Passenger Stories: Going Coconuts for Emirates!

Emirates is known for having the best in-flight entertainment, but I doubt this is what passengers had in mind when they boarded this flight! Watch 75 members of the Baylor University Men’s Choir perform their rendition of Smokey Mountain’s “Da Coconut Nut” as a thank you to the crew for their hard work onboard.

Layover Life: Shanghai, China

My life is one big adventure, and the time I got to spend in Shanghai, China definitely reinforced that! A week or so ago, I asked you guys on Instagram to tell me what I should do there because it was my first time visiting the country. Tons of suggestions poured in; Old Town, Yu Garden, Jing-an temple… but the most common response I received was The Bund!

I couldn’t disappoint you guys, so I went with a colleague shortly after we landed in the early evening. It was quite busy, but the view made up for the large crowds. As soon as we got there though, we could tell we were in for an interesting night- people kept staring at us and asking us to take photos with them!

After walking around the area for a bit, we tried to find a place to eat. There weren’t many restaurants where we were and when we did come across one, we couldn’t read the menus or communicate properly with the restaurant staff. The customers inside each of the places we checked out laughed at us, but we couldn’t blame them for our inability to order food. We were laughing at ourselves too!

Two restaurants and a 20 minute walk later, we stumbled upon a place called TongLe Yuan YuJia (I probably spelt that wrong). Using random hand gestures, pictures and google translate, we eventually placed our orders and received what we hoped was chicken and pork. With only chopsticks to eat with, you can imagine how out of place we looked. While you’re at it, try also imaging my facial expression when our server showed us to the toilets after we ate. There’s a first time for everything, but I never thought I’d ever have to squat and use a porcelain hole in the ground!

From there we went to grab ice cream at the Bund before heading back. The problem? It was 37 °C out, and the ice cream melted in our hands as soon as we left the parlour. We were covered in chocolate and vanilla, which drew more stares and laughter from the locals. Oh boy!

We decided to call it quits shortly after that, but then ran into the issue of grabbing a taxi. It took us a while to find someone who knew where our hotel was. The first cab driver we tried couldn’t understand us, but he did put the radio on and joined us in belting out Imagine Dragons’ “Believer” while he made a few calls. We were in stitches.

The following day I met a bunch of our crew in the lobby of our hotel. We decided to go to the “underground market” together. Similar to the shops in Bangkok, Thailand I found myself negotiating prices for things I didn’t need and ended up walking away with a pretty decent Emirates Airbus A380 model aircraft for 3x less than its price in Dubai. While it was a steal, fitting it into my suitcase was a real challenge. Moral of this story? Pack less clothing on layovers!!!!!!

The rest of my day was spent sleeping before the 9 hour flight back to Dubai and taking in the view from my hotel room. Oh the places I get to go!

Next Stop: Toronto, Canada

IG: @LipstickAndLuggage
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FB: @LipstickandLuggage
Twitter: @KelseyBelleDXB
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Disclaimer: My posts are my personal views and and do not represent the views of my company.

August Roster (2017): Reserve month!

It’s August, and my reserve month is here. This means that I have very few rostered flights, and that I can go anywhere in the world at almost anytime!

Each night, my roster will change around 6pm for the following day. Based on Emirates operational needs, I could be scheduled a day off, a flight, airport standby or cross-qualification standby.

  • Day off = No assigned duty.
  • Airport standby = Requires Cabin Crew to report to the standby lounge at departures. The purpose of airport standby is to have crew at the airport and readily available to operate a flight should a colleague be late or report sick, a flight is cancelled or rescheduled, extra crew are needed because of a load change (more passengers hopped on the flight than expected)…etc. For all airport standby duties, crew need to pack enough clothes for the longest multi-sector (approx. 8 days) and for all weather types. This is because we could be pulled out for almost any flight (depends on our legalities).
  • Cross-qualification standby: This is home standby. Cross-qualification means that crew are able to operate on both the Boeing 777 and Airbus A380 aircraft types. During this assigned duty, crew are expected to have their uniform ready and luggage packed, because Crew Control could call us at anytime to ask us to report for a flight. We can be chilling in our pjs, watching tv and doing as we please, but we must answer the phone when and if it rings! If we receive a call, we will be given enough time to get dressed, do our make up and make it to our assigned flight.

Sometimes, for example, if we operate a ULR we will be given two days off before and after the flight because of legalities. On occasions like this, I may be given my schedule for the next few days in advance instead of having to check my roster each night.

Cabin Crew are given one month of reserve each year. It is usually assigned at random, but crew can request it too.

Hopefully some cool adventures await me in the month ahead! 🙂

Next Stop: Dhaka, Bangladesh

IG: @LipstickAndLuggage
YouTube: @LipstickandLuggage
FB: @LipstickandLuggage
Twitter: @KelseyBelleDXB
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Disclaimer: My posts are my personal views and and do not represent the views of my company.

Arab News Feature

This morning, I woke up to find myself mentioned in Arab News! When asked about holiday hacks last week, I thought I was offering some insight from my travels on the subject. I didn’t expect my thoughts to become published, never mind receive a full page feature in the newspaper. Such a pleasant surprise!

You can read the full article here.

Next Stop: Bangkok, Thailand

IG: @LipstickAndLuggage
YouTube: @LipstickandLuggage
FB: @LipstickandLuggage
Twitter: @KelseyBelleDXB
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Disclaimer: My posts are my personal views and and do not represent the views of my company.

Passenger Stories: Making new friends in Mauritius

“Success isn’t about what you accomplish in your life, it’s about what you inspire others to do”

It’s been awhile since I’ve posted a “feel good” story, so I thought I’d share with you something special that happened on the way to my flight back to Dubai today!

As I was leaving the hotel in Mauritius, a mother and her two young boys (above) approached me and asked if I operated the Emirates Airbus A380. When I responded yes, they requested that we take a photo together. She said that her eldest son wanted to be a pilot one day and that it would mean a lot to him.

After hearing this, I spoke to the FO and requested her permission to use her hat. We snapped a few pictures, then I gave them each a colouring sheet of the A380 that I keep in my cabin bag. The FO came over to say hello too, and that’s when we discovered both her and the family were from Brazil; small world!

The children asked her to autograph the colouring pages as keepsake. As she did this, she told them to be on the beach of the resort at 4:30pm. We fly over the area around this time and she said she’d wave to them from the flight deck. Sure enough, as we were ascending into the sky, the FO looked down over the area to see two people jumping up and down on the beach. We pass over this region at a pretty low altitude. With the airport right near the resort and our flight path in its direction, we’d like to think that it really was them waving at us!

Our job as crew can be difficult, but these are the moments that make it all worthwhile. I hope this story leaves a smile on your face like it does mine and inspires you to chase your dreams too!

Next Stop: Perth, Australia

IG: @LipstickAndLuggage
YouTube: @LipstickandLuggage
FB: @LipstickandLuggage
Twitter: @KelseyBelleDXB
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Disclaimer: My posts are my personal views and and do not represent the views of my company.