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Cabin Crew and Ground Handling

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  • Cabin Crew and Ground Handling
    09 September 2019
    Passenger Ground Handling

    <p>Broadly speaking, ground handling within an aviation context explores the many service requirements of an aircraft, between the time it arrives at the terminal gate and the time it departs on the next flight.&nbsp; Speed, efficiency and accuracy are paramount in order to minimise turnaround time.&nbsp; From a business perspective, lower turnaround times translate into better profits.</p>
    <p>It is important to consider that most ground services are not directly related to the actual flying of the aircraft, and instead involve an array of other tasks and activities.&nbsp; One of the major constituents of ground handling includes the branch of passenger ground handling which will be discussed in greater detail in the following article.</p>
    <p><strong><u>Customer service functions with regards to passenger ground handling include:</u></strong></p>
    <p><strong><u>Ticketing: </u></strong>&nbsp;The modern passenger is likely to arrive at the airport having already checked themselves in via an online system, however there are provisions for on-the spot-purchases.</p>
    <p><strong><u>Check in</u></strong>: In most major airports, electronic check-in kiosks prevail.&nbsp; However, a need remains for customer service agents to assist passengers with the check-in process, verification of documentation, tagging and processing of check-in baggage etc.</p>
    <p><strong><u>Lobby management:</u></strong>&nbsp; Passenger service agents will ensure that the appropriate number of check-in desks are available, that they are adequately staffed and have the appropriate signage.&nbsp; They will also direct and control the flow of passengers in an orderly and efficient manner.&nbsp;</p>
    <p><strong><u>Special Needs Handling</u></strong>:&nbsp; Customer service agents will be required to make the necessary arrangements for wheelchairs or other appropriate means of transport to the departure/arrival gates for mobility impaired passengers.&nbsp; They will also assist with the processing, safeguarding and supervising of any unaccompanied minors from check-in to aircraft boarding, and from aircraft disembarkation to the release of the UM to a parent, guardian or other authorised person.</p>
    <p><strong><u>Gate assignment</u></strong>:&nbsp; Passenger ground handling agents, in co-ordination with the airport authority, will assign aircraft gates and will relay the gate information to passengers.</p>
    <p><strong><u>Aircraft Boarding</u></strong>:&nbsp; Customer service agents will make appropriate boarding announcements, conduct final passenger screening and document verification and provide the final passenger manifest and customs documentation to the aircraft crew.&nbsp; Passengers may need to be bussed to the aircraft or may be required to walk on the ramp. In this instance, ground agents will enforce the necessary safety protocols and procedures.</p>
    <p><strong><u>Aircraft disembarkation</u></strong>:&nbsp; Ground staff will be required to receive any in-bound customs paperwork and accept the arriving passengers at the aircraft.&nbsp; They will also facilitate their transport and transfer to the terminal building, dealing as necessary with any occurrences arising from an in-bound delay or cancellation of connecting flights.&nbsp;</p>
    <p><strong><u>Irregular Operations</u></strong>:&nbsp; Passenger ground handling staff must be available and prepared to accommodate irregular operation protocols. This includes the re-booking of passengers who have missed connections, providing meal and accommodation vouchers, employing crowd-control strategies and making arrangements for overnight stays at hotels in the event of delays/flight cancellations.&nbsp;</p>
    <p>Customer service staff can be described as the key interface between airline partners and their passengers and play a crucial role in offering the care that is integral to successful ground handling operations.&nbsp; A team of professionally trained employees ensures the smooth handling of passengers from the initial check-in point to boarding, and from disembarkation to baggage collection.&nbsp; For those passengers that require extra support, customer service agents are skillfully trained to offer assistance to those with special needs, including unaccompanied minors and those with reduced mobility.</p>
    <p>Frontline employees are some of the most important people in an organization.&nbsp; These &ldquo;front facing&rdquo; staff perform sometimes challenging tasks needed to keep the operation running as smoothly and efficiently as possible.&nbsp; It is often the case however, that this very workforce gets overlooked in the broader framework of ground operations.&nbsp; Failure to integrate frontline employees effectively within a broader business framework may cost the company in the long run.&nbsp; Frontline employees can be a valuable asset in terms of anticipating customer needs as they interact with customers on a daily basis.</p>
    <p><a href="https://www.altacademy.com/cabin-crew-and-ground-handling/courses">Click here to find out more about our unique offerings.</a></p>

  • Cabin Crew and Ground Handling
    09 September 2019
    What happens When

    What happens When...for Flight Attendants

    Regardless of the time of day or the flight schedule ahead, a Flight Attendant always arrives for duty in full uniform, groomed and ready for duty.

