Step eight…pre-employment checks for your cabin crew job

Step eight…pre-employment checks for your cabin crew job

Following on from our article from last month, we look this month at the final checks the airline will want to perform before firmly offering you the position.

After the excitement of the Cabin Crew Assessment Day  and interview it can be frustrating to have to wait that little bit longer for these checks to be done!.

How much involvement you’ll have in organising these checks will depend on the airline you’ve applied to – some will do all of the organisation for you and simply tell you when and where to turn up, while others will ask that you make the appointments and request the appropriate paperwork yourself.

 

Why are these checks in place?

In any job where you will be in a position of responsibility and dealing with members of the public, it’s normal for employers to carry out background checks, to make sure you are who you say you are, and that the information you’ve given on your application and throughout the application form is accurate.

Checks like these are especially important for Cabin Crew from a safety perspective – not only are you working in an environment where safety consciousness and following procedure is critical, but you will also have access to areas of the airport that are off-limits to the public.

 

Checking your references

You’ll have been asked to provide at least two references (usually these are from your most recent previous employment) who the airline will contact to verify the details you provided on your CV and application.

You’ll probably be used to this procedure as checking references is common for any kind of employment application!

Again the method of contact will differ from airline to airline, with some recruitment teams contacting referees directly by phone, and others asking them to complete a straightforward form or written statement based on their experience of working with you.

 

Criminal record checks

As we’ve mentioned, safety is paramount for airlines when it comes to employing new crew, so the airline will carry out a criminal record check to ascertain whether you have any unspent convictions, or have had any convictions in the past that could affect your suitability for the position.

Having a prior conviction can have an affect on the likelihood of you getting the job, especially if it’s related to your behaviour or ethics.

It’s important that you’re honest from the start of your application however. If you’re found to have been trying to hide something your application usually will be instantly dismissed, even at this stage.

Be aware that you may have to pay the fee for this check yourself, depending on which airline you’ve applied to. The airline will let you know their preferred company for carrying out the checks if this is the case.

 

Financial checks

Not all airlines carry these checks out, and candidates often find it confusing when they do. It can cause concern simply because people don’t understand why they’re in place.

Don’t worry – the airline isn’t delving in to your credit rating, or how much money you have in your bank. The checks are there as a further identity check, and to ascertain whether you’ve ever had financial difficulties that have had resulted in legal action like bankruptcy or CCJs/court action.

 

Medical checks

The medical checks are there to check that you’re fit to fly. You may have already had to fill out a medical questionnaire before you get to this stage.

The checks are straightforward, and you can expect them to include:

  • Height and weight
  • Blood and urine tests
  • Hearing check
  • Height and weight
  • Blood pressure
  • Immunisations e.g. tetanus, tuberculosis, yellow fever etc.
  • ECG to test your heart rate and its general condition 
  • Eyesight Tests
  • Dental Checks

 

If you have any pre-existing conditions or are taking any ongoing medication you MUST declare this.

You will also have to answer questions based on your lifestyle such as how much you exercise, whether you smoke or drink alcohol, and your diet. The medical examiner might also ask you about your family history of illnesses or health problems.

Again, be aware that some airlines may ask you to pay for and arrange the medical yourself.

 

Next steps

Following the successful completion of these checks you’ll be given a date for beginning your pre-employment training – this is the stage where things all begin to feel real for most candidates.

Next time we’ll look at the training in Step 8 – pre-employment training, where you’ll gain insight as to what it involves and how best to approach it, so that you pass with flying colours!

 

 

How to pack for a life on the road

How to pack for a life on the road

Nothing sounds as simple as packing a suitcase for a trip abroad, however when you pack the same case week in week out, it becomes a skill worth learning to make sure you are comfortable and well prepared for whatever your journey brings. Generally speaking, you can...

