Angelyn Tensuan graduated from De La Salle University Manila, where she took up International Studies major in European Studies. She has been flying with Cebu Pacific for over a year now.
Q. Have you always wanted to be a flight attendant?
A. Yes. I have a lot of relatives working in the airline industry. Growing up as a child, I would always see my aunts in their flight attendant uniforms, we would pick them up at the airport or meet them in hotels, hear stories from them and see their pictures from different places they’ve been to. I’ve always looked up to them and wanted to be like them one day.
Q. What is the best thing about being a FA?
A. The best and I’d say the main reason for most people why they want to be a flight attendant is the opportunity to travel to different parts of the world. Who doesn’t love traveling? We, in Cebu Pacific, don’t do layovers though, so I’d say the best about my job now is being able to learn more about different cultures and customs first hand, being able to interact with people of different nationalities, and having good conversations with random passengers. On top of that, of course, is the fun working environment we have in the company.
Q. How long have you been with Cebu Pacific?
A. I’ve been working with the company for almost a year and a half.
Q. What are the challenges that come with the job?
A. It’s pretty difficult to come off as authoritative and polite at the same time. Some passengers won’t comply with our regulations and that’s when the challenge comes in — how you are going to handle the situation. One of the most sensitive and critical challenges that comes with this job as well is decision making. Every day we receive a number of guests who need special assistance — pregnant women, people who just had an operation, and so on. We have to make sure that all the needed documents are on hand and that whatever happens inflight, would be our responsibility.
Q. What is a typical day like?
A. A typical work day is greeting more or less 500 passengers a day, working fully made up with our hair neatly tied and pushing our trolley carts 35,000 ft above sea level, with the breathtaking view of the clouds and sunset/sunrise through our window.
Q. What are the best places you’ve visited?
A. Hong Kong and Japan. I’ll definitely keep coming back!
Q. What’s the most annoying thing about being a FA?
A. The thing that annoys me the most is how some passengers easily get ill-mannered. We are not the ones to be blamed for delays due to bad weather, for diversions when there is zero visibility at the arrival airports, etc. Some passengers mistreat other flight attendants as if they’ve bought these FAs as their personal slaves. Yes, we are also there to assist, give quality customer service but above all, we are there to be their heroes in cases of emergency. Most people are not aware that we had formal training on safety, security, medical emergencies, and other emergency situations. This job is not as easy as it seems to be. And just like any other people in this world, we too need to be respected.
Q. What’s the most eccentric thing a passenger has done and how did you cope with it?
A. A French passenger seated a few rows from my jumpseat was incessantly opening and closing his mouth and acting like he was trying to talk to me during takeoff. He laughed when I had this expression on my face that said “Whaaaat?” So after the seat belt sign had been switched off, I came up to him and asked him if there was anything I could help him with. He just laughed and talked to me in French. I responded in French. To his surprise, a Filipina flight attendant talked to him in French. He finally spoke to me in English asking me if I could hold his hand, saying it was his first time to ride on a plane and that he was nervous. I couldn’t believe what I heard and just answered him with a smile. That was the weirdest thing I’ve experienced so far.
Q. By the way, what was that Cebu Pacific dance routine that we saw on youtube?
A. That was just an experiment and plainly for fun, but it wasn’t made to replace the standard safety demonstration that is usually done before the plane takes off. It happened on a Manila-Butuan flight around September last year . A passenger recorded it and posted it on youtube and it became a worldwide hit! Due to insistent public demand, selected crew performed it again on selected domestic and international flights December last year.