Cabin Crew Q&A

I recently asked you guys on Instagram if you had any questions related to Emirates, flying, or general life as cabin crew, and here are your questions and answers! If you have any more that I haven’t answered here, you can check out my previous Q&A, or leave a comment down below. πŸ™‚

Which destinations are the most and least popular for crew?
Most of the destinations which are places that people would like to go on holiday are the popular ones, such as Rio de Janeiro and Buenos Aires (a combined 5 day trip), Mauritius, Phuket, Bali, etc. The least popular are usually the turnarounds (where you go there and back without a layover), especially the ones which leave in the middle of the night!

What are your highlights and lowlights of your time as an air hostess?
Highlights would of course have to be all of the amazing countries I’ve been to, including places I’d barely even heard of before going Emirates. Lowlights…probably dealing with rude, nasty passengers who think they own the plane (luckily you never have to see them again as soon as the flight lands!) as well as cleaning up all sorts of bodily fluids, vomit etc!

Among all the cities you’ve visited which would you love to return to?
There are still so many places that I’m yet to visit, but if I could choose anywhere to return to it would probably be Florence. I spent an afternoon there with my boyfriend whilst he worked the flight to Bologna, so we only had 24 hours and it wasn’t even close to enough! I fell in love with Italy straight away, and Florence just has it all, from the amazing architecture to the best food ever.

Do you know any flight attendants who failed the interview for Emirates the first time but then tried again and succeeded?
Yes, there are plenty who didn’t pass the interview the first time and tried again and made it! If you’ve failed but really want it, I’d say just try and work out what might have gone wrong the first time, prepare yourself and go for it!

How much time before the flight do you have to be at the airport?
We have to check in 2 hours before a flight for our briefing.

Can you eat food on the plane that is meant for passengers/leftover?
Yes, once the service in economy or business class is finished we can have whatever is leftover. We also have crew meals which are just for us. In first class it’s a “dine on demand” service, which means we can’t eat any of the passenger meals until just before landing.

Do you make your own meals to eat on the plane or do you eat the aircraft meals?
A mixture of both really – depends on what I have in my fridge and how lazy I’m feeling! πŸ˜‰ If I’m cooking something anyway I’ll quite often make double so I have something to take on the flight, but sometimes I just eat whatever is onboard.

Do flight attendants use the hot water on board for drinks and food for themselves? I’m always reading how dirty the water system is on board airplanes so I wondered if it’s the same for Emirates!
I have to say I’ve read plenty of things online about the water system never being cleaned etc., but I honestly can’t survive a flight without tea or coffee so I definitely use it, haha! I have no idea how much truth there is to it, but surely if we are serving all our hot drinks (and drinking them ourselves as well!) it can’t be that bad…hopefully!

What’s your favourite destination?
I honestly think this is the hardest question on the list! I can’t pick a favourite but if I had to narrow it down I would choose Cape Town for the incredible scenery, Mauritius for the beautiful beaches, Hong Kong (although I can’t pinpoint anything specific, I just love the vibes there!), anywhere in Australia just for the amazing coffee, and probably a few cities in Europe as it’s a slice of home!

Is there a list of make-up the Emirates crew can/can’t wear? Which lipstick do you use?
Yes, we have to wear foundation + powder, blusher/bronzer, eyeshadow/eyeliner, mascara, eyebrows should be groomed, and of course the famous red lipstick πŸ™‚ There is no specific brand that we have to use, and I have about 5 different red lipsticks that I alternate between! Mostly I use the Sephora Collection Color Lip Last Lipstick in No. 20, or the Kat Von D Everlasting Liquid Lipstick in Nosferatu, but that’s fairly dark so you have to use a light hand!


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


  1. December 13, 2019 / 2:33 pm

    hello thank you for your time i would like to ask you my date of joining is 12 january 2019 so when the accommodation will be offred

    • thedubaidiaries
      January 9, 2020 / 7:33 pm

      Congratulations, how exciting! I think you should get your accommodation quite soon, if not already. Do you know where you’ll be living?

  2. Ula
    December 20, 2017 / 1:44 am

    Hi Rachel, I known this post is pretty old but I’ve got a question. When you’ve got a layover is there any exact time you should be at your hotel? (Of course except the wake up call time) I mean do you have to tell anybody where or for how long You’re going out?

    • thedubaidiaries
      January 7, 2018 / 2:56 pm

      Hi Ula! Apart from the wake up/ pick up, you don’t have to be at the hotel at any specific time, you can officially only go within a 50km radius of the hotel but this is not always followed, haha! πŸ™‚

      • ula
        January 8, 2018 / 2:19 am

        Thanks for your reply Rachel! πŸ™‚

      • Brieghe
        April 6, 2018 / 4:57 am

        I’ve really enjoyed seeing your blog! I know in prev post you mentioned this but I was wondering if it’s just a small minority of the cabin crew in their late 20s? I am and I just worry I would feel to old. Also if you know what the chances of new cabin crew getting good/ decent location in Dubai are.

        • thedubaidiaries
          April 9, 2018 / 8:12 pm

          Hi Brieghe! Don’t worry about feeling old, I fly with crew who are in their 30’s and 40’s (and +) every flight! Lots of the crew tend to join in their early 20’s but there are definitely people who join older than that. It’s pretty much pure luck as to where you get located when you join!

  3. Hannah
    December 7, 2017 / 7:11 pm

    Hi Rachel

    The best blog ever!

    I just have quick question, is there possible to apply and successfully start to work for Emirates in your 30s or 40s,or even later.

