03 August 2013

Working day in a life of a cabin crew :D

One more post that You, my dear readers, asked for... Hope it answers your questions and solves the 'mystery' :)

Alarm clock goes on at...well it can go on at any time of the day but let's say it goes on at 5am. Where am I? What's happening? Why is that horrible thing screaming at my ear? What time is it? What day is it? (Does it even matter, considering we really don't count days in the week, for us it's more important what date of the month it is...) I really have a flight? Where am I going again?
(All those thoughts rush through your head in a split of a second!)

Oh, ok, turn the lights on and alarm off, I'm in my bed, in Dubai, it's early in the morning, or very late at night, however you want to look at it :) and I really do have a flight today.

Getting up, doing everything that needs to be done in the bathroom, maybe getting some breakfast, checking with our friend Evita if there are some duty changes I should know about, taking my cabin bag, purse and maybe a suitcase if I'm going for a layover and catching our little crew bus.

Everyone has their own morning, or better called 'pre-flight' ritual, some people are going through Q&A for the briefing safe talk, some are taking the time in the bus to put their make up or do their nails, some are reading, sleeping, listening music...which is exactly what I do, take this 20minutes before the briefing to relax and get mentally ready for the flight with my favorite playlists shuffling in my ears :)

Briefing starts 2 hours before the flight and you have 20 minutes to check in, if you are a second late you are not getting in and on the flight, you will be marked as absent, you'll have to go to talk to your manager, get a warning letter and so on... So it's better to be 3 min earlier than 3 seconds later ;)

Briefings are all about getting familiar with a flight informations, each others, your crew, seniors, colleagues, pilots, checking everyones documents and answering some safe talk questions, like a little quiz you have to answer your question correctly to be permitted to go on the flight (among other things). You have 3 chances to answer a question right, if you don't know answer on any of 3 you'll be offloaded and then again the same procedure applies as if you've been late for check in.

That being done we are ready to go to the aircraft. In Dubai we don't go through the airport but straight to the plane. Once we are in you take position you have chosen in the briefing, do safety and security checks in your area, put blankets and headsets on the seats and boarding can start!

This was all so boring to read about but now the fun part starts!
300 people trying to find their seats, getting lost, not having enough space for all those 9461529 bags they are carrying with them, children wandering around, crying, asking for toys, families wanting to sit together, old people wanting to sit by the doors where they can't be seated, people who don't understand you and you don't understand them, thirsty people, hungry people, sleepy people, the ones who want to pray, the ones who want to use the toilet but don't know how to open the door, the ones who want to be upgraded, mothers with babies, businessmen who want their jackets hanged in a closet, women who don't want to be seated by the men who are not their family, wheelchair customers, sick customers, honeymoon couples, big groups of school children traveling with their teachers, big groups of people traveling together for all kind of reasons...
All those situations to handle during that 45 minutes, sometimes it goes smoothly, sometimes is hectic! But somehow we always do it right! :)

After everyone is finally seated we give hot towels, toys for the children, small baby packs for infants, menus...
Safety video finishes, we 'lock' the doors, secure the cabin and the aircraft is ready for take off.

After we are up there, somewhere above 30 000 feet it is time for the service. Service routine depends on the duration of the flight, as well as number of services. Food, drinks and everything else passengers can think of that we can give them, answering call bells, checking the cabin and toilets, visiting cockpit, eating, gossiping in the galley (by that time you already know who you like enough to make plans for go sightseeing with hehe).

Sometimes we have flights longer than 10 hours which means we get a rest, time to sleep, a few hours for a so called (long) power nap :) And this is how usually crew compartments look like, small bunk beds above passengers in the back of the plane...
And this is how we usually look like when we wake up from such a rest, or almost every time, as a matter of fact, when wake up call wakes us up :D

No matter how long the flight seems to be, time passes and you are preparing for landing, collecting blankets and headsets, please sir fasten your seatbelt and pull your seat up, madam would you please open the window blinds and close your table, yes your bag has to go in the overhead locker or under the seat in front of you, no there's no more time to use the toilet or to get a coffee with milk, thank you... :)
Cabin crew take your seats, prepare for landing!

When we touch the ground and slow down people have tendency to stand up and start getting their bags. Siiiiiir please sit down! We are not there yet!!! Ah, what a mystery to me :)
Preparing doors for arrival, greeting everyone goodbye and checking if anyone left anything behind.

If it's a layover than you're happy to be done, get in the bus and go straight to the hotel, take a looooong hot shower and drop dead in bed (or go to the city if it's daytime, you'll sleep later) :)
But if it's a turnaround then you stay onboard, wait for the cleaners and catering to do their job and then everything from the beginning again. After which you come back home and you drop dead in your own bed, not much of a difference :)
It's just more tiring than just one sector flight but at least you come back straight home, cause sometimes you really need it, sometimes the idea of another hotel room is just exhausting :) or you have someone here you want to come back to, or you just have too much laundry to do and you can't afford a 5 days trip :)))
It is really job itself like every other, the difference is that time you have off, exploring new cities, collecting new stories to tell, making new memories or refreshing old ones to remember...

That time in the uniform we are focused on the job, trust me there is no time to think about anything else, but as soon as you take that uniform off you forget about the things that had happened, specially the bad ones, good ones on the other hand...well, they stay in your mind to help you get through the future bad ones, if you know what I mean? :)
When you wanna hit your head against the wall after the flight (or scream or cry or eat 3 kg of ice cream or drink a bottle of tequila by yourself :))) than you had a bad one, BUT, when you meet and talk to some really nice people on your flight, when they call you by your name or offer to write a nice feedback on your great performance then you know you had an extra good one! :)

Some flights finish and you pray and hope for every next one to be just like it, or you pray and hope for this one to never repeats again... ;)

Fingers crossed for tomorrow, I'm off to Singapore Melbourne!

XO XO :)


  1. Great Post! I love it! So informative yet "fun" at the same time! Have fun on your trip! :D

  2. Hi there,
    you mentioned that you have to answer a safety question, what kind of question is this and what do you have to do before you are premitted to board a fligt after briefing?

    I assumed all qualified EK crew got on every flight regardless. Very interesting to know.

    ps. your blog is amazing!!! loved the read as im going to attend an open day next month :D