Cabin Crew Profile: Mitchelline Noel (kulula)

New week, new profile interview with another cabin crew member flying the skies of South Africa. Today Mitchelline Noel shares her journey with us and pays tribute to Suncoast Casino for polishing her people’s skills which are now her arsenal with kulula, join me while I discover the Durbanite below…

What inspired you to become a flight attendant and how many years have you been flying?

Mitchelline Noel (kulula)

Mitchelline Noel

I think the inspiration came from admiring cabin crew as a child and seeing how immaculately groomed they always were. It really looked glamorous but one soon realises that the glamour part of it ends once you board the aircraft. I have been flying for 8 years now and I love it as much as I did on day 1. The reasons I chose this career are as follows:

  • I don’t like routine and would get terribly bored if I saw the same faces every day of the week.
  • I also enjoy being paid to sleep in 4* hotels from time to time and absolutely love having to wear a uniform, it saves me having to do tons of laundry on my off days and stressing about what to wear to work!

Before becoming a kulula flight attendant, what were you doing?

Before I started flying I worked in the gaming industry as a Slot attendant at the Suncoast Casino and Entertainment World in Durban. That industry really helped prep me for my flying career because you have to have exceptional people skills and be prepared to work all hours of the day and night.

What do you like most about your career?

I love that there is so much flexibility. I also enjoy working with different people every day and I am talking about both the passengers as well as the crew.

And what is your pet peeve about it?

Anytime I need to roll out of bed at 3am to start my day is a bit of a downer for me. (Most of my colleagues, my manager & even the roster clerks know how those early sign on times are actually my one and ONLY challenge!)

How many hours do you spend flying per month?

I spend between 110 -130 hrs flying during most months.

What has been your greatest achievements since becoming a flight attendant?

There hasn’t been one particular achievement, but many small ones.

What daily challenges do you face in your line of work?

Please refer to answer number 4.

What are career growth prospects with kulula?

Some cabin attendants grow and become “BOSSES” aka Cabin Controllers and from there some become trainers. Management were also Cabin Attendants once upon a time but strangely enough the management position does not seem to be on any crew members’ wish lists.

Which destination do you like most and why?

I enjoy Durban the most, not only because it is my hometown but because of that year round summer weather they are blessed with and let us not forget about that lovely spicy Indian food that burns some people twice.

Any funny moments worth sharing involving first-time fliers with kulula?

Some first-time fliers don’t always identify themselves to crew perhaps because they are a little shy but one can always tell when they stop just before disembarking to ask the crew “So uuhmmm, where do I go from here?”

You fly for a living, have you already ticked the ‘skydiving’ bucket list?

I have never attempted skydiving and “NO”, it does not appear on my bucket list. This may sound strange coming from a crew member who spends most of her days above the clouds but I am actually quite petrified of heights.

Author: Muzi Mohale

Hi there, am your host and I blog about the tourism industry in South Africa. You’re also welcome to contribute your expert content on matters affecting the industry. You can reach me on muzi[at]tourismedition.com

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