A first class Emirates flight attendant says cabin crew store secrets of VIP customers on a special tablet -- and she reveals the specific nail and lip colours required to work for the airline

Emirates' cabin crew are among the most glamorous in the sky. Their pristine appearance — be it the signature red hat and matching lip, the bright smile, or the perfect flicky eyeliner — is all bound to make a passenger feel like they're in good hands.

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Emirates flight attendants divulge secrets
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Emirates flight attendants divulge secrets

You'll have to know your wines ...

It might sound like fun, but you'll need to have a seriously solid grasp on fine wines and fizz before you cater to Emirates' first class passengers. And according to Collins this is by way of a wine education course.

"When you’re serving things like Dom Perignon and Bordeaux, you need to have a thorough understanding of what you’re pouring," she told the magazine. "We need to know the difference between old world and new world wines, as well as champagnes, bourbons, whiskeys, and other spirits."

... And brush up on your 'silver service' dining etiquette

"In economy there’s just one tray; in First Class, we have 'silver service' dining, so appetizers, main courses, and desserts are all served at different times, and customers can 'dine on demand' whenever they want," she said.

"We’re taught all the etiquette about cutlery and the different plates used for each course."

(Photo: Emirates)

You'll have to learn how to do your makeup perfectly

According to Collins, you'll have to abide by a set of guidelines on what's appropriate aesthetically while flying.

"Emirates likes to keep uniformity," she told the magazine. "Your nails can be nude, light pink, or you can have a French manicure. We also have different variations of red nail polish that are outlined by the Imaging and Grooming Department. An 'Emirates red' lipstick with lip liner is required."

And there's apparently one lipstick, in particular, that's popular among the airline's flight attendants. Collins told the magazine: "We like to use Mac’s Russian Red because it stays for a long time."

You'll also want to master the perfect flick, as liquid eyeliner is "recommended," while eye shadow can either be black or beige, she said.

Before first class passengers have even boarded, you'll have to do some homework

"We have a briefing and a team talk before each flight, where we'll review the customers who are traveling with us, including any VIPs," Collins told the magazine. "We get their names and have information about them stored in on-board tablets."

You'll then be expected to use this tablet to make notes about your VIP's likes, dislikes, dietary requirements, and the purpose of their trip throughout the journey, she explained.

(Photo: Emirates)

You can swap your shoes, but only after take off ... but when parading through the airport, it’s strictly heels-on

"In the airport and during the boarding process we wear heels, but we can change into red flats after take-off. Some girls prefer not to, but I couldn’t be in heels for a 16-hour flight. After take-off we switch to 'service attire' — we remove the jacket and add a waist coat."

She added that you can easily identify the head flight attendant, or the "purser," by what they're wearing. "Our standard uniform is the skirt and white shirt with a jacket, hat, and scarf. Every crew member dresses the same, except for the purser who wears a brown color," she told Town & Country.

(Photo: Reuters)

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And according to a first class flight attendant for the airline, you'll have to do a fair bit to get there, and abide by a series of strict rules — from wearing an exact shade of eye shadow to the style of your bun.

Joanna Collins, a Dubai-based Brit who has climbed through the Emirates ranks and now works in the first class cabin, told Town & Country magazine that to progress to premium class, there's a "rigorous" training process you'll have to get through first.

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22 things your flight attendant won’t tell you
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22 things your flight attendant won’t tell you

1. Want to start off on the wrong foot with me?

Put your carry-on in a full overhead bin, leave it sticking out six inches, then take your seat at the window and wait for someone else (me!) to come along and solve the physics problem you just created. By the way, this is what your flight attendant first notices about you.

2. Yes, passengers are incredibly rude...

 

..but stealing a beer, cursing out passengers, and jumping out of a plane is not the way to handle it. You disarm an unruly passenger by introducing yourself, asking his name, and saying something like ‘I’ve been incredibly nice to you for three hours. Why are you treating me like this?’ Generally, that gets the other passengers on your side—and sometimes they’ll even applaud.

3. We don't have a boyfriend in every city.

 And our median age these days is 44.

4. An all-too-common scenario?

I hand you a cup of coffee and say, ‘Cream and sugar?’ You say, ‘What?’ I say, ‘Cream and sugar?’ You say, ‘What?’ Come on, people. What do you think we’re going to ask after we’ve handed you coffee? Your favorite color? (But in all honesty, you probably shouldn't order coffee on a plane.)

5. If you’re traveling with a small child and you keep hearing bells, bells, and more bells...

...please look to see if it’s your child playing with the flight attendant call bell. These are the things you should never do on an airplane.

6. The lavatory door is not rocket science.

Just push.

7. If you have a baby, bring diapers.

If you’re diabetic, bring syringes. If you have high blood pressure, don’t forget your medication. That way, I’m not trying to make a diaper out of a sanitary pad and a pillowcase or asking over the intercom if someone has a spare inhaler. Here are some other little flying etiquette rules you know.

8. Just in case you hadn’t noticed, there are other people on the airplane besides you.

So don’t clip your toenails, snore with wild abandon, or do any type of personal business under a blanket!

9. If you’re traveling overseas, do yourself a favor and bring a pen.

You would not believe how many people travel without one, and you need one to fill out the immigration forms. I carry some, but I can’t carry 200. Here are some more tips to know before your next flight.

10. Passengers are always coming up to me and tattling on each other.

‘Can you tell him to put his seat up?’ ‘She won’t share the armrest.’ What am I, a preschool teacher?

11. I hate working flights to destinations like Vail and West Palm Beach.

The passengers all think they’re in first class even if they’re not. They don’t do what we ask. And the overhead bins are full of their mink coats.

12. Do you really have to go to the bathroom right now, while we’re wrestling a 250-pound food cart down the aisle?

 You can’t wait 90 seconds for us to pass?

13. Is it that difficult to say hello and goodbye?

We say it 300 times on every flight, and only about 40 people respond—saying "hello" is really the one word you need to get your flight attendant to like you.

14. Do not poke or grab me

I mean it. No one likes to be poked, but it’s even worse on the plane because you’re sitting down and we’re not, so it’s usually in a very personal area. You would never grab a waitress if you wanted ketchup or a fork, would you?

15. We’re not just being lazy.

Our rules really say we aren’t allowed to lift your luggage into the overhead bin for you, though we can “assist.” Try these tips for packing light when bringing a carry-on.

16. I don’t care if you want to be in the mile-high club, keep your clothes on.

Who decided the mile-high club was something that everyone wants to do anyway? It’s cramped and dirty in those bathrooms.

17. If you hear us paging for a doctor...

 ...or see us running around with oxygen, defibrillators, and first aid kits, that’s not the right time to ask for a blanket or a Diet Coke. Here are some other pet peeves of flight attendants.

18. The only place you are allowed to pee...

 ...on the airplane is in the lavatory. Period.

19. Don’t ask us if it’s OK to use the lavatories on the ground.

 The answer is always yes. Do you think what goes into the toilet just dumps out onto the tarmac?

20. You really expect me to take your soggy Kleenex?

 Or your kid’s fully loaded diaper? I’ll be right back with gloves.

21. Sure, I don’t mind waiting while you scour the seatback pocket

 ...and the floor for candy wrappers and other garbage, then place them in my bag one by one. I only have 150 other passengers to serve.

22. I’m sorry it’s taking forever to get you a wheelchair.

That’s one thing you can’t blame the airline for. The wheelchair service is subcontracted to the cities we fly into, and it’s obviously not a top priority for many of them. Want more insider air travel info? These are the secrets your airplane pilot won't tell you.

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