This was trip earlier in December from Paris to Detroit. Pardon the poor quality of the pics, as they were taken from inside a bus as we were moving.
Ship #: 3304
Routing: Charles De Gaulle Int’l Airport-Paris(CDG)
To Detroit Metro/Wayne County Int’l Airport(DTW)
Flight Duration: 7hrs, 45Mins
Pick-up time was scheduled at 1130L, Paris time, (GMT+1). The crew began to gather down in the lobby just after 11am, of our layover hotel near the Eiffel Tower. The bus was waiting outside as the crew checked out of their hotel rooms. I stopped to have a croissant and coffee in the crew bar set up for the other crews. There are 2 cabin attendants from Continental and a first officer from Air Canada also having some biscuits as well. We make our way out to the bus which is waiting to take us to CDG
. The bus driver loads our bags into the cargo hold as we climb on the bus. The crew is discussing what they did last night and among other things. The bus driver starts up the bus while the crewmember bid sheet is passed around. I’m at the bottom of the list in seniority which means the last to bid. We bid for crew positions, break periods, and duty-free sales. We just reintroduced duty-free sales back on the transatlantic flights after a 4 year hiatus. We dropped duty-free sales because of low sales numbers. But because of the fact that companies cost-structure is lower, items such as duty-free is back on the Europe flights. The bid sheet makes its way to me, and I’m working the 3A position in coach. I will be working Team 2L for the meal services. We make our way to CDG
around 1200, and come to the security gate outside the perimeter fence where we’re screened and checked. They check our ID
’s and x-ray our luggage before we re-board the bus and take us to the aircraft, which is out on a remote stand on the other side of the airport.
2 shots of an SAA A342
French Armed Forces A343
An AA763 with a TAM A332 behind
One of 2 A320's due to go on lease to TAM. Aircraft to ferry to Brazil?
777-228ER. The shear size of the GE90's still amaze the hell out of me.
A330-300 N804NW. Sorry for the bad pic.
We get off the bus and climb the stairs up to the 2L door on the aircraft. Ground service agents check our ID
badges again and match them to their crew list. The coach section is blocked while security checks are conducted by the GSA’s. The newspapers are set up on a 2-tier cart at the fwd bulkhead of A-zone(WBC). The caterers finish up exchanging the carts from the inbound DTW
flight. Kristen, who is working the WBC galley starts to pour some the pre-departure beverages which includes champagne, orange juice, sparkling water, or a small selection of beers( Heineken, Miller Lite, or Budweiser). The purser Aldo gives the cabin crew a small briefing as does the Main Cabin Coordinator. The flight times 7:45, and moderate turbulence is expected up to 3 hrs into the flight. I go to the 3L jump-seat to stow my bags and preflight the j/s. When I pre-flight the j/s, I look for the crew life-vest is in place in the doghouse(as well as a demo vest, O2 mask, and seatbelt extension, flashlight battery indicator flashes, that the j/s auto-retracts back into the stowed position(if it doesn’t , the j/s is not usable, and maintenance will block off a seat at row 29A for me to use a j/s and may not be occupied by a passenger. I also check to make sure we have the required number infant life-vests on-board. If I’m unsure, I check my FA
manual for reference. My j/s checks out, and I go up to A-zone to set up the newspapers for the WBC customers to look over. Our selections for newspapers are 2 French language papers, Le Monde, and Figaro. We have 4 English newspapers available also, Which include USA Today, Herald Tribune, The Detroit Free Wall Street Journal, and the Financial Times. I set them up so the titles are clearly visable so passengers can distinguish between the different publications. I ask Kristen if she needs help in handing out pre-departure drinks, but having 2 people up there already, 3’s a crowd. So meander to the back to prepare the coach cabin for boarding. I check the Lower-deck mobile crew rest area, (LDMCR) for the safety items and to make sure it has fresh linens for the return trip. We don’t get breaks on the way over because our on-duty time isn’t long enough for us to get breaks contractually,so we shouldn’t have to check, but you just don’t know, so you check. The time is 1340, and boarding commences with the WBC passengers boarding, along with Platinum, Silver, and SkyTeam Elite members. Families with small children are boarded behind them along with 2 unaccompanied minors who are traveling from ACC
. They are seated in 34 H/J. They came in early this morning, they’re returning to the US after a visit with their father who is a works for a computer software firm, they were with him for a couple of weeks. They’re a little scared as this their only 2nd time flying with out their parents. I give them a little safety briefing and about what to expect in-flight. I ask them to stay seated when we arrive in DTW
