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A Day In The Life Of A Flight Attendant

Follow me on my three-day work trip to Amsterdam.

Life & Travel

Aside from creating beauty content, you can find me 10,000 feet in the air traveling the world as a Flight Attendant. Every day isn't all glitz and glamour, but overall the benefits make everything worth it. To be completely transparent, there are bad days. You'll be away from your friends and family, customers aren't always nice, the days are long, and you're always on the go. On the flip side, no day is the same. I meet so many different people on a daily basis and I get to travel anywhere with whomever I want. The world is literally at my fingertips.

One of my favorite things about being a flight attendant, besides the travel of course, is the flexibility. Some days start earlier and some days start when the rest of the world is ending theirs. I can choose what type of trips I want: if I want to go away for a few days, I can; if I want to come right back home, I can do that too. I personally prefer three-day domestic trips. I like to see a couple places and then go home, but that can also change depending on what my plans are. To balance out my creative schedule with my work, sometimes it's necessary for me to go to work and come right back home.

My schedule varies a lot so it's important that I make planning a priority. There's no such thing as a routine for me and I like it. I love knowing that every day is going to give me a new thrill and nothing ever becomes mundane. Today is one of those days, I decided to do something completely different, challenge myself, and make a little extra cash so I picked up an international trip to Amsterdam. Picking up a trip is as simple as checking our board to see what flights need to be staffed. I want to make more money so I'm looking for high-time (high hour trip because we get paid by the hour) and international because we get paid more for those flights.

Now, follow me on my three-day work trip to Amsterdam.

Monday

The first day probably won't be the most exciting, it will consist of a lot of preparation. Keep in mind I can't share as much as I would like because of security reasons (a girl ain't tryna lose her job) but I will share as much as possible.

10:00a: I wake up and check my phone (Instagram, emails, texts, etc.); not the best habit in the morning but I'm working on it. I also check what time I'm supposed to get to the airport, which is 18:50 aka 6:50 pm.

10:15a: Brush my teeth and wash my face. Then, I charge all my devices: work phone, camera, computer, and personal phone. Next, I check the weather: it's looking like it's going to be 40-55 degrees in Amsterdam while I'm there.

10:30a: I make a cup of coffee and some breakfast. Then watch my training materials on international trip service. I don't do international trips often, so I need to reacquaint myself with the material. I've also never been on this plane so I also need to get familiar with that.

11:45a: Start ironing my uniform, pack my bags for my trip, turn on my diffuser, listen to music, set my intentions, and get ready for the day. This is the self-care part of my day so I spend a lot of time just getting my mind right.

Courtesy of Krissy Lewis

1:00p: Squeeze in a quick 45-60 minute workout. I'm going to focus on just abs and cardio today. I get on the elliptical machine in my garage and get it in. It's hard to create an actual schedule so I squeeze in workouts as often as I can. I should also mention that I just got back into working out again after a month-long hiatus.

2:00p: Start getting ready for work.

3:30p: Eat again and finish working on articles.

Sidebar: My days are long AF! You see my day has started way before my actual work day because there are still personal and creative things that need to be done. I also had to review some material for work. Even though we're trained for multiple aircrafts and services, we don't use them every day so it requires a little reviewing.

5:00p: Head to the airport, go through security, and head to the crew lounge.

6:50p: Meet my crew and pilots then do our briefing for our 7hr 48min flight to Amsterdam. I can't spill too much about our briefings but that is where we go over the need-to-know of our trip before we actually head to the plane.

7:40p: Get to the plane and check our emergency equipment, and set up the in-flight amenities.

7:50p: Start boarding.

8:44p: Takeoff.

9:15p-ish: We've taken off and we start our service. I worked up front in first class as the aisle flight attendant. Aisle flight attendants usually interact with the first class customers, serve meals and beverages. I wish I was able to take more photos but this part of the flight happens so fast there just wasn't enough time. Once in the air, we begin bar cart with beverages and warm nuts.

9:30p: Now it's time to bring out the food. I serve all the meals and bring out our base cart. This cart has soups, bread, and more drinks!

9:50p: Pick up all the trays and meals and get ready to serve dessert.

10:10p: Now it's time for me to serve dessert. For this service, I serve fruit, cheese, ice cream, cake of the night, and teas/wine.

It's back-to-back so we can take care of the customers, give them everything they need before they go to sleep.

10:40p: Clean-up all the trays and galley area.

11:00p: First crew rest break. This isn't my break but the first set of flight attendants take a break and we cover for them until their break is over.

Tuesday

1:30a-ish: It's my turn to take a break. On international trips, we have a crew rest area that allows us to take a nap. We have 2 sets of breaks, crew rest 1 and crew rest 2. I was a part of the second round and I slept for about 1 hour and 20 min before I started service again.

3:20a: We begin our pre-arrival breakfast service.

5:02a: We land in Amsterdam. It's technically 11:02a in Amsterdam.

Courtesy of Krissy Lewis

Let's switch over to CET (Central European Standard Time)

12:15p: We check into the hotel and get settled. I took a shower and changed so I can start my 24hr layover. I usually take a nap but since I got in later than expected, I want to head out.

