Two flight attendants, Nathalie Petersson, 31, and Stefano Avellino, 27, who met three years ago aboard a flight to Melbourne, have racked up over 77,000 YouTube subscribers from vlogging about their seemingly glamorous life in Dubai working for Emirates Airlines.
On April 10, Petersson and Avellino posted a video titled, “INSIDE an EMIRATES FLIGHT as CABIN CREW – Things you DON’T see as a passenger,” where they said they obtained permission from Emirates to film the entire process they went through before, during, and after a flight from Dubai to Copenhagen.
They have spoken candidly elsewhere about Emirates providing accommodation for crew, but that they have to live with the same gender.
Crew members can stay together during visits, but those who don’t work for the airline must leave by 1am. However, the rule can be avoided by requesting to live outside of the crew accommodation.
Nathalie and Stefano are able to request around five flight preferences a month or swap when they want to be on the same journey.
The pair show themselves multitasking getting dressed and having breakfast before sunrise after waking up at 4.19 am.
Showing themselves putting their uniform on, Stefano explained that the crew have to wear clip-on ties for safety – because a ‘crazy’ passenger could pull them, or they could get caught on something.
Stefano added that they have to check their bags are fully packed before leaving the house, saying: ‘The last necessary things, like duty-free pouch and our food which has been prepared from the day before.’
The couple told their fans that they have to be present at least two hours before departure to attend staff briefings and perform security checks.
Stefano admitted that they aren’t always sure about the foods that can be taken through security despite flying every day, as he asked Nathalie for her opinion on bringing the cream to eat with his strawberries.
They prefer to bring their own food to work because they have limited options as vegans and believe it’s healthier.
They filmed themselves pulling a cabin size bag as well as a suitcase as they left their apartment by bus to the airport.
Paperwork plays a part too, says Nathalie: ‘We need to make sure that we have our documents, print the tag for our bag and send it off to our destination.’
Stefano explained about briefings, saying: ‘There are about 40 different briefing rooms, where we get to meet our colleagues of the day, introduce ourselves and have our flight briefs.’ The briefings provide an opportunity for the crew to find out if any of the passengers will require special assistance such as a wheelchair. The couple revealed that after around 20 minutes of briefing, the crew board a bus that takes them to the aircraft.
Cabin crew then have to work for the whole flight, with just a few breaks, before a bus takes them to their hotel at the destination – often in a different time zone.
WHAT HAPPENS DURING A FLIGHT?
Stefano explained that the first thing the flight attendants do after boarding the plane is put away their belongings in a compartment that is separate from those used by passengers.
‘We get changed, perform security procedures and then we wait for people to board,’ he added.
Nathalie showed that they sometimes have an opportunity to eat during the wait, while colleagues stand around talking.
Stefano continued: ‘Once you get on board you hear a PA from the captain, first in Arabic then from the crew in the destination’s language to welcome you onboard.’ Nathalie said: ‘We then give out amenities like toys for our younger passengers.
‘After playing the safety video and making sure everyone is buckled up, it is time for take off.’
Stefano continued: ‘When the captain gives us the clear sign that we can move around, we begin the work in the cabin.
The couple showed that their work involves serving food and drinks to passengers using a trolley, and then clearing away any rubbish.
‘After the service and clearance are done we usually get a little break ourselves to have something to eat,’ Nathalie added.
‘About 45 minutes before landing, we start preparing the cabin – clearing and securing everything.’
Nathalie told that being a cabin crew isn’t just ‘waitressing in the sky,’ but food service is effectively our last priority. ‘We are mainly concerned about people’s safety, so we wanted to talk about that.’
Stefano explained that the flight attendants get their bags after all the passengers have disembarked, and then find the bus taking them to their hotel.
There are around 11 hours minimum for rest between flights, however, layovers can be up to 90 hours after a long-haul journey.
The couple claims they can lose up to 30 nights of sleep a year because of their unsociable working hours.
They still get their basic pay if they don’t cover flying hours, which is 4446 dirham. For each hour on a flight, the crew are paid 60 dirhams and they can work up to 120 hours per month.
Nathalie describes the upsides: ‘We have the luxury to stay in very nice hotels.
‘Before we used to get our allowance in the local currency along with the key, but now we get it in our salary at the end of the month instead.’
‘The feeling sometimes of entering your hotel after a long flight is indescribable,’ Stefano added.
The video received a million views within two days and now has 4.2 million views. It is now the couple’s most-viewed video, with most of their other posts receiving fewer than 100,000 views.