For my first skeleton roster, I only got there and backs, which means that you go to one of the European destinations, don’t leave the aircraft and go back after a quick turnaround. I also got two Abujas (Nigeria) but we are not really allowed to leave the hotel there. So I was pleased to see that, with two days’ notice, my first (supernumerary) flight with two available days afterwards, got wiped out and changed to… Las Vegas! On this flight, I was number 5, which means that I was in the rear of the Queen of the Skies, Boeing 747, responsible for Door 5L (Left).
By the end of the briefing in our crew centre, I must have looked rather miserable which did not go unnoticed by my colleagues and flight’s manager. But my worries quickly disappeared as I was with a very nice and caring complement of crew who looked after me and explained everything that we didn’t have a chance to explore during initial training, ranging from how to set up a trolley for the drinks round, through how to brew coffee, up to where to find dry ice for our customers. Although it was a stressful and long flight, we were all rewarded when we got to our hotel around 4pm in the afternoon.
When I opened my room, I couldn’t believe my eyes. I had two double beds to myself (which one to choose?), a big bathroom with my own dressing gown and the coffee machine with coffee from Starbucks.
I managed to sleep for a few hours and then went for a solitary walk in the city. I also tried to book myself standby tickets for the Grand Canyon tour but they only had them in the afternoon which meant I couldn’t go, otherwise I would miss my flight back to London. So, the next morning, I went down to the reception and hired myself a bike.
If you are a member of the company’s social club (only a few pounds per month!), you get free sporting equipment at most of the hotels so this is definitely worth it. I aimed to cycle as far as possible but I failed spectacularly – two hours later, I was still in the city. I was told off by the police as it turned out that in the city centre you can only cycle on a pavement (excuse me, sidewalk!) so my journey amongst pedestrians was rather slow and the temperature of 42’C made it even worse! Still, got to see lots of nice things!
After the afternoon shower, I went with one of my colleagues for a late lunch and another quick walk, just in time to get myself sorted for the flight back.
The flight back was certainly less eventful (except for one of our colleagues fainting but that’s a different story!) as it was a night flight and I even managed to have a quick nap in our crew bunks :).
– Which ones of you plan to commute to work by public transport? – asked us one of the trainers during our initial training course and a few hands showed up. – Do you think you could fall asleep and miss your stop on your way back home?
– No, definitely not – I answered.
Guess what? If I hadn’t set an alarm on my phone, I would have slept all the way till the end of the Piccadilly line, instead of getting off at King’s Cross! Never underestimate the power of pressure and time change differences.
Overall, a perfect destination for the first flight! I would love to go to Vegas again and see what I didn’t manage to see during those 24 hours so I hope that it will show up on my roster again!