Being Flight Attendant is Not That Glamorous

To become a pilot or a flight attendant is many people’s dream, it was also mine and still is. This is my most private post on the blog that I ever been writing and I hope to inspire others to follow their dreams!

Picture of me in the cockpit wearing the captains hatMy biggest dream, even today, is to take a pilot certificate. However, one of my dreams has already become true, namely, to work as a flight attendant. I did it for two different airlines in overall for 5 years.  I miss it every day, but my life is moving forward!

a picture of me in front of a small plane

When it happened

It was May 27, 2014 that my life totally changed. I flew Qatar Airways Airbus 330 (that aircraft type flew to Stockholm at the time) and moved to a new country I never heard of before. I was 24 years and had left home when I was 20 and lived in Shanghai and traveled around the world since then. Moving to a new city, a new culture, how hard can it be? But my life was turned upside down literally.

It was the last day of March that year I went to the Sheraton Hotel in Stockholm very nervous like never before with my resume in hand and on shaky legs. That day, I passed three different tests that day and completed more additional tests the day after. 4 weeks later,. I got the email I’ve been waiting for with excitement.

Congratulations, you are accepted as a flight attendant to Qatar Airways!

How cool isn’t this, I will work as a flight attendant and fly all over the world. See places I could only fantasize about, and I never thought I will get to visit that I will be able to visit now. The joy within me was huge!

a picture of me in my uniform in my hotel room

a picture of the clothes and accessories given by the airline once you start the jobI moved to Doha, Qatar and lived there for 3 years. It was 3 long years which included laughter, tears, disappointment, joy, excitement and challenges. I have met many different kinds of people, some more interesting than others. I have been told exciting, amazing, scary and nasty stories both in my time I lived there but also when I got home that I could share with you.

a picture of me at the pantry area in the flight

The Image we see

Media has always painted the picture that it is so incredibly luxurious and glamorous to be a flight attendant. Yes, partially it is so, but unfortunately It’s not really that glamorous that so many think it is. It’s about early mornings, irregular working hours, late nights, you get jet lag. Not least of all, as a flight attendant you are trained to act as both a firefighter, nurse, police officer, psychologist and personality handling! It’s not just to serve coffee and tea as MANY think!

a picture of my colleagues and I in training uniforms

a picture of our team with the trainer at the flight attendant school

a picture of the dummy used in training in classa picture of my colleagues training for health and safety

My Training

I did 2 months training for Qatar Airways, 8 full weeks of training in order to become a certified flight attendant! The course was not easy. Many tests have been done during these eight weeks, everything has also been in English. I have done medical examinations, psychological tests and personality tests. It is, in other words, so much more behind to work as a flight attendant than just, as I said, serve coffee and tea in the air. There has been heavy pressure and new challenges I have never experienced before.

Really, how hard can it be to become a flight attendant? So I thought many, many times.

a picture of my colleague and I outside our academy

a picture of my trainer and I in the classroom

a picture of me with my classmates and our certificates of completion of training

a picture of me holding my certificate

The Downside

What many do not realize is how much shit a flight attendant gets. It’s her fault that the plane is delayed. It is her fault that all the other passengers chose that specific choice of meal and that the option isn’t left over when she comes to you. It is her fault that families change the diapers of their children in the seats and then have to take care of the diaper herself. It is her fault that the plane is bumpy. It is her fault that the plane doesn’t land on time. It is her fault that a family with children has different seats in the airplane. It is her fault that your luggage is to heavy to manage to lift it up in the overhead bin. Well, the list is endless 😉

a picture of me next to model plane of Qatar airways

Life as a flight attendant is in other words not as glamorous as most people think. It is a job that is stressful, where you have to be patient, can handle many things at the same time and know the safety onboard by heart. Even if the airplane looks like a bombshell with debris, food scraps, crumbs, glued gum and newspapers that have been shredded into confetti. I loved my job! I got to see places I’d never otherwise have visited and are incredibly grateful for that.

a picture off me in the pantry area

The Extreme situations

When I worked as a flight attendant, I have seen passengers die on board, passengers who fainted right in my arms. Turbulence so severe that several passengers and colleagues got injured, near death experience, threats and misogyny. I have received much shit and being called things that I never thought anyone could say to someone who are just trying to do his/her job.

