Trips are defining, determining where the flight attendant will fly, who the flight attendant is with or with not, and how long the flight attendant will be away. A�Trips are often why many become flight attendants, and trips are often why many give it up. A�Trips are often given, then taken- without reason, choice, or warning. A�A flight attendant learns to take his or herA�schedule lightly, treating it as the man that never commits. A�Enjoy the looks. A�Enjoy the moments, but don’t be attached. A�Yes. A�Do not become attached to your flight attendant schedule, unless you have a trip on aA�holiday. A�You can then be 99.9 percent sure that those work days will stay.
Stay- Trips are what makes staying possible. A�And impossible. A�Every other week, you will probably find me in Copenhagen. A�Every other week, you might catch me in New York. A�Every other week, a London pick-up stares back at me in military time. A�I love knowing that I get to go, and that I always get to go back. A�In many ways, I love the trips at my airline. A�The plane is nice to work on, my colleagues are incredibly fun and nice to work with, and I practically live in Europe, which to anyone who knows me knows that this is a dream come true.
I just returned two days ago to my base after an 8 day trip. A�As far as good trips go, this last pairing had to have been one of my favorites since I began flying at this airline over 6 months ago. A�I had enough days to rest at each destination, so I wasn’t sick and exhausted from jet lag the entire week. A�I was able to meet up with my friends that live abroad. A�One of my summer camp girlfriends from 10 years old rode the coach a few hours to meet me in London. A�We spent the day admiring all of the Christmas decorations that were making their appearances on the streets and in the windows of London’s shops. A�We enjoyed a morning of coffee and scones at The Victoria & Albert Museum, an afternoon of tea and macaroons at Laduree, and a spectacular view of the entire city, watching as daylight waned to night time lights. A�There was something up with London that day. A�Hilary said she didn’t know when I questioned it, but London seemed to love me. A�And any girl likes a little love every once in awhile.
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These experiences, and others like the ones that I just mentioned are all possible because my airline forces me to go away. A�I’ve climbed a mountain in Bergen, got way too tipsy over too many glasses of wine in Napa Valley, and stayed back at my Los Angeles home, all because I had to go. A�Then, there is the side when these trips make my life impossible. A�When the trips infringe on my freedom. A�When the trips suffocate my relationships. A�When the trips control my life. A�This is hard for me. A�This is hard for anyone, especially those with families. A�Most of my trips are long, on the short end being 6 days, on the extreme being 20 days. A�On average, I and my colleagues are often given two trips per month, usually 8 to 10 days each. A�Most airlines in the states don’t fly more than four day trips, but this also is not a rule as flight crews employed by American companies can drop, swap, trade, add, juggle, and jostle schedules to work stand-ups, turns, two days, six-days, long rest, minimum rest…
I can’t answer when I will be back. A�I can’t know for how long, or where, or if you can count on me, because truthfully, you probably can’t. A�Maybe that’s why this life is a lonely one. A�I have no control, absolutely no decision making power over what my trips are, who I am working with, where I am going, how long I will be gone, how many hours of rest I get…It is what it is. A�It’s like aA�version of The Hunger Games; a fucked up lottery system that one can’t avoid if living in this world, and where luck is a much needed commodity. A�It’s entertaining though, right?
At least we have that. A�Once you are in this life, it makes sense. A�It makes sense even when it doesn’t. A�Why we, flight attendants and cabin crew put up with the negatives of this lifestyle makes sense when you experience the reality shattering positives. A�It’s an addictive lifestyle. A�It’s an over-the-top, outwardly glamorous, surprising and intoxicating existence. A�It really is a trip…