The start of 2016 was and is very heavy. The loss of my dear mum is not making things brighter or better, but since she was so proud of me becoming a flight attendant I think now is a good idea to look back on the past five years. This month exactly I’m flying for five years for my airline. I started my initial training in january 2011 and time has been flying ever since.
I was 21 when I did my first flight. The whole process went quickly, I finished school (aviation services) and a few months later the airline started hiring people. I applied in november, heared the good news that I was hired in december and started my training of 4 weeks in january. I received my wing on february 18th and started flying full time. I can’t really remember where my first flight was heading to as an active crewmember, but I remember my nightstops in my initial weeks where I was not an active crew member. We slept in Nice and in Sandefjord Torp and I absolutely loved it.
My very first nightstop/layover in Sandefjord, Norway back in february 2011. This was still during my initial course and ‘linetraining’. Not a qualified crew member yet.
In the past five years I’ve learned so much. I was away from home for most of the time, flying around in Europe and taking my camera with me. I have worked with so many colleagues and have met so many people. Made new friends, met the love of my life and learned so much, also about myself. Since flying itself is a specific ‘lifestyle’ it took a while for me to get used to it too, the rosters, the fact that you’re away for 4 nights a week and have to miss a lot of birthdays, parties and so on. But it’s something I nowadays can’t live without. I love the fact that my days off are almost never in the weekends (I’m usually off on monday, tuesday) and that this job is giving me the opportunity to discover the most beautiful places in europe.
In january 2013, three years ago, there was heavy snowfall in the Netherlands. We got stuck in Venice for two full days in a row. After spending the first day in Venice itself we took the train the second day to beautiful Triëst. Life is full of adventures, but you have to make them yourself.
After a little more than two years I got promoted to a ‘senior cabin attendant’. You see, we fly just with the two of us (cabincrew) in tiny airplanes which fit maximum 100 passengers. When you start flying, you’re a “ca2” and the aft galley is your area. Even though you work very closely with the ‘senior ca’, who is in the front of the cabin, you’re not fully responsible and don’t have much contact with the cockpit crew. I loved my promotion to a senior ca. You then welcome the passengers on board and you are some sort of a manager of the cabin. It’s a normal step in our career to become a senior cabin attendant. When I started flying in 2011 we sometimes did flights with 3 cabincrew. Two of them were there for flight safety and there was 1 ‘service ca’. This was only on the busy routings (for example to London Heathrow). After almost a year the company decided to stick to only 2 cabin crew (minimum required cabincrew) which is also perfectly fine and doable.
2012 Was one of the best years when it comes to flying. During most of my layovers we did fantastic things. From little tours to Monaco and Saint Tropez to a dogsled tour in winter wonderland Röros, Norway. It was also the year where I met my boyfriend. In august 2012 we flew together to Munich and Bologna. It was the second time that we flew together, earlier was in 2011 when we were both still new. We liked each other and in Bologna he asked me out on a date back in the Netherlands. Back then, my boyfriend was a first officer (he recently became a captain).
My 24th birthday on april 24th, 2013 I took my mum with me to Trondheim. Her very first and sadly also her last flight with me. I still remember each moment and how proud she was.
I can think of so many positive things I have experienced these past five years. After working fulltime for 4 years I started working part time (80 percent) in january 2015. This was such a relieve, even though I love my job a lot. I was away from home almost constantly. My boyfriend also started working 80 percent. This gave us the opportunity to spend more time together and with our friends and family. Which is important too, because even though we have the best job in the world, there is always a place called home which is even more important. When I’m away now for 4 nights, I have 4 nights at home as well.
These past five years have been totally amazing. My mum always wanted to become a flight attendant, and one of her lasts words to me were ‘You made my dream come true by becoming a flight attendant. I couldn’t do it myself, so it’s amazing to see that you’re living my dream’. So mum, I know you are proud. You know how much I love my job and you were so happy for me that I now have a permanent contract with the airline I’m flying for. Maybe next year I’ll start flying the long haul flights too, but as long as I have my permanent contract I’m a happy flight attendant.
If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to leave a message. I’ll try to answer them all.