Cabin Crew’s Story: Emma from Cathay Pacific part 2

A few people asked me, “So is it hard to work up there?”. The best way to learn is to practice and work smart. You’re going to meet many different crews to work with, different passengers to attend to and different aircrafts to grow accustomed to. I will now share some experiences, after flying for only six months. I do have plenty of stories to share, the good, bad, funny, crazy, teeth crunching, almost-life-threatening and more to come. But I’ll share just one of the recent incident which happened in my flight, it was kind of scary, shocking but hilarious at the same time πŸ™‚

January 2012, my first destination of the year was Paris! It was lovely, it was cold and I had good companies. Somewhere in the air, on our way home to Hong Kong, right after we completed the first meal service, I was putting things away and cleaning the galley when I heard the ISM (In-flight Service Manager) made a PA (Public Announcement) reminding all passengers that smoking is prohibited on board, and usually when the ISM made such an impromptu PA, it means that one of the cabin crews must have caught somebody smoking in the lavatory. Roughly about 40 minutes later, I was having my dinner and was helping myself to something to drink, when suddenly I saw the amber call light in the galley lit up, followed by a loud aural sound which indicates the smoke alarm in the lavatory had just went off. In a matter of seconds, I ran (not very graceful, I know) all the way to the back of the plane and found the lavatory with a lit up amber light button, which is located, right above the lavatory door. Knowing in my gut that this is something serious, I knocked on the door loudly, urging the passenger to open the door. I heard a reply from inside the toilet and shortly, the passenger opened the door and I see a thick could of smoke already filled up the whole lavatory and it set the smoking detector off. I said sternly to him, “Sir, you are not allowed to smoke!” He nodded his head and tried to take a step out of the lavatory to return to his seat, but I used both my palms to stop him from taking another step. I asked for his boarding pass and he gave me an opened box of cigarettes (which I declined), his passport and his boarding pass.

My colleague, Yulia, who was there on the scene kept an eye on the passenger as I went to the forward zone of the aircraft to look for the ISM. The ISM then took over the matter while Yulia and myself, quickly dug through the trash, as a precaution as some passenger may throw the cigarette bud in the trash and it may cause fire. In addition to that, the cigarette bud can be used as an evidence. We didn’t find anything apart from cigarette ashes on the sink and washed off cigarette ashes on the toilet bowl. The funny part was when I was cleaning the lavatory, I heart the Captain made a PA announcement, he sounded furious because he’s just found out that there were two smoking passengers in his flight and he said if he were to find another similar case, he would divert the plane to Moscow and have the passengers arrested and put into jail. It was sort of hilarious because the Captain is actually such a sweet old man, with a big goofy smile πŸ™‚ and to hear him making such PA, it tickled my funny bone.

Upon arrival, around 8:00am, right after all passengers were off the plane, a team of policemen came on board to check on the affected lavatory and started taking notes and pictures as if it was a crime scene. I walked out the air bridge and saw the two passengers who were caught smoking being detained by the policemen. Basically I had to do a police report and stop by the office to type a detailed report to the company, fax the police report to the Cathay Pacific Safety Department, it was quite a lot of work that by the time I reached home around 5:00pm, I soul was probably floating in and out of my body πŸ˜› 12 hours flight plus extra time to file reports…funnnnn. But that’s just a part of being a cabin crew, you take on a big responsibility over your passengers.

To all the dreamers out there who are still trying, it will pay off soon! Feel free to ask me as many questions as you like and I will try my best to answer them, I am still considered a junior crew here in Cathay Pacific, but I can always try to source some answers. Last but not least, Happy 1st Anniversary Forum Pramugari, I hope to see you grow and expand bigger in the near future. This blog was my source of information and comfort. You have done a remarkable job for just the first year of this blog, Forum Pramugari! You don’t know how many people you’ve helped and inspired <3 Thank you for such a wonderful Blog!

