When Your Dream Airline Turns Into A Nightmare

Flight Attendant Kara Mulder

This blog is dedicated to Grace & Keri.

You once stood at the boarding door, greeting passengers with this genuine smile, communicating a presence and energy that permeated the aircraft, undeniably stating, “I love my job. I love being here. This flight attendant life is the best life ever.”

Then you landed a job with your dream airline and everything changed. You are miserable. 

You work international, on a mainline carrier. No longer can anyone make fun of you for working on smelly aircrafts, flying to podunk destinations where you don’t even get a layover, let alone a “glamorous” one. You went from first choice in schedule to no choice, repeating the same cities over and over again. You actually start hoping Miami might go MIA and someone other than DAL could be your bae. I thought I would get London and Paris trips you think?

But, what you get is days and days away from the one you love. Your phone calls often reach voicemail, because the hours you live are those that a vampire works. It’s not that the airline isn’t a dream, it’s simply not the dream that you thought it would be. 

Kara Flight Attendant Blog

The airline is not the problem, although there are tons of problems with it. Even the best airline in the world can never be perfect. People told you it would be good for you, but how well do they actually know you? And really, when you began at your Mainline Maven, it might have been the best place for you, but things can change quickly. If this is where you find yourself, don’t judge. Keep working your trips while you sort out the emotions. Fake the smile a little bit longer.

I get to wear a cape to work. I have this fancy hat that everyone “oohs” and “ahhhhhs” at, and the best layovers— the trips that have many asking, “Can I please just follow you around for a week?” I’ll tell you a secret though. I’ve cried countless hours because I miss my easy, simple, no frills first airline. You will always hold a special place for your first airline. I’ve gone through seasons of hating my international european carrier and my job with the company. I’ve taken a leave for fatigue. Im not sure it was ever my dream to be with a company like the one I am with now, but it was an experience that I could not pass up. I’m glad to be where I am. Sometimes, you make decisions, not based on money or what looks the best to everyone else. Sometimes, you MUST make decisions based on what looks the best for you. 

Norwegian Airlines Kara Mulder

I admire Celessa, because I feel that she is really good at this. She is proud of working for her little regional and makes choices that keep her closer to home. People question her about why she doesn’t go to glamorous airline A or B, and she says, “This fits with the life I want. I’m happy here.”

Ask yourself, “Are you happy here?” And when you find your answer, remember to drown out the voices of the others that say, “But you work at the best company, it will get better, you’re creating a career.” They are right, but did you ever ask yourself what’s right for you? Maybe you didn’t know before, but now you do. Maybe what’s right for you is turn flights, on smelly aircrafts, to unknown cities around the US.

Remember. Your life doesn’t need to be glamour. It just needs to be you. 

Flight Attendant Best Friends Dorie Kara Mulder


About the Author Kara

Curious. Bubbly. Creative. Curating a life I don't need an escape from and inspiring you to do the same.

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Leave a Comment:

Heidi says January 8, 2016

This brought tears to my eyes. It’s never too late to come back to podunk towns, smelly aircrafts and no layovers. Sometimes what seems like a better path is actually just a curve around the bend that puts us right back where we need to be – said by, me. <3

Vanessa says January 8, 2016

Oh goodness, I can definitely relate to this article right now. It’s just hard to take the plunge and quit because then you’ll be at the bottom of another airline and have to start over with your seniority yet again… Are you slowly looking for another job?

L R Marshall says May 31, 2016

My only suggestion is be careful with the drinking. My F/A wife would drink with the crew to fit in, then drink more to sleep. Now the drinking is the only way to sleep. I see the issue with her co-workers too. It tanked us.

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