    After completion of the relevant paperwork required by the Airline, and once the Pre-Flight briefings have been completed, the Flight Crew head out to the aircraft.

    Once onboard the aircraft, and once all the crew’s baggage has been correctly stowed away, the Cabin Crew will conduct pre-flight checks on all their safety equipment and will perform a security check in the aircraft cabin, galley and toilet areas.

    The catering loaded in the galleys must be checked and counted to ensure that adequate supplies (food and beverages) have been loaded for the number of passengers expected for the flight, as well as the crew meals for all the Flight Crew during the flight.

    At this time the passengers booked for the flight will be checking in at the check-in counters, proceeding through security, and complying with any immigration and customs formalities if applicable.

    The passengers will board the aircraft as soon as the Ground Handling Staff are advised that the Flight Crew are ready to receive their passengers.  The Cabin Crew will be in the aisles during boarding of passengers to greet them and to assist them with finding their seats and stowing their hand luggage.

    When the boarding of the passengers is complete, and all the relevant paperwork has been completed, and the Pilot in Command gives the go-ahead, the aircraft cabin doors are closed, and the Cabin Crew commence with the Safety Announcements and Demonstrations, and on completion of these will perform Pre-take off checks to ensure that all passengers have complied with the safety requirements.  The Cabin Crew then take up their jump seats for take-off.

    Once the aircraft is airborne, and the pilots have switched off the seatbelt signs, the Cabin Crew will then commence offering the inflight service to the passengers.

    Air Hostesses are well trained to offer passengers an efficient, friendly and professional inflight service, as well as to ensure their safety at any time and in all circumstances.

    As the aircraft commences decent for landing at its destination, the Flight Attendants will clear all catering items from the aircraft cabin and prepare the cabin and the passengers for landing.

    On arrival at the destination and the aircraft doors have been opened and the Ground Staff have indicated that it is safe to do so, the passengers disembark the aircraft and go into the airport terminal building to collect their checked-in baggage.

    The Cabin Crew will check the aircraft cabin, galleys and toilet areas to ensure that no passengers have left any of their personal belongings behind.

    Click here to find out more about our unique offerings.

  • Cabin Crew and Ground Handling
    09 September 2019
    Corporate Flight Attendant

    Being a Corporate Flight Attendant is vastly different from being a Cabin Crew Member in an airline, as it often requires you to assume multiple roles such as chef, hostess, nanny, official greeter, secretary, personal assistant, travel agent and more, over and above the duties of those expected of any Air Hostess.  Whatever role you are required to assume, you must be good at it, and be able to think on your feet in a professional and confident manner.

    Leadership skills and the ability to make sound decisions are an absolutely necessity, and the ability to maintain confidentiality is vital and sometimes the most important aspect of being a Corporate/VIP Flight Attendant.  VIP passengers value their privacy, and therefore nothing you see, hear or experience with these passengers is to be discussed without their explicit permission. 

    A Corporate Flight Attendant is responsible for catering to each passengers’ individual needs with regards food, beverages, comfort and safety. Passengers may include royalty, politicians, celebrities or company executives, but regardless of their status all passengers should be given a First-Class Executive Service.  Finding out about any dietary requirements, allergies, likes and dislikes should be achieved before planning menus and services to be offered to the passengers.

    Decorating and maintaining the interior of the aircraft is also the responsibility of a Corporate Flight Attendant, and it is important to establish what the passengers’ preference is with regards lighting, entertainment, newspapers and magazines, flower arrangements, and anything else the passenger considers to be important to make their flight comfortable and enjoyable.

    Private Jets are furnished lavishly with expensive and exclusive fabrics and fittings. The crockery, cutlery and glassware are often fine china and crystal as per the individual passengers’ request or requirements.  A VIP/Corporate Air Hostess is responsible for ensuring the interior of the aircraft as well as any service equipment onboard is cleaned and maintained to the highest standards as these items are expensive and often not easily replaceable.

    A Corporate Flight Attendant will often be the first person that the passenger sees and interacts with, therefore it is important to be immaculately dressed in the proper uniform and to greet the passengers professionally and warmly, and to make them feel welcome and comfortable in the aircraft throughout their flight.