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37 comments to “Cabin Crew’s Story: Emma from Cathay Pacific part 2”
    • LOL this is the last part of my cabin crew’s story. There will be more inspiring and exciting stories from my fellow cabin crews πŸ˜€ just wait till you read my friend Doni’s, he’s a male cabin crew here in Cathay Pacific. He’s my classmate and he’s my movie buddy, we watch Suzanna together and call each other silly names like, I call him Parto Adiwibowo, and he calls me Ningsih hahahahaha!! He’s a very kind a generous man πŸ˜€ I’m excited to read the other cabin crews’ stories!!


  1. Thanks for your interesting and inspire stories Emma, Actually, I’m on my training to be a flight attendant in GIA, it’s already 2 months. I’m learning about safety regulation this week, so, I’m so onto your stories. May you have a great flight Emma :), I’m wondering how do I get Paris too.. Would you mind to share your email/ to get me your another stories or any Information from you?? Thanks a lot πŸ™‚

    • Thank you Ghea for liking my story πŸ™‚ and Congratulation. You’re thiiiiis close to becoming a cabin crew!! Although we’re not under the same airlines, I hope that you will be able to experience what many other new crews and myself are experiencing!

      How to get Paris? Mmmm…well if it is one of Garuda’s destinations, then you will get it sooner or later πŸ˜€ yaaaay. My e-mail is

      So sleeeeepy now *yaaaawns* hahahaha…


  2. wah gak nyangka yah jadi cabin crew berat juga kerjanya tapi tetep semangat yah buat emma,, semoga aku juga bisa menyusul seperti dirimu amin πŸ™‚

  3. wow…such a hilarious story from her (Emma) she can handle that passenger wisely.
    as a woman being we have to know when we be calm and we be stern hehe πŸ˜€

    • Thank you Dewi πŸ™‚

      It was an unforgettable first flight of the year. Guess what? I was patroling the cabin earlier and then decided to go into one of the lavatories. My intial plan was to utilize it…lol…but then I could smell a cigarrette =.=”

      Yes, a passenger smoked in the lavatory and stupidly dumped the buds into the bin full of tissues. Thank goodness I found it, and quickly poured a few cups of water into the bin. By far, this is already my 4th case of smoking pax.

      I don’t know how calm I’d be if I experience one more ‘on board smoking pax’, I would probably grab them by the collar and stare them down. LOL. I don’t know why they would do such selfish thing which could possibly harm hundreds of people on board. *sigh*


  4. Dear all,

    Sorry I’ve been MIA-ing for the past couple of days. Been catching up with my University friends here in Brisbane hahaha. Even helped them out for the University open day all the way at the suburbs, Ipswich and Gatton to be exact, travelled pretty far from the city hahaha.

    Flying back tonight, midnight =.=” and I’d still have tons to do for the next few days DX when I reach HK tomorrow, I’m going straight to the office to do a couple of things and then sleep/recover. On the 25th Feb, this is exciting. I’m going to be playing football against the Cathay Pacific’s directors and managers, it’s just a friendly game, I applied myself for it. I’m the only girl…muahahahaha!! Wish me luck my lovelies <3

    I will reply all questions as soon as possible, please bear with me alright?! Now i have to prepare self for my flight home πŸ™‚

    xoxo, love from Brisbane,

  5. Dear Emma,

    Thank u for sharing ur cabin crew’s story,,interesting yet inspiring sekali ^^
    ( coba dibuat part ke 3 hehe..)
    anyway aku maw tanya sedikit emma, kalau ada sakit maag bisa tidak y menjadi FA? Ingin tahu, bagaimana dengan waktu makan crew during the flight?hehe…



    • My apologies to everyone whose questions were not answered. I know that it’s almost been a year since I last answered any questions at all. Here’s why I ‘disappeared’, hahahaha:
      1) I was a little overwhelmed by the number of e-mails I received, as well as Facebook requests and questions. I tried to take it positively as a mean to help in the best way that I could. However, some questions were a little too repetitive and there was a bit of privacy invasion =.=”, for example, a number of people started to send friend requests to my boyfriend (it freaked him out a little bit ;p). To that, I apologize that I had to restrict my facebook’s privacy to friends only :(.
      2) At the same time, I’d like to have you amazing high spirited flight receive inputs and advice from other cabin crews as well. When I wrote this story, I’ve only worked for a little over 6 months. But now I’m back with better experiences and knowledge to share with you peeps :DD

