• It’s 5.40am, and everyone on this morning’s flight to Paphos is yawning. Not Phillip, though. He’s been up since sunrise, heading through security, being briefed for the flight and meeting the cabin crew who’ll join him in the skies today on this Thomson Airways flight. But that’s just the start. What does an air hostess do? Who’s in charge of getting breakfast ready? And how many flights will Phillip pack into his week? We grilled him on what’s it like to spend most of the time with your head in the clouds…

    Coffee, anyone?

    “First things first, we know our guests on board will want their breakfast – it’s pretty early, after all! So, we warm the coffee pots, chill any Champagne for special requests or honeymooners, and check who fancies a hot meal. The captain might even get a cuppa, if he’s lucky! Hot food is fresh to order, so we need to work quickly to fill those rumbling tummies and make sure everything’s piping hot – nobody wants a cold coffee at 7am!”

    Timing is everything

    “In this job, you’ve always got to be one step ahead – constantly thinking about what your next task is, and what position you need to be in. You’ll notice that, at take-off, we all have our allocated spots, then it’s go, go, go. We’re always counting, how many meals we have, checking our watches to stick to the schedule and making sure the plane’s not only spick and span, but full of happy guests.”

    Behind the famous grey curtain

    “By around 9am, if everything’s going as planned, I’ll have a quick break and pull that famous grey curtain over at the back. There’s not much going on behind it – often we’ll be grabbing a much-needed cup of tea and having a natter, especially if we’ve flown together before. We’ll do a quick check of the trolley, too, to make it’s fully stocked up so our guests can take advantage of the fab savings on offer – you can’t miss out on duty free!”

     It’s all about teamwork

    “Often, we’ll fly with people we’ve never met before. So, we have to quickly establish bonds, and identify people’s characteristics and strengths to divide and conquer. Take duty free, for example – we need to know who’s got a great nose for perfume and can spot a woody scent from a musk or who’s our resident make up lover to advise on this seasons blush (I’m an Elizabeth Arden fan, if you’re asking…). If we have any feedback for one another, we have to take it on quickly, and apply if to our next flight – it’s all about making sure we’re offering the very best service because, after all, it’s what sets us apart from other airlines.”

    It’s a number game

    “Seatbelt signs and seat numbers are really important to us – we need to know where everyone is on the plane, how many sandwiches have been ordered, and who might need a hand getting off when we land. At any one time, we’ll have loads of numbers whizzing round our heads, and know exactly where everybody is and what they’re doing – both guests and crew.”



    There’s no such thing as Monday to Friday

    “We work in four-day shifts, and we’ll do about five flights a week on average if we’re flying short-haul – which is the best lifestyle out of any other airline. This week, I’ll be touching down in Cyprus, Zante, La Palma and Halkidiki, to name a few. We’ll have two days off, so that can be anything from a Tuesday and Wednesday to a Friday and Saturday. It’s just the pick of the draw, but you can be guaranteed that no week is the same, which keeps you on your toes.”

    Touch down, take-off

    “As soon we touch down in Cyprus today, we’ll leave the plane, go through security, and head straight back on for the return flight – to a lovely, clean plane! Then, it all starts again. If we go long-haul, we’ll stay over, which is always nice to get out an about and see some of the fab countries we fly to, like Thailand, Vietnam and Mauritius – my fave!”

    Want to get up in the air yourself? Have a look at our top flight deals and see how you can bag a last-minute bargain.