Monday, June 30, 2008

denver disaster

since the last two days of my orlando trip were cancelled i got resassigned to another one... with a layover in denver! i was so excited when i found out because it was an 18hr layover and i could spend time with the pollans.

our first flight was to houston and it turned out to be a disaster! the flight was already delayed leaving for whatever reason. once the passengers boarded though catering decided to take their sweet time and we were waiting on them to leave. they gave us less than half of what we needed for the flight and left! the doors were all shut which is our cue to arm them in case of an emergency evacuation. there is a red strap across the window to indicate the door is armed and should not be opened. as we were about to take our safety demo positions catering decides to come back and open the armed door! luckily there was a flight attendant in the back of the plane who was riding as a passenger and she grabbed the door before the slide completely deployed. basically she saved the man's life because those things inflate so quickly and with such force that they seriously injure or kill those in the way. this caused an even greater delay because maintenance and safety inspectors had to board the plane and repack the slide. needless to say our passengers were not happy...

our second flight was much better and after a stressful day we were in denver. kaylinda picked me up from the hotel and took me to her and david's house. we played catch up and went to bed. kaylinda and i went to mass and then met david at drew and maritza's house for lunch - a peruvian chicken and rice dish. it was delicious!

i've only been working a week but it feels like a month and even though i'm soooo exhausted, i feel very lucky to have this job. it has opened many doors and allows me to meet/see people and places i might not normally.

Mickey's Corporate Office

my second trip was to MCO... also known as orlando or "mickey's corporate office" if you're looking for a way to remember the airport code. i picked this trip up and it was supposed to be a four day, but due to delays the last two days were taken over by a different crew.

my position was in first class, which is my favorite! we flew first to houston, where i grabbed some mexican food because i desperately miss it! just as we were getting ready to take-off for orlando the storms started and we were delayed. i started to worry that we might not be able to leave at all, but mother nature pulled through. the whole trip was planned so that i could have a layover with my very best friend from training, allison, who is based in cleveland.

we got to the renaissance hotel in orlando a little late, but still with plenty of time for shenanigans with allison and my new friend dustin, who was working first class with me. we had some "happy time" drinks, and i'm not sure i've ever needed a glass of wine like that one!

that night allison and i had a sleepover and caught up on life... even though we talk about 5 times a day! the next day we worked one flight to houston and deadheaded to newark. (deadheading means that you aren't working the flight; instead you travel as a passenger, but you still get paid!)

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

home sweet home

just thought i would give everyone a little insight to where i live now...

my roommates are three girls i met in training and we're all from texas! the four of us live in a small apartment in a town called bayonne, where everyone seems to know everyone! we're very close to the water and public transportation. a shuttle hired by our landlord takes us to and from the airport 24 hours a day, which is very convenient. we're within walking distance to a lot of restaurants and shops, but the best part is... we live above a bar!

the top two windows are our apartment and the bottom is obviously the bar!
our apartment has one bedroom with two sets of bunkbeds and one bathroom. we're working hard to make it feel home-y and i'd say it's coming along well! hope everyone gets a chance to come visit my new "home sweet home!"

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

if you're going to san francisco...

well i didn't wear flowers in my hair, but there were flowers everywhere... and they were beautiful! my first trip was a transcontinental flight from newark to sanfran with a 24 hour layover. i couldn't have asked for anything better. honestly, i even heard from supervisors that were jealous of my assignment. (this was the view from my hotel room!)

we arrived in the golden gate city around 8pm after a very easy flight. first class wasn't full so once the service was over we got our pick of the meals. i had a lobster appetizer with a garden salad. the main dish options were chicken, steak, or seafood. i tried the steak, but it of course didn't meet my southern expectations so i just ate some plantains and grilled veggies. just when i thought i couldn't eat anymore, the sundaes emerged. oh. my. gosh. blue bell definitely has competition!
that night i went out with another one of the flight attendants. we found some bars with live music and a group of asian bachelor partiers... we asked them for advice on the best bars nearby when they invited us to barhop with them. they paid for a few drinks and cover charges and then laura and i went on our own way. we were beat and ready for bed!

