Rains were strong last August 11 over Metro Manila, to the point that many places in Metro Manila were flooded. Yet, despite the inclement weather, thousands of cabin crew hopefuls trooped to the Makati Shangri-La Hotel for the Air Asia cabin crew recruitment day! Lines were so long that it reached the 6750 building in Ayala Avenue, and even all the way to the streets.
From the estimated 4,000 plus people who applied, only less than 50 will be taken in! That is almost a 99% attrition rate, even higher than the attrition rate at Harvard!
All in business attire holding their resumes, some of these aspiring cabin crew had to even line-up in the streets which many of them got wet due to the wind accompanied with with the strong rains. Most stood for 4 to 5 hours, and some even were ath the venue as early as 3am!
Come to think of it, any normal person would rather just back-out from this given the present situation. Thousand of applicants, bad weather, and only less than 50 slots. Others would just think "nahhhh, not worth it, rather wait for next open day" or "this is not meant for me", yet, each of these 4000 individuals braved everything as their desire to be an all-star cabin crew was stronger than any calamity or odds.
According to some of those we interviewed. they would need to go through 4 stages. There is still a fifth but this is done separately and we believe this is the background check before each of those who passed will be notified for training.
First step was the height check as this does matter a lot. Next is the documents check where they see if you brought all necessary requirements. If you miss out on one, you blow your chance right away. Third is they will make you walk, also called "catwalk". At the same time, they will ask you to answer one to three personal questions about you. Not really a serious question but a light one, maybe to check your impact. Then this is followed by group dynamics where they check how you work in a team or how you are as a team player.
So just imagine how it felt like for the thousands who did not make it despite them lining up for hours in business attire while getting wet because of the rain. All these basically paints two pictures. First is how very much desired the job of a flight attendant is. Looking at the numbers, they knew that the odds of getting rejected were higher than being accepted, yet, they chose to go through everything because they really want to be a cabin crew. It's their dream because they know being a cabin crew is definitely more than just "serving coffee or tea." Second, this paints a picture of how hard it is to become a cabin crew. For those who made it, it was a sweet victory but what they went through just to be accepted were no ordinary challenge. This does not even include training where they will once again go through a needle's hole.
This is now the reason why present flight attendants get offended when people looks down on them or coins them as "servers of chicken or beef" because what they went through is definitely only for the strongest among the strong.
So to all who thinks that all a flight attendant does is to serve chicken or beef, let these pictures be a reminder to you that each of these 4000+ applicants will not sacrifice standing up for hours, braving the floods. and getting wet from the rains in business attire just to do that. They do know that there is so much in being a cabin crew, and deep in their hearts, they are willing to go through all to be one.
To each and everyone who lined-up, let us be the ones to tell you that you all deserve to be cabin crew. Your dedication, resilience, and passion to go through this despite the odds is something indescribable. To those who did not make it, you will have your perfect time so just work hard for it and continue to improve yourself. Defeat is temporary, don't make it permanent by giving up on your dreams. Continue and stand-up. Your journey has just begun. To all those who made it, congratulations and we wish you the best of luck in your training! Continue to also inspire others, particularly our future generation of cabin crew.
Check out more photos below, courtesy of Joanna Lumbad.