flightmum











I had a very short domestic layover last week. We are talking  just under eleven hours of crew rest. We landed at 7 pm, and we were on duty at 6 am the next morning. Essentially,  a ‘sleeping’ layover.

The guy flight attendant I was working with asked myself and the other flight attendant what we were going to do on our layover. We just looked at him and simultaneously replied: Sleep.

He mentioned that he was going to go to the gym and then meet up with a friend afterwards for a night on the town. We thought he was a little bit crazy to be so ambitious on such a short layover,  but whatever.  His choice.

When we got to the hotel, I reminded him that the taxi was to pick us up at the hotel at 5:45 am and to make sure he was there on time. Also, I half joked that I was going to give him a breathalyzer test the next morning. At my airline, we have a 12 hour rule called ‘bottle to throttle’,  which means that we can’t drink alcohol twelve hours prior to departure.

The next morning,  I head downstairs to the hotel lobby to meet up with the pilots and flight attendants so that we can get shuttled  to the airport together.  The male flight attendant was a no show. I was a few minutes early so I decided to give him the benefit of the doubt that he was on his way downstairs.  Meanwhile,  the rest of the crew went to wait in the airport van.

Finally,  I called his room and he answered the phone with a sleepy ‘hello?’ 

I said, ” What are you doing?  It’s pick up time right now. How long until you can be downstairs?”

Party boy answered, “Ten minutes”

I replied,  ” No, two minutes”

He said,” I need ten”

I told him that we can’t wait for him and he will have to find his own way to the airport. I inquired about a cab and it was going to cost around thirty dollars.  He said that he would meet me at the airport. 

Meanwhile,  one of the hotel guests overheard my conversation and mentioned he was heading to the airport and would be happy to give a lift to the flight attendant. 

And he did.

On the way to the airport,  I second guessed my decision to leave him behind. But, I felt that he was being irresponsible by not being well rested for the flight and I needed to teach him a lesson. 

Tardy flight attendant showed up, didn’t apologize,  and we still managed to leave on time.

Technically,  the Captain could have booted this young man off the flight stating that he wasn’t fit to fly. The Captain has the final say on all matters.

Luckily for him, this guy got off way too easy. It could have ended very differently.  In the end,  I don’t think he really learnt any lessons. 

I found out that he only got back to the hotel at 1:30 am.  He tried to convince me that he was awake when I called that morning, but lost track of time. Ya, right.

Reality is that he dragged his sorry ass out of bed, chugged a Red Bull, and somehow made it to the flight on time.

I don’t think he will be in the airline industry for much longer.

 

 

 

 

 

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So, it’s been almost six months since I blogged. I just ran out of time for this activity. I had a choice to either spend what little spare time I had to blog after the kids went to bed, or to do laundry. After a few days of the kids running around buck naked, I knew I had to return to becoming a dazzling laundress instead of a famous blogger. But I had hoped that I’d come back to writing again eventually because I enjoy composing (I hope) witty and thought provoking words and, well, gosh darn it,  I like the attention of my followers.  Plus, my aunt told me that she likes reading my stories and that I am talented. Thanks,  Auntie.

So, I am back. Not sure what kind of schedule I will keep. Might write again tomorrow or in six months time. Who knows. We shall see.

To the meat of my blog:

I flew with a husband and wife team. They were so adorable.  They buddy bid to fly together on as many flights as possible.  Their children have grown up and moved away and they are a few years away from retirement. They drive in to work together and bid to fly to fabulous destinations with long layovers. Essentially,  they are getting paid to have several mini holidays together every month. This month alone,  they have ‘vacationed’ in Santiago and Bejing.

When their daughters were younger,  they would choose to work opposite shifts so someone was always home with the girls.  They did this for many years.  Working opposite days could really take a toll on a marriage.  It’s a gamble and doesn’t always turn out for the best. Look at all those movie stars married to each other, who take turns going away on set and making films while the other stays home with the kids. Conscious uncoupling, I tell you. Otherwise known as Splitsville. See, same could happen to the flight attendant power couples, except for the three million dollar paychecks.

I know another airline couple who decided to work opposites to raise their kids. Well, eventually they got used to their own time alone with the children and didn’t know how to be a couple anymore. Now, they still bid opposites, but the kids live with mum half the week while dad flies and vice versa.

Anyway, back to the love birds, they were so sweet and still very much in love after all these years. They were a pleasure to work with. They shared their stories with me about their doctor and pilot daughters. Ironically, their life story goes as follows: two flights attendants met, married and had two daughters. One daughter became a doctor and married another doctor. The other one became a pilot and married another pilot! Maybe that is the secret of a strong marriage…marrying someone with the same profession as you,  as they will be very understanding of your job constraints and the unusual hours you work.

Perhaps it’s true: Birds of a feather flock together. 

 

 



{May 20, 2013}   Business and Pleasure

I love getting paid to visit friends and family. Well, I don’t exactly get paid to visit them, but I do get paid to fly down to their city and I get expense money to eat and a free hotel room to stay in.

I have visited people on layovers in Montreal, Ottawa,  Calgary, Victoria, Miami,  Atlanta, Los Angeles, Seattle, and Glasgow. 

On layovers with loved ones, I have gone to pubs and for meals. I’ve gone for walks on the beach and have gone grocery shopping.  I’ve babysat their kids and helped them select and cut down the perfect Christmas tree. Really, I’ve done just about everything. 

