The day arrives that I am finally preparing for my first trip to
– Toronto, Canada –
and as usual I am super excited for a new destination and so many things to explore. With many of my colleagues describing the flight as very busy and extremely exhausting I decide to have a positive approach to it and make the best out of the next 16h 🙂
The briefing starts a bit unusual though as the captain enters the room with a camera strapped onto his forehead and a team of directors joining him along the way. Apparently they are filming our journey for training purposes which makes the whole trip even more special to me and the rest of the team. With everyone in the room now being fully awake we can start our briefing and get to know our colleagues joining us on this flight. We are lucky to have so many Canadian crew with us as they will surely guide us through the city and are hopefully able to give us some awesome insider tips later on. I honestly cannot wait to reach Toronto and do all the things on my list.
The flight is completely overbooked and with all the families joining us on this trip it takes us a while to finish boarding and sort out all seating issues. But in the end everyone seems happy and so we are ready to take off…As a senior it is one of my duties to welcome back all our frequent travelers and take care of them throughout the flight so I do my very best in looking after them but as you can imagine it can get very busy on a flight like this and with almost 400customers in the cabin it is not always easy to please everyone.
And so it happens that when we almost finish our service one of the crew approaches me with a customer complaint regarding one of the meal choices not being available anymore. It sounds like a very basic thing but trust me dealing with these kind of issues in 40,000ft is not always as easy as it might sound. So I come up with some alternatives and make my way to the customer in order to apologize and offer something else instead. But when I reach the gentleman’s seat I find an extremely angry man who does not seem to be willing to accept anything at all anymore. In fact he is so furious by now that he screams loudly in the cabin gaining everyones attention around him within seconds. The stage is all mine and with hundreds of eyes looking at me waiting for a reaction to calm down the situation I need a moment myself to realize what is happening here. I gently ask the man to lower his voice and explain to me what exactly I can do for him right now to make him happy as he does not seem to be interested in any of my apologies or offers for alternatives. I quickly realize that he won’t be satisfied that easily, as he starts verbally abusing me in front of everyone else throwing tissues around and spilling his own drink as he is standing up now onto his seat. Sometimes you find yourself in the most unbelievable situations and this was definitely one of them. I was honestly so shocked that I could not find words and knowing that things were about to escalate pretty soon I called one of my team members to help me in trying to find a solution together because sometimes we all need a little help.
It is moments like this that I wish I was a Jeannie with magic superpowers.
In the meantime I tried and calm down all customers around who by now seemed as shocked as I was. But even more concerning to me was one of my crew members, who was watching the scene and now crying her eyes out. Honestly, it can be very hard for some people and over time you will learn not to take certain things personal and develop a very thick skin. There are ups and downs in every job and I guess sometimes you also need to have a bad day in order to appreciate the good things about it. And although it was a pretty tough day for myself I am so grateful for all my colleague’s support and the great team atmosphere we had on this flight. I wasn’t so sure whether it was a compliment or not but after all this drama the Captain called me a ‘tough cookie’. And in the end I even had passengers coming up to me admiring my ability to stay calm and wanting to give me a little hug. I secretly might even have shed a little tear there myself 😉
The flight continues without any further disturbance and while Mr. ‘Angryman’ is happily chewing on his freshly earned business class meal (as this was the only and also easiest way to calm him down) I lost my appetite while finishing the rest of my duties when suddenly one of the crew surprises me with a huge cup of cappuccino – instant happiness 🙂 My smile is back on and I regain all my strength within seconds. It can be so easy to please me but honestly coffee really has some great benefits and an amazing influence on the human body.
When the flight was finally over not even coffee could help me anymore…all I needed was sleep. Lots of it. The next day I woke up to the sound of rain hitting my window so instead of going outside for a nice run I got up for the gym. After a good workout followed by a power brekkie I was perfectly fueled for the day and met my colleagues downstairs to join them on a tour to the famous Niagara falls. Luckily it cleared up outside and with the sun now shining and temperatures up to 25degrees celsius it actually became a really lovely day 🙂 The drive took us approximately 1,5h and I gotta admit that I got a little excited upon seeing the roadsigns to the US. But not today -no matter how tempting as it might have appeared- today I was ought to explore Canada. And so I did.
One of the local guys took us to the Falls where I got to witness one of the most fascinating things ever. I am still amazed by the beauty and the power of this magic place and cannot believe the amount of water flowing down there every day.
As I wasn’t planning on getting wet that day I decided to go up the Skylon Tower to catch some better views of the falls instead of going on a boat trip with the rest of the team. The views were absolutely incredible and I am still in awe of this natural wonder.
After lunch we decided to head to one of the nearby vineyards for some wine tasting. Canada is famous for its ice wine which is with its sweetness very similar to desert wine. And since I’ve never tried it before I thought it would be the perfect excuse to have a drink in the middle of the day. I highly recommend to visit Inniskillin in Niagara-on-the-Lake, Ontario one of the prime wineries in this region.
Slowly the day came to an end and with the sun going down we head to Lake Ontario to watch the beautiful sunset. It was the perfect moment and I believe we all enjoyed the tour and were able to forget about all the craziness happening on our flight. In the end of the day life is about collecting moments and experiences and we all should be grateful for whatever comes along- no matter how good or bad. This trip truly taught me some lessons in life that I do not want to miss…