By Beth 08 Nov 2022 6 min read

My journey to becoming Senior Cabin Crew at 24 years old

We recently spoke to Gerardo Enrique Vázquez, a 24-year-old Senior Cabin Crew at airBaltic.Gerardo shared the career path he took to become Senior Cabin Crew, his favourite memory from his career, and advice he would give to aspiring Cabin Crew professionals. 


What career path did you take to become Senior Cabin Crew?

I left my home country, Venezuela, when I had just turned 20 years old. My career path went all over the place ever since, from selling solar panels to being a salesman in a shoe store. After a while, I started working at Madrid’s airport, and that’s when I truly fell in love with aviation. Looking at the aircraft's and the crews walking down the airport… I couldn’t stop imagining myself being there.

I worked hard for it, it took me over a year to join my first airline, and after my first flight, I knew that I was in the right place. I was doing something I loved. As time went on, and I gained more experience, I realized that I could jump onto the next step: Being a Senior Cabin Crew. I have been pursuing the position for a while, and I was very vocal about it. Luckily enough, my airline opened SCCM positions 10 months after I joined, and I complied with all of the requirements. So I gave it a shot and now I’m here!  Crossing goals off my checklist one step at a time. I still want to achieve a lot more in my aviation career, but I’m grateful for everything I’ve been through so far.


What advice would you give to someone who was wanting to excel in their Cabin Crew career?

Have a great support system. In most cases, you will have to relocate, so keep in mind that in order to fulfill your Cabin Crew dreams, you will have to leave a lot behind, including friends and family, Don't worry though, after a while you’ll be able to visit your loved ones with a whole bunch of new stories –How your first flight was, what destinations you visited and some anecdotes with passengers.  Even though it is a lonely job, you meet amazing people along the way. That’s the beauty of aviation, you are always working with various colleagues from different countries, allowing you to learn a lot about their cultures. And sharing yours as well!


What is your favorite memory from your Cabin Crew career so far?

My first flight to Dubai left me speechless for quite some time. It was a 6.5-hour flight from Riga, leaving me exhausted by the time I arrived at the hotel! But I kept thinking to myself “Okay, I am in Dubai, I need to go out and explore”. I went to the most tourist place: Burj Khalifa. I could not believe that I was standing in front of the tallest building in the world. –Little me living in Venezuela would’ve never thought I could do something like that. And yes, I shed a tear when they light up the skyscraper at night, alongside the fountain show. And as dramatic as it sounds, I Will Always Love You by Whitney was playing in the background. The perfect combination for a crying session.


What are some of the hardships about working as Cabin Crew?

There are days that seem like they never end. Having four sectors with your Show time at 3 in the morning, leaving you begging for coffee for the whole day… And then, the day after you can have showtime at 11 pm. You’ll have a pretty messed-up sleeping pattern. Loneliness is also one huge part of our job in my opinion. You are always surrounded by people, but at the end of your shift, you go back to your hotel room to video call your relatives that are thousands of kilometers away. To keep a romantic relationship is very complicated, not everyone understands that you’ll be home for 1 day and away for 5 on a weekly basis… But then again, we must be willing to give up on certain stuff if we want to continue on this career path. It’s not a regular job, it’s a lifestyle.


What would be your top piece of advice for someone who wants to join the aviation industry?

Be patient and optimistic. Getting into your first airline is not easy –There are usually a lot of filters you have to go through, a lot of paperwork, and a lot of stress involved.

Keep your eyes peeled for any job opportunities. Airlines hire at the most random times and for a short period of time, so keep your CV updated and be ready to apply whenever you have the chance. Also, learning a new language is a huge asset to joining an airline, the more languages you speak, the better.

Lastly, keep an open mind to opportunities: One day an airline could require you to move away to another continent, with people from all over the world with different beliefs than yours. Welcome everyone’s differences with open arms, because, at the end of the day, we are all here with the same passion- Aviation.