A day in the life of a flight attendant

  • ILLUSTRATIONS GUTENTAG-HAMBURG.DE

Every movement, every command on board has to be pitch perfect, just like the crew uniforms – and particularly on long flights. A comic strip from the Business Class

Nonstop you: A day in the life of a flight attendant
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Nonstop you: A day in the life of a flight attendant: Flight preparations at home on my computer

Thursday, 03:00 pm
Flight preparations at home on my computer. The aircraft is nearly fully booked: 3/35/20/270. Economy is overbooked, there will be some upgrades. 8 Senators, 8 children, including 2 infants – we will need 2 cots. There is 1 cat in the cabin, 1 dog in the hold.

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Nonstop you: A day in the life of a flight attendant: Pack my case, pack my flight kit, shower, put on my uniform, have supper with the family.

04:00 pm
Pack my case, pack my flight kit, shower, put on my uniform, have supper with the family.

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Nonstop you: A day in the life of a flight attendant: Check in the Lufthansa Base, check my mail box, collect the flight documents.

07:20 pm
Check in the Lufthansa Base, check my mail box, collect the flight documents. I register at the Operations Desk, the central desk for all crew members, and we receive the official guidelines for Brazil – plus pump bottles of anti-mosquito spray.

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Nonstop you: A day in the life of a flight attendant: The cabin crew briefing starts.

08:25 pm
The cabin crew briefing starts. The purser explains the passenger list and goes through the guests with us: special requests, pre-ordered services, languages. What’s important is to ensure considerate proximity, pleasant demeanor. Where are children or guests who need special attention sitting in the cabin? The three pilots arrive, the captain gives a few details: flight time, route, weather.

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Nonstop you: A day in the life of a flight attendant: Security screening.

08:55 pm
Security screening. Then it’s time to get on the crew bus and drive to the aircraft.

09:05 pm
Arrival at the aircraft. Checklists are being ticked off, there is a sense of highly concentrated work. We check the food with the Catering Agent. Check the special meals, inspect the galleys: drinks, tools, kitchen appliances. Security Search: each crew member checks one section of the cabin: seat-back pockets, seats, concealed spaces. Are the life vests properly sealed in their packs? The purser signs the "search completed" document.

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Nonstop you: A day in the life of a flight attendant: The gate opens, the passengers start boarding.

09:30 pm
The gate opens, the passengers start boarding.

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Nonstop you: A day in the life of a flight attendant: Final checks: safety belts, slide pressure, ovens in the galleys, lights, warning systems, medical case, first aid kit, the seals on the oxygen bottles.

09:30 pm
Final checks: safety belts, slide pressure, ovens in the galleys, lights, warning systems, medical case, first aid kit, the seals on the oxygen bottles. This is followed by the safety announcements – there’s no time to lose!

09:55 pm
The purser gives the command “cabin crew, all doors in flight”. Push-back. The jumbo starts rolling.

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Nonstop you: A day in the life of a flight attendant: The aircraft reaches the start of the runway.

10:05 pm
The aircraft reaches the start of the runway. The flight attendants report “cabin clear” to the cockpit – and we’re ready for take-off.

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Nonstop you: A day in the life of a flight attendant: We have reached our cruising altitude of roughly 10 000 meters.

10:30 pm
We have reached our cruising altitude of roughly 10 000 meters: galley briefing in the different classes – which dishes, which wines.

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Nonstop you: A day in the life of a flight attendant: Service and on-board sales commence.

10:40 pm
Service and on-board sales commence. Menus are handed out, drinks poured, recommendations made and orders taken. In Business Class the tables are set for each guest; food and drink is served on request, not from a trolley, but individually from trays. One flight attendant looks after around a dozen passengers; they are his or her guests – almost as if they had been invited to the attendant’s home for an evening meal.

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Nonstop you: A day in the life of a flight attendant: End of service.

Friday, 00:50 pm
End of service. Prepare the galley buffet and snacks, juice trolley service, the crew have their supper. The cabin lights are dimmed. The flight attendants make double sure that nobody who needs anything is overlooked.

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01:20 am
Watch and break time. The crew is divided into two watches: each watch has three hours of rest and 10 minutes transition: all Lufthansa jets used on long-haul flights have special rest cabins for the crew.

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Nonstop you: A day in the life of a flight attendant: Breakfast service, wake the guests, go through travel documents with the passengers, hand out jackets.

07:40 am
Breakfast service, wake the guests, go through travel documents with the passengers, hand out jackets. The crew help to return the seatbacks to the upright position, the galleys are tidied up.

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Nonstop you: A day in the life of a flight attendant: The aircraft lands.

09:44 am
The aircraft lands.

10:25 am
The crew disembarks, pass through immigration.

12:30 pm
Arrival at the hotel.
It is seven thirty in the morning in São Paulo.

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