Cabin Crew – Working from Nine to Wine

A Cocktail of Disaster: Aviation and Alcohol.

There are lots of things that alcohol does mix with: cute outfits, yummy tapas, killer heels…sometimes causing killer hangovers/blisters. There is one main thing to remember when being, or becoming, Cabin Crew. Alcohol and Flying NEVER mix. Even as a passenger, you shouldn’t really drink and fly. As crew, it is a definite no!

In training College, we are taught as a rule of thumb that you shouldn’t have any alcohol 12 hours before the start of your duty. I would go so far as to say that you shouldn’t have any alcohol on the day that you are flying, and if you have an early morning flight the next day too. For one sweet glass of bubbly, it is not worth feeling sluggish and finding it even more difficult to wake up when you alarm sounds.

Another factor that many people don’t realise about working in the Aviation Industry is that at any time, regardless of if your role is air or ground based; you can (and will) be subject to random drug and alcohol testing. For crew, this is most common at your home Port, rather than at Out Stations. On layovers (out stations) crew are typically only tested if they display behavioural signs that they may be intoxicated. This doesn’t mean you won’t be picked at random, though! For Ground Staff, Drug and Alcohol testing is random, varied, and sometimes frequent. If I have a social engagement on and know I have to work the next morning, I will opt to be the designated driver so I know I won’t drink. If I feel the temptation of an event will be too much, I simply won’t attend. Work comes first, and I love my role within my Airline. It is not worth hindering my career or practicing unsafe behaviours all for a few drinks with friends!

The aviation industry is governed by different bodies around the world, such as IATA and ICAO.

If you are a Cabin Crew hopeful, it is most helpful to conduct some research about these organisations and the rules that are enforced within your home country, so you are prepared for the interview process, and if successful, can rattle the information off in a heart beat if audited! I know I sound like a broken PA, but the bottom line is don’t mix alcohol with work, especially flying. The increase in altitude thins your blood, which makes the alcohol absorption rate twice as fast. As a passenger, in-flight you will drink less, and feel it more. The pressurised cabin air will dehydrate you as well, making you feel even more deflated than last night’s event balloons! If you want to celebrate (or get that Insta-worthy plane snap) have a couple of sips of your alcoholic beverage, and keep hydrated as a passenger! As crew, work is for water and layovers are for living it up (within reason).

Did someone say wine time?!

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Taylor has been loving and living the Aviation dream for 5 years. She has flown as Cabin Crew for an International Airline based in Dubai, where she lived and worked. Taylor is now based in her hometown of Perth, Western Australia, as a Lounge Agent for the national carrier.

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