Emirates Flight Attendant

by - 2:48 PM


The most famous and valued, most prestigious, richest and officially top-class airline in the world. Top airline. Icon. The greatest dream of almost every beginner and experienced flight attendant and wish of those who dream of starting a career in the clouds... The God of the aviation industry, for which tens of thousands of candidates for the position of cabin crew from all over the world often fight unsuccessfully.

When most people hear the word "Dubai" they can see Burj Khalifa, huge hotels, Neverending sun, wealth and luxury. When a flight attendant hears "Dubai", sees Emirates, great, majestic airplanes, a window to the whole world, the highest honor, the beginning of a new life and an amazing adventure that will remain in the memory until the end of their days...

In the aviation industry, getting a job with Emirates means top honors, promotion to the top class, reaching the top of commercial (airliner) aviation and a huge success as this airline refuses to accept just anyone, tens of thousands of applicants from all continents apply for their recruitment days and getting there is like catching a star from the sky - out of hundreds or even thousands of participants, only a few people get a job.

Elite. Pearls. Best of the best. In the eyes of the malicious and disappointed - stars. This is how the Emirates cabin crew are called, the chosen ones of the airline, which most of the people despite many strenuous attempts and efforts, can only dream about, an airline that I was even afraid to dream about, because I knew perfectly well that they would never even look at me...

And yet. Not only was I selected, but I became the person for whom this extremely restrictive airline had abandoned its own harsh rules. Today, despite the fact that it's been a ling time since I went through my recruitment and learned that I got a job with the best airline in the world, I would like to tell you my story, that I don't believe even today.

I don't know where to start, so I'll start from the very beginning.

First steps

When I started my aviation adventure, I was still in my late teens. I was very young and didn't believe that any airline would even want to invite me for an interview, because I was far from being a believer in my skills, and my appearance insecurities completed the dirty job, what definitely didn't have a positive impact on my own vision of my future as a flight attendant of any airline (you can read about my first steps in the industry in the posts published when I just decided to write texts about my job, i.e. from 2018 and early 2019). However, when my, as it seemed to me, unrealistic and deeply hidden desire of the soul came true and I received my dream wings in the first airline for which I worked, I dreamed of being able to fly Emirates one day, but of course I was fully aware that this would never happen... Besides, to the minimum age that this company requires (21), I still had a few more years, which at the time seemed like an eternity and even though I knew that I had nothing to count on and probably in the airline with which I was at that time, I will work for the next 10 years, because in my opinion I was too weak for others, somewhere in my heart the weakness for the red Emirates remained and despite strenuous attempts to suppress it, it grew over the next years so much.

Drawing girl

As I mentioned above, at the beginning of my aviation path I was a person of very little faith, self esteem and I thought that with the first airline that hired me, I would stay for many years. I was under the illusion that it would be so, and yet almost automatically, I decorated the blank cover of my training notebook with my own hand-drawn Emirates logo, which was seen by an instructor walking around the room, who said, 

"Our airline is not for you, you shouldn't be here". 

And so it happened, I left faster than I ever even thought I would.

Venetian meeting

When some time later this version of me, still a bit insecure, was in one of the hotels in the city where I lived at that time, what is in Venice, I met the Emirates crew preparing for the flight, who welcomed me very warmly, then tried on the famous red hat for the first time and I was crazy with joy like a child that at least for a moment I can have it and feel like a small part of my favorite company. It was also then that their purser said the words that I remember very well 

"You fit here and I am sure that in a year from now you will be one of us" 

And which, with a pinch of salt, seem to be a magic spell, because exactly a year later, on the same day I found out that I have been accepted by Emirates 🥰

Another Arab airline

When I was well oriented aviation, carrying in my luggage the experience of working in several different short- and long-haul airines, already living in several different countries, having a period of lame self-esteem already (seemingly) behind me, my nature of a risk taker and the urgent need to take a dose of adrenaline combined with curiosity, pushed me to apply to another line of the United Arab Emirates, but mainly to see what their application form looks like, because they required to be at least 21 years old at the time of the application, and when I sent them my documents, I still had 9 months left, so when I applied I knew immediately that they would reject me. But a week later, I almost choked on a cookie when I saw an email inviting me to an interview. 


