That’s Why I Love My Job

I started working as a cabin attendant in 2002. Just for a year, I thought at that time. 14 years on, I have to admit that this way of life is slightly addictive. This is my personal top 10 why I like this job so much.

1. Every working day is different

There are times when I’ll get up at 04.30 for a return flight to Paris, and other times when I’ll board a flight at 21.30 for a trip to the other side of the world.

Even after 14 years with KLM, I still work with people I’ve never met before. Sometimes we enjoy each other’s company so much, we  start requesting flights together. The work schedules on board can be rather routine and regimented, but the job itself is never boring, because the crews keep changing, as do the destinations and passengers, and the atmosphere on day and night-time flights is also very different.

2. Setting your own schedule

I do have a say in the destinations I fly to, and how long I’ll be away from home. The requests system for cabin crew is great, allowing me to give my preferences by simply selecting a flight number and date. The system immediately tells you your chances of being assigned to that flight and how many open slots there are for your rank.



It goes without saying that I also have to work during public holidays, like Christmas or Easter. But if I really want to have a specific day off, I can use one my two “superjokers” to make sure I get the flight I want. It makes it easy to plan work schedules around birthdays, holidays and the festive season.

3. Never having to worry about what to wear

I never have to worry about what I’ll be wearing to work. Got to love uniforms! But there are choices to be made. Should I wear the skirt or trousers? Waistcoat or no waistcoat? My uniform options include: 2 blazers, 1 waistcoat, 1 jersey (it can get chilly during the nightshift), 1 pair of trousers, 2 different skirts (1 straight, 1 flared), 2 scarves, and a nice long winter coat. My favourite garment is the waistcoat, which I wear quite often, usually in combination with the flared skirt.

Cabin crew member KLM in her work outfit

4. Visiting family and friends abroad

If we’re assigned to intercontinental flights, we get at least 24 hours off at the destination, sometimes more. We also sometimes have layovers on European flights, giving us an afternoon and an evening off. That means I can regularly sit down for dinner with my cousin in Stockholm. My best friend lives in New York, and I’ve visited friends and relatives in Tokyo, Cape Town, Shanghai, London and Abu Dhabi. Flying allows me to maintain and strengthen these ties.

5. Sharing the wealth

Whenever I fly to Johannesburg or Nairobi, I take along lots of clothes and toys, which I give to various charities and orphanages there. I’m glad that I can contribute to these worthy causes, and it’s a privilege to make my donations personally.

I also really enjoyed taking part in the Bushcamp organised by Wings of Support, during which we spent four days camping at Lake Naivasha in Kenya with underprivileged kids. Such a great experience and lots of fun too.

Cabin crew member Valerie with her bush camp group

6. Seeing the world from above

While I’m serving passengers on board, I sometimes glance out of the window and see the rolling cloud cover, majestic mountain tops, and (almost always) the sun. The views are spectacular! More than once, I’ve had the pleasure of flying over the heart of London as the sun was setting. I’ve seen the Great Wall of China from the air, the Mississippi River, the Strip in Las Vegas, Mount Fuji, and the Alps.

View from aircraft

7. Freedom

One of the things I still find amazing is that, within a day, I can close my door in Amsterdam and open a hotel door in a completely different part of the world. It’s like magic. Once we’ve checked in, we’re free to go our own way, as long as there aren’t any safety restrictions on site. After 12 years of flying, I already have my favourite coffee bars and beauty salons in many different cities. Last year I rented a car with a colleague and we drove out to Las Vegas from Los Angeles. To me it was the best ”work” trip of 2015.

8. Time for a special hobby

To me, the tango is the most beautiful dance. I’m really fortunate that I can take lessons in Buenos Aires, where tango was born. Every time I go there, I take along my tango shoes, which I bought in San Telmo, and take a couple of private lessons at the Tango Piola in Palermo.

Cabin crew member Valerie is dancing the tango

9. Getting to know lovable, loving and lovely people

If I’m on a 12-hour flight, I enjoy getting to know passengers in my work area. I’m still in touch with 85-year-old Vida and with people like Rachael, who I actually met via my KLM blog. She suffered from fear of flying and told me that my blog helped set her mind at ease, knowing that cabin attendants have to complete safety training every year. When she and her husband came Amsterdam for a weekend, we got together for coffee and cake in the Vondelpark. Rachael gave me a guardian angel, which I always take along on my travels.

10. Seeing the most beautiful places on earth

I sometimes have to pinch myself when I’m lying on a beach bed, drinking from a fresh coconut, watching the sun set slowly into the sea. At such times, I will share our running gag: “Just another day at the office.”

Sentosa beach


If you’d like more regular updates on my flying life, why not follow me on Instagram (@dareshegoes) and Facebook.  We may even run into each other on board… love to see you there!


Posted by:   DareSheGoes  | 
Join the conversation Show comments


Great Blog DareSheGoes! As a person who wants to become a long haul pilot,this is amazing to read :)


Thank you Sabik! Nice compliment.


Sabik, have you already started your training?


