Friday, March 6, 2009

Once Upon a Time...

Taxiing down the tarmac, the jetliner abruptly stopped, turned around and returned to the gate. After an hour-long wait, it finally took off.

A concerned passenger asked the flight attendant, "What was the problem?"

"The pilot was bothered by a noise he heard in the engine," explained the flight attendant, "and it took us a while to find a new pilot."

I was a flight attendant.

Everyone is always surprised by this and they automatically think I was living a life of luxury and jet-setting across the globe. However, this is only partly true. But mostly not true at all!!

I had just graduated from college and was the new owner of a political science degree. Not very useful when you don't want to actually work in politics or go to law school. I was
passing time "looking" for a job and working as a server at a local cafe. Then the cafe closed and I was jobless. My mom suggested that I apply with the airlines and to be honest, I thought that sounded ridiculous and horrible. But I did it anyway and within a month I was whisked off to the Hampton Inn and Suites by the Atlanta airport to begin my month long training.

I met lots of fun people in training (including my Swee"tea") and it
was a great experience. I was so stressed out the whole time though because after graduation, people like me would be responsible for assisting passengers in the case of an emergency!

Learning how to survive a water landing
Operating a DC-10 door
Me with my brother and mom on graduation day.
I had just passed my IOE (Initial Operating Experience) and was officially a Flight Attendant!
In Germany with my IO
E Supervisor, Ryan
Outside a restaurant in Mainz, Germany
The best hotel in the WORLD - Kuwait, The Movenpick
The view of the Mediterranean from my hotel room in Cyprus
Burgstadt, Germany
Baku, Azerbaijan - Fountain Square
Layover in London
My airline stopped using Germany as a hub and a lot of my time was spent in Shannon, Ireland
At a castle in Kastellaun
I got to visit a lot of other places as well, but can't seem to find the pictures! The job was fun while it lasted, but I was away from home at least 21 days of the month and I was once held out for 43 days!

The best part?
Flying free on Spirit and Airtran anywhere in the country.
Meeting my boyfriend.
Bypassing the long security lines at airport and flashing the badge...ha!
Free hotels and food.
Getting to travel to places I would never ever in a million years venture to (Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan...)

The worst part?
Lost luggage.
A bad crew.
Working in the galley.
The smell of the bathrooms after 9 hours in flight.
Burning your fingers while passing out hot meals.
Getting stuck with R1 - the door where you have to cater to the flight crew.
Being away from friends and family for weeks at a time.
Irish breakfasts - blood sausage anyone?
HOT HOT HOT summers in Kuwait, Dubai and Quatar.
Worrying the plane was falling apart while in flight (this happened to me once).
Being delayed because of "mechanical failures" and still having to work a 20+ hour day.

True story:

I was working the L4 door (the very back) of a DC-10 aircraft. This plane has 8 emergency doors and holds over 350 passengers. Every flight was always booked to capacity because we were flying military to and from the war zone. In preparation for takeoff, I was checking my door to make sure it was locked and armed. But my handle wasn't functioning properly. Keep in mind that all the passengers are boarded and we kept a mechanic on every flight (doesn't bode well for the condition of our planes). I called the Lead F/A who sent the mechanic over. He was on the ground trying to get the door to close all the way, but to no avail. He's at it for at least a half hour. Then he gets the door to close finally, and pulls out DUCT TAPE. What??!? Yes, he taped the door to the floor and we proceeded to take off. Needless to say, the passengers near me were beyond freaked and I was too. So it wasn't long after that when I decided that flight attending wasn't for me!


It was fun to share a little bit of my past with you and to revisit some of my pictures too!

Also, I have everything ready to be sent to my giveaway winners (sorry for the delay) and a few of the lovely ladies that have signed up for my snail mail idea! I was so excited to do a little shopping for you guys :) I was going to go on my lunch break to the post office, but forgot that we are having a work lunch today! So I don't think I'll make it to the post office until tomorrow morning. Don't fret though, I will get up early and make it tomorrow if I have to! I can't wait for all of my snail mail friends to see their goodies!

If you haven't signed up for my snail mail idea but have thought about it, you really should! I promise you won't be disappointed and besides that, who doesn't love unexpected mail and little goodies to brighten up your day?

I hope everyone is having a great Friday. I personally couldn't be more excited that the weekend is here!


LillySue said...

