What is it like to date a flight attendant? Oh, boy. It’s the greatest thing in the world, I wouldn’t trade it for the world and, if you are my girlfriend, this is where you stop reading.
Now to the dark and dirty truth: The 9 things you’ll understand after dating a flight attendant.
1 . You aren’t tired.
You don’t even know what it means to be tired, and you are never allowed to be tired again. I met one of my girlfriend’s colleagues the other day who just came from a 12 hour flight, and she apologized for being so tired. I had to reassure her constantly that, believe me, I UNDERSTAND. There are few things I respect more than the ability for flight attendants to handle the stress of jet lag. This is compounded by my insatiable need to surf, hike, climb, and do other things one loves to partake in after being awake for 18 hours. My girlfriend reminds me of every chance she can when we go surfing after she flies from Frankfurt to LA. The amazing thing is she is still able to catch waves.
2. The hours between 3 and 4 AM
Who knew it even existed? I am not talking about scraping yourself out of bed to go to work early or waking up to hunt a surf swell, I am talking about being woken up at 3:30 in the morning by someone who thinks its 11:30 in the morning. Being greeted by someone that is wide awake at that hour is a haunting image I have burned in my mind.
3. Cleanliness is key
I am not a clean person. My car has enough sand for a beach, and I have two cats and a dog that shed new animals worth of fur. A flight attendant has a panic attack when they enter my car or house in uniform. A clothes roller available at all times is paramount. If a flight attendant will be staying at your place during the layover, remind yourself that they are used to staying in a 4 or 5 star accommodation. Don’t worry if you forget, because they will remind you of this.
Things looking grim yet? Its really not! I swear.
4. The world is opened up to you.
A flight attendant has the unbelievable opportunity to go to places that I could not even begin to imagine ever visiting… until now. We have plans to visit Germany, Portugal, Bali Nicaragua, the Maldives and many more places. Before meeting my girlfriend, I had only been to Italy once and Costa Rica once in 29 years. Having the world open up before you is a beautiful thing.
5. Time apart does make the heart grow fonder.
The hardest part about dating a flight attendant is that so much time is spent away from home. This is compounded when the flight attendant’s home base is in another city, country, or even continent. The time between flights is meant for resting, but if your schedule is as flexible as theirs, then this time can be spent together enjoying so much. Even with the distance from Frankfurt to LA, we are able to spend more time with each other each month than many couples that work 9-5 jobs.
6. Work schedule’s are impossible to figure out.
A flight attendants work schedule is an enigma. This is compounded when they do short tours. Where they begin is almost never where they end up, and it is still a mystery to me how they are able to figure out if they can switch a flight in “the system”. “The system” is impossible to decipher, and it seems to be like an all powerful god the flight attendant must work with in order to get the schedule they want.
7. Resting time is something to be taken literally.
Flight attendants have this time period after long flights to rest, and that time is paramount to their survival. This time allows them to get themselves reset, because jet lag is no joke. It does crazy things to their mind, and body, and my god does it do crazy things to their mind. It is unbelievable flight attendants are able to fly for 30 or more years. We were talking about an 80+ year old flight attendant from another company, and it makes me wonder how that could even work.
8. A flight attendant knows the most random destinations
A flight attendant knows more about the most random destinations in the world, but they may know nothing about the country next to theirs outside the areas with an airport. I’m pretty sure that my girlfriend discovered and named half the destinations she has told me she was flying to, because half of them can not be real places. They will expect you to know country each one is in, and she is always surprised when I have no idea what country Lagos or a random African city is in.
9. The stories you hear make you consider never flying.
Being in a service industry, there are always those stories that older colleagues tell of crazy customers or mishaps. Airplanes are like a whole other animal. The stories my girlfriend comes home with after each flight become more and more outlandish. Snakes, to tigers, to trees, to exploding batteries, to medical emergencies. The flight attendant has to be regimentally prepared like a soldier to handle the craziest situations in a tin can floating through the sky. Resourcefulness is key. A boa constrictor that saw Snakes on a Plane and thought it would give air travel a go is not something you can prepare for though. A battery erupting in flames is something you can prepare for, but it is amazing how quickly they can react to that situation.
Having a flight attendant as a significant other is terrifying every time they step into the airport, but it is so relieving every time they come back through the terminal. I really respect the job they do more now, and I am not sure it is something I could ever do. Dating a flight attendant is not for everyone, but if you can handle an independent, cultured, strong willed woman or man, then a flight attendant may be someone you might be interested in. Be prepared for some worrying, but also be prepared for a beautiful journey.