  • Travel, Tourism and Hospitality
    09 September 2019
    Flight Attendant

    A tourist can choose where they want to travel to, but as a Flight Attendant you go where the Airline you work for sends you.

    From short haul/domestic flights to long-haul/International flights, the passengers that Flight Attendants interact with, are diverse and from a multitude of different cultures, and this is perhaps the most exciting aspect of being a Cabin Crew Member. Cultural differences are what makes our world so special!

    As a Flight Attendant you should be aware of the cultures and traditions of different countries, and always remember that when you are in a foreign country you are visiting as a guest, and should respect the culture, rules and regulations (if any) of that country. When you travel overseas you must bear in mind that some country’s laws and regulations can be vastly different to what you are used to, and even if they do not necessarily make sense, they must be obeyed.

    International flights have numerous rules and regulations that must be adhered to, as failure to do so could result in monetary fines, denied entry into a country, illness etc.  In preparation for travelling to another country the following should be checked: passport and visa requirements, customs and immigration, crew and passenger manifest requirements, health and/or immunisation requirements. Travel agents are a good source of information for these requirements for passengers.

    Flight Attendants will be advised with regards any of the abovementioned by the Airline they operate for, and generally, arrangements will be made by the Airline to assist with obtaining any visas or other travel documentation required for Flight Crew.

  • Travel, Tourism and Hospitality
    09 September 2019
    Travel and Tourism

    The travel and tourism sector remains one of the largest and most dynamic industries in today’s global economy. Travel and tourism, with its immense social and economic value continues to improve the lives of millions of people in South Africa, on the African continent, and around the world.

    Working behind a desk or a computer screen all day isn’t for everyone.  For those who aspire to travel and work in the tourism sector, being confined to an office cubicle can be a daunting prospect.  If you find yourself looking for an exciting and dynamic opportunity, why not consider exploring a career that aligns with your ambitions and passions?

    If you think back to the last holiday you took, what were the highlights you remember? The luxurious hotel room you were checked into with a view of the sea? What about the excursions that were meticulously planned for you? Think back to the excellent service and mouth-watering food you were served at the resort hotel. There are many people behind the scenes who make things happen so that you can enjoy your holiday, from the travel agent who booked your flights and accommodation, to the travel guide who showed you around the local hot spots. The field of travel, tourism and hospitality presents you with a wide range of exciting career opportunities to choose from. If you enjoy travelling, meeting new people, working closely with others and performing a wide variety of tasks, then a career in travel and tourism might be the perfect match for you.

    The tourism, travel and hospitality industry is a service-driven industry which focuses on providing pleasant and enjoyable experiences to guests and tourists.  It is interdisciplinary in nature and incorporates elements of events planning, marketing, finance, management, business administration, customer services and PR.

    A career in travel and tourism can be both exciting and fulfilling.  Some of the key elements of a career in the industry include:  working in partnership with many different types of people or cultures whilst placing a strong focus on customer service and customer satisfaction, working flexible hours and developing one’s ability to adapt to a constantly changing work environment, taking responsibility for an expansive variety of tasks and activities and having access to opportunities to travel and work both locally and abroad. 

    Over 200 million people work in the travel and tourist industry worldwide.  Travel and tourism training is engineered to equip candidates with the skills and knowledge to maximise career opportunities and subsequently excel in this rapidly expanding sphere.  The number of jobs in the South African travel and tourism sector maintains a steady rise and despite the challenging global economic climate, our local tourism industry continues to boom.

  • Cabin Crew and Ground Handling
    09 September 2019
    The Life of a Flight Attendant

    The life of a Flight Attendant is quite unique. It is not merely a “job” but a lifestyle – a lifestyle of people, planes, travel and adventure.  It requires flexibility and dedication, but the rewards are well worth it!

    It requires a genuine desire and willingness to serve others, which can be a challenge when jetlag sets in – it’s not unusual to have breakfast at home, lunch in the air (often grabbing a snack between services in the galley), and then dinner in another country which is on a different time-zone completely. The passion and true willingness to serve others becomes apparent, especially when one is tired. So emotional maturity and an even temper are a must for anyone wishing to become an Air Hostess.

