One of the perks as a FA is getting to sit in the flight deck for take off and landing. I’m just posing here after landing though 🙂
Coming from a family of 6, air travel wasn’t much of an option for us. It wasn’t until 12 years old that I remember my first flight to Hong Kong via Vancouver to visit my mom and sister. From then on, I pretty much spent my summers in Hong Kong, lost my best friends every summer to other best friends they had made during the 2 month break.
Travelling on planes was exciting but I grew up hating airports. I always tried to hold back my tears going to the airport and start balling when I saw us approaching the structure. I guess it’s the idea of saying bye to someone, either my parents, my siblings, my friends or boyfriend and leaving our dog, Spicy behind and not knowing how or if the relationship will be the same when you come back. Once I got on the plane, I’d still shed some tears but get distracted by the entertainment system or the thought of where I am going. Becoming a flight attendant help me overcome that sadness. I grew to love the airport. I found it relaxing to lounge by the gate and watch the birds get loaded/unloaded, deplaned, board and who doesn’t love watching takeoffs and landings?
I never thought highly of flight attendants. I thought they were unhappy, uneducated, and never knew the answers to my questions. Ironic that I became one but only to prove my initial thoughts wrong. It all started in university. I worked hard, I liked working and being pretty financially stable and independent. I worked two jobs and went to university full-time. Never really got to travel even though I always wanted to. I also didn’t want to blow my hard-earned money on travel expenses so becoming a flight attendant was on the back of my mind.
One day, my (boy)friend (at the time) and his family were having a meal and his parents always had a paper at the table or nearby and we came across and Air Canada cattle call. His mom suggested it to him and he laughed while I grabbed the ad to take a second look. I’m going to go for it! I went to the cattle call, he went with me only to support me and it worked out. I met 2 girls in front of me and 1 girl behind me and I was the only one who got called back for round 2, language test. The line up was so long that my boyfriend had to leave me in the middle of the fair as he had to work in the evening. It all worked out and I got called for round 3.
Initial training was an intense 7 weeks from 1pm-9 or 10pm depending if we were willing to shorten our breaks. I studied for my university exams every moment I could and I pulled all nighters to study for both school and work. I was so exhausted that I shut my eyes for a minute on the simulator and got written up for it (I wasn’t even sleeping and I was just waiting for other people to finish their tests as I was already done -didn’t think it was that serious). It was a lot. I told my dad I can’t do this, I’m going to have to forfeit my job or my degree (if I failed my final exams) and my dad listened and supported me. I told him, I’m going to study hard for school first and if that doesn’t allow me to study for my training exams and practicals then so be it… I passed both!
I obtained my Bachelor’s of Human Resources Management and I started flying. I loved flying but thought maybe I should start looking for HR jobs since that’s what I studied. I had an interview on Bay Street for an HR position. The woman and I discussed about Generation Y and the lack of commitment, I told her that the lack of commitment is reciprocal and it’s companies not committing to their employees. They often start with temporary/contractual status so they don’t have to provide job security and benefits i.e. health and dental (The position was a contract job). She offered me the position and it was higher pay than my flying job but I rejected it. I wasn’t ready to leave full health, dental, and travel benefits for me and my parents. I got paid to travel! I got to visit my family in Hong Kong on average once or twice a month (thanks to my route language and reserve), I got to visit my friend in LA, my brother in Halifax, I got to see a bunch of places I have never been to and not to mention meet my soulmate/love of my life/ father of my kids, you get it 😉
Celebrating my 22nd birthday during training in 2007 phase 2 class 2.
Sure, I missed out on birthdays, parties with friends, Fridays/Saturday club nights and holiday meals. I got to replace Thanksgiving, Christmas meals with McDonald’s, already made meals at the grocers, eating with people I just met or romantic dinners on Valentine’s Day by myself but I got to see different places and hangout with some really amazing people in my crew. So many flight attendants are educated and professionals. I’ve learned so much about people and becoming more open-minded and accepting. Of course there’s some downsides to flying, you don’t always get to go where you want to go, no layovers, the long duty days and some abuse and harassment you may experience but overall, now that I am done flying, I surely appreciate the pros a lot more than I did when I was flying.
Our first YDF with Luciana
Visiting my brother in YHZ after flying my parents down on my passes
Having lunch with my sister and her family in HKG before operating the flight I met my husband on
Dim sum with Aaron & Grampa in HKG before operating my flight to YYZ
Flew with my best friend to LHR to attend his cousin’s wedding 🙂
Flew on passes to RDU with my pregnant sister, bro in law and adorable niece to hit the beach and ice cream!