Why I love my job

Why I Love My Job

Linda Luftikuss
4 minutes

“Choose a job you love, and you will never have to work a day in your life.” Words to live by. If you want me to ignore you and/or swiftly terminate our Facebook friendship, that is. And yet, it’s still the best introduction to what I want to tell you today about my job as a flight attendant. Put simply – it’s amazing! Even when I don’t have multi-day layovers or dine in first class all the time like my long-haul colleagues, I would still rather do my job than many others.

Firstly, I’m always working with different colleagues and passengers. Every crew configuration is unique. This is done deliberately, by the way – it stops things from becoming too routine and thus helps to prevent mistakes. 98 percent of my colleagues are absolute gems whom I love working with. And when I encounter the remaining two percent, I’m comforted by the fact that I’ll be assigned to a different team during my next shift. It’s a known fact that your day depends entirely on your colleagues. The diversity of crew and passengers makes for an extremely varied working environment. If the crew get along well – or even extremely well –, that also has an effect on the atmosphere inside the plane. I can’t quite explain why that is: perhaps because the passengers are constantly observing us? For many of them, of course, flying is something they do just once or twice a year, and they are naturally interested in what’s going on around them and what kind of mood the cabin crew are in. A positive atmosphere is important for passengers, especially those who feel uneasy on board an aircraft and who take their cues from us and from our reactions to what’s going on. Friends and acquaintances are always telling me that they feel calmer when they see the flight attendants looking relaxed; it reassures them that everything’s all right. And if the crew appear to be enjoying themselves, interacting with the passengers can be even more fun.

Secondly, my working hours vary from day to day. Sometimes I work just two legs, or two flights. Sometimes I do four in one day. When my day includes flying once to London, that’s great, as it means it’s going to be a short day. If I’m travelling to Las Palmas, on the other hand, I’ll be flying just two legs, but they’ll be two long ones. I prefer a combination of long and short flights. The variety keeps things interesting.

Thirdly, there are always different passengers on board. This follows on directly from my second point. Travelling to London, for example, feels different from travelling to Lisbon. London-bound passengers are a mix of locals, businesspeople and tourists, whereas people travelling to Lisbon are mainly tourists, with a sprinkling of locals. Most destinations also have their stereotypes. English people wear flip-flops in December. Some passengers from southern European countries hustle and bustle around during boarding and tend to bring a lot of hand luggage. Croatians are very good humoured, friendly travellers who are unfazed even by long delays.

Fourthly, I work shifts. Yes, this is one of the great things about my job. Those of us who are out and about at odd times don’t have to deal with rush hour traffic or crowded shops. Fancy a peaceful stroll around the town centre on a Tuesday morning? No problem – everyone else is at work and the shops are empty. High five! I can always get a table in my favourite café and, apart from a couple of mums and pensioners, the gym is mine … all mine!

The best thing about my job is simply that there’s no such thing as a typical day. The variety means that the time literally flies. And once I’ve finished work, I forget about it. As soon as I finish my shift, get into my car and leave the airport, I’m mentally ready for whatever the afternoon brings.

There is of course, one more thing that makes this job one of the best in the world: easy, affordable personal travel. As I write this, I’m sitting in the business lounge of a major American city, about to fly Business Class to Germany. For less than 200 euros. Even better: the price doesn’t change whether I plan a trip a few months in advance or decide two hours before takeoff that I want to visit a particular destination. The travel perks are an incredible privilege that I never take for granted.

In the next issue, I’ll tell you about a typical flight to Turkey and you’ll understand why I sometimes need a few extra hours’ sleep!

Always happy landings, 
Yours, Linda Luftikuss

Cover picture Unsplash – Gerrie van der Walt

by Linda Luftikuss

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