Last week after I called in sick after a nasty bout of food poisoning, I was put on home standby. I found this extremely exciting as I had to (half) pack a bag and be ready to jet off to anywhere in the world at a moments notice! So I had a bag packed half with bikinis for the Mauritius layover that I had dreamed up in my head, and half with snow gloves for the London Heathrow that I was determined was my other “option”…. I even asked my friend Autilia, from London, what to do there in case I got this particular flight!
I needn’t have worried, because when I woke up at 3am to check my roster, there were the 3 letters that are notorious amongst crew…LOS- Lagos, Nigeria. NOT to be confused with LAX for Los Angeles (I knew that wouldn’t be the case for me as I don’t have my US Visa as yet anyway!). After ditching my winter clothes, I raced to headquarters for my briefing and stopped in on the way to pick up some Malaria tablets (Lagos is a HIGH risk destination for Malaria), which made me feel very, very nauseous. Mental note to self- EAT LOTS before taking Malaria tablets next time! The flight was my most challenging one yet. There was an obvious cultural difference between the crew and most of the passengers, and many customers had special needs to attend to that I had not yet dealt with. This, and the fact that the flight was full and had TWO meal services was just plain hectic! I even had to lock myself in the toilets just to “compose” myself half way through. All in all, the flight was a great learning experience and not one that I will be likely to forget…ever!Lagos itself was confronting. The country is extremely poor and issues such as corruption, extortion and bribery are common. Our hotel was lovely and so I made the most of it with Skype, drinks and dinner with the Crew and Captain and an early morning gym session followed by a buffet!
The way back was much smoother and all the passengers were sleepy and or happy. Great mix! I received some positive feedback so I was very happy at the end of the flight too. A great crew is essential on every flight and I was lucky to have the best on my Lagos flight! An eye opening experience, I am glad that it is over with and that I can be more assertive and a bit braver next time!
Needless to say I was thrilled with my Amsterdam yesterday! More about that up next 😉