Anyone with experience as a flight attendant?



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  • Anyone with experience as a flight attendant?

    Situation: You're a flight attendant, and you're taking a planned weeklong vacation at one of your stops away from home.

    Question: How long would it take you from the moment the last passenger walked off the plane to the time you yourself would get to leave the airport to start your vacation? How much cleanup and prep, on average, is needed before you can "clock out"?


  • #2
    Re: Anyone with experience as a flight attendant?

    I have no experience as a flight attendant, but have a friend who is, and just from my own experience flying a lot : not much time. I would say 1/2 hour to an hour.
    Oftentimes, if the line at passport control is slow, you'll see the crew from your flight walking past, or they might pick up their bags as the same time as the passengers at baggage claim. Sometimes, they'll be out of the airport before me.
    Hope that helps.


    • #3
      Re: Anyone with experience as a flight attendant?

      Yeah, when I travel across the Atlantic (NJ to London) the flight crew blow past me at immigration and are in taxis before I collect my bags.



      • #4
        Re: Anyone with experience as a flight attendant?

        Thanks, guys. For my plot purposes, I was hoping there naturally would be a little more delay.

        Maybe this is one of those times when I can apply for my state-issued Artistic License.


        • #5
          Re: Anyone with experience as a flight attendant?

          Yeah, the flight crew doesn't clean the plane, the cleaning crew does.

          I don't know the exact need for this time delay, or the genre of your script, but it would only take a little brainstorming to come up with a reason for it.

          Can you just do a time cut? Does it even have to be explained or addressed?

          Maybe the flight attendant got delayed by a passenger with a situation of some kind. Somebody won't come out of the bathroom. A kid lost their toy somewhere on the plane. An obnoxious person won't stop talking to them. A guy is passed out and they have to get him up. They want to change out of their uniform at the airport, instead of waiting to get to their hotel. They have to go buy something they forgot to bring, in a shop in the airport on their way out. They get to the door and realize they left something back on the plane.

          Sorry, I got carried away.
          "The Hollywood film business is a cruel and shallow money trench, a long plastic hallway where thieves and pimps run free, and good men die like dogs. There's also a negative side." Hunter S Thompson


          • #6
            Re: Anyone with experience as a flight attendant?

            Is your trip still a domestic trip inside the country or is it foreign? Having worked Customs for many years, I can say that delays aren't necessarily uncommon. The crew does have to wait for all of the passengers to leave the plane before they can exit. So that can sometimes slow them down. They don't clean the plane but they do need to make sure the galley is locked up properly. Alcohol needs to be stowed and locked and food disposed of properly.

            All of the foreign flight crews will exit together. If one flight attendant is sent for further inspection it is not uncommon for the rest of the crew to wait for her. Not surprising when you realize that they are all taking the same shuttle to the same hotel. This is the crew though. The pilots don't care and leave when they want. The crew will never leave before the pilots (It's actually really fascinating to see how sexist some societies still are). Most of the time though, they are through rather quickly and on their way before the flight is half cleared. Another possibility though is if several flights land at once. Then there would be a delay while other crews are processed first.

            However, American crews are different. They just come through when they want and cruise since they are already home and are heading different directions.


            • #7
              Re: Anyone with experience as a flight attendant?

              dave22: It's Heathrow to LAX, direct (likely British Airways or Virgin). The flight attendant in question is vacationing in LA for a week, while the rest of the crew is back in action (however immediately that happens after an 11.5 hour flight).

              cshel: "Can you just do a time cut? ..."

              Yes, I think. But... I need for something to have happened (the incident) from the time we last see her on the plane with passengers de-boarding, to the next scene, where we see her exiting the airport. When this happens, the audience doesn't even know about "the incident" (and I can't tell the Interwebs what that is). They only learn later about what happened, and I need it to be believable that she could have pulled it off in a realistic timeframe from finishing her shift to exiting LAX.

              Maybe what one of you could do is give me a reasonable maximum time from finishing her shift to exiting the airport--keeping believable extenuating circumstances in mind. (I'm one of those writers who actually worries about plausibility--mainly because I know that implausibility so often pulls me out of a film.)

              Thanks again.