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Being a Flight Attendant...

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May. 31st, 2009 | 04:02 am

Been unbusy in the social networks arena for a couple weeks--or is it months now?

Been searching for a place of employment ever since being furloughed April 1st from being a Flight Attendant for United.

Now here's the thing about being a Flight Attendant...you get used to it. ...A whole lot.

It's a complete lifestyle change and not to mention a commitment.

I spent what didn't seem like 2 months but what seemed like more in Ground School.

Hours ranging anywhere from 8AM to 7PM, 3PM to 1AM, 5PM to 6AM learning about aircraft, being on an aircraft, learning terms, learning all the airport codes, taking a test every 4 days on things read, presented, and done in 4 days. It varies with each airline. Plus the added fact that you must get at least 80% on test to be considered passing. You can only retake test 3 times. Once again it varies with each airline.

For the time you're there you breath, dream, think, emergency protocols, location of emergency items, and numbered sections of your 3 inch (if not bigger) General Operations Manual plus FAA specific Flight Attendant regulations.

It's intense and it's mind boggling to sit through 4 hour (sometimes more) FAA mandated lectures and video presentations. Then having to take an hour long test thereafter. Going home studying given materials, and doing it all over again the next day.

Most people don't realize the amount of hard work, dedication, and hours that go into being a Flight Attendant (FA).

It's a sweet job once you pass ground school but it's certainly not about serving drinks and food on a plane.

Each Flight Attendant is responsible for at least 50 People on a Plane and their number one job is to protect the integrity of the Flight Deck (Cockpit).

Pouring Drinks and Serving Food is just something that we doing while doing that.

Most FAs start their day at around 5AM but most likely 3:30AM if not the day before if they're commuting on a plane.

From then what may follow is 14 hours of work with 9 to 10hrs of rest followed by 14 hours of work and so on possibly for the next 6 days. That right there is heavy work. Although it is not always the case most likely what will happen is 3 days or 4 days of work followed by 2 to 3 days off. Most FAs get at least 10 days off in a month some more (dependent on seniority).

Most of the time I would start at 5AM calling Crew Scheduling at 4:59AM right before going through security.

Crew Scheduling is your boss. If your phone rings as an FA you answer it. Else your bound for some disciplinary action.

There are two types of FAs. Those whom have a line (a set schedule) or those who are on reserve (no set schedule). I was an FA on reserve. At the literal mercy and beckoning of Crew Scheduling.

I came to work (sometimes because they call me at 7PM asking me, which is really telling me to show up for Airport Reserve at 5AM) which was Airport Reserve meaning I sit at the airport for ten hours went home and worked for another 5 hours at home.

That's called home reserve. It's pretty sweet if they don't call you but most of the time they do. When at home if they call you, you have 1hr and 30 minutes to get to the airport. That means on the plane and ready to board. In Washington, D.C. that means you have to drive like a mad man through traffic praying that you make it in 45 minutes or less, find a parking spot, taking a shuttle to the airport, getting through security in less than 4 minutes and getting to your gate with whatever time you have left after that. Home Reserve is stressful if you don't have high seniority.

Airport Reserve is a whole lot better. You literally wait for their call. Just sit there. You can sleep, walk around the airport, watch movies, etc. if you want but you have to be ready to run and I mean run to whichever gate they tell you to at a moments notice.

One time I had them call me and asking me:
"Can you make it to Gate A6?"

"All right what time does the plane leave?"

"In 10 minutes..."

"You know the Office is in the D Gates right--there's no way I'm getting there in 10 minutes and Pre-Flighting the plane."

"(sighs) I know...but can you try?"

Freakin' Madonn.

I'll write more about it later...uh, it makes me cringe when I think about it. Yuck, Crew Scheduling rofl :-P

What I narrated is just the part that happens before getting on a plane...

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Comments {1}


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from: patricklozano
date: Jun. 1st, 2009 04:30 am (UTC)

That was interesting. I didn't know that there's that much to being an FA. However, I'm still waiting on that Weeds article you promised me.

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