    I was hired when I was 23,didn’t make it through the training for various reasons. Then child came and now, age 27 I am starting to work as a FA for short haul England based airlines, hoping Virgin Atlantic would be the next.

    Thank you for information

    • thedubaidiaries
      December 9, 2017 / 12:25 pm

      Hi Hannah! Thanks so much for reading, so happy you like my blog πŸ™‚
      I definitely know of people who have joined in their early 30s but not really in their 40s….but at the moment there is a freeze on hiring anyway! Good luck with your new airline and maybe see you at Emirates in a few years πŸ™‚ xx

  4. Curry
    September 22, 2017 / 5:50 pm

    Dear Rachel,

    Hello, Rachel, I’m from Singapore. Thank you for the blog post. It is very interesting to read! You seem to enjoy your cabin crew life a lot and I hope that I can live the life that you have someday.

    What are some advises that you can give to someone who plan to be a cabin crew in the future?

    10 months ago, I gave up an opportunity to intern as a cabin crew at an airlines. Being an adventurous person, I chose for an overseas internship opportunity at Mauritius. 6 months seem to be long time for me to reflect what I really want to do after my college graduation.

    Do you have any advice for me? Thank!

  5. August 25, 2017 / 2:13 pm

    Hi Rachel πŸ™‚
    Thank you for the blog post. Seeing a notification in my email of a new blog post on The Dubai Diaries always makes me smile because I so enjoy reading them.
    There are two things I am curious about with multi-sector flights. Are there any flights other than BKK – HKG where there is a turnaround for the crew during the multi-sector instead of a layover at each destination? Also, are there any flights other than LUN – HRE where the crew have a stop the ground at the first destination and then continue to the next destination?

    • thedubaidiaries
      August 29, 2017 / 4:13 pm

      Thanks so much for reading, glad you enjoy my posts! πŸ™‚ I think BKK-HKG is the only one like that (at least that’s the only one I can think of right now!) and other that LUN-HRE we used to have LCA-ATH (which I Did a post about back in January I think) and now it’s LCA-MLA. That’s all that I can think of, most of our flights are just direct ones! πŸ™‚

      • HOMINLEE
        August 31, 2017 / 6:26 pm

        I asked a question in last week, but I have more question. Which country do you see the most on Emirates airplanes?, Which language speak more English or Arabic on Emirates? Thank you~

        • thedubaidiaries
          August 31, 2017 / 8:38 pm

          We have people from more than 120 countries working for Emirates, so a whole mix really! πŸ™‚ Everybody is required to speak English whereas not everybody speaks Arabic (there only has to be one person who speaks it per flight).

          • HOMINLEE
            September 1, 2017 / 5:18 pm

            Thank you very much~~ I will learn to make English conversation fluent, and I will learn Arabic for one person.

      • HOMINLEE
        August 31, 2017 / 6:33 pm

        Sorry I misspelled my reply somewhere else γ…œ γ…œ

  6. Emily
    August 25, 2017 / 6:04 am

    What a fantastic post, Rachel! So enjoyed reading this, i love posts like these!!

    • thedubaidiaries
      August 29, 2017 / 4:09 pm

      Thanks so much Emily, glad you enjoyed it! πŸ™‚

  7. August 24, 2017 / 9:09 pm

    Nice Q&A. First of all, congrats on your blog being named in Top50 Cabin crew blog. You must have plenty of readers by now. Have anyone recognized you during flights or layovers? Do you take it as a compliment or makes you uncomfortable as some intrusion into your privacy? I learn a lot from your blogs.Keep it up.

    • thedubaidiaries
      August 29, 2017 / 4:07 pm

      Ken, I have warned you already. Stay away from me, do not contact me again, and if you EVER dare to show up uninvited in my crew hotel multiple times again I will make sure a restraining order is taken against you. The captain already told you he will make sure it’s a federal offence and he was not joking, so take this as a warning.

  8. Abbey
    August 24, 2017 / 8:28 pm

    I have a funny question! What happens if a cabin crew mistakenly sleep off or did not wake up to wake up call in lay over?thanks

    • thedubaidiaries
      August 29, 2017 / 4:05 pm

      Hi Abbey! Hm well I guess it is possible, we get a wake-up call from the hotel in the room but if you somehow managed to go back to sleep or something, then when everyone is downstairs in the lobby at check-out the purser would do a count and realise that you are missing, so they would call your room again or get someone to go up and knock on your door! If you weren’t in the hotel and completely missed the pick up then I guess you would get in quite a bit of trouble, though I don’t know exactly haha!

  9. Mari
    August 24, 2017 / 6:26 pm

    Thanks for sharing your life as cabincrew with us. Glad to see Cape Town has the best scenery, as We live about 100km from CPT up the West Coast.

    • thedubaidiaries
      August 29, 2017 / 4:03 pm

      Thanks for reading! I’m sure it’s just as beautiful where you live as well πŸ™‚

  10. hominlee
    August 24, 2017 / 4:08 pm

    Thanks to you I can know more about cabin crew. Thank you ~~~
    I have some question for you.
    I saw in drama, cabin crew work in airplane and office too. In reality, If i became a cabin crew in Emirates, I work in only airplane or office too? And if work in office too, what do you do in the office?

    • thedubaidiaries
      August 24, 2017 / 4:39 pm

      Thanks for reading! πŸ™‚ At Emirates as cabin crew you would only work onboard. If you were to become a trainer you would work part-time on ground (in training college) as well, but most people who work in the office are not cabin crew as well.

      • HOMINLEE
        August 24, 2017 / 6:46 pm

        Ah ha! Thank you for your prompt reply~

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