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Jacqui Chapman

Flight Attendant


Nadi one day, Sydney the next. Even after three years working in the aviation industry, Jacqui Chapman still thinks flying is romantic.

As a Christchurch-based flight attendant for Pacific Blue, Jacqui flies domestic, Australian, and Pacific Island routes, and thrives on the lifestyle.

"There have been so many times when I've been in Wellington and there's an exhibition at Te Papa, and I think, 'I would have never got the chance to see that'. Or if you do a six-day trip, by the end of it, you have a good rapport with the people you've worked with, and then you have the opportunity to go to a Robbie Williams concert in Brisbane with four or five buddies – it's great!"

For Jacqui, making the most of her stopovers by getting to know the hot spots is all part of the job.

"Our company encourages us to show our personalities and make passengers' trips memorable. For me that means doing a bit of research to know what's going on in the destinations we fly to so I can share that with passengers. Over the PA, I'll mention some of the entertainment that is happening on the weekend, or some people ask for advice about good restaurants and shopping."

Knowing the local areas that she travels to also helps her cope with the physical effects of working at high altitude. "This job does take a toll on your body and sleep. You need to be more proactive about your diet and sleeping habits than you normally would. So, I find out where grocery stores are at each place I stop so I can buy fresh food. You just have to be a little creative."

Now after only a few years in the job, Jacqui has moved up to the role of cabin supervisor, which involves helping to train staff. "Sometimes I work with young people who are pretty shy to start with, so I really enjoy seeing them gain confidence through the job.

"It's not just about building up your own skills. You get an intrinsic reward from helping someone else out, and seeing them develop."

How Jacqui became a flight attendant

  • Studied Japanese and taught English in Kyoto, Japan.
  • Got a job with Japan Airlines in Christchurch as ground crew, and used her language skills to assist travel consultants and crew.
  • Worked as a flight attendant for Pacific Blue for two years.
  • Was promoted and is currently working as a cabin supervisor.
  • In the future, Jacqui is considering getting her private and commercial pilot licences with a view to becoming a flight instructor for non-English speakers.