How to pack for a life on the road

How to pack for a life on the road

Nothing sounds as simple as packing a suitcase for a trip abroad, however when you pack the same case week in week out, it becomes a skill worth learning to make sure you are comfortable and well prepared for whatever your journey brings. Generally speaking, you can perform this task with your eyes closed, but if you want to create a measure of comfort and ease about yourself in a world that has you visiting lots of different destinations with degrees of change and variety, the one thing you want to rely on is the fact that you can make it all that bit more comfortable for yourself wherever you may be. Packing is not new and we all have our preferences of how we get it done – these are my tips on how to pack with minimum effort and maximum efficiency for your career in the sky.

 

Plan your packing


Planning your packing supposes you have a plan of what you intend to do at your destination. This is a good starting point. While you don’t have to become a weather expert, keeping an eye on the weather can help prevent mishaps like packing for summer weather, only to land into freezing temperatures. The ground rule is only take what you need and see if anything you do pack can have a dual purpose. The idea is to get maximum use of what goes in the suitcase by using as little space and weight as is possible. You don’t have to become a clothes peg or a fashion icon but putting a bit of thought into what you intend to wear while away can help you match and marry your clothes choices without picking single use items and finding you run out of space. My top insider tip is to always pack your case three quarters full so you always have space for shopping or any other purchases that take your fancy.

In the spirit of the Boys Scout motto of always being prepared, it is a good idea to pack some items of a winter wardrobe, because you never know when a planned trip gets cancelled and crew control has you going to another part of the world with the opposite weather you were expecting.

I’m also a fan of the Guerrilla Warfare principle when travelling. Simply put, when fighting in harsh jungle terrain it was impossible for armies to bring everything they needed with them. They made do with what they could get hold of in the theatre of war…

So how does that apply to you packing?


Pack as best as you can, but realise you don’t have to take everything and the kitchen sink with you – leave stuff at home and buy what you need while away (not only will you be able to pack lighter, but you will also be contributing to the local economy). Often times it can also be an excuse to meet locals while exploring the local area.

 

Tips


Some of the simpler tips include:


Doubling up on certain items you use at home and away. For instance, I take supplements regularly so I always buy them in pairs, one for the bathroom cabinet at home and one for my suitcase. This means I don’t have to keep transferring items from bathroom to suitcase trip to trip, something I’m likely to forget to do when other things vie for my attention.

Choose a hard case or soft case – People often ask which is better. I prefer hard cases if it has to travel in the hold and soft luggage if I’m taking it into the cabin with me. The trick is to pack as few valuables in your hard case as possible and keep allowed valuables with you in cabin under lock and key.

 

A word of caution


When packing, depending on where in the world you may be it pays to check and make sure you are not “importing”any contraband goods into the country. When I say contraband I mean anything from paracetamol to magazines and much more. Local rules and customs must be respected by passengers and crew. Airlines themselves may have procedural ways of updating the crew on what the latest requirement is, but if not, the Foreign and Commonwealth website will normally have updated information on what is and isn’t allowed.

A true story for those of an excitable nature –  don’t forget to pack for short trips. When I started flying my first night stop trip was a Dusseldorf split-duty (last trip out of London and the first one back early the following morning). We got into Dusseldorf and the crew decided to meet for a quick social gathering in the bar on the bus to the hotel. On getting to the hotel, I got my key, went up to my room to change and meet the crew downstairs. Imagine my disappointment when I opened my night stop bag only to realise in my excitement about my first night stop, I’d forgotten to pack a change of clothes! I didn’t make it to the bar, but the crew found it humorous the following morning.

About Christopher

Christopher Babayode is a former flight attendant of 20 years with British Airways, a specialist in Travel Wellness and healthy jet lag solutions for those who travel often. He is the author of Farewell Jet Lag, Cures from a Flight Attendant (on Amazon UK & US). Chris has been featured in the Sunday Telegraph and is a most -read author on Quora the questions and answers platform.

How to pack for a life on the road

How to pack for a life on the road

Nothing sounds as simple as packing a suitcase for a trip abroad, however when you pack the same case week in week out, it becomes a skill worth learning to make sure you are comfortable and well prepared for whatever your journey brings. Generally speaking, you can...

Step 7…the interview, with Cabin Crew Wings

Step 7…the interview, with Cabin Crew Wings

By Chartered Occupational Psychologist Hannah Vallance 

 

 

Following on from our article from last month Step Six…The Assessment Day we look this month at the big day itself – the Cabin Crew Interview.