Leuk om te lezen!


Dank je wel Kim leuk dat je dat weten!

Agaath Snoep

Hai collega, ik volg je idd op instagram, en deel bovendien je mening over onze geweldige job, die ik inmiddels al 20 jaar doe! En nog steeds met dezelfde blik op al het ‘magic’
Hope to catch you on board sometime :-)


Hee Agaath! Wat een leuk berichtje! Jij inmiddels al 20 jaar wauw, wat een baan hebben we he? Lijkt mij leuk je als collega aan boord te ontmoeten! Fijn weekend en safe travels! :)

Antoon Elbers

Dear Valerie,
Thanks a lot for your very interesting blog. I really enjoyd all the ” things” you encounter during your flights.
Used to fly KLM in the past ( i am 88 now) and the destination was Toronto. I have relatives in Ontario and visited them in Spring and Autom.
Wishing you still lots of magic as well fun and luck for the years to come.


Dear Antoon, so honoured that you took the time To write this beautiful comment. 88 years amazing! I like Toronto very much, it’s a great city. Thanks for the lovely wishes. Take care love To fly you To Canada someday! Hug!


Heel mooi blog als ik jong was zou dat voor mij de job zijn!!


Leuk mama! X


Heel mooi verhaal. Ik vind het heel leuk dat U nog steeds contact heb met Vida. Af en toe lees ik dat verhaal nog op de blog. Ik draag nog steeds mijn Fly The Difference KLM sweatshirt/t-shirt , pet en sjaal met FLY KLM (in de winter) op al mijn vluchten. Ik hoop nog steeds dat ik U een keer aan boord zal hebben.


Dank je wel Aletta! Wat leuk dat u nog wel eens de blog over Vida leest! Ik vind het ook bijzonder dat ik nog steeds contact met haar heb. En…ik zou het ook erg leuk vinden u een keertje aan boord te ontmoeten! Lieve groet Valerie


Was weer leuk om te lezen Valerie! Ga je opzoeken op Facebook. CU


Dank je wel Idette! Ik wil jou bedanken voor je leuke berichtjes op instagram is altijd erg leuk om te lezen waar ik ook ben op deze aardbol! Ga mijn Facebook checken! :)


Wow, this is in every reecpst what I needed to know.


You’re welcome Melia! If you have another question regarding this just let me know!
kind regards, Valerie


Nice to read about someone who likes their job for a change.Today is my birthday and when I was 18 I wanted to be a flight attendant. It was super hard to get a job with the airlines.Your living the dream. Good for you safe travels


Hi Susan! Yes most of the time I do ;-) and A very happy birthday To you!!! All the best. Thanks for your sweet comment! Valerie


My Dad was with Delta for 35 years! I want so badly to be a “FLIGHT ATTENDANT!!” I absolutely love people , meeting them and getting to know them each and every day, no matter where I am.
I owned my own Shoe and apparel boutique for 5 years and won “Small Business of the Year” the first year open! The next year after that I was nominated Top Ten Most Successful !
I would love the opportunity to interview with your company!

Much Love!!

Kym Schluterman


Thanks for your Nice comment Kym!

Yumi Hirakawa

When I was flying for KLM (more than 20 years ago) one of the passengers told me that life is not fair. He said, “You enjoy your job so much and still get paid??” I couldn’t deny it because I really enjoyed flying, meeting many people from all over the world. Since we had 4 years contract with the company, I left KLM and did different jobs afterwards. Still working for KLM is the best job I have ever done! I still have dreams of flying. I miss all my ex co-workers, friendly Dutch people!


I am pretty sure I flew with you Yumi! To Japan right? Big hug from Amsterdam! Valerie


Very nice piece Valerie. For me this is very motivational because I am pursuing a career in aviation as an airline pilot. Cheers!


Thank you! Goodluck ✈️


You’ve imrpessed us all with that posting!


Thank you Carli, what reason impressed you the most?
kind regards, Valerie

Luu la-fille

Hi Valerie , Zo leuk !, en trouwens jouw foto zijn geweldig en je zit er zooooo jong uit !!!! Als ik dit zie Voel ik me heel er gemotiveerd. Ik ben blij dat jij dit geschreven heb !!!! Misschien voor je volgende blog schrijven over : tips voor opkomende stewardess #KLM


Dank je wel :) en dank je wel ben toch echt uit 1974, “Oil of Delay” zeg ik wel eens . Leuk dat je deze blog suggestie aandraagt krijg vaker vragen over tips voor sollicitatie gesprekken. Belangrijkste blijf (bij) jezelf.
Dank voor je enthousiaste comment! Heel leuk. Groet, Valerie

Adelina Richardson

Thanks for sharing, do have a joyous and a safe travels during your duties❤️


Happy To Share Adelina! Thank you ✈️


Hey!…zou je eens een maand-inzet willen doorgeven? zo erg nieuwsgierig naar!
gewoon van 1februri-1maart 2016 bv


Hoi Hans, speciaal voor jou mijn agenda even erbij gepakt 1 en 2 feb had ik nog verlof. 3 tm 7 feb in Los Angeles van 8 tm 15 feb reisverlof (ik vlieg deeltijd 67%) 16 tm 18 feb naar New York (24 uur stop) 19 tm 23 feb reisverlof. 24 feb jaarlijks flight safety examen. 25 en 26 feb vrij. 27 feb retourtje naar Berlijn. (Aanmelden 6:50 retour 12:05) 28 feb tm 2 maart had ik een 48 uur stop Curacao met op de heen vlucht een tussenstop op Sint Maarten. Let wel ik vlieg deeltijd en niet fulltime. Vandaar dat ik meer dagen vrij ben. Fijne zondag Valerie

Félix Maltchinski

I like KLM flight attendants they did the nice job.