, and that we’ll escort them off the aircraft. I tell them stories about my sister and I who used to travel unaccompanied when were young, and that I know what it like. I tell them that we’ll take good care of them while they’re with us. I get them a little something to drink and some playing cards before we take off, and a. I walk back to door 3 and greet passengers they walk by headed into the C-zone to locate their seats. They look around for overhead bin space for their carry-on luggage, as others squeeze by to get their own seats. The passengers file past as a couple on the port side, exit row are settling in. I listen their accents, and recognize that Northern England dialect. I strike up a conversation with them, and learn that they’re from the Lake District, a region of which i‘m very familiar with. They live in North Carolina, and they’re going home, after visiting family/in-laws. We go on talking for awhile, and at the conclusion, they invite me to come and stay at their family-run B&B there. I just might someday. The cabin fills up as the last bins are closed. A gentleman approaches me asking if I can find a place for his lute that he’s carrying with him. I find an overhead a few rows behind him over row/seat 24G. I close the bin and hang up my jacket in the 3R
closet adjacent to my j/s station. Aldo finishes his boarding announcements in English and French translation. The ADP CSA closes the door and the announcement is made to arm the cabin doors for departure.
The captain makes a quick announcement to tell passengers about the flight this evening. Our flight time is blocked at 7hrs/45mins. Some light chop is forecasted on the climb-out, and some turbulence is expected approximately1 hour out from DTW
. The lower cargo pits are closed and secured for departure. We begin the pushback shortly after 1350. The engines spool up, as the lights flicker as power is transferred from the APU to the engines. The Pratt’s whine up as the safety video is played. We take our positions for the video as we taxi out for an on-time departure. The video concludes, and we do our final cabin checks, as the flight deck gives us the “Flight attendants, be seated for Departure” announcement. We pull onto the threshold of the runway, and hold in position for approximately 30 seconds before the brakes are released, and the flight deck pushes the throttles forward to full power, and we’re rolling for take-off. The aircraft speeds up as the engines get louder and we’re airborne shortly after 1430 and heading skyward toward DTW
. The gear is retracted and we make a right bank as we climb out. After a series of coordinated turns, we head N/NW towards the English Channel as we make our way out of Paris airspace heading over Lands End, Pensance of the UK. On the video map, we make the turn out over the Atlantic. The after take-off announcements are made as we gather in the rear galley to prepare for the 1st meal service. We have a small briefing in the back galley with the main cabin coordinator discussing the service flow for the flight. We know what to do, so no real, in-depth briefing is needed as we’ve been doing this long enough. I take may cart over to door 4R to set I up, so that the galley person can move, prepare, and load carts for the meal service immediately after we pick up the cups and glasses for the beverage service. I throw my white whine in the ice tub to make sure they stay cold rather than go warm. I hate warm chardonnay, and I assume customers don’t like it either. I put an empty drawer on top of my drinks trolley to help stabilise the tall water bottles, OJ containers and cups/styros from tipping over when moving down the aisles. I put a bag of the Harvest Hill Pretzels in the middle for easy access in passing them out. I move out of the galley up to row 21to start passing out the drinks. We (my shadow on the other side of the aisle) move through the cabin heading aft with me converging with the door 4L FA
moving fwd. We’ll meet around rows 35-37. We collide at row 35 with me taking 35 and 36. I pass out the last few drinks and head back to the rear galley. To stow the beverage trolley and take and begin the pickup from door 2 back to door 4. We collect the beverage service cups, cans and wine bottles. We stack the cups conserve space in the trash trolleys. If you just throw the cups in there, the take up more space than necessary. We also store the empty cans in drawers to cut down on space used. Placing them back in the drawers where they came from solves that issue. We set up our meal trolleys to our liking. We all have different ways of doing it which is easiest for us. On the transatlantic we have warm rolls (which don’t have on the transpac flights), which goes in a basket on top of our trolley. So that’s more space taken up. Myself and Nancy(who is on the aisle-right) go out on the floor as the door 2 people(Team1) have already started. We start again at row 21. The Menu selection for today is:
1st choice- Heinz chicken marinara with rice and string beans,
2nd choice- Heinz spinach/vegetarian pasta topped with gorgonzola cheese.
