Know Your Exits

Although I’ve just started this job, I’ve realized how I’m well suited for it. Let me count the ways:

  • Routine bores me. There is no other industry that I can think of that is as ever-changing as the aviation/airline industry… and I worked in foodservice!  Flights get canceled, delayed, or rerouted. Sometimes your flight is shorter or longer than anticipated, and the time you show up for work changes also. It keeps a girl on her toes, that’s for sure!
  • I was the dork that read the safety card. Before becoming a flight attendant, I read the safety card when boarding any aircraft. I also watched the flight attendants because they fascinated me somewhat, and made sure to know the operation & location of the aircraft exits. Being a flight attendant has exacerbated this. I still read the safety card if I’m being carted from one place to another on an unfamiliar aircraft. I also look for the safety equipment; hey, you never know! I still watch flight attendants sometimes because they all operate differently, and I still stand in awe of them because I’m so new.
  • I actually like flying. If I had a superpower, I would want to fly; this job is as close as I get to possessing said superpower. It’s cool to sometimes ponder the fact that you’re floating in the sky in a hunk of constructed metal, scientific explanations aside. I still remember gazing at the clouds on my very first flight when I was 13. Now, I get to see it everyday in between services. One of the coolest things to witness on a flight is flying into the sunrise; the flight has to be at a specific time to see this. I am not a morning person… but getting to observe this and the feeling it gives you is well worth an early flight.
  • The uniform. There are more casual options, but I like the formal look: the navy suit with skirt, wings on the breast pocket, the neck scarf… I like the feeling that it gives me. It’s also interesting to see how people look at you as you glide through the terminal. I’ve tried wearing heels, but they were horribly uncomfortable. I’ll have to try it again; maybe I haven’t found the proper pair.
  • The desire to help. I love being helpful, and that’s what flight attendants do, insomuch as they are able. There may be some that aren’t, but I try to be. I was one of those people that wanted to be in the exit row; I willingly offer assistance as needed. Now that I’m a flight attendant, I take things like that more seriously than I did previously.

The more I think about it, the more that I feel like a mom in some ways when I work flights. I repeat myself, tell people to be seated, and give information that is necessary to make for a safe and comfortable flight. I also offer drinks.

One of my friends is flying to a location, and the flight attendant part of me wanted to give an admonition, but I restrained myself. Now when people tell me they’re going somewhere, I just want them to be safe… not for the purpose of striking fear, but to keep them knowledgeable if the worst happens. There are 3 things that anyone flying anywhere should do:

  1. Listen to the Flight Attendant.
  2. Read the safety card.
  3. Know your exits.

Few people do it because they don’t want to imagine the worst, and they think they’ve heard it all before. Maybe you have, but it will be forgotten if you ever have to use it. I feel like that will be my new “see you later” to anyone that flies.

So ends another day on reserve, but I didn’t get called today. For those of you who are “up in the air” (I had to), be safe, enjoy yourself, and know your exits. Oh, and be nice to the flight attendant.


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