    It is essential to be able and willing to pack a suitcase at a moment’s notice, and to be prepared for climate and temperature differences, depending on the flight’s destination and lay-over time. Cabin Crew often have the widest variety of clothes all packed into one suitcase and are well known for finding the best shopping spots in any country or town for those “must have” items.

    Having a valid passport is a MUST for International flights. Some countries insist on visas for Crew as well as passengers, and all immigration, customs, health and immunisation requirements for each country must be adhered to. Flight Crew Members may often enter and exit a country by means of a General Declaration (a list of all crew names and details) whilst on flying duty depending on the country and their requirements.

    Hotel accommodation is provided by the Airline, as well as transportation to and from the airport and hotel. The standard of the accommodation provided is generally of a high standard with easily accessible restaurants, shopping and entertainment facilities for the crew.

    Airlines require that all flight crew wear a uniform which is issued by the Company, and therefore the crew project the Airline’s image in a very public way.  Cabin Crew are very often the first company representative passengers will meet and how the crew present themselves will have a lasting impression, so a clean, neat and professional appearance is vital, and a Crew uniform should always be worn with pride and in accordance with the Company Uniform Regulations.

    Flight Attendant/Cabin Crew Training will include all areas of Emergency Procedures Training to ensure a consistent high safety standard within the Aviation industry.  Training courses with regards Service Training, Passenger Handling, and other skills required for a Flight Attendant are also an important part of the training process.

  • Travel, Tourism and Hospitality
    09 September 2019
    Hospitality

    If you have ever stayed in a hotel, eaten in a restaurant, flown on an aeroplane or taken a cruise to an exotic destination you have experienced hospitality in some form or another. The hospitality industry is one of the most fascinating, exciting and dynamic industries in the world and is expanding rapidly.  People are believed to be travelling more than ever and hospitality jobs exist in every country in the world.  For those interested in a career in hospitality, you will find plenty of opportunities to feed your travel bug, explore different cultures and meet new people.

    The travel industry includes a broad group of businesses that provide a variety of services to customers.  The hospitality industry employs millions of people worldwide and places its primary focus on customer satisfaction and offering exceptional service to patrons.  Hotels, resorts, cruise lines, airlines and other forms of travel and tourism all generally fall under the banner of hospitality. 

    The hospitality industry is unique in the way that it depends soundly on discretionary income and free time.  If you were to think back to your last family vacation, would it make sense to say that you didn’t necessarily need to go on the trip, but you did as you had both the free time and the extra money available?  For the most part, the hospitality industry is built on leisure or can be described as luxury based. The hospitality industry is fueled and sustained by the leisure activities of the patrons.

    Considering a future career in the field of hospitality would prove to be a wise decision as the hospitality industry is recognized as one of the largest employment sectors in the world.  It is believed that by 2025, 10.5% of all jobs worldwide will be in the hospitality and tourism market.  The hospitality and tourism industry is seeing many inspiring developments in customer experience and technology and is a continuously growing and evolving industry.  These developments and innovations will consequentially lead to more diverse employment options. Hospitality and tourism can therefore be seen as one of the most secure industries in terms of offering an extensive range of flexible and compelling employment opportunities.

    In the hospitality and tourism industry there will be unique challenges that need to be tackled and therefore will require prospective job seekers to apply both critical and creative thinking skills.  Travel agents, tour operators, tour guides and cabin crew are excellent examples of lucrative careers in the hospitality realm.  Let’s explore the following jobs in a bit more detail.

    Travel Agents

    Travel Agents research, plan and book trips for groups or individuals. They often have years of experience and knowledge in the travel and tourism field and are able to assist vacation seekers with flight bookings, hotel selection, transfer arrangements and holiday activities. Booking a vacation using the help of a travel agent can save you hours of frustration as agents generally receive information and access to promotions from resorts, cruise lines, airlines, hotels and other travel providers that aren’t available to the general public. 

    Tour Operators

    Tour operators use a combination of tour and travel components to create holiday packages for vacation seekers.  A tour operator will deal with various service providers, such as bus operators, airlines and hoteliers.  A tour operator will prepare an itinerary for various destinations and will often monitor industry trends with regards to popular destinations in order to create attractive packages for clients.  Tour operators liaise with travel agents and travel agents then deal with the public.

