Thursday, September 1

What Do I Do When I'm Not Flying?

Hi everyone.

Apologies for not posting on Monday - I was in Johannesburg, South Africa, and even though I could access my blog, it was such a short trip that I decided to make the most of my shopping experience instead of blogging.

Guess who called me shortly before my flight was due to board?

The Oil and Gas Manager! 

He was on his way to New York and wanted to know if I was on duty that night. Yes I was, but enroute Johannesburg, not New York. He sounded disappointed, so I promised to ask a colleague and friend, who was on his flight, to take good care of him. I did. She obliged.

He called this morning to say thank you - he had been treated like royalty on the flight, courtesy moi. You are welcome sir - one good turn certainly deserves another, was my reply. What do you guys say?

Back to my shopping galore.

One of the advantages of being an Airline cabin crew is that I can do "other things" with my free time between flights, for example, blogging.

One of the other things that I do, is buying and reselling. I'm a merchant of some sort - I buy unique pieces of jewellery from the many cities I visit, and resell to family, friends, and aquintances, when I get back home.

Word about these unique jewellery pieces has spread quite a bit, and they are now so much in demand that I "constantly" have people ringing me up on the phone to enquire about them and/or to buy some. Hence, my frequent trips to malls, markets, exhibition centres, etc. to pick up new finds.

One of my favourite cities to buy jewellery is Johannesburg - hand crafted, ethnic pieces, that is. There's just something so special about them that I, and all my customers seem to love.

A few months ago, I decided to try my hands on bags, in addition to jewellery. The bags flew out of my hands like hot cakes - including the two I got for myself! hmmmm, maybe, just maybe, when I retire from air hostessing, I'll consider opening a boutique, and then expand into shoes, clothing, etc. 

Of course, there's something else (or perhaps someone) that endears Jo'burg to me. I'll tell you about it next week.

I'm Coco

Monday, August 22

The Drunken Business Class Passenger

One would think that anyone who flies business class would be a refined, high flying career person, a dignified money-bag, a classy celebrity, or such like.

You'd hardly expect a business class passenger to get so visibly (and audibly) drunk in-flight, that fellow passengers and crew have to caution him repeatedly and even threaten to hand him over to the Police on landing.

Well, I had a Mr Drunkard on board recently. He was sober when he boarded, but as soon as the first snacks service began, he started demanding alcoholic drinks. Of course he was initially obliged, but when the cabin crew member serving him figured he had had enough, she declined to get him any more.

He then deviced a cunning plan of asking several other crew, who unaware that he had reached the limit, obliged him at least one drink each.

It was a night flight. I was manning the business class bar, where two fine, gentlemen were chatting and having a drink each, when Mr Drunkard staggered to the bar reeking of alcohol but still demanding a drink.

Sensing his state, I offered him a glass of water or juice, with a slice of lemon, and ice. He wanted a bloody Mary. I said No. He insisted. I politely refused.

He made to grab me by the neck, but the two lovely guys at the bar seized him and held him back, pinning him down on the nearest available seat, as he had by this time become irrate and screaming obscenities, waking most sleeping passengers up.

That was my first and only (near) physical assault, and I was quite taken aback. One of the nice gentlemen came back to see if I was alright. I was. Sort of.

He gave me his business card. A manager with an Oil and Gas Corporation. hmmmm.

He wanted my number. I couldn't refuse him.

By this time, Mark was at my side. He had been in the Economy Cabin. A colleague had informed him that his girlfriend was nearly attaked by a drunken passenger, and he had rushed up here.

90 minutes to landing. See you all next week.

I'm Coco.

Monday, August 15

Dating a Fellow Cabin Crew

Well, not exactly dating - we are not exclusive or anything serious like that - we are just into each other and like to hang out often. It's a long-standing, open-ended relationship, that was brought about as a result of work.

We were, and still are, almost always on the same flights. For several months in a year, Mark (that's his name) and I would have the same flight schedules - travelling to the same destinations on the same flights, spending the same number of days at our destination city, and returning on the same flights.

We saw a lot of each other and quite naturally, we became close.

Mark is very easy on the eye - he's tall, has a very good body build, and a handsome face. He's also very funny and very friendly. Add all this together and you get every woman's dream man right? lol.

Of course, I'm a pretty good looker myself, and I have a banging body (Mark's words) so I'm easy match for him yeah?

Mark is also a Cabin Service Supervisor (CSS). He was a Senior Cabin Crew when I joined the airline.

In the beginning days of our friendship/relationship, he would do everything possible to ensure that we worked in the same Cabin. When we couldn't, he would leave his duty post in Upper/Business Class, several times during a flight, to come hang out with me in Economy, or vice versa.

It wasn't long before colleagues noticed Mark was always hanging around me or asking after me, or generally seeking to do one thing or the other for me, on and off board, and the rumours soon began to fly - as high as the aircrafts we flew in.

The general consensus among colleagues is that we are an item. We don't dispute it, but we don't accept either. Let their imaginations keep running wild.

