When I saw on Facebook that a previous student of mine was celebrating his third year as Cabin Crew for easyJet I couldn’t help but ask him to write a few words for those of you hoping to secure your dream job about what it’s like to be Cabin Crew for easyJet! Here’s what he had to say…
Why did you choose to work for easyJet?
I had always been interested in aeroplanes and flying and decided after my GCSEs to go to college to study Travel and Tourism. While I was studying in college for 3 years, I got bored of going to a classroom everyday between the hours of 8-5, I wanted to go out into the world and start doing something that really interested me. After doing some research and talking to a few Cabin Crew over the internet and phone, I decided that halfway through my last year of college that I’d apply to easyJet. I applied and got accepted straight away, which I really wasn’t expecting. I found that easyJet was a very fun and happy airline to work for, with pretty good pay compared to many of its competitors. Generally short haul pays better than long haul and you have the opportunity to have much more of a life at home, with a lot more free-time. The airline is financially stable, which is always a good thing, you feel as if your job is safe. You also have the option to invest in easyJet internally in the way of shares, which if you do right, can make you some cash.
It was also a very friendly airline and with that, and the fact of being pretty much guaranteed to be safe from the company going into administration, I saw a lot of stability and room for career progression and promotion, I made my decision to enter the orange life… and I haven’t regretted it.
2) what was the assessment day/interview process like?
As I entered the easyJet academy, I was very nervous, I was completely out of my comfort zone, but I knew this was the job/industry I wanted to be involved in, the assessors were incredibly polite and comforting, and made us all very patriotic to be applying for easyJet through a presentation that we had early in the day.
After all the meet and greets were done, along with the first presentation, we were all then split into groups, and throughout the day, we were given a number of tasks/activities that we must work through together. This tested our team work and our social abilities and ranged from building a bridge to carry a small pin-pong ball from point A to point B with a limited amount of resources, to having to come up with a new airline service and/or route with a limited amount of information of the different options. We had to pick an option and explain why we chose it.
After about 4-5 hours with an hour break in-between, they reformed everyone back into one large group, they then read out half of the names of everyone in our group (which was around 30-40 members), and asked them to stand outside, at this point myself and around 15-20 others were left inside the room all curious with what’s happening, we then got told that we had made it through to the interview stage of the assessment day. After one more presentation explaining more details about our roles and the benefits of the job, we were then sent to the canteen to wait for our name to be called for a personal and individual interview. At that time it was a 1on1 interview, although this has now changed to a 2on1 interview. I was the unlucky one and had to wait last for my interview, a very agonising 90 minutes, but when entering the room, it was just like any other interview.
Why do you want to work for us? What benefits can you bring to the company? Would you class yourself as a team player? Tell us a time when you went up and beyond in customer service? Can you tell us a time when you turned a difficult situation around? I did my assessment/interview just over 3 years ago now, so obviously some things might have changed, but chances are it’ll still be the same format roughly.
You might also be interested in ‘Cabin Crew assessment day: Experiences, tips and recommendations’
3) what was the training like?
Training for me was rough and difficult at some points, it was 3 very long weeks of intense studying with exams every day or two, many of them practical, many of them paper multiple choice. I don’t like exams and I don’t like studying! Although it was hard at times, I also found the 3 weeks very fun and enjoyable as my training group of 15 were like a family, and after the first day, we all formed a massive bond and became very close with each other. When one of us started slowing or falling behind, others would come over to help them out. We would go back to one of their hotel rooms after a day of training and learning to study together and go out for meals together, and at certain points of training, I felt like I was having the best time of my life. The trainers were all incredibly nice, helpful and funny, they never wanted you to fail, they wanted us to all pass and gave it their all to make sure that we did.
Our swimming/water drills, firefighting drills and slide drills were incredibly fun too, but you also start to realize that your job isn’t just about serving tea and coffee to random strangers from point A to point B, you realise that if anything was to go wrong at 38,000ft in the air that it is you and your crew’s responsibility to deal with it.
