Sunday, December 14, 2008

International First Class Galley

Well, maybe this is boring perhaps you could care less, but since I am a flgiht attendant this is my life so sometimes you can read, or not read, depending on your level of interest.
Anyway, today (or yesterday I left for Paris)......I was the First Class galley flight to the lead postion it is a VERY important and demanding position which requires you to not only be EXTREMELY organized but EXCELLENT @ multi tasking & perhaps growing a 3 rd or 4th arm would help. (I am not trying to sound important, but if you don't get first class done the way it should in a timely fashion it affects the whole crew) Mostly its important that you do it right and the passengers are happy but also b/c some flight attendants think it's a contest to see how fast people can be and have longer breaks--- Internationally we get breaks----I'll explain that another time) Anyway, being galley is not brain surgery it's just alot of work and you do have to have to be at least 3 steps ahead and its alot of physical labor. I will try to give you the low down in the list form. I am not trying or attempting to compare AT ALL to your important office jobs TRUST ME, just some info or insight into flight attendant life.

PRE FLIGHT (mind you this all occurs while flight attendants & passengers are walking back & forth in your 2 ft space to do all this)
  1. verify count of meals
  2. verify count of dishes, bowls, etc..... and find room in ovens so they are warm and don't make food turn cold
  3. verify salad dressings
  4. put nuts in ramikens and put in oven........find tiny espresso cups and put those in ovens for appetizer for soup on appetizer cart
  5. make 25 water glasses for set up cart (we take all silverware, butter, bread plates, salt & pepper & water on a special 3 tiered cart & set up each passenger individually)
  6. also you have to unwrap crazy cracker boxes so later when you are rushing to magically change these 3 tiered carts from one thing to another you can do this quicker
  7. put stupid circle pads on plates for the ice cream service...also to make life easier later
  8. un wrap sticky saran wrap off sticky ice cream toppings so that cart can get set up quick later....forethought AGAIN
  9. put sugar, cute silver containers for dessert cart (and later breakfast cart)........pre thinking AGAIN
  10. on had better open atleast 2 bottles of each red wine for your 'aisle' flight attendants to get them started
  11. consolidate extra dishes into as few containers as possible so your 'aisle f/a's' can use empty containers for dirty dishes
  12. set up a beverage cart for both aisles...........soda/ juice drawers/liquor bucket, lemons/limes/ OJ..............oh and 2 silver water pitchers for (uh filling up water glasses)
  13. open tea bags for quick & easy access later
  14. right before take off start oven w/ bread & nuts


