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SWISS Inside – Nightstop in Athens

Cabin Crew Member in Training

I’m well into the flight attendant’s routine now. Though in this job, there’s really no such thing as a routine!

A day after my Moscow rotation I flew to Athens. Sara, my instructor flight attendant, was still there to guide me, and was a real pleasure to work with. The outbound flight seemed to take no time at all: it’s about three hours, but there’s so much to do in the cabin that the time literally flies by.

We got to Athens around midnight. Our crew hotel almost took my breath away: it was beautiful! And the Commander invited us all up for a drink at the rooftop bar. So shortly after, our whole crew was sitting and relaxing there. It was a great evening, because everyone got on incredibly well – laughing, swapping stories of their flying experiences and just soaking in the view of the Acropolis all lit up.

This was my first night stop, and I really wanted to go into town the next morning before our flight back. There would be time enough for this: we weren’t due to be collected from the hotel till 14:00. So after breakfast, four of us set off for the Acropolis. It was a good half-hour’s walk from our hotel. And it was a wonderful morning, too, with the sun shining and summerlike temperatures. The time flew by again; and after a quick lunch in the Old Town, we headed back to the hotel.

In no time I was back aboard our aircraft for its flight to Geneva. From there we flew on to Barcelona. A quick turnaround and in a flash we were back in Geneva, where we then spent the night. The weather was bad, unfortunately, so everyone stayed in the hotel. There wasn’t much free time, either: we had to be ready for the next duties by lunchtime the following day.

Just before we were picked up, the Commander told us that there had been a change of plan, and we would now be “dead-heading” to Zurich – travelling as passengers where we would not have to work. From Zurich we flew off on a charter service to Kos. For this one I was even able to sit in the cockpit for the takeoff and landing. That was quite an experience; and the pilots were happy to explain what was going on to me,.

In the course of the flight Sara handed me a sheet of paper to fill in: my first quality check! I had to take a syringe and extract a small amount of water from the toilet. At the tip of the syringe was a small part which turned blue immediately. The maître de cabine looked serious, and told me that the Commander would need to know about this. So I trotted off dutifully to the cockpit to inform him. The Commander took the syringe from me, and I recorded my observations on the quality control sheet.

It was dark in Zurich by the time we returned from Kos, and I felt once again how tough a flight attendant’s day can be. Once we were back on the crew bus, the Commander thanked us all for the good three days we had spent together. And, after a short pause, he had a surprise, too: “I don’t know if you noticed, Nicole,” he started, “but the syringe thing was our little joke. Welcome to the SWISS Family!”


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