I work for Air Transat as a flight director, but the responsibilities are the same as a flight attendant. My job is to get passengers to their destination safely while providing great customer service.
Speaking their language makes that a lot easier.
After high school I went to the University of Ottawa. I have a major in trilingual translation and a minor in Spanish. At the end of April, I will have completed the certificate in Portuguese through continuing education at George Brown College.
After having taken a few levels of Portuguese, I found I had enough knowledge to practise with passengers on board. We’re a vacation airline, so we fly to Portugal and hopefully in the future to Brazil. We have Portuguese-speaking passengers, some of whom are elderly and travel alone, so I take that opportunity to use my Portuguese. Even if I make mistakes I can tell they appreciate that I’m trying to communicate in their own language.
Languages seem to be my thing. It started when my parents put me in French immersion, and then in high school, Spanish courses were brought into the curriculum. I continued that into university and ended up at Ottawa U because it’s the only university that offered trilingual translation.
More at the Source: Nadia Esmail: Flight director, Air Transat – NOW Toronto Magazine – Think Free