As a final step in training, I had to complete my line indoctrination. For those of you who don’t know, a line indoc is a government requirement for any flight attendant trainee before they can receive their competency card and operate a flight. Usually what happens is the airline will put 2 or 3 FA trainees on a regularly operating flight in a passenger seat. The trainees will need to observe the crew operating the flight. This way they can take everything they’ve studied in training and see how it is applied in the real world. They might even be able to help with some service related tasks.

However, my airline did it a little differently. We had two classes graduating at roughly the same time, mine in Vancouver and another in Calgary. Because of the large number of trainees and the need to get us flying quickly, they combined us all into one massive line indoc on a flight that operated without any passengers.

On Tuesday morning the YVR class was flown out on another airline to YYC where we met up with the other class. We then boarded an aircraft from our airline and each took an aisle seat. The flight would take off, circle around the Calgary area for an hour, and land again. There’d be no service on board, however there was a full operating crew who would be responding to various simulated emergencies.

First things first; pre-departure. The Cabin Manager did the pre-flight briefing in the aircraft and used the PA system so we could all hear what was going on. After the briefing, the flight attendants begin doing their security checks. All the while our base manager was on the PA explaining everything that they were doing.

Once the cabin was secured we taxied towards the runway, although we were delayed by air traffic control as YYC was experiencing heavy traffic that day. Once we were able to take off however it was smooth sailing. Well… not really.

We were experiencing moderate turbulence through much of the flight. Which is fine since the pilots would have had to simulate turbulence during the flight anyway. Once the turbulence subsided the abnormal simulations began. One of which was a simulated rapid decompression. We were briefed earlier on the signs and symptoms of decompression and were told to expect the simulation during the flight. At a random point we heard the captains voice over the PA, “BANG! PHSSSSSsssss….” At that moment the flight attendants who were in this aisle at the time donned their demo oxygen masks and secured themselves to the nearest seats. The plane immediately began a rapid decent to about 12,000ft. The pilot then made the announcement that it was now safe to remove our masks. The flight attendants then came down the aisles with oxygen bottles to assist anyone who may need it. Of course this was a simulation, so no one needed oxygen.

When the simulation was complete, the pilot simulated an aborted landing since we were already at a low altitude. He ramped up the throttles and we were pushed into our seats as the plane quickly climbed back up to cruising altitude.

When it came time to land, the cabin crew treated it as an emergency landing. We were given the emergency safety demo, and as we approached the runway were given the brace command. The flight attendants began shouting “EMERGENCY, BEND DOWN STAY DOWN!” and we all braced. The emergency continued until the point of evacuation. At that time the emergency was cancelled. Obviously there was no need to evacuate on the tarmac in Calgary.

Once back at the gate we said our goodbyes to the Calgary crew and we ourselves made our way to our flight back home to YVR. It was a long day, but it was enjoyable none the less.

Thursday was my first ever flight as an operating flight attendant. The flight was scheduled to depart YVR empty, hop over to Vancouver Island and pick up some pax, turn around to come back to YVR, pick up more pax, and finally head off to Mexico. We had a crew change scheduled after returning to YVR, so I only operated from YVR – Vancouver Island – YVR.

The everything went super smoothly. I got to the airport with lots of time and when we got on the plane the caterers and ground crew were just about finished. The ground crew let me know my jump seat was inoperative, so I’d be using the one next to it. The light in my galley was also inop, so we’d be using our work lights as the main light source back there. It was a little dim, but no big deal. After completing my security checks, the caterer asked me if I’ve ever done a meal count before. I told him no since it was my first flight. He then proceeded to show me where everything is and the best ways to count the casseroles and meal trays to ensure no mistakes were made. He probably saved me a lot of time by going through it all with me. I was impressed! he didn’t have to do that at all.

Once the security and service tasks were all completed, we were ready to go! Amazingly we were finished early and had time to chat before pushback. Our cabin manager was very experienced, but the rest of us were all new crew. In fact this was our first flight for 3 of us, and only the second for the 4th FA. I suppose that credit can go to our fantastic trainers.

Once we pushed back it was a short taxi to the runway and then we took off. Almost the entire flight was spent going over my silent review. Silent review of emergency procedures is done during takeoff and landing, and this flight was so short that there was very little time in between.

Once on the island, there was more time to wait. We’d arrived early so passengers were still being checked in. After opening the overhead bins we had extra time, so amongst other things I took a few minutes to wipe down some of the seats that had collected condensation. It was an early morning flight and the first flight of the day, so condensation had built up in some areas.

I was in a galley position, so I didn’t see much of the passengers during boarding. Instead I was making a baggage announcement every 5 minutes or so until everyone was onboard.  Once everyone was seated we began with our safety demo. I was following along in the back galley using imaginary props. Again, the galley position doesn’t see much of the passengers.

After the demo we took our seats, took off, and again quickly landed in YVR to pick up more passengers. While waiting for our crew change we opened the lavatories for the passengers, and made small talk with those who were nearby. Everyone was in a good mood since the flight was on time and they were all going on vacation. Frankly, I was jealous of the crew operating to Mexico. They were turning around once they got there, but I was itching to operate a longer flight with a full service on board.

When the new crew arrived, I quickly informed my replacement of the inoperative equipment and was then on my way back to our crew room for debriefing. There our cabin manager told us she was very impressed with how well everything went, especially for our first flight. She had a few constructive criticisms, but not much and nothing major. That was it! The day was done. A super short and easy flight. Perfect for newbie’s like us!

I’m now on reserve for a couple days and then I have a few days off. I return for my next trip which is 5 days bouncing back and forth between Manitoba and Mexico over Christmas. It’s sort of sad that I’ll be away for Christmas, but I’m excited to be flying none the less.

Going through flight attendant training has been an amazing process. In 5 weeks I’ve met some of the most fabulous, helpful, supportive, and generally fantastic people. I’ve formed a strong bond with my trainers, classmates, and supervisors. It’s really been a very short period of time, but even so I feel like these people are practically family. I’m so pleased to be flying alongside with them.

Thanks for following along as I wrote about my journey though training, and a special thank you to theflyingpinto for hosting my weekly recaps on her blog! You guys have been just as fabulous as the people I’ve been training with.

Thank you Jet! I’ve enjoyed following you through training, it was a much better experience than mine! Good Luck and safe travels! Don’t forget to follow Jet’s adventures…and trust me the adventures are about to start…at and on twitter too.

Interested in becoming a flight attendant? Have an interview lined up? I’m offering phone consultations,  we’ll go over how to prepare for your interview, your appearance, the type of interview questions they will be asking,  and how your previous work and life experience can be highlighted to fit the job requirements of a flight attendant while leave time at the end for your questions. The fee is usually $90 for the hour long session but, I am running a special for the summer at $50. Email me at [email protected] for more information.



  1. The “behind the scenes” look at training is very interesting. I knew flight attendants had extensive training but hearing it first hand is insightful. Thanks and happy flying.
    Merry Christmas, jj

  2. The light in my galley was also inop, so we’d be using our work lights as the main light source back there.