A Virgin Airlines stewardess has revealed how she packs her day bag for a flight and all the benefits she receives for working at the Australian company.
Brieana Young, who is a cabin manager, can work up to 144 hours a month which is calculated from the time she ‘checks’ in for a flight – usually an hour before – and 30 minutes after it lands.
There are additional bonuses awarded for each hour she’s up in the air as well as if an unexpected layover in another state occurs and she can’t get back to her home in Melbourne.
The cabin manager can work up to 144 hours a month which is calculated from the time she ‘checks’ in for a flight – usually an hour before – and 30 minutes after it lands
WHAT’S IN HER DAY BAG?
Brieana is issued with a company-wide toiletry sized bag for carry on when she’s only flying domestically and will return home that evening.
It features two large compartments which she unpacked on camera to showcase what she keeps in each part.
She has Lucas Paw Paw Treatment for her lips – ‘if you’re from Australia you know how great these are’ – her Airpods and Palmolive hand sanitiser to top up throughout the flight.
Brieana also had spare Virgin Airlines face masks, some strawberry-scented hand cream and a tin from Bras And Things which promises to help with ‘any fashion emergency’.
She has Lucas Paw Paw Treatment for her lips – ‘if you’re from Australia you know how great these are’ – her Airpods and Palmolive hand sanitiser to top up throughout the flight
Brieana always packs a pair of flat shoes (pictured) to change into after the flight takes off
It contains hair ties, a small sewing kit and a lip balm for when she’s caught unawares in the middle of a flight.
‘I also have some pens, a lip liner, a torch to do our checks in the oven, my wallet and a cream to stop dermatitis on my hands,’ she said.
She pulled out a special pair of headphones she wears when crossing the tarmac and onto the airplane, which protects her ears from the noise.
‘I’ve got some sanitary pads and also a little case with all of my Invisalign needs inside it,’ Brieana continued.
In the fashion department Brieana’s bag contains a red coloured cardigan to keep her warm mid-flight, a hi-vis vest and an apron for service.
She brings a small packet of oats and tea for a snack on board as well as flat shoes to change into once the flight takes off. Female flight attendants must wear high heels before boarding.
She brings a small packet of oats and tea for a snack on board as well as flat shoes to change into once the flight takes off. Female flight attendants must wear high heels before boarding
HOW DOES SHE GET PAID?
Brieana is on a full-time contract and gets paid for 144 hours a month, even if she doesn’t work that many hours in a 30-day period.
Flight attendants are given a base rate as well as allowances for each hour they’re in the air, as well as any overtime she might do due to delayed flights.
At Virgin Brieana has access to a free physiotherapist if she hurts herself, free airport parking, mental health counselling sessions for herself and her family and $1,000 to spend on flights.
As a full-time employee she also gets six weeks of paid annual leave, 15 days of general sick leave and an extra six days specific to having a cold or blocked ears.
Flight attendants are given a base rate as well as allowances for each hour they’re in the air, as well as any overtime she might do due to delayed flights
Previously another Australian flight attendant lifted the lid on some of the very strict grooming requirements she abides by in order to work in the skies.
The woman, who chose to remain anonymous, wrote in a Facebook group explaining that she works both domestically and across the pond in the United Arab Emirates.
She is checked over by officials before every flight, in between and on the return leg to ensure that her ‘style’ and image is up to industry standard.
So what is she required to wear and how does it differ between countries?
The woman, who chose to remain anonymous, wrote in a Facebook group explaining that she works both domestically and across the pond in the United Arab Emirates (stock image)
HAIR AND MAKEUP
In the UAE the hostess explained that her hair colour has to be as close to her natural colour as possible and worn in a plaited bun or regular bun at the nape of her neck ‘with a specific sized doughnut and hairnet without the hole showing in the middle’.
Interestingly only two bobby pins are permitted to be showing and there must be no visible flyaways around the crown of the head.
‘Short bobs are okay but anything longer has to be in a bun or a French roll,’ she said.
In Australia buns or a ponytail that is no longer than 30cm is permitted but no braids are allowed, only a ‘side twist’.
Hair being away from the face is likely a health and safety regulation related to preparing food while onboard the flight.
Makeup across both flights is always natural tones without any glitter or winged eye liner, with a red lipstick in Australia and a purple shade in the UAE.
In Australia buns or a ponytail that is no longer than 30cm is permitted but no braids are allowed, only a ‘side twist’ (stock image)
PIERCINGS AND TATTOOS
No facial piercings are allowed and only a single pair of studded pearl earrings in a specific size are acceptable on UAE flights in silver, gold or a pure diamond.
‘Tattoos need to be covered with makeup or plasters. For the UAE you probably wouldn’t get the job if your tattoos are visible,’ she said.
Nail polish colour is either French tip, nude or red in Australia with the OPI bubble bath colour permitted in the UAE.
‘One ring can be worn on each hand only and your watch has to be a specific size,’ she said.
‘I always carry spare pairs of hosiery and shoes must be flat in the cabin only, but heels are permitted for boarding the tarmac and in the terminal.
‘There is specific compliance on heels and sizes, the shape… the UAE flights you just get given shoes.’
HEIGHT AND WEIGHT
One of the most surprising factors of the confessional was about how flight attendant’s must be of a certain height so they can reach rafts in overheard lockers and compartments.
Not only this but for UAE flights cabin crew must be a certain weight or they will ‘put you on a health program’.
‘Guidelines on how and where you wear specific uniform items also apply, so a winter trench coat is mandatory in southern or northern hemisphere flying,’ she said.
‘Jackets, hats and scarves are on for boarding and disembarkation. Cardigans only during the service and flight.’
One of the most surprising factors of the confessional was about how flight attendant’s must be of a certain height so they can reach rafts in overheard lockers and compartments
While this is just a brief snapshot of the rigorous training attendant’s are subject to when they join an airline, she explained that there are classrooms specifically set up at the training academy to teach style to prospective candidates.
‘Thank you for recognising it is a tough job! It really is. We wear so many different hats. First aid. Saving lives 40,000 ft in the air. Safety and security are what we are ultimately trained for and we sit exams every six and 12 months,’ she said.
‘We are tested everyday prior to a flight on our proficiency of that aircraft type and emergency situation.
‘The fluff of food and beverage, style and image is the fun stuff but there’s so much more to cabin crew that the general public have absolutely no idea about.’