The primary role of Cabin Crew onboard any aircraft around the world is safety. Forget your life jackets, safety cards, oxygen masks and seatbelts; should the proverbial hit the fan, we are the only piece of safety equipment passengers will need to get them off that aircraft.
Cabin crew, no matter what airline they work for, are trained to the highest standards in emergency and standard operating procedures and of course first aid. What does differ from airline to airline is the inflight service offered by the crew. From the low-cost carriers who provide a buy-onboard service, to the ‘legacy’ airlines with their first, business and premium cabins, offering a vast array of fine dining, endless free drinks and countless other perks to entice you to fly with them.
One of the most exciting things about working in aviation is its variation. You can start your day in a grey and gloomy London and end up on a beach in the Bahamas. Shopping in New York, partying in Paris or sight-seeing in San Francisco. Every day there is something new and exciting to look forward to. There’s also the people. We come in to contact with literally hundreds of different people every day, from the crew we fly with, to the ground staff we interact with and of course the passengers we carry.
To give you a taste of what it’s like to be Cabin Crew for various different airlines, I asked my lovely Trolley Dollies via social media to reveal what ‘A Day in the Life’ as crew is like at their airline.
In 2015 Ryanair celebrated its 30th birthday. From humble beginnings, the controversial Irish carrier has grown to become one of the worlds biggest low-cost airlines. With a fleet of over 300 Boeing 737-800 aircraft, serving over 190 destinations across 31 countries, it’s cabin crew are one of the hardest working in the industry and are trained to the highest standards. For many years Ryanair has suffered from poor public perception but has recently been implementing a series of ‘customer service improvements’ and is slowly improving its image. This includes the launch of a brand new uniform for its crew, which will be brought in during 2016.
To highlight just how hard my Ryanair dollies work, one of their lovely Manchester based crew sent me their day own in the life stories.
“It’s day one of my early week and my 3:30AM alarm has woken me up after hardly any sleep. I rarely sleep the night before my first early shift. Does anyone? I trawl myself out of bed and get ready for work. All suited up and after checking everything is in my crew bag at least five times, I make my way to the hustle and bustle of Manchester Airport. It’s useful to know information about car parking and which buses take you where, as people ask you every question imaginable when you’re in uniform.
After passing through security and making my way to the crew room, I take a quick look in my pigeon-hole and then check in. I also look for any new compulsory safety, security or operational memos and check my crew for the week ahead. After a quick chat to some of my colleagues, my crew will meet at a briefing station to complete the pre-flight briefing. This involves the cabin manager checking our passports and licences, and taking us through the newest procedures and information. We will then go through what will happen on the day – from when we will complete which service to who will do the gash run. Finally, we will be asked to discuss three things: a safety, security and first aid topic. This is intense as some of the drills and procedures are extremely detailed.
We then make our way out to one of our Boeing 737-800 series aircraft. Once onboard we complete our stringent security checks, including the passenger cabin, overhead lockers, toilets and all of our secret compartments. After confirming everything is safe we will start boarding. Greeting every passenger, showing them to their seats, helping with bags and sorting out any mishaps… this is one of the busiest parts of the shift. We will then conduct our safety demonstration and make sure the cabin is secure for take-off.
After blasting into the skies over North-West England, we will pass through the cabin taking hot food orders and follow with our drinks service. Depending on the flight, this can be either a five-minute service, or take three hours to complete! We will then collect rubbish and, you guessed it, then it’s time for the famous Ryanair scratchcard service!
Before you know it, we’re landing in our destination. We have a strict 25 minute turnaround, so it’s go, go, go! Disembark, strict security checks, cleaning and boarding again… and this is just the second of four flights!”
If you would like to be part of Confessions of a Trolley Dolly ‘A Day in the Life’ series then please send me an email with your story to firstname.lastname@example.org
© confessionsofatrolleydolly.com by Dan Air.