Emma Kiameso

1. Where are you originally from?

I’m from the lovable streets of Toronto, Canada but I’m originally from the Democratic Republic of the Congo. 

2. Which company do you fly with, your base and for how long?

I am currently a flight attendant for Air Canada and I’m based in Toronto for the last 3 years.

3. Who or what inspired you initially to become a Flight Attendant?

I remember as a little girl, my mom telling me how much she wanted to become a flight attendant. To be honest, I grew up a very quiet and shy girl so becoming a flight attendant was never a part of my vision. My journey started 8 years ago at Westjet Encore while I was still a full time student at Humber College. I was just looking for a part time job to sustain myself but I strongly believe now that nothing happens without reason.

4. What was one of your most unique experiences so far? Example, a flight, a layover, a country, time off travel with your benefits?

Many may think that travelling makes this career memorable but for me, the most memorable experience from my career as a flight attendant was seeing how far this job could really take me. From physically finding myself on the other side of the world to connecting with the most amazing people in small villages and everything in between. This is a people business so making an effort to make new connections is incredibly important and is far more rewarding than any amount of money or flying.

5. What has surprised you about this industry that you were not previously aware of? 

The really long hours and irregular schedules. Being on reserve when you first start can be very challenging and even difficult to adjust to. Sometimes, you’ll miss important events, birthdays, you’ll work during the holidays while everyone else gets to celebrate with family and friends, and you’ll end up staying up way past your bedtime 80% of the time. This can be physically and mentally straining, and makes it challenging to maintain a healthy work-life balance. It’s really important to figure out what your priorities are so that you can plan your flying accordingly to avoid being frustrated and burnt out.

The time away from home too. Many people don’t talk about how lonely this job can be since you’re away from home so frequently and for long periods of time. This lifestyle is truly not for the weak and requires a lot of patience, and compromise. Make sure you prioritize your mental and physical health. Safety does come first but it starts with yours.

6. What is it about your current company and position that works well for you? Example day turns, multi day pairings, rotational work, domestic airlines, international airlines, etc.

I get home sick after 3 days so 3 day pairings work perfectly for me with a minimum of 2 days off in between. I’ve also been lucky enough to be able to get my weekends off which allows me to spend time home and take up other activities.

7. What tips or tricks you have learned to help with your lifestyle? 

Plan ahead! There’s already so much happening around you from the time you leave your house to takeoff so stay ready so you don’t have to get ready. I make sure my bags are always packed, especially if I’m looking to pick up some last minute extra flying. I also always make sure I budget for food in case I don’t have time to pack a lunch. The rest will be just fine.

Bring familiar things with you that make you feel at home while you’re away. I never leave without my heating pad, my portable kettle and my husband’s favourite sweater. 

8. Tell us something about you, what kind of travel you love or what makes your ideal day off!

I am a travel foodie at heart. I love to eat so I make it my main goal to try as many new and authentic foods as possible. Aside from being a Flight Attendant, I’m also a professional singer, an entrepreneur, and a content creator. My schedule is always packed so those who know me well know that if I’m not busy then I’m probably sleeping!