Well hello there – and welcome back to my blog! It’s certainly been a while since I’ve updated anything on here, and this will be my first post of 2021, oops! I never meant to go so quiet, but as you can imagine, I’ve not been flying very much. Slowly things are starting to pick up and I’m seeing more and more flights on my roster, but since we are still not allowed to leave the hotel on our layovers, I don’t have a whole lot to update you on!
Flights are gradually getting back to normal, although we still have to wear our full PPE (mask, gloves, gown and visor) and of course passengers still have to wear a mask. More destinations are opening up though which is a great sign, and I’m hopefully that eventually things will get back to normal. Let me tell you, I’ll never spend another layover in my hotel room again!
Believe it or not, this month I have an *almost* normal roster – quite a few flying hours, which makes for a nice change. Especially since we get paid depending on how much we fly; it’s been over a year since a normal salary.
So if everything goes to plan and no flights get removed (fingers crossed!) in May I’ll be heading to:
JFK – New York, USA
AMM – Amman, Jordan (turnaround)
HAM – Hamburg, Germany
BP – Business Promotion Event
DMM – Dammam, Saudi Arabia (turnaround)
LUN-HRE – Lusaka, Zambia – Harare, Zimbabwe
IKA – Tehran, Iran
I was actually quite excited when I got my roster, as whilst I have been flying a fair amount the past few months, this is the busiest roster I’ve seen since the pandemic!
Welcome back to another roster post! This year has been quite different in terms of rostering, as I’m sure you’ve noticed by now. Slowly but surely, however, things are starting to get back on track a little bit and I’m actually getting a few flights when the roster comes out each month.
This November I’ve had the most flying hours I’ve had all year (well, does January/February even count as this year? It seems like another world away!), with 3 ULR (ultra long range) flights to Houston, Sydney and Chicago.
It’s made me realise just how much I miss flying, and I can’t wait for things to get back to normal, whenever that may be! On that note, my December roster looks like this:
SEP – Exams
FRA – Frankfurt, Germany
CAI – Cairo, Egypt (turnaround)
KRT – Khartoum, Sudan (turnaround)
Starting off the month with my yearly exams, which means it’s time to study! Once a year we have to renew our licenses and make sure we are fully updated on all safety and emergency procedures (SEP). Normally it’s two full days in training college, but due to the pandemic this year the majority needs to be done online beforehand, and then we just have one day in college for exams and some practicals.
My first flight of the month is a 48 hour layover to Frankfurt, Germany. I was there just the month before last, and as usual for all of our layovers these days, I wasn’t able to leave the hotel. I don’t anticipate things changing on that front any time soon, but you never know. I’m itching to get back out and explore, and normally Germany in December would be perfect for a visit to the Christmas markets. Sadly I think that won’t be an option this year!
Up next is a turnaround to Cairo, which is an overnight flight. Flight time should be around 3 hours each way, plus we stay on ground while the cleaners come on and prepare the aircraft for the return sector.
That leads nicely into my annual leave, which unfortunately doesn’t fall over Christmas this year. I was lucky enough to have Christmas off last year, and in our job it’s always a gamble as to whether or not you’ll be off for birthdays, Christmas and special occasions! The UAE has opened up a travel corridor with the UK, which means I’ll be able to fly home and spend time with my family without having to quarantine.
I was actually rostered a Düsseldorf layover directly after my leave over Christmas, but this has been removed, which has left me with some reserve days. I’ll try to extend my leave so I can stay home a few extra days and perhaps even for Christmas Day!
Next up is the last flight of the month, a turnaround to Khartoum, Sudan. I don’t remember ever having done this flight before, but according to the crew portal I’ve actually done it twice! It’s a fairly long day at around 4 hours flight time each way, but nevertheless I’m happy to have all the hours I can get these days.
And just like that, the final roster of 2020 is here! What a crazy year it’s been for everyone, and especially so for the aviation industry. Onwards and upwards for 2021, I think things can only get better from here!
I thought it might be fun to share a kind of “day in the life” post about my role as cabin supervisor. Somehow it’s been more than a year since I did my training, and I was able to finish my 6 month probation period just in time before all flights got put on hold. So I thought I’d give you a bit of an idea of what my job entails now.
