Traveling by air has its perks and one of such is being attended to by air hosts, professionals trained to cater to passengers on board. THISDAY Travel and Leisure talks to Ezekiel Egere, Senior Flight Steward of Emirates Airline with over eight years’ experience
As the crew to a major international airline, how do you manage the diverse passengers you have to interact with?
This is one of the most interesting part of my job, because there is always something new to look forward to. After over 8years as flight attendant for Emirates, I have acquired diverse knowledge from various cultures, from my passengers as well as my crew members.
What major attribute would you say an air host must possess?
I would say safety, in as much as we would like to make the flight as comfortable and memorable as possible our main attribute would be safety and it is non-negotiable.
Maintaining calm during turbulence in the air, is it possible?
When that happens to me, my personal opinion is put your mind somewhere else, think of what calms you down.
What’s your favourite destination?
I love New York City, because of its diversity. You see all kinds of people, people of all races but yet they are all New Yorkers.
What’s your ideal passenger?
My ideal passenger would be passengers who are very interactive, especially on those long haul flights. So when we get very interactive passengers I get to learn something new from our conversations.
What’s your best experience with a passenger?
Best experience would be Dubai to Lagos flight when a customer went down on one knee to ask his girlfriend to marry her at 39000 feet. I think that was romantic and breath-taking.
Do you enjoy your time as a flight attendant for Emirates? How do you like your job so far?
Enjoy would be an understatement, I love my job. There is always something to look forward to. With over 130 nationalities, I get to work with new people almost on every flight and get the opportunity to put a smile on someone’s face at 37000 feet. I find it amazing that I get to travel around the world for free – travel is the best gift you could ever buy.
I drink usually a lot of water, like three liters a day. I always wanted to ask, do you think it’s rude to ask for water up to three times an hour? I try to hold back as much as I can to avoid troubling the flight attendant?
Oh no, we are more than pleased to offer you water of any liquid to keep you hydrated; we highly encourage our customers to drink loads of water, because up in the air is dry so you need to hydrate as well as move around. Some of the little medical incident we get on the flights is fainting, this is as a result of our customers not keeping themselves hydrated and their sugar level gets low.
What’s the craziest story you can tell us?
Craziest story is a sad one but memorable for me. A couple traveling in our Economy Class cabin, after a team member interacted with them, they found out the wife was suffering from a terminal illness, so they were traveling around the world. We invited them to our premium cabin, gave them some champagne and took photos with the crew. They were very impressed and pleased with our hospitality and we were grateful to be a part of their lives.
How do you keep that smile on all day?
That’s the easiest part of the job haha. It comes out naturally. I always keep positive. Like we always say in Warri, my home town, ‘Warri no dey carry last.’