Once upon a time, a self-proclaimed Archaeology-Lifer got a job as a flight attendant. No one knows quite how it happened. Here's what happened next...

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Airport Life

I have been working at the YOW airport for about a month now as a passenger service rep for one of the US airlines there.  I enjoy the job, although it can be challenging at times - particularly since the airline I work for it notorious for delayed baggage, and as I work in the evenings my job primarily consists of arrivals and baggage claims. 

Still, airport life is never dull, and as interesting as YOW is during the day, I absolutely love it at night time.  There are fewer passengers passing through, but the same amount of staff.  There are always people to talk to, spend time with, and get coffee with.  There are funny stories to be heard, languages to learn, and interesting and useful tidbits to be picked up and tucked away for future use in my career.  There are lovely people, good looking people, angry people, smelly people, strange people, cool people.  Every day is a little bit different.

The airport is like a small community of its own.  Everyone knows everyone else who works there, and gossip runs around like mad.  But it's an addictive environment, and I know people who have two or three jobs at the airport and rarely seem to leave.

The customs hall is one of my favourite spots.  To being with, it's where you find the customs officers, who always have something interesting to tell you and keep you company when your flight is delayed for over two hours and you're stuck there until it decides to show up.  The customs hall can be chaotic when lots of flights arrive at the same time - yesterday an A330 from Heathrow and a B767 from Frankfurt arrived at the same time as two or three US flights, and I could barely move in the hall, and the noise!  But then when it empties out it's large and almost peaceful, until you start to see another flight full of people begin to make their way through.

Naturally for me, part of the enjoyment of the job comes from getting to spend so much time around airplanes.  There are some great ones that come in - the Heathrow and Frankfurt flights I mentioned earlier.  I discovered that by making friends with agents from other airlines, sometimes I will get to take little field trips to see the planes from the inside.  I have decided that the B767 is beautiful on the outside, but the A330 is beautiful on the inside!  And those sleeper pods are hardcore.  I almost want to pay to travel first class just for the experience of flying in one of those!

And of course there is all the time I spend on the ramp or sitting on the bridge with my legs dangling over the side, waiting for my flights to arrive.  Sometimes I take pictures.  Other times I just enjoy the view of the runways I get from such spots.

By far one of the best things I have learned so far was to drive a jetbridge.  I was very nervous to begin with, but I've gotten a lot better.  It's so exciting to park it next to the airplane and then open the door (extremely challenging from the outside, who knew?)

Although there are some days I want to beat my head against the wall - usually ones where no one on their flight gets their bag but I get twenty delayed bags from the day before instead - I am loving airport life, and am being voluntarily sucked in.  Who needs a life when there's an aiport?


  1. Now I know why we see so much less of you!

  2. My kids (2 year old and 4 year old) LOVE the airport. We have to go visit every now and then. We walk around, throw money in the fountain (sigh...bye bye $$$), look at planes, etc...

    An interesting self-contained world indeed. I can see how you would become addicted to it.

    <3 Always wishing you the best.

    Giulia :)

    Maybe you will see us wandering around with coins in our hands. :)