    Tour Guides

    Tour guides give guided tours to groups of visitors and tourists.  It is essential for a tour guide to have expert knowledge of specific areas, including natural features, historical sites, museums and other tourist hot spots.  Tour guides hold some of the most sought-after jobs in the hospitality industry.  As a tour guide constantly interacts with guests, it is crucial that they have excellent communication skills, learn and remember facts quickly and must be eager to study continuously in order to accurately provide the narration that customers pay to hear. 

    A career in hospitality will provide you with an excellent platform to build your career from the bottom and work your way up to the top.  If you display well developed organizational and communication skills, are interested in excelling at customer service, would like to work flexible hours and show dedication and commitment, hospitality is the field for you.  Working in hospitality will require you to build connections with people and demonstrate a “can-do” attitude in an array of settings.  Working in the hospitality industry is not just a job, it’s becomes a lifestyle.  Human interaction is at the heart of hospitality. Passion, sincerity, determination and the desire for genuine human connections are the keys to your success.

  • Travel, Tourism and Hospitality
    06 March 2019
    Teamwork

    As a cabin crew member, ensuring passenger and crew safety will always be your most prominent duty. Teamwork plays a vital role towards not just passenger safety but also towards effective customer service.

     

    We all know that attitude can’t be trained but we can most certainly create a working environment that will inspire your colleagues to do their best, thus ensuring a safe and harmonious flight. Effective teamwork will assist all crew members to maximize their job performance and have passengers leaving the aircraft opting to continue to support your airline.

     

    Have you ever heard that saying there is no "I" in the word team? 

     

    The Lesson to Be Taken From Geese

    Every year, just before winter, the geese in the northern hemisphere fly south for the winter.  They always fly in a V-formation and scientists have discovered the reason why they fly this way.  As each bird flaps its wings, it creates uplift for the bird immediately following.  By flying in a V-formation, the flock adds at least 71% more flying range than if each bird flew on its own.

     

    When we apply this to teamwork, we can say that people who share a common direction and sense of community can get where they are going quicker and easier because they are travelling on the thrust of one another.

    Whenever a goose falls out of formation, it suddenly feels the drag and resistance of trying to fly alone and it quickly gets back into formation to take advantage of the lifting power of the bird immediately in front.

     

    There is strength, power and safety in numbers when travelling in the same direction as others with whom we share a common goal.

    When the goose in the lead gets tired, it rotates back in the formation and another goose flies in front.

     

    It is worthwhile taking turns doing the hard jobs.

    The geese in the rear honk to encourage those in the front to keep their speed.

     

    We all need to be encouraged with active support and praise.

    When a goose gets sick or is wounded and falls out, two geese fall out of the formation and follow it down to help and protect. They stay with the goose until the problem is resolved and then they fly out on their own or with another formation to catch up with their group.

     

    We must stand by each other and help each other in times of need.

    (Source: Lussier, RN. 1997, Management: concepts, Applications, Skill Development.  Cincinnati, OH: South Western,pp418-419)

     

    To summarise, when you are working in a team, each team member has to commit to the following to ensure the team functions effectively and that all objectives are not just met but in doing so as a team exceeded:

     

    Commit to work together in a team, commit to the goals and purposes of a team, discover your place in the team so that you can also feel that you belong in that team.

    • Ensure that all team members are travelling in the same direction – working towards the same goals and purposes.
    • Take turns doing the hard jobs; it will benefit the team in the long run and therefore also benefit individual team members.
    • Encourage, support and praise each other.
    • Stand by each other and help each other in times of need.

     

    A team must be able to communicate, share ideas and have respect for fellow team members’ contributions and suggestions. One of the powers of teamwork is the ability to bring together differing points of view in an attempt to create a solution for any problem which may arise. Effective solutions are normally best handled when many different views are offered. It will assist in seeing the situation from several different angles and will normally lead to a solution that no one individual could create on their own.

     

    Each crew member is allocated specific tasks on an aircraft. If you do not fully understand your role, ask for clarity from the senior cabin crew member, as understanding your roles and responsibilities will assist you in executing them effectively.

     

    Basics of Teamwork

    A sense of belonging: knowing that your team exists to share the workload and, knowing that someone in the team will help where necessary, makes everyone’s life a little easier.

     

    Control and ownership of your work: you are personally responsible for your work and you can take pride in work well done. The structure of the team, where roles are rotated, usually leads to less formality and a more relaxed atmosphere in which to work.

     

    Self-worth:teamwork gives workers many opportunities for personal enhancement and opportunities to take pride in your work, which leads to a growth in your personal self-worth.  The work environment when you work in a team also leads to more opportunities for learning and this always enhances your self-esteem.

