Hi there! Welcome to my brand new series, Shelley in the Skies, where I dive into all things flight attendant – from layovers, to the application process, to everything in between.
I successfully completed training about a week ago and suffice it to say, it was one of the most incredible and insane experiences of my life. The program was six weeks of evacuation drills, medical workshops, training flights, aircraft tests, literal firefighting, and regular 4AM wakeup calls alongside some of the most wonderful people I’ve met – and before I knew it, I was receiving my wings and being sent off to Philadelphia (my new home!).
Starting out, my schedule consists of what they call straight reserve, which means I’m essentially on call for 12-hour blocks at a time over a series of designated days (yup, it’s a little complicated but I’m slowly but surely getting the hang of it.)
Anyway, long story short, I got called for my first official flight last week – a 2-day trip on the Airbus 319 to warm and wonderful NEW ORLEANS!
Needless to say, when I found out where I was going, I was incredibly excited but also nervous – while I’d shadowed flights a few times during training, this would be my first trip entirely on my own as part of the crew. Luckily, despite a few snafus here or there, it couldn’t have gone any smoother.
Here were a few things that happened during the trip:
- The flight out was delayed almost 3 hours, which resulted in a last-minute aircraft change, and also meant we didn’t land until past midnight – despite this, the passengers were super friendly and relaxed
- The pilots let me check out the view in the flightdeck as we were passing over Atlanta, which was pretty much the coolest thing
- On the way back to Philly, we thought we ran out of snacks halfway through the service, which caused a minor panic attack until we found extras hidden in the back galley (whoops)
- I met the cutest couple sitting in the exit row, who proudly told me they’d studied the safety card and knew exactly how to open the exit in an emergency (I mean, can they have their wings already?!)
- I had the absolute BEST time working with an amazing crew (one of whom was also a complete newb to the job)
Since we were delayed getting into New Orleans, we ended up having a little over 9 hours there – and you can bet we made the most of it! As soon as we checked into the hotel, we were back out the door to hit up the French Quarter, where we spent a few hours roaming the streets and running into passengers from our flight – go figure. It was a whirlwind of a layover, and full of its fair share of surreality – there I stood, on a balcony on Bourbon taking in the revelry and intricate architecture all around me and wondering how the heck I was getting paid to do it.
And then, just like that, it was back to the hotel for a few hours of R&R before the return flight to Philly.
The trip was truly an awesome experience, and such a great way to start my new career – which, all things considered, just may be the perfect fit. I can’t wait to see where in the world it takes me next!
* * * *
Anything you’re curious to know about flight attendant life? Drop me a comment below, or get in touch here!