With my line indoctrination flight out of the way, I was almost set to be a full-fledged flight attendant. A huge weight had been lifted from my shoulders, but there was one more final step in the process that I had to get through first.
Next up was my follow up flight, and by flight I mean multiple flights over the course of 4 days... referred to in the industry as a pairing. My former airline didn't have pairings, as every flight connected via Dubai. I packed my tiny little bag full for 4 days away from home, still wondering where my giant plastic suitcase was. Apparently I'd been spoiled in the past. I tried to stuff my lunch bag full too, but my inability to prepare meals in advance left me with only a few snacks to eat over the course of the pairing. I grew increasingly nervous as I drove to the airport on Sunday morning. I repeatedly reminded myself that I'd done this before, and that my onboard trainer would be with me every step of the way. It didn't help much, but as usual I worried for nothing. We worked our very first flight all the way to Toronto, and it went rather well! I felt a little bit lost, but things fell into place as the day went on. We landed in Toronto, switched planes, and flew to Winnipeg. By the time that we arrived, I was super exhausted, but we weren't done yet. We flew back to Toronto. For those of you who aren't from Canada, let me assure you, it's a rather ginormous country. Flying domestic can take just as long as flying across Europe, or from Dubai to Thailand. It had been a very long day. We said goodnight and headed to our hotel rooms, where I quickly proceeded to fall asleep, only to be waken far too early the next morning. It was time to fly again!
This day took us all the way to the other side of the country... Vancouver! As soon as everyone was off the plane, we were boarding again, heading back to Calgary. So close to my own bed, but yet so far. We headed right back in the direction we'd come from and finally landed at our final destination for the day, Abbotsford. We had a bit more time than we'd had in Toronto, so rather than head to our rooms and call it a night, I met up with my trainer and the pilots and we went for dinner. I was absolutely starving, and a day full of serving Clamato juice to our passengers had left me craving a spicy caesar. I ordered one to enjoy with my delicious salmon burger. It was nice to sit and relax and chat outside of the work atmosphere of the aircraft. Once dinner was over, it was bed time!! There are few things more satisfying than crawling into bed after a long day in the sky! As usual, 4 am came too soon. I don't care what anyone says, you don't get used to waking up early. I never have, and I probably never will. I was looking forward to the day ahead, as it was much shorter than the previous 2 had been!
We hopped on over to Calgary and one quick flight later we were in Saskatoon. I never thought I'd catch myself saying this, but I was rather excited to be there! My friend and former roommate Kimmy (not the one from Dubai, but another awesome Kim!) lives there and we hadn't seen each other in well over a year.We were long overdue for a lunch date. I checked into my hotel room, changed out of my uniform, and headed to the lobby to wait for her. Yay! Reunions are so much fun! We caught up and gossiped over a delicious meal.... Vietnamese! I finally met her lovely boyfriend Justin and gave him my seal of approval... not that it matters, of course. The day was over far too soon and Kimmy had to go to class while I went back to my room for the evening.
I had mixed emotions regarding the next day. On one hand, it was finally home day!! On the other hand, I was awake at 3 am and it was my first time being lead flight attendant. I was a little bit (a lot) terrified. You know that person that makes all of the announcements and closes the main cabin door and is the go-to person when it comes to communicating with the flight deck?? That was me.
As we boarded our first flight of the day, to Toronto, I nervously clung to my cue cards, scared to death of making my very first PA. I have made my share of announcements in the past working for my former airline. It was different here though, as I was working for an airline that prides itself on being fun and entertaining. Most flight attendants throw their personal touch into their announcements, actually forcing the passengers to pay attention to the usually-ignored safety demo. But I was the new girl, who didn't have my announcements memorized, and I was going by the book. The time had come, and hands shaking, I picked up the phone. I did it! I said everything that I was supposed to, and nobody had even stopped to listen. The hardest part was over. Sure, I still had many more to make, but getting past the first one is always the most difficult. I closed the door on my very first try, and before I knew it, we were in Toronto! Just one more flight, and we'd be home! The last flight of our last day of my first pairing, and I was feeling far more confident in my role. It felt good to be back.
We landed into Calgary, and after I'd made my final PA, I handed the phone to my lovely trainer to make the French announcement. Once he'd finished, he announced to the entire cabin that I was the newest flight attendant and asked for a round of applause. The cabin erupted into a loud symphony of applause, as I felt my face turning ridiculously bright red. Embarrassing, yes, but the warm and fuzzy, happy type of embarrassed. As we disembarked, each person congratulated me and wished me luck. I'd done it! I'd officially finished all of the steps of training, and I was now a real, active flight attendant!! What a great feeling.
Hugs and goodbyes with the crew followed, and then I was on my way home!
I'm so proud and excited to be a part of this airline, and I know that fun times lie ahead!