If a P.E.D lithium battery fire had started in the overhead locker, it’s your job to stop it and move passengers away while trying to make sure the situation doesn’t get any worse. If the aircraft was to ditch or have an emergency landing, its your job to evacuate all passengers from that aircraft in under 90 seconds. If a passenger falls unwell and starts to have a heart attack, it’s you and your crew that will work together to perform life-saving CPR and first aid until that aircraft can get on the ground and paramedics can take over. At the end of the day, you are on-board that aircraft to maintain the safety and security of all passengers from point A to point B, and it’s a massive but rewarding responsibility.
When our wings day came, the day that all of us look forward to from day 1 of training, the sense of pride and responsibility rushes through your body. All that hard work you have put in these last few weeks are about to be paid off by having a little metal badge to go on your suit jacket/dress, and honestly, it was the best feeling in the world. It was Instagram, Facebook and snapchat override that evening, everyone was proud of themselves, and so we should be, what we went through was constant rapid emotional change over 3 weeks.1 day you were laughing and having the best time, next you were stressing and studying really hard to get ready for that exam you had the following morning. After the exam you have to deal with the stress of what feels like an endless eternity of anxiety to wait to see if you made the 80-90% pass mark. When you find out you passed, it’s a time for celebration and laughs again, till 48 hours later it’ll all repeat itself. But am I proud of where I am today? Am I happy that I went through this? Yeah! Because it’s brought me the best years of my life, and I regret nothing!
You might also be interested in ‘‘Cabin Crew training: There’s more to it than you think!’
4) what are your rosters like?
Well, at easyJet, we have what we call a random roster, and well… clue is in the title, the roster is random, we have a max week of 5 working days, and we can have anywhere in-between 1-4 days off depending on the weeks we are working and the hours we are flying, for example, the number in brackets are the days off and the numbers not in brackets are the working week:
5 (3) 3 (2) 4 (2) 5 (4) 1 (1) 4 (2) 5 (2) 3 (3)
There is sadly no pattern in our rosters, but that’s the nature of the job. We get our rosters 1 month in advance, but don’t worry if you want more time off, because you have plenty of opportunity to book leave and guaranteed day’s off. This must be booked a few months in advance, however if you want Christmas off with leave? Well… Good luck honestly, but easyJet doesn’t operate from 95% of their bases on Christmas day, so depending on your base, you’ll just be scheduled on a 4 hour home standby or given the day off.
5) what are the promotion opportunities like?
easyJet offers a few promotion opportunities. You start as a normal cabin crew (FA) if you feel you want more responsibility and a bit more of a challenge, you can work yourself up to being a Cabin Manager. From there, there’s a Line Manager/Trainer, if you want, you can become an assessor for new entrant cabin crew, and be the interviewer instead of the interviewee. You can become a cabin crew trainer if you so wish, but all of the roles you’ll need to apply for yourself when they open the roles up. You do get support from your base management if they think your up for the task sooner than you think yourself.
But after a few years of being crew, and you want to start placing your feet on the ground more, easyJet offers a lot of opportunities for you to move around the company internally to our operations control centre (OCC), base management and much much more!
6) what do you like best about working for easyJet?
Me personally, being a Cabin Manager, I love the responsibility that I have, I don’t tend to think of it as going to work, I tend to think of it as a day out, and I love to make sure all my crew that are under my responsibility are having a great time. I have found you can’t maintain safety and positive customer service with dull, sad and unhappy crew.
easyJet is unique and not like many other airlines, I would say we are very modern in our operation and everyone is treated equally and fairly, you’ll hear a lot from crew who have come from other airlines that everyone over there is very seniority based. No matter your position in the company, if you have been there a year less than someone else, they are your boss, even if they are the same pay grade as you. They will get to choose their position first, they will get to choose their dinner first, they will get to have their break when they want. Obviously, I don’t have much experience with other airlines myself personally, but this is what I hear from ex BA, Virgin and Thomson (Now called TUI) crew who are now at easyJet
7) what do you like least about working for easyJet?
Honestly? There’s very little I can complain about. Overall the company is great for me and the only things I can say about the company are small little useless things that don’t really affect much, if anything at all.