Hey- Do they take 45 year old gals in that same airlines program you were in??? Sounds wonderful to visit all those places. How fun that you got to do it while you were young and sort of single! All my fortune cookies lately have been saying I am going to get to visit many different countries. My nest will be empty in four years. My daughter wants us to fly to London when she graduates, buy a camper van and travel England, Ireland and Scotland. I keep telling her to save her money, heehee!! Have a great weekend!
Blessings- LillySue

Lisa said...

Thanks for sharing this! Due to my love of travel I've sometimes considered that perhaps I missed my calling as a flight attendant. Recently though I was on a flight between San Fran and L.A. and I was sitting in the very back of the plane and one of the flight attendants was regaling me with stories of "flights gone wrong" that he'd encountered. After that experience I admire flight attendants even more and realize I would not have lasted very long!

AmyT said...

thank you for sharing....I think it would be amazing...if you're single - the things you'd get to see. Love the pics!

Leigh said...

Um...I would have ran off that plane so fast! Yikes! Im not scared of flying but I can say its not my favorite! :) Have a great weekend!

The Primrose Shop said...

So cool you were a flight attendant--I'm sure you have a million more stories and awesome experiences.

Jules said...

Thanks for sharing your fun stories! I think it's really cool that you were a flight attendant. I would have been out of there after the duct tape incident too. I loved seeing the pictures of all the places you traveled.

I am so excited for the snail mail to arrive. You're so sweet!

Anonymous said...

That's pretty cool. What do youd o now? I think I would have run right off the plane with the duct tape incident

Niki said...

Thanks for sharing! I am scared of flying so I could never be a flight attendent but its so neat that you got to visit all those places! I would have definitely been off that plane in a heartbeat when the mechanic pulled out the duct tape roll!! That story doesn't really help with my fear of flying!! Have a great weekend!

Lucky in Love said...

What a fun post :) Sounds like you have a lot of stories!

Chloe said...

Thanks for sharing your stories! The duct tape thing is super frightening!!

I've always wondered what life is really like as a flight attendant, thanks for the insight!

Preppy Pink Crocodile said...

When I was younger I thought being a flight attendant would be fabulously fun. But after I went to college I realized it was a lot less fabulous than it appeared to be. But gosh- the duct tape bit has me gasping a bit. If planes are held together with tape and birds are enough to take a plane down....sheesh!! Scary!!

Rach@In His Hands said...

Wow! Fun post! I can see how the job would be both hard and amazing at the same time.

I love all of your pics - you are adorable!

Mom on the Run said...

What a great post! I can't believe how many places were you were able to experience.

The blog fairy came to visit my site :)

Danielle said...

I found your blog through Kate (Nautical by Nature) and thought I'd say hi. I'm a fellow LA girl, although I was born and raised here. I'm going to add you to my faves if that's ok :)

Monica said...

I just read your profile I saw over at my flip flopz. I hear you about the sweet tea. I am from Mississippi and my husband is from North GA/North Carolina area and he loves sweet tea. We are in Central CA right now for his job. Hang in there. There was a chic fil a on my way to the airport the last time I flew home and we stopped and had a chicken biscuit. They make the best! Hope you don't get too homesick! (I miss being able to say ya'll all the time too)

Anonymous said...

Wow, what great pictures - you've been everywhere!!! Thanks so much for sharing!

Katie said...

I know that you said it isn't super glamourous but I can't lie- it sounds really fun to me. Trhanks for sharing your experiences! I love seeing your pictures!

And in response to that last comment you left me---- I *totally* agree that we would be great friends in real life. I know it isn't right next door to LA but my hubby and I are (seriously) considering moving to Sacramento in 2009. (But its a secret because we haven't really told many people yet! I'll keep you posted!)

Mary said...

I would love to travel like that, but I think the crabby passengers would drive me nuts.

capperson said...

I recieved my snail mail in the mail today. I loved it. Thanks so much!!!!

J said...

I just found your blog through Christina's Favorite Things and it's so cute!

I loved reading this story - I interviewed to be a flight attendant but didn't make it to the last round. I always wonder what it would have been like to travel so much! It looks like you got to go to some really great places.

Anonymous said...

what amazing adventures! Thanks for the awesome glimpse into your past!

MM said...

I loved this post! I have always thought that being a flight attendant would be so much fun! :)