The world is a book, and those who do not travel read only one page. – Saint Augustine
I am frequently asked by friends, family and even strangers…’What is it really like to be crew’?
Rise and Shine – Like yourselves, crew have to be at the airport approximately 2 hours before their duty. Flights from Heathrow don’t leave before 6am and after 9pm, so from anytime between these hours, lots of crew members will be heading to the airport. Yes, this sometimes means a 3am wake up…gross I know. Been there, done that.
However, even at a horrendous time in the morning, we are expected to be polished and tidy ahead of our flights. There is no room for a sloppy appearance. I usually take pride in how I appear and feel it makes us a lot more approachable to our customers as we are meeting their expectations.
Briefing Time – Before we brief, I usually arrive to the Crew Report Centre early to grab a coffee or snack and make it a habit to text my family before I jet off (Shoutout…you know who you are). The pre flight brief is the first time the crew working on the flight will meet. Yes, we fly with a different crew every time. Now and again, a familiar face will pop up which is always fun. Yassss.
The team gathers for approx. 20 minutes as we have a critical path to stick to in order that everything runs on time. A series of Safety and Medical questions will be asked by the Cabin Services Manager (CSM) to ensure everyone’s knowledge is up to date and we are legal to fly. We also cover working positions – each depends on the aircraft type, number of passengers (PAX) onboard and any other information regarding the flight.
To the Aircraft – Once again, we follow the normal routine of any airport and pass through security. This is always the “fun” part begging with the staff to let your liquid through…yeah or not. Once you’ve redressed yourself after taking off most of your uniform, we head to the gate or bus (depending if you are in another terminal). Once onboard, we start all our checks to make sure you are safe of course! Imean I’m not going to put anyone else’s life at risk let alone myself, so this is a key part to our role. We check all the safety equipment is legal and there is no funny business on board. Not on my watch!
Here we go, Here we go, Here we go – During boarding we usually stand in the cabin to greet the passengers and give them a big grin…as well as accidentally getting in the way of everyone. #CrewProbs. Once the doors are shut and boarding is complete, standard checks are made. Baggage is put away, seat belts are on, 1A has their champagne, you know the usual. We also have to do the standard cabin crew dance – pointing out exits during our safety demo. Once the cabin is secured, we are good to go.
To Infinity and Beyond – Once it is safe for us to leave our seats and cruising at 35,000ft we begin our onboard service. Starting with drinks and then food. I’m sure you’ve heard “Chicken or Beef” plenty of times. Depending on your flight duration we may serve a second meal nearing the end of the flight. One question I often receive “What do you do in-between services?” Well, my favourite bit. We sleep. Yes! We do. Half the crew will be on first break and then we swap for the second break. While you’re all chilling in your seats, we are snug as a bug in a secret compartment. However, when not on break, you will usually find me doing Sudoku in the galley or waiting to jump into action if needs be. I’m trained to be a Midwife, Paramedic, Policewoman, Firefighter as well as just being there for the customer. We don’t just serve food!
Touch Down – Ok so this is my favourite bit. Touchdown in one of the many incredible destinations of the world. The world is my oyster and this is my chance to explore.
I love my job as cabin crew and without it I would not have had the many opportunities I’ve come across or met some of the people who mean the world to me (pardon the pun). If ever the opportunity to fly comes knocking, grab it with both hands and make the most of it.