Do my job: Malika takes off as a flight attendant - Hawaii News Now - KGMB and KHNL

Do my job: Malika takes off as a flight attendant

 By Malika Dudley - bio | email

HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - On the weekends, Malika tells us what's going on up in the sky. But in today's "Do My Job" segment, she takes to the sky as a flight attendant. We all know the benefits are great, but is it as easy as it looks? Malika finds out. So, fasten your seatbelts, it could be a bumpy ride.

"Hi good morning Malika welcome, I'm Patsy Derby. We're excited to have you with us today, we're going to teach you a little about our airline and our aircraft our 717 we fly inter-island. Just one more thing, we're going to get you into our official purple polo that our trainees wear for class."

After a quick change, I'm ready to go. Potential flight attendants go through 6 weeks of intensive training. They need to maintain a 90% average.

"These topics are very intensive we've had many people come through that said it was harder than anything they've ever taken at UH."

On average 30 percent drop out.

"The general public usually think of flight attendants as passing out the meals or the juice or sodas but it is a very intensive craft... fire fighting? we wear many hats put it that way. oh my goodness, land evacuation, this looks difficult."

"You're doing two Kona flights, alright we're going to be busy today, let's get right to it."

Hands on training was more than just learning to open the aircraft door.

"Ok Malika an important part of our job is to do the safety demonstration prior to every take off."

Incidents on Hawaiian's Inter island flights are rare. But, in a worst case scenario, flight attendants need to be ready to react. Next, it was off to meet my flight crew.

"Malika welcome to our crew briefing this is Kaipo, Lehua and Liz. I'm going to pass you off to the crew now, we've trained you. ready to go, and you're going to have a great time on the aircraft they're going to take good care of you but we have to go... it's time to get on the aircraft. ok let's go."

"We're here on the real thing, a Hawaiian airlines flight now the simulator is as close as I'm going to get to doing safety procedures, I think I'll leave that to the professionals."

FAA regulations required that I be seated during take off and landing, but I did get to closely shadow my crew. Kaipo, took me through the beverage service.

"That first chime marked the 10,000 foot mark which basically means the captain feels it's safe for us to get up and move about the cabin at that time we'll prepare our beverage service."

After that it's on to distributing complementary maps. You're moving around a lot.

"I don't know how these guys do it, I'm feeling a little queasy. I need to ask you this because I'm getting a little motion sick. Do you have a technique?" I asked. Kaipo told me to drink water.

Inter island flight attendants work about 8 to 9 hours a day and, a work day is anywhere from 6 to 10 trips. By my second leg, I was exhausted! And it was time to serve first class. Serving drinks is one thing, but emergencies are quite another.

"We're trained to be prepared for one at all times, we do a thirty second review in our jump seat where we're thinking of our commands and who our helper passengers are. In an event, you always gotta think safety."

Liz explained to me that a lot has changed since 9-11.

"For example in our yearly training they go over self defense moves with us and strategies for dealing with passengers that are strong that maybe come forward possibly assaulting or injuring another passenger or flight attendant."

Sounds scary, but I'm sure these flight attendants would do, even that, with a smile. It was a great day, but I'm thoroughly drained. I think I'll keep my day job. Malika Dudley, Hawaii News Now.

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