News, Culture & Society

Emirates flight attendant Alexandra Cosoff reveals what it takes to become a first class stewardess

When it comes to air travel, there’s nothing more luxurious than flying in first class.

For $15,500, travellers flying from Sydney to London can expect to be treated like royalty with a level of service that comes close to a five-star hotel in the sky.

And Emirates flight attendant Alexandra Cosoff, from Queensland, has lifted the lid on what it really takes to work in the elite section of the plane at 35,000 feet.

From styling their hair the ‘correct’ way to knowing details of every passenger before boarding, the 30-year-old revealed what cabin crew members are expected to know when they are working in first class for one of the world’s leading airlines.

Emirate’s flight attendant Alexandra Cosoff (pictured) has lifted the lid on what it really takes to work for first class passengers at 35,000 feet

From styling their hair the 'correct' way to knowing details of every passenger before boarding, the 30-year-old revealed what cabin crew members are expected to know when they are working in first class for one of the world's leading airlines

From styling their hair the ‘correct’ way to knowing details of every passenger before boarding, the 30-year-old revealed what cabin crew members are expected to know when they are working in first class for one of the world’s leading airlines

What are the requirements to become an Emirates flight attendant?

  • At least 21 years of age
  • Arm reach of 212 cm while standing on tiptoes
  • Minimum height of 160 cm
  • High school graduate (Grade 12)
  • Fluency in English (written and spoken) 
  • No visible tattoos while you’re in Emirates cabin crew uniform 
  • Can adapt to new people, new places and new situations 
  • Physically fit for this demanding role with a healthy Body Mass Index (BMI)
  • Manage a pretty demanding work schedule 
  • You’ll be culturally aware and reflect who we are – professional, empathetic, progressive, visionary and cosmopolitan

DOING THEIR HOMEWORK 

Alexandra said in first class, cabin crew members are expected to take the time to get to know each and every one of their passenger before they board.

‘We are diligent when it comes to providing a personal approach to customers joining first class for the flight, from greeting them by name upon boarding, as well as knowing any details to make their journey with us memorable. This might include a preferred drink order or favourite magazines,’ she told Daily Mail Australia.

‘We are all required to be aware of the personal preferences, travel itinerary and dietary requirements of their first class passengers. Before our flight, we have a team briefing to ensure we are all aware of any VIPs who are flying with us, and we also have on-board tablets to keep information at hand. We make sure these are kept updated throughout our journey.’

FOOD AND DRINK EXPERTISE 

With an extensive menu of expensive wines and spirits, first class flight attendants are required to have a thorough understanding of every drink they pour for their passengers.

‘We serve wine from all around the world, such as wines derived from the Bordeaux region of France and the iconic Australian wine, Penfolds among others,’ she said.

‘As we have such a diverse offering, it’s important that we know the details of the product offering that is served to our customers across all cabins. In first class, product knowledge is important. 

‘We need to be able to provide an informative response to any inquiries that we encounter in our customer service. We have access to educational courses to assist in strengthening our knowledge of product offering on board.’

Alexandra said in first class, cabin crew members are expected to take the time to get to know each and every one of their passenger before they board (file image)

Alexandra said in first class, cabin crew members are expected to take the time to get to know each and every one of their passenger before they board (file image)

Alexandra said it’s also essential to know every food and wine pairings they serve in first class.

‘As our menus are different on almost every flight – depending on the region we are flying to and the season – it is important to have a thorough understanding of different wine and grape varieties in order to make great recommendations to customers,’ she said.

‘Customers are always impressed with excellent product knowledge on the aircraft and by recommending correct food and wine pairings, we can really add another layer of luxury to their on-board dining experience.

With an extensive menu of expensive wines and spirits, first class flight attendants are required to have a thorough understanding of every drink they pour for their passengers

With an extensive menu of expensive wines and spirits, first class flight attendants are required to have a thorough understanding of every drink they pour for their passengers

What’s the ‘correct’ way to style a hair bun

Alexandra said Emirates flight attendant must style their hair to meet its ‘Image and Uniform standards’.

‘If choosing the bun hairstyle… whether it is twisting the hair, braiding it or using a doughnut, the hair must be secured with a thin hairnet and any accessories must match the hair colour,’ she told Daily Mail Australia.

‘We are also issued a red scrunchie as part of our uniform that we can choose to wear with the bun hairstyle.’

SILVER SERVICE  

As part of their training, Alexandra said flight attendants are required to be educated on etiquette, such as the different courses and the correct cutlery usage.

