As you may have noticed, it’s been pretty quiet over here on The Dubai Diaries. I’m sure I don’t need to mention why, but as you can imagine the aviation industry has been impacted hugely by the COVID-19 pandemic.
I am very fortunate to still have a job, unlike many of my friends and colleagues who have sadly been made redundant. However, in comparison to my usual busy rosters, I’ve hardly been flying since March, although slowly things are starting to pick back up a little. That’s not to say more redundancies won’t happen; at this point it seems nobody knows when the airline industry will recover. I can only keep my fingers crossed that I am one of the lucky ones who gets to keep this job that I love so much.
In January I was finally rostered a new destination – Houston!
Since I’ve upgraded to working in business class I’ve been solely on the A380, and with only around 30 destinations it’s easy to get rostered the same places each month. Houston only switched over to the 380 at the beginning of December so I was excited to be going somewhere new!
The flight is I believe the longest we have (along with Dallas) and clocks in at over 16 hours! That’s a very long time to be on a plane – not counting the hour or so before that we’re preparing everything onboard!
On most US flights the route takes us over the North Pole, and the view is always incredible. I’ll never get sick of seeing beautiful snowy peaks and sunrises and sunsets.
The flight itself was a tough one. A full cabin with lots of demanding passengers, wanting to eat everything and anything we had onboard, meant that we didn’t stop for the entire time. We do get a break in our CRC (crew rest compartment; tiny bunk beds enclosed in a tight space in the back of the economy cabin) but what with babies crying, people talking loudly and toilets flushing constantly, it’s hard to get much rest even with earplugs and eyeshades!
I always wonder just how many steps I walk on these never-ending US flights!
We landed into IAH late afternoon, and even after being awake for hours and hours, most of us managed to make it down for dinner. Luckily we didn’t have to walk too far and although it was Saturday night I was far too exhausted to stay for more than one glass of wine!
The next morning we had arranged to meet bright and early to explore NASA, which is located not too far from our hotel. By the time everyone showed up we’d been hanging around for nearly 2 hours and at a total of 10 people, were 6 more than originally planned! Nevertheless, we booked 2 big hire cars and off we went.