How do Flight Attendants look Glamorous

The Art of looking like a Glamorous Flight Attendant!

I recently completed a 15 hour flight as a passenger from Johannesburg to Washington and arrived in the USA totally exhausted! I started my trip by arriving at the airport 3 hours prior to the departure of the flight. Fought my way through the crowds, battled the queues at the check-in counters and immigration, finally reaching the boarding gate and the last security check. 



Then there was seating! I was squashed between two gentlemen and needed to squeeze past them every time I needed to stretch my legs or go to the bathroom.  As the one passenger alongside me was a very “heavy snorer” sleep was impossible.  The time difference between Johannesburg and Washington is -6 hours and landing there left me completely jetlagged!!


While disembarking from the aircraft I looked at the flight attendants bidding us farewell and just couldn’t understand how well rested, friendly and beautiful they still looked after being on their feet and working for the last 15 hours.  So I decided that I would do some research prior to undertaking my next long haul flight and made contact with medical and airline personnel for advice. These were some of their recommendations.


Prior to Flight Departure:

  1. Have plenty of rest prior to your flight as flying when you are exhausted increases your chances of suffering from jetlag.
  2. When packing your on-board baggage, pack lightly as there is limited stowage space on the aircraft and excess baggage at your feet will hamper your movement.
  3. Arrive at the airport timeously to avoid the stress of queues and rushing to make the boarding gates on time
  4. Travel in comfortable and loose fitting clothing. Flight crew even recommend that you should pack a tracksuit in your cabin luggage to change into after take-off. It is also a safe option to travel in dark clothing so that should you mess food or liquid on your clothing, it will not be as visible as it would look on lighter clothing. 
  5. Pack something warm (such as a shawl which is light in weight, as the aircraft air-conditioning is often set to cool temperatures and the blanket supplied is often not warm enough. Not moving around also makes you feel the cold easier.
  6.  Ensure that your shoes are comfortable. Sitting for long periods of time could cause feet to swell and trying to get tight shoes onto swollen feet is not the way you would like to end a flight.
  7. Avoid drinking sparkling drinks, tea and coffee. Stay hydrated by drinking plenty of still water.
  8. Travel kits containing eye shades, ear plugs and u-shaped pillows are recommended and can be purchased at airports.
  9. If you are wearing tight clothing, change into comfortable clothing as soon as you can.
  10. Take your shoes off and use the slippers which most airlines provide to their passengers.
  11. Remove make-up and apply moisturiser to your face and body as flying does dry the skin as the air in the cabin is not humidified. Keep a moisture spritzer handy and spray your face on a regular basis.
  12. Eyes also tend to dry on board so remember to pack eye drops.
  13. It is recommended that you eat light meals and avoid heavy foods such as pasta and meat. Airline operators do offer their passengers the option of ordering special meals for the flight so it is advisable to order a meal consisting of fruit and vegetables. These meals normally have to be ordered at least 48 hours prior to flight departure.
  14. Avoid drinking alcohol as alcohol is known to cause dehydration.
  15. Keep hydrated. Prior to the cabin lights being switched off, ask the crew for a bottle of water and keep sipping.
  16. When resting use the ear plugs and eye shades provided by the airline as often it is noise or the reading lights of passengers around you that prevent you from sleeping.
  17. Take regular walks through the aircraft and do the recommended seated exercises which you will find in the inflight magazine.
  18. Get as much sleep as you possibly can.
  19. Prior to the commencement of the breakfast service, go to the bathroom, wash your face, brush your teeth and change into your boarding clothing.
  20. Apply make-up.
  21. Move around as much as possible especially if your feet have swollen.
  22. Drink still water and avoid fizzy drinks.
  23. Sleep when you are tired.

On board the Aircraft:

On Arrival at your destination:

I’m happy to report that on my next trip to Washington, I tried all the tips above and got off feeling like a Glamorous Flight Attendant  instead of a haggard ‘snapdragon’.