flightmum











{March 7, 2013}   Con Air

One of the best perks,  of course, working for an airline,  are the travel benefits.  No, I don’t travel for free.  Yes, my flights are very cheap.  I am extremely grateful that I can afford to fly my family all over the world. If I had to pay full fare, there’s no way we could have visited all the cool destinations we have. My 9 year old has over 130 flights in his flight log book.  How awesome is that? 

Of course we fly standby,  which is NOT fun. To go away, I have to play the role of travel agent before I leave the house. But, when we get to our destination,  it’s all worth it!

Getting a seat in coach is awesome. Getting seats next to my children,  is much better.  Sitting business class,  is a bonus.  But, sitting in the flight deck is pretty cool.

Back in the day,  before nine eleven, my husband used to be able to sit in the flight deck. This is before kids. He came on two layovers with me. One of them, he got to spend his time  in the flight deck of a double decker Boeing 747. Quite the experience. 

Of course,  after the towers went down, the flight deck rules changed. Only pilots and flight attendants are allowed to sit in the cockpit now.  But, it is THE BEST room with a view. Not many people can say that they have taken off and landed in the flight deck while listening to the air traffic control towers through their headsets. 

When we, the employees, travel,  we are referred to as ‘cons’, short for ‘contingent passengers ‘ So, when employees come onboard,they are referred to as  cons. Hee hee! I always think of prisoners when I hear that word, but I digress.

Come fly the friendly skies!

 

 

 



{January 29, 2013}   Transition time

Flight attendants are a unique breed.  We kind of do speed dating when we first board the airplane with our colleagues but we call it speed talking. We usually fly with different people all the time. So, we are always introducing ourselves. It goes something like this: Hi! I am Jane. Nice to meet you. What’s new with you? Me?  I had a threesome with my boyfriend and a prostitute last night.  Okay… Maybe not exactly,  but close!

We do share personal information with our co-workers pretty quickly. It’s a weird concept to grasp but I think I figured out why. Firstly,  we go to work and leave our family and friends behind for an extended period of time.  We can’t just send a quick text of make a call. So, our fellow flight attendants become our family and friends for a few days.  Secondly, we unplug from our technology  as soon as we come to work. We can’t escape into cyberspace. We have to dust off our underused communication skills and get reacquainted with the art of conversation…until we land at our destination and we can finally  get lost in our smart phones and Facebook  again. And if you don’t buy either of those two reasons, then maybe it’s because we work in a pressurized airplane tube and we are deprived of oxygen. Anyhoo…

Last week,  I was flying with a lovely flight attendant  and we were talking about our kids. Pretty basic stuff. Then, bang out  of nowhere, she casually reveals that her ex-husband is transitioning into a woman and it’s hard on her sons. Wow. Okay. I mean, what do you say to that? I’ve only known her for like one hour. Um …thanks for sharing! Tell your ex to have a nice sex change. See you later!

 



{January 23, 2013}   Open mouth…insert hand.

I tend to open my big mouth and say the wrong embarrassing things too often. For example,  I routinely congratulate a woman on her pregnancy when she is not even expecting.  I made a pact that I would never talk about one’s pregnancy until either she tells me about it first OR I see the baby drop down from between the mum’s legs. That decision has saved me from many other awkward moments.  Except once. A woman was boarding the aircraft with 2 little boys trailing behind her. I mentioned to her that I had 2 boys and a girl.  I asked if that one (pointing at her stomach) is a girl. She looked at me confused and walked to the back of the airplane.  Of course I was mortified.  It wasn’t even that she was fat or anything. She was just wearing a loose hideous jumper outfit that I thought nobody in their right mind would wear unless they were pregnant. I avoided this passenger for the rest of the flight, which is difficult to do in a narrow  metal tube that flies in the sky.

Recently, there was an older man (in his mid 50’s), 2 young ladies in their early 30’s and two children aged 3 and 5 all sitting in business class together.  Four out of five of the passengers had the same last name. The way they were on the seating chart showed the little girl had a different last name. Each child, was sitting next to their ‘mum’ and the man was sitting on his own nearby. I said to the man: are they both your daughters?  I deduced that he was the grandpa, the young women were his daughters and the children were his grandkids. He looked at me funny and pointed to the little boy and said that one is a boy. I said “right” and scurried away with my tail between my legs. As it turned out, he was married to one of the woman and the other one was their hot nanny. Oops.

Lastly,  there was the time a gentleman boarded my flight and he was holding a bag in one hand, coat in his other, and his boarding card in his mouth. I said to him, ” looks like you need another hand!” He replied, “don’t even go there!” I was confused until I looked closely at him and noticed that one of his hands was  a prosthetic made out of plastic and was there just for aesthetic reasons. 

My new resolution is not to talk to my passengers from now on.



{January 23, 2013}   Fine dining with a stir stick

I have a confession to make.  I love eating any and all food on the airplane with one utensil only – a stir stick.  My airline has one with a hollow circle with our emblem in it. I spear food such as fruit with the pointed end. I have also used the stick as a knife to cut soft food. I use the circle part to eat yoghurt or spread butter.  My stir stick is BETTER than a spork. Way better! I know, this sounds really weird, but I guess little things make me happy.  I love my stir stick.  Who’s with me?



