Despite her busy schedule, she deems her cabin crew career perfect for mothers like herself and shares with SilverKris how the company’s Returning Crew Scheme benefits fellow female colleagues.
How long have you been flying with the Airline and what motivated you to sign up as a cabin crew?
I first joined in January 2007. It was my sister who encouraged me to join SIA as a cabin crew. I like the lifestyle and how it’s very different from other industries. But I took a break when I had my first child.
Did you have to reapply for the cabin-crew position after that?
Yes, I had to undergo training again. The current Returning Crew Scheme allows you to maintain your seniority, in terms of rank, after taking a break to have a baby. It encourages female crew to be more confident about career advancement in the company.
How do you balance work with family life?
Time management is very important. I will start scheduling my kids’ activities such as piano recitals, sports days and tests, after getting my flight roster. I have asked to do shorter flights or turnarounds. Using WhatsApp and FaceTime, I get to talk to my children when I am overseas. When I land, I will take photos of my hotel room, and the country I am in to share with them. This will help them to understand my job better. I also have three very important pillars of strength: my husband, helper, and parents-in-law.
Do you feel your experience as a mother helps you to do a better job?
Definitely. Since I’ve travelled with my kids, I can empathise with passengers who are mothers with infants. Once I see them board the plane, I’ll immediately assist the mothers with their luggage and diaper bags. I know how important an extra pair of hands for that split second is. In addition, I am able to gauge how often babies need feeding or diaper changes, and will make it a point to walk by the mothers’ seats to ask if they need help.
Where are your favourite destinations?
Before I got married, I loved San Francisco and Munich. But as a mother now, it would be the five-day Europe flights to London or Paris. Since I leave only late at night on the first day and return early in the morning on the fifth day, I still get to spend time with my children. To rest, I love Shanghai. I can get a massage and visit the salon. I feel so rejuvenated when I return.
How do you make the most of your time away?
When I’m overseas, it’s a good time to do things like sort out my bills, put on a facial mask, and catch up on sleep. It’s my me-time.
What is an item you always take with you on a long-haul flight?
My skincare products. As cabin crew, we get jet-lagged, and the air in the plane is very dry. Especially when we travel so often to different countries with varying weather conditions, we need to take extra care of our skin.
What is one piece of travel advice you would like to share with our readers?
Bring an empty water bottle along. You can fill it on board to help you stay hydrated, or even put your teabag in it.
Experience a career beyond the ordinary! Visit singaporeair.com/cabincrewcareers to find out how you can join us as a cabin crew member.
PHOTOGRAPHY: VERONICA TAY
STYLING: CK KOO
MAKEUP: SHA SHAMSI
HAIR: SANDY YEO / EVOLVE SALON
OUTFITS: CH CAROLINA HERRERA
This article was originally published by Singapore Press Holdings.