After successful completion of the Cabin Crew Assessment Day (if you’re one of the candidates lucky enough to make it to the end of the day) you’ll be invited to a one to one interview with the airline’s recruitment team.

Some airlines do incorporate the interview into the assessment day – you’ll be informed if this is likely to be the case! Others will invite you back on a different date for your interview – this is a good situation to be in, as it gives you time to prepare for the interview questions.

 

 

What happens at the Cabin Crew Interview?

In general, you can expect the interview to last around 30-40 minutes, and to be made up of competency based and behavioural questions.

You can recognise competency questions by the way they are worded:

‘Please provide an example of a time when you have….?’
‘Please describe a time an occasion when you have…..?’
‘Tell us about a time when you….’

You should draw on your own experience for these types of questions and describe a situation where you have performed a task or carried out an action yourself. This will most commonly be from your previous work experience.

The most common mistake when answering competency questions is for people to not explain well enough how their actions led to a situation being resolved, and instead provide a generic list of ‘buzz’ statements to try to prove that they have skills in a certain area – without evidence to back them up!

 

 

The STAR Technique

Use the STAR technique to prepare both your application and interview answers to questions which ask for an example from your personal experience.

S – Describe the situation i.e. set the scene
T – What was the task or activity you were involved in?
A – What action did you take?
R – What was the result?

 

The majority of your answer should focus on the ‘A’- the action you took. Describing what you did is the most crucial part of your answer so do make sure you give this aspect priority. It is a common mistake is to spend too long on scene setting.

 

 

Interview Preparation

Fail to prepare and prepare to fail! This statement has never been so true in an interview situation!

Make sure you have prepared answers to the most obvious questions. Why do you want to work for this particular airline? Why do you want to be cabin crew? What are your career ambitions? What are your main strengths and weaknesses? You may or may not have these sorts of questions but it can’t hurt to have a slick answer prepared just in case.

If you are trying to show that you are a hard-worker don’t just say ‘I’m a really hard-worker’. Go on to describe evidence of this ‘…for example, when I was working at…’ If you give a clear example you are giving a much more compelling reflection of who you are; remember, actions DO speak far louder than words! Have examples ready to back up your points.

A good idea is to ask family or friends if they’ll do a ‘mock interview’ with you, to give you the chance to practice. A word of warning though, be prepared to be flexible with your answers and DON’T try to memorise answers then ‘fit’ them to the real interview questions – it will be obvious to the panel if you try to do this.

 

 

Interview Day Tips

  • Make sure that you have all your documents to hand, and that they’re up to date. You’ll be given a list of what to bring in the email inviting you to the interview.
  • It’s a good idea to bring a copy of your CV to refer to
  • Be punctual, and remember to be polite and smile to make a good first impression! 
  • Give yourself plenty of time in the morning to get ready and plan your journey beforehand.
  • Dress to impress – formal business attire, like in the Assessment Day, is the way to go!
  • Take your time when answering – pause and take a sip of water if you need to
  • If you don’t get the job on this occasion then try to remember how incredibly well you’ve done to make it to the interview stage – thousands of applicants don’t!

 

 

Next Steps

The next step in the process, if you’ve wowed the recruitment panel and been offered the job, are the pre-employment checks.  

Next month we’ll look at these in detail (Step 8 – the pre employment checks), as they can cause a lot of worry for some candidates!

 

Get more cabin crew specific interview tips here!

How to pack for a life on the road

How to pack for a life on the road

Nothing sounds as simple as packing a suitcase for a trip abroad, however when you pack the same case week in week out, it becomes a skill worth learning to make sure you are comfortable and well prepared for whatever your journey brings. Generally speaking, you can...

10 common misconceptions people have about being a flight attendant

10 common misconceptions people have about being a flight attendant

There are many misconceptions that exist about being a flight attendant. The job is often seen as glamorous because of the way flight attendants have to dress, the lifestyle of travel to exotic destinations, and more.

