Cabin Crew Life: Understanding our roster

You guys love hearing about what it’s like to be Cabin Crew with Emirates, so I thought I’d answer your questions about our roster! Please do keep in mind that I am a GR2, meaning that I work in the Economy Class cabin. Rostering is different depending on your role within the company. As a result, I can only speak to to how scheduling works for me.¬†ūüėä

Each month we have the opportunity to request up to 5 flights and/or days off- this is referred to as “bidding”. There is no guarantee that we will get what we ask for, but it is a chance to tell scheduling where we’d like to go. Whether these preferences are granted or not depends largely on legalities, language requirements, the number of flights available etc.

There are also¬†“groups” that Cabin Crew are randomly assigned to when we join. Many of us think that depending on which group we are in, the chances of getting what we prefer are higher depending on which month it is. In actuality, as GR2s this supposed grouping scheme does not apply to us, so I‘m not going to confuse you guys and get into that any further.

The truth is that when it comes to rostering nothing is guaranteed and the system that Emirates uses tries to allocate as many preferences as it can for us each month -regardless of seniority. There are over 13,000 Cabin Crew working for Emirates across all grades, so you can imagine how difficult it is to take all of our preferences into consideration!

About once a year Cabin Crew are rostered for reserve month; meaning that we receive few to nil scheduled flights and that each night our roster will change around 6pm for the following day. Based on Emirates operational needs, we could be scheduled for a day off, a flight, airport standby or cross-qualification standby.

Our roster for the following month is emailed to us two weeks prior to it’s start, around the 16th. This gives us time to swap flights (trade) with our colleagues if need be. While I can’t show you an actual picture of my roster, here is a sample of what one may look like:

LV = Leave

SRA = Service Training

XX = Days off

The airport codes represent the destination we are flying to and the numbers above them indicate the trip/flight number and the date of our departure. The arrows (–>) mean that our flight continues over a few days. If it is our reserve month, our roster will say “RSV” instead of having airport codes.

It’s exciting not knowing where each month will take you. If you could choose 5 places to go, which destinations would you pick? Let me know in the comments below!

Be sure to subscribe to my YouTube channel and follow me on social media to see where I am in the world and where I’m going next!

Next Stop: Casablanca, Morocco

IG: @LipstickAndLuggage
YouTube: @LipstickandLuggage
FB: @LipstickandLuggage
Twitter: @KelseyBelleDXB

Disclaimer: My posts are my personal views and and do not represent the views of my company.

Layover Life: Toronto, Canada

People tell me I think to much. Whether that’s meant to be an insult or not, I don’t disagree with them. I’ve had a lot on my mind these days, and having the opportunity to operate a flight home to Toronto, Canada last week gave me the chance I needed to clear my head.

Dubai is an exciting place to live, but with so much going on in the city all the time it’s nice to get away. I’ve spent nearly a month here¬†on ground, so you can imagine how good it felt to get back into the air and of course, to operate a flight home.

My layovers in Toronto, Canada usually consist of a visit to Burlington, Ontario to see my family. My parents don’t live in the city, so I tend meet them halfway at my aunt’s place for dinner. When I’m not with my loved ones, you can find me catching up with¬†friends at local hot-spots, running around the downtown core trying to get my errands done, or roaming up and down¬†Queens Quay taking in the picturesque views of the Waterfront.¬†It’s hard though. With less than 52 hours to spare, I can’t see everyone I’d like to see and do everything I’d like to do.

Lately, I’ve found myself wondering what things would be like if I didn’t make the move overseas. I think it’s because I’m starting to realize that being a flight attendant isn’t necessarily a career for me, but more of a temporary position that has allowed me to escape the confines of the concrete jungle¬†for a while.

That’s not to say that I’m not happy with where I am right now. I’ve accomplished a lot since I’ve made the life-changing decision to join Emirates. I’ve been to 32 countries, done things I’ve never thought I’d do and made friends that come from places I didn’t even know existed.

My social media presence has also increased dramatically, and I am constantly receiving messages from people all over the world who are inspired by my writing and love of travel. This, of course, was not planned, but welcomed. I’m glad that I’ve been able to share my experience with others. To be honest, this has been one of the most rewarding parts of the job so far, and I am content in knowing that when or “if” I resign, that this attention will fade. I welcome that too.

The hardest part about leaving home¬†is not knowing when I’ll be¬†coming back. Each time I visit, returning¬†to Dubai¬†becomes a lot harder. I read a quote online recently that said:

“Once you experience travel, you will never be completely at home again, because part of your heart will always be elsewhere”

No matter where this journey takes me, I feel as though this will always be the case. My body will be in one place, but my mind, heart and soul will always be in another. <3

Next Stop: Johannessburg, South Africa

IG: @LipstickAndLuggage
FB: @LipstickandLuggage


Disclaimer: My posts are my personal views and and do not represent the views of my company.

Where I’ve Been: Toronto, Canada

Maybe it’s the roar of the engines, or the breathtaking views of the vast, endless skyline. Maybe it’s the feeling of freedom, the idea that when we fly, we are resting on a blanket of air; breezes that tear us away from the bonds restraining us to the ground. The concept of flight is truly remarkable. Although I can’t quite decide what I like most about it, I enjoy every minute I get to spend above the clouds. ‚̧

I’m currently on leave¬†in Toronto, Canada visiting friends and family. This photo was snapped on my flight to YYZ, somewhere over Turkey! I will be¬†returning to Dubai at the end of the month to operate a flight to Chicago, U.S.A and to participate in the Royal Aeronautical Society-UAE`s Young Persons Lecture Competition. I will be speaking on the topic of aviation and the impact social media has had on the industry.

