- You get to see lots of happy reunions/ emotional departures. It’s not always joyous, but they are raw, and emotional, and make you think! (And make me very appreciative for the people. relationships and things that I have!)
- The shops at the airport are almost always open. Need a book? Or a magazine? Or Tampons? Last minute Christmas gifts?! Chances are, if the flights are departing, the shops are open. It might cost you the earth to buy some Victoria’s Secret knickers from the terminal, but at least you can!
- Planes! It might sounds obvious, but there are aircraft everywhere at the airport, and not just ones belonging to our airline. There are Defence Force Aircraft, Medical Emergency Aircraft and many just passing through! Plane spotting is always fun (especially if you are an AV geek) and you are bound to see something new every day. I recently got to have a tour of the new Qantas 787-Dreamliner. It is outstanding! I am thinking of writing a separate post about it because it is such a novelty! Also, special perks mean that you get to fly more often then perhaps people who don’t work for airlines. Such as our lovely trip to Melbourne for Melbourne Cup!
- Every Day is Different. This may be true of lots of work environments, but due to the non-stationary nature of my job, every shift brings new challenges, new lessons to learn and new passengers to meet!
- You are often the face of bad news: I would say that more than 50% of any role in customer service (particularly aviation) is delivering less-than-lovely news. Whilst smiling. “Your flight has been delayed” smiles, “there are no more window seat” smiles, and the worst of all, delivering bad news from another port or to someone about their family/friends. Compassionate travel is a very common reason for people to be flying, and not a reason that most people would realise. It can be tricky to deliver challenging information, or have confrontations, but they both make you stronger, and more compassionate and empathetic as a person. If you are terrible with confrontation (as I once was) then becoming airline staff will quickly throw you out of your comfort zone and you will gain confidence in the face of confrontation!
- The Airport Never Sleeps: This can be both a trial and a triumph! Working as airline staff/ cabin crew means that that airport/ flights never really stop, and neither do you! You may have to work on Christmases, Birthdays, Anniversary’s, Recitals, ect. The flip side of this is that you get to work odd hours, which is helpful when you need to go to the bank, or food shopping, or any of that normal boring stuff- and you can do so when everyone else is already at work. Winning!
- Planes Carry Germs: And planes carry people who carry germs, and bring their germs from far and wide to a plain full of some 500 passengers. Bugs and viruses seem to spread like wildfire! No matter how healthy you are, or you think you are, sometimes you just are genuinely ill. It’s important to keep on top of this, and manage attendance effectively, too!
So there you have it- my take on the Ups and Down’s of working at the airport!
Safe and Happy Ups and Downs,