May 26th, 1989
Flight from LHR – CDG – LHR
At the girls’ flat, Hampton Hill
Happy to be here with Lorna and Kimberly tonight (Meryl is away on a trip so I’m sleeping in her room.) We had a great night at The Three Magpies with Carl, Daniel and Tina. I have a sneaking suspicion there’s a budding romance between Daniel and Tina, I hope so as they’re very sweet together.
A very quick flight to Paris on the TriStar this morning with Kimberly, who claims it took her three days to recover from our Cairo trip. She obviously drank way more than I did!
In the briefing room, the crew appeared unfriendly but I’m finding that’s the way it is initially, when everyone is more or less trying to suss each other out. Considering the flight time to Paris is only forty minutes, I expected the briefing to be short but there was just as much information for the CSD (Cabin Service Director) to impart as is usual on a longer sector.
Typically, by the end of the briefing, the crew seem more at ease (perhaps because the Safety & Emergency Procedure questions are out of the way and you no longer have to worry about being put on the spot.) At that point, our working positions have also been established, so we know where on the aircraft we’ll work on that particular flight/trip.
Seniority is the name of the game in flying! The most senior member of the crew gets to choose the position they want to work. From thereon, the CSD works his/her way down the list, all the way to the newbies like Kimberly and I. We established on the Cairo trip that my company ID is one digit ahead of Kimberly’s, therefore I got to pick before she did. Not that it mattered much for a flight to Paris and back but it was nice having the choice between the last two working positions, as opposed to getting what was left!
The chatter amongst the crew usually begins when we board the bus that takes us out to the stand, where the aircraft is parked. One of my favourite things is stepping off the bus and looking up at the aircraft, then climbing the steps up towards it. I still get a rush of excitement stepping onboard and seeing the rows of empty seats before they fill up.
At that point, we gather in the galley/cabin we’ll be working in and start preparing for boarding. Each working position comes with its own set of responsibilities and we have to work quickly to ensure those are taken care of before boarding can commence.
Once the boarding announcement is made, on goes the professional face and from that point on, we’re in charge of the passengers and their safety. It helps knowing your fellow crew have all gone through the same training and that if should something go awry, we’ll respond accordingly.
I think it’s amazing how we all work so well together, regardless of the vast differences in age, experiences and personality types. Working as a team at 35,000 feet in a tin can, surrounded by hundreds of strangers, each with their own needs and expectations, certainly makes the role of cabin crew very unique.