It was truly serendipity that brought Leading Steward Libis Ratnoer Redwan and Flight Stewardess Roselyn Chua together.
Although they were both serving as Singapore Airlines (SIA) cabin crew, they didn’t know each other. It was only when the duo were firmly on land that they were introduced by mutual friends – when they happened to be at East Coast Park at the same time. They became a couple two months later, and wed in June 2013, one and a half years after they met. The cross-stitch piece that you see in the picture above was lovingly stitched by Rose and gifted to Libis during their courtship days.
Although Libis and Rose, as Roselyn is fondly called, come from different cultural backgrounds – he is of Javanese descent while she is a Chinese Muslim – they share a common love of flying and a great curiosity about the world.
“I like to be exposed to different things and to learn about them. This job definitely fulfills that for me,” Libis, who has been a cabin crew for 11 years, shared. “It has definitely broadened my horizons.”
Rose, who is serving in her eighth year, agreed: “Flying as a cabin crew with SIA really shows us how life is around the world. We learn about different cultures and come across people with different characters and outlook in life.”
And though the couple did not meet while at work, flying has helped them build a stronger marriage.
“We have learnt to trust each other and not take the other person for granted,” Libis said.
Here, they share more of how their careers have made them better people – and better spouses.
What motivated you to sign up as part of SIA’s cabin crew?
Libis: I was attracted to the experience of being exposed to different cultures. In this job, we not only interact with others when we are in different countries but also when we talk to our passengers, as they come from all over the world.
Roselyn: The recruitment advertisements caught my eye. The SQ girl is definitely a respected icon. It was also exciting to envision myself having a jet-setting job and lifestyle.
What are your favourite parts about being a cabin crew?
L: Both Roselyn and I enjoy being able to do our chores or participate in activities when it is the least crowded – and that’s when everyone else is in office. We also especially love having the freedom and time for exercise.
R: Experiencing different time zones every other day also prevents our work from being monotonous. I also enjoy having appreciative passengers. I’m satisfied when I’m able to help anyone who requires assistance and see my passengers leave the flight happy. Their glowing faces make it all worthwhile.
Where are your favourite destinations and why?
L: I like London, Barcelona and San Francisco. These are very cosmopolitan cities that exude positive vibes. Though I’ve only been once in 2010, I found the architecture in Barcelona really interesting and beautiful. It was also a memorable trip as the crew on that particular flight did everything together, from meals to sightseeing.
R: My favourite destination is the Maldives. It is a place where I can relax and be in my own zone. I like to listen to the calming sound of the waves and swim with the fish. I’ve been there twice and stayed in two resorts. As you can see, I’m a beach girl and Libis is a city boy! For our honeymoon, we went to Bangkok and Krabi – the latter was for me, of course.
What are the most challenging aspects of being married and flying?
L: When we were dating, we saw each other for only 10 days per month, on average. We made sure we spent all our days off together, either doing things as a couple or with friends and family. We learnt to be patient and to have faith in each another.
R: When we got married, it was much better. We started couple coding (a scheme where married crew members are rostered on the same flight) and flew together about 90 per cent of the time.
L: But it’s now about 70 per cent of the time as Rose is trained to fly in another fleet, the A350.
R: When we started working together a lot, we had a good talk and agreed that we needed to respect each other as colleagues when flying. Even if we had a disagreement prior to a flight, we had to put it aside during work hours. We did not want to create any awkward situations or difficulties for our team mates. It is only fair to our colleagues and passengers.
What are the lessons you’ve gained from work that you have incorporated into your marriage?
L: Definitely to have courtesy and respect for each other. We are respectful and polite to our passengers, and naturally, this has been incorporated into our relationship as well.
R: Yes, I do appreciate it when Libis asks me to help him with something, he would still say “please” or “thank you”. I do the same. If we get too complacent, we will start to take each other for granted.
What are the best non-flight memories of your SIA career so far?
R: I’ve represented the airline as an assignment crew for a number of years. My first assignment was at the Turf Club, representing SIA during the Singapore Airlines International Cup. I was also involved in the first Singapore F1 night race in 2008. That was quite an experience. Besides these events, I was also involved in some aircraft cabin shoots.
L: I took a Japanese language course that was held externally and attended by cabin crew of all ages and from all levels. That was really fun and besides being able to network within the group, I’ve also used the language and cultural knowledge to communicate with my Japanese passengers.
SEE ALSO: Cabin crew: A winning attitude
Experience a career beyond the ordinary! Visit singaporeair.com/cabincrewcareers to find out how you can join us as a cabin crew member.
– TEXT BY ESTHER AU YONG
PHOTOGRAPHY: VERONICA TAY
HAIR & MAKEUP: HONGLING
This article was originally published by Singapore Press Holdings.