Training.

Year Three. Month Four. #SEA.

Always on the go. Thank god for Danskos!

I've been a little busy lately.

With all of the working overtime at my regional airline, interviewing for my dream mainline (Hello, Alaska Airlines!), being offered the job, taking a trip to Anchorage, getting engaged, saying goodbye to crewmembers from regional life, starting training for Alaska and studying non-stop for things like evacuation drills, arctic survival, water ditching, service training flights and how to truly master the art of pouring Diet Coke, I've barely had time to breathe.

But today is my halfway point. And so I pause, raise my head above the water and take in a big gulp of fresh air.
The ladies demonstrating the use of life vests (and lookin' pretty good while doing so!)

I have just survived three weeks of Alaska Airlines flight attendant training. It's all too familiar but at the same time it's all new to me. You may think that going through flight attendant training for a second time would be easy, but no.

It's just different.

For example, at my old job, there were just two flight attendants (forward and aft positions) and in an emergency, our commands were simple. Release seatbelts! Get out! Go, go!

On a bigger aircraft, with almost two hundred customers and up to four (and sometimes five or six) flight attendants, each crewmember has very specific duties. There are cabin areas of responsibility to check, more emergency equipment to point out and more able-bodied people to sort, brief and assign to different exits.

This is a thing. Kayla models the PBE for the class on fire-fighting day.

The language is distinct as well. The people (and pets!) riding on our planes are no longer just "passengers" or "cabin animals." Now I welcome aboard my customers and their fuzzy guests.

I guess different isn't all that bad.

Each weekend, after five full days of classroom training, our awesome instructors set up service flights for us. We hop on a roundtrip flight where we get to mingle with crew, work the beverage cart and get a feel for the flow of things. It's like job shadowing in the air, and I've loved every minute of it.

Oh Southeast Alaska. You steal my heart every time!

My first service flight brought me to tears. An early morning departure out of Seattle up to the wonderful world of the 49th state, hopping around southeast Alaska. We landed into Juneau just as the sun was peeking over the glaciers and icy ridges and I got goosebumps from the beauty of it all. The milk run may not sound glamorous but you'll never see such beautiful sights or meet such wonderful, hardworking people.

Since then I've worked a Minneapolis turn (where I held a baby and a puppy!) and a Burbank turn where I made friends with a couple heading up to Washington for a vacation. I've shadowed a brand new flight attendant named Will and the famous Donna, who still smiles at every customer after forty-six years with the company.

Flight Attendant + Service Puppy = <3

On Mondays we sit around the classroom sharing our service flight stories. There is always a box of tissues being passed around as we recount stories of Alaska Airlines flight attendants performing countless acts of kindness in the skies. From holding babies so parents can take a moment to themselves or comforting someone who has just lost a spouse; from helping a man get home to his family (a flight attendant donated a buddy pass to a customer who only had enough money for one leg of his journey) or just showing trainees the ropes, Alaska Airlines flight attendants have set a high standard for the rest of us.

I just hope that I can radiate even a fraction of the love that I've received in the past three weeks, and spread that caring attitude to those around me.

Two more weeks of training, and then one week of my final line check and base orientation.

And then I get to be a full-fledged Alaska Airlines flight attendant.

I can't wait to jump into this career!

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#letsgoplaces #iamalaska

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