Thursday, November 8, 2012
(Editor’s note: The 2002 movie "Manhattan Love Story" starring Jennifer Lopez and Ralph Fiennes is known in the English-speaking world as "Maid in Manhattan".)
Janine Werner, Cabin Crew Member
There are of course many rumours and clichés about commercial aviation and relationships at work but in the end neither more nor fewer than in other fields. People find each other through common interests and experiences, and this goes for the world of air transport, too.
People outside the world of flying often have difficulty understanding our limited social life. We cannot plan two months in advance, attend every birthday or make a movie date for the weekend. Even after our working day is over we are not at home, unable to enjoy dinner with our families. For many of us, therefore, the crew on rotation becomes something of a substitute family. We talk about private matters and share with each other our everyday troubles. We are often together for several days in a row, sometimes in distant lands with a culture completely different to our own in which we support one another and keep each other grounded. Consequently over the years, many friendships have developed among workmates. And in some cases such a friendship has evolved into a love relationship. We feel that our colleagues and friends understand us best and know how we’re feeling because they have the same lifestyle and the same problems. In this way we are one big family. We are often away from more than at home. On a rotation to Los Angeles, for example, we are home away for four days and home for only three.
I had been working as a flight attendant for one year when I met a colleague who became my dream man. I have been to many cities around the world but was not actually looking for “Mr. Right”. In fact, I was convinced that I did not want my partner to be a fellow employee. But I guess it was meant to be and now I understand why. Flying is something we have in common; it is our shared passion. A New York flight turned out to be a special occasion for us. As native speakers of German we have another important element in common amongst a French speaking Crew and our shared experiences resulted in our own “Manhattan Love Story”. Today, my partner is no longer a flight attendant but still works in the air transport business.
Although I said it was no miracle – but in a way it is a small miracle that two people would find each other even though one returns from Hong Kong just as the other departs for Johannesburg.