I thought it would be fun to do another diary style post of a day in the life on a longer flight, this time to Perth!
The departure time for this flight was 02:45, and we need to be at headquarters 2 hours before departure. Since my sister was staying with me in Dubai, we’d had a busy couple of days! I usually try to get a few hours rest before night flights, and make sure my suitcase is packed and ready to go beforehand.
Once I arrived at HQ and checked in for the flight, I headed to the briefing room for the mandatory pre-flight briefing. We have half an hour or so getting to know the rest of the crew, answering our “safe talk” question (which could be anything related to safety and emergency procedures, security questions, or medical situations) and checking out all of the passenger information. The flight was pretty much full in business and economy, although we had a nice light load in first class with only 6 out of 14 seats booked.
Once we leave headquarters, we’re taken by bus to the aircraft where we put away our things and make sure everything is prepared for when the passengers come onboard. This includes checking all the catering (I was assigned the galley position in first class, which I quite enjoy!) as well as making sure everything is clean, and we have all of the items prepared such as pyjamas and slippers, kit bags, magazines and newspapers and Arabic coffee and dates ready to go.
Flight time to Perth is just over 10 hours, so once everyone is onboard and all of our pre-departure duties are carried out, we can secure the cabin and prepare for take-off!
The service in first class is a little different to business and economy, as we offer a “dine on demand” concept. This basically means our passengers can choose to eat whatever they like at any point throughout the flight. Since it’s the middle of the night when we leave Dubai though, most of them just want to go straight to sleep, so we make their seats into beds in first class.
As we’re not too busy, I pop downstairs (we’re on the A380, so first and business is upstairs and economy is the whole lower deck) to help out in economy. We have a CRC (Crew Rest Compartment) on this flight, which means we will get a break to lie down and have a sleep. So the quicker we finish the service, the sooner we can start the breaks! I’m on second break, so head back upstairs to make sure everything is ok while one of the other first class crew is on break.
It’s pretty quiet, so we keep ourselves awake with plenty of cups of tea and coffee. At some point I pop into the cockpit to say hello to the pilots. There are three of them on this flight, so they take it in turns going for their break.
Eventually it’s also time for my break, and I fall right to sleep! Sometimes it can be pretty hard to sleep in the bunks, as it may be daytime and your body just isn’t tired, or sometimes there can be turbulence which always seems to start just as you lie down!
The break is over before I know it, and it’s back to work. Slowly passengers are starting to wake up, so I make sure the galley is nice and tidy and ready for any meals that need to be heated up and plated. As I mentioned, they can order at any time, so when heating meals you need to remember what has been in the oven for how long, and make sure everything is ready at the same time.
Before landing a couple of passengers want to take a shower, so we make sure the shower spa area is prepared – basically it’s normally set up as a social area/bar with drinks and snacks, so we remove everything and put up some flowers and lemongrass tea.
Once all the showers are done, meals have been served, and the captain has made his PA that we are about to start descent, it’s time to clear everything away and prepare the cabin for landing. It’s been a long 10 hours but finally we’re approaching Perth!
Once we touchdown, pull into our gate and the seatbelt sign is off, passengers start to disembark. On the upper deck there’s our first class customers to say good-bye to, as well as 76 passengers in business. Finally it’s time to head through immigration (thankfully Perth is a pretty small airport and we’re through in just a few minutes!) and catch the bus to the hotel. Perfect timing for a well-deserved sunset drink with the crew.
My layover was pretty uneventful – I went for a delicious coffee and breakfast and had a lovely stroll through the city, doing a spot of shopping.
I hope you enjoyed this little insight into my working day!