I recently had the opportunity to catch up with Sam, who is part of our cabin crew based at Birmingham. Sam has a real passion for flying and all things Monarch, and I was curious to find out what brought him here and why he loves his job so much. Enjoy!
Hi Sam! Before we begin with the ‘serious’ questions, I want to know – what’s your background and when did your passion for aviation start and what did you get up to before joining Monarch?
I’m from Swadlincote, in South Derbyshire. I have had a passion for aviation and flying for as long as I can remember! Before joining Monarch, I went to the Aviation Academy at Leeds-Bradford Airport where I completed my BSc (Hons) Air Transport Management degree.
If your friends described you in three words, they would say…
Obsessed – with – aeroplanes!
It might sound a bit obvious by now, but…why did you choose to apply for the role of cabin crew?
I chose to apply for the role of cabin crew because all I’ve ever wanted to do is fly. My passion for the role is indescribable. Also, the Monday to Friday, 9 to 5 lifestyle is definitely not for me – another reason why this job suits me perfectly.
What made you want to work for Monarch?
My first ever flight with Monarch was in 1996 (when I was just 4 years old). I flew from Manchester to Fuerteventura onboard my favourite aircraft, the Boeing 757. I have travelled with Monarch many times since, and have been interested in the airline throughout. Monarch has always been a fantastic airline to fly with, and I now know that it is a great company to work for, too.
How long have you been working for Monarch?
Since March 2014.
What does your day-to-day job consist of?
We report for duty 1 hour and 15 minutes before departure, and in that time we conduct a pre-flight brief led by the Cabin Manager. We discuss all relevant details about the flights we are to operate, such as operating positions on the aircraft, flight times, services we will complete, and any special customer details we need to know for the day. The most important section of this brief is the safety and emergency discussion, where our emergency procedures and first aid knowledge is tested to ensure we are up to date and safe to fly. Following this we proceed to our aircraft to prepare for passenger boarding. In this time we check the serviceability of all emergency equipment onboard the aircraft, ensure the cabin is clean and tidy, seat pockets are dressed neatly and the toilets are well stocked, and prepare the galleys for the in-flight services. Finally we security-check the entire cabin, galleys and toilets before customer boarding, which commences up to 40 minutes before departure.
Once all customers are on board and seated securely with hand baggage stowed safely, we close the doors and push back for departure. At this time we complete the safety demonstration, pointing out the nearest emergency exits and the operation of the seatbelt, oxygen mask and life jacket. We then pass through to check that the cabin is secure for takeoff. Once airborne, we begin the in-flight service, which can vary depending on the length of the flight times. Delivering the in-flight service to our customers is an important part of our job, however an even more important aspect is ensuring the safety of our customers and aircraft at all times. Monarch cabin crew are highly-trained safety professionals, and it is our primary role to deal with any safety-related situation onboard, such as a customer requiring medical assistance.
Before landing into our destination, we once again pass through to check that the cabin is secure for landing. Once on stand and safe to do so, we allow customers to disembark and begin their holidays. We have less than one hour to disembark customers, check the aircraft for lost property, dress each and every seat pocket, ensure the cabin is clean and tidy, before security-checking the entire cabin, galley and toilets once again ready for customer boarding for the return flight home. Once we have landed back in the UK and customers have disembarked, we complete a final lost-property check before disembarking ourselves and proceeding to the crew room to bank the money taken during the flight and debrief with the rest of the crew before checking out and heading home.
Thank you Sam – the role definitely has a lot more about it than meets the eye! What are some of the challenges of the job?
On-time performance is an everyday challenge. It is our job to get up to 214 customers onboard and seated with all hand baggage stowed safely and securely in a limited amount of time, especially when we have an Air Traffic Control departure slot restriction to meet. Another day to day challenge is tailoring the service we deliver on each flight, as no two flights are the same. We aim to meet the needs and requirements of each and every one of our customers on an individual basis given our extremely diverse customer profile.
What gives you the most satisfaction in the job?
I get the most satisfaction in my job when our customers are complimentary to the crew. It is very satisfying to hear customers tell you that they have had a nice flight, thanking you for the service that they have received and also when I’m asked to pass on thanks and complimentary messages to the flight deck crew.
What keeps you motivated to enjoy your job?
The variety and unpredictability keeps me motivated. No two flights are the same – we fly to different destinations each day, with different crew each day, and we meet different customers each day. There is always something about each and every flight we do that makes it different from the last.
What do you love most about it?
It’s being able to do what I love the most on a daily basis. Monarch is a fantastic company to work for. My base in Birmingham genuinely feels like a big family. Every time I turn up at work, I feel like I’m going on holiday with my best friends.
What are some of your proudest achievements?
My proudest moments have been flying my mum and dad out to Barcelona and Palma last summer. My other proudest moment was graduating from The Aviation Academy with my first class honours BSc (Hons) Air Transport Management before I joined Monarch.
Any advice for those thinking of pursuing a career similar to yours?
I would recommend this job to anyone who is thinking of pursuing a career as cabin crew. As long as you are willing to be flexible, can get used to getting up early and working long hours (and willing to have a reduced social life!) then this is the job for you. The variety is relentless and the job satisfaction is huge. I could not imagine myself doing anything else.
Thank you so much Sam! One last question – on Monarch’s scheduled network, which is your favourite destination and why?
My favourite destination is Gibraltar. It is such a unique airport and destination, there is nowhere else like it on our network. I have operated to Gibraltar many times, and since joining Monarch, I have also been able to visit it. It is a beautiful place, and I would recommend it to anyone.
Do you also have a passion for aviation and are interested in joining our cabin crew? Have a look at our careers portal for opportunities!