Tuesday, December 1, 2015

My Favorite Things: Perfect Storm

Sometimes, things really come together well; a perfect storm of perfection. With so many components and opportunities for trouble, it's a wonder a first class service on an airliner ever happens seamlessly.
Perfect skies

It's an easy day with a flight long enough to do a meal service without having to rush. The crew are fun and cheerful. The gate agent is upbeat and attentive. The passengers board and are in a good mood, talkative and smiling. The pilots arrive and give a thorough briefing, ask for very little and are supportive in our needs.

The bins are shut early and still have room to spare. The aircraft door is closed and we hammer out the safety demo; read flawlessly. My first class passengers smile and say thank you as I pick up their cups. The taxi is without delay and the takeoff is into blue skies with no turbulence.

I make the in-flight announcement and leave the jump seat when it's safe to get up. I start the oven timer for the warm nuts, close the first class curtains, wash my hands and put my smock on. As I take meal orders, the passengers are still happy and enjoy a bit of banter as I ask about drinks and mention the meal options. Everyone gets their first choice, despite the ever-looming possibility that everyone will want the same meal choice.

In the galley, I take out the ice and glasses and start cooking the meals. I deliver hot towels and then pick them up. I check the meals to make sure they are cooking properly and remove the nuts from the oven, making sure the bread is perfectly warm before turning that oven off (there are 2). Drinks get delivered 2 seats at a time along with nuts and I make sure to call each person by name, as well as the drink I'm delivering.

Once all passengers have their drinks, I run out seconds, while constantly keeping an eye on the food in the oven. I pride myself on cooking meals to perfection. My pasta is always hot, never dry. By the time this is done, the meals are ready. I deliver meals, taking additional drink orders as I run the trays out. After the final tray is delivered, I remove the cookies from the chiller and place them on the pans to bake, which takes 20 minutes. By this time, the first passengers I served dinner to are finished eating. As I remove their trays I inquire as to whether or not they would like coffee or tea. When the timing is really perfect, the cookies are done baking just as I load the last dirty tray back into the cart. Again, I pride myself on perfect cookies. I place them on the plates, and deliver them. They are warm, fluffy and slightly chewy.

At this point, I check on the flight. I want to know how much time is remaining and need to see if they are done serving in coach. Sometimes, I can help pick up trash in coach at this point, but usually they are already done. I also check on the pilots. As I pick up the last of the trash and the cookie plates from my first class passengers, I make one last check on drinks.

The bulk of my work is now done. On shorter flights, it's almost time to land. On longer ones, I have a chance to eat, sit down for a bit or socialize with my crew or passengers. I like to personally welcome high-yield passengers in the main cabin and offer them a drink and check with those in need of a wheel chair. Personal attention is always my goal.

Soon, the plane descends and the ground looms larger through the small door porthole windows. I pick up the remaining service items, hand out any coats I hung during boarding and complete safety checks prior to touchdown.

As my passengers disembark, I thank each one personally, attempting to use a different parting comment so that no one passenger hears the same comment; good bye, thanks for joining us today, enjoy your evening, we appreciate your business, take care, see you soon, so long, see you next time; repeat. Most days, I receive compliments on my announcements and shake the hands some extend to me as they thank me for a great flight. Success!

It's hardly like a job when it all runs like this; and fortunately, it happens often. It helps that I love my job and that I'm organized and, if I may say so, myself, such a great flight attendant. It's like hosting a little dinner party for strangers but in a metal tube careening through the atmosphere. On a perfect day, when it all comes together, there is nothing like working in the skies over the Earth. It's my favorite!


  1. Beautiful when things fall into place.

  2. Beautifully told details of your job. You are good at what you do...the love shines through!

  3. Beautifully told details of your job. You are good at what you do...the love shines through!