Welcome Aboard

Welcome Aboard

Linda Luftikuss
3 minutes

We’re glad to have you on board! I’d like to begin by asking you a quick question. Would you mind if we called each other by our first names? It’s traditional in aviation to be on a first-name basis with your colleagues. Although we set a great deal of store by proper etiquette, we feel that using each other’s first names makes communication easier and removes any hierarchical barriers. So you don’t mind? Good. I’m glad we got that sorted.

My name is Linda Luftikuss and I’m a flight attendant. An air hostess. A trolley dolly, even. It’s all right, I’m allowed to talk like that about my job. Outsiders, however, would be best advised not to make that kind of derogatory remark about a cabin crew member. Doing so just wouldn’t be appropriate. Anyway, from now on, you’ll be flying with me! In this little column, I’ll take you behind the scenes of civilian aviation. One thing’s for certain: there’s no need to worry about your hand luggage here. Whether you’re travelling in economy or business class, feel free to bring on board bags weighing well over 8 kilos – plus, of course, the musical instrument of your choice and Auntie Gertie’s Zimmer frame.

There are a couple of things you should know about me. I’m the woman who greets you with a cheery smile as you board – yes, even at 6 o’clock in the morning. I’m the bubbly one who energetically demonstrates how to fasten and unfasten your seatbelt. And I’m the one who just loves it when parents with babies stand in my tiny galley and take up my entire workspace (all right, that last one was a lie).

You would be correct in thinking that Felicity Flyright isn’t my real name. Personal safety is the be-all and end-all of life in commercial aviation, which is why I’m publishing these exciting insights under this delightful pseudonym. I can tell you, though, that I work for a German airline which flies domestic and international routes every single day. You may be surprised to learn that Germany has 64 such airlines. I know I was. Even Volkswagen has its own air transport service.

I fly exclusively short- and medium-haul routes and I never do layovers. You won’t catch me disappearing into the pilot’s room after a wild night drinking in the hotel bar! Between shifts, I spend nights at home in my own bed. You’re also barking up the wrong tree if you think that co-pilots don’t actually fly the planes. Apparently some people are convinced that flying is a privilege reserved exclusively for pilots. Of course, these pilots have no trouble flying three or more legs per day, or spending five hours jetting over to Hurghada and five hours back. Um… No. The crew members seated in the cockpit are specifically licensed to fly Boeings or Airbuses, so we do let them take the controls occasionally.

So if you’ve ever wondered how I make it through my shift on two hours’ sleep, what constitutes an annoying passenger, and why I love my job despite working shifts, please come fly with me again soon. The next instalment is where things will really start to take off.

Always happy landings, 
Yours, Linda Luftikuss

Cover picture Unsplash – Ernanette Carolino

by Linda Luftikuss

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