Believe it or not there are many more ups and downs of flying other than take off and landing! (haha! I had to, sorry!). Being crew isn’t all about sunny European layovers, international food shops and cocktails on days off (although this is the majority of what goes on, and what our Instagrams will lead you to believe)! Please don’t get me wrong, this job is without a doubt a once in a lifetime opportunity, full of promise, travel and new experiences that not very many people my age can tick off their bucket list! I just thought that I should probably tell the other side of this magical story too, the things that the pictures won’t share! 😉
- Flying is Hard on Your Body (and sometimes mind)
When you fly as a passenger, even if it is just from Perth to Melbourne with a few hours time difference, you still experience some degree of jet lag. This word no longer exists in my vocabulary! We are have be up at all hours of the day and night (particularly for turnarounds, where we fly to a local city, stay on the plane, turn around and come back). Not only are crew expected to be fully awake, alert and chirpy at 3am, but us girls must have all hair and makeup immaculate. I realise it is a part of our job, but it becomes somewhat difficult to motivate oneself to get out of bed at Midnight for a 3am flight when you know you will not return to your beloved bed for approximately 15 hours! Not to mention the inevitable bloating and weight gain of you are not careful about eating habits on onboard. Thankfully I am usually too busy too boof myself and when I do eat I try to bring snacks from home. Quinoa and brown rice salad, avocado on crackers, dates, museli ect. They are all foods that are high in fibre, good fats and natural energy. I figure if I eat clean in the sky it is ok to let myself go on the layovers! Dubai is for salads 😉 Your mind, on the other hand, is caught in 3 time zones at once Dubai (what time is it there? What time does my body THINK it is?), Destination (what time SHOULD my body think it is?!) and Home (What is everyone doing? How is James? What is the weather?!). Perhaps everyone does not think as much as I do, but it is certainly my way of staying awake on my jump seat during turbulence instead of nodding off like the rest of the cabin!
- People Can Be Rude
For no apparent reason! It could be a cultural difference; a personal issue or perhaps they just don’t feel like smiling back. Either way, it can sometimes be hard to be polite to those who don’t show the same respect back, but I am a nice person and I try to smile at everyone. If they don’t respond, and I have gone out of my way to do my job, then I can rest assured that I have done my best, and it I shouldn’t care about the rest! Most people soften once you speak to them and they open up to us. That is the beauty of flying, you are stuck with these people in a metal tube for hours on end, and it has an oddly calming effect on passengers, lowers their inhibitions and they end up telling us their whole life story in the galley. It is kind of like being an anonymous therapist, which is pretty cool 🙂
- Fish or chicken actually means fish or chicken
Not “fish, chicken, vegetarian meal, cheeseburger, pancakes, low fat option, lobster”. When I offer a meal, I always try to use the correct menu terminology to sell what I have. This is if time and language skills permit. If not, then it comes down to “fish or chicken” and unless you have booked a special meal with your ticket, the chances are we might not have your choice on board. I do feel bad if we run out of a particular choice, but we do our best to make do with what we have! So please, please, please keep that in mind the next time you fly. Or if you are really fussy, bring your own food! We will never say no to heating up some garlic bread (especially if you share it with us!)
- Safety is Paramount
On and off of the aircraft. When we ask you to put things away, sit up, give us back your blankets, it’s not because we are mean! It is because we want just as much as you to land safely and quickly as possible J It is also important to be safe on layovers, to not give out personal information EVER, and ensure the hotel you stay at is familiar with this protocol, too. Also it is important for us to be aware at all times, medical incidents are unfortunately very common on board 🙁
- Flying is fun
We fly with a different crew every single time! No two flights, crew or passengers are the same. This makes every flight an opportunity to make new friends, learn something new or try something out. This is the great part about the job, that makes all of the bloating, tension, stress and stockings worth it! Not to mention we don’t get bored on the way to a destination, and if it’s a layover, once you get there, you are given your allowance and off you go to explore the world! Take photos, eat, drink, dance, whatever you feel like for at least 24 hours. It’s amazing!
So this has been my personal insight into flying. I hope it has given you a real, proper overview on what goes on beyond the drinks, days off and dazzling Dubai! I am enjoying myself here, and just trying to go with the flow and ride the ups and roll with the downs as well 😉 speak soon after Copenhagen 😀 xx