I had the opportunity to go behind the scenes of the Emirates Cabin Crew training facility in Dubai (yes, you hate me, I get it) and I discovered some pretty interesting facts about the training these ladies and lads have to go through to get you that next bourbon and Coke.
Emirates currently boast a 20,000-member cabin crew in their fleet’s rotation , a number that is topped up at a rate of 200 monthly recruits.
These guys go through a six-week training course that takes them through cabin etiquette (no politics allowed), emergency training – including the requisite slide drop, in which I also partook – make up (a particular colour of lipstick and nail polish), nutrition education, and everything in between.
A particular favourite of mine was the fire training. Everyone got shut into an entirely metal cabin that was then set alight to simulate cabin fires caused by laptops and the like. This is designed to teach cabin crew recruits how to angle a fire extinguisher properly. It’s certainly thorough!
From there, recruits must work for at least a year in economy class without receiving any warnings against their name, which could come from not wearing the aforementioned shade of lipstick to not being able to stop your average Joe (with a free open-bar mentality) from getting sozzled and obnoxious.
After a year, the Emirates cabin crew are able to apply to up-skill into Business Class, which means another trip to training college (not a huge deal considering all Emirates cabin crew must live in Dubai), and then they’re on their way.
First Class, surely the standard to which they all aspire, is another five-day up-skill course and a lot more conversation classes. Emirates Cabin Crew are required to keep up to date with current affairs and read widely as well.
The fact is, when you purchase your Business or First Class ticket, you’re getting the cream of the cabin crew crop.