“You’ll have a man in every airport” was the first thing a friend said to me when I told her I was becoming cabin crew. Just another stereotypical image of airline crew, although for some of us it’s not that far from the truth. Many people believe that the life of a trolley dolly is just endless glitz and glamour; jetting off to far-flung and romantic destinations, sipping cocktails by the pool with our beautiful sex-crazed pilot and crew colleagues. Surely we would have no trouble in finding ourselves a gorgeous partner to spend the rest of our lives with?
Truth is, it’s not that easy. Working long and unsociable hours means we miss out on so many birthdays, Christmas’, weddings and social gatherings that it can put a massive strain on even the happiest of couples. Sadly, there are many occasions when our flying career gets in the way of a relationship.
Thankfully, it’s not all doom and gloom. Love does frequently blossom at 39,000 feet and I’m not talking about people joining the mile high club.
For Valentines Day, I asked my wonderful Facebook followers to share some of their stories of love and how they have coped with balancing a flying career and a relationship.
As previously mentioned, one of the perks of being crew is that you get to fly with some very beautiful people. Stunning stewardesses, handsome male hosties and of course, the rare specimen in the flight deck, P.I.L.F.’s (Pilots I’d Like To F*@k). From casual encounters on night-stops to full-blown relationships resulting in marriage, kids, two dogs and a cat, romance frequently blossom between airline crew…..
“I was called out for a Orlando trip and was positioned as the ‘bog bird’ in the downstairs lavatories. A very cute male hostie was charged with looking after me. He brought me a cup of tea and three fruit pastilles. Ten years later we are married with two kids and we recently emigrated to Abu Dhabi. I’m probably the cheapest date he ever had”
“I met my boyfriend after we flew together for the first time. We flirted most of the flight and then, egged on by a colleague as I was so nervous, I asked him if he would like to go for a drink. The rest, as they say, is history. We’ve been together 8 months now and are still very happy although he has since moved to another airline”
“My husband and I met when I was a brand new flight attendant and he was a brave new pilot. 25 years and 2 daughters later we are still having a great adventure”
“I met my pilot boyfriend at a house party. We got together after he gave me concussion when I fell off a bed (We won’t ask what you were doing). He’s the most amazing guy i’ve ever met. Just so happens he’s a pilot”
“I was a brand new FA at the time. Five minutes before I was meant to be sent home off my airport reserve I got called to operate my third ever trip to SFO. When we arrived my crew and I got on the wrong hotel van, as scheduling had messed up and sent us to the wrong hotel (There’s a surprise). A few minutes later a very handsome Virgin pilot gets in my van and locks eyes with me. I smile and he takes the seat right behind me. I continue chatting with my crew and happen to speak French. The pilot responds, in French and we chat a little. When we get off the van he asks if I would like to go for a drink. I agree and take his card. We end up having to change hotels and with all the drama end up going out of hours for our flight the next day. Little did I know that he wasn’t even meant to be in SFO. He had missed in commuter flight home and had stayed behind to do some paperwork, almost missing me as he was going to board the van before mine but got chatting with a co-worker. We ended up going out on what can only be described as the worst date ever. Every place we went was either closed or under construction and so chatting was rather tricky. He dropped me back at my hotel and I was feeling slightly down trodden about the whole thing. It was then he gave me his flight jacket, as it was pretty cold and said that in order to return it, I’d have to see him again. Five days later he met me on a lay over and the rest is history. We are now married and have a beautiful two month old baby boy. I owe it all to crew scheduling, I never thought I’d be happy with them!”.
As well as fellow pilots and crew, we also come into contact with hundreds of other aviation folk. Dishy dispatchers, hunky baggage handlers and charming engineers, to name but a few…..
“I met my hubby nine years ago when he was catering our aircraft. It was love at first sight when our eyes met over a canister. Seven years married and two babies later, i’m still flying but he has since gone on to bigger and better things”
Unfortunately, it isn’t always sweetness and roses. Working with so many gorgeous men and women in such tight confines of an aircraft, long trips away from home and the stresses and strains of a flight attendants life can sometimes lead to wondering eyes and break downs in relationships…..
“It all started well with my pilot boyfriend who eventually became my husband. Twelve years on it has sadly come to an end. Aviation is a hard business to be in. Long hours, stress, rosters, no family time and lack of time as a couple, all takes it toll. I’ve seen women throw themselves at him, literally in front of my eyes. After this, I would never date anyone in the aviation business again. I would run a mile”
So what about finding love with one of our passengers? During a typical day, we can come into contact with hundreds of different people from all walks of life; especially short-haul crew, who often operate multiple sectors every day. Meeting so many people means that there is always the potential that Mr or Mrs right could walk down that air-bridge, board our aircraft and sweep us off our feet at any moment…..
“I met my husband on a flight to Jamaica. He was a deportee…….escort. Every time I say deportee people think i’m dating one”
“I was working an Edmonton (YEG) to Vancouver (YRV) early morning flight. I was in the cabin helping passengers with bags and briefing the over-wing exit when I spotted a very cute red-head walking towards me. We said hello and once he sat down he tried to strike up a conversation, asking me about my job. Baring in mind it was very early and I wasn’t feeling all that chatty, after a few minutes I walked away. As the last of the passengers boarded he tried once again to talk to me. I just assumed he was one of those passengers who needs the attention and totally didn’t pick up on the flirting vibe. My head was clearly still on my pillow. The rest of the flight was uneventful but as we began our final descent into YRV, he handed me a tiny bit of paper with his name and number on. Freaking out a little, I ran to the galley to try to get a better look at him. Realising just how good-looking he was and admiring his ballsyness for doing that, I realised I was being totally oblivious and decided I would give him a call. We’ve been together seven months now”.
“Met met my hubby on an evening Manchester to Brussels, which was delayed and full of grumpy passengers, except for one. Our eyes met and there was an instant attraction. On disembarking his duty-free bag broke and all my colleagues said ‘now’s your chance, go and help him’. I was very nervous and to make it worse he hardly spoke an English. That was twenty years ago and two sons later”
“I met my man on a flight to Montego Bay. He was sat in 38J. He might not have been in upper class, but our love is first class”.
Relationships are hard no matter what line of work you are in, but I think it is fair to say that there are many added stresses and strains for cabin crew. I do believe however, if you truly love someone, you make it work no matter what.
For those of you still looking for Mr or Mrs right, don’t give up. Cupid will point his arrow in your direction when you least expect it. For those that have already found the one, hold them tight and don’t let go. Relationships may not always be perfect, but love is a very precious thing. Treasure it.
Thank you to those who sent me their wonderful stories and allowed me to include them here.
Happy Valentines day everyone x
© confessionsofatrolleydolly.com by Dan Air.