When I went to Scotland,  I looked up my long lost relatives who I had never met, and they took me under their wing, so to speak. They picked me up at my hotel and took me out to dinner to meet 20 more family members.  They were so friendly and giving to me, a complete stranger,  linked only by distant blood. I couldn’t understand anything  they said due to their thick accent. But it was one of the most enjoyable and memorable layovers I’ve ever had.

Of course,  there are also the times that you find yourself in the same city as your family and mates and you make sure you don’t tell a soul where you are and don’t update your whereabouts on Facebook because you just want to chill and relax on your layover, but you don’t want to offend. You just want to catch up on your sleep. Hope you understand. 



{March 28, 2013}   Creepy Crawlies

As I was getting ready for work, I glanced at the names of the pilots and flight attendants that I’d be working with that day. The name of the captain caught my eye. Could it be him? Is that the creepy pilot I first met fifteen years ago?

Sure enough, when I walked onto the aircraft, we both recognized each other right away.  We exchanged pleasantries and that was it for the time being.

A bit of background: When I first started flying, I was in my early 20’s. I had moved cities for the job and I was missing my boyfriend tremendously as we were in a long distance relationship.

The day I met Captain Creepy, I was working a flight with him and was having fun flying with my roommate as well. The last flight leg of the day involved my roommate and me deadheading (traveling in a passenger seat) while the pilots flew the airplane. I got a seat in business class and decided to change out of my uniform and into my regular clothes so I can enjoy a glass of wine on the flight.

The captain had offered me the flight deck jumpseat for the flight as it’s a pretty cool experience and you can see some amazing views. Pilots generally invite new flight attendants to sit there for that reason (or perhaps to woo them and get into their pants. I don’t know). I didn’t want to be rude, so I took him up on his offer and sat there for take-off. But, really, I wanted to sit in my business class seat, watch a movie and have a glass of wine.

Once we were airborne, we chatted for a few minutes and then I excused myself and returned to my passenger seat, but not before he extended the invitation to sit in the cockpit for landing.

Towards the end of the flight, I returned to the flight deck and strapped myself in. Captain Creepy (who was probably 20 years older than me) told me that he and the first officer were going to a bar near the airport after we landed, and would myself and my roommate like to join them? I really didn’t, but being so young and shy, I didn’t know how to turn down the invitation.  So, I said that my roommate was driving me home and she had to go home right away for some reason that I made up and perhaps we would join them later…fully knowing that we wouldn’t.

We drove home, and exhaled a sigh of relief that we dodged that awkward bullet.  In hindsight, I now know that NOBODY EVER goes out for drinks after we land. Everybody rushes home to their real lives.

About a week later, Captain Creepy calls me at home. How did he get my number, I ask him.  He told me that he went to the flight attendant’s check-in area and looked in the book that was there that had all of our phone numbers in it. We used it in case a flight attendant wanted to call another flight attendant to request a flight switch.

He wanted to know why we did not show up. I started making up an excuse when he told me that he really had enjoyed talking to me the other day and I was easy to talk to, unlike his wife. He felt we had a connection and was hoping we could go out for coffee some time. I blurted out that I had a boyfriend that I was crazy about and it wouldn’t be right to get together.

He continued on trying to convince me to meet him and then gave me his cell phone number and asked me to think about it and call him back the next day.

The following day, I left him a quick voicemail letting him know that I would not be changing my mind. Case closed.

About a year later, I woke up in my hotel room on a layover and found a note slipped under my door. It was from Creepy. It basically said that he noticed that I was also laying over at the same hotel but he had an early departure and hoped I was well. To know I was there, he would have had to check the flight attendants’ hotel sign in sheet as the pilots have their own. Does that mean he has been ‘looking’ for my name for a whole year or was it a coincidence that he saw it. Regardless, it still freaked me out!

Five years later, I worked a flight with him but didn’t recognize him right away. He reminded me that we had worked together long ago. I said I remembered but I had thought that he had been the first officer back then and not the creepy pilot. So, I put my foot in my mouth and said to him,” Do you remember that captain we flew with? He got my phone number and like stalked me. It weirded me out.” He didn’t say much then but later said to me, that HE had been the captain on that flight and that he didn’t know that he had made me feel uncomfortable and that he was sorry. Well, that WAS awkward! But, afterward, I was happy that I had mistook who he was because I wouldn’t have had the courage to say those things to him otherwise.

Back to the present…ten years after the last incident, Creepy Captain asked me what I’ve been up to. I mentioned that I was happily married and have three kids. We talked about how it had been a LONG time since we had seen each other last. I asked him if I had aged well.. I wasn’t flirting. Perhaps, I was just fishing for a compliment. He said I was just as beautiful today as I was then. Thanks.

Maybe he is not so creepy after all. I mean, at least he has good taste in women. That’s gotta count for something, right?



I was on a layover, sitting at the desk in my room, looking for some writing paper. Usually there are a few sheets with the hotel’s logo lying around. I was looking through all the hotel binders. There has to be paper somewhere. Right?

I flipped to the last page of the hotel information binder and lo and behold, I found something. I did not find any writing paper but I DID find a sticker with a scantily clad woman on it that had Lesbian Angels written in big letters. Also written on it was: 24 hours, hotel visits available. Wow! That was unexpected! I wonder how long that sticker advertisement went unnoticed in a reputable hotel information book!

How many women (or men?) go to a hotels, order room service and then think: what should I do now? Rent a movie or dial 1-800-lesbian. If they chose the latter, it certainly would take the ‘layover’ to a new level!

So, what did I do with my lucky find? What do you think? I took the lesbian sticker off the hotel book and brought it to my flight the next day. I showed it to the flight attendants and pilots. I got lots of laughs and a few phone numbers…



et cetera