I couldn't believe my eyes, and at the same time my heart was pounding like crazy because it was really happening. I was happy and sad at the same time because I always dreamed about Emirates, but I knew that even with my experience I would never be good enough for them, so I was glad that at least their rival took an interest in me. Preparations for the interview started in full swing, and then...

Rage and disappointment

The date of the arranged interview with the above-mentioned airline was coming, everything was already arranged, I begged my employer for days off, I rearranged my flights just to be able to go to this meeting, everything was ready, I was mentally focused and then... The phone rang. A nice lady, a representative of the airline, introduced herself in the call, apologized and said that due to internal reasons our meeting had to be canceled and postponed to another date, which they would send me by e-mail within 14 days... I was angry, broken, helpless... I didn't know what to do next, because I was aware that once again with a schedule filled with flights, I wouldn't get a free time and my company wouldn't agree to it, so my great chance to work in Arab airlines had just disappeared.

"Unhealthy" habit

I remember that day like yesterday. A hot, sunny day, another day of my layover in Madagascar. As time went on and my appetite for better and higher ranking airlines grew, my desire for Emirates grew too. It increased, but I still knew that I had no chance with them, so to cheer myself up a little, I checked their website every day, reviewing the schedule of upcoming recruitments. It has even become my daily routine. I kept up to date with all the meetings in the country where I lived and the open days in Europe. Sad and completely disappointed with the phone that rang a moment ago, I did the same like on the autopilot, I went to their website and started browsing what was happening with them and then... I couldn't believe my eyes. They added a new date for the recruitment day. In a country being just a stone's throw away. Exactly on the same day and time as I was supposed to have an appointment with the airline that had just canceled it. It was like an impossible twist of fate. The day before, I was going for another interview, and Emirates had no plans for that date, and suddenly everything was upside down, those for whom I changed everything canceled the meeting, and the airline I dreamed about added it.

The return of doubt

However, my excitement about joining Emirates recruitment day didn't last long. After a few minutes, I came back to reality and realized that there was nothing to think about, because I had no chance anyway.
Too ugly. Too fat. Far from the perfection for which they are so famous... And to this minimum age of 21, I had more than half a year left. I had no illusions. I knew that I didn't even have a chance to pass even the first stage, so I wouldn't bother myself and the recruiters, who have many candidates to work with anyway. There was no point, I stopped rocking in the clouds. And then my friend, also a flight attendant, told me 

"Either you stop feeling sorry for yourself and go to this recruitment, or don't talk to me anymore"...

To go or not to go, that is the question

On the one hand, I knew that it wouldn't work, because I didn't  meet the most important, basic criterion, but on the other hand, I couldn't stop thinking about it, something was pulling me to go and know what it looks like for the future, when I am ready to try my hand and maybe get my chance someday. Besides, I already had time off, and if Emirates' biggest rival gave me space, why not go to this meeting, even if it's only to see and go on a trip to another country? Let's give it a try.

Recruitment day

When I arrived at the hotel where the interview was scheduled to take place, I thought I got something wrong, maybe the place, or at least the dates. There was only one girl in the lobby who even made me happy to see, at least I was not alone. I said hi, asked if she was also waiting for the recruitment of flight attendants, she confirmed, then I, like always me, automatically started talking about everything and nothing, and as it usually happens with me, my mouth never closed producing a million words per minute, but fortunately my friend was not irritated by my talking, on the contrary, we had a great conversation (I'll say that almost until the end of waiting for the meeting). I thought it was actually a good sign, that if there were only the two of us, maybe only a few people will appear in total, although knowing the reality and knowing how desired this airline is, I also knew that it definitely wouldn't happen and surely the hotel is about to be flooded with other candidates soon. I was not wrong. When the starting time came, there were over 200 of us. But I wasn't really interested in it, because I was aware that from the very beginning I was out of the competition and didn't even hide it...

