May 7, 2009

Postcards, Tour Groups & the Dedicated Spotter Award

Well, where to start?

I had a great trip, with a really good crew, and awesome passengers. We had a daytime flight on the biggest Airbus my company flies, and were preparing to be pretty busy as is usually the case on these daytime trans-continental flights. Normally on the "Bus" we fit about 270 or so down back, but on this flight we were full in the front cabins and only had about 200 down the back. So it wasn't so crowded as to be crazy-busy.

I was still expecting things to be pretty full on though, as we serve complimentary alcoholic drinks as part of the premium service. Of course the passengers take full advtange of this and enjoy a wine or two with their lunch or dinner. (We have to be careful, as some will ask each of us for two or three drinks, potentially getting 8-12 drinks in a flight, so we must pay attention)

The crew were great, we were from 3 different bases which can sometimes be hit and miss, but these guys were fine! I flew with 2 girls from my base who I hadn't flowm with before, and they were really fun. We had time to chat on our break and just had a good time. We had some cute families on board, and a really nice elderly couple whose daughter was travelling with them. They were such dears, we had to open their cutlery and ice cream for them because I don't think they'd ever seen a Cornetto before! At the end of the flight, I found out that their daughter was turning around and going straight home again, she just wanted to make sure they'd be ok on the flight over! Isn't that sweet? (Not to mentione expensive! But, it's the only way to do it if you want to be absolutely sure they will get everything they need, as we sometimes get so busy we can't stay to help even if we want to)

One of my colleagues happened to mention a passenger who had asked if we could find out some information from the captain. This passenger was a bit of an aircraft enthusiast, and he had a folder with lists of all the aicraft types, airlines and registrations he'd EVER flown on, as well as departure airports, arrival airports and anything else you could think of. (AviationCrazy, you would have been impressed!) So of course we offered to take his folder up to the guys up front, who wrote all sorts of things down for him including altitude, speed, fuel figures, all those facts only "plane nerds" like me would appreciate.

I went for a rummage through our amenity box and found a company pen which we gave him. I also went on a mission to find the rare writing paper and envelopes, plus a pack of playing cards, but sadly they hadn't been loaded on that sector. My last idea was that I vaguely remembered putting a company postcard in my bag on my last international trip, so I was hoping to find it and pass it round the crew for them to sign. But again, it wasn't there, and then I remembered that I had to throw it out when a juice spilt in my crew bag :(

Still, the passenger was thrilled when I told him to stop by after landing to say hello to the crew in the flight deck (this is allowed at my airline) and he had the chance to take a few snaps in the flight deck. I wrote down the name of a company that used to do tours of the airport (runways and such) and told him to visit the airport museum. At least one person left the flight happy! While I was in the airport later, I took the chance to drop by the gift shop and bought about 10 postcards to put in my bag, just in case. I never have any in the aircraft when I need them. Besides, I like to be able to bring out something like that as a surprise!

So after the gift shop we jumped in the crew van to the hotel. Was good chit chat with the girls, and as we were on a min rest we decided to just pop over to the restaurant next door and have a drink and a bite to eat. I got a crew discount cocktail (hehe) and we had wedges, fries and some thai entrees. It was really good. But soon it was off to bed for our early pickup. I had a whole Chinese tour group staying on my floor, and boy were they noisy! They were going in and out of each other's rooms, talking loudly and laughing. But bless them, I couldn't be angry, they were probably on the trip of a lifetime, so I just turned up the ocean soundtrack on my iPod louder, and nodded off to sleep pretty much right away.

More about the trip home, and an interesting sign, a little bit later!

(Pictures: A330 Cabin- Swiss Airlines)


  1. "But bless them, I couldn't be angry, they were probably on the trip of a lifetime, so I just turned up the ocean soundtrack on my iPod louder, and nodded off to sleep pretty much right away."
    Bless them? Bless you! I would've screamed and shouted and stomped my feet and chucked a tanty! lol!
    And btw, I though you meant the A380...I was thinking since when did that do Per-Syd flights! :P

  2. Lol, I'm no saint, I've just resigned myself to the fact that chucking a tanty does nothing in this hotel!

  3. You should be the permanent 'Employee of the Year'. 12- 15 drinks sounds like about right!

  4. I would love to be on a flight with you. You go above and beyond. *hugs*

  5. We found the crew you fly with excellent last year when we flew over and you are a great example of how superb they are, but you go way over above and beyond in the call of duty :-)

  6. You are definitely the kind of FA every "crazy plane" nerd passenger like me dreams of coming across. You definitely went out of your way to make that passenger very happy! Even a trip to the flight deck to meet the flight deck crew and photos too!!You bet I would have been impressed!!

  7. You are such a GOOD FA! How nice are you Tray?! I fly off next Friday on the A380. I am BEYOND excited!!!!!!

  8. As you may know, I have been logging my backseat flights for a half century, and have even put some pages of the 'backseat' logbook on the net here:

    In the old days I could easiy get a tail number walking across to the ramp to board the plane. Then came jetways where sometimes you could see the reg number from the terminal but often not, so I got in the habit of asking the FA for the tail number of the plane.

    Believe it or not, somehow this got associated with the WTC attack. I have NO idea how. So now I usually pass the FA a note explaining WHY I want the tail number. If I am in a good mood I will sometimes explain that I have G-BOAC and ZU-BEX in said logbook (both supersonic flights). This has in fact resulted in several invitations to the front deck upon landing, which I am always pleased to do unless I have a 40 minute connection in a different terminal.

  9. L, Don't think that you'll be getting that many from the grandmas ruunning SYD-MEL! :P

    Lori, you never know, isn't Australia onn your 'must see' list?

    Mr Stu, we try, and there are a lot of good reviews on that route =)

    AC, well if you are ever in Aus be sure to let me know, if you fly on one of my flights there will definitely be a visit up the front after landing...

    Thanks Kimmy! You'll have to tell me all about it, can't wait for when I go on Singapore's version!!!

    Fin, sadly the 'anti-terrorist' paranoia has robbed airplane enthusiasts of many of their simple joys :( ZU-BEX??? What's that??

  10. ZU-BEX is a South African registered English Electric Lightning. We took off from Capetown [side by side seating] after a 2 hour briefing on using the ejection seat, mae west, oxygen and four point harness, and two minutes later we were at 61,000 feet.

    We got up to Mach 1.4 and I had a chance to hand fly it for over half an hour, aileron rolls included. Definitely an E ticket ride!

  11. Posts like this one make me really want to be crew, more so than I already do! Crew like you really do make your passengers' days, and its any airline's loss to miss out on you, any airline would be lucky to have you! Hope your possible adventure to Etihad works out, they'd do well to have you as one of their "hosts"!


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