{January 18, 2013}   Good morning, Captain Jerk

I was on a short layover in the States and organized my wake-up call before I went to bed. The next morning,  I woke up to the phone ringing.  But,instead of informing me that it was time to wake up, I was told that my flight crew was downstairs waiting for the airport shuttle and was I on my way downstairs. Well, no, I wasn’t.  Thanks for asking. I never received my wake up call! I am still in my jammies! I informed him that the crew should go to the airport without me and I will meet them there. I had 30 minutes to get ready before the next shuttle bus. As flight crew, we have to be at the airport 1 hour before the flight, so, I still had some wiggle room and should stop be okay with time. I know I probably should have a backup alarm just in case, but you would  also think that a reputable hotel shouldn’t mess up something as important as one’s wake up call.

So, off I went to the airport 30 minutes late. Said hi to the flight attendants and introduced myself to the captain. Despite not being late on purpose, he was a real jerk…totally giving me attitude and wasn’t very nice. Well..isn’t my day just getting better and better! 

Quickly escaped the cockpit (no pun intended) and proceed to board the aircraft.  All the while fuming.  You better not ask me for coffee, Captain Jerk. You might just get a little unpleasant surprise in it this morning. 

(no actually pilot was harmed in the making of this blog)



{January 17, 2013}   Haunted hotel room

I checked into my hotel room the other night and as soon as I stepped in, I felt uneasy. Firstly, it smelled like wet dog, but there were no pets allowed. I instantly noticed that the telephone next to my bed was unplugged. That was weird. I plugged it in but could not get a dial tone. I never normally do this, but I started checking in closets, under the bed and in the shower for the boogie man. I called front desk on the other phone in my room to let them know about the broken phone when THAT broken phone started ringing. Holy crap. I felt like I was in a Scooby Doo episode. I picked up the other receiver but there was still no dial tone. I’m outta here! I was feeling pretty shook up but knew that the hotel was sold out and there were no more rooms to be had. I sat down at the desk, to write some of my thoughts down to calm myself, and on the hotel note pad, I could see the imprint on the paper from the last person in the room who had used the same note pad as me. It was hard to read it but I could have sworn that part of it read: Help me. Oh boy! Not sure how I was able to sleep that night!



{January 17, 2013}   Excuse me sir! I mean Ma’am

A cross-dresser came on board the aircraft the other day.  He was wearing a lovely dress,  beautiful earrings and a face full of make-up. But, she was obviously a man. Her hair was shoulder length but receding.  She had killer legs!  I felt bad for her but also happy.  Sad because it must be very difficult to feel like you don’t belong in your own skin and feel uncomfortable in your own body.  It must have been very difficult to grow up with that confusion.  But,  I felt happy for her because despite the stares or what other people thought, she had the courage to dress in a feminine way that made her happy and at peace with who she was. Good for you,  girlfriend! 



{January 16, 2013}   Happy un-birthday

My little girl recently turned 4 years old. In our family,  we alternative between having a big birthday party with friends one year, and a family party the following year.  At family parties,  we go to special places such as amusement parks, waterslide parks or anywhere else that we wouldn’t normally go to on a regular day…whatever the birthday child wants to do. I asked my daughter what she wanted to do to celebrate her birthday this year with her family.  She said she wanted homemade chicken nuggets for lunch and frozen pizza for dinner.  Not even delivery!  Hmm…okay! I asked her what special activity she wanted to do. She said colouring. Wow! She is easy to please!  I did bake her a kick ass Barbie cake,  gave her a mani/pedi and spoiled her with toys. I do feel a little bad about how little her birthday celebrations cost compared to her brothers did but…oh well! Hugs and kisses are free!



{December 24, 2012}   Sandy Hook Massacre

I have to admit. I am having trouble ‘getting back to normal’ after the tragedy.  It’s really hard to accept that these senseless killings happened.  Not that the other school shootings were less tragic, but this one seems to affect me more. It feels a little closer to home, as I have a kindergarten kid and a grade 2 kid. You have to be really messed up to convince yourself that shooting up a grade one class of innocent children is a good idea. I mean, really!

I can almost understand when a messed up teenager guns down his school bullies. Still wrong,of course. But, going into a random grade school and looking at beautiful 7 year olds that you never met, and gunning them down…I can’t comprehend that.

I have heard of too many schools shootings in my life. Enough. I’ve had enough.  If I never hear of another one, I would be very happy.

 



{December 19, 2012}   Flight attendant lottery

Woo Hoo!  I got Christmas off! I have never held Christmas off before in the 15 years working for the airline.  Except for when I was having babies and was on maternity leave.

It really does feel like winning the lottery!  I didn’t expect to hold Christmas off for at least another 5 years. The airline never takes a day off. People fly places on Christmas day.  Somebody has to work those flights. As you can imagine, majority of my co-workers want to be home with their family to celebrate Christmas.  Not only do we want Christmas day off,  we also want to be home for the entire 2 weeks of the holiday season  like the teachers.  So, the new/junior flight attendants usually get the first 2 weeks off in December and work like a dog for the last 2 weeks of the month with one day off. That was me. But, if you embrace the unavoidable and actually ask to work Christmas,  you can get some pretty awesome layovers. The last 2 years, I spent Christmas in Montego Bay, Jamaica and Santiago,  Chile,  respectively. I wasn’t with my family,  but at least I was basking in the sun. Christmases prior to those,  I was in denial about about having to work Christmas and therefore got assigned Florida turns every day. That blows.

So, yes, I have paid my Christmas dues over the years and this holiday season,  I will be enjoying my two weeks off and  Christmas with my family. Maybe we will go away with the other spoil sports and sympathize with the junior flight attendants who have to work Christmas AGAIN.  Next year,  I might have to go back to being one of them. The airline industry is so finicky.  I might not get Christmas off next year. So, this year, I shall enjoy it.



et cetera