Excess Baggage: Dating as a Flygirl
Young women these days generally go through the same things while navigating the dating scene: finding a balance between building a career and having relationships, figuring out what we want in a partner, exploring dating apps, and weeding out fuckboys.
Imagine dealing with all this, but on top of it have the added stress of being away from the place you call home for daysss at a time and people stereotyping your lifestyle just because of your job. Welcome to dating as a flight attendant.
During my first year flying, I met a guy. Everything was great at first (like it always is), but quickly went downhill fast. On top of many, many other issues, my ex was deeply insecure about me flying and who I was flying with. He would guilt trip me when I wanted to pick up exciting layovers or visit family/friends on my days off. If he couldn’t go, I shouldn’t go. I later ever found out he would creep when I was out of the country. Oh! AND he never traveled with me. Needless to say, my life has been ah-mazing after getting out of that dumb relationship.
Believe it or not, flight attendants are looking for stability too! Yes, from the outside it may seem that our lives are full of adventure and nonstop travel, but we’re also human, and humans crave companionship. Just because we're carefree doesn't mean we don't care. In a profession where repetitive small talk and meaningless chatter dominate our days, forming meaningful relationships is super important, regardless if it's something serious or just casual and light. We want someone who trusts us, and that we can trust. Someone who is confident, supportive, and understanding of our hectic schedules. Someone fun who we can literally share the world with.
We come face to face with hundreds of people everyday so you think it would be easy, but honestly, the dating scene for us can be pretty brutal since we’re constantly on the go. It gets lonely AF. People think that we get whisked away nonstop by exotic men in far-away places but really we’re just in pajamas at 7pm watching Catfish: The TV Show in our hotel room. The highs are high and the lows are low.
When I recently tried to give dating apps another chance I was met with a lot of messages like: “When are you even here?”, “I dated a flight attendant. She was never home.”, and “I bet you get hit on a lot at work….”. There were those that seemed interesting but coordination was a pain. How do you say to someone that you're not even sure if you really want to meet, “I’m home tomorrow but it’s my only day off in a week and I need to decompress, I go back to work the next three days but I’m on call so I don’t know if I’ll even be here or not, and after that I’m off BUT I promised my parents I’d go visit and it’s the only time this month that I can...but I’d really like to meet you one day maybe!” without sounding like a dick? It's hard making time for others when you barely have time for yourself.
Not to say that being single as a flight attendant isn’t fun. We have the ability to date around the world. I’ve skinny dipped with a local in Hawaii under the moonlight, been given a spontaneous Vespa ride to a secret viewing point in Rome, had a private tour of Manchester by an Architecture student who pointed out all his favorite buildings around the city, and swore I fell in love in a bar in Dublin. I’ve met ladies who’ve had flings in diff countries that they kept returning to, and ladies that fell in love and moved across the ocean to start a new life. Every trip can lead to an unexpected adventure.
Our jobs are elusive as is. People are always asking what it’s like being a flight attendant, about our schedules, our layovers, the jetlag, the turbulence, our “crazy” in-flight stories, etc. Not enough people inquire about how we stay grounded, how we find time for ourselves, how we cope with being away from home and how we meet people and maintain relationships. Below are some unique dating stories written by some amazing flight attendants I know that will hopefully offer you a more rounded picture of the challenges we face, as well as amazing opportunities we have, while dating and flying.
Dating While Commuting: Lorelle & Greg
I met my boyfriend prior to starting my career as a flight attendant. We've been friends for a very long time, and to be honest, I would not be where I am in my life without Greg. When I was in an intense 2-month training program for my airline, he was such a blessing to my life. This man used to bring me dinner when I was doggggg tired and would quiz me for my tests the next day. He would watch me and my classmates run evacuation drills in the hotel lobby. He even bought me my first work suitcase! He has always been supportive and I could not have gotten through training, or be where I am, without him.
I chose Boston because Atlanta was closed to me as a base and I am originally from New England. My family still lives in Providence, Rhode Island , so Boston was the next best option for me. Even though I could transfer to Atlanta, I really enjoy my schedule and flexibility in Boston so I chose to commute and have been doing it for over a year now. My schedule is always all over the place. I usually send Greg my schedule when it is released each month. We are actually really good about planning our dates and our time together around what each of us have going on. I try to get commutable trips with late sign ins and early releases so I can fly into Boston the same day of my trip and leave when it's over.
The hardest part about the flight attendant lifestyle in a relationship is that sometimes you can't move trips around and you may miss out on things. I would love to be there for Greg and all the things we want to do together but sometimes it doesn't work out that way. It's great having an understanding partner...he is truly God sent. If you're going to embark on this flight attendant journey, choose a partner that is gonna ride for you; someone who doesn't make you feel guilty when you have to work, who is flexible and able to go with the flow of your crazy schedule.
Greg and I haven't done layovers together yet, but we are actually doing some together this upcoming June and then going to Jamaica in July! We went to Miami together last summer, which was everything!
