Now That My Wings Fly No More

The airline industry was one of the first & hardest hit by the pandemic. Looking into the amount of job loss in this industry will make your head spin. With giants like Air France, Emirates, KLM & Qatar Airways laying off thousands each & in the US, companies like Delta, United & American Airlines laying off or furloughing tens of thousands each, the number runs into the hundreds of thousands. It is truly devastating.

I have been in contact with several cabin crew with various airlines who have been made redundant due to the pandemic. Here are some questions I asked & the answers they gave.

What makes this job different from others?

If you are a flight attendant, your lifestyle is unique. Why? Well, the job is extremely complex. Your office is at 40,000ft. You are often awake while the world sleeps. You have to look your best when your passengers look their worst. Today you’ll be in Israel, two days later Sri Lanka & end your week in Canada. You get treated well just because you wear that fancy uniform, you also deal with all the complaints & insults at the company first. The lifestyle is both glamorous & draining. There is this idea that we are all beautiful, social people with nothing else to offer & that we don’t do much on flights, but this really isn’t the case. Yes, our companies demand high levels of personal grooming, but we are so much more than air heads. I have flown with colleagues who are qualified lawyers, nurses, engineers & accountants… they are more than a sky waitress. WE ARE MORE THAN A STEROTYPE.

What do you miss the least about the job?

Here’s the answer from person A.

  • I won’t miss the lack of sleep. I’ve never been so tired in my life as when I was flying. I remember on a layover in Johannesburg, you stay awake for more than 24 hours just to spend time with your family.
  • I don’t miss being away from my fiancé – that was the hardest part of it all. I loved the travelling, but I want to share it with someone I love.
  • I didn’t like doing service. Especially if you are rushed, then it is just a mess.
  • I don’t miss full flights. Then it is just sh_t and crazy. Always run out of chicken and they always want chicken.

Here’s the answer from person B.

  • Cleaning toilets and the bathroom in general.
  • Being forced to do origami on the toilet rolls.
  • Cleaning up when a passenger vomits.
  • Unruly, drunk passengers.
  • Dealing with sh_t crew that are lazy and rude.
  • Resetting a passenger’s entertainment screen and they still don’t work. Or resetting the screen and accidentally to 3 rows of seats.
  • Customers and big hand luggage during boarding.
  • Not having enough of the most popular food option.
  • People with specific dietary requirements and they didn’t ask for a special meal and expect you to pull something out your _ss

What has changed the most in your life since your redundancy?

My skin! Flying all the time absolutely dries out your skin and being on the ground all the time has given me perfect skin. I couldn’t be more grateful.

What do you miss the most about the job?

Here’s the answer from person A.

  • Meeting crew from all kinds of places. Connecting with them throughout the flight and the layover. – Even if you never gonna see them again.
  • The layovers. The food, the alcohol (Specific to that country), the architecture, museums. Buying all kinds of country specific niknaks and souvenirs.
  • The way the clouds look high in the sky, especially the round, big, bubbly clouds that make you feel like you can do anything. The wonder. The magic.
  • The calmness when all the passengers are asleep.
  • Flexing skills like galley operations, service recovery, announcements and baby basinets.
  • The city lights on night flights.
  • Walking through the airport with all eyes on you in that iconic uniform.

Here’s the answer from person B.

  • I miss the flying part. I love, love, love flying. I still get butterflies during takeoff. 
  • I miss the travelling. Obviously, there are still places I wanted to see and experience.
  • I did enjoy meeting new people every time.
  • Of course, I enjoyed the money at the end of the month.
  • I enjoyed the safety part of the job – the equipment and the doors.

There you have it, some insight into life as a cabin crew. I wish with everything in me that I could snap my fingers & get their jobs back. I really do. However, now you can see how much of a toll being a flight attendant is. Maybe if one of my readers will be more appreciative & patient with a cabin crew, I will be happy.

Keep traveling, keep safe.

DanVenture Travels

15 thoughts on “Now That My Wings Fly No More

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  1. Felt bad for them especially on a long haul. Good to see this post. I am sure anxieties about jobs and incomes are high even as they find some respite from flying.

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  2. I have an FA cousin and she’s one of those who’s been canned due to redundancy… she happily sells street food in our province… totally opposite of how glamourous her job used to be and of course, the money is way different. Thankfully, she’s saved well while on the job but hopes to get a call from the airline company one day.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Awesome post. My best friend is a flight attendant. From the things she’s told me, it’s definitely a stressful job but very rewarding.

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  4. I know some who don’t have many flights. One has another steady job at a dance studio, the other has a boy-friend I believe. Loads of others have trouble finding sth. One in Bali bought a coffee vending van and is doing better business.

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  5. I always knew how the hospitality industry and airways were probably the worst hit by the pandemic, but this was really eye-opening. I guess life as a cabin crew always felt fascinating because I never tried to dig deeper. This is really stressful, to say the least. Thank you so much for sharing this.

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  6. Great insight, thanks for sharing! Being of the travelling tribe, I’ve always carried a deep respect for flight attendants – and this post certainly reinforced it. It must be enormously stressful to be in the air travel industry right now.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. thanks for sharing Dan. Who knows how the airline industry recovers from this. its a long long road back. and all dates for ‘normal’ just get pushed further and further back. I’ve always wondered if it was a great job or a horrible job. It’s a mix which is also no surprise it seems!

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  8. Being cabin crew is no picnic – it looks glamorous sure, but it seems they have to be prepared for every eventuality and go through a lot of training to be able to do so. It’s a job that requires patience, skill and finesse for sure.

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  9. Hopefully it’s not too long until we can travel again and jobs are more secure. Flight attendants really have a tough job, thanks for the insight! X

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  10. I so appreciate getting to hear their perspective!! I’ve never flowing, so this is wonderful to read!

    I so very much wish they could have their jobs back! Such a terrible, awful toll. Strange times. 🙏🏻

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  11. Great article Dan. The times are changing for sure. The most startling aspect of this pandemic is that we have no idea what is going to happen next! Like ‘shooting the rapids,’ we can’t alter the circumstances, but we can manage ourselves in them. Here in Ireland I have read a couple of stories of Airline Pilots who are working in the catering industry and painting houses! You and I know the enormous amount of training and study, to say nothing of cost that it takes to qualify for flying airplanes. Bless you, Peter.

    Liked by 1 person

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