Roster change: available days into India flight. It was a notice I got couple weeks before the trip, and since then I started to wonder how this trip will look like?
It was my second time in India, but this time we weren’t allowed to leave the aircraft. Why? How? Let me shortly brief you.
You might have heard about difficult situation in India, where pandemic is taking its toll. Therefore it came as no surprise that this country jumped on British “Red List”, meaning that you can’t travel both ways, unless its essential, you have done your test, and you paid for quarantine hotels, where you have to stay after arrival.
Flights are still happening, however not in the way as before. We tend to land in India, and stay the night or two there, and then come back. To avoid doing that India flight require, two sets of crew: one set of crew is flying from London to for example Delhi (and then rest on the way back as passengers), and second set (known as inbound crew), rest on the way to India, and then works on the way back.
It’s an incredibly long and tiring day at work. We have to remember it’s not normal duty. We also could have called, that we are not comfortable working it. I decided to give it a go (maybe purely because I didn’t have many other trips rostered for month of May)
The day before I actually was quite stressed and anxious about the next day flight. Didn’t know what to expect, or even pack. I packed smart clothes, comfy clothes, hot water bottle, fluffy socks… And snacks. Lots of snacks. To be fair, recently I have started (not completely started, I go through phases of eating/not eating healthy) – restarted then – eating well. Breaking that cycle just wasn’t ideal. Prepared some healthy snacks, packed lots of fruits (bananas, blueberries, strawberries) and made myself a quinoa salad, with avocados, chickpeas and egg. All ready to be just picked up next morning. Without spending hours in the kitchen.
You saw that right..5 am, my wake up time before the longest flight (flying day) of my life haha. Made myself a tea, turned on a heater (I am always cold!) and begun doing make up.
That’s not my finished make-up obviously! Just wanted to show you that I am okay with being make-up-less as much as I love looking all glamorous. We have to, because of our job, but I don’t mind any versions of myself! What I am accenting the most nowadays are the eyes. Because obviously eye contact is the most important now!
And now I am all ready to go! Quite excited to see how the day will unfold! 1 hour drive to the airport, and then wait for the report time with other crew.
london – mumbai
Probably I should start by explaining what POSITIONING is, as I will be using this word quite a lot. In short words, it is flying as passenger, so you can operate/work on the way back or on the way there.
I have been assigned to work flight Mumbai – London, therefore, position from base to Mumbai. Flying as passenger in upper class, for 8h 45 minutes.
Once all settled, plane took off, I can start enjoying perks, such as in flight entertainment (I’ve watched Harry Potter!), and have something to eat and drink (obviously non-alcoholic, as I am basically commuting to work). For dinner I opted for Rigatoni Mushroom Panna Sauce 🙂
After lunch, I knew I had to get some rest. Lowered my window blinds (my crew were resting in the same cabin as me, so we all did the same to respect each others rest time). I think I managed to sleep maybe for 2 or 3 hours, which is not too bad, as it was middle of the day!
As we were getting closer to India, I had to get changed into my uniform once again. Also had to re-did my make up ,as having a nap didn’t help it.
mumbai – london
Enough of being lazy! Time to start actually working 😀
Flight time: 9 hours 50 minutes.
On India flight you have to wear full PPE (personal protective equipment) to welcome passengers on board:
Who said we can’t look sexy these days???
Fast forward. Flight was relatively busy. And tiredness was extreme at some point, but we all made it!
Company offered each one of us hotel (before and after the flight), so that’s good to know you have an option to stay somewhere closer to the airport, get some sleep and go. All up to how are you feeling! Because we are all adults, and can decide for ourselves.
And that’s it! That was my longest time I’ve spent on a plane! 22 hours, but duty was obviously little longer than that. Would I ever do India flight again? Yes, if I was positioning on the way back. It would make so much more sense and I wouldn’t feel as tired as this time. Especially now we are living in the times where we as cabin crew can’t complain much what we get, as there are not many flights going around. That’s why I am very grateful when I get a flight (even like that) rostered by scheduling!