Mark is really sweet, and very gentlemanly. He says "please, and thank you, and excuse me, and may I?" all of which I really like. He opens doors and pulls out seats, and pays lots of endearing comments.

He's also very touchy-feely.

Stay hooked,

I'm Coco.

Monday, August 8

My First Business Card

Ironically, I attracted my very first business card.

I had only been a couple of months with the airline when I sighted this young man in the Economy Cabin. He had an uncanny resemblance to my ex-boyfriend (we had split because he thought my job would disrupt our relationship).

I kept walking to and fro the cabin just to stare look at him. At some point, his friend who was sitting next to him in the window seat nudged him, and signalled for him to follow the direction of his eyes. I had been caught.

They probably thought I had been checking them or at least one of them, out so Mr Friend came to chat me up in the Galley. I stopped him in his tracks by telling him I knew they had caught me shamelessly staring, but it was only because his friend looked like my ex. "Oh!" He said. "I'd let him know that, excuse me please" and he was gone.

Shortly afterwards, Mr look-alike walked into the galley. I swear he looked exactly like my ex boyfy. The height, slim build, facial features, even his teeth! When he spoke, I nearly screamed - I kid you not, but they even sounded alike. It was unsettling.

Anyways, we got talking and I got to learn a bit about him. I wanted to know if he had a twin or if he had been adopted - silly question to ask someone you are meeting for the first time? I know!

Well, he wasn't a twin, he hadn't been adopted, and he had never met or heard of my ex.

I still had a picture of my ex in my purse and I showed it to him and a few of my colleagues who were hanging out in the galley - they were all stunned at the resemblance.

Long story short, he gave me his business card - he was a designer for a very well known fashion house. He wanted my number too, so we could go out for a drink at our destination city, but I said I'd call him.

I never did. 1 person who looked liked that was enough for me.

The fasten-seat-belt signs are on.

I'm Coco.

Monday, August 1

A Brief History and Some Current Affairs

I joined the Airline 4 years ago, as a fresh University graduate. Many thought I was silly not to apply to the Graduate Programme instead. But I'd always wanted to be an Air Hostess.

All those years of travelling on holidays - I admired the pretty cabin crew in their smart uniforms and short skirts. I paid rapt attention to in-flight safety demonstrations and knew most of them by heart, well before I joined the Airline. I saw their job as customer service - up, close and personal. I wanted to travel the world for FREE!

So there was never any doubt in my mind that once I had satisfied my parents' desire for a graduate daughter, I would pursue my dream of becoming a cabin crew with one of the best airlines in the world - and I have!

Of course being a cabin crew is not all rosy - there are down days - like the day a passenger made me cry because I forgot to give her her duty free shopping. Or the time when someone referred to my colleagues and I as a pack of illiterates - I wanted to bring my degree certificate out and whoop them in the face with it.

Sometimes, we bear the brunt of flight delays - nothing we do seems to please or placate the angry passengers on such flights - but we have to stay professional and handle things calmly and maturely.

I love everything about my job - the good days, the bad days, and the ugly days - all add up to make my job interesting and varied.

Most of my colleagues prefer to work in Upper or Business Class - the passengers there are more reasonable, they say. But I actually like working the Economy and Premium Economy Cabins - the variety, the exciting challenges, the opportunity to task myself and make good use of my fine customer service skills, often prove too much of a temptation to resist.

Did I mention that I  have exceptional customer service skills?

Well, I do. The service skills that sometimes made 2 Cabin Supervisors fight over who got me in their cabin. The same skills that helped me become a Cabin Service Supervisor myself. Yes, the same skills that attract many passengers (especially male ones) to me and leave me with an average of 3 business cards per flight - no kidding!

Till next week, 

I'm Coco.

Monday, July 25

Hello World! Welcome on Board

So, I finally succumbed to the voices - the two sets of voices.

The voices within my head urging, begging, and recently, screaming at me to start this, this, blog? journal? diary? whatever! To find a means of documenting or expressing my many adventures/escapades as an airline cabin crew.

Then there are the physical voices too - of friends, colleagues, and family members, who enjoy listening to my many stories, and think that I'd make a good writer. Some have even encouraged me to write a book! Me? an Author? ha!

Yes, it's a very glamorous job - being a cabin crew member or air hostess, whatever you choose to call it. I live the jet setters lifestyle, travelling the world at my employer's expense, getting paid good allowances and enjoying many perks as a result. Oh, and meeting lots of people too - the good, the bad, and the ugly.

I'm single, pretty, and fun loving.

Many of my colleagues and associates would describe me as quiet and easy going, but my close friends - and there are very few of them, know that there's an inquisitive,  mischievious, almost devious (*wink*) side of me. So watch out Cocolites. lol.

"Enough already!" I hear someone say - "just tell us the d*mn stories will you? And you had better make this good." Well, I'm not a professional writer, so I'm just going to write as the words come to me, but I'll try and make this worth your while.

Welcome to the confessions of a cabin crew. Please fasten your seat belts.

I'm Coco.