Thursday, 20 November 2014

Fun and Laughter in Tampa.

Last weekend, I was due to spend three days sitting at home on home standby waiting for that dreaded call. Lucky for me, a few days before that, I was woken up to a message from my friend Paul (Hi Paul if you are reading thisss!!) on my training course asking if I was on his flight to Tampa that Saturday. I quickly checked my roster to find that I had indeed been switched onto a flight with him. A chance to fly with someone I knew and spend a few days in Florida instead of home standby? I had gotten lucky. 

When it got to the flight briefing, me and Paul were obviously the last to choose our positions on board. Luckily, when the crew realised that me and Paul were still relatively new, they were happy to switch around the positions so we weren’t completely in the deep end. I ended up as number 3 and as I had already done the position before, I was happy. Paul was number 7 so it meant we were both down the back in the World Traveller Plus/World Traveller cabin. It also meant we had to attempt doing duty-free by ourselves. At least we had each other. 

The flight itself was relatively pain-free, and it was lovely to work with someone who had been through the training recently. I think older crew sometimes forget what it is like to be new, and expect us to know exactly what we need to do at all times. So it was very nice and refreshing having someone else, who at times was just as clueless as I was. Ha. Before we had got off the aircraft, we had already decided that we were going out that night, making the most of our time in Tampa. Our Purser was also up for going out, and as he had been to Tampa quite a few times before, he knew exactly where to take us.

We got to the hotel, got rid of our suitcases, and went straight down to the bar. We sat outside which meant we could drink the alcohol we purchased on the plane to save us a bit of money. I later discovered that that was a very wise idea. Just before we hopped into a taxi to go out, we decided to buy a Jagerbomb each at the bar. Two Jagerbombs cost us over $20…

So we hopped into a taxi and ended up at City Side which is a gay bar with karaoke. Our Purser and Paul sang a few songs (the crowd loved it!) and after a few drinks, we stumbled onto the dance floor and danced like there was no tomorrow. We literally died of happiness when our requested song (anything by Bastille) came on. Oh the little things. After the song, we hit the wall and decided to call it a night. Well our Purser did. Me and Paul decided at 1.30 in the morning that we wanted food. 

You wouldn’t think it would be that hard to get some fast food in America. How wrong we were. We ended up going to McDonalds, Burger King and Taco Bell, in hope of something. The restaurants were closed but the drive-through open, yet nobody would serve us! Without a car, we were refused. Even when Paul tried to bribe a worker, they were having none of it. Our last resort was Walgreens, where we ended up trying on Christmas hats and left with a multipack of twix and some ice-cream. We were so tired we ended up eating a few mouthfuls and then putting it in the fridge(why did we think that would be a good idea?!). 

The next day, I woke up rather later than usual, met the other party animals for a nice breakfast at Panera and spent the rest of the day chilling by the pool. Usually I try to rest before a flight in the evening but Law and Order was on TV and it was too interesting! Thankfully, the flight back wasn’t too exhausting and there were a few lovely passengers on board we got chatting with, so that made the time go a bit quicker. Before long, I was back at Gatwick, ready for my drive home.

All in all, although the trip to Tampa was a short one, I had so much fun and such a great laugh. 

Thursday, 13 November 2014

The Best Trip Yet!…St Lucia

On Saturday, I packed up my suitcase ready for my first trip to St Lucia. I was really looking forward to the trip because the weather in England has progressively gotten more and more cold, and I was in need of some warmth! I was also flying with someone off of my training course! I already knew that the resort that BA put us up in is all inclusive, so I prepared myself for a fun-filled trip.

The flight over to St Lucia was drama free. I was down the back in the Economy cabin and we were completely full, but the crew I was with were lovely. We clicked straight away, and spent the whole time laughing and chatting like we had been friends for ages. By the time we had got to St Lucia, we had planned activities for the rest of the days. 

We arrived mid afternoon, dropped our bags off, showered and headed down to the bar. Although the hotel rooms were nothing special, the rest of the resort more than made up for it. There were multiple bars including a pool bar, an eat as much as you like buffet and fast food shack, a jacuzzi, various swimming pools, a lazy river, slides, and even watersports. I couldn’t quite believe that it was all free. 

We all started by having a few cocktails and then sauntered over to the buffet for dinner. There was a fajita station, the biggest tuna fish I have ever seen waiting to be cooked into steaks, ribs and so many other main meals and desserts to choose from. I am a foodie so I was in heaven! Once we were full, we spent the rest of the night chatting away drinking Kir Royale cocktails and Pina Coladas. As we had had a long flight earlier, we retired to bed sooner than we would have liked but with an eager anticipation for the following day. 

