A Flying Visit To Vienna

I was recently selected to part of a special set of crew – taking the A380 on it’s inaugural flight to Vienna! Since I joined Emirates, I’ve been trained to fly on the A380 as well as the 777, and since being part of the business class team (coming up to 2 years now) I fly more on the A380 than the 777. She really is huge (519 passengers at maximum capacity, as well as 26 crew members) but most of us love it, and there’s something a bit special about having a real-life bar onboard!

I could feel the excited atmosphere as soon as I arrived in the briefing room, and it was quite a few of the crew’s first time to Vienna. Having lived in Austria for 6 years before moving to Dubai I’m quite familiar with the city, and unfortunately none of my friends or family were able to make it this time, so I planned to have a relaxing layover in the city.

We were just about ready to take off, when we were informed of a water leak in the first class galley, which resulted in us returning to the gate so an engineer could come onboard and fix it. After an hour and a half delay, we were finally off!

The flight went nice and smoothly (after the initial hiccup!), and upon arriving in VIE, we were greeted with a water canon salute, a tradition for inaugural flights.


Since my jumpseat was located at the back of the aircraft, it was more of a trickle by the time it got to us, but nevertheless it was pretty cool to watch from the onboard cameras.


Since we arrived early afternoon, a couple of us arranged to meet and go for a stroll through the city, and find somewhere to have some dinner.

Our hotel was located around a 20 minute walk from Karlsplatz, and it was an absolutely beautiful day. We grabbed an iced coffee to-go, and wandered through the streets admiring all of the gorgeous buildings.


Last time I was in Bologna I did a bit of shopping, and picked up this super cute retro flowery skirt. When I was home on leave mum did a bit of tailoring and shortened it for me, and I know it’s going to be my go-to summer skirt!


Perfect for twirling around cathedrals, and it even has pockets πŸ˜‰

We made our way towards the city centre, and since it was so hot decided on a drink in a gorgeous rooftop bar called Sky Bar, which is located inside the department store Steffl. From the outdoor terrace you can admire the rooftops of the city, including the St Stephen’s Cathedral nearby.


This drink is called a “hugo” – it’s hugely popular in Austria but I’ve hardly seen it on menus anywhere else in the world. Made from prosecco, soda water, elderflower syrup and mint, it’s so refreshing and perfect for a hot summer day!

The lift up to the terrace boasts a wonderful view out to either side of the Kärnter Straße, one of the main shopping streets in the city centre.


After a hitting up a few of the shops, we were starting to get a bit peckish. Since it was just 3 of us, we soon settled on a pretty Italian restaurant down a side street. When you go out in a big group with lots of the crew, it’s practically impossible to decide on a restaurant, and you end up wandering around forever until everyone is happy!

We soon called it a night and made our way back to the hotel. A delightful afternoon and evening strolling one of my favourite cities in Europe!


The flight home was super easy with an almost empty cabin and another beautiful sunset from above – what more could you ask for to end a very special trip?

On another exciting note, I was recently featured in L’Oréal’s online magazine, FAB, with a few of my tips for how to keep your skin looking and feeling fresh on long flights – check it out here!Signature small icon

P.s. Follow me on Instagram & Twitter for more day-to-day updates of where I am in the world! 🙂


  1. Shumaila
    July 21, 2016 / 5:16 pm

    Hi Rachel your blog is so informative… I have a question is it allow to wear nude skin tights under skirt ?

  2. Izabela
    July 14, 2016 / 6:17 pm

    Hey! I wonder if you need to know all the airports codes by heart?

    • thedubaidiaries
      July 14, 2016 / 6:48 pm

      Hi Izabela! You don’t need to know all of them but I do remember getting tested on some during training. Once you start flying you learn them all pretty quickly as well – I would say I know 95% of the destinations we fly to! x

  3. Conor
    July 14, 2016 / 5:29 am

    Hey Rachel!
    I absolutely love your blog. I came across it a few weeks back, and since then have read every one of your posts since the beginning of your Dubai journey. To say I’m jealous would be an understatement πŸ™‚
    I’ve wanted to try cabin crew for a few years now, and reading your blog has made me want it even more. I’ve just finished college, and I’m thinking now is the perfect opportunity for me. Adding to that the fact that we have 3 open days coming up in Ireland in the next 2 months it seems almost perfect!!!
    I was just wondering if I could ask you a question or two!!!
    I’ve heard during the open days you should bring photos of yourself, both head shots and full length? If so, what size should they be (passport/A4?)
    Also, how did you feel moving to Dubai? I’m from Ireland, and culturally we’re very different. Did you find it hard to adjust when you moved first?

    I’m still deciding if I should go, more from nerves than anything! I love your blog though, and I look forward to your next post!

    P.S I’m very disappointed there isn’t any Dublin flights on your monthly roster updates πŸ˜› not that there’s much to do there!!!!!


    • thedubaidiaries
      July 15, 2016 / 11:19 am

      Hi Conor! So happy to hear you found my blog and enjoy reading it! I think the photos you bring have to be standard photo size (4×6?) but I’m guessing that if you check on the Emirates Careers website it will tell you all of the exact details of what you need to bring. Honestly I didn’t find Dubai a difficult place to adjust to (apart from the heat – it’s a casual 43 degrees today!!) but it’s very westernised and easy to live here. It might be a different story if I wasn’t flying to different destinations each week, as it can be nice to get away from the desert sometimes as well! I literally never get rostered for Dublin, I’ve been once and would love to go back! Good luck for the open day! xx

  4. Gina
    July 13, 2016 / 5:11 am

    How come Emirates now has a requirement of minimum height of 160 cm? πŸ™ It used to be just 212 arm reach. I’m 5″2 and 1/2 unfortunately. Do you think I can still apply?

