Social life

Posted by at 14:00

Every Thursday around noon, you might notice a certain turmoil among KLM cabin crew. Because that’s when our new flight rosters are published: we log in to our intranet en masse from all over the world to check our schedules for the next month.

Social life takes planning

We do get the opportunity to make requests for flights, but obviously some flights are more popular than others. In brief, the idea behind the system is to assign requests evenly, monitoring the number of times that someone gets the flight that he or she requested.

When I’m sitting at my computer making requests, my friends often remark that it’s like I’m planning a holiday trip. And I must admit, it does feel like that now and then. “Shall I go for Los Angeles? But I’d love to go to Hong Kong too! Or shall I request a Kuala Lumpur flight – haven’t been there for a long time!”

On the other hand, there’s more to it than just planning a nice trip. Our rosters are very important to us since they influence a large part of our social life as well. So a lot of times we request less popular trips in order to have a better chance of being at home on our partner’s (or our own!) birthday, to attend that important sports game of our children, or to celebrate our parents’ wedding anniversary.

For example, my boyfriend and I decided to have a housewarming party this summer. That brought us up against a dilemma. If we waited too long before inviting our friends, we would run the risk that they might be occupied already. But if we just planned a date without knowing my flight roster, I would risk missing my own party!

We decided to play it safe and we sent out the invitations only when my schedule was published. The party will be next weekend. And it looks like it will all turn out well. But I will still only be completely at ease when my plane home touches down on the runway at Schiphol airport.

Caroline

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6 Responses to Social life

  1. RobertKCole

    Being married to someone who spent 20 years as a Northwest flight attendant certainly made me familiar with the process – lots of uncertainty, but also occasional opportunities for partners to meet up with cabin crew in far flung destinations as well.

    The most interesting planning process I ever saw was when I worked for Sabre (at the time, part of American Airlines) and knew a number of people who would draw a random gate number from a hat and grab the next flight to that destination for the weekend.  I was amazed at the number of weekend Dallas to Tokyo or London trips that resulted (in addition to some Tulsa & El Paso trips.)

    Of course, there were also the hard-core travelholics who would go to Machu Pichu for the weekend (spending only 90 minutes at the site before they had to leave to catch their return flight.)

    For the Cabin crew, not only is planning the routes to be worked add a bit of excitement, but also figuring out how to block off time to use those flight benefits as well for leisure travel. In my case, it was always great for my wife & daughter to tag along on a business trip to Hong Kong.

  2. RobertKCole

    Being married to someone who spent 20 years as a Northwest flight attendant certainly made me familiar with the process – lots of uncertainty, but also occasional opportunities for partners to meet up with cabin crew in far flung destinations as well.

    The most interesting planning process I ever saw was when I worked for Sabre (at the time, part of American Airlines) and knew a number of people who would draw a random gate number from a hat and grab the next flight to that destination for the weekend.  I was amazed at the number of weekend Dallas to Tokyo or London trips that resulted (in addition to some Tulsa & El Paso trips.)

    Of course, there were also the hard-core travelholics who would go to Machu Pichu for the weekend (spending only 90 minutes at the site before they had to leave to catch their return flight.)

    For the Cabin crew, not only is planning the routes to be worked add a bit of excitement, but also figuring out how to block off time to use those flight benefits as well for leisure travel. In my case, it was always great for my wife & daughter to tag along on a business trip to Hong Kong.

  3. Anonymous

    Can I ask you a personal question (from a programmer to another): what was your field as a programmer ?

  4. Leonard_P

    Can I ask you a personal question (from a programmer to another): what was your field as a programmer ?

  5. KL Holidays

    Very good point! Thank you for sharing this with everyone.

  6. KL Holidays

    Very good point! Thank you for sharing this with everyone.

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