Totally honest

From the very beginning, I felt a great tension in the air. People were stressed, tense like strings, some beet red, others white like milk. And I... For some reason, I felt completely calm and so relaxed that I wanted to laugh all the time. Or rather not - I knew perfectly well why I didn't feel any stress or pressure. As mentioned above, I didn't hide at all that I came only out of curiosity to see what the recruitment looks like, because I am far from the required age, and visually to the perfect Emirates flight attendant - like from here to space. And when I talked to people, I told them directly. I was painfully honest, because I felt that by telling it what it was, at least I could a help them relax, a little that they have at least one person less in this crazy competition and they don't have to worry about me, because I don't block them in any way.

That girl

Do you still remember the nice girl from the lobby, who for a long time was my only companion waiting for the rest of the candidates, about whom I mentioned earlier?

When it was nine o'clock, we were all wondering who our recruiter was, why she wasn't there yet, and why she was late at all. And just then... That girl got up and said, 

"Hello everyone, I invite everyone with me upstairs to the conference room"... 

I was shocked. In a moment I realized who I had been flooding with my words for the last two hours and I was quickly trying to analyze what I really told ​her. What I told a person who, without hesitation, could blacklist me and doom my dreams of this job to eternal damnation.

No excuses

When a bit embarrassed by the situation, I approached the recruiter's desk to give her my CV, without any excuses, I said that I know that this is my first and last stage here, because I don't even have the required age, not to mention the rest and that she doesn't have to worry about me because I'm aware that I shouldn't be here and I won't be disappointed in any way, because I know that I don't meet the requirements, the company is very restrictive and I only came to see what the first stage of recruitment looks like to feel better when I am already ready to take part in it and I don't really expect anything from her. She smiled amused and said, 

"Go back to your seat and fill out the form so that you will not disappear from our system."

Two months

As we were all sitting in the room, listening to the explanations and instructions on the recruitment day, we also heard the magic phrase 

"Who knows that once you are selected you will not be able to fly to Dubai in maximum two months, please leave and come back to the recruitment event closer to your availability ".

One of the girls spoke out and said that for professional reasons she wouldn't be able to join until three months. Unfortunately, she had to leave the meeting... And me? Since the recruiter knew when my birthday was and talked to me about it, why didn't she let me leave, and when I remembered again this time, she said, 

"You stay"? 

What was happening?

Disappearing numbers

It's time for the first elimination. I was sure it was the end of my participation. I walked over to the list and couldn't believe my eyes when I saw myself there, what meant I was selected to the next stage. Honestly, I thought it was a mistake. After all, the recruiter knew how old I was. Why did she let me pass?
Okay, then she'll eliminate me in the next stage, I thought. How great was my surprise when, after the next stage, the group of selected candidates was cut by half and I was still there. But how? Why? No kidding, now I had to fail.
Another stage, another elimination, another list, again cut in half and... What? No, it's impossible. Why is this happening? What am I still doing here?

Where did you come from?

The stage of individual interviews has come for people who were still in the game. The recruiter said she would call us in turn and ask several questions based on the CV, which would take no more than ten minutes for each. Ten minutes? No problem, that's nothing. And so it was. A few people entered, they quickly left, but their faces looked as if they had just witnessed the murder. Finally it was my turn, as relaxed as all the time before, because I was sure that this time she would definitely thank me for my time.
She asked the first question based on my professional experience, which is the most extreme situation that happened to me when working in an airline, when I had to cooperate with the crew in emergency mode, while not arousing any suspicions of passengers and... The show started. As the airline for which I was flying at that time often made me see red, and exposed to extreme situations not only me, but also the entire cabin crew team, and performed the latest show from hell on my last flight, literally the day before recruitment to Emirates, I didn't have to think about the answer this question for a long time, moreover, I was able to freshly describe the whole thing in the smallest detail. It was the first time that I was, paradoxically, grateful to my company for the boiled blood and the situations that had no right to exist, but did happen. The recruiter was standing shocked, then asked 

"Where did you come from? If something like this happened with us, the entire crisis management team would be upside down. I wonder how they would have managed 😂".