  1. well if you are lucky you have veryone that wants to eat @ once....but sometimes people choose "executive style" YUCK......this means I have to take ALL the other meals out of the oven and seperate only the execs to cook right away----- this is ALOT of extra work for galley b/c you really need to be setting up carts from the second you take off.....and of course when you are cooking individual meals and setting up special trays it is time consuming.......i am not dogging the executive meal.....I understand people want to just eat & go to sleep sometimes, but as galley I am not a fan
  2. moving on...............set up 'set up carts' with earlier said water glasses, silverware, bread plates, butter and s&p (salt & pepper)............also you need to add wine glasses to this cart and display all wines
  3. if you are decent galley you will not add bread basket and follow your aisle people and do this for them as setting up each passenger's trays is time consuming.......being an overachiever I do this
  4. Also you better already have your appetizer oven turned on and pretty much done b/c as soon as the 2 'set up carts' come in they have to 'magically' turn into appetizer carts ASAP.......this part is fun b/c we have to pour tiny metal soup containers into tiny espresso cups.....(and put them on silver trays) time consuming............also unload leftovers from 'set up cart'.....also add more plates and the appetizers-- DUH
  5. while your aisle people are out with that cart you better be super fast getting all your salads out & placed somewhere in your teeny galley (25 salads)....and have chosen dresssings on them
  6. you better think about starting the entree ovens.......ahead of that......oh yeah.......and try to time special request meals and when they go into the oven (like tonight Med Rare steak.....I just heat them, but they said it was good steak but I had to set those meals aside and remember to put them in the oven @ the right time)
  7. as soon as appetizer cart comes in you must begin prepping for cheese & fruit cart
  8. put all unused apps from carts......BACK in oven and starting and get rid of anything else you no longer need..............
  9. of course during all these steps people are asking for special things its not like nobody talks to me or needs anything during this problem just adds to multi tasking
  10. so try to set up cheese & fruit cart ASAP so you can have that out of the is a pretty easy cart to set up...much harder to work.......try cutting crumbly (or sticky) cheese with a butter knife for every single person....but don't forget to add a nice silver tray for forks and knives......also port wine glasses & uh PORT wine
  11. Also at this time be thinking of dessert better start unwrapping the 5 layers of saran wrap on each 12 container glass drawer that comtain the ice cream glasses, but you have to leave the dry ice on still for a little while.................also don't forget to put the hot fudge in the oven and then 7 mins later add the caramel.
  12. ok..........everyone's ready to eat their entree.........pull all the dishes out of the oven and then for each row pull out entrees and apply to plate as quickly & beautifully as possible.........this is a messy process usually but I try to keep it as organized as possible
  13. ok....that's done.............start getting out that fancy silver stuff for the dessert & tea pitchers.....add hot water to bottom to warm them up................brew coffee & tea.........and decaf.............make sure you have warmed enough coffee mugs.............plate tiny little desserts for people that don't want ice cream............make cream & also milk pitchers (tiny ones)..............silver tray with linen with after dinner cocktails..............accompanied with special brandy glasses and tiny glasses for like bailey's (whatever)
  14. ok.....cheese carts come better work is NOT EASY to magically transfrom this cart..................take shit off................but put ALOT OF shit on................all that stuff I mentioned plus ice cream, plus pour out hot water from pitchers then add coffe, tea, mugs..............plates with those Continental circle with spoons............add ons for ice cream (caramel, strawberries, chopped nuts, cherries, whip cream)................pour hot fudge into special serving silver thingie................and little desserts for the people who don't want ice cream
  15. When they come back from that cart you better have lots of empty glass container drawers ready b/c f/a's are ready to go on break and are over it...............while dealing with that you also have to take multiple items of cart.............too tedious to explain
  16. ok......that's done and picked up.............
  17. now you must get rid of the beverage carts that are on each side of the galley and make everything in the galley look beautiful and tranquil again....nothing about the galley is really tranquil I assure you......I TRULY wish I could video this whole process even the list does NO justice to its insanity

I don't think I have the energy to explain the breakfast service right is far less severe but I am sure you have been given enough information for now.
Anyway.......I am going to go to take a nap...............I do have a little bit of plans later but I will save that information.


Diane said...

Sounds like you are an expert! Have a safe flight! Do you get to stay in Paris for a while?

Paula said...

Holy cow! I've never flown first class, so I had no idea just how much I was missing out on!

KFuj said...

Wow that was giving me a headache just thinking of all of that planning! You totally have to be on top of your game to do these flight.

I'm just sad that I have never been on a flight like this before, make me want to fly first class to Paris!

Agent DragonFly said...

YES...Once you fly first class Internationally you will NEVER want to go back to main cabin......and some flight attendants make galley seem effortless but they have been doing it for 20+ only a few (and I have actally only done First Class galley maybe 10xs)......I am sure I will develop way better systems for all this but it will always be hectic

But the world does not fall apart if things go wrong it just really sucks.....

Queen B said...

wowsers. I would so want you as my first class flight attendant. I must say that I love the little warm nut cups and nothing beats the ice cream service. So, from a first class passenger to a first class flight attendant - thanks for all you do :)

ok...exec meal?! that is insane. They need to just go with the flow and wake up from their precious naps when it's dinner time. Chris slept through the ice cream service on our flight to Hawaii, and that sucked for him, but I wasn't expecting the f/a to do a whole special thing for him.

Kim Thomas said...

I am with Paula. I had no idea what I was missing out on.....Darn that SWA.

P.S. This is the funniest line ever-" I am not trying or attempting to compare AT ALL to your important office jobs TRUST ME" I love your flight attendant stories!!!! Keep em coming.

Andrea said...

You are amazing. I completely understand that flight attendant's jobs are WAY more hectic than my "important" office job. I know that I couldn't do it, mainly because I would be yelling at the passengers to stay in their friggin' seats and to keep their children tied in their seats and NO you don't get a pillow and/or blanket.

I always try to appreciate my flight attendants, although I do get annoyed at the ones that flirt with all the men in first class and just ignore me...Yes, I'd like to have my coat hung up...

And I agree with The Queen, there is nothing like warm nuts to start of your flight!

I bow to your organizational skills!!

Oh and on top of all of that, you are responsible for seeing that passengers are safe and have to remain calm in an emergency, which is when I would be knocking people out of the way with an elbow to the throat to get to the escape door!!

Anonymous said...