    • Hi Tea,

      Sorry yah telat banget balesnya. Bagaimana nih? Lagi persiapan atau sudah jadi FA nih? hehehe. Kalau sakit maag sih nggak apa2, rajin2 minum obat dan aku saranin sebelum terbang, makan dulu dan rajin2 minum air deh (hitung2 untung ganjel laper). Jam makan crew biasanya setelah kita selesai dengan passengers, terus galley kita sudah bersih kinclong…nah baru kita makan deh :D. Tergantung dengan jam penerbangan kita yah, kadang kalau penerbangannya pendek, kita tunggu makannya pas kita sudah landing di outport atau kita makan pas transitnya :)). Hope it helps.


  6. emma,,
    Ada bbrpa hal yg mau aku tanya kan dan sharing secara private sedikit,,
    If you don’t mind,, aku minta email km bole ngga??
    Atau km bs hubungi aku ke email ini :

    Thanks a lotta,
    have a nice flt emma
    πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚

  7. Hi Em!!

    I just want to ask , is there any basic knowledge we should know before getting in the air or maybe before the recruitment. it is kind of worried thing since most of the wannabes didn’t have any FA experience. maybe some books or websites will helps us out? πŸ™‚ , i tried to googling many times .. but still want to heard from the real FA . hhahahahah .

    Thanks before Em !

    PS : Send my regards to Doni, Karen, Lisa, and Helen.. the FANtastic team missed them. Cheeerrsss!!!!

  8. Hi Emma,

    I’ve been wanting to be a stewardess since i was a kid, but then i didn’t grow up as tall as i expected πŸ™ So i’m only 152cm now at age 21. My family told me to just bury my dream, but deep down i still want it so badly.

    Well, I’ve read your post and it makes me want to pursue my dream even more than just daydreaming about it. So i wonder if you could help me with a few questions here:
    1. Is it possible if i go for interview eventhough my height is far below the requirement? How would i write my height in the CV?
    2. For the arm reach test, do we have to put our full hand on the line? What if i reach it with my fingertips?
    3. Is height not negotiable in CX?

    I look forward for your reply, thanks before πŸ™‚

  9. Hi emma!! or candy, im dea or diandra do you still remember me?? We both in the same team when cathay pacific open walk in recuitment 6 month ago? You, airin and me. You guys make it and im not!! After CX i never want to go and try again. Coz im tired and bored. I found a job and continue my daily life, i block any information from flight attendant recruitment coz. I feels so shame and pity, until i went to singapore this week. My journey to singapore open my eyes. Escape for a while from my daily life open my eyes and my mind that i’ve been in the nutshell for soo long. I still deserve it. Well, i know this is not gonna be easy. I know this is like take a first step after you’ve been paralyzed for almost ayear. But hey hooo we never what the future hold. thx not only for you emma or candy, but also thank you forum pramugari. X

  10. Hi there emma! I’ve read your posts and just wondering how CX arranged the accommodation for foreign cabin crews, is it one person per room, or sharing a flat with fellow crews? You also mentioned that CX looks more into inner potential than appearance compared to SQ. I’ve been studying and living in SG since I was 15-16, and like you, I struggled finding the right job after graduation being foreigner and all. I wanted to give SQ a shot as I’m in SG, but considering CX too, the thing is I’m rather underweight where my stature is tall and thing, recently I pressed my legs too, resulting in few blemishes, do you think it will be a problem? Thanks a lot for your help! Hope to hear from you real soon πŸ˜€

  11. to my lovely sister Emma,,

    its me again.. niluh,, hope you still remember me.. I really want to be your friend,, would you mind giving me your e-mail address or you nick facebook? to be honest, you’re the one who really kind, I mean as a stewardess you always have time to reply every comment here, and your answer is always make me smile.. I really want to know more about you.. you can call me, your fan… really, I’m serious! I admire you.. I’ve tried to ask some stewardess from many flight company but they just so arrogant and never give reply like what you did. you’re so low profile and friendly… I’m sure that many people also like you and of course you already have a lot of fan… is there any place for me? hehehe,, this is my e-mail..,, and my nick fb .. ArDa YuanDra Mcdohl.

