The work-life balance – How Cabin Crew get it right!

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By on Thursday 6th Mar, 2014 at 13:20

So, you got the job, survived training, and are starting your first trips as professional Cabin Crew. One of the things most crew struggle with at the start is the balance between work and life, writes Patricia Green.

For many of us it becomes more of a lifestyle choice than anything but you also need to be flexible, organized and ready for anything. How can we make it easier? Here are a few ideas…

Understand your schedule! You know that you may miss birthdays, Christmases and weddings – special family events – unfortunately it is part of the job and some people find that hard to accept. It does have its advantages though as sometimes, it is nice to be away with crew friends somewhere, especially if you are single.

Family life can be a little more challenging for cabin crew, although not impossible! You normally get your roster around 6 weeks in advance, so it gives you a little time to work around things, plan any appointments/events (although these may still change – unscheduled trip, aircraft technical problem and standby duty) and make sure if you do have something special coming up, try and book leave days to cover this as soon as you can.

You may or may not get them, but it gives you a fighting chance. If you have young children, you may need to arrange childcare, school transport etc, so a supportive and flexible family are an absolute must!

Plan ahead
Make sure your finances are in shape and put aside a day to make sure bills are paid in advance, any correspondence dealt with etc – then you don’t have to worry when you could be potentially away on trips. Any ‘chores’ that need doing, work out when your off days are and how you can schedule them into that time, also allowing for rest time, especially if you work on long haul flights. Sometimes it is actually possible to do some chores down route – shopping for one! If you plan well, you can buy things cheaper abroad or buy things you couldn’t normally buy elsewhere. Just don’t fill your suitcase too full!

Look after yourself
This is something we often take for granted and forget to do. Flying constantly does put extra pressures on the body and it is good to try and counteract that. Make sure you get enough rest at home and down route. If you have time, make use of gym facilities or spa at the hotel or just go for a walk around town.

Eat well and quite light as it will be much better for your digestion, which can be a problem when working long hours, irregular shifts and sometimes not the nicest food. Sometimes it is possible to bring your own food onboard, which will help you to feel healthier. Make sure you drink plenty of water both onboard and on the ground to help rehydrate the body.

Don’t be lonely
Sometimes the flying life can feel lonely, especially when you are away a lot. So take a few little reminders from home with you – a photo of loved ones, a room spray that reminds you of home or any home comforts to make a bland hotel room feel more homely. Use skype to call friends or family and stay in contact…

Remember it is ok to feel ‘tired and emotional’ sometimes (we all do…) and your colleagues will mostly be very supportive, as they know how difficult it can be. Don’t be afraid to ask for their help. Your good crew friends will probably be friends for life as they understand our lifestyle, so keep in touch when you can, it never matters how long it’s been…

Time saver tip
Keep your suitcase packed and ready to go at all times – this will save you a lot of time and energy. Keep a separate toiletry bag/make up bag just for your suitcase and have the same clothes packed every time – basic items you can use for any occasion. All you need to do, is wash them and repack them after every trip. Safe trips and happy landings!

About the author:
Patricia Green has been Cabin Crew for major airlines in the UK and Middle East for seven years and also an SCCM. She has also worked as a VIP Flight Attendant working for very high profile clients and world leaders on their private jets. Last year Patricia moved to flying on a freelance basis in order to concentrate on working as a freelance instructor as well as setting up as a Cabin Crew Consultant.

She advises potential crew how to get their dream job and helps experienced crew move from commercial to corporate flying. In response to many requests from fellow crew and students, Patricia has written a series of E-books to help guide new crew with lots of insider advice and useful hints and tips.

For more information please visit

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