai time, but I always do just because it’s too much hassle changing it all the time, haha!

  10. Anonymous
    January 16, 2015 / 4:11 pm

    When you compare being a pilot, what are the ups and downs of being a Flight Attendant? Do you have similer layovers? break? Like after 14 hours of flight do you have similar amount of free days in the city you have flown? Do pilots have also the opportunity for bid, and able to fly to different countries as much as you do? and what else can you say about the difference between a flight attendant and a pilot inderms of advantages and disadvantages?

    • January 24, 2015 / 11:13 am

      Yes we have pretty similar schedules to the pilots 🙂 They also have the opportunity to bid for flights, but they only fly one type of aircraft!

  11. Thea
    January 16, 2015 / 5:24 am


    Love reading your blog! You wrote that you are given free shared accomodation by your employer, who does the cleaning of the apartment, that is the common spaces like living/dining room, kitchen & toilets then since all of you have irregular scedules?

    • January 24, 2015 / 11:06 am

      Hi, thanks for reading 🙂 We all share the cleaning, and sometimes we get a cleaner in and split the cost between the 3 of us!

  12. Anonymous
    January 15, 2015 / 7:24 pm

    Wouldn’t you guys want to have a layover in closer counties though ? :$ like staying in egypt and looking at the pyramids or going to India and looking at the Taj Mahal :$ no one has layovers in these counties

    • January 24, 2015 / 11:00 am

      Yes I’d definitely love to be able to stay there, but it’s not profitable for the company as they’re only short flights! So they send us there and back straight away 🙁

Leave a Reply