I have been back from Chicago for a few days, and after some rest time & the chaos of moving into my new flat, I am finally finding time to post on here!
So yes, Chicago.. it was my first long haul fight on the A380. When you join BA, you’re either allocated to be trained on the jumbo jet B747 or the Airbus A380, you won’t be trained on both. People have their preference of which one they prefer, or they think they would like to be trained on before you’re given one.. normally it’s down to which destinations are with which aircraft, but for me, I knew I wanted to be on A380 so I was very lucky.
Not every aircraft can have the same destinations, this is due to the runway sizes/lengths at each destination, it can only take certain aircraft, so where you fly to is determined by the size/model of your plane. It’s public knowledge that the jumbo jet (B747) is being phased out across all airlines soon, so it will be a thing of the past eventually.. those that are flying on it now are flying on a piece of history which is super cool, and I suppose they’ll get trained on a new aircraft, whichever one is being brought in as a replacement? If you know, drop me a comment below.. because I have no clue right now.
My first flight on the A380 was definitely an experience! The service is completely different to that on short haul aircraft as the journey is longer so you’re able to fit in more, and you need to provide a service with two meals rather than just one. Everything apart from “duty free” on a long haul service is complimentary which helped me greatly as I didn’t have to worry about taking payments for purchases like I do for the short haul runs. I’d learnt the long haul service in training, so I just had to put it into practise. I told the crew I was flying with that it was my first long haul trip and they were very supportive – I got nudges in the right direction which I needed them, and was also left on my own to work things out and set certain things up which I appreciated equally as this also gave me the chance to do things for myself which will help me remember. The thing with this job when you very first start out is, the more you do it, the more you remember.. I literally cannot emphasise it enough. I’m one of these people that wants to be perfect at everything immediately, aren’t I Mum? (I’m aware she’s reading this) Haha so being new at things to me is quite frustrating when I don’t know how to do things right away, but I just need to learn to have patience and realise that it all comes with practise and I’ll start to get better and faster at things without even realising.
Chicago is a fantastic city. It’s the only the second city I’ve been to in the US, and Illinois a brand new state for me (I’ve already scratched it off of my map!), and I was pleasantly surprised. That picture pretty much sums up Chicago.. there’s beauty in between the sky scrapers, there’s remnants of history strewn throughout the city everywhere you look. I actually felt like it was more lived in that cities like New York, because you felt like people actually went about their daily lives there & that it was all integrated, there wasn’t sections of work – with offices and sky scrapers – and home – with communities and housing – being separated, they were all together.. I liked that.
As there is in every city, I took the opportunity to go the to sight seeing/popular destinations within Chicago. If you know anything about Chicago, you’ll be aware that that picture is in fact of a gigantic silver bean.. yup, a bean, and no, I have absolutely no idea what it stands for and why it is there.. but it is a sight seeing landmark so I took a picture of it. Haha. If you know anything about the bean or what it represents, please drop a comment below.
I explored the city with 3 other crew members I met on board during the flight over – Mike, Claire & Laura, so it was nice to be able to see and do things as a group rather than on my own. We were all starving by the time we woke up so we sourced out some breakfast, and when in US, no matter what state, you have breakfast the American way.. pancakes!! I highly recommend the The Original Pancake House on East 47th Street – the food was amazing, the service was fab & the prices were pretty good too.. it felt really traditional American, I love finding places like that.
Another place that is very popular in most states in America is The Cheesecake Factory.. and no, it doesn’t just sell cheesecake, it specialises in it. We actually went here for dinner. A top tip for any crew on long haul, find and have a big dinner before your pick up time to go back to the airport, it really helps to set you up for the flight home, as you know it could be hours before you yourself actually get to eat on the plane. The food here was awesome, massive portions but when you’re starving, it’s heaven!
Just so you’re aware, eating wasn’t the only thing I did while I was in Chicago! I just wanted to give you guys some recommendations on places to go while you’re there, as I know a Chicago is a new route for Mixed Fleet so if you’re getting the chance to go in the next couple of months, at least you can try these places out ☺️.
We only get 24 hours in Chicago, so I didn’t have a massive amount of time to explore and sight see, there were a few things we had to miss out on because we just purely ran out of time before we had to go back to the hotel and get ready to be picked up & go back to the airport, but if I’m lucky enough to go back to Chicago again then I will definitely make a point of doing different things.
Another piece of exciting news for this week is that I finally moved into my flat, yay! I’m now closer to the airport than I was back at home. I’m in a village called West Drayton, in a brand new apartment complex. I’m sharing with 2 other girls who are also crew which is definitely better than being on my own. There’s a gym on site which is free to use for residents, so I’ll be taking advantage of that today as well as really nice grounds that are going to be great in the summer to sit outside in the sunshine. The rent isn’t extortionate in my opinion, and the bus to Terminal 5 is a short walk away and only takes 5 minutes to get to Heathrow which will be a god send if I don’t fancy driving one day.
Apparently quite a few crew live in this complex and the one next door so hopefully I’ll meet some new people ☺️.
I’ve got a bunch of available days coming up before a few more days off at the end of the month, so I’ll find out where I’m going tonight. Today is a day for errands and settling in.
I also promised someone I would mention them in this post today. Thank you Julie Forsyth – I love and appreciate your encouragement and support. I hope you keep loving the posts ♥️.
That’s all for now. Until next time…