One factor to say for positive is that the flight attendant will hardly ever have common shifts at any given time. Most of the time, it is a mixture of late nights, early mornings, and something in between. It’s definitely not a job for anybody who likes a set schedule and the 9 to 5.
Quick haul flights might be something from half-hour as much as 5 hours relying on the airline and the way they function. Most of those flights function between 05:00 and midnight. Flight attendants should attend a briefing earlier than their flight, so that they should arrive at their base nicely earlier than.
A day might appear like flying from London to Athens and again or flying London to Paris and again after which repeat. Typically, there could also be only one flight and a layover, however these have gotten rarer. The minimal day can be round seven hours and the utmost twelve hours, relying on delays. This could be working 5 – 6 days every week on common.
Photograph: Etihad Airways
After all, long-haul flights do embody a layover because it’s not possible to remain inside responsibility hours in any other case. A minimal journey can be one thing like London to Dubai, 12 hours off, and fly again. The utmost can be London to Singapore, which in complete is round 14 hours. Many long-haul flights are scheduled as night time flights, so a flight attendant may very well be briefed at 21:00 after which be working in a single day.
The return flights are additionally usually in a single day, arriving within the early hours of the morning. Some airways usually do ‘again to again’ for a number of the routes touring west. The flight attendant may fly from London to New York, have 12 hours of sleep, then fly again, 12 hours sleep after which repeat the entire thing once more. On common, a long-haul flight attendant could have round 5 journeys a month.
Standby is one thing that each one flight attendants should do, and it’s principally to cowl for any crew member who’s late or sick on the final minute. So, a interval of seven hours is assigned the place the crew member needs to be able to function any flight at quick discover. This may be from residence or from the airport, relying on the airline’s necessities. The issue is, you by no means know the place you’re going or how lengthy you may be away and what to pack. When you get fortunate, you won’t be referred to as in any respect. You might also be referred to as an hour earlier than the top of the standby interval to do an extended flight, so long as it’s inside responsibility hours.
Some flight attendants discover extra stability in low-cost airways. Photograph: easyJet
Some airways have a system of scheduling ‘out there’ days into your work sample. That is the place you’ll be on responsibility however solely obtain notification the night time earlier than. The 05:00 standby is rarely a preferred one!
Many worldwide airways mix short-haul and long-haul routes, so a flight attendant roster could also be a mixture of the above. There could also be choices to bid for journeys additionally, which lets you match work round your life-style or vice versa.
With the rise in low-cost airways, some flight attendants favor the workload. Most of the time, it implies that they’re residence each night time after their flights and may spend time with household. That is way more troublesome once you fly worldwide routes, so for some, it gives extra stability.