Here’s Christina Ling’s story! Enjoy 🙂
How did I get bitten by the Flight Attendant bug? So many reasons. But thinking back there were two that stood out. When I was about 8 years old, my Dad took me on a flight to Hawaii. He was working the flight and I went along as a passenger. It was a traditional coming of age thing that he did with me and my younger sister. Dad always instilled the love of adventure and travel in us kids. To this day Dad still reminds us to be open-minded, accepting, and to explore this vast amazing planet we live on.
From the moment I stepped onto that aircraft, I was done. The sounds, the smells, the mechanics of the aircraft- the way it rolled down the runway and lifted into the air. It was beyond exciting for this little girl with big dreams. For the entire flight my eyes were glued on the crew. Beautiful, elegant, classy- the way they served the meals, the way they wore that gorgeous uniform- I was just mesmerized. So much so that I, as this 8 year old kid, got up out of my seat and started helping the Flight Attendants with the meal service! Well, all the passengers had quite the chuckle being served by this little Flight Attendant wannabe.
The second memory that stands out in my mind was the experiences relayed to me by my Mum. She was a senior ground agent and language interpreter for CPAIR/CANADIAN airlines. During the summer months when my sister and I weren’t in school, YVR was our playground. I was responsible for looking after my 3 ½ years younger sister while Mum worked her shift. We roamed and explored the airport for the entire time! The airport is an incredibly interesting place to be, especially for a 13 year old kid with a penchant for planes. The hustle and bustle, people coming and going- completely focused on getting from point A to point B. The allure of travel is intoxicating, the wanderlust, the mystery of seeing and experiencing a new place. For me watching the flight crews walk that airport runway with their designer uniforms and luggage ignited a drive and passion. A drive to help people, take care of people, and to proudly represent your airline. This was a feeling so strong and so sure, I knew that this was my calling, and was what I wanted and needed to do.
So as you can see both my parents played a very large role in who I am and what I’ve become. It was their aviation careers that influenced me the most. I am very grateful to the both of them. Love you Mum and Dad!
Fast forward to my teenage years, I couldn’t wait to get out of school to apply to work for the airlines. But everyone knows that you have to be at least 19 to join an airline because one has to be of legal age to serve alcohol! So I exercised patience, graduated from High School, went onto College and University and worked at any customer service job I could get my hands on. I started applying at all the local airlines at age 19 and kept getting rejected. But I knew I couldn’t give up! The more I was rejected the more driven I became to keep trying. I stayed in school, kept working, waited, and continued applying. Then it happened, out of the blue I was invited for an interview. This sent me into a tizzy! How would I prepare for this opportunity? I knew I only had one chance to make a huge impression. The first thing I did was purchase an interview suit. I had been saving my money for a day like this and I splurged on a beautiful navy blue suit and pumps. It cost me $300.00! This was the best $300.00 I ever spent! I still have that suit. I’m too sentimental to let it go. My next task was to prepare for the interview itself. I drafted a list of questions that I thought they would pose to me along with responses I thought would work well. The final preparation was to receive some interview tips from a current and experienced crew member. Well of course, my first choice was Dad! But Dad was away on a trip! The next person I trusted the most was my Uncle Dennis, (yes my uncle was a Flight Attendant too). I picked his brain and grilled him on how I could ace this interview. Thanks Uncle D! The course I teach at the Canadian Tourism College has a career unit in which I teach all the steps to land that FA position! Learn more about the flight attendant program here.
Thank you for reading my blog….to those who have written to me, thank you. You have inspired me to continue writing about this amazing, crazy, wonderful life in the air.
Stay tuned for my next blog