Red lips is ev­ery woman’s se­cret weapon


How do you man­age to look so im­mac­u­late, es­pe­cially on those long-haul flights?

I get my­self into a good skin care rou­tine be­cause we work in an en­closed en­vi­ron­ment for long hours. Red lips are ev­ery woman’s se­cret weapon. It can brighten up your face. Stay hy­drated. We have heard this re­peat­edly, but work­ing or trav­el­ling on a air­craft leads to a de­crease in hy­dra­tion.

What is your great­est job sat­is­fac­tion?

A perk of the job is get­ting to ex­pe­ri­ence the des­ti­na­tions our pas­sen­gers travel to. I also ad­mire ev­ery time an al­most 80-ton me­tal tube (air­craft) takes off safely into fa­mil­iar skies.

Can you share your top three fond­est mem­o­ries?

My first flight. Grow­ing up in a small town, I was never ex­posed to the idea of be­com­ing an flight at­ten­dant un­til my cousin, who was fly­ing at the time, gave me the op­por­tu­nity to fly. On that day I was lucky enough to join the pi­lots on the flight deck for the take-off. In 2010, when South Africa hosted the soccer world cup, it was a great ex­pe­ri­ence to meet all the en­thu­si­as­tic sup­port­ers vis­it­ing us. We did a char­tered flight to Vic­to­ria Falls in Zim­babwe. Usu­ally, when we land there, we fly straight back to Jo­han­nes­burg. On that day, we had a lay­over and my­self and the crew took to the ma­jes­tic Vic­to­ria wa­ter­falls. Un­for­get­table.

De­bunk the mis­con­cep­tions around your job. The job is glam­orous, to some ex­tent. Many flight at­ten­dants don’t re­alise what the job en­tails un­til they’re do­ing it. With an es­ti­mate of 100 000 flights per day glob­ally, there is work to be done. With that said, we lead nor­mal lives. Our train­ing as cabin crew con­sists of 90% safety and emer­gency drills. We undergo strict as­sess­ments ev­ery few months with a yearly re­cur­rent train­ing. This en­sures a high stan­dard of safety.

What’s a typ­i­cal day in the life of a flight at­ten­dant?

We are given an in­di­vid­ual work ros­ter and it dif­fers day to day. An ex­am­ple of an early morn­ing four-sec­tor day: wake up at 3am, prepa­ra­tion for the day starts at 5am, first flight takes off at 6.20am, the last flight lands at 2.30pm and the work day ends at 3pm. Hav­ing off days dur­ing the week gives me the op­por­tu­nity to run er­rands with­out the bus­tle of crowds.

As some­one who spends a lot of time in the air, what are your pack­ing tips?

Pack only what you need for the du­ra­tion of your stay. I al­ways have a small back­pack with me.

What’s your must-have ac­ces­sory on a flight?

Wet wipes and your favourite mois­turiser. I have a multi-pur­pose eight-hour cream I keep close by.

When trav­el­ling, as a reg­u­lar per­son, how do you find the shoe be­ing on the other foot, so to speak?

I will ad­mit queue­ing in line for check-in at the se­cu­rity gate and for board­ing is a test of any­one’s pa­tience.

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