    • thedubaidiaries
      July 14, 2016 / 6:47 pm

      Hi Gina! Sorry I can’t really help you with that question, I don’t know anyone from the recruitment team or have any idea why it would have changed! You can always try applying still, I’m not sure how strict they are. Good luck! x

  5. Mich
    July 12, 2016 / 4:51 pm

    Hi Rachel

    Love your blog.Keep posting.

    I have a question and please feel free to not respond if you do mind me asking.

    I read somewhere that for emirates cabin crew to become pregnant (after marriage of course) they should have worked for at least 3 years. Is this still the rule or it has changed? Also, how long is the maternity leave if given? So sorry. Just curious.

    • thedubaidiaries
      July 14, 2016 / 6:46 pm

      Hi Mich! Yes that is true, you have to have completed the first contract (3 years) to be able to take maternity leave. I’m not sure how long the maternity leave is, I haven’t had any reason to look into it yet, haha! x

  6. deejay
    July 9, 2016 / 2:01 am

    Hi there! I am currently located here in Dubai and I got inspired by your blog. I just want to ask if you have any idea if Emirates hire Filipinos for Cabin Crew post?

    Because they stopped having open days in the Philippines for Cabin Crew. They only have openings for Cabin Services Assistant. Just wondering if its different here in Dubai πŸ™‚ Hoping for your response. God bless!

    • thedubaidiaries
      July 15, 2016 / 11:20 am

      Hi Deejay! Happy to hear you found my blog πŸ™‚ I don’t think they’ve actively stopped hiring Filipinos as cabin crew, but since you’re already based in Dubai my suggestion would be to go to an open day here in Dubai and try from there. I’ve flown with plenty of crew who got recruited from Dubai! Good luck and maybe see you in the skies πŸ™‚ xx

  7. BEATRIZ β™₯
    July 8, 2016 / 9:45 pm

    Hi Rachel! ☺ I recently discovered your blog and I absolutly love it!! β™₯
    I’m Beatriz, I’m 16 years old and I’m from Lisbon,Portugal. I was always, since I know myself, passioned about travel the world and meet new people, new cultures and new ways to challenge myself. Lately I’ve been setting a huge goal: become a cabin crew (for Emirates, of course). I’m good with my English (at least I think so) and I truly believe that I fit into this company.
    I know I can only aplly with 21 years old but I have a question for you. I was born with a birthmark in my right leg in a “white area”. Its oval shaped with 2.5cmx1.5cm and darker than my skin tone but it’s not a tattoo or a scar. I was wondering if this will be decisive when I apply to Emirates. I know we can’t have any tattoo in a visible area but this was not my choice and it’s smaller than one square inch.
    Please let me know if you know something about this or if you can discover something because I really want to become part of the Emirates family but first I need to make sure I completly fit in.

    Thanks for your time,
    Keep writting and enjoy your flights.

    Beatriz πŸ˜‰

    • thedubaidiaries
      July 14, 2016 / 6:45 pm

      Hi Beatriz! Glad to hear you love my blog πŸ™‚ I shouldn’t think that a small birthmark like that would be any problem at all, especially as we have to wear skin coloured tights for work! Good luck for the future! xx

  8. Rosanne
    July 8, 2016 / 7:55 am

    I saw some of your coworkers in the Chelsea Hotel in Toronto, Canada last month.
    I was just amazed at the uniforms and how proper everyone looked. Everyone had a smile on as it was a part of the uniform. They even let me get a picture and the guys asked me to get theirs also!
    You have an amazing job!

    • thedubaidiaries
      July 14, 2016 / 6:37 pm

      Hi Rosanne! Aw that’s so awesome, I’ve only done a Toronto flight once but I’d love to go back and re-visit the Niagara Falls! Glad to hear everyone looked good even after a 14 hour flight still, haha! πŸ˜€ x

  9. Suzanne
    July 6, 2016 / 4:43 pm

    I discovered your blog almost half a year ago. I really like the way you write and you got me inspired. I decided to apply for emirates got hired. Thanks to your posts as well as they really gave me the information that I needed to prepare myself. Now I’ve been flying for one month and I love it as much as you do!
    I also have a blog were I post my own posts as well (www.suusdejong.nl). Unfortunately it’s in Dutch so you won’t be able to read it.
    But Anyway I want to thank you for inspiring me and a lot of others by sharing your stories and positivity. I hope to do the same for the people who read my blog as well.

    By the way, Social house is really that nice as you mentioned. I love it too!
    I hope we will fly together one day. πŸ™‚

    Greetz Suus

  10. Amie
    July 6, 2016 / 2:47 am

    Hi Rachel! Just wondering can you still bid for destinations even if it’s your lowest seniority month? I’m asking because I curious if you could bid for destinations in this month that wouldn’t be as popular as other destinations! Love the blog!

    Do you have any plans what to bid for next month?

    Amie x

    • thedubaidiaries
      July 14, 2016 / 6:36 pm

      Hi Amie! Yes you can, for example last month I bid for Switzerland (you can bid for the specific city or just the country in general) and I was rostered 2 flights to Zurich. If you bid for more popular flights it’s quite unlikely that you’ll get them though! Next month I bid for Hong Kong (hopefully I’ll be able to catch up with my old flatmate who lives there now), Bangkok (need a massage, haha!), Phuket, Seychelles (unlikely that I’ll get those but it’s worth a try, haha!) and Sydney. Hopefully the roster will be out soon and we’ll see if my bids worked! x

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