Life As A Flight Attendant – My First Weekend Flying

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After spending 8 weeks down in Atlanta Georgia, and a little “bump in the road,” I earned and received my wings, and became a Flight Attendant!

Get ready to fly the friendly skies with me!

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Over Easter weekend, I flew my first working trips. It goes a little something like this:

Tuesday, April 11th: Base Orientation at MSP ( I will be based out of Minneapolis! So come fly and say hi! )

Every month I am scheduled 6 days where I am “on call or reserve”. These are known as “A Days.” I completed my first  set of 3 A Days, over the weekend.

Thursday, April 13th:

Scheduling calls. Im on standby Friday at 4:30AM, released at 8:30AM if not called/scheduled something. (Standby also means I have to sit and wait at the airport during this time frame.)

Friday, April 14th: 

Wake up at 2:00AM, get ready, eat breakfast, etc.

3:00AM – Leave for airport/ employee parking lot. Drive an hour to get there. (NOTE: I NEED to move to the cities! ) Commuting from Clear Lake/Clearwater is quite the drive.

4:20AM – Sign In ( I’m also the first and only person in the crew lounge)

And now I wait…

As each 1/2 hour passes, the lounge starts to get more lively with other flight attendants showing up.

And I’m still patiently waiting…

8:00AM rolls around, giving me only another 1/2 hour to sit and wait, and a good chance that I will get to be released for the day. Most of the trips scheduled for my standby time frame are covered, so there’s a reeeaaally good chance I get to go home! (Or so everyone told me)

8:15AM

Carly gets scheduled a trip.

I go recheck my schedule. Scheduling gave me a one day trip. Flying from Minneapolis (MSP) to Hartford Connecticut (BDL), on a 717, minimum working crew of 3, and deadheading back. Another new hire was scheduled on my trip rotation as well. Which made us both feel a little less nervous working our first flight! A few minutes later, our Flight Leader arrived, and I engaged in my first crew briefing. We each exchanged names, and right away I informed our Flight Leader that I was brand spanking new, and that this would be my first working flight! She was so nice, excited for the both of us, and if we had any questions, to ask away!

An hour later, I’m walking up to the departure gate, sign in with the gate agent, and off I go onto the plane!

The three of us meet with the captain and first officer, and start getting the plane ready for takeoff. A few minutes later our passengers start boarding. Once boarded, Exit Rows get briefed, we flight attendants prepare “All Call” for departure, and I get to go into the aisle and present the safety demonstration (dance). 

Next is take off!

The captain announces we are Number 1 for takeoff. Here we go!

A few minutes later we are flying high into the sky! At 10,000ft two chimes ding, and I get to start setting up for the for the beverage service. We get our carts set up, our Flight Leader starts serving First Class, and the two of us new hire’s go out on half carts serving main cabin.

The service went quick and easy! So far off to a great start flying!

About 2 hours later, we are on the ground in Connecticut, and I completed my first working flight!!

SUCCESS! 

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Around 5:30PM we get back to MSP from BDL. My first A Day is over, meaning I have 2 more days to go.

Later that day, I find out scheduling gave me a 2 day trip for Saturday and and Sunday.

So I drive (trek) back to Clear Lake Friday night, repack (more so unpack) my bag because I definitely overpacked! And attempt to fall asleep at a decent time to wake up for the next days adventure.

Saturday, April 15th:

3:00AM – My alarm goes off. ” I do NOT want to get up right now , I need coffee, ASAP” fullsizeoutput_1023

4:00AM –  Venture off on the 1 hour car ride (trek), make sure the car is fully stocked with my high-school glory day cd’s my friends and I would make/create and jam out to. First song up: Man I Feel Like a Woman by Shania Twain – it’s always never to late (or early) to engage in a good car jam sesh! 

5:00AM –  Wait for employee shuttle bus to whisk me off to the airport.

