Lured To The Skies

Hi! I'm Raquel. I am currently awaiting to commence training in Scoot as a Cadet Pilot.

At a very young age, I was fortunate to have many opportunities travelling on aeroplanes to visit my extended family in the Philippines. The excitement of flying never disappears and the holidays just made the experience of flying even more enjoyable. I remember vividly that I would appeal to my parents for the window seat because I was always captivated by the flurry of activities occurring and the mechanical symphony that played during take-offs and landings.

I was always enchanted by the anticipation of this goliath of a flying machine ambling its way through the taxiways and the surge of raw power emanating from the plane as it passages through the runway. Upon arrival at my destination, I would take my time to quietly observe the layout of the airport as well as the wide variants of planes scattered across the apron.

My youngest brother and I onboard Philippine Airlines.

As a young teenage aviation enthusiast, my weekly “excuse” to study with my peers at the airport’s viewing mall was but another excuse to satisfy my joy of plane spotting. Eventually, the part-time jobs that I had were mostly at the airport too. One of the most memorable experiences working in the transit area of Changi Airport then was witnessing the first A380 parked right before my eyes; a true marvel of European engineering spanning 261ft carrying up to 868 passengers and piloted by a crew of merely 2.

In the year 2010, my first full-time job was an air stewardess for Singapore Airlines. On my Supernumerary (SNY) flight as an air stewardess I had the privilege to witness the pilots at work in the cockpit and was immediately mesmerised (Why? - Two pilots working in tandem; handling a whole array of equipment and checklists that were beyond my immediate comprehension). However, back then, especially in Asia, the aviation industry was still not very receptive towards hiring female pilots. Hence, I continued to fly as an air stewardess for close to 3 years before venturing into other job opportunities.

My batchgirl, Jenny, and I happened to be rostered to do a Madras turn on the Airbus 330.

Being a stewardess has been very rewarding for me. I was presented with plenty of opportunities to travel to multiple major cities across the globe when I was only in my early twenties, this included Cairo which Singapore Airlines has since suspended travelling to in 2014. Aside to that, it also polished my interpersonal skills as I get to meet people from all walks of life. I also made friends with several pilots, whom till today I still keep in contact with and frequently consult on matters relating to the aviation industry. However, it was never just about the destinations. I wanted to be the one making the decisions, to be purposed with connecting travellers to their loved ones overseas, to help fulfil people’s dreams of visiting a foreign country and to be able to, at the end of the day step off the plane and say that I have gotten them there safely.

28 November 2012: Taking a tram up to Jungfraujoch (Switzerland)

When I left Singapore Airlines, I went from being a property agent to setting up my own online florist business together. I also had the privilege of working with one of the world's leading tech companies. Eventually, I settled down in the fitne