I haven't seen another one like this

A moment later, I was asked why I started to fly at all, what keeps me in this job and why I would like to work for Emirates now. Ooooh... Well, you weren't supposed to ask me this question girl, I thought. So before I started to answer, half-kidding, I asked the recruiter whether she really wanted to hear the whole story, because we wouldn't leave this room until midnight. She decided that she would willingly risk a night on listening to my life story, so whatever she wanted, she had it.
Unfortunately, I have this to myself that if anyone asks me any question about aviation, the short answer doesn't exist there, and usually it's only the beginning of a multi-threaded story from which a book could be written. This was also the case this time, but with a double combo, because not only the story of my life, why do I fly, how much I cannot imagine myself without aviation, but also why I want to be in the airline that I had on my list from the very beginning and what do I know about it, and I know a lot... To say it shortly.
As you can easily guess, my "CV" interview did not last ten minutes, and the recruiter, after listening to everything with interest until the very end, summed up shortly

"I've been working with Emirates for twenty years, I've been recruiting cabin crew for several years, but I didn't know all these things about this company and I've never met someone like you. I can't believe you're just twenty. How do you know all this? Can you live without aviation, because I can see that you are addicted to it",

To what I lightly answered 

"I know because it's my life".

A moment later I saw that she had drawn a big red exclamation mark on my CV. At that moment, I was almost sure that the expected end had come, especially since for some reason a characteristic sign landed on my documents, definitely for a reason, and I was ready to go home, because it didn't bring anything good, despite the fact that for the goodbye, she told me 

"See you in Dubai".

Lucky seven

The time for the final elimination has come. Selection of the lucky ones who had the last straight, final, individual online interview with a recruiter directly from Emirates Dubai Headquarters. I was sure that at this stage there was no space for me, no chance for a person much younger than the minimum acceptance age for this airline.
When, after a long wait, the door finally opened and the recruiter pinned the list with identification numbers of people who positively passed the selection of the recruitment day and were selected for the most important interview, the most important stage of the entire recruitment, after which there were only results, who got the dream job and who no, seeing the size of this list, the size of a page from a small notebook, I already knew the answer. She chose just a few people. Only the best. Not me. I'm not on this list. I knew what to expect, so I didn't even go there. I preferred to give space to those who trembled with stress, whether they succeeded or not.

Standing to the side, my friend ran up to me, grabbed my jacket and started screaming

"Seven! You are there! You are! You got in! You are the first on this list! Congratulations!"

Then with a sad voice she added 

"This is my third attempt and I failed again..."

I didn't believe it. I thought she was screwing me on, that she was joking. I went to the paper, saw and... I didn't believe it. I took a photo right away and sent a message to my friend, who persuaded me to go on this meeting, so that she would see and tell me if it was really happening or was it just a dream...

Five out of more than two hundred

Happened. My number on the list was not a dream. There were only five of us, the lucky ones selected for the final interview. Five selected from over two hundred candidates who arrived for our recruitment day. Shock. Our five passed all the qualifying stages, and about 200 people returned home without success. It's a crowd. We beat the crowd. But what was I doing among the chosen ones?

As the boy commented, also selected one,

"You are the only one who came here telling everyone that you will not pass a single stage, you have assured everyone that you are not a rival to them, you are the only one too young, and yet you made it to the final when the people to whom you said you are too weak came back home unsuccessful and I will not be surprised if, in addition, out of our five, Emirates will only hire you."

Oh, I don't think he was aware of what words he was saying...

Final interview

The day has come. Final interview day. The interview deciding about my to be or not to be. An interview affecting all the result if I would get my dream job with Emirates or not. Recorded interview, which was then to be forwarded to the main recruitment team, deciding on my final employment or rejection.
I was very curious who would be my recruiter, what kind of person she was, how she would react to me and what she would ask about.
It was an Indian woman. Very nice and sympathetic, but with the accent that made my ears hurt, and also shy, because... She turned off the camera, telling me directly that she didn't want me to see her. So all the time I was online, all I could see was myself, and all I could hear was my giggling recruiter. Yes, giggling, because she was laughing literally after everything I said to her, and when talking about serious topics, I was getting confused and didn't know if I was saying something wrong or funny or what it was about. So at some point I decided to ask if everything was okay. She answered...

"You are cute and I can't believe you are as old as you say and have so much experience"

Well... Was it a compliment or an insult... To find out the answer, all I had to do was wait.

Waiting time

While waiting for answers, our group of five created a chat in one of the internet communicators, where we regularly exchanged messages, news and information. Everyone was praying for a call, the so-called Golden Call, which meant being hired. Finally the answers began to come.