Dating Another Flight Attendant: Kyrra & Khalil
Dating while being a flygirl, like everything else in our lives, is far from ordinary. I’ve found that it’s extremely difficult for others to comprehend our on-the-go lifestyle. Still, while the circumstances aren’t ideal for everyone; it isn’t impossible to have a normal, healthy relationship. But it takes work ... A LOT of hard work. I myself have never been a fan of hard work so I took the easy way out and started dating someone within the industry!
My boyfriend is also a flight attendant for the same company as me and we’re both based in New York City! We’ve pretty much been inseparable ever since I met him at a music festival in Paris in 2016. It was summer in Paris with live music and libations... how could a girl not fall?
I had never actually worked with him before that trip to France, however we had tons of mutual friends and I knew who he was. Funny enough, my first time actually working a trip with him, Daphni herself was on the crew. I was so nervous working together for the first time, I accidentally dropped a bottle of wine in the first class galley (breaking both the bottle and my pinky toe!) ... but other than that I totally played it cool. We fly together all the time now. But I promise we’re not an annoying flight attendant couple.
Honestly, if you're a flight attendant, I highly recommend finding you a fellow flight attendant! Best decision ever! Our job takes us all over the world, which really is amazing...and now I get to do it with the one I love. We both fly for free. We travel on our time off...we’ve done Malaga, Spain and Mykonos, Greece...island hopped and most recently did St. Maarten for his birthday. And I’m senior to him so if anybody gets first class non-reving it’s me.
Be careful though... there is such a thing as too much togetherness. I think the biggest struggle is just finding a healthy balance. When you work together, go home together, and vacation together it can get scary. And with our jobs we’re surrounded by people all the time! Make sure you’re taking time out for yourself!
Dating a Passenger: Christina & John
Rewind back to June 2015, where I was 24 and single as can be. I had just moved from LA to New York three months prior and was enjoying life with my new job. I still remember the day perfectly, I signed in for my trip, met the crew and went to gate. We began boarding and as I was greeting everyone coming on the plane, John walked on and I was immediately attracted to him. Luckily for me, my crew and I were all getting along well and when I told them I thought this passenger was gorgeous they insisted I get his number by the end of the flight. Luckily for me once again, the attraction was mutual and for the remaining 6 hour flight from JFK to Seattle we were flirting. I made sure that I was serving him during the beverage service, giving us more time to chat. John ended up asking me to grab drinks with him during my layover and let's just say that saying yes to that was the best decision I ever made.
For the next six months, we really got to know each other in New York and that's when we fell in love. He was very trusting and enjoyed the perks of my job just as much as I did. I think the most important aspect to have in a relationship with this job, is to have someone who isn't going to question you when you go away for days at a time, and someone who is also willing to hop on a flight with you at a minute's notice.
Unfortunately, after those six months John had to move back to Liverpool, England, so there began our long-distance relationship. Trust me, it SUCKED but if it wasn't for my job our relationship probably wouldn't have lasted. I would fly over to England, whether it was for work or on my own time (non-reving), any chance I had. Looking back now, I really appreciate our time there, because we got to know each other in a new way and cherished any second we got with each other because they were so rare.
We enjoy traveling together and it is such a vital part of our relationship. We have been to many places, more than most couples get done, in just two years. Whether it's flying into Chicago for just the day because he had never tried deep-dish pizza or touring all of Italy for my birthday, we know exactly how lucky we are. We've been all throughout the states, Puerto Rico, Mexico, Florence, Ireland, Paris, England and Hawaii, just to name a few.
Now rewind back to April of 2018, just a few weeks ago, he PROPOSED in Malibu! We're getting married and I thank my lucky stars that scheduling put that trip on my line. We will begin wedding planning shortly and continue this adventure together. This job is so amazing as a single woman, however having someone to share it with makes it that much more special. Being a flight attendant is more than just a job for me, its a way of life and it led me to my future husband.
As you can see, dating a flight attendant and getting to travel the world is suuuuuper dope, but it requires tons of trust, patience, and flexibility, Hard work, and then some. We are not your fantasy flight attendant barbie dolls. We are not your travel agents. We are not "waitresses of the sky" or "flying whores" (1. yes I've heard both and 2. ya mama). We are women, with real emotions and ambitions and a life outside of our job. The travel perks just happen to add to our awesomeness. We bring soooo much to the table & deserve the world and more in return.
And honestly, dating as a flight attendant can either be fun as fuck or boring as shit. It's frustrating! How do you meet people if you're never in one place long enough? How can you genuinely connect with someone when you're barely around to connect with? I've learned to let go of expectations, and like we FAs know how to do so well, go with the flow. More importantly, I've learned to to stop making excuses for other people. "There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won't feel insecure around you." One more time for the people in the back. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won't feel insecure around you. In the voice of Dave Chappelle quoting Kanye West, "My life is dope and I do dope shit!" Why settle for someone who can't keep up?
Have any crazy flight attendant dating stories or other perspectives you'd like to add? Leave it in the comments! I speak for literally everyone reading this by saying WE WANNA HEAR IT.
Also, a very special thank you to all the lovely ladies that contributed to this post!! Here are some ways you guys can keep up with them:
Kyrra: @kyrra_laurelle on Instagram
Christina: @chrislivin on Instagram