Name: Emma Watson
Airport Base: Manchester (MAN)
Planes she works on: A330 & A321
Emma has always dreamt of being cabin crew and last year, at the age of just 18, we were delighted to welcome her to the Thomas Cook Airlines team. She’s also been a keen weight-lifter for the last six years, so we thought we’d sit her down and find out how she juggles both of her passions.
Hi Emma, thanks for chatting to us.
You’re welcome, I’m so excited to get back flying again for the summer season.
I can imagine. What aircraft do you work on, the A321 or the A330?
Last year, for my first year, I was on all the short haul flights so the A321 but this year I’ll also be doing long haul on the A330 so I get to do night stops in the US and Caribbean!
Oh that’ll be great, where are you most excited about?
I think Dominican Republic and anywhere in the US really. I’m interested to see what the weight lifting scene is like in America, they approach the sport slightly different over there. In the UK there is a big focus on technique whereas they are more focused on strength alone. I’m looking forward to finding good gyms wherever I go to keep on top of my training.
How often do you train?
I train every day, sometimes twice a day if I have the time. Sometimes after a day of flying I’ll head straight to the gym before I go home. I train after work instead of before as I don’t want to tire myself out. It’s important to be on top form for the passengers. I even like to make sure I get to the crew room early as I’m paranoid about sleeping in or getting delayed so I give myself plenty time to relax beforehand.
Lots of people ask how I find the time to do both; flying and weightlifting. You just need to make time for the things you love and I really love both. I have taken a back seat with weightlifting this past year and don’t really compete anymore but I still train every day as I really enjoy it and it’s a great way to stay in shape. It’s not like other sports where you are competing against others all the time. I’m always just trying to better myself and lift more than I could before.
So how much can you lift and how did you get into it?
At 57kg I could squat 117kg – so just more than twice my weight!
I got into weightlifting because honestly I was always quite a big child when I was younger! I really dislike cardio so I decided to do weights and see how far I got. I did a bit when I was around 12 and then I saw it in the Olympics and decided that would be me one day. I found my weight was decreasing and my posture and physique became incredibly toned. That’s what keeps me going back to the gym every day as I can really see the results.
A slow motion of a clean.
That’s brilliant, and do you compete?
I have been competing in weightlifting since 2012; at regional and national level and even winning English titles! I have also had experience of GB training. It’s very intense around 12 weeks long at a time, and pushes you to your limits; there are some difficult times mentally because the weights do become very tough, it’s a very challenging sport. No one can carry you, it’s all about yourself!
So now you have conquered that dream, are you enjoying being cabin crew?
Yes absolutely. I have always known I wanted to work as cabin crew. After I finished school at 17 I was too young to apply so I enrolled in a year long Travel and Tourism course and also worked at Manchester Airport as ground crew.
As soon as I turned 18 I applied for a job at Thomas Cook Airlines and couldn’t believe that within a year I went from checking people in for their flights to being on the flight as crew myself. It really is a dream come true. It’s such an interesting job, I’m always going to new destinations and meeting new people, both customers and crew.
Keep an eye out for Emma if you’re flying from Manchester this year, be sure to say hi 🙂