Due to a technical issue with our plane yesterday, my final evaluation (called a line check) flight from Madrid to Stockholm and back was delayed by about three hours. I spent most of that time fidgeting and worrying about everything I could possibly mess up or forget.
Of course I really didn’t need to worry. I had spent the last few months working my ass off to make sure I know everything in our manuals and the set up of the plane and how to react in any kind of emergency. I had flown the past four days learning where everything was and how to do the bar service and working on not falling into the sleeping passengers when we hit a little bit of turbulance (the heat in Madrid makes it so we have a lot of turbulance when we start our descent). My trainer, Marc, and I went over everything I needed to know and some things I didn’t to make sure I would pass.
I think I lucked out because both Marc and my line checker, Danny, we very funny and were able to put me at ease pretty well. It made me feel better when I made mistakes in front of them, like when I performed the safety demo and fumbled with the oxygen mask (I’m really glad I didn’t break it, which apparently has happened to some people if they pull it too hard) or when I snapped the plastic guard on the seatbelt.
My biggest mistake though was at the end of the last flight on my last day of training (Thursday). I was supposed to do all the announcements and had them in front of me, where I just had to fill in blanks for the airport and times. So we landed in Madrid around 11 at night after a delay in Oslo and Marc was trying to help me pronounce Barajas correctly as we started taxiing. I still couldn’t do it so I decided to just welcome them to Madrid…and instead said “Ladies and gentlemen, welcome to Barcelona airport.” Whoops.
I stopped the PA immediately as Marc said, “BARCELONA??”
I tried to recover, I really did. I put on a professional face and started again, “Let’s try that again, welcome to MADRID airport-” and everyone started clapping. I lost it along with Marc and Alberto who was also sitting in the galley with us. Every time I thought I was calm enough to start the PA, I started laughing again. I doubt anyone could have understand me between snorts. I’m glad no one panicked and apparently the other two crew members didn’t hear me say Barcelona and just thought we were laughing in the back for some reason. Which we continued to do for the fifteen minute taxi to our gate; every time we looked at one another we just fell into fits of laughter again. I was crying by the time we stopped.
It wasn’t the worst thing I could have done and we made a joke about it, telling the passengers to enjoy Barcelona as they left. And hey, at least I got the correct country! Think positive people!
But now it’s over. I have the weekend off to enjoy Madrid properly before deadheading back to Boston on Monday. Then time to take a few more training courses online (they never end), experience my first round of standby, hopefully celebrate the 4th of July with my boyfriend, head to Maine for the weekend, before finally doing my first scheduled flight on the 10th. I can’t wait to start this new journey! It’s gonna be great, I can feel it!
Check out my Roster page for the most up to date info on my flights and make sure to comment if you’ll be in the area!