We recently caught up with Victor Florenca Ortin, Learning & Development Executive – Trainer and former cabin crew about how he became cabin crew, his experience in the aviation industry and his advice for aspiring cabin crew.
Why did you want to become Cabin Crew
Since I was quite young (around the age of 13) I started admiring everything related to the aviation industry.
I remember at home I would watch “airport”, an old reality TV show about aviation professionals working at London Heathrow airport.
Moreover, since I was a kid, I used to take planes as a UM…and I would have a lot of respect for cabin crew members. Those were the times when children were still allowed into the cockpit.
Having family abroad and in general growing up in a family were travelling was the norm, I used to take planes quite often. It was on a flight from Atlanta (USA) to Barcelona (Spain) that I said…right! “I think I wanna do this when I am older”. So I did!
What was the application process like?
To date, I have worked as a Cabin Crew Member, Cabin Manager and Crew Trainer for three different international airlines. But the application process has been very similar in all of
– 1st. The online application process.
– 2nd. Some sort of pre-screening in the form of tests or phone screening.
– 3rd. Attending an all-day assessment day.
– 4rd. Being offered a pre-employment training contract.
– 5th. Fly and work onboard the airline’s planes.
How long did it take you to hear back from each step of the process
It usually took between 7 to 14 days per each step of the process.
How long did the whole process take from start to your first flight?
In all the airlines that I have worked for, the overall process, that is, from applying up until starting training, took around 3 to 4 months. Patience is always required as there are usually many formalities and checks that must be carried out prior to being employed as a CabinCrew Member.
What was your first flight experience like?
It was an amazing experience. Although I remember I was very nervous in a positive way of course. As I left my country at the age of 18 in order to achieve my dream to become a Cabin Crew Member.
My first duty ever, was a 3 sector day from London City Airport (UK) to Zurich (Switzerland), back to London City and onto Geneva (Switzerland). Layover in Geneva and one flight back
to London City the day after.
Who was/is your role model?
I’ve had many inspiring /role models throughout my career, but all of them share one thing in common, they are passionate and enthusiastic about their jobs.
What is the best part of your job?
To me, it’s been always about caring for people, enjoying being part of a team and of course the non-routine life-style.
What is the most difficult part of your job?
The flying life-style isn’t always easy, especially if any major events happen during your flying duties and you can’t be there because you are too far away from home or you can’t take enough time off to be with the people you love the most.
What kind of characteristics do you need to be Cabin Crew?
I would say, you have to be an excellent communicator and comfortable in a team-work environment. Moreover, I think Cabin Crew members need to be resilient and comfortable working in a highly-regulated industry that is, following rules and procedures often under pressure.
How long does it take you to get ready in your uniform/makeup before a flight?
If I report at home/ crew base, I would get ready under an hour. But I’ve always been the kind of crew member that thinks that being on time is being late already….So whether at home base or reporting in a hotel somewhere in the world. I always allow plenty of time to be ready at least 20-25 minutes before pick up/ briefing.
What 3 tips do you have for aspiring Cabin Crew:
– Prepare to master the recruitment process and do not be let down with an unsuccessful outcome. There will always be opportunities for us all.
– Be kind.
– Be always yourself.
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