After nine months flying on short-haul operations I have by now been to pretty well every destination in Europe. Not surprisingly, I was really looking forward to working on long-haul rotations.
The list of participants in my training group added to my sense of anticipation as it included several familiar names, some of which I knew from flying short-haul and others from basic training days. Like me, one of my colleagues lives in Bern and so we agreed to journey by train together so that we could prepare jointly for the examinations. But little had we expected just how demanding and entertaining commuting together would be. On the first morning we shared our favourite stories about our flying experiences and looked forward together to our first long-haul flight. Before long, our conversations acquired greater depth and the idea of working together on a flight made its way on to our wish list.
Other colleagues, one from Basel and another from Solothurn, also commuted every day by train to the course. As of the second week we met up in Zurich and travelled to the airport together, where we had time for a cup of coffee before the class started. It was amazing to experience the degree to which we bonded through the combination of passion for flying, attending the course and travelling together. As flight attendants we are not used to working together with the same team members for more than a couple of flights. Consequently, it is difficult to develop close friendships in such a short time. Although we have a great and unique time while on duty together, we may not see each other for quite a while afterward. Therefore, those acquaintances that do develop into close friendships with lasting contact are all the more valuable. At the end of the two-week course we were all sad at the prospect of having to go our separate ways, but at the same time we were upbeat at the possibility of working together on a long-haul flight or meeting up for a barbecue in Switzerland. And as much as we appreciated being able to spend this relatively long time together, we really missed flying. Every time we saw an aircraft overhead, we longed to be on board. The sight of a long-haul jet, in particular, really got us excited, knowing that we would soon be on duty in one of them. The course was a great experience. Not only did we gain the necessary know-how for long-haul assignments, we also made new friends.