The time has passed so quickly! Can you believe it’s been 4 weeks since I began training? 

The week started on Sunday. The company (with permission from our class) decided to give us a short weekend so we could graduate in time for the company Christmas party. Sunday’s class was a refreshing one in the sense that there was almost no sitting at desks and there were absolutely no power points! 

Instead the morning was dedicated to our Able Bodied Person Drills. In such a drill we need to brief select ABPs to hold people back while we open our doors after an evacuation. We also brief them on how to open the doors in the event that we are “unable to do so”.

Once the drills were complete, the rest of the day was about practicing our emergency evacuations. Later in the week we’d be on our aircraft doing evacuation drills.

Even as a practice, the evacuation drills are terrifying. There is a lot to remember. It starts with the scenario. For example, we are told “You are doing a duty free service in the cabin”. We go through the isle and pretend to do the service until we hear the command for our cabin manager to speak to the captain. As soon as we hear that command we need to stop service, secure the cabin, and start preparing for an emergency.

Next the cabin manager comes back with the information. For example s/he might tell us “We’re ditching into the ocean as we’ve run out of fuel. We expect to be on the water in 10 minutes”. Once all the flight attendants have been briefed we then go to our demonstration positions in the cabin and brief our passengers on what is happening, where the exits are, special instructions like brace positions, and in this situation to put on their life jackets. At this point we also brief our ABPs.

Finally we return to our jump seats and strap in. Once given the brace command, we begin yelling “EMERGENCY! BEND DOWN, STAY DOWN!” until we are given the command to evacuate. We’ll repeat a series of commands until we believe there are no more passengers aboard. Finally we’ll do a search of the aircraft and then jump out of the pane ourselves.

That was the practice on Sunday, and I’m so glad we had it! It was so nerve wracking that I could hardly remember my commands. Thanks to the practice I was able to focus on what I needed to improve on for the actual drill.

Monday was a little easier. The morning started with an exam on all of our emergency procedures. It was a long one, but not nearly as hard as some of the others we’ve had recently. The rest of the day covered stress and sleep loss. Things that are common for flight attendants and need to be addressed regularly.

Finally Tuesday came. At 4am we met up at the airport and boarded the aircraft to do our drills. The plane was a little late getting in as it had just completed a service and needed to be towed from the other end of the airport. There wasn’t even time for the groomers to get on, so it was full of the passengers garbage. It’s surprising how many people forgot their books an headphones when they got off the flight.

I’d been practicing like crazy, and it payed off! My drills went almost flawlessly. There were a few minor hiccups, but nothing that was noteworthy. Well… except for one thing. During my water evacuation drill, my instructors put live C02 cartridges in the life jacket. Normally when we do these drills, we use disengaged life jackets. Because of this I wasn’t expecting anything to happen when I pulled the red tabs. I’m sure you can guess what happened next. The life jacket inflated!! I stopped dead in my tracks with my jaw dropped. I was stunned! Of course my instructors and classmates thought this was hilarious. Which it was. It’s the kind of joke I could see myself playing on someone.

So besides the part with the life jacket, all went according to plan and we all passed the drills. It was such a relief to have that part over and done with. It was the most intense part of training. We finished around 8:30am and had the rest of the day off to sleep.

Wednesday was the big day of the week however. Why? Because Wednesday was graduation day! We had a short (and easy) exam on security procedures, and then moved onto the graduation ceremony were I finally was able to wear my uniform. I felt so honoured! I was glowing with glee when the president of the company handed my wings to me. 

Of course we’re not done training. Only the hard part. Starting Monday we’ll have 5 days of service training. This is where we learn to make the flight as pleasant as possible for our passengers! I can hardly wait.

In the mean time I’m still letting it sink in that I’ve actually completed Transport Canada’s FA requirements! I’ve graduated! I’m not a candidate any more… I’m a flight attendant!


Congratulations Jet! You can read more about Jet’s adventures at



  1. Great reading your experience at training, Jet! Congrats! I’ll be sure to tune into your blog.

  2. Thanks Darren! It’s been a lot of hard work, but absolutely worth it.

  3. I just started reading this blog and I enjoy it a lot. That said, I think I’m missing something here… The “About Me” section describes a FA with about 20 years experience, yet the blog notes I’m reading, dated December, 2010 are about your initial training. Can someone please straighten out this confused old man? Thanks.
    P.S. I don’t fly a lot these days, but in years past, way too much. You’ll be pleased to note that I’ve *Never* encountered a sour-puss FA. All have been friendly, helpful and professional. Thanks folks, much appreciated.

  4. The Flying Pinto @ 2010-12-28 05:50

    Hi Craig, sorry for the confusion…Jet has been writing guest posts for me while he went through initial training. I’m glad you’re enjoying the blog, thank you for the compliment and if you’d like to read more about Jet he is at these gold Cheers!

  5. Hello and congratulations!

    It’s been a very very long time since I went through training and it was “only” for a regional. Hopefully it will be for a Mainline airline soon and I really appreciate the posts on your training.

    Thanks and have fun!