Different than most people imagine, the life of a flight attendant is not just about adventure, luxury, or a romance in every city. There’s a lot more to the job than many people are aware of and it can be challenging to change the perceptions of those who have no idea of their many responsibilities.

Here are ten common misconceptions about flight attendants. 

 

Flight attendants are glorified waitresses

There is far more to being a flight attendant than wearing lipstick and floating down the aisles taking orders for food and drinks. Flight attendants spend six days a week for several weeks learning how to take care of passengers in the event of medical or flight emergencies.

 Did you know that they are trained to perform CPR? They have to instruct passengers on safety procedures, including the proper use of seat belts and oxygen. Enforcing certain safety rules may cause resentment from passengers, but they have to keep smiling and carry on because it’s an important part of the job.

Another part of the job is to make sure all the necessary supplies are on board before the plane takes off and clean it after the passengers leave.

 

Flight attendants are unintelligent

Most airlines require flight attendants to have a high school diploma, but many of them prefer candidates to have post-school education or experience. Flight attendants are probably more educated than most. The selection process for being a flight attendant is long and thorough and it is not that easy to get hired. 

Cabin crew assessment days are held to recruit individuals and they have to go through several types of tests. One of the tests is a mathematics test that involves using basic math in a cabin crew situation. There is also a language test, a general knowledge test and a group test. 

Flight safety, self-defense and first aid are just part of what flight attendants have to know and they receive recurrent training on a yearly basis to maintain their certification. 

 

Flight attendants are young, single girls

The image of young, single, unattached flight attendants still persists, but not all flight attendants are young, single, or girls. There are a number of male flight attendants today and not all of them are gay (another stereotype). 

Back in the 1960s, Pan Am put a weight restriction on cabin crew and they had to be unmarried, have no children, and retire before the age of 32. Now, these restrictions like this no longer apply. For instance, there are a number of married flight attendants with children. 

 

Flight attendants party all the time

The long shifts, difficulties on board with demanding passengers and delays can be a real challenge. Often the last thing flight attendants want to do when they’re on a layover is to go out and party. They would rather go to bed, drink a glass of wine and watch Netflix. 

Besides, it is not easy for them to organize their social lives when they’re often abroad. In fact, the life of a flight attendant can actually be quite lonely. They basically live out of a suitcase, don’t get to spend much quality time with their families and often miss out on special occasions, like a best friend’s birthday. 

The only good time they probably have is when they are new in the job. That’s when the traveling seems heavenly to them. After all, who wouldn’t love a heavy pay package, 5-star hotel stays and world travel that comes with zero cost in a way.

 

Flight attendants enjoy a lavish lifestyle

Offering a full service means there is no time for hanging out in the cockpit or chatting in the galley. On some days, the workload can be very high. Flight attendants often have to work their ‘butts off’ whilst smiling from ear to ear and being empathetic and patient. They may not get enough sleep or even eat on time.

One flight attendant says that potential recruits probably don’t realize how much trash they have to deal with on a plane. They often have to deal with messy, half-eaten food that may end up all over them.

She says potential recruits probably don’t think about this kind of thing when they are going through the interview process and tackling interview nerves

 

Flight attendants have a lover in every country

According to stereotypes, flight attendants have a lover in every country.

The truth is that their lives are full of opportunity and choice, but their dating lives can be difficult. With their chaotic schedules, most flight attendants crave some stability and would like to be in steady relationships, but distance and uncertainty often interfere. 

Emily Meyer, who offers a paper writing service, has a best friend who is a flight attendant. Her friend has confided that she is often told by men that they don’t know if they can trust her because of her job.

She says she doesn’t know what they are worried about because it is hardly as though she is greeted by a gorgeous guy as she steps out of the plane in a different country. She’s more likely to be worrying whether there is a refrigerator in her hotel room where she can store her packed lunch!

 

Flight attendants have attitude

There may be some jaded flight attendants out there but most of them don’t tell people to fasten their seatbelts or put their seats in an upright position to be jerks – they do it for the safety of passengers.