My roster for the month of March should be sent to me by early next week,¬†and I’m looking forward to sharing with you what new adventures are in store for me!

Next Stop: Chicago, U.S.A

IG: @LipstickAndLuggage
FB: @LipstickandLuggage


Disclaimer: My posts are my personal views and and do not represent the views of my company.

Passenger Stories: Be kind to others

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The world is big in someways and yet so small in others. Today I wanted to share a passenger story with you about a man I’m going to refer to as “Mr. Abdullah”.

As Emirates Cabin Crew, I get to meet different people everyday that come from all¬†over the globe. Each of us carry different cultures and traditions, and each day I get to learn something new as a result. I’m going to start sharing more of these meaningful experiences with you and hope that you might share your own with me in the comments below!

This past April, I got to fly home (to Toronto, Canada) for the first time since joining Emirates in November. It was on this flight where I got to meet two gentlemen; one from Pakistan (“Mr. Abdullah”) and one from India.

The Toronto flight consists largely of families and businessmen that are travelling between their home countries and Canada for work or to visit their families.  These two men happened to be entrepreneurs who travel with Emirates frequently. Each of them shared with me stories about their loved ones and their businesses back in their home countries. In turn, I spoke to them about my life as Emirates Cabin Crew.

I was seated between the two of them, and whenever I got up to go speak to my colleagues I would offer them a drink. At the end of the flight, Mr. Abdullah¬†to turned to me and thanked me for our conversation. I remember him specifically saying “I hope that I get to fly with you on one of your flights. You have a great smile” before he disembarked, and it gave me that warm fuzzy feeling inside.

Be kind whenever possible. It’s always possible. – Dalai Lama

Eight¬†months later,¬†I was preparing refreshing towels and menus for pre-departure in the aft galley of our¬†Emirates Airbus A380 bound for YYZ¬†from DXB.¬†Pre-departure is a very busy time for Cabin Crew because during this time we are assisting customers with their baggage/seating while distributing onboard items (menus, toys etc.) at the same time. We also have to stay alert and listen for direction from our Purser (manager of the flight) over the intercom so we don’t miss any important information. It was during this time when I recognized a gentlemen seated at the back of the cabin.

When we got into the air, I checked the PIL (Passenger Information List) and confirmed that it was who I thought it was.¬†Mr. Abdullah,¬†the frequent flyer from Pakistan was on my flight!!!¬†Excited, I grabbed his preferred beverage and ran over to him with a huge smile on my face. “Your ginger ale Mr. Abdullah” I said? He looked up at me, smiled¬†and responded with “I REMEMBER YOU!”

During the flight, I invited him to the galley where we caught up and took pictures together. We were both shocked, yet very happy to see each other again!

When we arrived in Toronto, he came to me before he disembarked. Much like he did before, he looked at me, smiled and said “this is why I fly with Emirates. I can’t wait to show my wife these pictures and tell her that you remembered me”. I smiled back and replied “until next time”. I have no doubt that our paths will cross again.

Moral of this story? ¬†Be kind to others. You never know the¬†impact you could have on someones day and you never know when you’ll see that person again.

I’ll never forget him. ūüôā

Next Stop: Cebu, Philippines

IG: @LipstickAndLuggage
FB: Kelsey Belle
Twitter: @KelseyBelleDXB

Disclaimer: My posts are my personal views and and do not represent the views of my company.

Lest we forget: Honouring the fallen and remembering our Veterans

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We tend to take for granted the very things that most deserve our gratitude. Today, on November 11th, we remember. Thank you to those that have served our country.

I’ve always had an interest in aviation, but it was this amazing man -my grandfather- who introduced me to it. He served with the Royal Canadian Air Force and was held as a POW in Stalag Luft VII from September 1944 until January 1945. In honour of Remembrance Day, here is his story:

“My name is John Callingham. I served with the Royal Canadian Air Force in World War II, and began an aircrew pre-enlistment course in Hamilton in December of [19]41. Presented with my Bomb Aimer’s Wing in [19]43, and then went to Halifax and New York, and on the [RMS] Queen Mary to Greenock, Scotland, and to Bournemouth in England in October of [19]43. Went to Operational Training Unit in Lossiemouth, Scotland, February the 29th of [19]44, and to Heavy Conversion Unit in Riccall, Yorkshire following that, and was posted to 578 Squadron at Bourne in Yorkshire, flying Halifax IIIs. On our sixth operation over an oil refinery in Gelsenkirken, Germany, we were shot down on September the 11th of 1944. We were picked up by the German military, and were taken by train from Hessen to Frankfurt on Rhine. And eventually to Stalag Luft VII, which is near Kreuzburg [Kluczbork] in Silesia, in the corner of Germany between the border of Poland and Czechoslovakia. We got there in late September [19]44. We were told on… it was about 2 o’clock in the morning on January the 19th of [19]45… that we were to move out because the Russian forces, and they didn’t want us to be taken over by them and subject to their… whatever. So actually in about three to four weeks we ended up at Luckenwald, which was about fifty miles south of Berlin. We spent almost three weeks on the road, and the rest of the way on cattle cars packed in. We were eventually released by American troops after D-Day [the Normandy invasion of June, 1944] – probably about May the 8th of [19]45. They took us to Halle, which was just across the river from Leipzig, and we had our first meal in quite some time. Some of the fellows overate, and they paid for it. Then we flew to an airport near Brussels, and than Lancasters to England and on to Bournemouth. Returned to Halifax via the Isle de France in [19]45, and then on to Windsor where my parents resided. I was transferred to the RCAF Reserve in October 31st of [19]45″ – The Memory Project – Le Projet M√©moire¬†

There are so many stories out there like this. I encourage you to please share yours.

Disclaimer: My posts are my personal views and and do not represent the views of my company.