Having started out on the “Queen of the Skies” back in 1998, 2018 would become my next chapter in superjumbo air travel. Twenty years after my first on-duty flight on a Boeing B747-200 (which retired in 2001), I received the chance of my lifetime to join the Airbus A380 group after the company had announced the relocation of five of the 14 mega planes to my home base Munich from March 2018 on. Of course, I didn´t need much time to think this over…
What kind of aircraft you work on is much dependable on what airport you are based at. At Lufthansa, we have two main bases: Frankfurt and Munich. While Frankfurt has always been the primary and larger home airport, it had been automatically the main stationing for larger aircrafts such as the B747-400, the B747-8i and the superjumbo A380.
My home base Munich, on the other hand, has been an Airbus-only stationing for quite some time now. We operate a huge narrow-body fleet of A319s, 320s and 321s as well as a mixed intercontinental fleet of Airbus A330s, A340-600s and the brand new A350. Every flight attendant is (or will be) licensed for all the different aircrafts and models to operate most efficiently.
When the news came out that five of the enormous double-deckers would be transferred beginning in March 2018, applications for the conversion training were taken by mid 2017. This would mean an additional license with an additional emergency training to the already remaining ones each year. That does not sound much, but it is quite challenging to keep all the specialities and procedures in mind when working on each different model. So it is not only about serving coffee, tea or me while being in the air, lol. That is for sure.
But after all these years that had passed after I left the 747-fleet back in 2004, I must have had forgotten how much fun it is to finally be back on a plane that offers space to work in, a quiet and humid environment and a state-of-the-art experience for our guests.
I will not be able to tell you much about the training itself as it is highly confidential due to security reasons, nor will I be able to show you many pictures from the conversion course, but the foregoing four days on the simulator and inside the class room were so much fun, that I cannot wait until my first flight on the “Big Bee”, as I call it. There is so much room to breathe, I am not really sure if I can fly on an A320 single aisle afterwards evermore!
And it comes with quite some impressive specifications: 73m length, 24m height, 560 tons of take-off weight!, 4 engines with the power of 3500 cars!, 509 passengers and 22 to 23 crew members. It is actually two airplanes in one, connected by two staircases. Our configuration offers ultimate luxury for 8 First Class guests, 78 comfortable lie-flat beds in Business Class and 35 seats in Economy Class on the upper deck. The main deck seats 52 passengers in our award-winning Premium Economy in the forward compartment and an additional 336 Economy Class guests in three compartments behind. Offering altogether 509 passengers a marvelous flight experience.
A conversion in our flight academy includes lots of real-life training in the mockups, from evacuations to fire fighting and more. These days, there are lots of 3D-Virtual Reality tours included that have replaced the actual aircraft tours in the hangar. This is something where I actually feel how long I have already been working as a flight attendant. Two decades mean quite some developments, let me tell you. I liked the old-school familiarization inside the new working space better though. But, what can you do, right?
So after four intense days of simulations, we finally concluded with a written test at the end. Officially licensed to fly A380 now, I decided to stay a few more hours in Frankfurt despite the grey and rainy weather. Enough time to take a long walk in the fresh air and catch up on a few cool spots in the Frankfurt downtown area. Being completely exhausted by all these new information and the training, I took the evening flight back home. But not before shopping a bit of champagne to celebrate this milestone in my career as cabin crew.
For more information about my future working space, check the Lufthansa website or book your A380 flight to/from Munich now. First destinations are Beijing, Hong Kong and Los Angeles. I will see you onboard! Happy flying!
Loved the style and the accessories inside this cute shop!
You will HAVE TO taste one of the different opera cakes from this Japanese Pâtisserie! Amazing.