It’s cliche, I know. But at some point every flight attendant has repeated the mantra, “Paris, first class, international.” Taken from the 2003 romantic comedy “View From the Top” starring Gwyneth Paltrow, this iconic quote embodies what most crew want out of their profession: the top routes with the longest layovers in the best cites. After all, it was the allure of glamorous destinations like Paris, London and Rome that fueled our dreams to fly. Once we have our wings we will do whatever it takes to make our reality mimic our dreams. Depending on which airline you work for, matching the two could take years. Friends of mine have been digging the ditches, flying domestic for ages with international flights being the carrot at the end of the stick that keeps them motivated trekking Kansas City to Kalamazoo. Not that there’s anything wrong with flying domestic. Some even prefer it so they can be closer to their friends and families. But even they at some point wanted “Paris, first Class, international”.
For me it was international or nothing and I picked my airline wisely. In less than four years I had my first class (one of the best in the world I might add) and I was Paris bound. Today I’m back in Paris and you probably think this is what I’m doing, but the male version:
When I’m actually doing this: And sitting behind a computer writing about not doing anything besides writing and sleeping on a layover.
Like Paltrow’s character, Donna Jensen, you soon realize that dreams come true but they’re not always what you think. For example, instead of being next to the Eiffel Tower my hotel is near that other famous landmark everyone goes to when visiting Paris… Charles De Gaulle Airport. Also, the sacrifices you make to earn that best international routes come in the form of family, friends and lovers. For me it comes in the way of SLEEP and MONEY as well. Flying international isn’t for the sleep happy and when you get to the layover the shopping is too good to pass up and you are broke in a second. Thus forced to spend your next layover catching up on sleep and eating spoonfuls of peanut butter, saving your euros so you can survive until payday. I’ve still yet to retain self control in the matters of overseas purchases. I feel like I’m on vacation and that’s dangerous because I’M NOT.
Paris was kind to me this visit and made my choice to skip a day out on the town an easy one. Instead of the famous sunny summer days, I was greeted by a chilly breeze and light drizzle that invited me to crawl under the sheets and say à la prochaine (until next time) Paris. Next time we will rendezvous by the river Seine and stroll down your cobble stone streets with me wearing my masculine yellow coat and I will give unto you my Euros freely.
To make up for my lack of effort on this visit to Paris I will share with you some captures of my past visits to the City of Love!
Great post! So honest and refreshing 🙂 I’m heading to Dubai to also join ‘the best airline in the world’ on August 16. Very excited…. But it is nice to read about and prepare myself for some of the harsher realities of the lifestyle! Happy flying!
August! Brace yourself Jen… If you can make it through August in Dubai then you have seen the worst. It starts getting good in this part of the world after that. Congrats on getting a job with the airline there. If you have any questions about working for a Middle East Airline please ask away and when you are new I do not want to see you following the example written here! you better not be laying over on your layovers
Ha ok that’s good to know! It’s winter here in Australia, and temps of 8 degrees celsius is the norm, literally one extreme to the other! May have a few questions…. I’ll get back to you! Thanks again 🙂
Great post! I’m definitely stuck in the domestic ditches, while most of my class has gotten trips to Rome, Madrid, or Amsterdam I’ve been flying Tampa, Newark and Houston. Ugh. I can only hope that my first big international will come soon! 🙂
Hey thanks! I look forward to reading about your first crossing of the pond!
like it, haven’t seen the movie yet but its on my to do list.
I can just imagine that you would definitely need days where you just sleep and catch up on some rest with all this traveling around!
Amo PAris! Muito boa este artigo!
Gostaria de compartilhar uma visão nossa da Cidade Luz! A série se chama Paris Além do Óbvio e tem dicas e curiosidades de uma Paris que poucos conhecem, só quem está morando por lá!
Viagens baratas para Paris
Hello Guys ! Nice Post and Great experiences.