I am incredibly thankful for my career despite its ups and downs (literally). Recently, one of my fantastic Charlotte roommates sat me down, and we had a miniature therapy session. She told me that she could sense that I was extremely stressed and anxious. I keep a cool exterior most of the time, but this girl is very perceptive. Anyways, she assured me that I was on the right path and to continue doing what makes me happy.
Sometimes I question what I’m doing with my life and what direction I’m heading. Maybe that just comes with the flight attendant life territory…
At some point during every trip, it eventually comes out that I was a “Regional Girl”—as Celessa so lovingly refers to it as. And at some point during every trip, I never fail to get asked if I miss the regionals. My answer, every time, is a resounding, “Yes!” Don’t get me wrong; there are a lot of aspects that I do not miss but still, yes. I absolutely miss that type of fly life.
Lately, more and more of my friends from smaller carriers are accepting jobs at mainline carriers. I am writing this for them. I wanted to let you know that you are about to embark on a wonderful journey with a new airline, and I am so incredibly proud of you. The training will be hard, but worth it. The trips, hotels, destinations and airplanes will be fabulous, unlike what you are probably currently used to. Always on a hot aircraft with a broken APU, or on a maintenance delay, which seems like an every day thing.
You don’t have four or five leg days anymore, or at least they are fewer and farther between, and you rarely find yourself in podunk towns with two people in the security line. Sometimes, you’ll discover that a crew meal is provided! It’s the little things in this industry that end up becoming the luxuries. You won’t deadhead nearly as much AND you’ll get paid full flight hour pay when you do. What. A. Concept.
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I’ll tell you though, and you might not think it’s possible right now, but you will miss it. You know that cliched saying, “The grass is always greener…?” Well, it’s a true story.
As you leave the airline that made you fall so in love with this lifestyle, everything will change. Now, instead of seeing familiar faces (whether that be a good or bad thing) when you go to the airport, it will be introductions every trip. Explanations of where you live, your background and why you fly are common place discussions. You’ll go through all of these deep conversations and funny moments with your new friends every trip and then, you never see them again. Rarely will you find yourself flying with someone that you know. There are lots of differences, but thats the biggest one. It makes more of an impact on your experience than you ever thought imaginable.
So hold your small airline and all its flaws close to your heart always. Carry the memories made there with you on every trip you take with your new, shiny, big name carrier. Work hard and be kind to your passengers. Run circles around your co-workers when it comes to pouring those cokes, because you sure know how to hustle after practicing on your short 45-minute flights with a full beverage service. I wish you the best of luck in training (admittedly you don’t need the luck). I hope you enjoy EVERY moment. Make every day count at your new job, just as you did with your first airline.
And most importantly, show the “big kids” how us “regional girls” do it.
I love you all!