Joe's last trip
The “dark side” of aviation!
I really love my job from the bottom of my heart. I get so excited when I set off from home for a 2 weeks trip, got my bags packed, my flight kit checked, passports, visas, company ID’s all ready to go!
But there are a few days within the year where I’d wish to have become a dentist like my sister! The Christmas holidays. If you have to fly during the days of Christmas, flying can get really lonely!
Well, I was unfortunate enough to get called out of standby to start a 10-day tour beginning on the 21st.
I immediately notified my family via our group chat, on the evening of the 18th, if we have the chance to move Christmas forward and celebrate on the 20th. Luckily everyone agreed and my mum bought all the groceries that day and started cooking.
The pre-Christmas celebration was great but also very rushed. I had to go to bed early that evening, slept a few hours and then drove four hours through the night to be ready to depart Luxembourg at 6 am to head to Mexico City!
My captain was an incredibly nice guy and immediately asked what we’re gonna do on the 24-25th knowing that we’ll be celebrating Christmas Eve in Quito/Ecuador during our five-day layover.
Luckily we’re staying in a very beautiful hotel in Quito. Great breakfast, huge gym area and Quito is a great city to kill some time, that’s for sure.
Due to the time difference, I called my family at about 2 pm to speak to them in time for the Christmas eve dinner. Nowadays FaceTime is your friend if you’re a pilot. So my dad set up his phone on a tripod, that I could see the entire dining table and me on the other end was getting some food ready at my hotel room desk. And then I enjoyed a “virtual” Christmas Eve dinner with my family. I must admit it was pretty funny as my sister try to hand me the salt shaker, haha!
Obviously, it does suck if you have to fly on Christmas, but as always, it is what you make out of it. My captain and I signed up for the “Christmas Hotel Party”, where other airline crews joined the fun, and in the end, we had a blast. And it was nice to see how Ecuadorians celebrate Christmas!
Those are the sacrifices you have to make if you want to be a pilot. Working when others are enjoying bank holidays, Easter celebrations, Christmas and New Years, or worse you’re missing out on a friends wedding.
But on the other hand, you get to fly to great destinations, stay there for a few days, enjoy the sunshine whilst others are shovelling snow.
In the end, every job comes with a few disadvantages, and if you’re a pilot those minor disadvantages are the “dark side” of aviation!
January 27, 2019