Is being a flight attendant all that glamorous?

It’s a hard life: Journalists take pictures of Air Asia Japan's crew providing meals. (AFP file photo)

Travel fatigue
Two years in is when most flight crew start finding their job to be more a burden than a joy. Those who are married or in relationships start feeling the strain of being away from loved ones, while others find it hard to maintain friendships or find a potential spouse with their irregular work schedules.
“In the beginning, I’d immediately leave the hotel room to explore the country I was in but after two years, I just wanted to stay in my room and Skype with my fiance, or order room service and watch a DVD. Traveling got more and more tiring each time, and I feel like my face has aged six, seven years in just two years because of all that flying,” said ex-stewardess Jasmine Yeo, 34, who left her Hong Kong-based airline employer to get married and start a family three years ago.
“It is the worst when we are away during festive seasons like Christmas and Chinese New Year. I’ve seen many stewardesses crying in their hotel rooms because they can’t make it back for reunion dinner or a good friends’ wedding. Travelling is fun, but after a while I keep wishing I had my loved ones with me enjoying all these beautiful places. The feeling is really empty.”
“In the beginning, it’s fun, and you tell yourself you don’t mind not being there for New Year. But three years in, when you’re alone in your hotel room with only your lap top and you see your family on your webcam enjoying steamboat and going visiting together, it can get really hard. It doesn’t seem worth it to miss all these moments,” said Daniel.
Alcohol-fuelled parties – once an attraction to newly ‘graduated’ flight crew --  become tiresome for those who are married or attached and want to stay faithful. Most end up staying in their rooms alone to recuperate from their long hours on the plane.


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