     

    Tangible rewards: when your team functions successfully, it will ensure greater productivity and therefore more income for the organisation.  Many organisations reward excellent teamwork that leads to tangible results, with tangible rewards. Your benefits within the airline will grow as the airline grows. Teamwork leads to an all-round win-win situation.

  • Travel, Tourism and Hospitality
    05 March 2019
    Visiting Hong Kong

    Hong Kong is a bustling metropolis, with over 7 million people with the population being scattered throughout its more than 200 islands. Hong Kong is in fact a city and a country, although it was officially handed back to China in 1997, it still has its own government and currency. Hong Kong offers diversity in culture, lifestyle and religion and is certainly an exciting place to visit.

     

    Hong Kong, known for its unique energetic vibe, interesting food, and beautiful skyline is the perfect city for a layover, shopping, sightseeing, or relaxing, whatever you wish to do is possible, however my suggestion is comfortable walking shoes and loose clothing especially in the summer months as temperatures and humidity can be uncomfortably hot.

     

    Getting around Hong Kong is easy, the public transport system is well organised and you can go almost anywhere in Hong Kong by tram, bus or Mass Transit Railway (MTR). Taxis are readily available, but are a little more expensive than public transport.

     

    Hong Kong offers many great upscale shopping districts that rival the high-end streets of: Shanghai, London and Paris. The best places to shop, however, are the small shops that line the roads, and street markets that exhibit the charm and uniqueness of the locality.

     

    It is wise to look around at the various stores to compare prices before buying anything. Bargaining is a must, however in the very local Chinese markets, prices are fixed.

     

    Top sights to see in Hong Kong

    Victoria Peak – Take the Peak Tram up to 1 810 feet above sea level and get a bird’s eye view of downtown Hong Kong, Kowloon, and Victoria Harbour. Go another step higher and take a 10-minute hike to the actual Victoria Peak.

     

    Ocean Park – is a marine mammal park, oceanarium, and animal theme park. As well as being able to see the amazing panda bear, there is a butterfly house and live animal shows. Once you take the cable car across to the other side of the park, you will find an amazing amusement park with wild rides and rollercoaster’s, not for the faint hearted.

     

    Central District -Lan Kwai Fong is a great spot for a night on the town, the street is lined with great bars and restaurants. The Mid-Levels famous escalator will lead you to the Soho district, where there are numerous boutique shops, beauty salons, nightclubs and restaurants.

     

    If you are interested in Antiques and Art then a walk down Hollywood road is a must.

     

    Kowloon – The most famous street in Hong Kong, Nathan road, stretches from Tsim Sha Tsiu all the way past Mong Kok up to Prince Edward. This is the best shopping street, but beware of electronic shops that inflate their prices when they see a tourist.

     

    Hong Kong’s Light Show- Every night at 8pm, Hong Kong’s skyline lights up for a 10-minutes, it is amazingly choreographed to music, which you can hear if you wonder down the Avenue of The Stars located on Kowloon’s Victoria Harbour waterfront.

     

    Ngong Ping 360C- this is one of Hong Kong’s must-see attractions on Lantau Island. It is a cable car that starts in Tung Chung (near the airport) and takes you up to the Tian Tan Buddha Statue, the world’s tallest outdoor-seated Buddha, and the Po Lin Monastery. This is the major centre of Buddhism in Hong Kong.

     

    The Avenue of Stars, is situated in Tsim Sha Tsui East, in Kowloon. It was built to give credit to the local movie industry. It is on a waterfront walkway, and stretches for 440 metres, extending from the Hong Kong Museum of Art to the New World Centre. The design was based on the “Avenue of Stars” which is located in Hollywood, United States of America.

     

    Hong Kong Markets- Some of the best markets are:

    • Stanley Market- this market is great for souvenirs, art, clothing and shoes; it is located on Hong Kong Island near Repulse Bay.
    • Ladies Market-open every day in busy Mongkok, here bargaining is essential, great for handbags and watches.
    • Prince Edward Flower Market- a colourful street lined with flower sellers and beautiful orchid shops.
    • Temple street night market- open from 10pm onwards, this market is great for everyone; you can also experience the taste of local food at one of the street cafes.

     

    Overall there is something for everyone in Hong Kong, whether you have 2 days or 2 weeks, you’ll have enough time to experience this great city!