‘We are offered both practical and experiential training which prepares us for in-flight situations. We have flight kitchens to help us perfect our plating and food preparation, a Duty Free room, and seat and suite demonstration rooms,’ she said.

‘The Service Training team includes qualified experts on different aspects in the field, with backgrounds in culinary arts, hospitality and in-flight service to ensure we receive leading training across all aspects of the service.’

In first class, Emirates offers its passengers a ‘Dine on Demand’ style service on all flights travelling more than four hours.

‘This means that our first class customers can tailor their dining experience to their individual needs – literally being able to order anything from the entire menu whenever they like,’ Alexandra said.

Flight attendants are required to attend a beauty school to learn about the airline's makeup and hair guidelines

Flight attendants are required to attend a beauty school to learn about the airline’s makeup and hair guidelines

What’s the makeup routine they follow? 

Here, Alexandra shared her step-by-step makeup routine she follows, which was set by the airline.

Starting from the base, a foundation and powder to match the skin tone, with a blusher to compliment this. 

For the eyes, eyeshadow and or eyeliner is to be worn. The eyeshadow colours are to be brown and/or cream tones to match the uniform and the eyeliner can be black or brown

Mascara is a must and be a shade of black or brown, and of course the iconic red lipstick. 

‘As I am from Australia, I work on many Australian flights. Some of the flights between Australia and Dubai can be almost 14 hours. Many of our first class customers are connecting to Australia, through Dubai, from the United Kingdom, Europe or even the Americas. 

‘That means many customers will keep to their own schedules – I might be serving one first class customer a Gruyere Omelette while a different passenger enjoys a herb crusted rack of lamb with a glass of Bordeaux.

‘That is the beauty of first class – being able to tailor a flight to the individual customers’ needs or preferences.’

BEAUTY SCHOOL GRADUATES 

Flight attendants – both women and men – are required to attend a beauty school to learn about the airline’s makeup and hair guidelines.

'The "look" is an integral part of Emirates brand image, which is why we have a dedicated Image and Uniform team to ensure hair and make-up standards are followed by cabin crew,' Alexandra said.

‘The “look” is an integral part of Emirates brand image, which is why we have a dedicated Image and Uniform team to ensure hair and make-up standards are followed by cabin crew,’ Alexandra said.

Alexandra said Emirates also has hair standards for the gentlemen; must be neat, conservative and styled away from the face. Their hair must not be overload with gel or wax and be neatly trimmed at all times and not touch the collar of their shirt

Alexandra said Emirates also has hair standards for the gentlemen; must be neat, conservative and styled away from the face. Their hair must not be overload with gel or wax and be neatly trimmed at all times and not touch the collar of their shirt

What kind of ‘training’ do Emirates flight attendants do?

Alexandra told Daily Mail Australia they all begin our career in economy class. 

‘We are then selected to move into the business and first class cabins over a number of years, based on our performance. The transition takes place after undertaking further training to complement our skills. This involves 25 hours of preparatory work, such as reading modules, watching training videos highlighting premium customer service and home-based assignments,’ she said.

‘We then have to attend specialised hospitality training to be prepared for our business and first class services. This includes attention to detail in plating of meals, pairing Emirates’ world class wine selection with our food to give our customers a premium service. 

‘In first class, we learn how to anticipate people’s needs so we can create an experience that is truly personal and unique to each customer. ‘

‘The “look” is an integral part of Emirates brand image, which is why we have a dedicated Image and Uniform team to ensure hair and make-up standards are followed by cabin crew,’ Alexandra said. 

‘When it comes to makeup standards for female cabin crew, we are not told which brands to buy, as this will be a personal preference. However, we are informed what items we need to wear.

‘We often get asked if there is a particular shade that we as crew must use, but it’s not specified, what we need to know is the colour must match the red in the uniform and not be glossy.’

For the hair standards, flight attendants must ensure their hair is clean and neatly presented at all times. 

‘Any loose strands around the face and neckline must be pinned up and that our chosen hairstyle must not affect the correct positioning of our hat,’ she said. 

‘Various styles such as, French roll, up roll, or the classic bun are permitted.’

Male flight attendants are also expected to meet hair standards. 

‘Their hair must be neat, conservative and styled away from the face. Their hair must not be overload with gel or wax and be neatly trimmed at all times and not touch the collar of their shirt,’ Alexandra said.

Read more at DailyMail.co.uk


Comments are closed.