This text initially appeared on Enterprise Insider.
This as-told-to essay relies on a transcribed dialog with Arta Uma Upmale, a 26-year-old social-media supervisor and part-time flight attendant at airBaltic, Latvia’s flagship service airline. The next has been edited for size and readability.
I began at airBaltic in 2021 as a social-media supervisor. I liked my job, after which it received even higher — I had the prospect to develop into a part-time flight attendant.
After pandemic restrictions lifted and air journey received again to regular, airBaltic wanted further plane workers, so it launched its “Workplace within the Sky” program. It permits the corporate’s workplace staff to bear cabin-crew coaching and take flying shifts a number of occasions a month round their full-time jobs.
I used to be a little bit of an anxious flyer, however I utilized. I noticed it as an opportunity to make further revenue — offered and supported by my employer. I used to be interested in what the cabin-crew job was like. I additionally needed to expertise the coaching, which I believed can be enjoyable.
I used to be chosen for additional coaching after passing well being checks and psychological assessments.
I had no thought how in depth cabin-crew coaching was
Whether or not you are a full-time or part-time cabin crew member, there are not any shortcuts. We had been taught the ins and outs of the plane and the best way to deal with all conditions and situations that may occur on board — from sad passengers to first assist and emergency landings.
We needed to learn tons of of pages of coaching supplies and manuals. There have been dozens of assessments and sensible workout routines. As soon as, we needed to role-play a passenger rescue mission after an emergency water touchdown. We had been dumped right into a pool with life vests on whereas synthetic waves tossed us round and helicopter sounds performed within the background.
I spent three evenings per week and each second Saturday within the coaching middle for 4 months. It was exhausting however fascinating. AirBaltic additionally paid me a stipend on high of my wage your complete time, which was further motivation to hold on.
When the coaching concluded, I needed to take a number of coaching flights and move a line examine. That is when a cabin-crew teacher observes the trainee’s work throughout a flight earlier than they will begin flying duties.
I began coaching in October 2022 and did my first shift in April 2023.
Now, I largely fly two occasions a month and as much as 4 occasions a month throughout peak season. I am now not anxious when flying — I understand how the plane works, so each little sound, beep, or squeak makes excellent sense to me.
I take pleasure in being a part of the cabin crew, however my precedence is my workplace job
Balancing flying with my workplace work includes strategic scheduling. I take early morning, night, and weekend shifts to make sure I do not miss any commitments for my full-time job.
For instance, a fast 6 a.m. flight from Riga to Helsinki and again means I am accomplished by 10 a.m. and might be again within the workplace for my working day.
On weekends, I desire longer flights. My favourite is Lisbon, which is a 4 ½ hour flight from Riga. I take pleasure in sharing journey suggestions with passengers and noting concepts for my future journeys.
Longer flights equal greater earnings, too. Flying shifts are paid by the hour. As an present airBaltic worker, I obtain additional time pay.
If I’ve free time on flights, I work on my each day duties as a social-media supervisor. I speak to colleagues and passengers for content material inspiration, take pictures and movies, and draft posts. On lengthy flights, I often have extra time for it.
An element-time cabin-crew job fits me completely
Because the coaching was accomplished, this facet gig hasn’t taken up a lot of my free time. It is fairly predictable — so long as it does not intrude with my workplace duties, I do know I am going to have no less than two shifts a month. This position can also be a very good match for me; I am a individuals particular person and like taking good care of passengers.
On the flip facet, being a flight attendant just isn’t for you should you do not like working with individuals. This job requires sturdy communication expertise and empathy. And it’s a must to be prepared for unending coaching, assessments, and line checks to fulfill the trade’s security necessities. Some could discover this burdensome.
In my case, this job additionally requires me to be extremely versatile if I would like further shifts. I’ll get a name throughout the day to cowl one that very same night, with little time to consider it.
Combining flight attending with one other job is extra sensible than I believed
The “Workplace within the Sky” program could also be distinctive to airBaltic, however the flexibility of being cabin crew is common. I’ve colleagues who work as cabin crew full time and mix their work with being architects, physiotherapists, and private trainers.
A cabin-crew job might be as versatile or fastened as you want, relying on the kind of roster you select. In the event you like touring whereas pursuing one other career, changing into a part of a cabin crew is one technique to do it.