5:30AM – Sign in for 6:05AM Report

I would be flying on a 31J, 717’s, and MD-88’s for this trip. 3 flight attendants for our crew, and all of us being VERY JUNIOR. I even got to fly this trip with a classmate from training!

First leg of this 2 day, 6 leg, trip started off flying from MSP to BOS (Boston)

What I learned/happened from this leg:

  •  Flying/working on the 31J is not my favorite – tiny galley, both main cabin bathrooms are in the back galley, which felt like a game of stand up Twister (You stand here, you move there, I’ll hand you this, Carly gets stuck between the door and cart for 10 minutes and can’t move, etc.)
  • Carly snags her first pair of tights when getting off the plane.

 

2nd leg: Fly from BOS to JFK (New York)

 

What I learned/happened from this leg:

  • Pilots inform us the flight time would be 40 minutes, a nice quick and easy flight.
  • Passengers board, plane is ready for take-off, captain makes an announcement saying that take off is going to be delayed. 15 minutes later, we get informed that JFK shut down ALL of their runways except one. So we wait at BOS on the runway for an hour and a half. To ease the tension/wait, we flight attendants decided to do a water walk, and help passengers with any connecting flights and/or questions/concerns.
  • Carly rips another pair of tights when in the JFK bathroom, which was my LAST pair of tan tights that I had packed. (Note: Stock up on LOTS of tights).
  • Carly changes from red uniform into blue uniform because I have no more tan tights and now only have black tights. (Please don’t snag/rip anymore tights!)

3rd leg: Fly from JFK back to BOS 

What I learned/happened from this leg:

  • We had to take a shuttle in JFK to get to the concourse we would be departing from for our flight back to BOS. While on the shuttle, a man hops on who I assumed was just a passenger/person like anyone else. One of my crew mates gets really excited and starts freaking out. Turns out this guy is also Erik Estrada! An actor for a show called Chips that aired back in the day. He was so nice and so friendly! With that, I also had my first encounter with fame.
  • With only one runway operating, lots of flights are delayed. Ours gets delayed 2 hrs, which cuts into/shortens our 16 hr layover in Boston.
  • After waiting out the delays, we board the plane, get the cabin ready for takeoff, and the captain makes an announcement we are Number 21 for take off (And now we wait, again.)
  •  We waited longer on the plane on the runway than the actual flight time. Flight time back was 36 minutes. (But hey, I’m still getting paid!) 

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JFK Airport

 

9:30PM – Our crew makes it to our layover hotel, and it’s lights out for Carly!

 

Sunday, April 16th:

10:20AM – Our crew meets up again to hop on the hotel shuttle back to the airport.

4th Leg: Fly from BOS back to MSP  

What I learned/happened from this leg:

  • I had an opportunity to go into the flight deck. Let’s just say, the views from the cockpit are WAAAAYYY better than looking out the passenger window! ( I can see why my grandpa liked to fly his airplane so much!) 

 

Once landed in MSP, we had a 3 hr sit until our next flight to MCI (Kansas) 

I knew I would be hungry so I ventured through MSP’s airport to find something to eat. I came across a Japanese restaurant in the food court and ordered sesame chicken and noodles. A little different Easter dish than what I am used to. Spending Easter in the airport was also a little different. I’m used to being around family and relatives, enjoying a BIG Easter meal, playing games, and enjoying everyone’s company. While this year I was working, the day didn’t really feel like it was Easter to me.

After waiting a few hours it was now time to finish up the last part of my 2 day trip. Around 5:00pm we began boarding. Our flight was also only 1/2 way full so it was going to be a quick, nice and easy flight to Kansas. And that it was. On the way back, the only issue we encountered was having too many bags on board, and needing to check some underneath. Around 9:30PM we arrived back in Minneapolis, and I had completed my first weekend as a working flight attendant!

Overall, I enjoyed my first working weekend flying, and met so many great people.

I can’t wait to see what other stories, learning lessons, and adventures this career is going to bring.

 

 

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