Most people associate being a cabin crew member with awesome travel privileges and idealize these individuals with a glamorous life of jetting off to stunning places for less than a few hours pay. What people don’t always think about is that when you have these discounts.. you’re always flying standby. And sometimes that means having days like the day (or night) I’m about to tell you about. Working in this industry means a lot of things: it means that you fly standby, and that you absolutely cannot miss work because you’re using those standby privileges.
We were originally catching the red eye from Vegas to Toronto and then Toronto to Thunder Bay the next morning but the closer to the flight it got, the more and more full the flight got. Until finally it didn’t look like we would be able to get on that flight at all, and the flight after that was looking quite full as well. We sat outside in Utah sipping on some cider debating our options – we could try flying standby with another partner airline and just fly through a connecting city (or a few connecting cities) or we could catch the flight leaving Vegas at 12… noon.
Neither of us were willing to cut the hot springs in Colorado out of our travel plans. Instead, we decided to drive through the night – we went to bed at 7 pm and woke up 4 hours later at 11 pm to start the 9 hour drive back to Vegas. F. Our. Lives.
I slept (ish) for the first few hours and then we switched and he did the same. Luckily the sun started to come up a few hours after I took the wheel and our bodies started to feel a little bit better. Surprisingly, the time went by quite quickly. By 6 am we were fulling craving chicken nuggets and were on a mission to find some. Unfortunately, not many places have chicken nuggets that early so we opted for coffee instead.
We were almost in Vegas, so close we could almost see it. And then the traffic started to slow… and slow… and slow.. and then completely stop. For ten minutes.. then twenty.. then thirty… you get the picture. We had just driven 9.5 hours – through the night – our bodies feel like complete trash – have a flight thats leaving in 2 hours — and we still have to go get gas, drop off our car, take the bus to the airport and make it through security and you can see traffic for miles ahead… staying completely still 🙂
After the worlds longest and worst traffic jam, it started finally flowing again. As traffic started to move we saw a transport truck on fire in the ditch. That would definitely stop traffic for a while. I don’t think anyone was badly injured and it was like an episode of road warriors on the side of the highway trying to get the transport out of the way so that traffic can keep moving through. We were driving through the city to find the car rental place when I noticed another traffic jam up ahead. Our GPS was telling us to keep going, and we were so stressed not to mess up at this point but in a last minute and quick decision I turned to avoid the area – and luckily I did because the cars were stuck there for at least another 30 minutes. We had a mission and it had to be done speedy quick: gas – car – shuttle – airport – security – gate – GO!
We. Freaking. Made. It. And we got some chicken nuggets before our fligh to top it off. I dont know what’s wrong with us because we didn’t even sleep on this flight. I guess the sun and food kept us up some more. Once we got to Toronto we had to wait an hour or so for our flight to Thunder Bay. By this point we were delirious as we had been awake some 23.5 hours. Again on this flight however, we didn’t sleep. We both got sad that it was ending and we wanted to enjoy the last few minutes of it. So instead we had some wine and played some crib.
My lovely sister picked us up to the airport and we were asleep by 1 pm.. some 26 hours after our 4 hour nap in a wagon in colorado.
Ah, the glamorous life of a flight attendant.