Thousands of Ugandan youth are job hunting but the idea of applying for an Airline job does not easily come to us. LinkmeUg spoke to Faith Irene Ikiring, an airport Customer Service Agent with the Emirates about her job. First we asked how she ended up with the Emirates.
Faith: I was a sales manager in a leading insurance company in Uganda where I had experience in customer care. One day I saw a vacancy on the Emirates website and applied for it. I was called for interviews and luckily got the job without prior Aviation knowledge.
Emirates trained us for 3 months then later we were released to join the rest of the crew in Dubai and here I am now.
The Emirates Training
Faith: I was enrolled in the Emirates Aviation College where highly experienced people trained us on handling customers. Each course comes with an exam and a certificate.
Every now and then we go through compulsory courses to keep us updated. Such courses make you the kind of agent Emirates needs.
Faith: We work in shift patterns scheduled by the Resource Allocation System.
- Welcome and check in passengers as they arrive at the terminal counter.
- Educate passengers about airport security protocol and luggage allowance.
- Assist passengers who may have lost luggage.
- Discuss with passengers looking for traveling solutions.
- Provide information regarding holiday destinations, fares etc
- Ensure special items like fragile luggage are tagged and handled appropriately.
- Handle alternative flight inquiries.
- Effect seat changes and make flight announcements on public address systems.
What does it take to be a flight attendant?
Faith: There is nothing magical about it; it all rotates around your customer service skills because flight attendants ensure safety and comfort during flights while constantly wearing a smile.
You must also have the ability to control your temper by staying calm amidst all situations.
Myths about flight attendants
Faith: It is not necessarily true that you must be tall, skinny, young, or single but attendants sometimes help passengers place their luggage in over-head cabins.
The reason for a younger attendant is less responsibility elsewhere, excitement about the job and the fact that constant flying through different time zones could affect the mental and physical health of an older person.
What do you like most about your job?
- I enjoy attending to my passengers with love and care to make sure they have the best trip of their life.
- I get to meet so many people ranging from Presidents to Diplomats.
- I also get to know so many destinations around the world that I didn’t know.
Faith: Wrong bookings which leads to wrong check-ins and passengers who come with a motive of spoiling your day. In our job, even if a passenger shouts at you, you are supposed to stay calm.
Starting a career with the Emirates
Faith: Emirates Airline website http://www.emiratesgroupcareers.com/
advertises different vacancies and recruits from all over the world.
Once on the website, you will register an account and receive a reference number which you use to apply till that lucky day. Interviews may take place at the Head office in Dubai or when the team comes to Uganda.
Faith: Salary varies according to position or length of journey for flight attendants. But for the start it’s about 5M Shs for airport staff and about 10M Shs if you apply for the flight attendant position.
Faith lives in Dubai with her family; so if you want to give this a try, good luck from us.
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