In fact, being a flight attendant often requires considerable emotional intelligence. They deal with people from all walks of life that may be on the plane for vastly different reasons, from flying to a holiday destination to going to a funeral.

Linda Marsden, a marketer for Brill Assignment, says that on her last flight, she watched as a flight attendant juggled with having to deal with a drunken passenger who was trying to hit on her and a woman who seemed to be having a panic attack because she was afraid of flying.

 

Flight attendants must help to put bags in overhead bins 

No, it is not part of the job for a flight attendant to put bags in overhead bins. Passengers often call on a flight attendant to stow hand language when it is too heavy for them to lift. However, although flight attendants need a certain level of fitness, not all of them are cross-fit athletes.

Their companies don’t cover them for the injuries they might sustain when lifting a heavy bag. Jessica Macklethorpe, who works in human resources for Bestessaytips.com, says that she gets really annoyed when she sees passengers traveling with carry-on bags they obviously can’t handle and then expect the flight attendant to lift them. 

 

Flight attendants only work a day or two a week 

Those who think flight attendants have an unlimited amount of energy and only work one or two days a week are mistaken. Flight attendants usually have full schedules. When the flight is over, they grab their suitcases and catch a taxi to their ‘temporary home’ for the night.

They may stay in luxurious hotels equipped with gyms and receive a daily allowance to spend on food and sundries, but after a long shift, most of them just want to sleep or rest at the hotel. If they have any time or energy left, they may go and have a few drinks in town or enjoy some sightseeing.

 

Flight attendants get jobs easily

It is not easy to be accepted as a flight attendant. It usually requires submitting an application, having several interviews and undergoing weeks of rigorous training. Training usually includes every worst-case scenario that could happen in the sky – including crash simulations. 

Being a flight attendant is not easy and airlines have to make sure they hire the type of people who can handle the job. What can help a candidate to get hired is a college education, good conversational skills, speaking several languages, being well groomed and having some customer service experience.  

 

Conclusion

Being a flight attendant is an awesome job that presents many exciting opportunities, but like any other job, it has its challenges. No one can say that the job is a breeze – it involves dealing with difficult passengers, being responsible for their safety, cleaning up messes, having to handle unpredictability and a heavy workload at times. Flight attendants deserve alot of respect for the way they do their jobs. 

 

 Author Bio:

Scott Matthews is an academic writing expert working for the essay writing service that deals in thesis, dissertation and college essays. His current assignment is with Essay Edge and Bestdissertation.com. In his free time, he writes blogs on freelancing, learns photography and reads autobiographies.

 

How to pack for a life on the road

How to pack for a life on the road

Nothing sounds as simple as packing a suitcase for a trip abroad, however when you pack the same case week in week out, it becomes a skill worth learning to make sure you are comfortable and well prepared for whatever your journey brings. Generally speaking, you can...

Cabin crew practical exam: How to pass with flying colours

Cabin crew practical exam: How to pass with flying colours

You’ve done really well so far! The interview was a huge success, and you conquered the classroom training and exams. The only thing left to take on is the practical, or mock-up exam.

Your practical exam is the part where instructors will watch you on a model aircraft perform emergency duties. Passing this part of the recruitment process is very important if you want the job.

 

 

What does the exam include?

During the exam, you’ll be marked on the following: 

  • Emergency evacuation
  • Know your commands
  • Working with you ABPs
  • Different potential scenarios

 

Below, we’ll take a deeper look at the above and what you need to do to pass.

 

 

Emergency evacuation

When does an emergency happen? Usually when you least expect it. During your practical exam, you will be tested on different procedures for different emergencies which could occur on a flight. And you have to go through your procedures to get the rest of your classmates off the aircraft within 90 seconds (this is the allotted time everyone is given to get off an aircraft with half of the emergency doors in use. This is the legal requirement for an aircraft to be allowed to fly). 

How can you be prepared? Know all emergency procedures like the back of your hand, as well as each command word for word. Rehearsing these will ensure you are prepared for every eventuality. 

