Ya know that feeling you get when you're driving to somewhere new and you're not sure if you made the right turn? Yeah.
Been working a lot lately. More than ever. Twelve hour works days are now the norm instead of the exception. Yesterday I did five flights, the airline wanted me too do 7. Running the same checklist over and over make anyones brain mushy. Add in hot outside temps and operating in 10 critical phases of flight (5 takeoffs and 5 landings) and fatigue sets in. When I got home I was only slightly more coherent than room temperature jello.
Prior to my starting flying I read online forums. There were several post stating to NOT go to an airline. The pay, work conditions, and outlook were horrible. I thought they were just naysayers. Now, I'm not so sure.
Don't get me wrong I absolutely love what I do. Flying is in my blood. Safely navigating the skies and weather to transports soldiers, men, women, and children home to their families brings joy to me. I love the power of 50,000 pounds of thrust in my left hand and the controls to a multi-million dollar jet in my right hand is awesome. But is it all worth it?
Now for something funny.
On my flight to Little Rock yesterday was a wealthy family from Brazil. They BOUGHT (with cash not points!) First Class tickets from Brazil to Little Rock for their family of 6. Four kids and two parents. The First Class section of my plane has 9 seats. They took up 7. The kids were all 10 and under dressed in comfy, but not dressy clothes.
My flight attendant said several of the elite frequent fliers complained and gave dirty looks to this family as many of the frequent fliers had to sit in coach as they couldn't use points to upgrade. Most of these frequent fliers got their status by flying PAID for by their companies. Big name companies many of us spend money with. My flight attendant was senior and doesn't take crap from anyone. She sternly told the frequent fliers that the family paid cash for those seats. Those passengers are consumers who spend money so the companies that fly these executives around can survive. Some took it and were quiet, others thought the family should have been back in coach. Nice eh?
Ok maybe that wasn't funny.