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Saturday, 21 April 2018

A DAY IN THE LIFE OF A FLIGHT ATTENDANT

One of my most asked questions from friends, family and strangers alike is “What do you actually do as cabin crew?” so today I thought I’d give you a little insight into the average working day for a flight attendant.



GET UP AND GO:
The part of the day everyone dreads – getting out of bed! As crew we’re used to having to be up and ready for work at all times of the day, so yes that does mean the occasional 3am alarm (eurgh) but fear not, they tend to be few and far between. Our report times span from as early as 6am to as late as 9pm. Fortunately for me I only live 25 minutes away from Heathrow where I’m based; however, I have friends that commute for hours to get into work (dedication!!). I usually make sure I’m awake 2 hours before I leave to give myself enough time to get washed, dressed, and dolled up and then I’m out the door on my way to the crew car park. Next comes the dreaded task of trying to find a parking space, which ultimately leads to me driving down a row thinking I’ve found a space only to be greeted by yet another Fiat 500 (although I too am guilty of doing this to other people- sorry!). Once I’ve eventually managed to park my car it’s onto the staff bus I go – so long as it doesn’t drive away the second you get to it!


REPORTING FOR DUTY AND A BRIEF CHAT:
As soon as I arrive at the airport I head up to the report centre. I’ll clock in and check any updated OMNs (Operations Manual Notices) then I’m given a briefing room number and off I go – with maybe a quick pit stop at the costa along the way. Walking into the briefing room I’ll awkwardly mutter my destination of the day to the crew already waiting, in the hope that I haven’t just mortifyingly walked into the wrong briefing room. Then take my seat and skim through my manuals before the CSM (Customer Service Manager) arrives. The first time you meet the crew you’ll be flying with is in the briefing room (yes really!) - occasionally you’ll be lucky enough to be flying with some familiar faces – so if you’re early, time is spent chatting and getting to know each other as you discuss any plans you’ve made for the trip. Once the CSM arrives they’ll assign working positions (i.e. what cabin you’ll be working in and what door you’ll be responsible for) and then ask a series of individual safety and AvMed questions to check everyone is fit/legal to fly. We’ll discuss any other important information such as passenger loads and flight times and then we all head to security.

SECURITY CHECKS GALORE:
Just like passengers us crew also have to undergo the excruciating process that is airport security, which usually involves removing your entire uniform and a security officer emptying out the entire contents of your bag, before we’re finally getting redressed and heading for the gate. Once we reach the aircraft we locate our assigned seats and carry out checks on our safety equipment and security checks in the cabin then it’s smiles in the aisles as boarding commences.

READY FOR LIFT OFF:
After what seems like a decade eventually doors are closed and everyone is in their seats with bags away and boarding drinks drunk and it’s time for the safety briefing.  Passengers laugh along to the likes of Rowan Atkinson and Gordon Ramsay then we perform our well rehearsed routine of pointing out your nearest exit before we’re scanning through the cabin looking for any reclined seats or closed window blinds. Once the cabin and galley are secure it’s finally time for us to take our seats and head for the skies.


UP, UP AND AWAY:
Once we’re in the air and it’s safe for us to leave our seats it’s time for us to spring into action and start setting up the service. Drinks orders are taken and meals are distributed and eventually it’s time for us to take a second to ourselves to have some food before we go on break. Breaks are split into two groups, which means half the crew will go up to the bunks and have a sleep whilst the other half keep an eye out in the cabin, doing regular juice rounds to make sure everyone is hydrated and completing any paperwork that needs to be done. In the skies not only is it our duty to serve the customers but we are also relied upon to act as first aiders, midwives, fire fighters and police officers in case any incidents do occur, so we’re always on high alert to make sure everything is running smoothly. When the first breakers get back from the bunks (hopefully nice and rested), it’s time for the second breakers to go to sleep. Whilst the passengers are sitting in their seats enjoying their films or trying to get some rest we’re hidden away in a secret compartment above the cabin where we have a nap to ensure we’re well rested enough to be able to carry out any duties that may be expected of us (especially in an emergency). Once breaks are over we spring into action once again with a second meal service before landing.

TOUCHDOWN:
After hours in the air being at the beck and call of every customer we finally touch down in our destination – YAY! We all get a bus from the airport to the hotel where we normally have a quick nap then, depending of the time of day, go sightseeing or go to get some food. Usually we only have one or two days down route but that still gives us just enough time to explore the destination and get some epic pictures for the insta feed. Then it’s back to the airport to do the flight all over again a couple of days later!

Thanks for reading! Olivia x
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11 comments

  1. Very interesting especially where you guys sleep. I never knew

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  2. Thank you for sharing your experience about a day in life of a flight attendant.

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