By Heather Poole
Real-life flight attendant Heather Poole has written an enthralling and humorous insider’s account of existence and paintings within the not-always-friendly skies. Cruising Attitude is a Coffee, Tea, or Me? for the twenty first century, because the writer parlays her fifteen years of flight adventure right into a pleasant account of loopy airline passengers and staff drama, of overcrowded crashpads in “Crew Gardens” Queens and discovering love at 35,000 ft. the preferred writer of “Galley Gossip,” a weekly column for AOL’s award-winning trip web site Gadling.com, Poole not just stocks nice tales, but additionally explains the fine details of flying, as visible from the flight attendant’s bounce seat.
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Extra info for Cruising Attitude: Tales of Crashpads, Crew Drama, and Crazy Passengers at 35,000 Feet
Here’s how reserve works. Bidding is the act of inquiring for a line. A line is a series of journeys in consecutive order flight attendants (well, these no longer on reserve) are provided to paintings every month. At my airline we're provided greater than 200 strains. each one line has anyplace from 3 to 10 positions to paintings, looking on the plane style. strains are offered via corporation seniority. for the reason that the simplest journeys, flights to Asia and Europe, are consistently staffed with the main senior group, and why the floor employees in Honolulu were recognized to invite if the wheelchairs assembly the flight are for passengers or flight attendants. If a flight attendant has a seniority variety of two hundred, that flight attendant may still bid for a minimum of 2 hundred positions to ensure she doesn’t get a “miss bid” and be offered a line she didn’t wish. whereas nonreserve flight attendants make a choice from strains of journeys, reserve flight attendants make a choice from traces of days off. Line holders can get ten to 20 days off a month, looking on their seniority. Reserve flight attendants on typical in basic terms get ten days off. Days off are grouped jointly in 3 or 4 blocks per 30 days, and every block can diversity wherever from one to 5 days. while you’re on reserve, the airline can (and will) assign a visit at any time of day or evening. Sleep, anything most folk take with no consideration, turns into a guessing video game because you by no means recognize while you’ll need to fly next—crack of sunrise or all evening lengthy. whilst team agenda, additionally identified simply as scheduling, contacts a flight attendant, the flight attendant has fifteen mins to come back the decision and settle for the journey. differently she is assigned a “missed journey. ” lacking an task greater than as soon as can lead to corporation motion. If you’re on probation like Georgia and that i have been, it may lead on to termination. After flight attendants are assigned a visit, they've got at the very least hours to get to the airport and sign up on a working laptop or computer in flight operations. Sign-in needs to ensue an hour earlier than the flight departs. If it doesn’t, a reserve flight attendant operating airport standby could be despatched to hide the journey. Standby flight attendants spend hours sitting on the airport ready round in case a flight attendant, even one other reserve flight attendant, doesn’t make sign-in on time. Being paid to hang around may appear like enjoyable, however it will be draining, in particular after sitting standby for 5 hours after which getting referred to as out to paintings a five-hour journey ten mins prior to you suggestion you’d be heading domestic. and because flight attendants on standby (or reserve) by no means recognize the place they’re going or how lengthy they’ll be long gone, packing is often tricky. Standby flight attendants are just utilized in emergency events, comparable to protecting flights staffed with what the FAA calls “minimum staff. ” In different phrases, there has to be a undeniable ratio of flight attendants to passengers on board each one flight, in addition to adequate flight attendants to function the door exits in case of an emergency evacuation. Reserve is lots like being an on-call doctor—we needs to be prepared for responsibility normally.