It's about my life, one suitcase at a time...
Who are you, again?
Once, during my last term at my airline (but not in the air), I happened to come on board the aircraft before passengers started boarding to check something with the crew. I asked one of the flight attendants to call a crew member called Roni (made up name, I don’t really remember her name). He looked at me, looked at the other flight attendants around him, and asked “Do we have a Roni on our crew?” And I just couldn’t understand how was it possible he didn’t know who he worked with after flying for 15 hours together already.
As early as my first week in the air I got it, and four years later it still happens to me quite often. I go over the crew list for an upcoming flight I have and don’t recognise any names, only to arrive for briefing and realise I know half the crew. Or on the other hand, I still get to meet people for the first time on a flight even though we’ve both worked here for a few years already.
One of the questions I always get when I mention I’m a flight attendant and the airline I work for is, “Oh, maybe you know so-and-so?” It’s easy for think that my airline is not such a big airline (and compared to some other airlines it really isn’t that big), but we still have more than a thousand flight attendants at the moment, and a flight crew can have anywhere between four and sixteen flight attendants per plane. It’s easier to understand how it is I don’t know everyone after reading these figures, isn’t it? It takes a certain character trait to be at a job where every time you go to work you meet new people.
But that is the big plus, and also major disadvantage, when there are so many flight attendants.
There are times when the flight I am working is not an easy one, long and filled with plenty of challenging passengers, but thanks to my crew I can hardly feel it. There is something about that specific group of people that just works and can make even a ten hours flight go by quickly and pleasantly. To use a “flight attendants term” (that has nothing to do with out actual work and therefore is in quotes) it’s called a layover crew. Crew that you would love to spend time with out of the plane on a nice weekend at one of our destinations. Unfortunately it doesn’t always happen, and most times we get off the plane at the end of the day, each going their separate way, and the chances of having the same people on the same crew for one of my upcoming flights is slim.
On the other hand, it could be that something about this specific group of people just doesn’t work. It could be another flight attendant that I don’t really get along with or the in flight service manager (we all have time when we don’t really like our boss), and then the flight isn’t going to go so well. The good news is that the chances of me working with these people again aren’t very high.
I can only count my blessings that there is a very good chance I won’t be seeing those people who make my work day a little less pleasant, and hope that those who make my job enjoyable and fun and get me to realise how thankful I am for picking this career will show up on one of my upcoming flights.
Oh yeah, and apologise to those I don’t recognise right away.