Galley Gossip: How flying standby can make you religious

Dear Heather,
I read your post about flight attendant buddy passes and I think you forgot the best part about flying standby. You become a much more religious person. Why? Because when you fly standby you tend to pray a lot…
It all starts when your alarm goes off at 2 AM. “Please God let the loads on the aircraft be light and let me be the first on the stand by list.”
Then when you get to the airport and see your name on the list, you start the second round of prayers. “Please Lord let me make this flight, please!” Most likely you won’t make the flight, but you will get rolled over to the next flight, and so on and so on until you FINALLY hear what you’ve been wanting to hear all day…your name called! YES!
By this time it’s usually late in the afternoon. You’re given a boarding card and immediately start praying again, “Thank you Lord Jesus for this boarding pass.” You make a mental note to go to church more often!
While opening and shutting several full overhead bins, the flight attendant makes the PA that everyone must take a seat so the flight can depart on time. You begin to panic and pray for an empty bin, because as a non-rev you were the very last person to board and the flight is full, full, full. After you find a bin, and thank God, you take your seat, a middle seat located in the last row, and though you should be happy and jumping for joy, you’re not out of the woods just yet! In fact, as an experienced non-rev standby passenger you will not stop praying until that cabin door is closed!

Oh no! Now the gate agent is walking down the aircraft aisle. The praying and sweating are going into overdrive. You try not to make eye contact with the agent as he/she walks down the aisle. The praying continues at a furious pace, “Please don’t let the gate agent come to me, please God, please!”

Your heart is racing faster and faster as the agent gets closer and closer and that’s when it happens. He/she stops, looks you square in the eye, and says, “we have a revenue passenger that needs your seat. Please collect your belongings and follow me.”

Then it’s on to the next gate where the praying and waiting start all over again!

Mark, an optometrist / wannabe flight attendant

Dear Mark,

Holy Moley, Mark, I will pray that you never have to non-rev travel again! But you’re right, non-reving is a stressful experience, one I dread each and every month, which is why I almost always buy a seat whenever I travel with my three-year-old son.

Whenever people find out I’m a flight attendant and start hinting around for a buddy pass, I just shake my head and think to myself, are you crazy! Because seriously, it’s just crazy to non-rev when you can buy a ticket for cheap on-line for cheap these days. Especially if you prefer to actually arrive at your destination, not spend the entire day rolling from gate to gate.

And now a question for you, Mister Wannabe Flight Attendant, why, oh why, would you want to be a flight attendant? I know you’re crazy because you’ve been non-reving – by choice, but just how crazy are you? Please tell me this flight attendant thing is just a fantasy and not something you’d actually do, not when you’ve got a fantastic job already. I mean do you really want to wear the pin striped apron and serve chocolate chip cookies at 30,000 feet? Because honestly, I wouldn’t mind wearing the white robe with the thesescope while asking people to read the last line.

Hmmm…are you thinking what I’m thinking? Maybe, just maybe, we should get together (during Halloween of course!) and swap uniforms. Call me.

Thanks for the letter. I couldn’t have explained non-rev travel better.

Happy Travels,

Heather, a wannabe doctor who will be praying to get on a flight next week

Photo courtesy of (meditation) Joe Shlabotnik, (doctor) Curt