  • Travel, Tourism and Hospitality
    26 February 2019
    Rio De Janeiro

    Recently I was scheduled to do a 10-day flight to Rio. As this flight was during the period when the Rio Carnival was taking place, I arranged for my family to join me on the flight and wanted to make it a truly special occasion. Having travelled with my family to many destinations throughout the world, Rio remains one of their favourites! I have listed the highlights of the trip below.

     

    Rio de Janeiro is one of the world’s most beautiful cities with one of the most spectacular settings of any metropolis in the world. There are some who say “that God created the world in six days and spent the seventh day creating Rio de Janeiro”.

     

    The spectacular beauty of its setting is between one of the world’s finest harbours, Guanabara Bay and a number of granite peaks, including Sugar Loaf and Corcovado. Named after the traditional sugarloaves, Sugarloaf Mountain stands 395 meters high and rises above the Guanabara Bay in the Atlantic Ocean. From Sugar loaf you have a view over the statue of Christ, which is one of the Seven Wonders of the World, beautiful beached as well as green forests.  To get to the top of Sugarloaf, you can take a cable car or for the more adventurous, you can climb to the top.

     

    The statue of Christ is located on the Corcovado Mountain. A cog train takes you to the top through beautiful forests. 

     

    This is a country that is widely regarded as exotic, with a ‘liberated’ lifestyle, and an economy full of promise for the future. The residents of Rio, also known as Cariocas, and visitors fondly call Rio the “Marvellous City”.

     

    There is approximately 80 kilometres of fine sandy beaches, the most popular beaches being, Copacabana and Ipanema. Copacabana beach stretches for approximately 4.5 km with visitors to the beach, playing soccer, exercising or just soaking up the sun. The beach is surrounded by restaurants, hotels and pubs. Ipanema is more popular among the locals and is a surfing favourite. 

     

    Beaches are a fashion parade, and although beachwear is minimal, ‘topless’ sunbathing by female visitors is regarded with disapproval. The need for ‘Cariocas’ to look good is all-important, so not surprisingly cosmetic surgery is a lucrative industry in Rio.

     

    Carnivals are celebrated in mostly Catholic countries throughout the world, however Rio is known as the “Carnival Capital of the World”.  Approximately 500 000 foreign visitors attend the Rio Carnival. The uninhibited dance rhythms and extravagant costume parades of Carnival, one of the greatest shows on Earth, which serves to break down social barriers between rich and poor in a country where millions earn a meagre wage.

     

    To complement these resources the city has a good transport infrastructure, including two major airports, and world-class hotels that are concentrated in the Copacabana area.

    Maracanã Football Stadium is owned by the Rio de Janeiro state government and accommodates approximately 100 000 spectators. Football clubs such as Vasco da Gama and Flamengo play matches here, so this is something you should not miss doing while in Rio. 

     

    We look forward to hearing about your trip to Rio as a cabin crew member.

  • Travel, Tourism and Hospitality
    26 February 2019
    South African Provinces and Cities

    Tourism is a booming trade in South Africa. On International flights, passengers will often ask cabin crew members many questions about South Africa.  It is of utmost importance that you do have vast knowledge of our beautiful country, so it is advisable that crew members do research on “places to see” and “things to do” in our different provinces.

     

    South African Cities and Provinces

    Initially South Africa, had four provinces, but with the greatly anticipated move towards post-apartheid, it has been re-divided into nine provinces, each with its own capital city.

     

    The nine provinces of South Africa are:
    The distances given below are for the shortest possible routes between cities:

    • Cape Town - Johannesburg: 1 405km
    • Cape Town - Durban: 1 660km
    • Cape Town - East London: 1 042km
    • Cape Town - Port Elizabeth: 756km
    • Cape Town - Bloemfontein: 998km 
    • Cape Town - Upington: 821km 
    • Johannesburg - Durban: 598km 
    • Johannesburg - East London: 992km 
    • Johannesburg - Polokwane: 331km

     

    South Africa is one of the most diverse and enchanting countries in the world. Exotic combinations of landscapes, people, history and culture offer the traveller a unique and inspiring experience. South Africa is a heady mix of third and first world cultures - along with the best and least crowded beaches in the world.

     

    South Africa has a modern and well-developed transport infrastructure. The roads are world-class. The air and rail networks are the largest on the continent. And the country's ports provide a natural stopover for shipping to and from Europe, the Americas, Asia, Australasia and both coasts of Africa.

