Ng Yu Hsuan has enjoyed travelling for as long as she can remember – in fact, her childhood dream was to become a travel host. Today, as a leading stewardess with Singapore Airlines, she gets to do exactly that – and so much more.
“I love travelling! I have an adventurous spirit that drives me to explore the world. I want to live passionately and deeply, with no regrets,” she declares. Fittingly, her career has vastly broadened her horizons, and in more ways than one.
Exploring new places with loved ones
As a cabin crew member, Yu Hsuan has travelled far and wide. Her parents also enjoy complimentary travel once a year as part of her staff benefit. “Travelling with my parents has been a highlight of my career, making all of the challenges and hard work of this job worthwhile,” she says. “It has been incredibly rewarding to be able to show them new cultures, sights and experiences. And it has been so enjoyable to see their faces light up with wonder and excitement as they discover new places.”
One of her favourite memories is visiting Utah’s national parks with her family. “I was so proud of my parents for hiking to the top of the Arches despite their advanced age. Whether it was hiking through canyons, watching the sunset over Bryce Canyon’s hoodoos or taking scenic drives, they were captivated by a sense of adventure,” she recalls. “I will be eternally grateful for the incredible gift of seeing the world through their eyes, and creating wonderful memories with them.”
Forging new friendships
Besides spending quality time with her parents, Yu Hsuan has also met many people from all walks of life. “Working as a cabin crew allows you to interact with people from all over the world. This can lead to strong and genuine friendships,” she notes.
For instance, Yu Hsuan recalls a memorable encounter with a little girl on board. “She had beautiful bright eyes and a big smile. As I approached her row, she told me that she liked me. I was so moved by her kindness that I decided to give her a handwritten card as well as a goodie bag full of toys and snacks,” she remembers. “Her parents expressed their admiration for Singapore Airlines, and even taught me a classical hand gesture known as the ‘flower’. We still keep in touch even today, and it’s so heartwarming to know that they’ve kept me in their thoughts.”
Working as a cabin crew allows you to interact with people from all over the world. This can lead to strong and genuine friendships
Of course, Yu Hsuan has also forged lasting friendships with her colleagues. “Cabin crew members work closely together during flights and have many shared experiences. Building and maintaining these friendships can help to make the job more enjoyable and foster a sense of community,” she says.
To this end, she often plans excursions for her fellow crew, including a ski trip to Engelberg, Switzerland. “Despite the chill in the air, everyone was excited about the trip. The skiing conditions were ideal, with fresh powder and clear blue skies,” she recalls. “It was a fantastic way to bond over our shared love of winter activities, spend time together in a beautiful setting and create lasting memories that we will cherish for years to come.”
Stepping out of her comfort zone
Yu Hsuan’s career has taken her to many places – including outside of her comfort zone. After all, being a cabin crew member can be a demanding job that involves long hours. “I remember arriving in New York after a gruelling 10-hour flight from Frankfurt, and was looking forward to getting some much-needed rest. However, things took an unexpected turn when I was told I had to operate the flight back to Frankfurt the following day,” Yu Hsuan shares. “I was so exhausted, but my colleagues helpfully shared coping strategies and tips with me. Since then, I have become more aware of the impact of fatigue on my job and have become better able to cope with the physical and mental demands of being a cabin crew member.”
My flying career has polished my confidence, competence and compassion – qualities that are valuable not only in my profession but also in my personal life
Yu Hsuan has also gone above and beyond to upskill herself. As English is not her first language, she decided to sign up for public speaking classes and join the SIA Toastmasters Club to overcome her stage fright. She has even participated in several Toastmasters competitions, and was once one step away from participating in the world championships. “These days, I often receive compliments from colleagues and customers, which boosts my confidence in making English announcements on board,” she smiles.
Throughout her career, Yu Hsuan has taken these challenges and more in her stride, building her confidence along the way. “Overall, my flying career has polished my confidence, competence and compassion – qualities that are valuable not only in my profession but also in my personal life,” she reflects. “The experiences and interactions I’ve had have brought out the best in me, allowing me to shine brighter.”