The first person received an email. Mail means refusal. Not good.
A few days later, another one got to know her result. Mail. It's bad.
Some time later, the news reached a friend. Got an email. My God.
Time passed and me and one girl were the only ones left with no answer.
However, soon she also knew her results. By e-mail.

Oh no. They thanked everyone. They rejected all four of our team. What will happen to me? Probably the same, it can't be otherwise, they were older, they could fly to Dubai now and here, all perfectly prepared, since the airline rejected them, will do the same to me... I was left to wait for my e-mail, because I had nothing else to count on.

1... 3...21?!

Finally, one amazing day, the phone rang. Seeing the 971 area code, I knew it was them. I picked up hoping to find out something, or that... Maybe that's my answer? No, not yet. Not this time. They wanted new photos. My hair has been living its own life too much, eh. But I was naive thinking that the first phone call would give me an answer whether they wanted me or not, although in fact I was sure that sooner or later I would get a negative e-mail and that would be it. However, this was just the beginning, the real marathon was just yet to come. After the first call, the next day, another rang. Then another one. And another one. And another one.
They called for everything. For photos, hair, eyes (they thought I had an unnatural eyes color), face, whether I was on a diet and how much weight I lost, because there is a difference in the photos, whether I have eating disorders, photos of me in the uniform of my current and all previous airlines I worked for (well... doubters?), about medical measurements, because according to them, in the pictures, my waist was too small in relation to my hips, etc... With the time I felt their calls like the ones from a friend who wants to tell me the news about something that interests me little, because they rang all the time and I knew with each one that it was again some little important thing that they need to know, because they want. At one point, my poor coordinator was already so tired and even embarrassed that she apologized for these questions, but explained that the top management made her call and ask and  that she would have given me an answer a long time ago, but they wanted more and more, and then she said:

"I'm sure you're accepted, after so many things they want to know about you, you can see that they care, otherwise at your age you wouldn't go through an open day, take it easy"

She was right. They didn't let go that easily. They called so often that I knew their number by heart and watching it on the screen every day didn't impress me anymore, and even when I saw it, I thought, "God, what again?" Especially that they called me for no good reason... 21 times. Madness.
Anyway, to this day I have a souvenir of this marathon in the call register of my phone, if only I thought that I had a dream.

They call many people several times, but usually it is two or three calls, and then they answer whether they want someone or not, but obviously liked me a lot, since they didn't even call me ten, but over twenty times.

And yet they said thank you...?

You probably won't be surprised if I write that the strange circumstances have not left me until the very end.
I was so used to a million questions that one day, preparing for my flight from Rome's "beloved" airport, I just put my phone to the charger, left it in the bedroom, and went to take a long, relaxing shower and recharge my batteries for all night of work. When I got back I saw three missed calls. Dubai again. Three calls in a row? Is it burning there?

Then I noticed an email in the notification bar. E-mail from Emirates. My God. So I was right after all. That's it. First they rejected my four recruitment colleagues, and now they got bored of calling me, found a hook and thanked me as well. In fact, I didn't expect anything else from the very beginning, after all, I shouldn't have bothered them at all if I didn't meet the requirements.

But wait, what?!

Then I looked a second time and noticed that the sender of the e-mail was a completely different department than the one that led the recruitment, the department that deals with welcoming new employees to the company, and the title of the message was...


I quickly opened my inbox and clicked on the e-mail to read:

"We tried to contact you three times today regarding your interview for the cabin crew position, please let us know when we can contact you again..."

What? No no. So they didn't reject me? Didn't say thank you for your time, leaving me with nothing? It wasn't true. It wasn't really happening. I couldn't get a job as the only one. It was just a dream.

Golden Call

The next day the phone rang again. This time I didn't miss it. I picked up and heard a male voice say:

"Congratulations, you've been selected, welcome to Emirates!"

And at this point, all that surprised me was my own reaction, my own feelings. Reading other people's stories about the moment they received their desired golden call, about tears, excitement, euphoria, I thought that if I ever live to see it myself, I will jump to the sky with joy and cry like a baby. Meanwhile, what I really felt, what my first reaction was, was far from this picture.