     

    South Africa's total road network is about 754 000 kilometres, 9 600km of which are surfaced national roads. The drive from Musina on South Africa's northern border to Cape Town in the south is a 2 000km journey on well-maintained roads. Around 2 400km of the roads in the country are toll roads. While the Department of Transport is responsible for overall policy, road-building and maintenance is the responsibility of the South African National Roads Agency as well as the nine provinces and local governments.

     

    More than 50 airlines, making around 230 000 aircraft landings and carrying about 33-million passengers a year, move through South Africa's 10 principal airports. These include three major international airports in Johannesburg, Cape Town and Durban, as well as airports in Port Elizabeth, East London, George, Kimberly, Upington, Bloemfontein and the Pilanesberg.

     

    Twenty-one air traffic control centres support operations that cover 145 licensed airports with paved runways and more than 580 aerodromes with unpaved runways. The Airports Company South Africa (ACSA) is responsible for overseeing infrastructure expansion at the country's airports.

     

    Cabin crew members should do adequate research on South Africa, the history, culture, places of interest and traditional food to eat, as they are ambassadors to our nation. Flight Attendants play a major role in ensuring that our tourists keep coming back and that the tourism industry continues to flourish.

  • Travel, Tourism and Hospitality
    11 February 2019
    Republic of Mauritius

    On my first flight to Taiwan, we had a 4-day layover in Mauritius on route. Being an avid “sun lover” I was truly excited at the prospect of just soaking up the sun, however I also wanted to see and do as much as I could during my time there.

     

    The Republic of Mauritius is an island in the Indian Ocean approximately 2000 kilometres of the south eastern cost of Africa.

     

    To quote Mark Twain “Mauritius is one of the closest things to paradise on earth. You gather the idea that Mauritius was made first and then heaven, and that heaven was copied after Mauritius.”  It is a volcanic island of lagoons and palm-fringed beaches with coral reefs surrounding most of the coastline.

     

    Mauritius is a mixture of diverse cultures and religions. Their population consists of cultures from three different continents and brought traditions and beliefs from their ancestral countries. Religious festivals are celebrated in a spirit of peace and harmony throughout the year.

     

    Mauritius has plenty to see and do. White sandy beaches and tropical palm trees have made this island a perfect spot for honeymooners and for those who love beautiful beaches and perfect weather.

     

    This beautiful island is known for a great variety of water sports.  Visitors will have their choice of snorkelling, deep sea diving, parasailing, sailing, water-skiing, windsurfing etc. to name but a few.

     

    Mauritius Skydive also offer tandem skydiving which will allow for spectacular views of Mauritius from the air, including vast expanses of sugarcane fields, lush green forests and spectacular turquoise blue waters. Le Morne is the place to go if you want to try your hand at kite surfing.

     

    The island has a vast variety of colourful marine life and an undersea walk is a wonderful way to get up close. Visitors are equipped with a continuous supply of oxygen via a helmet and are then descended approximately 3 metres under the water surface. You will be surrounded by shoals of fish and sea creatures.

     

    Ile Aux Cerfs is an island off the East Coast of Mauritius. It has spectacular white sandy beaches, palm trees and waters all shades of blue. Enjoy a meal at one of the restaurants and try parasailing to enjoy beautiful views of this unspoilt island. The island’s main beach has water sport facilities including restaurants serving tasty food.

     

    Renting a car is very popular in Mauritius and allows you the opportunity to discover small secret beaches and amazing little restaurants.

     

    Drive to the cosmopolitan towns in Mauritius which are ideal for shopping.  Grand Baie is a resort known for its great nightlife, shopping and restaurants. Port Louis, which is the capital of Mauritius, has plenty shopping to offer – from fashion to local arts and crafts. There is also several cultural attractions such as museums, churches, mosques and temples which you can visit. 

     

    For plant lovers, the Pamplemousses Botanical Gardens must be visited. The gardens expand over 62 acres and contain over 500 plant species many of which are native to Mauritius. It is best known for its lily pond filled with Amazon water lilies. Their round, flat leaves can be up to 1.5 metres in diameter.

     

    I have since been fortunate enough to return to Mauritius on many occasions while on duty, however I have also been back on vacation numerous times and just “can’t seem to get enough” of this magnificent island.