Cabin crew in Nigeria say the role they play onboard every flight goes beyond attending to passengers needs of serving tea, drinks or water.
The cabin crew who turned out in large number at the First ever cabin crew fair in Lagos organized by a veteran cabin crew, Joy Ogbebo popularly called MamaJ said their strategic role is safety first and foremost.
Speaking on their roles, the flight attendants said there are a lots of misconception that all they do is make up, dress and look fine, adding that they are professionals with intense training every year including medical checks to ensure they are healthy to handle their job which is basically the safety of passengers.
In her address of welcome, organizer of the fair with the theme: “Let your dreams take flight” Joy Ogbebo, said the fair is to highlight their strategic role in the workplace, illuminate the oversight role of the Nigerian CIvil Aviation Authoiryt, NCAA, in the development of the cabin crew career, recognize cabin crew veterans who have contributed immensely to the growth of the profession, introduce inspiring cabin crew to their career choice and help them identify the key skills required.
She noted that while the job is adventurous, glamorous and interesting, it also comes with a lot of risk.
“Imagine having breakfast in Lagos and dinner in London, we meet world class leaders, superstars and very important personalities”
” we put the comfort and safety of passengers first and evacuate the passengers within 90 seconds in an event of an emergency. They are the last to leave the aircraft. The level of training they receive makes them well rounded and grounded”. “They are the SKY HEROES”.
According to her,” imagine doing a job that requires you to prepare for an emergency situation round the clock. Eating late at night which could be unhealthy, digestive problems, constant exposure to pressurized cabins, likely physically assaulted by passengers, jet lag, hijack….. Talk about late salaries/flight allowances or no payment at, job insecurity, the list is endless……”.
Chairman of the event and former executive of IRS, Yemi Dada said the job of a cabin crew is a tasking one, as the job requires dedication , courage and tolerance to discharge.
He stressed that the cabin crew is a super manager because their job is about managing people of all sorts, calming them, empathizing with them to make them feel relaxed and comfortable.
While commending the organizer for a job well done and letting people know who they are urged all in attendance to be proud of their job and discharge it to the best of their abilities.
A veteran cabin crew, Tolulope Dawodu speaking on ” who are you?, flight attendant?, air hostess or cabin crew? Stressed the need for cabin crew to do their job in line with the training given.
She harped on cabin crew looking out for their passengers as this is the reason for the job they have been trained and employed for.
” you are the ambassador of your airline, whatever you do rob off on everybody, you must not be rude, your secondary role is to ensure passengers are comfortable, oblige passengers, your smile does magic. No matter the attitude of your passenger , always restraint yourself, your calmness and gentle response will make the passenger relax”
On her part, a former cabin crew and currently an aviation safety inspector with the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority, NCAA, Maria Ubong Ordor warned that the NCAA would not tolerate cabin crew playing pranks with the renewal of their licenses or failing to carry along their licenses during their flights.
” please be conscious when your license would expire and renew appropriately, we have had crew who fall short of keeping with the requirements, it is your responsibility to keep your license current”
She explained further that as regulator, after training of a cabin crew in an organization or training institution recognized and certified by the NCAA, the cabin crew is tested through drills to ascertain if he/she is to be given a license to practice.
“After training, we do hands-on and send a report to the operator to request for a license”.
At the end of the fair, cabin crew and other notable veterans in the industry were given awards for their immerse contribution, vision, dedication and passion to capacity development in the aviation industry.