Interview with Anna Mertens
„I love getting to hear many different languages every day!“
Anna Mertens is a flight attendant at SunExpress Germany. She has a talent for languages, speaking fluent English, French and Spanish, in addition to her mother tongue. Since she began working as a flight attendant for SunExpress, she’s even a learned little Turkish as well. She talks to us about her job with the German-Turkish airline and every-day work as a flight attendant.
Why did you become a flight attendant?
I love languages. After graduating, I began studying French and Spanish, but found university learning was much too dry for me. I wasn’t as interested in the details of French literature of the late middle-ages as much as interacting with people of different nationalities. I had also worked as a waitress during my studies. It’s just fun for me to make sure my guests have a good time!
How did you arrive at SunExpress?
A friend of mine saw an advertisement for SunExpress on Facebook and shared it with me. I knew right away that this was the right thing for me. So I said „bye, bye University!“ and „Hello world!“ (Laughs).
What steps were needed in the application process?
First of all, I uploaded my application documents and photos to the application portal at career.aero. After the experts there checked that everything was in order, I was invited to take an online test. When I passed, I was invited to the Assessment Center. I was really worried that I wouldn’t be able to complete all the tasks, but the day was great! Everyone was very nice, and after that I was even more sure: This is exactly what I want to do! Of course I was even more delighted when I eventually got accepted.
What do you like most about flying?
Whether it’s the guests on board, the crew at the airport or the people I get to know in various countries as a result of the job, I love getting to hear many different languages every day! My favourite perk, though, is flying to sunny locations for an extra dose of vitamin D in the winter (laughs).
While on board you are responsible not only for the well-being of the passengers, but also for their safety. Is it stressful to manage both at once?
No, I like the responsibility. Also, regular training ensures that we are able to react immediately in the event of an emergency. But it’s not just emergencies: Safety also means, for example, making sure that nothing can fall out of the luggage compartments or that no one injures themselves taking the stairs when boarding or departing.
How is the atmosphere in the SunExpress crew?
The flight attendants are all very friendly, and I really enjoy working with people who are on the same wavelength as me and often have the same sense of humour. That helps a lot, because teamwork is particularly important in the cabin. We work side by side and help each other without making a big deal of anything.
You are not employed directly at SunExpress, but at Interpersonal, the personnel service provider. How does this affect you?
I get my salary from Interpersonal. And that’s it. I am equal to my colleagues who are employed directly by SunExpress in all areas, including financially. I can only laugh at biases against personnel service providers! Personally, I have only had good experiences. For example, I got a two-year contract right away after the training. Most airlines offer only one year. Besides, chances are very good that after the two years I’ll get an unrestricted contract as a flight attendant at SunExpress!
SunExpress is currently looking for flight attendants at all locations, especially for long and medium range flights flying out of Cologne. What should new recruits be expected to bring to the team?
Be flexible and friendly. If you can handle stressful situations with a smile, you’ll not only impress customers with your professionalism, but also have more fun at work. That’s been my experience in any case.
Thank you for your time and for telling us your story!