Galley Gossip: Flight attendant training – from graduation to the first flight

After graduating from flight attendant training, how much time will I get to go back home and take care of things before moving to my crew base? – Lorelei

Two hours after my silver wings were pinned to my blue lapel on stage in front of classmates, family and friends, I hugged and kissed my loved ones goodbye, stepped onto a bus, and headed to the airport with thirty of my classmates. Most of us boarded a flight departing to New York’s LaGuardia Airport, my new crew base. It was late at night when we landed and I only had three days to find a place to live before reporting to work for the first time.

Flight attendants hired by major carriers usually have three to four days off before their first trip, but one of those days is spent touring the airport. Therefore it’s very important to get all your business taken care of before you go into training because once it begins things will move swiftly.

When I started flying in the mid-nineties, flight attendants at my airline had to serve six months probation before obtaining flight privileges. In other words, our travel passes. This meant that unless I purchased a ticket like a regular person, or another flight attendant was kind enough to donate one their buddy passes, the only time I spent on an airplane was when I walked on board to work a flight. I won’t lie. It wasn’t easy being far away from home and working a job that’s unlike any other, but I struggled through the difficult time and six months later, armed with my passes, life changed for the better.

Before flight attendant training starts, the airline will send you a packet containing information regarding everything you’ll need to know from what to pack for training to how much money you’ll need to bring with you to your new base. It seems like just yesterday I was sitting on the closet floor looking up at my clothes trying to figure out how I could get everything I needed for seven and a half weeks of training inside two suitcases that could not weigh more eighty pounds, two suitcases that would then go directly to my new crew base. Good luck!

Photo courtesy of JFithian