Instagram Crew Life vs Real Crew Life!

When I heard I my application for my dream airline job had been successful I went on a bit of a mission to find out everything I could about them and their crew. That included spending a lot of time online, especially on the photo sharing site Instagram.

In many ways it was great, but it also had a very unexpected side effect (for me anyway)– crippling anxiety!

I saw all these young, beautiful people, all of whom were younger than me, slimmer than me, wearing beautiful clothes and to coin a phrase/hashtag ‘living their best life’.

Suddenly my life goal which I was so close to achieving, was becoming a very scary reality.

I was convinced I wasn’t going to fit in, I wouldn’t look right and that I’d have nothing in common with anyone.

Instagram Crew Life vs Real Life

Don’t get me wrong, I love Instagram, I use it a lot myself! But people need to realise that so much on there is not real.

I’ve seen crew on numerous occasions taking 10+ photos to get ‘the one’ which is then filtered and edited prior to being posted on Instagram (with a carefully thought out caption and hashtags).

I’ve also been told of crew going to a restaurant/bar in a carefully selected outfit, taking photos and then leaving without even having eaten or drunk there. Just so on Instagram they can have a photo in the ‘right’ place.

There is nothing wrong with this! But the reality of crew life is sometimes sitting in your hotel room in your pyjamas eating pizza, trying to hide the bags under your eyes with make up as you’re so jetlagged, and stressing out because one false eyelash has gone on perfectly but the other isn’t playing ball at all!!

Those are the pictures that don’t make it to Insta! It doesn’t look quite as glamorous…

As I said at the start, I use Instagram a great deal. And I love it. Both posting and seeing other peoples posts from around the world.

However, I use it in a slightly different way. Mine is all very real, there are pictures on there of me on ‘landing day’, with sticky up hair, no make up and looking pretty rough.

There’s a picture of a mountain of ironing captioned ‘it’s not all about the glamour’. I am very open about the fact I’m not 20, size 6 or blonde, I want to show people that anyone, whatever your shape or size can be cabin crew. You don’t have to conform to the image that you see on Instagram.

I’ve not had any cosmetic work done; however, I will admit to eye lashes (lol!).

I probably get at least one message a week from someone saying that I’ve encouraged them to apply as I’m so ‘normal’, that it’s brilliant to see someone a little older following their dream, that they didn’t think they could do it but they’re now going to try.

That for me is what Instagram is about, sharing my life to encourage others, to inspire, but to make it real!



Catch up with Lorna’s life and travels on Instagram at @lornah72

You can also find us on Instagram – @cabincrewwings!

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I am a 46 year old mum of 3 grown up sons, and a nearly 5 year old grandson - however I don't knit or wear cardigans! I started flying in 1994, since then I've worked outside the industry in various roles and for a number of leading airlines. Since January 2018 I have been flying full time as cabin crew for Virgin Atlantic. My hobbies include Latin American and Ballroom dancing, spending time with my lovely man and drinking white wine, particularly New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc.

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  1. Thank you June. I love my job, wouldn’t do anything else, but it’s not all cocktails and pool parties!

  2. Lorna, I found you on Instagram during my dream to pursue Virgin. You were a breathe of fresh air! You cannot imagine how thankful I was to discover you. Because I found you I decided to have a go. After my second AD I got the job and will be starting with Virgin in Jan 2020. I’m about to turn 43, mother of two teenagers and currently working part time in a school. It’s going to be a massive change but I’m excited to take on the challenge and accept it for what it is. Before you came along I found all the others and talked myself out of ever applying. I am the fabulous & normal, just like you. Cannot wait to end up on a trip with you as I’m sure I will have a “Fan” moment! So thank you for what you write and what you post. You’re an inspiration to us all. Xxx

    1. Hi Annie, thank you so much for your kind words. It means the world to me that I was able to help, even in just a small way. Good luck with your training and see you on line

  3. Good on you!
    I started fkying at 48 years old abd still going at 63. I fly mainly short/mid haul but a couple of years ago I did long haul (bullets) for about 18 months and I have to admit they half killed me. I didn’t really sleep for 18 months, struggled with changing time zones twice within 48 hours. My health suffered and the smiles in the crew photos hid the fact that most of us were struggling with energy levels and that some of the crew relationships down route were close to being toxic.. never believe all of those photos! That said, there were some good bits to remember too, but I think it needs to be portrayed mire often that reality can be far from glamorous! Well done for showing the other side.

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