It’s been over a one month since my first post about being pregnant and working as a Flight Attendant so I thought it would be a good time to give an update on what’s been going on.
I am now 30 weeks pregnant and am now on state disability due to the coronavirus, COVID-19 outbreak. My doctor no longer finds it safe for me to be flying with the unknown of the effects on pregnant women on their unborn child(ren).
With that being said, I’m grateful to be home but with “shelter-in-place” I’m starting to go stir crazy in our one bedroom apartment. I didn’t realize how often I go outside with my little one. I have can’t leave the house because it’s not worth the risk but at the same time I’m desperate for some fresh air. But I’m thankful for mine and my family’s health and I hope this crazy pandemic ends soon for everyone.
The aviation industry is particularly struggling with this COVID-19 virus. Most airlines are operating at the bare minimum and some are even furloughing their flight attendants due to closing bases because they can’t afford to keep their employees. I selfishly feel safe at the current moment only because I’m on state disability but what’s going to happen when I return from my leave? Everything is so uncertain at this time. All we can do is stick together and do what we can to keep our jobs as essential workers.
To all my aviation workers, stay safe, stay healthy, stay positive. I’m thinking of you!
I was fortunate enough to have not one, but two long Philadelphia layovers this month. There was so much to see and do, so much history to take in that I feel I only got a sliver of it done.
Nonetheless, this is a beautiful city and here’s what I was able to accomplish:
First up was the liberty bell. I’ve been to Philly before so I didn’t feel the need to go inside to get a look at the liberty bell but I still wanted to take a glance. It’s located in the independence national historic park. If you’re looking at the liberty bell from the front, behind it is a clear view of independence all.
Then when you’re feeling hungry, you need to go to Reading terminal market to fill all of your cravings.
Old city coffee, Beiler’s, By George, and Iovine juice are my favorites thus far.
There’s so much to see and do that I’m hoping I’ll get another long layover so I can continue my adventuring of this wonderful city.
I’ve never been to Atlanta and I had just enough time to venture out for about an hour or two. I did a quick search on google maps to see what was around my hotel and I found myself at the Centennial Olympic Park. It was absolutely beautiful!
Home of the 1996 Summer Olympics, this park was transformed into a beautiful place everyone can experience on a regular day-to-day life. There were beautiful water fountains, play structures for children, and wide open space to sit and just take in all the history.
There was also the aquarium, Coca Cola factory, and college football hall of fame for other forms of adventures all in one place.
Being a reserve flight attendant means that I can be called at anytime and need to report to the airport within 3 hours. I bet a lot of you are wondering how that works with having a 16 month old son. Well it’s not easy but thankfully I have a lot of family support! Here’s how I plan to survive my September reserve month:
Schedule: this month I’m available to the company every Friday-Monday which means I have every Tuesday-Thursday off. I bid for this schedule intentionally so I could minimize number of days we’d need a babysitter. More weekdays off; prioritize weekend flying.
Bidding for specific assignments: so this one is most important because the day prior I have the choice to input bids for specific trips I want based on what’s available. These trips are usually open due to someone calling in sick, being removed from the trip for any number of reasons, or maybe there was a flight crew legality or weather which made the original crew be reassigned. I prioritize this because 1. I feel like I have a little bit more control over my schedule. 2. I know what my next day trip will be because I chose to work it. 3. It eliminates scheduling calling me in the middle of the night. These trips are given to FA’s in seniority order so I may not get the specific trip but I always try this option first.
Standby duty: if I can’t get a specific trip than I bid for airport standby as my secondary option. This is where I show up at the airport and hangout for 6 hours. During that time if there is any crew issues and someone isn’t able to make the flight than I’d be used to replace that FA. You’re usually assigned a flight within 30 minutes to departure time. So standbys are used as a very last resort. I chose this because it’s less likely to actually get assigned a trip. Again, I bid for this option the day prior to a reserve day so I know what I’m doing. This way I can figure out and make arrangements for babysitting.
Remain on call: this is my last option (hopefully option 1 and 2 work so I never have to use this) but this is basically where I’m at home going about my day and scheduling can call me for a trip within 3 hours once I’m notified. I hate this option because I never know when I’m going to get a call. I could be grocery shopping and I’d need to stop and head to the airport. This option is especially hard with babysitting. Family members babysit when my husband and I can’t be home so I always feel bad asking them to stop their plans to help watch the baby. Its like they’re on reserve too! On days where I’m just waiting around I usually go to a family members house so it’s easier on them. No driving necessary for them. I try to make it as easy and convenient as possible (even if that means it’s more inconvenient for me).
That’s my intended plan on sieving this months reserve. If all goes right I’m hoping we won’t have to rely on babysitters. Stay tuned for updates as to how my plan is working out!
Being a flight attendant sounds like such an amazing job right?! I mean you get to fly around the globe, see amazing places all while being paid. I’m here to provide you with MY version of reality while being a full-time working mom as a professional flight attendant.
I’ll start by stating that my reality of this career is going to be completely different than another flight attendants. Don’t get me wrong, I love my job but there are times when all the glamour goes out of the window and this is nothing but a job. Maybe it’s because of having a family at home or maybe it’s just because there are some different characters out there right now, but nonetheless the job can be pretty brutal at times and I want to share my experience in this career for those who have considered this journey but are unsure if it’s right for them.
Even though there are long days and nights, I would not trade my job for any other (at least during my childbearing years) due to the flexibility that I can finally achieve. The first couple years were definitely a challenge due to being so junior at such a senior base (everything is based on seniority) but now that I’m on my sixth year I’ve earned just enough seniority to allow me the best flexibility that works for my family and I. I’ll elaborate more on this in a future post. Until then, stay tuned for more information as to how I began this crazy journey of being a flight attendant…