When you finish your course, you get what I previously mentioned, the Wings. The wings is a physical accessory that you attach to your uniform. In your blazer. It is also part of your grooming checklist, so it must be worn every day.
To mention that part of your training is all the practices you must do. So you will be learning how to put off a fire, how to evacuate in case of emergency, both land and water. You will be learning how to save lives by performing CPR (Cardiopulmonary resuscitation) and recognize some infirmities. You will get the chance to do all of those things before you start flying. You will learn and be prepared.
After you learn that, you will finally fly. But do not worry, you will not fly alone or do everything in your first days. With Ryanair, you require 12 familiarization flights. Those flights, you will see in real all the equipment, you will practice your P/A, your safety demonstration, test your knowledge and much more. Those 12 flights will make you ready. Naturally it all depends with who you will be flying, therefore, make sure you know the theory and ask as many questions as possible and fight for your answers. Do not let anyone tell you that you don’t know or you can’t do it. If you have the passion for aviation, you can do it.
Those 12 flights you will be a supernumerary. Supernumerary (sny) is an extra crew that comes with the purpose of being trained. You will have a paper and your supervisor will have that paper to mark everything you will be doing during those 12 flights. Attention that you will have always different people and different supervisor. That is also why it is important to know what you just learned. Also good to remember that you will need to pass after those 12 flights. So they are not only flights for you to see the aircraft, but to be evaluated.
Here, the order of how all happens:
- Set up the time you need to be at the airport and start preparing yourself 3 hours before. I say 3 hours because we never know what can happen. You do not need to be ready in 1 hour or take too long. If I need to be at the airport at 16.00h, around 12h I will start preparing.
- With Ryanair, you need to be at the office 45 min before departure. That means you need to count everything before. From preparing your food, to dressing up.
- Put on your uniform and leave the house.
- Go to the airport and go to the office.
- Perform your check in and see with whom you will be flying.
- Attend your briefing. Briefing is like the name says, a short meeting with your crew where you will know aspects of the flight (given by the captain) and decide how the day will go. Getting positions assigned, (as you just finished your course, you will have what is called nr4 position. It is next to the cabin supervisor, also known as nr1) service type, type of passengers, flight time and other informations that will be relevant for the duration of the flight. Be aware that supervisor will make questions regarding emergency procedures, first aid, security and safety. They are not all in one day, but random.
- Join your crew to go to the aircraft.
- Together with the crew, perform checks on the equipment. Before each flight it is imperative that each crew with their positions assigned, check the equipment on their respective areas. If something is wrong, supervisor must be informed.
- Prepare for boarding. Remove your jacket, organize your galley (galley is the service area from the cabin crew.) The kitchen where all is prepared. It is also there where crew can take rests.
- Depending on your position you stay in the back or you go help with boarding.
- Help pax to meet their seats and remember to be extra careful with bags. You are not a bag holder. If you will have 4 flights in a day and all flights are full, you can’t carry 756 bags. Your health, strenght are more important than helping someone put their bags up the compartment above. Naturally use your common sense and see who actually needs help or not. Therefore, keep your eye always on the cabin.
- When boarding is finished, you will arm the slides. Each door has a slide. The slide is what will facilitate in case of evacuation. They must be armed before take off. Armed means prepared to be used in case of evacuation/emergency. They are activated.
- After arming the slide, everyone will perform safety demonstration with the exception of the supervisor.
- When safety demonstration is done, everyone will be securing the cabin. Everyone will check if the seatbelts are fastened, tray tables are up, window blinds up and if there is nothing blocking the aisle (the space in the middle between each set of seats) and if there is nothing blocking emergency exits. Remember, nothing that could eventually obstruct an evacuation, should be there.
- Cabin supervisor will perform one last check and everyone must be seated right after.
- Take off.
- After 5 min, crew can start their duties, therefore, all the annoucements, sales must begin.
- Different types of service will be provided and everyone will get the chance to perform them.
- Upon 20 min to land, crew will prepare for landing. That includes annoucements, verifying the seats one more time, collecting rubbish and preparing for the turnaround.
- Cabin supervisor will communicate both for take off and landing to the captain that cabin is secure. Meaning, that everyone, including crew, are seated and safe.
- All starts again, with the exception of checking equipment. Equipment must be checked before each first flight.
Ryanair has a 25 min turnaround, therefore, is crucial that crew is fast but not impulsive. You must be able to be quick in perfoming your actions. That is why knowledge is so relevant. Without knowledge there is no way you will grow, improve and have confidence.
For the next post, I will be writing my own tips. Those tips are a bit more specific for Ryanair but you will find some general ideas too.