March’s – ‘The Wellness Issue’ – Download Now 

We spoke to Barbara Szep, Wellness Ambassador for Etihad Airways explains the steps taken in ensuring healthy travel in these times.

What do your first 30 mins of the day look like, your morning routine?

I believe hydration is the most important aspect to start a day. I have one large glass of water and take my daily supplements. I am a big coffee lover, so I can’t start my day properly without having a freshly brewed coffee.

What are the most important things to track when it comes to health and overall wellness?

For me personally, maintaining a healthy BMI and a balanced diet are two of the most important aspects.

How do you track your health on a daily basis?

As a flight attendant, my schedule can be challenging so I do my best to keep my regular sleep pattern, exercise on a regular basis and have a balanced diet.

Sleep is key to wellness – how do you ensure a good night’s rest on board during these times in terms of sanitisation?

Etihad has high hygiene standards which means our aircraft are deep cleaned after every flight. In addition, high efficiency particulate air (HEPA) filters on the aircraft are effective in capturing more than 99 per cent of airborne microbes which makes for a more restful sleep. We are also provided with individually sealed and packed blankets and pillows on board.

What does a Wellness Ambassador do?

As Wellness Ambassadors, we provide essential travel health information and care so guests can fly with greater peace of mind. We reassure flyers they are in safe hands. We conduct a Wellness Passenger Announcement before the flight, give additional care to the elderly, answer questions and share information on Etihad Wellness – talking about our initiatives regarding hygiene and how Etihad’s aircraft is sanitised before and after every flight. The safety, health, and wellbeing of our guests will always be Etihad’s paramount priority, and we are doing everything we can to protect our guests and help them feel safe. Etihad’s Wellness Ambassadors are also at Abu Dhabi International Airport providing travellers with support at every stage of their journey until they board their flight; from check-in to security, immigration, the retail areas, lounges and boarding, so that guests can fly with added comfort, security and confidence.

What is it about this role that appeals to you?

I engage with elderly guests, families and reassure any nervous flyers during COVID-19. I enjoy putting their mind at and making guests feel safe and comfortable onboard.

What is it currently like to fly in your role?

It is challenging but when you see how effective and crucial our job is to the universal community, I am glad to be involved and even volunteered to be part of a courageous army of frontlines.

What has been the biggest hurdle since launching the Wellness Ambassador programme and how did you overcome this?

The most challenging part was getting used to wearing a face mask because it can feel like a barrier between you the guest. We have introduced a number of these protocols and procedures which support safety including 100% PCR testing for all guests prior to departure.

What advice would you give to your younger self, starting out?

Being lucky enough to have support from my family, I was able to take a chance and follow my dream. I would advise the younger generation not to be afraid, to take risks and follow the same. 

Which piece of tech is your daily go-to when it comes to health optimisation?

That would have to be my smartwatch. It allows me to keep track of my daily steps, the number of calories I burn and monitors my heart rate while exercising.

This issue is ‘The Wellness Issue’ – what is wellness to you?

Wellness is a lifestyle and without discipline, we cannot reach our goals. My discipline is to tone my body and take care of my overall health. I believe that a body is like any other project in life, to build and shape it, you need a plan. The key to wellness and health does not refer only to your physical wellbeing, but it is just as important to focus on mental health as well.

March’s – ‘The Wellness Issue’ – Download Now

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