After 2 days of relaxation and getting mentally prepared for the following weeks there I was, sitting at the first day of training. I can still remember the faces of the other 15 girls who like me, felt fear and excitement at the same time for what was yet to come.
Amazed at how diverse our group was, I was eager to know where they were all from. One by one we stood up and introduced ourselves. We were coming from South Africa, India, Pakistan, Hong Kong, Malaysia, The Philippines, Slovenia, France, Rumania, Lithuania and finally Mexico and Costa Rica. Our Service trainer was from The Philippines and the Safety one was from India. They were both ladies, perfectly groomed but with a serious yet charming flight attendant personality.
We were told our batch would be named AB 629 and all our classes were going to be from 7:30 am until 2pm.
After the introduction, the trainers started mentioning the drill of the following 7 weeks: They strictly mentioned that tardiness was not going to be tolerated, we would have breaks between 15 to 20 minutes and a lunch break of 40 minutes.
If we fell sick, we would have to go to the Airline’s medical center to be evaluated. Under no circumstances were we able to go out past 10pm during Initial training. Even during the weekends which we had off.
We were bound to read, study and learn the Manuals by heart. If we failed the oral or practical exams we would not graduate and would be sent back home. Training days were absolutely intense! Countless nights of reciting word after word the evacuation drills, drawing maps about all the aircrafts we were about to fly. They were Airbus 320, 321, 330-200/300, 340 and Boeing 777-200 and 300. For someone like me who never knew anything about aircrafts it was perfect panic…
Looking back at how this airline trains their crew, I must say hats off! One of the best trainings I have ever got! I still remember some things. Those days of crying during practicals paid off. They made the training in my current airline way easier!