1:40p: Head out to the city. I took the Ferry out into the city and explored.

I visited the Red Light District, Primark, and tried some french fries. Amsterdam is known for its french fries and mayo, so it was only right that I try it!

Courtesy of Krissy Lewis

Courtesy of Krissy Lewis

Courtesy of Krissy Lewis

I want to include this because it's important. I explored alone and before every trip I make sure I'm prepared to travel and have fun alone. The crews that I work with don't always want to do something and that's fine. So, it's important to be comfortable and open to going out solo.

I also visited over the edge to take in the beautiful view of Amsterdam.

Courtesy of Krissy Lewis

Courtesy of Krissy Lewis


Courtesy of Krissy Lewis

6:00p: Took a holiday light boat tour. (Sorry, I couldn't get much pictures because it was so dark and rainy).

8:00p: Got back to the hotel and got ready for bed. Getting ready for bed includes: removing my makeup and doing my bedtime skincare routine, showering, preparing my clothes for work, and unwinding in my thoughts.

Wednesday

Time to go home!

11:00a: Get picked up from the hotel. We have drivers that take us to and from the hotel whenever we layover anywhere.

11:45a: Arrive at the airport and go through security.

12:15p: Get to the plane, brief with the captain, and start setting up and boarding to head back to Atlanta.

1:11p: Takeoff.

1:30p: We're starting service. As a crew we tend to rotate positions, so instead of working in first class, I'll be working in the main cabin. The first step in our service is to distribute menus and water. I'm working on the left side of the main cabin so I make sure every passenger has menus, water, and silverware. We continue service for about an hour and a half.

3:00p: It's time for the first crew rest break. Because the flight is longer (9hrs going back to Atlanta) and we finished service a bit earlier, our rest is 2 hours.

5:00p: The next crew takes their break and we start preparing for the second service.

7:00p: We start our pre-arrival service.

8:30: End service and prepare for landing. By this time it's 3:30p est time.

Switch over to Eastern Standard Time.

4:20p: We land in Atlanta and clear Customs.

5:10p: Get home and unwind.

This wraps up my three-day trip to Amsterdam. It's a pretty long three days but, to me, it's definitely worth it. I can travel and stay in nice hotels on the company's dime, I can check out places in and out of the country to see which ones I may want to travel back to for leisure and it exposes me to so many things — culture, self-revelations, travel, etc.

Featured image via Krissy Lewis

ACLU By ACLUSponsored

Over the past four years, we grew accustomed to a regular barrage of blatant, segregationist-style racism from the White House. Donald Trump tweeted that “the Squad," four Democratic Congresswomen who are Black, Latinx, and South Asian, should “go back" to the “corrupt" countries they came from; that same year, he called Elizabeth Warren “Pocahontas," mocking her belief that she might be descended from Native American ancestors.

But as outrageous as the racist comments Trump regularly spewed were, the racially unjust governmental actions his administration took and, in the case of COVID-19, didn't take, impacted millions more — especially Black and Brown people.

To begin to heal and move toward real racial justice, we must address not only the harms of the past four years, but also the harms tracing back to this country's origins. Racism has played an active role in the creation of our systems of education, health care, ownership, and employment, and virtually every other facet of life since this nation's founding.

Our history has shown us that it's not enough to take racist policies off the books if we are going to achieve true justice. Those past policies have structured our society and created deeply-rooted patterns and practices that can only be disrupted and reformed with new policies of similar strength and efficacy. In short, a systemic problem requires a systemic solution. To combat systemic racism, we must pursue systemic equality.

What is Systemic Racism?

A system is a collection of elements that are organized for a common purpose. Racism in America is a system that combines economic, political, and social components. That system specifically disempowers and disenfranchises Black people, while maintaining and expanding implicit and explicit advantages for white people, leading to better opportunities in jobs, education, and housing, and discrimination in the criminal legal system. For example, the country's voting systems empower white voters at the expense of voters of color, resulting in an unequal system of governance in which those communities have little voice and representation, even in policies that directly impact them.

Systemic Equality is a Systemic Solution

In the years ahead, the ACLU will pursue administrative and legislative campaigns targeting the Biden-Harris administration and Congress. We will leverage legal advocacy to dismantle systemic barriers, and will work with our affiliates to change policies nearer to the communities most harmed by these legacies. The goal is to build a nation where every person can achieve their highest potential, unhampered by structural and institutional racism.

To begin, in 2021, we believe the Biden administration and Congress should take the following crucial steps to advance systemic equality:

Voting Rights

The administration must issue an executive order creating a Justice Department lead staff position on voting rights violations in every U.S. Attorney office. We are seeing a flood of unlawful restrictions on voting across the country, and at every level of state and local government. This nationwide problem requires nationwide investigatory and enforcement resources. Even if it requires new training and approval protocols, a new voting rights enforcement program with the participation of all 93 U.S. Attorney offices is the best way to help ensure nationwide enforcement of voting rights laws.

