Now, which one of you ladies have never ever dreamt of being a flight stewardess when you were younger? I believe so many of us have that dream at least for one small minute… I know I did… especially those days when I was young-er (I’m still young!) when the airport was based in Subang… those cabin crew were scattered all over PJ and I would always catch a glimpse of groups of smartly-attired, uniform-clad cabin crew in their MAS vans transporting them to and from Subang Airport.
I never really re-visit that dream once my height stopped at 150cm, plus that sudden drive and belief that I would make a good (and glamorous) medical doctor ☺
Anyways, it all started with a boring and long night, anticipating the arrival of my the one to return from London when I decided to finally click on that icon on facebook. It links to the Malaysia Airlines Travel page and I decided to be one of its fans.
They had a contest running and it was pretty simple – to just complete the sentence – no slogans required and nothing additional to purchase in relation to the contest. I didn’t give it much hoot and read what others’ wrote. The contest was open only to bloggers and 10 will be picked as winners. Originality is key and I suddenly realised that there is one thing I had always wanted to learn from looking at them female flight stewardess. Thus, I wrote, “I want to attend MAS cabin crew training because I've always wanted to know how the ladies don their sanggul... it looks so simple yet I have always failed in making my hair look that smooth and professionally done :D”.
The next day, after returning home from picking up the one at the airport, I clicked on the page to show him what I had done and was surprised to note that I was picked as a winner…
So, there I was… attending the session with much hopes, although nothing much could be learnt from that half-day training in comparison to those actual months of training. What do I expect, right... it's not as if we were all getting certs :) but at least I'd know how it feels like for a cabin crew to go through the training programme.
What I instantly noticed upon arriving at the Malaysia Airlines Academy was the fact that all of us bloggers were treated like journalists… anyone in the communications industry would agree how special journalists are usually treated. And I guess, from those years of so many parties telling the corporate sector to take bloggers seriously as they are perceived as ‘new-age reporters’, Malaysia Airlines is probably one of them who has taken the first step to recognise bloggers as part of their branding, CR and media relations activity.
We were warmly greeted by a big group of people from the airline, mainly those from the Media Relations department, Training and their PR consultant. That was when I realised how serious they think of us bloggers…
Mr Gunalan led the briefing at the start of the programme and Tengku Evelyn then elaborated on the seriousness of Cabin Crew Training. After that, we were brought to a grooming class where it was already filled with attractive new recruits. My hopes to learn to do the bun the MAS-flight stewardess way dashed out the door when I realised that it isn’t as easy as one thinks. A cabin crew goes thru a 4-day grooming training when we were only allotted a good one hour for grooming and deportment.
The main highlight was letting us know how important make up is to a flight stewardess, as made perfectly clear by the external consultant as she picked out a fresh face to be transformed into a glam babe. I was afraid seeing how thick the make up was on the consultant's face but surprisingly, she did a really good job on Elena. In fact, albeit her thick make up on, she looked really good in photos.
step-by-step explanation while the bloggers go wild with their shutters ;)
tadaaaa... see how make up could brighten up a person's already sweet face...
I guess the flight stewardess all need specific type of long-wearing make-up as they need to maintain a clean, matte complexion so that they look fresh and sweet at all times despite working under cabin pressure where us ladies are always advised to wear minimal make-up to prevent from clogged pores and foundation turning cakey.
Despite not being able to learn to do the 'sanggul', I still managed to get my hair done ;P with specific instruction to only do a style that doesn’t make me look extra chubby (ahaks!).
The deportment class was even more interesting as my eyes wander the entire room… they had complete props – dining table and chairs, sofa and even a runway with mirrors all around the room.
The eye-opener would be attending their first aid class and safety training. We managed to catch those going for their refresher course, at a time when the trainer was going into specifics on a medical condition. Like, you think those flight attendants would only stand pretty and serve you meals… you are dead wrong. I was damn impressed… especially seeing them with dummy babies, trying to revive and help an infant from choking. That struck a chord in me as I couldn’t imagine what to do (*touch wood*) if that were to happen to my baby. It – was – scary.
As for safety training, I must say that I have a safety passport which will expire in another year… and I went for the basic first aid training and offshore safety training about 2 years ago but I hardly remember the specifics until my memory was refreshed when I saw the requirements for their safety training.
to each other to keep each other warm and prevent excessive lethargy;
larger circle at the sight of an airplane flying over to attract attention. am i right?
My point is, this half-a-day opportunity made me see that the career of a cabin crew shouldn’t be taken lightly… you see them pretty, you see them only serving you meals only because nothing eventful ever appears while you fly... well, at least not on those flights I took…
A flight attendant in Malaysia Airlines not only have to look pretty (and smart), they are also equipped with very important knowledge during those emergency situations. I mean, do most of us really know what hypoglycemic means? Do you know how to treat it? More importantly, can you tell from seeing someone that he/she is showing symptoms of hypoglycemia? And how do you treat a hypoglycemic in a coma, effectively?
of the first aid session. all of them were evaluated strictly since there
is no way they could gamble away human life in the air.
the trainees while i busily snapped photos non-stop for Khairul
using his camera.
In this sense, I guess you should realise that nothing’s ever easy in life… you may think a career looks simple (although this one has its perks, eh?), easy and glamorous but everything always has its pros and cons.
camera... truly an experience one may never forget ;)
photo courtesy of William