the next day was spent wandering the city from the financial district to chinatown, fisherman's wharf to golden gate state park. at first things seemed so foreign, but then i recognized places from past visits. something i never noticed before was the french influence. many of the restaurants were french cafe style and there were french pastries, crepes, etc to be found everywhere!

after the day of sightseeing i took a nap before our redeye flight back. this flight was very easy to work, but it was not without excitement. we had a medical near-emergency, and i was right in the middle of everything, but it ended up ok and we landed safely in newark. i also got my pick of the leftover first class meals - again. i've decided i love to work transcon and also redeyes.... except if i do that i might get fat!

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

real life: flight attendant training school

it was monday, may 12, around 7:15am. everyone came down to the lobby with their roommates, not knowing what to expect, but excited about the prospects. some of us were not used to such an early morning wake-up call, but our adrenaline was fueling our energy and we made it through the day of paper-pushing and filling out forms. we tried on our uniforms and the girls were unhappy to find out that the pieces run small, but we all got that glimpse of what we would hopefully look like at the end of the four and a half weeks – blue polyester baby!

the first week was full of admin tasks and aircraft basics. i kept thinking to myself, “didn’t i already graduate college? what is all this reading? i thought the days of homework and pop quizzes were long gone!” boy howdy, was i wrong! those before me gave fair warning, but i never imagined that this training would prove to be more intense than a semester of college with two jobs, 16 hours, and multiple campus organizations.

continental training week two consisted of emergency equipment, basic first aid, and service. i learned how to administer cpr, use an aed, and deliver a baby. we even got to “fight fires.” the thing i couldn’t get down was “would you care for a ham or turkey sandwich?” we are to use complete sentences when speaking with the customers – like that is how it goes in the real world!! one day we actually got out of the classroom to work a real flight. mine went to washington, d.c., but i didn’t see dubbya. at the end of that day i was having second thoughts about the whole gig. i had a difficult time with motion sickness and was completely overwhelmed by the galleys. so much to do and not enough time!! luckily i had already made great friends in class and they were the main reason i stuck around.

emergency evacuations and the boeing 737 consumed our thoughts in week three, but we made it through. the phrases “come this way, jump and slide, get away from the plane” continuously ran through our thoughts - or as my friend allison would say, “come this way, follow me!” now you can all have faith that if we make an emergency landing i’ll get you off that plane, and supposedly in 90 seconds!

our last full week focused on the other three aircrafts, 757, 767, and the glorious triple seven. this week dragged quite a bit, but after constantly watching planes out our hotel windows and nights on the roof of the parking garage, we were actually able to identify most of the planes! one day of the fourth week was completely focused on business first service, which is reserved for international flights. we were rolling out of the training center after warm nuts, soup and salad, appetizers, fruit and cheese, and the delicious sundaes – it’s a good thing they held off on serving us a main course! (believe me, this was a great change from the daily ham or turkey sandwiches and steak and cheese pizzas!) friday of that week we got our uniforms back and most of us were pleased to find that we were still the same size as we were at the initial fitting.

the last few days of training flew by! we had a test, finals, our initial operating flights, and then graduation. as ready as we were to be done, it snuck up on us and there were plenty of tears shed as everyone went their own way for a few days off.

continental has three bases, houston, newark, and cleveland. we are the first class of the year to have people going to all three! everyone got the cities that they wanted, but i am sad to be separated from the ones that i became really close with. as for me, i am headed to newark right now and am positive that it hasn’t hit me yet! i’ll be living in an apartment with at least four other girls from my class, and two of the guys are going to try to join us. there may even be people that we don’t know in our apartment.

my first flight will most likely be on saturday since that’s our first day on-call. i’m not sure where scheduling will send me, but this will definitely be an adventure!