Posted by: canaryinacoalmine | February 6, 2009

from private to commercial

When i fly commercial it is always an event, an event in the way my sister and brother-in-law are able to leave the kids with a sitter, my parents, and go to a movie type of event. It’s rare and leaves a lasting memory.  It’s never a memory in the way it is for MY passengers who are able to sit for hours on end waiting on a connection they missed then finally decide, “heck enough with this. Let’s call our broker,’  and 90k later our company has been chartered and they are able to get to their destination,” type of event.  However, it does indeed make me feel humble and realize how fortunate I am to have the career I do, the career I chose after deciding I had enough of corporate America.

As I approached my seat on my last commercial fight less than two weeks ago, I was flown to a meeting in San Bernardino with Millionair (F.B.O. aka private airport) I spyed a finicky looking character dressed much like the men I work with, “Captain, I believe I am next to you in the middle seat,” I stated as he stood up to let me in to my seat.  Twenty minutes after calling him “Captain” and him understanding I knew who he was and was riding “jump” I regretted opening my mouth. The next few hours were spent talking about working for private aviation companies vs. commercial aviation. My job is different, i get it, but I must work on my filter for quality of mental health

I ran into a similar incident the day prior after realizing our flight was oversold. An announcement was made pertaining words such as, “over sold, voucher, good for a year,” when it was finally my time to board I approached the gate once again to inquire about my seat assignment and was informed one of the pax (aviation term for passenger) who offered to give up his seat boarded the plane. The gate agent asked ME as an average pax dressed in civilian clothes to ask Mister xyz if he could deboard and the gate agent would give him a voucher. As a flight attendant and civilian I understand this type of information should not come from pax to pax so as I board two attractive f/a’s are in the galley.  I explain to them what was just asked of me.  The woman look at me in equal amazement that I was asked to do such by a gate agent.  It’s then I turn to them, let the elephant out and realized I need to work on my filter, “I’m a flight attendant so I understand,” they stare looking for my uniform, “I’m private.” 

“Oh,” one of them stammers then takes into action and returns moments later as pax deboarded and informed me my seat was available. An hour later the gals had asked me into the galley to pick my brain about making the transition from commercial to private aviation.  Whoever you are reading this, when you are away from work and have a few hours to decompress the last thing you wish to do is talk about more work. I found myself talking about work and writing down websites they should look in to while hearing fingernails scale a chalkboard.

So, when I sit down tomorrow, in the exit row, wearing jeans and a t-shirt  I will never not reveal that if all the f/a’s on board have simutaneous heart attacks you will be safe “in case of emergency” but I may order a glass of merlot and internally note how loud it is to fly at 30k feet.

*We fly in military air zone 40-42K feet. 


  1. Yeah, tell me about it. Anytime people find out what I do for a living I get all kinds of questions about their computer and why it’s not working right. In fact, Saturday, I’m going to someone’s house to set up a wireless router for her.

    Hey, you want people to leave you alone on commercial flights? When they ask what you do for a living, tell them you sell life insurance and ask if they’d like any. I promise that’ll end the conversation quick. 😉

  2. I don’t have that problem. Nobody wants to talk about lumber.

    I know I never comment (because I’m too lazy to sign in to wordpress) but I’m glad you’re back at the blogging. Good stories.

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