Hello Everyone and welcome back on board Crewfie101! Today I am writing this from Miami, Florida. Another new destination! Once again I was called off standby, only surviving 1 minute.
So today I thought I’d write about a day in my life when I complete a short haul trip. I am going to discuss one of my favourite short hauls that I have done recently, a 2 day trip to Manchester. I will only go into the details of day 1 as day 2 is near enough identical to the first, other than the passengers and the laughs that we as the crew had.
Right, lets go.
Flight Number 1/6
I report at 5:55am for the first Manchester of the day so I set my alarm for around 3:55am in the hotel I was staying at near the airport. This gives me 40 minutes to get up and get ready and then an hour and twenty minutes to get to the airport. I get up, shower, shave and get dressed and head for the bus. I hop on and we are whisked to London Heathrow Terminal 5. I arrive at the Airport around thirty minutes later, head straight up to the report centre, where I “swipe” in and have enough time to get a hot chocolate plus a quick bite to eat. Today I am in briefing room 8 and with around fifteen minutes to the report I head there. In the briefing I meet my crew, who I would be spending the next two days and 6 flights with. I knew Phoebe really well having flown with her before and then met the Cabin Manager and Elle who was the fourth member of the crew. We discuss the latest safety and security information then discuss the passenger loads for both of the sectors, up to Manchester and then back to London’s Heathrow. We were nice and quiet on the way up and very busy on the way back. After the briefing we head to Security (Yes, we have to go through the same level of security as passengers) and down to the aircraft today an Airbus A319. Myself and Phoebe were working in the economy cabin, and boy did we have a laugh. We checked the aircraft all over and got the passengers on board. After a short taxi we headed out to Runway 27L and departed. Now on a Manchester, we have to crack on straight away, as soon as the wheels are up, this being due to the flight time being in the region of only 25-30 minutes. We sold a few coffees and teas, and then before we knew it we had to secure the cabin for our landing into Manchester Airport Terminal 3. We landed and Taxied in, disembarked and set the aircraft up for the return sector.
On the ground in Manchester, as one of our customers got off, he commented in the broadest of Northern accents, “That flight was proper lovely! Thank You.”. This would become one of the three standout words of this trip. The other two will be explained in due course. The flight back down was a lot busier, with the A319 nearly full in both cabins. However coming back into London Heathrow, you near enough always, get something called “Holding”. Holding is when you are placed into a stack of aircraft to split them up with enough time in between each aircraft for them to land safely. This meant our flight time was around 45 minutes rather than 25. Hence more time to serve the customers. We landed back into Heathrow early and were on stand bang on time, so the passengers were happy when they got off. After checking the aircraft for any lost property we headed back to the report centre, where we had ninety minutes before our next report for our next flight, again to Manchester. In this break, Phoebe and I had a tradition which was to play cards and for her to beat me quite convincingly. We played the game called “Spoons”. Word number two of this trip. Neither Elle or myself properly understood the rules, so Phoebe won pretty much every time.
On this flight back up to Manchester, our last of the day, we had an aircraft change. This time we would fly up to the north of England on the largest aircraft in the A320 Family , the A321. As this aircraft is larger than our earlier aircraft, we had to pick up some extra crew. We picked up two extra crew who would be returning to London on a there and back. This meant we had to re-brief and assign new positions. We then headed to our new aircraft and checked it over before departing back up to Manchester. The flight time was a tad less than 30 minutes and we had a lot of passengers to serve. The 30 Minute flight time felt like 10. The next second we were on the ground saying goodbye to our last load of customers for the day. After the customers disembarked, we greeted our colleagues who had night stopped in Manchester last night and then headed for the crew bus to the hotel.
Down route Time:
We arrived by around 3 in the afternoon. As we had started at 5am, we decided to take a nap before meeting downstairs around 6 to go for dinner in the city. We met the flight crew and headed to the Alchemist, a British Chain who serve cocktails that bubble and boil as if they were magic potions.. Although all we had to drink was some “Wawter..” (Word 3). We had dinner there and after many, many laughs we headed back to the hotel to get as much sleep as possible given the fact we had to do another 3 sectors. The next morning our wake up call was at 8am.
This brings us to the end of a day in the life of the Short Haul crew member. I really enjoy short haul, especially when you fly with some of the best crew in the business. It’s trips like these that make me realise how much I love my job and my colleagues.
My next post will be another Trip Report, coming tomorrow.. And believe me its a good one.. Another lucky Standby phone call.