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What it's like to be a Flight Attendant

By Edited Nov 13, 2013 0 2

Many people are envious of my day job. They imagine I live a life of glamour and travel. They think I stay in luxury hotels and travel on most my days off. They get these idea from what is commonly refered to as the "Golden Era" of commercial aviation. In movies and other woks of fiction the golden era lives on. We now live in a different time.
My day starts out with waking up and getting ready. I shower, shave, get dressed and eat a quick breakfast. I Almost always work mornings, as I prefer waking up early over getting to the hotel super late. My bag is already packed the night before and is sitting by the door. I head out and take the bus to the airport.
Once I arrive at the airport I clear security and go to the crew room. I check in on the computer and check. I then check my mail box and see if there are any new bulletins in the read and sign book. I look for my crew and introduce myself. The other flight attendants conduct our breifing and discuss matters like where we prefer to work and matters related to safety and any other pertinent information.
Then the the crew goes to the plane and does our security checks and stows our bags. The captain briefs us on weather, flight time, and anything else he/she deems importnant. We then board up. I help people stow their bags. Once the checked bags are loaded we get the paper work close the door and push back for take off. We do our safety demo, we fly to our destination, deplane the passengers, clean the plane, get new passengers, do our safety demo, fly back to our hub,clean the plane and then off to our next destination with more new passengers. "Wash, Rinse, Repeat." Each flight where we have enough time we also do our beverage/snack service. Provided no one gets sick, there aren't any long delays or emergencies the service is the hardest part of my job. Most trips that I work are 3 or 4 days long. When our day is done we go to our hotel. I usually hit them gym and run 3 miles shower eat dinner and go to bed. On longer overnights I might go out with the crew for a beer and bite to eat.

Of course during the course of an average trip, I do have to occasionally deal with rude or ignorant passengers. It comes with the job. I just try to remain proffesional and remind myself that few people have any understanding about how an airline operates. It's kind of funny how taxes keep riseing, every town has a couple crooked government officials, nepotism/favoritism in the work place is common, we bail out every financial institution imaginable and the only thing that really seems to set people off is the little stuff like asking passnegers to put on their seat belt while riding in an alumimu tube traveling hundreds of miles per hour thousands of feet in the air. Flying might be inconvient at times especially with all the new security measures but it still beats the pants off loading up the kids in the station wagon and driving for days. Overall though most people are a pleasure to deal with and I am grateful they choose to spend their hard earned money flying so I can stay employed in such a unique position. I also try to remember that everyone has a bad day now and again.
It's a unique job and I love the view from my "office" but it won't make you rich. I am out of town half of every month. I bring home between 1500-2200us a month, depending on wheather there is any open time I can pick up. I make more money then when I started as my seniority allows me to hold a line (have a set schedule) and I am never on reserve (on call to work)
I might be living paycheck to paycheck but there are perks. I get flight benefits, and can fly space available really cheap. I can't often afford a hotel so I usually travel where I have friends and crash on their couch. Plus nothing beats being off 12-16 days off every month, kind of a small price to pay for all those 12-16 hour work days. I also enjoy a lot of variety at work with different crews and different destinations. So all and all it's not half bad.


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Comments

Jan 4, 2011 2:57am
KwirkyKris
I have always wondered what the flight attendants do when the planes are on the ground, and this article was a very interesting read. I can see why you go to the gym after being stuck in an aluminum tube for several hours at a time!
Jan 4, 2011 9:37am
Jonotron
Glad you enjoyed it. Sometimes I can't sleep if I don't hit the gym. My days are long but there isn't a lot of physical activity
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