We started the day by having the biggest breakfast buffet I have ever experienced. There was a french toast station, bread station, omelette station, crepe station, smoothie station, scrambled eggs, bacon, fruit, yogurt, pastries. Everything you could want to eat, they had. Once our belly's were satisfied, we spent the rest of the morning juggling our time between sunbathing and going around the lazy river in rubber rings. We had a quick shuttle to Port of Spain in the afternoon, so we didn’t want to tire ourselves out too much...
The shuttle was pain free, and as we had some spare time in Trinidad waiting for the sector back to St Lucia, the Captain asked us if we wanted an engine photo. Hell yes I did!! By the time we got back, the crew that had just arrived to St Lucia that day were at the bar getting in their first round of drinks. I was really surprised to find that another girl from my training course was there! We had a great laugh catching up, surprised that there were three of us from the same training course all in St Lucia together.
The next day after breakfast, it was time for some kayaking. The kayaking staff were lovely and managed to get a few photos of us while we made a fool out of ourselves! We went on the lazy river again, had a few virgin cocktails in the pool bar, and then spent the rest of the afternoon sunbathing at a different pool. Before long it was time to retire to our rooms for some rest before our flight home. 

The flight home was also full and where the passengers were tired, they were a bit more demanding. However, we still had a lovely flight back chatting about what an amazing time we had out in St Lucia. I can definitely say that this was my most favourite trip yet. We were all sad to leave, as it is rare that you get along so well with people you have only just met. One of the girls and I have a Barbados soon though so I’m excited about that! 

 Speak soon,

Monday, 3 November 2014

I got a Golden Ticket on my way to Barbados!!

On Friday, I had my second experience up in Club on a trip to Barbados. It was completely full in Club but as there were only 55 passengers down in World Traveller, we got extra help from some of the crew at the back. I was told the flight is usually never this empty so we were lucky to get the extra hands! So there I was, preparing myself for an easy and drama-free flight. I must have jinxed it because it was not.

There were two passengers that were on staff travel in Club that half-way through the flight ended up getting very drunk. A few of the passengers had begun to complain to us about their loudness. I don’t think they realised how loud they were being, and then they had the cheek to start complaining about the service on board (they weren’t even on a full paying ticket!!). I felt very sorry for the passengers that had actually paid lots of money for the flight, that were now being disrupted by two drunk people. They already had a vendetta against our Cabin Manager because she was apparently rude to them during boarding, so when she came over to tell them to be quiet, it all got very heated. The captain got involved and everything. Drunk people are such a nightmare. Anyway, it ended with the lady bawling her eyes out coming into land because she was worried that she was going to lose her job. Realistically, she was probably going to have her staff travel revoked. I am glad not to be at the airport when she attempts to come home with her partner on a staff ticket. DRAMA. And I thought we were going to have an easy flight. 

However, something else did happen on the flight whilst all that was going on. I got myself a GOLDEN TICKET! If you haven’t watched the show ‘A Very British Airline’ you might not know what one of those are. As part of British Airways executive Club, if you are a Gold Card holder(someone that flies with BA a lot and has a card to prove it), you are given a couple of ‘Golden Tickets’ a year to give to crew on board who you believe have given outstanding customer service. AND I GOT ONE! I don’t believe I done anything particularly special, but he said he was really happy with how friendly and helpful I was. 

Moral: A smile goes a long way. On my last there and back to Nice, we barely had any time for the service, yet a customer told the Purser that he had one of the best flight with BA. When asked why, he was told it was due to the two woman at the back. We didn’t do the service to standard, and we didn’t have any time to chat to the customers, but there must have been something he really liked. Sometimes I don’t think people realise how easy it to pick up on a negative attitude. Stress, annoyance and ignorance are all emotions that we experience often as cabin crew. What I think distinguishes the difference between a good and bad flight attendant, is how we cope with these emotions. The last passenger you serve on board should get the same service as the first person you serve, not have to deal with the baggage of all the situations that have happened in the mean time! 

Anyway, back to my trip to Barbados. By the time we arrived, I was on a high from getting a golden ticket! Since it was still the early evening, we got to the hotel and sat on the beach drinking cocktails. I have to say, it’s probably one of my favourite destinations so far! The atmosphere was great. The hotel was on the beach, there was loud music, places to sit and chat, outdoor bars. The crew were lovely, and as there was another crew that had landed earlier that day, there were quite a few of us! I bumped into my friend from my training course that I had my overnight stay in Jersey with so that was great! I got chatting to a girl who was crew on my flight and we ended up meeting for breakfast and for a sunbathing session the next day. 

Books completed on the trip:The Fault in Our Stars-John Green

Currently reading: The Shock of the Fall - Nathan Filer
As we were leaving around 7pm the next day, we got in all our sunbathing in as soon as we could, and then it was to our rooms for a little nap before our overnight flight back home. It got to around 4pm, I was about to go for a shower and start getting ready, when I noticed a letter had been pushed through my door. Our flight had been delayed! At this point, we were all ready to leave so none of us were impressed. We ended up having an 8 hour delay, and didn't get picked up till 2am.

Luckily the flight back home wasn’t too exhausting. The passengers must have exhausted their energy during the delay at the airport, that most of them slept during the flight. Before I knew it, we had arrived back to Gatwick and it was time to drive home. Even though it was Sunday, I still managed to get stuck in loads of traffic, and two hours after I had swiped out, I finally arrived back. 

All in all it was a lovely trip, lovely crew, topped of with a golden ticket! Perfect.