Things Your Didn’t Know Flight Attendants Do After Landing

flight attendant after landing

Have you ever wondered what flight attendants do after landing?

Do they stay at the airport or in the plane? Do they nap at the airport hotel?

Today I’m going to take you through what a flight attendant does after a typical day at work.

So let’s get right into it and look at the different scenarios.

If we have a short turnaround

If we land at a destination but we don’t have much time for the next flight – it could be as little as 30 minutes at some airlines – we simply stay in the plane and prepare for the next trip.

Once the last passenger is disembarked, we check the cabin and lavatories to make sure that there’s no one left behind or that nobody has forgotten anything.

Then we do a security check, as well as making sure that the loaded catering is correct and that all the cleaning is done to a satisfactory standard.

If after all that, there’s enough time, we can go to the terminal to have a well-deserved (non-alcoholic!) drink until it’s time for boarding.

If we are on the last flight of the day and we land at our home base

Easy! We go home, like anybody else after work. Yay!!

But before we can do that, if the plane is immediately taken over by the next crew, we inform them about all the issues or discrepancies in the plane’s equipment.

If you live in the same city you are based, you can be home quite fast.

In my case, I only have a 20-minute drive. I live in Barcelona city, in the part that is closest to the airport so I’m really fortunate in that I don’t have to spend too much time commuting.

But not everyone is that lucky.

So many of my colleagues have to fly back home for hours, and a few even commute to and from foreign countries. So for some, It can definitely be an exhausting trip by the time they get home.

If we are on a short layover

cabin crew hotel layover
Photo credits: thealexswami

These are those flights where we don’t have much time at the destination, we sleep for up to 10 hours if possible and then leave right away.

Imagine flying  (which means working) for 12 hours at a stretch and then having only the minimum rest of 12 hours between signoff and the next sign-on the next morning.

There are plenty of scenarios just like that one.

In these cases, after finishing our duties and gathering our things, we leave the plane together to go through immigration – in most airports we have a special lane for us, so usually we will get out fast –  and we wait for a crew bus or transport to take us to our designated crew hotel.

What do we do after checking in at the hotel?

Usually nothing interesting, we are so exhausted that we just take a shower, eat, and get a good night’s sleep.

So, no, it’s not all glamour and glory being a flight attendant! At least not on short layovers.

If we are on a medium or long layover

It’s quite different if we have a medium or long layover.

If we have at least 24 hours at the destination, after checking in the hotel we have plenty of time so we can do anything we want: sleep, workout in the gym or outside, go out with the crew, have dinner, etc.

Generally, we do as we please.

Some flight attendants rest and enjoy the hotel facilities while others visit the local tourist attractions.

For example, the last time I went to Tel Aviv, two cabin crew members stayed at the hotel while myself and another cabin crew visited the city.  She brought her boyfriend with her, so they went off and did their own thing. The point I’m making  is that we don’t need to stick together during layovers, we can split up, especially if the stay is a long one.

layover in tel aviv
Layover in Tel Aviv

One of the best schedules ever in my career was a 4-night layover in Montreal, Canada. Amazing crew! We all hung out together; walked around old Montreal, went to Mont-Royal Park, rented a car to go to Mont Tremblant and to a Nordic spa on a day trip. And our co-pilot even took us on a flight to a remote small airport. It was like a gorgeous holiday and I loved every day of it, simply loved it!

Conclusion: What do flight attendants do when they finish work?

Lots.

We rest, try the local food, shop, visit the tourist spots, practice outdoor activities, get a massage… well, you get the picture.

There are endless things we can do after landing, but our choices do depend on many things:

  • how tired we are
  • how much time we have until next duty
  • the crew we are flying with
  • how many times we’ve been there before
  • if we have friends or relatives at that destination
  • how much money are we ready to spend
  • the jetlag
  • etc.

So, as you can see, what flight attendants do on layovers can be simply a matter of resting or of having sight-seeing adventures and soaking up the local atmosphere.

Your layover, your call.

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