Running late

Posted by at 14:00

Waking up this morning, my heart is in my throat. I hear a phone ring and, panic-stricken, try to remember what day it is. By the time I find my phone, it has stopped ringing: a missed private call.

In the meantime I discover that it’s Wednesday. But what does Wednesday mean if you’re a flight attendant and therefore don’t have a Monday-to-Friday job? My diary finally reassures me that my next flight is not for another two days. It’s only after my first cup of coffee that my heart rate finally returns to normal.

In all the years I have worked as a flight attendant, I’ve never been mistaken as to my flight days. Nevertheless, I’m just as nervous today about getting it wrong as I was in the early days. In fact, it has got worse since I started working part-time. Sometimes my leave is for more than a week, so I can easily lose track of time. Luckily my boyfriend has a regular job, which helps to remind me what day of the week it is.

Running lateI’m not sure whether it is a typical flight-crew thing, but a lot of my dreams are about being late for a flight. Last night, for instance, I dreamt it was taking forever to get to the airport, as I was being held up by all sorts of weird incidents. First of all, the person who was supposed to take me to the airport (a classmate from high school I haven’t seen for decades!) decided to call in to a huge hi-fi shop to buy some new speakers. He took his time, carefully studying all the options and then started a conversation with the shop assistant about their favourite music. My watch told me I was running late, so I snuck away. The next moment I was at a railway station, wanting to catch a train but realised that my shoes had become stuck to the platform. Then I found myself walking along a deserted road, unable to make any progress against a strong headwind. In the far distance I could see Schiphol Airport.

And so the dream went on – but I never reached the airport as I was awoken by the private caller. I never found out who it was, but I’m very grateful to them!

Caroline

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12 Responses to Running late

  1. Nightmare passenger ;-)

     As a frequent traveller, I have similar dreams! In my dreams it always takes ages to check out of my hotel, I always get stuck in traffic (even in deserted places) and eventually when I arrive at the airport the groundstaff cannot find my reservation. Just before I wake up (in panic ;-)) I always see my airplane departing from the gate from the terminal window.

    Touch wood, but luckily it has only been in my dreams so far! ;-) 

    • KLM

      It is ‘good’ to know that I am in the company of many people when it comes to having dreams about being late for a flight. As long as we dream about it, it will probably never happen.. :-)

  2. Nightmare passenger ;-)

     As a frequent traveller, I have similar dreams! In my dreams it always takes ages to check out of my hotel, I always get stuck in traffic (even in deserted places) and eventually when I arrive at the airport the groundstaff cannot find my reservation. Just before I wake up (in panic ;-)) I always see my airplane departing from the gate from the terminal window.

    Touch wood, but luckily it has only been in my dreams so far! ;-) 

    • KLM

      It is ‘good’ to know that I am in the company of many people when it comes to having dreams about being late for a flight. As long as we dream about it, it will probably never happen.. :-)

  3. Oliver

    Unfortunately for me, this dream has come true. I was waiting in Schiphol for a flight to London, a couple of years ago. It was in the winter and the snow was wreaking on all runways, making it impossible for my plane to land, let alone start boarding!

    It was due to be an early flight, around 7am. I got there promptly, checked in and found a comfy seat in a departure lounge.

    The flight was delayed for an hour. No big deal, I thought. At 7:45, it was announced that the delay was extended for another hour, right up to 4pm. Having woken at 5am that morning, my patience and energy was wearing thin. I reassured myself that Schiphol was hardly to blame for some snow, and it would all be OK eventually.

    At 4pm, the flight was announced to be expected at 5pm. Knowing that I was going to spend the next hour as the past 9 before it, my chair suddenly seemed extremely comfy and I managed to rest my head on my shoulder and drop into a sleep.

    Like you, Caroline, I was awoken by my phone ringing. In a half-asleep state, I answered it and it was my Dad on the other end, who I was planning to meet in London. He asked me whether my flight had been updated yet, I had a look at the departures board, my heart stopped.

