What It’s REALLY Like Flying Long-Haul as Cabin Crew
Are you tempted by flying long-haul as Cabin Crew?
Many Cabin Crew dream of flying long-haul routes. Usually classed as any flight with a duration of at least 6 hours, working long-haul routes make a Cabin Crew career truly international.
Far-flung countries, exotic destinations, the glamorous lifestyle of long-distance travel. Sounds dreamy, right?
But let’s not forget – Cabin Crew have a job to do!
So what’s it REALLY like flying long-haul as Cabin Crew?
The part of Cabin Crew life that most appeals to people is usually the prospect of layovers. If you’re flying long-haul you can expect a layover to last for up to five whole days! This is great as you can rest and explore rather than choosing between the two on shorter layovers.
Short-haul Cabin Crew tend to have a more structured lifestyle and spend most nights at home. This is useful if you need a more settled routine. However, many Cabin Crew love flying long-haul as it enables them to experience that international Cabin Crew lifestyle. Periods away from home can seem like an adventure, experiencing other cultures and making memories. It really depends on what kind of work-life balance you are looking for.
We have plenty more insight into Cabin Crew rostering and the perks and pitfalls of long-haul vs. short-haul.
It’s a given that when flying long-haul as Cabin Crew you’ll have to deal with jetlag.
Fatigue affects all Cabin Crew, no matter what their roster looks like. Irregular schedules and anti-social hours can take their toll.
But for those flying long-haul, this means travelling through different time zones. This will disrupt the body’s circadian rhythm, which is the process regulating your sleep cycle. Don’t worry though. If you’re flying to destinations very far away, you will be assigned layovers that will give you enough time to rest and recover. You won’t be expected to fling yourself back into working another flight immediately.
In fact, studies have shown that long-haul Cabin Crew actually suffer less from stress and fatigue than those doing short-haul flights!
Want to combat jetlag?
Adjust your devices to your destination time zone and try to adapt your meals and bedtime as quickly as you can
Try sleep meditation to help you get snoozing when you should
Avoid caffeine and alcohol as much as possible as these can further interfere with your sleep pattern
Catch some rays! Sunlight and fresh air will help your body realise it’s daytime
Stay hydrated – water will help stave off fatigue
Try not to go wild on your first day in a new place. Save any big plans or explorations for when your body is more rested [/tie_list]
Cabin Crew flying long-haul will have designated breaks during their shifts. Australian airline Qantas recently got into trouble after not providing their staff with adequate facilities for their crew rest periods. Instead, Cabin Crew were expected to take their breaks on casually sectioned-off economy seats!
Rest assured this is NOT the norm. You should be allocated bunks to rest on long-haul flights. Be sure to sleep as and when you can!
Additionally, while short-haul Cabin Crew undertake extra duties after disembarkation such as tidying and cabin checks, long-haul crew generally get to leave swiftly after landing.
Cabin Crew are expected to provide exceptional customer service.
Flying long-haul as Cabin Crew has the benefit of allowing crew to build rapport and make connections during the flight. Passengers will get to know your face and you can demonstrate your can-do attitude and friendly professionalism over more than just a couple of hours.
You can make your service more personalised when interacting with the same people multiple times. Don’t underestimate your impact on passengers, be they in First, Business or Economy class.
BUT… There are certainly challenges that can arise on long-haul flights. Passengers can become more disruptive after a long time cooped up in an aircraft, especially if they’ve been drinking alcohol. We know flying long-haul can be a stressful experience for some, but verbal or physical threats or abuse are NEVER tolerated. It’s useful to prepare yourself to know how to deal with difficult passengers and plan how you might respond.
You can also rely on your colleagues to help you with any awkward or unpleasant situations. Look out for each others’ safety and welfare while making sure other passengers’ experiences aren’t affected by any unruly travellers.
Aircraft used for long-haul and short-haul flights usually vary in size. This is definitely an advantage for Cabin Crew flying long-haul!
Planes travelling further afield are bigger. There is more room within the cabin to manouevre trolleys and baggage. In medical emergencies you will also have more space to deal with whatever problem emerges. Size really does matter!
Thankfully, the world seems to be relinquishing its pandemic restrictions one by one. This is great news for Cabin Crew. If you were lucky enough to still be flying long-haul during the pandemic, you probably encountered various rules. Quarantining in hotel rooms, self-isolating or waiting to be tested, it wasn’t quite the exciting lifestyle you imagined when starting your Cabin Crew career.
Even now when restrictions are relaxing, it can be quite daunting or isolating to be in a new place by yourself. Put some effort into building good relationships with colleagues and creating a strong network within the aviation industry. The Cabin Crew lifestyle is way more fun when you’re experiencing it with new friends!
Is flying long-haul your Cabin Crew career goal?
Let us help you land the Cabin Crew career of your dreams. Head to our products page where you can browse our selection of courses and eBooks packed full of info and tips to help you become Cabin Crew.