What you may not know about aviation is that a large percentage of cabin crew members don’t live in the base they fly out of, and I am one of those people. We’re called commuters – but we don’t nearly have your average commute. Rather than being stuck in traffic, our commute involve heading up to 25,000 ft. for a few hours (depending on where you call home), and in order to commute, we need to follow the policies and guidelines set by our airline.
My commute is 2 hours long. The airline I work for has policies which requires that I have two buffer flights between my commuter flight and my work flight. I need to dress in uniform on my commute, and I need to make sure that I’m flying in early enough the night before that I meet my required rest period.
Seems like a lot of stress, right? Especially when you consider that you’re already flying multiple times a day, there are cancellations, delays, weather considerations, holidays, you can’t miss your work flight, it can get expensive, you can become sleep deprived etc. etc. etc. That’s why people resort to crash pads! This gets rid of a lot of stress of finding a place to stay, or being late for work because you’ll always have somewhere to go the night before your shift. Crash pads are also popular for flight attendants and pilots based out of expensive cities like New York. Rather than paying rent there, they will commute from somewhere that has cheaper rent to limit that expense.
What are “crash pads?” These are condos that landlords have purchased, stuffed with bunk beds and basically charge pilots and flight attendants rent per bed, rather than room. I’m sure they vary depending on the location, city, price, etc. etc. etc. But, I’m living in one in Toronto and thought I’d give you guys the run down of what it’s like!
Price: $350 per month. Top bunk, shared room with one other flight attendant.
Location: In regards to getting to the airport, the location is great. It’s only a 15-20 minute bus ride to Pearson. In regards to doing anything on my time off, it’s awful. I don’t have a car and there is nothing near me. It’s also not a safe neighbourhood so I don’t feel comfortable walking around at night, or exploring. The building I live in is also really questionable.. I’m always very aware of my surroundings from the time I get off the bus to the time I lock my apartment door. But there is a nice view!!!
Cleanliness: Poor. There are fruit flies everywhere. No one cleans anything. People do their dishes (thank god), but the rest of the condo is just accumulating dirt. Think about it though.. who would ever spend time cleaning this place when everyone is just in and out for a few hours or a night at a time? No one’s going to spend their time scrubbing the toilet. Everything is also unorganized! The fridge is a mess, I have no idea how old the food is that’s in there, the cupboards are full but I feel like it’s all just leftover food from past tenants and now there is no space for anyone. It’s really just like the name – a crash pad.
Yes, those are fruit flies…^^
Roommates: I’ve only met four other people living here. Everyone seems nice, conversations are superficial and everyone stays out of everyones way. The walls are reaaaally thin here so if you have an early morning, then you need to get used to falling asleep to a TV on, people talking, cooking, etc. The same goes for if you get in late and need to sleep in – people get up early and will be making noise in the middle of the night. For me, it hasn’t been too bad. I’ve lucked out a lot.. but it does get frustrating. I don’t want to cook with fruit flies in my kitchen, I want a space to put my things, I WANT PROPER DISHES, I hate sleeping on a top bunk and having to be super careful not to wake that person below me up, I have no space to keep any of my things and I don’t feel super safe in my building or neighbourhood. Also, I finally understand my mom when she’s frustrated about missing tupperware lids. WHERE THE FUCK ARE THEY GUYS?