Surabhi Roy, 47, who’s been a flight attendant for more than 20 years, loves her job. “The best part about being an air hostess is meeting new people every other day. You start understanding different cultures, without having to read about them,” she said. “It’s like a paid holiday, so I make the most of it.”
With access to multiple destinations, the best hotels, good food and exposure to different ethnicities and cultures, the life of a flight attendant can be glamorous.
But, adds Surabhi, it’s not all a holiday. “For most people, travel means relaxation. Especially while flying, people tend to sleep. As an airhostess, I travel with duties and responsibilities,” she said.
The job is definitely strenuous, adds Juhi Seth, 26, who’s been in the profession for five years. “We’ve got to be up and about with heels on at all times. During a nine-hour flight, we walk up and down the aisle for nearly six hours. And any delay in flight timings means cancelling all your plans for the day. It’s really taxing.”
For most flight attendants, the shift timings are crazy. “After a while, our body clocks get used to the odd timings. Still, waking up at 3am and getting ready – makeup and all – can be tiresome. There are times when I’ve been part of the stand-by crew, so I have to be present in case an air hostess pulls out at the last minute. Most times, everyone turns up, and I’ve had to return after wasting both time and energy becoming picture perfect,” said Seth.
25/11/12 Priyanka Maheshwari/Daily News & Analysis