Aviation for Women

MAR-APR 2016

Aviation for Women is the flagship member publication of Women in Aviation International. Articles feature women who have made aviation history, professional development ideas, and current-topic articles.

Issue link: https://afwdigital.epubxp.com/i/638688

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Page 84 of 92

82 Aviation forWomen M A R C H / A P R I L 2 0 1 6 and a wary hunch that it's the person next to them who will be awarded the jump seat while they will either contin- ue to wait for hours or sprint in panic across the terminal for the next fight to wherever. Com mut i n g c rew members of ten stand around and compare notes about trips that are upcoming or recent past, and unobtrusively glare at revenue pas- sengers who saunter up to the gate ask- ing to be moved to an earlier flight. It is almost a ritual that we commuters go through, and while it can be smooth sailing, it can also be a right pain in the tush. For the last six years I have commut- ed to work using a variety of methods: airplanes, of course, as well as cars, trains, and on one memorable occasion even an infatable boat. I have sat in for- ward jump seats and in aft jump seats. I have gotten to work a day ahead, and I have been forced to call scheduling to say that my commute flight had to di- vert—and that it might be difficult to predict exactly when I would be getting to work. Usually any flight where I am lucky enough to have a seat in the cabin also i nvolves a leng t hy d isc ussion w it h whomever I am seated near, explain- ing what commuting means in the air- line industry, and that yes, it is indeed a very long way to go to get to work. Sometimes my seatmates are confused about my uniformed presence in their row, not understanding that I am not in fact working. Passengers I have traveled with have berated me for flight delays and even thanked me for safe arrivals. Although you are not yet on the clock, your workday has begun. Although commuting is a fairly de- pendable stressor, usually the getting to work part has not been a serious prob- lem for me as there are plenty of fights between my home airport and my base. Many of my co-workers are not so lucky. They live in areas where there is less service, or smaller planes that go there, or even places where fights are regular- L ook around your gate area the next time you are fying commer- cial and you are sure to fnd at least a handful of crew members either trying to get home or trying to get to work. These poor souls are easily identifed by their uniforms and lanyards, as well as their expressions of mixed hopeful- ness and suspicion. Hope that they actually will be getting on this fight (and to work on time), HITCHHIKER' S GUIDE TO THE AIRLINES I N T H E P U S H D E V A N A . N O R R I S No kidding about getting to work on an infatable boat! When the Delaware River fooded my hometown, the local fre de- partment picked me up and ferried me across the foodwater where my cousin's wife picked me up and brought me to the train station. What a day.

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