These assistant U.S. attorneys should begin by ensuring that every American in the custody of the Bureau of Prisons who is eligible to vote can vote, and monitor the Census and redistricting process to fight the dilution of voting power in communities of color.

We are also calling on Congress to pass the John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act to finally create a fair and equal national voting system, the cause for which John Lewis devoted his life.

Student Debt

Black borrowers pay more than other students for the same degrees, and graduate with an average of $7,400 more in debt than their white peers. In the years following graduation, the debt gap more than triples. Nearly half of Black borrowers will default within 12 years. In other words, for Black Americans, the American dream costs more. Last week, Majority Leader Chuck Schumer and Sen. Elizabeth Warren, along with House Reps. Ayanna Pressley, Maxine Waters, and others, called on President Biden to cancel up to $50,000 in federal student loan debt per borrower.

We couldn't agree more. By forgiving $50,000 of student debt, President Biden can unleash pent up economic potential in Black communities, while relieving them of a burden that forestalls so many hopes and dreams. Black women in particular will benefit from this executive action, as they are proportionately the most indebted group of all Americans.

Postal Banking

In both low and high income majority-Black communities, traditional bank branches are 50 percent more likely to close than in white communities. The result is that nearly 50 percent of Black Americans are unbanked or underbanked, and many pay more than $2,000 in fees associated with subprime financial institutions. Over their lifetime, those fees can add up to as much as two years of annual income for the average Black family.

The U.S. Postal Service can and should meet this crisis by providing competitive, low-cost financial services to help advance economic equality. We call on President Biden to appoint new members to the Postal Board of Governors so that the Post Office can do the work of providing essential services to every American.

Fair Housing

Across the country, millions of people are living in communities of concentrated poverty, including 26 percent of all Black children. The Biden administration should again implement the 2015 Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing rule, which required localities that receive federal funds for housing to investigate and address barriers to fair housing and patterns or practices that promote bias. In 1980, the average Black person lived in a neighborhood that was 62 percent Black and 31 percent white. By 2010, the average Black person's neighborhood was 48 percent Black and 34 percent white. Reinstating the Obama-era Fair Housing Rule will combat this ongoing segregation and set us on a path to true integration.

Congress should also pass the American Housing and Economic Mobility Act, or a similar measure, to finally redress the legacy of redlining and break down the walls of segregation once and for all.

Broadband Access

To realize broadband's potential to benefit our democracy and connect us to one another, all people in the United States must have equal access and broadband must be made affordable for the most vulnerable. Yet today, 15 percent of American households with school-age children do not have subscriptions to any form of broadband, including one-quarter of Black households (an additional 23 percent of African Americans are “smartphone-only" internet users, meaning they lack traditional home broadband service but do own a smartphone, which is insufficient to attend class, do homework, or apply for a job). The Biden administration, Federal Communications Commission, and Congress must develop and implement plans to increase funding for broadband to expand universal access.

Enhanced, Refundable Child Tax Credits

The United States faces a crisis of child poverty. Seventeen percent of all American children are impoverished — a rate higher than not just peer nations like Canada and the U.K., but Mexico and Russia as well. Currently, more than 50 percent of Black and Latinx children in the U.S. do not qualify for the full benefit, compared to 23 percent of white children, and nearly one in five Black children do not receive any credit at all.

To combat this crisis, President Biden and Congress should enhance the child tax credit and make it fully refundable. If we enhance the child tax credit, we can cut child poverty by 40 percent and instantly lift over 50 percent of Black children out of poverty.

Reparations

We cannot repair harms that we have not fully diagnosed. We must commit to a thorough examination of the impact of the legacy of chattel slavery on racial inequality today. In 2021, Congress must pass H.R. 40, which would establish a commission to study reparations and make recommendations for Black Americans.

The Long View

For the past century, the ACLU has fought for racial justice in legislatures and in courts, including through several landmark Supreme Court cases. While the court has not always ruled in favor of racial justice, incremental wins throughout history have helped to chip away at different forms of racism such as school segregation ( Brown v. Board), racial bias in the criminal legal system (Powell v. Alabama, i.e. the Scottsboro Boys), and marriage inequality (Loving v. Virginia). While these landmark victories initiated necessary reforms, they were only a starting point.

Systemic racism continues to pervade the lives of Black people through voter suppression, lack of financial services, housing discrimination, and other areas. More than anything, doing this work has taught the ACLU that we must fight on every front in order to overcome our country's legacies of racism. That is what our Systemic Equality agenda is all about.

In the weeks ahead, we will both expand on our views of why these campaigns are crucial to systemic equality and signal the path this country must take. We will also dive into our work to build organizing, advocacy, and legal power in the South — a region with a unique history of racial oppression and violence alongside a rich history of antiracist organizing and advocacy. We are committed to four principles throughout this campaign: reconciliation, access, prosperity, and empowerment. We hope that our actions can meet our ambition to, as Dr. King said, lead this nation to live out the true meaning of its creed.

What you can do:
Take the pledge: Systemic Equality Agenda
Sign up

Featured image by Shutterstock

This article is in partnership with Staples.

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