Thank you!


It’s true and I am one of the male cabin crew I did all of those and will do as far I can


Way to go krishna! Enjoy life!!! ✈️


Hi Dareshegoes!,

you gave me a little insite of a cabin-woman! thnks for that, because I always wondered: How do they do that:-) likNational Geographic wonders about a lot:-) I still wonder how the daily life of a (KLM-) cabin crew looks like during a month!


Beantwoord in je eerste comment ;-)


An inglieltent point of view, well expressed! Thanks!


Thank you for reading my blog! :)


Mmm, another weekend spend without my lovely wife……but she loves the job!



Hakan Stenberg

Hello Valerie,
I have been following you on Instagram now for a while and I really love to follow you on your working trips around the World. As I have mentioned earlier I used to work with KLM cargo dept in GOT for 15 years and even if I didn’t make a lot of working trips for sure I took advatage of the great possibilities to travel a lot abroad on vacation. I really Understand that you love your job and I’m very happy for you because of that and I do look forward to continue to follow you and your dreams and I wish you all the best with everything in the future.! ☀️️✌️


Hello Hakan! You’re one of the kindest followers on my instagram account. It’s Nice To read you enjoy the impressions from around the World. Thank you for your sweet wishes. Have a good sunday! ☀️ Valerie


Dear Marketing manager, I would like to request that I really like KLM customer Service and I would sincerely appreciate for sending me a few Gifts of as a an appreciation and support KLM Management.Thankyou and best regards. Alnasirbhanji.


This is a DREAM of mine for the last 4 decades!
Thank you for sharing! At least I can live vicariously through you <3 !


KLM goes above and beyond because of people like you! I love seeing those Dutch happy faces eveytime I fly you guys. Air Canada should come for training with you folks.

Be safe!


Thanks for your sweet compliment Eda, safe travels and till next time ;-) Valerie

Barry Proctor

Have always wanted to be Cabin crew.I have worked for KLM as a dispatcher in UK Southampton for 16 years and next month we are handling KLM from Southampton again.It will be a pleasure to speak to crews again and at 71 i am still enjoying working alongside such professional crews.


That’s wonderful Barry!
Keep up the good work kind regards from Amsterdam, Valerie


Prachtig geschreven en inderdaad precies de redenen waarom onze baan zo geweldig is!


Dank je wel! Leuk om dat te lezen van een collega! :)

muhammad akmal bin dzul kifke

I want this job. Can help me please.


Hoi collega! Leuke blog. Ik zit sinds 1995 bij de blauwe club en vind het ook nog steeds leuk! Vorige maand de ene dag lekker op een terras in Rome en de andere dag in Venezie. Lekker in het zonnetje! GOT to love it!!! Tot ziens in de lucht


Dank je wel Flavia! Heerlijk dat je ook nog steeds zo geniet, wie weet to op een vlucht en fijn weekend groet, Valerie

Inderpal Singh

Hay I also want to join can you please help me for that …

Ria Verhoekx

Hi Valerie ! I enjoy your blogs very much. 5 years ago I retired after 31 years of flying for KLM and I must say that colleagues like you made it so much fun to work with. I loved my job, especially meeting new people to work with and to work for. Also all the different destinations we explored , it broadens the mind. I still travel a lot, but now with my husband. I hope to meet you on one of those flights. Keep smiling !


Hi Ria,

What a sweet comment! Would be lovely to welcome you on board someday :) …and a smile a day keeps the doctor away ;-) I will keep on doing it!!!

Von Cab

Hi,My name is Von and I always read your blogs. You know John Mayer. You should always bring his albums with you when you travel. :)


Haha I wish I knew him, but yes I know his songs ;-) And listen every now and then to John’s voice when I am traveling! Thanks for your message!


hi, I love your blog, and I translated and introduce your story to my friends who want to be cabin crews ,especially for KLM.. I have a quick question. What is the meaning of ‘SLOT DOOR’? Is it door oppend? Thanks!


Thanks for this blog entry!

Goos Eppinga-Huliselan

I read your Blog’s & I love The Stories (Aventures). It is a part of Art, writing I mean.

And I am in love with Maatricht. From The Moment my husband and I start a Relationship (28 year’s ago).

Julie Lopez

Hi what are the mandatory shoes? Black or Blue?


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