Calm. Relax. Deep breath. Feeling as if someone just told me something as obvious as "tomorrow will be another day". Of course I was the happiest in the world but... No tears, no broken voice, no shaking hands and the strangest thing... No genuine surprise. On the contrary, this small, annoying inner voice spoke ironically:

"And what, will you keep telling yourself that you will not get in, but since when you went to the recruitment day you knew that this job is already yours, but you tried to convince the whole world, with yourself on the top,that you have no chance? Why so much talking and drama, if you knew the answer before you gave your CV, and now you want to pretend to be surprised? It doesn't work like that, my dear"

Really, I couldn't fool myself anymore. From the very first moment, I tried to keep myself sure that it wouldn't work, but in fact my subconscious was screaming all the time

"Stop feeling sorry for yourself, who do you want to lie to, you got into every airline you ever applied to and chose jobs like candies, and with Emirates would be different? Get over yourself girl and don't be so dramatic, you know very well what it will end like...",

And surprisingly, entering the first meeting, I felt such a blissful peace, as if nothing threatened me in any way, apart from my own being intentionally harsh to myself, that I don't even have anything to count on, because I am not good enough for Emirates.

Hello Emirates

The moment has come when a window to the world has opened for me. Although I already had a lot of experience in flying, Emirates was a dream come true, achieved the biggest (as it seemed to me then) goal. Moving to Dubai, the biggest planes in the world, flights to the most distant places I have never dreamed of, travels, sightseeing, beloved work and adventure of life, and above all personal fulfillment, huge success and a honor for which I will be grateful forever. I have never even dared to consciously dream of becoming a part of this wonderful airline, I didn't believe that they would ever pay attention to me, and yet I didn't remain invisible to them, which is a great pleasure for me, a reason for joy and pride, and above all a proof, that what I think about myself is not always the same as who I really am.

From Emirates to VVIP

When the pandemic began, aviation received a major blow. The planes were grounded, there were no flights, there was no work, which unfortunately also hit me, my career, and didn't  allow me to fully enjoy the work of my life in my dream airline. The situation in the airline industry was getting worse day by the day, as if all perspectives had suddenly disappeared, and the only thing in the life of of the cabin crew were layoffs, forced, unpaid leaves and voluntary resignations of employees who resigned from working in the airlines choosing a different, more stable and less stressful path a career that will provide them with a steady, good income and will allow them to survive the pandemic with dignity.

The same thing happened to me. When I realized that because of covid and the situation in the industry, there is no future for me in Emirates, another gift from fate fell from heaven, I got a job offer in something that I had previously said: "Never ever in my life!" and I decided to give myself a chance, broaden my horizons, try something new and get carried away by a completely new experience, get to know aviation from a different view and enjoy the possibility of flying around the world again, this time on private jets.

So from an airline flight attendant I became a VVIP flight attendant, I moved to the highest level of the aviation career and I am grateful for every new opportunity. Maybe one day I get back on board the Emirates planes, who knows, but now... Let the adventure continue!


Maybe too little faith, maybe excessively modest... And yet worth a lot.

I came to the Emirates Open Day as a young, not meeting the requirements and completely chilled girl, who told everyone around that she was the only one who wouldn't even pass the first stage of recruitment, and then as the only one, the too young and theoretically unsuitable girl, as the only one of over 200 candidates attending the recruitment meeting, was offered a job with Emirates, the most elite, powerful and best airline in the world. An airline that is dreamed of by tens of thousands, and only a few are chosen.

One of over two hundred. Chosen by the most admired, prestigious and respected airline that exists. The airline most desired by flight attendants from around the world, the recruitment of which is as crowded as no other, and where there are about 10,000 candidates per one job vacancy. One of the most restrictive airlines in the world. The airline, which is famous for its strict rules regarding the selection of employees who are its face in the world, and without hesitation eliminates anyone who doesn't meet the criteria. And yet. This famous and powerful airline bent its own so famous and rigid rules and chose me, pushing me up to the top when I was far from the minimum age of 21.

Hired by Emirates as the only one out of over two hundred candidates. A great honor for which I will be grateful for the rest of my life.

Emirates, thank you for every moment, for all that you have given me, for all the moments of joy, stress and uncertainty, it was beautiful and priceless. You will be in my heart forever ❤

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