I have had to put up with a lot but at the same time taught me to be strong and ignore this shit. I have learned to deal with difficult situations and got a patient out of the ordinary. Nevertheless, I loved my job! But being a flight attendant is not as glamorous as people think.

a picture of me sitting in the seat in business class

a picture of me in uniform of SAS airlines


But I have loved being a flight attendant. It has been the most fun in my life and even though it’s not that glamorous I miss it every day. I knew the value of what I did. I was there for those who needed me, who wanted a hug or needed someone to listen. I have been told many interesting stories because I have been there for others who are afraid, sick or needed help. I have had colleagues who are passionate about the same interest as me, flying! 

Getting to know new people from different parts of the world. Woking with people with different backgrounds and cultures has been a great lesson for me. I have found lifelong friends that I would never otherwise meet. My colleagues at SAS when I worked there, are the best colleagues I ever had. We have had many funny moments together and memories I will never forget and friends from SAS that I still hanging out with today. Working as a flight attendant is not just a job, it’s a lifestyle!

a picture of me in the cockpit with the captain

If you have the chance and opportunity to do what you love and are passionate about, do it!

a picture of me standing beside the engine of the aircraft

So, maybe you should reconsider your thoughts about how glamorous this life as flight attendant is? 😉

Happy Travels!
// Charlotte


  1. Äntligen hittat hit! Hörde talas om denna blogg för någon månad sen men glömde adressen och sen har jag aldrig letat reda på den. Tada!! Kul och intressant inlägg! Vad gör du nu istället då, det har jag missat?

    • readyfortakeoff Reply

      Vad roligt att du hittat hit nu 🙂 Välkommen! Jag jobbar på ett e- handelsföretag nu mitt i centrala Stockholm med sälj och marknad. Kände att det var min tur att “settle down” så jag tvistade om mitt liv och reser så mycket jag kan privat istället 🙂

  2. Jag tänker helt så som du beskriver det, och tänker varje gång jag flyger att “jäklar vad grymma de är, jag hade aldrig pallat det jobbet”(har extremt lite tålamod)
    Åker med Qatar och har 21 timmar i Doha om 2 veckor så jag får pick your brain lite om staden ?
    Och så ska jag även börja ge små gåvor till flygvärdinnorna när jag åker långflyg för att visa hur mycket jag uppskattar deras jobb! ?

    • readyfortakeoff Reply

      Haha vad rolig du är! Ja tålamod är jag något jag lärde mig få med det jobbet kan jag tala om 😉
      Vad roligt att du ska till Doha, vart ska du därefter? Jag har skrivit väldigt mycket om Doha på bloggen under fliken “destinationer”. Där finns även mina Topp 10 saker att se och göra i Doha, hoppas du kan hitta någon inspiration därifrån! 😀 Du kommer vara den mest uppskattade passageraren EVER om du gör det, så fint av dig!! 🙂

      • Ska till Bali efter det, och dessutom kommer vi vara i luften på internationella kvinnodagen så då ska jag definitivt ge nåt till mina fellow resetokiga kvinnor 😀

  3. Kul att läsa,du är grym! Jag hade en dröm om att bli flygvärdinna när jag var yngre. Det blev tyvärr aldrig så. Hamnade på ett fartyg istället. Inte alls lika spännande men jag känner igen mig i mycket av det du skriver som man kanske inte tänker på. Att man är en del av en säkerhetsorganisation, går många kurser i både det ena och det andra, har ett stort ansvar och får ta hand om både klagande och ibland rädda gäster. Samtligt ett väldigt kul jobb där man träffat så mycket härliga människor.

    • readyfortakeoff Reply

      Ja men eller hur Maria! 🙂 Det är så mycket bakomliggande som många inte ens tror eller tänker på. Tyckte det var viktigt att lyfta 🙂

  4. Ett utav dina bästa inlägg. Jag drömde om att bli pilot rätt länge men insåg att det var för mycket stillasittande för min smak. Gillar dock fortfarande att flyga i cockpit. Lätt bästa platsen!

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