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Travails of a Flight Attendant

By Zehra Fattah

Beside all the wonderful memories I have gained throughout the years of flying I can't help but also remember the not so pleasant times.

I have listed a few occasions that made it extremely challenging for me to fly throughout the globe and required me to "Fake it till I made it" (FYTIMI).

Zehra Fattah during her flying days

Zehra Fattah during her flying days

Heartbreak: The number one challenge! Incidences where nothing or no one could keep me from breaking down in tears. Of course in the on board lavatory. (So I could replenish my make up straight away and come back out completely fresh again.) Having been surrounded with beautiful individuals that exactly knew how I felt though in these instances we usually ended up spending the night after the flight at the hotel coffee shop sharing our stories and most of the time it turned out there was always someone else experiencing exactly the same.

Insomnia: Again a topic each flight crew has experienced. Nothing is worse than waking up in the middle of the night for a long haul flight.
( Actually there is. Being awakened by crew control when having a home stand by for a long haul flight.:-) No matter how tired I felt during those nights some good music on my iPad and having a good crew would prompt my fatigue to vanish, and I ended up with a memorable flight and even a better layover.

Monthly roster: Always exciting or not so much. Depending on my ranking on the internal bidding system I usually already knew that a certain month wouldn't be so pleasant. We all had our favourite destinations and the ones we didn't like that much. After having had an average of 50 layovers each in London and Beijing they were the top two destinations that made me sigh...Not that bad though as thanks to the swapping system I even managed to swap on my favourites at times. Bangkok was certainly number one. :-)

Colleagues: Again I must emphasize the fact that during my time as a cabin crew I have met so many amazing souls that no words could describe my gratitude. However there was always the one or the other flight that I ended up working with crew that I wasn't really happy to see.
Thanks to the A380 aircraft there were always 24 others to mingle with though..

Leave: Then the question of which country to travel to on my off days. As I had promised myself to never travel to the same place twice before I tick off the list of my "must see countries" this was at times challenging as the world genuinely was my oyster. This challenge was my favourite of course.

Pretty cool job! :-)

Savvy Angel, Zehra Fattah, is a former flight attendant with Dubai-based Emirates Airlines