Let’s start with before the flight. The same as when I was working in any other cabin, I need to make sure my cabin bag is prepped and ready to go, which means making sure my waistcoat is clean and ironed, shoes are polished, and all other items are available. One additional step I have now is charging my company provided “KIS” tablet. This is an HP tablet which is given to the seniors (pursers and cabin supervisors) for use on the flights, you can check all of the passenger information as well as lots of details about each specific destination, all of our manuals and much more. Due to the pandemic, we are currently not using our waistcoats as we are provided with single use disposable gowns, as well as masks, gloves and a visor. Out of habit I still pack my waistcoat, just in case!
The second last roster of the year is already here! I’m sure I say it in every post but I just can’t quite believe how quickly this year has sped by.
I have so many posts to catch up on – mainly from my incredible holiday to the Dominican Republic with Lizzie, my sister, but I promise I will get round to posting them eventually.
As you may know, I started my new role as Cabin Supervisor in October. It’s been a big change and a new challenge for me but so far I’ve been thoroughly enjoying it!
Rather annoyingly I got barotrauma and was signed off for a week by the doctor, so missed out on one of my flights home. Of course, health comes first and there’s nothing worse than flying with blocked ears.
As for next month, I got quite a few of my bids (as well as some not-so-desirable turnarounds thrown in there!) so I’m quite happy with my roster. I’ll be jetting off to:
ZRH – Zurich, Switzerland
ZRH – Zurich, Switzerland
MRU – Mauritius
STN – London Stansted, UK
IST – Istanbul, Turkey (Turnaround)
IST – Istanbul, Turkey (Turnaround)
STN – London Stansted, UK
Starting off with two trips to Zurich, Switzerland. By this time Autumn will be in full swing and I’m looking forward to some crisp cold weather and perhaps a delicious cheese fondue!
In between the two flights I have a few days off and my cousin Sarah is coming to stay with me in Dubai, so it’ll be round two of tourist duties, after my brother and his girlfriend came in September. We’re having a little staycation for one night in a hotel though so I can’t wait!
After that is Mauritius – a destination I haven’t been to in quite a while! I can’t wait – we stay at a lovely resort right on the beach and I plan to fully maximise my relaxation time.
Following on from my mini holiday in the sun, I have a flight to Stansted, home! Sadly the layover has been reduced from 30 hours to 24 hours (due to the launch of the second daily flight in summer) but it’s still great that I get paid to fly home and spend time with my family.
Next up – two turnarounds to Istanbul! I’ll be honest, not my favourite flight, as it’s a very long day (4,5 hours flight time each way) and quite tiring. I actually had Beirut (also a turnaround) instead of the second Istanbul, but just got a roster change.
Last up is another Stansted layover. Some of my siblings should be at home at the same time which will be lovely.
Before we know it it’ll be time for the December roster, Christmas, New Year’s, and then 2020!
It’s going to be a very short post for next month as I’ll not be flying much in September, just 3 flights in fact!
So this is how my month looks:
MED – Medina, Saudi Arabia
CPT – Cape Town, South Africa
KWI – Kuwait, Kuwait
Starting off the month with a quick turnaround to Medina and back, hopefully an easy afternoon at work.
Following on from that…. I have my Cabin Supervisor training! I’m equally nervous and excited, and very much looking forward to learning lots of new skills. I’m ready for a change and this will most definitely be it!
After 3 years in First Class (the longest I’ve spent in any cabin) it will certainly be different going back to work in economy and business, albeit this time being the one in charge!
The training takes just over 2 weeks, so I’ll be spending plenty of time in Dubai at training college. If it goes a bit quiet over here on The Dubai Diaries for the next few months, it’s because of this. We have a 6 month probation period with a final review and assessment at the end.
My last couple of flights working in first class will then be to Cape Town and Kuwait. I actually was originally rostered LAX but I’ve been doing so many long haul flights recently that when someone sent me a swap for those two I immediately accepted.
Cape Town is one of my favourite destinations anyway, so I’m sure it’ll be a great trip. Last up is a quick turnaround to Kuwait and back, and that will be my final flight working in first class!