Flying standby the biggest scam of the cabin crew world

Yes you’re right I should go on holiday and use those ID90 tickets I’m entitled to. After all I’m a flight attendant and I should go on a holiday somewhere and take a break from work. But my work is like being on holiday already. I would be taking a holiday from a holiday. That doesn’t make sense.

I should travel the world, see places and discover people. Because that’s what the perks of this job are about. Meeting people and experiencing their culture, their cuisine. But seriously from what I have seen from these people on board. I have no wish to experience their culture or meet them in real life. If you call the people who are travelling my guests and they behave like wild animals then what is left out there of the civilised world?

I could go to

Thailand? Nah too humid. My hair would be a mess. India? Nah too dirty. China? Nah too much bargaining, people would rip me off. UK? Too grey, I’ll be suicidal when I’m back. Paris? Nah. Too many strikes. Australia? Nah. Risk a fine for a forgotten packet of nuts in my suitcase. Mauritius? Nah. Too many immigration forms to fill. Canada. Nah. Too cold. Sao Paulo? Nah. 18h to go and 18 to come back. USA? Nah. Risk a gunshot. So not worth it. Singapore? Too expensive. Well. I’m left with no great choice.

I clearly prefer to discover the corners of my italian mattress and immerse myself in the universal culture of sleep and cocooning. The surface of my 100% egyptian cotton bed sheet offers safety and comfort. The chinese air conditioning system works perfectly well and offers me fresh air like in the arctics. The swedish pot pourri I bought from IKEA gives a fresh scent to my room. I couldn’t ask for more. I get unlimited refills of Laurent Perrier too. 

Peace, quietness. What could I ask for more. Silence is the most expensive thing I own.

Why would I chose the hassle of going on a holiday when I can relax at home. You have no idea what a nightmare it is to go on a holiday when you’re a flight attendant. First you have to apply for leave. Which is granted according to seniority. This means an immortal old witch who even on her deathbed won’t retire might have applied at the same period as me and if the demand is too high for this same schedule. I have to change my timings. Great start. OK I change my schedule. Now the destination. Where could I possibly fly and relax. Somewhere passengers wouldn’t have made my life too miserable on board. Clearly your behaviour on board reflects the kind of behaviour I can expect on ground. No? Then why do act like prehistoric cave people when I’m only here to work?

Plus going on holiday is so stressful. I have my ticket but that doesn’t mean I’m gonna be on board. Flying for free means flying standby. With airlines overbooking their flights, chances are I might be at the airport at 6 in the morning but fly at 6 in the evening again depending on seniority. I might be flying since 3 years but that’s like 3 months in the seniority hierarchy. Even if there is a seat in business class. I’m not upgradable. I’m entitled to a crew seat. That same seat I use when I work. For takeoff and landing it’s fine. A mere 10 minutes. But think what it’s like sitting on it for 12 long hours. It’s like being on the electrical chair. You agonise like a lamb in silence and your body is a pack of minced meat when you reach your destination.

Now the budget. Going on holiday requires a fat purse. People who sell you budget holidays are liars. I’m not staying in a crappy youth hostel with bed bugs and no AC. You can’t expect me to sleep on single beds when I always get queen size. Forget the 40% discount on room service  Pepper-Crusted Cowboy Rib Eye with Shiitake Mushroom Butter or Grilled Salmon and Thyme Juice. Where am I going to eat? On the streets and risk food poisoning. Dysentery is the least souvenir I want to bring back home from my holiday.

I should have saved the meal allowances I’ve been spending on safaris its true. But when you land in Nairobi and you finally meet one nice crew member you can bond with, who does not wake your inner Dexter to dismember them, throw them in the sea after wrapping them in plastic bags you would go for it too. Now that’s why I have no wish to go on holiday. I’ve already seen it all.

Go on holiday you said. More like go on hell-a-day. There is one destination I know I can go hassle free. Zero commission charges at the currency bureau. No immigration forms to fill. No restrictions on the goods to declare at customs. 180° lie flat. I just booked my ID90, destination my bed.


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