Served with a side-salad, chocolate cake, and a warm baguette roll.
A choice of drink includes Pepsi, Diet Pepsi, 7-up, OJ water, followed by a choice of tea or coffee.
The meals served, mostly everyone got what they asked for. We go through the cabin with coffee, and tea before we begin the pick-up. We check ourselves to make each section has been offered tea and coffee before we set up the pickup trolleys. We go out with the pick-up service from the same place we began, at row 21 and move aft converging aft with the aft FA
’s moving fwd until we meet in the middle, again stacking cups, and cans on top of the cart. We finish the pickup service and then myself and Julio are on the duty-free cart together. So we get out our duty-free cart and begin to inventory it. We have these Palm(™) hand-held computers that we use to inventory, accept payment for, and record sales with makes things so much easier. Some of the senior ladies are terrified of it as they lack basic computer knowledge and are just unwilling to bring themselves into this century and learn how to use it. It make s duty-free sales seam-less (I think, personally) as compared to the old system of using carbon copy inventory sheets. It’s just so antiquated and inefficient in the way of doing things. There are 2 carts for the duty-free sales portion of the flight. We go through the WBC cabin offering it there first before we move into the main cabin. We make a little display to promote the high-priced items, such as the Johnny Walker Blue, Chivas/Regal, Remy Martin, Silk Cut, B&H cigarettes and the Anne Klein watches. We then move out into the aisle on both sides offering the items for sale. We move through the cabin answering peoples various questions about the merchandise for which we get a cut of the percentage of the sales. We sell a few items along the way, but not as much as we usually sell on the outbound flights. We horseshoe around the back to meet up with the other team on the opposite side to speed up sales. We move the carts back down the aisle to rear galley to stow the carts. We keep one cart open in case people change their minds about wanting to make a purchase later in the flight (which people sometimes do). We close the cart 2 hrs out as per the service guide. We pack everything away and put dummy seals on cart while we permanently seal the other. We then call up to the purser, who then figures out the break-times for us while we eat our crew meals. I’m on the 2nd break period, so I take my time eating my meal. Those who are not on Duty-Free sales were passing out entry forms into the US to the passengers. About 15 minutes later, Aldo makes an all-call to all stations to let us know how the long break times are. Each break period is timed at 2hrs, with 15 minutes to be back on the floor. The 1st break crew goes to their bunks to go to sleep for the 2 hrs off. I sit down to finish my dinner. I go up the fwd, WBC galley to see what hot entrees the have left. My meal included the following:
Starters-Skewered lamb with nut medley and rolled pastry
Salad-Garden Salad with Iceberg lettuce, tomato, sun-dried tomatoes sliced green, red, & peppers, with been curd cubes. Dressing-Oil & vinegar.
Main Course- Coconut Curry Chicken with a bed of white rice, Lima Beans, Pearl Onions and Mushrooms
Dessert-Assortment of Cheese, Biscuits, and Fruit.
After finishing my dinner, put it back in the trolley along with the other trays. I sit down to thump through the USA Today, and then resume a book that I’m the middle of reading. About 30 minutes later, the FA
at door 2 calls to the back to coordinate a water-walk for the passengers. We get out a few snack trays (which are the half-size trays we use to serve coffee and tea with), stack some cups and poor five glasses of water on it to get a head-start. We work 2 from the back, 2 from the front, in a converging fashion until we meet in the middle. It takes roughly 15 minutes to complete the evolution. We then go back to the galley to set up for the next water walk which will be 30 minutes to an hour. We do this to encourage people to stay hydrated for long periods of the flight. We then load the hot sandwiches (which are cold from being in the cart chillers) in the ovens for the pre-arrival service into DTW
which begins 90 minutes from arrival. By now, it’s about roughly 30 minutes from our break period beginning. I begin to pack up some of my stuff and stow in the closet by door 4L. I bring my sleeping clothes down to the bunk area. The bunk i’ll occupy is empty, so I make it up to get a head-start on my nap. I go back up to hang out while the first break period draws to a close. One of the other girls goes down to the bunk area with a few hot towels to give to the crew that’s down there. It’s 15 minutes until the break ends and we get things in line for the people coming off break. I grab my iPod and head down to the crew rest to get a little siesta for 2 hours.
