Layovers- people outside of the airline industry have a curiosity, questioning what happens on these overnight trips. Just as many seem to believe that being a flight attendant is glamorous, they’ve also made up scenarios of what a cabin crew members’ lives are like when away. But this life has to include hookups with hot foreigners, or the gorgeous captain, right!?! Partying nights away in exotic locales, and exploring cities with flair and fascination? All done during that 48 hour rest period, yes?
Last I checked…no.
Finding that gorgeous captain is a rarity, and 48 hour rest periods are even more scarce. Don’t get me wrong, there are exceptions to the rule, and some flight attendants and pilots do enjoy a dazzling flying life, but that’s more likely the case for those that have been employed for over 30 years, or if the individual works for a major International carrier, like Emirates, for example. The era of extended rest for flight attendants and pilots to play, has changed. Nowadays, what is most common, is for airline crews to fly, with barely enough time after arriving at a destination to grab a bite to eat, before crashing, getting five hours of sleep, if that, and waking up, body and mind fighting the different time zone, taking a plane of passengers to another place.
Rinse. Wash. Repeat.
This is The Crew Layover.
Except for a few charters here and there, I didn’t start flying overnights till five or six months ago. The charters were always fun. For one, it was usually college football teams, and although rowdy, the boys were entertaining and easy on the eyes. Also a plus was that the crew had over 25 hours of time at the destination. At that time in my flying career, overnights were not the norm, so a lot more besides only sleeping occurred. The crew of six would go out to dinner and find something exciting to do in the Small Mid-West America Town. There was the completely sober cage dancing in Louisiana on Halloween Eve one year. Good times:)
Flight Attendant Planking: Spokane, Washington
To continue that fun, I choose schedules so that I can fly with my best friends. That is almost all one needs to make an overnight enjoyable. Well, best friends and thrift stores. Recently for some Honolulu crews, overnights have been designated a theme. A few weeks ago, the creative genius of flight attendants put together a tacky party which took place at the hotel restaurant/bar. Outfits were scrounged and found at a local second hand shop, then paired with bad hair, and bright, ridiculous make-up. Emily’s hot red lips with lipstick smeared on her teeth added to her totally trashy outfit. It’s funny when you walk into a bar, and all of your friends are commenting that you look great, but only because you look so bad.
Emily for the win
Kara & Keri
For the most part, I like my overnights. It’s the only time that I have a room to myself, as my “home” in Hawaii includes seven other flight attendants. It’s a one bedroom apartment. Yes. You heard correctly. Eight people share a one bedroom apartment. The overnights allow me the luxury of unpacking my suitcase and leaving the contents wherever I please. It’s the little things in life, like a hotel room iron that actually works. Or free breakfast.
This is what really happens on overnights
A Must Have
There are a few few variables that make an overnight well liked by flight crews. Are the beds comfortable? Is the hotel within walking distance to restaurants and/or shopping? How many hours does the crew have in this city? Other important points include hotel gym, tasty breakfast, and internet connectivity. A typical overnight for me includes exercise and catching up on some blog writing. I feel like I’m always playing catch up, either with sleep, or The Flight Attendant Life, or with my life, that I need time to breath. I don’t mind being away from Hawaii, because Hawaii doesn’t feel like home. At this point in my life, the crew layover is my escape from the party and busy of Hawaii. The layovers make my life feel more “normal.” I mean, I’m a flight attendant. Isn’t it our job description to be jet lagged, coffee laden, and away, all of the time?