    It was 16:50ish, and the gate had closed. I hung up on my Dad, picked up my bag and sprinted to the gate. Running in an airport isn’t fun, especially with the look of desperation I had in my face, I try not to worry about what fellow passengers were thinking when I was sprinting past them on the moving floor.

    Alas, I make it to the gate just in time to see the plane being pushed out to start taxiing.

    I slowly walk back through to the main lounge, and explain my situation to a lady at the helpdesk.

    “I fell asleep” didn’t nearly get as much sympathy as I had hoped, at which point the lady let out a little giggle and proceeded to give me a different ticket, for a flight with a few spar seats.

    Needless to say, I stayed very much awake during the next 3 hour wait, and have done ever since.

    • KLM

      What a story! I can imagine that it was not longer possible to stay bright and shiny after such a long delay. Hope it won’t happen again but if snow comes on your way one more time at an airport maybe it is good to set the alarm on your phone to be sure…

  4. Oliver

    Unfortunately for me, this dream has come true. I was waiting in Schiphol for a flight to London, a couple of years ago. It was in the winter and the snow was wreaking on all runways, making it impossible for my plane to land, let alone start boarding!

    It was due to be an early flight, around 7am. I got there promptly, checked in and found a comfy seat in a departure lounge.

    The flight was delayed for an hour. No big deal, I thought. At 7:45, it was announced that the delay was extended for another hour, right up to 4pm. Having woken at 5am that morning, my patience and energy was wearing thin. I reassured myself that Schiphol was hardly to blame for some snow, and it would all be OK eventually.

    At 4pm, the flight was announced to be expected at 5pm. Knowing that I was going to spend the next hour as the past 9 before it, my chair suddenly seemed extremely comfy and I managed to rest my head on my shoulder and drop into a sleep.

    Like you, Caroline, I was awoken by my phone ringing. In a half-asleep state, I answered it and it was my Dad on the other end, who I was planning to meet in London. He asked me whether my flight had been updated yet, I had a look at the departures board, my heart stopped.

    It was 16:50ish, and the gate had closed. I hung up on my Dad, picked up my bag and sprinted to the gate. Running in an airport isn’t fun, especially with the look of desperation I had in my face, I try not to worry about what fellow passengers were thinking when I was sprinting past them on the moving floor.

    Alas, I make it to the gate just in time to see the plane being pushed out to start taxiing.

    I slowly walk back through to the main lounge, and explain my situation to a lady at the helpdesk.

    “I fell asleep” didn’t nearly get as much sympathy as I had hoped, at which point the lady let out a little giggle and proceeded to give me a different ticket, for a flight with a few spar seats.

    Needless to say, I stayed very much awake during the next 3 hour wait, and have done ever since.

    • KLM

      What a story! I can imagine that it was not longer possible to stay bright and shiny after such a long delay. Hope it won’t happen again but if snow comes on your way one more time at an airport maybe it is good to set the alarm on your phone to be sure…

  5. Gertjan

     I’m not a flight crew member but i am a a frequent flyer. I always have these kind of dreams too the day before or a few days before a flight. It is always the same. I wake up in my dream realizing I woke up to late to catch my flight and feeling horrible to have missed it. Than I wake up for real and have to check the time asap to confirm it was a dream and I am still on time. Maybe this is because this has actually happened to me before when I had an really early flight and had a bit to much to drink during a party the night before.   

    • KLM

      It is everybody’s nightmare to come too late, especially when there is a plane involved… I hope however that you had a nice evening and a pleasant – later – flight!

  6. Gertjan

     I’m not a flight crew member but i am a a frequent flyer. I always have these kind of dreams too the day before or a few days before a flight. It is always the same. I wake up in my dream realizing I woke up to late to catch my flight and feeling horrible to have missed it. Than I wake up for real and have to check the time asap to confirm it was a dream and I am still on time. Maybe this is because this has actually happened to me before when I had an really early flight and had a bit to much to drink during a party the night before.   

    • KLM

      It is everybody’s nightmare to come too late, especially when there is a plane involved… I hope however that you had a nice evening and a pleasant – later – flight!

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