  12. I am very impressed with you, and very fond of you. to me you are the best flight attendants and teramah I have ever met. honestly, I have repeatedly asked the flight attendants from various airlines, but none of them are willing to give an answer just like you. they are very arrogant and did not want to know me. You can always reply to comment from anyone even though you are busy. and I always smile when I read your reply. You are very friendly. You may think I am your fan. I’m sure many people who loved you and surely you’ve got a lot of fans. there is still room for me? I really want to know you further. I also really want to be your sister, if you do not mind .. ^ _ ^ just kidding!I am your fan. I’m sure many people who loved you and surely ”]’you’ve got a lot of fans. is there a place for me? I really want to know you further. I also really want to be your sister, if you do not mind .. ^ _ ^ just kidding! would you mind giving me your e-mail address or your nick fb please? this is my e-mail…

  13. hi it difficult to pass d test by online? im senioe hi school degree i ve been working in merpati nusantara airlines…i hv a dream that im gonna b around d world soon..but when i tried to apply ..i dunnot pass bcause im not photogenic enough haha..i ve got my 2 yers experience ad cabin crew here but i wanna to spread my wings larger n larger

  14. mau tanya dan mau banget dijawab, for sure.. untuk jadi cabin crew/fa cathay pacific harus bisa bahasa mandarin/cantonese ya? jadi walu bahasa inggris fasih tetep gak bisa?

    • Hi Alicia,

      Asalkan kita bisa bahasa Inggris yang fasih dan satu bahasa Asia lainnya, itu sudah cukup. Dan untuk kita anak2 indo, bahasa Indo itu sudah cukup kok πŸ˜€

  15. Hi Ms Emma! I’am an aspirant cabin crew, and would love to be one!:) I have a question about Cathay Pacific’s qualifications, uhm I’am around 5’4 in height do you think I can qualify being a cabin crew at this airline?

    • Hi Drey,

      I’m 5’5 and I have many petite friends who are roughly around 5’2-5’3 and they’re here in cx πŸ˜€ so i would say that you’ll definitely fit right in :3


  16. Hi, Ms Emma..I’m a 18 years old girl who loves cathay pacific airways very much..May I know when is the up coming cabin crew recruitment will conduct in M’sia..Does the interview very tough??

    • Hi Tan,

      As of now, we haven’t received any news for new recruitment. Mainly because CX recruited many new crews from M’sia, Indonesia, Korea, Taiwan, Japan, India and of course (HK recruitment was always open all year long in 2011).

      The interview is easy peasy, it’s all about your personality and the way you carry yourself. Don’t be nervous, good posture, smile and answer the questions calmly.


  17. Hi emma..and dearest all of u..nice to see u…its great information shared in this blog..anyway emma would u mind to share about benefit of chatay pacific,working environment and career progress…it will bring much advantage and important info for others who wanna to apply or decide which airplanes we choose…
    Furthermore, does cathay accept flight attendant with married status..anyway many thanks for your would be a good lesson learn during flight


    • Hi Intan,

      I’m not completely sure if it’s alright for me to disclose company’s benefit to the public as these may be confidential information. But let me tell you this, CX has a fair and generous benefit as opposed to other airlines (at least this is what I have gathered over the past 1.5 years). Furthermore, we have a flight attendant union (FAU) here in cx, they are amazing group of flight attendants, who will fight for your rights. Recently, they fought for a pay rise, end of the year bonus, so and so….

      Yes, I know many friends here in CX who are married with kids πŸ™‚


  18. Hi Emma,
    When is CX going to recruit in Indonesia?
    Please tell me about the requirement to get accepted as FA and get invitation?

  19. Hi πŸ™‚ i am korean , i live in new york now.
    I am about to apply FA to cathay pacific airline. but i am little worrying about my not perfect english. and i have little gap btween my teeth. I wear glasses or contact lens.

    I heard FA of cathay pacific can wear contact lens my both visions of contact lens are – 3.75.
    So am i okay for Eye sight?…:/

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