 

 

Know your commands

As important as the emergency procedures are to remember, it’s equally essential to know the correct commands you must give to passengers during this time. Points will be docked for incorrect commands during the practical exam, for example saying ‘BEND DOWN’ instead of ‘HEADS DOWN!’, so practice each one in the necessary order until they become second nature. 

 

 

Working with your ABPs

It’s your job to ensure passengers are safe, so it’s essential to know all of the key points for briefing Able Bodied Passengers (ABPs). These are the people you will ask to help you in a planned emergency situation.

Depending on your position, this will be different for all aircrafts, which come in different sizes so therefore have more/less doors/exit areas.

The briefing is different for the position as well as the situation. Cabin Crew Wings provides a really good example here: 

“If we were ditching and I was in the back galley, I would find a passenger towards the back who seemed fit to help block the exits and tell people to turn around and move forward.

However, if we were landing on the ground, I would instead inform them on how to operate the door, how to blow the slide, and how to get me out of my seatbelt if necessary.

Each situation and position has different key points and I make sure I know all of them in a sort of checklist, so I know once I have hit every point, my ABP has been properly briefed.”

 

 

Practice different scenarios

Prior to your practical exam, you should prepare for all possible scenarios, whether it’s with a friend or family member, to keep your knowledge and understanding sharp. Combine a few, or try a bathroom fire that leads to full evacuation. You could even practice a pilot incapacitation due to unknown decompression, where you are required to prepare for a cabin diversion. Whatever eventuality, ensure you know them all – any scenario you can think up will definitely be an option for your instructor, so don’t let them catch you out. 

 

 

Practice, practice, practice

Preparation for your practical exam is essential if you’re expecting to get a job with the airline in question. Those who are unprepared will be deemed inadequate for the role. If this is the dream job for you, put in the effort so you can demonstrate your passion for the role. 

Ready to apply? Here are the latest cabin crew jobs on Aviation Job Search.

 

How to pack for a life on the road

How to pack for a life on the road

Nothing sounds as simple as packing a suitcase for a trip abroad, however when you pack the same case week in week out, it becomes a skill worth learning to make sure you are comfortable and well prepared for whatever your journey brings. Generally speaking, you can...

How to get a good night’s sleep as crew

How to get a good night’s sleep as crew

Health is important as you go about your cabin crew duties because the job is physically demanding and you’ll always want more energy to enjoy the destinations you get to visit. Making sure you look after your sleep need is an equally important part of looking after your health, especially when it comes to looking after your immunity. Sleep is the latest performance enhancer we’ve been neglecting for so long, with a better understanding of how to consistently meet your sleep needs you can perform better and enjoy a better quality of life. In this article, We’re going to look at the importance of good sleep, the challenges of getting good sleep and how to overcome them as crew. I will also offer you some tips I used to manage my sleep schedule during my 20 year flying career. 

 

The Cabin Crew Sleep Challenge

For occupational and environmental health purposes cabin crew are classified as shift workers. As a group of people we share some of the same challenges as doctors nurses and other round the clock professions when it comes to rest and fatigue. Besides the broad challenge of sleep deprivation the challenge crew face tends to be related to matters of sleep quality and sleep quantity. This is a quick explanation of the difference between those two terms. Sleep quality refers to the types of different sleep available within a night’s rest. Sleep quantity is pretty much what it says on the tin, the amount of sleep one is able to get in hours and minutes. 

Sleep quality refers to Deep sleep,REM sleep and Light sleep. Deep sleep is the sleep we have when we wake up the most refreshed and restful. It happens during the earlier parts of the night, and is responsible for cleaning and repairing our entire body from our day’s work. REM sleep on the other hand, happens in the later part of the night and early morning. REM sleep is when the body’s filing system comes into play. We use REM sleep to sort out the events of the day and put them in order. Dreams happen in REM sleep and are a tool we use to make sense of the days events. Light sleep is as the name suggests, it is easier to be woken up in Light sleep and REM sleep than it is in Deep sleep.

Sleep quantity, the total amount of hours slept are deemed to be in a healthy range when the hours are between 6 and 9 hours per night. While there is debate about optimal amounts of sleep for individuals there is no doubt that we all have a lot of sleep debt which impacts health and performance.

