Welcome back to another Feature Friday post! In the past year I have created so many friendships with flight attendants, travel bloggers and craft beerstagrammers! I really wanted to start showing off some of my favorite people that I’ve met and start building up a community of like minded people.
Below meet my friend Victoria or as she’s know on Instagram and Youtube @thevictorialeighproject. She just moved across the country into a brand new home and got some amazing news that she will be returning to the friendly skies after being furloughed back in October.
Why did you decide to become a flight attendant and how was your hiring process?
I became a flight attendant because my mom had been a flight attendant all of my life and I needed a new career. I had no idea what I wanted to do but my mom convinced me to try flying, and now I love it!
My hiring process was very quick, surprisingly since I heard stories of it taking months and months. I applied, and within a couple weeks received an email asking for a video interview. I recorded myself answering 5 questions and sent it in. Within another week, I was asked to come to SFO to do a group and one-on-one interview. During the interview, they offered me a spot in a training class that was starting in two weeks. I immediately went for my drug testing, and two weeks later I was flying to Houston to begin training for 5 weeks!
What is your favorite thing about being a flight attendant? & the worst thing?
My favorite thing about being a flight attendant is the ability to travel anywhere in the world and to see my family and friends while doing it. I feel so lucky to be able to travel across the country for work and to get to spend my layover visiting with my best friend or to take my family with me on a layover to Hawaii!
The worst thing about being a flight attendant is being on reserve and being called at 6pm for a 9pm flight to SINGAPORE when I’ve never worked an international trip, I know nothing about Singapore, I’ve never been on a 787 Boeing Dreamliner, and I’ve been up since 5am!
The scariest thing that’s happened on the job?
I was working a redeye to Philadelphia with a flight attendant who was celebrating her 40th anniversary with the company. We hit severe turbulence and everything went everywhere! Coffee pots spilled and landed on the floor, shoes and bags were in the middle of the aisle, people screamed, and we landed on top of each other on the jumpseat. All of us were safe and unharmed, thank goodness. But the scariest part was when she told me that was the worst turbulence she had ever been through!
Favorite place you travelled to with your flight benefits?
Paris! My mom is a flight attendant too and she was working a trip to Paris with a 28 hour layover. The flight had plenty of seats available so I went with her. The hotel is right next to the Eiffel Tower, so we went to a market, grabbed some food and had a picnic under the Eiffel Tower! It was amazing and so special to spend that time with my mom.
What advice do you have for new or aspiring flight attendants?
To the aspiring: If you love to travel, if you’re looking for a big change in your life, if you’re unsure what you want to do with your career- give it a shot! So many flight attendants started this career and worked on another while flying: finishing school, started their own business, became a pilot, etc. You can do it!
To the new flight attendants: Hang in there! Being on reserve and only flying the “boring” trips will end eventually. It might seem like you’ll never get a nice trip, but one day scheduling will surprise you and you’ll be flying to Maui or Paris or Sydney!
Favorite Layover & Why?
Ooh, such a hard question! I have two favorite layovers. Maui and New York City. Maui because the location is perfection, right on the beach, and there’s shopping right down the street. Plenty of good food and just the right mix of relaxation and fun things to do. New York City because well, does NYC even need an explanation? The city is just magical and you can always find the most amazing things to do.
How has Covid affected you? Will you be making a lot of big life changes this year?
Covid has definitely affected me, thankfully only financially and career wise. I decided to take a leave of absence from work from April-July because there were so few flights. I flew again in August and September but unfortunately I was furloughed back in October. The time off gave my husband and I the time we needed to drive across country into our new home! You can watch our journey going through this home-build and driving cross country with our dogs on my YouTube channel. Thankfully I just got an email from my company telling me I can return to the skies in February!
What do you wish everyone knew about flight attendants?
I wish everyone knew that flight attendants are there to take care of you and keep you safe on the plane. Most of us don’t know about baggage handling, reservations, delayed flights etc. any more than you do. We know how to serve food and drinks, how to keep the passengers, crew, and plane safe, and how to evacuate the plane in under 90 seconds. We are humans too, who are missing our families and important events, and we don’t make the big decisions for our companies.
What is this job to you? A career? Just for fun? Do you have another job or side hustle?
This job has become a saving grace for me. When I first started, I was used to having a routine and thrived in an environment where everything was the same. But then I started flying, and it completely changed. I enjoy going to different cities, meeting new crew members on each flight, and never knowing where I might end up. I am working on a YouTube channel, TheVictoriaLeighProject, which will include travel videos, stories, and tips for those who want to know more about my life as a flight attendant.
What 3 items do you always have with you?
1. A portable battery. I never know where I’ll be and how long I’ll be away, and the last thing I want is for my phone to die.
2. Medicine. I know this is somewhat broad, but when traveling you encounter so many different kinds of germs and you never know when you’ll get sick. I worked a trip to Dallas (two years ago) and by the time I landed I had a 102 degree fever. Thank goodness for my crew members who went out and bought me meds and Gatorade. Now I always have a small bag of ibuprofen, cough drops, cold medicine, etc.
3. Tampons. Ladies, ALWAYS PACK TAMPONS/PADS! Men, bring tampons/pads for your lady friends. I have a bag full of things I might need when it’s that time, and that bag has saved me more than I can count. That bag has saved plenty of crew members and even strangers in the bathroom who were panicked and needed one. ALWAYS PACK TAMPONS/PADS!
Did you miss my last Flight Attendant Feature Friday? Check it out here: @flywithjenna!
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