It was London this morning. A�Los Angeles tonight. A�Copenhagen, Oslo, and Florida soon. A�This pattern, or trip, is around eight or ten days long. A�I don’t really remember. A�I only pay attention to Pick Up Times and what the Report Times say. A�Sometimes, I don’t even know where I am going, not because it’s not on my schedule, but because I forget. A�Everything happens so fast, and then in moments, it’s simultaneously so slow. A�It’s the job of ‘Hurry Up and Wait.’ A�
I didn’t realize it was Sunday today, and two days from now, I won’t be able toA�get it out of my mind that the current day that I am experiencing is Sunday. A�As Cabin Crew, one begins to remember important details only, like arming and disarming doors, the safety information, and how long Crew Rest is.
Today, I am working in mid-galley. A�My company’s Dreamliners have three galleys in total, equally distributed on the aircraft. A�The mid is the galley that clamors for attention; front and center. A�This galley is next to the door where boarding and disembarkation generally happens.
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Away from base, our pick up is two hours prior to departure. A�Boarding occurs after all of the required safety checks are complete. A�As the boarding music starts playing, I am reminded how badly I need days off. A�That one song about window shopping and the PA announcers voice is making me crazy. A�These passengers are making me a little of that too, but it’s London. A�What did I really expect?
My crew is good enough, but there is an energy that I can’t seem to shake; an energy that I don’t like. A�The flight is long today- eleven hours. A�That long is no fun with bad energy. A�The time is more if you include taxi and hold times. A�This is also a day flight, which means it will be more busy. A�Busy doesn’t bother me. A�It distracts me from the fact that all I really want to do right now is sleep.
The Dreamliner is nice to work on A� I was reminded of this when I was thrown onto an A340 with a charter company that I did not work for. A�I wasn’t so happy, but I made new friends. A�That matters most to me in this job. A�The aisles of The Dreamliner are small, but wide enough. A�The galley floors are heated, and I can control the cabin temperature by specific rows. A�I can also disable the flight attendant call buttons by seat if I want, a feature I only use (mostly) when children more than once turn it on accidentally.
I work with a crew of eight to eleven. A�Ten to fifteen with the pilots. A�We have been as many as twenty with repositioning crew members before. A�It’s the same process every day- Pick up. Briefing. Security. Security Checks. Boarding. A�Safety Demo. Cabin Checks. Meal Service. Coffee and Tea. Clean Up. Snack Bar. Second Meal Service. Second Coffee and Tea. Second Clean Up. Second Cabin Check. Deplaning. A�Customs. A�Pick up.
This Dreamliner has rainbow lights that start upon decent and before landing. A�It makes me think that the Boeing engineers and this airline are stuck in a time of peace, love, and happiness, secretly hoping that this type of lighting will transport them back to The 70s. A�The windows are bigger on this aircraft, and the air pressure is standardly set at a lower altitude than most aircrafts. A�They say this feature makes “for more Jet and less lag.” A�That announcer- I get so tired of him. A�I wonder who he is and what his story may be.
As the flight continues, I get tired. A�Really tired. A�I stay awake by continually checking the minutes until my crew rest begins. A�Two colleagues and I have a riveting conversation. A�The subject- Pantyhose. A�Maybe I should start selling a proprietary brand of pantyhose onA�The Flight Attendant LifeA�I think.A�A�I rarely sit on my jumpseat and read (we aren’t supposed to do that remember, so I don’t;). A�I may sit and write lists and notes in my journal, but the Snack Bar orders usually interrupt every few minutes. A�Mostly, the Cabin Crew stands in the galley talking nonsense to pass the time. A�My jumpseat has a pullout back rest, the windows are dimmable, and the lavatories have a hand censored activation system for the sink and toilet.
Sometimes passengers yell at me for serving them an Onion Sandwich for breakfast, and when they fail to pre-order a meal, ask me to submit a complaint for them. A�I’m not sure why they believe my complaints to management hold more weight. A�Sorry, they don’t. A� I’m Cabin Crew: A�Mostly just another number.
They have been flying me a lot, and for this, I am grateful. A�If I don’t fly, I don’t make enough money to live. A�This is the case of most first year FAs. A�I’ve struggled this year with making three times less than I did at my previous airline. A�I’ve also struggled through commuting, blogging, breakups, and business pursuits. A�But, I am happy. A�Very happy. A�I feel lucky to live this life, own this blog, and have amazing editors, family, and friends.
My body hit its breaking point. A�I’m currently sporting a fever of 102. A�I called out sick for the rest of my pattern, missing Copenhagen and Oslo this time. A�This is my first sick call with this airline. A�I’m glad I made the decision to stay. A�I hate calling in sick, but couldn’t imagine being on a plane for ten hours feeling the way I do. A�I haven’t been away from an aircraft for more than a day over the past two and a half months. A�Between commuting and my full flying schedule, this life caught up with me. A�I’m not a person that naturally gravitates toward balance, and now, all I want is to do nothing. A�And, I just want my mom.