Galley Gossip: Do flight attendants hang out with pilots on layovers?

Dear Heather,

is it common that you associate with pilots when on layovers? Also after each leg of a trip, does everyone go to the bar? I can’t imagine this is a great family lifestyle for those married.

Just My Thoughts

Dear Just My Thoughts,

Do pilots and flight attendants spend time together on layovers? Sometimes. Depends on the crew. Also depends on the length of the layover. At my airline, the majority of our domestic layovers average 10 hours. Add a delay or a mechanical into the mix (they happen!) and that 10 hour layover quickly becomes a nine hour layover. That’s not enough time to do much other than sleep, eat and shower.

As for international flying, imagine you’re in a foreign country far away from home with twenty four hours to kill and you don’t speak the language. Now imagine yourself in a strange city several times a month – month after month, year after year after year. It’s only natural for people with things in common to spend time together. Would you prefer to spend all that time away from home alone? Now keep in mind that airline crews who do have time to meet up at a hotel bar for a quick drink are probably just too exhausted from jet lag to do anything other than take an elevator downstairs and sit on a stool. Not to mention, the majority of our layover hotels offer airline employees discounts on food and beverage. If there’s one thing crew members have in common, its we’re a frugal bunch.

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, working for an airline is not just a job, it’s a lifestyle, a very unusual one. Not many people can handle it. Our schedules are always changing, making it difficult to create long term plans. We work holidays and weekends and we’re away from home for days at a time. A lot of that time is spent associating with coworkers – on the airplane and at hotels. This is why we need a significant other who is confident and loyal, a person who is independent and can deal with last minute changes. They also have to be able to make spur of the moment decisions that include back up plans A, B, & C – just in case something goes wrong, because when you work for an airline, something is bound to go wrong.

Because my husband is a frequent flier who travels over 100,000 miles a year for business, he knows what it’s like, really like, to travel. That’s why he doesn’t get worked up if I find myself exploring the city with a colleague of the opposite sex. In fact, we encourage each other to to go out and enjoy ourselves. The time spent away from each other actually does our marriage good. We certainly don’t take each other for granted and we always cherish the time we have together. If that doesn’t make for a good marriage, I don’t know what does.

Photo Courtesy of Gurms