For crew, early morning starts, late nights and being up at inappropriate times can lead to not getting enough of all the types of sleep to maintain good health. Recent research from the scientific community has uncovered more about the different types of sleep and their value. As crew it makes sense for us to prioritise Deep sleep over and above any other type. This is because it is the most physically restorative, and as noted the job of cabin crew is physically demanding. 

Deep sleep naturally occurs between the hours of 10 pm and 2 am in the morning, wherever possible making sure that we are in bed for this time frame will help us get the best quality deep sleep available. In fact the scientific literature goes on to say that if all types of sleep are withheld the body naturally prioritises Deep sleep first and then REM sleep. 

Work patterns guarantee you cannot be in bed between the hours of 10 pm and 2 am the same time every night (especially if you are on long haul) so the question we should ask ourselves is how can we make up any shortfall so we continue to enjoy the benefits of sleep and energy?

 

Sleep Hygiene

The first thing I would recommend is making sure you sort out your basic sleep hygiene. This relates to the specifics of the environment in which you are sleeping whether that be at home or in a hotel room while away on duty. Make sure it is silent and dark with no light interrupting your line of vision as you sleep. Make sure you are comfortable, specifically this means making sure the temperature is just right, not too hot or cold. 

 

Bedtime Habits

The next thing to consider is giving your body subtle cues before time that say bedtime is approaching. You can do this by making sure you pack your own sleep accessories. This could include sleep masks, earplugs, essential oils,and not forgetting good bedtime habits. If you get into the habit of doing this every bedtime your body begins to recognise the pattern irrespective of the location you may be in and gets ready for sleep. In order to make this work it means cutting out bad habits like heavy meals late at night and minimising your exposure to blue light which interferes with your body’s production of the sleep hormone melatonin. 

 

Consider Using a Sleep Tracker

Lately good quality sleep trackers have been known to help people with sleep challenges get an understanding of what to focus on to get a good nights sleep. Wearables are useful if you don’t mind using technology in bed. I use a sleep tracker even though I no longer fly and it is very good at showing me how much quality Deep sleep and REM sleep I  get. This allows me to adjust and make up any lost sleep I have if I purposely decide to work late or get up early for the demands of my day. The beauty of a good quality sleep tracker is that the numbers don’t lie and you are able to closely monitor your sleep and try different things to improve your sleep quality.

 

Prioritise Sleep

I recommend all cabin crew consider prioritising sleep for their lifestyle. It makes perfect sense as you will constantly be on-the-go and your sleep will follow the work patterns of your roster and the unpredictability of a flying lifestyle.  It makes sense to ensure a short-term sleep challenge doesn’t become a long term chronic condition. This is important because chronic sleep challenges wear down the immune system to an extent that they can lead to something more serious over time.

 

Sleep Blocking

Another tool I used throughout my flying career was something I call Sleep Blocking. It’s very simple and this is how it works, from my flying roster I would look at the times I land and the times I take off and build my sleep rules around my roster. For instance if I landed before 12 pm I would always have a nap of  30 or 90 minutes or even 3 hours depending on how tired I was. If I landed after 12 pm it meant I would stay awake throughout the day, and go to bed early that night. This would have the effect of getting me back on my local home time the next morning without fail.

Finally it’s important to know what works for you and your lifestyle, that way you get the best of both worlds, your social life as well as your work life. Experiment with what makes for a good night sleep at home and let that be your guide!

About Christopher

Christopher Babayode is a former flight attendant of 20 years with British Airways, a specialist in Travel Wellness and healthy jet lag solutions for those who travel often. He is the author of Farewell Jet Lag, Cures from a Flight Attendant (on Amazon UK & US). Chris has been featured in the Sunday Telegraph and is a most -read author on Quora the questions and answers platform.

 

How to pack for a life on the road

How to pack for a life on the road

Nothing sounds as simple as packing a suitcase for a trip abroad, however when you pack the same case week in week out, it becomes a skill worth learning to make sure you are comfortable and well prepared for whatever your journey brings. Generally speaking, you can...