2 hrs later, the wake-up call comes in the form of someone reaching into the bunk through the curtains and tapping us awake. The lights come on as I crawl out to get dressed. I go back upstairs to put my stuff away and prepare to go to work for the 2nd service. I go to the rear galley and put on my serving vest before the service begins. The service includes a choice of sandwich, Turkey and cheese, or a vegetarian. It’s served with a little choco-vanilla ice cream. Choices to drink: OJ, coffee, tea, or water. A round of coffee/tea seconds are served at the conclusion, before we start the pick-up. The pick-up for this easy, we just go down the aisle with gray garbage bags and dump the trash left into them(On the Pacific flights, we have actual trays, like that of the first service, to put them back in the carts). We go through about 2-3 times with bags to pick up all the service items. Shortly after, the flight deck crew comes across the PA to give the latest arrival information, and weather conditions in DTW
. He concludes this by making the, “flight attendants, prepare for landing” announcement. At that point, the purser makes his pre-arrival PA’s. The audio/video portion of the flight is concluded, and we begin to collect headsets from the passengers. The announcement to turn off personal electronic gear is made, and people begin to shut down their laptop computers, and mp3 players and stow them. We go through the cabin to collect any remaining service items that people still maybe hanging onto at this point which is mainly poly-styrene cups and a few other items. We begin to make the steeper decent towards DTW
. We’re over the Ontario and Erie lakes between SE
Ontario Canada and the New York/Pennsylvania borders. We begin slow down and make a few left and right turns to vector the approach into DTW
. We’re about 10 minutes from our scheduled touchdown. I put my crew declaration and passport in my right breast pocket to have it ready for when we go through customs and immigration upon arrival. The double chime comes, and we begin to walk through the cabin and have people raise their seat-backs and tray-tables for landing. Aldo makes the announcement for landing. We go through with a trash bag one last time before we take our j/s for landing. I go and sit down at door 3L and assume my modified brace position for landing. The gear comes down and the moan of the flaps and slats sound as they fully deploy. We glide into land on runway 22L at approximately 1740L and exit of the runway, heading for the terminal. Aldo them comes across the PA to make the arrival announcements in English and French, thanking everyone for flying Northwest Airlines, our Code-share partners Air France/KLM, Continental Airlines, and SkyTeam Partners worldwide. The sun is pretty much set at this point as we toward the terminal. Our gate is A40, at the mid point of the World Gateway Terminal. We pull into position to the gate, next to a 747-400(N664US), and an A330-300(N801NW). We stop briefly while a marshalling crew comes to bring us in. We then lurch forward into the gate, followed by an announcement to prepare the cabin doors for arrival, cross-check and await all-call. The lights come on, as we all disarm our doors. The all-call sounds as we all verify our doors and the one across from us. The passengers get up to retrieve their items from the overhead bins, and underneath their seats. The parents having awaken their children to get off the plane. People start filing off the aircraft to go down to immigration and baggage claim to get their bags and answer a few questions to the immigration officers. The cabin starts to empty and people file past in rear cabin to leave. The cabin emptiesas the last people depart the aircraft. We have 2 wheelchair passengers and our 2 unaccompanied minors. The wheel chairs arrive to take our wheelchair passengers off the aircraft. A redcoat agent takes the UM
’s off allowing us to leave the aircraft and go through customs ourselves. We go down the moving stairs into the arrivals hall, where a hug crowd is. The lines are huge because 5 international flights are arriving at the same time. Which are:
We go through the crew line ahead of the others because we’re first down the stairs and in line. We let those of us who have tight commuting flight to catch go ahead first. My Seattle flight isn’t until 7:40pm, so I’m good to go and let the others go ahead of me. It’s my turn to go through the line, and like always, the customs officer asks me if I ever lived in Ohio, which I never have. I guess someone with a similar name is wanted by the law for something. I go through and head out to the customs desk and queue up again for the mile-long line to get through. I walk up, hand my crew dec to the agent and he waves me through and walk out to head to gates to wait for my commuter flight, NW207, DTW
. Overall, easy trip, crew was ok.