Topic Author
Posts: 3155
Joined: Sat Aug 24, 2002 11:41 am

Welcome To The Airlines

Fri Sep 28, 2007 8:21 am

So you want an airplane job eh?

Well, I did. And I got it. June I started with Air North as a cabin service agent. Just came home from another Condor afternoon, those are fun I guess. Nothing like doing an entire 767 in 16 minutes. Tied our record though, despite boarding as icicles from standing out on the apron in the cold with some light rain and a north wind, only to have a short break and do an attempt at a full groom of a 737 in 12 minutes, without help from the FAs and with the pilots and check-in constantly asking if we're almost done. But of course, no break due to someone telling us the ETA was 14.25 and the aircraft arriving at 13.56.

At the moment all I can think of is I'm tired, I'm dirty, its been 17 days since my last day off (yup, 17, and there are others I work with who've done just as bad if not worse), and theres still two or three more airplanes to clean when I go back tonight. At least I got fed today. Sure it was leftovers and it's been sitting on the plane all morning, but it's still food. And of course, we are short staffed again so probably yet another late night, which is awesome because we all love to hang out at the airport at 1 in the morning. Oh, and apparently we have ten seat packs we get to help unload tonight too. Yippee, my favourite! At least I don't have to do Air Canada tonight. Or do I? The schedule changes so much I have no idea what days I'm supposed to do Air Canada any more. Oh well, find out when I get there.

At least my holiday is coming up, in theory. I need it, I'm getting a little burnt out. But the whole department is getting that way, so I guess I can't complain. People keep leaving and planes keep coming. Of course the flights could fill up and screw us over, after all it's happened before. All part of the non-rev game. Hopefully I can at least get an afternoon off around thanksgiving to spend with my aging grandparents, but I can't see that happening.

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Well folks, that's pretty much how it's going down. I'm not whining, I'm not complaining. In fact, I actually like my job. I enjoy what I do. I absolutely love the feeling of sitting there watching one of our jets pulling away from the terminal with another load of passengers and cargo, and thinking about how I helped make that happen.

What I am trying to say is, for all those people who are new to aviation and/or are wanting to get a true airline job, don't get surprised if you don't like it. Sometimes it just sucks. Actually, a lot of the time it just sucks. If it's what you really want to do, I highly recommend doing it, just be aware of what you're signing up for, because from what I can see around me, this is what most airline jobs are like.

Have fun out there!
HS-748, just like a 747 but better!
Posts: 562
Joined: Wed Apr 28, 2004 9:25 am

RE: Welcome To The Airlines

Fri Sep 28, 2007 8:41 am

That was a good post.

I spend much of my time writing about this crazy business, trying to give people insights into how unpredictable it is. It takes a certain type of person to stick with it. Sometimes I wonder if there isn't some undiscovered air travel gene that draws people toward such a strange and potentially spirit-crushing industry. You either have it in your DNA, or you don't.

Here are some stories of mine you might appreciate...

The greatest cockpit terror of all: the F-bomb

Meandering in Miami. The flotsam and jetsam of America's most colorful airport

Career lowlights

- PS
Patrick Smith is an airline pilot, air travel columnist and author
Topic Author
Posts: 3155
Joined: Sat Aug 24, 2002 11:41 am

RE: Welcome To The Airlines

Fri Sep 28, 2007 8:56 am

Quoting Aviateur (Reply 1):
You either have it in your DNA, or you don't.

So true, so true.

HS-748, just like a 747 but better!
Posts: 238
Joined: Sun Jun 20, 1999 12:05 pm

RE: Welcome To The Airlines

Fri Sep 28, 2007 9:43 am

Well written and strangely entertaining, great points as well. It's funny how from the outside aviation looks all cool and high tech, but from the inside it is mostly being uncomfortable, tired, way to busy or bored. No matter what though, those of us who do it and love it, wouldn't have it any other way!

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