Seeing as I do not have any layover flights for a while, I thought I would document what a typical night time turnaround flight looks like! A couple of days ago, I had a turnaround to Karachi in Pakistan. My E-Gate was at 12:30am which meant I would be flying throughout the night.
11pm: Get Ready
Before a night flight, you get a ‘Rest Day’ assigned on your roster. On my rest day, I typically try and wake up as late as possible so that I am able to stay awake later that night. For this flight, I started to get ready around 11pm.
I start off with my makeup and then my hair. For makeup, I did a really light base and then applied a little bit of eyeshadow and mascara. We are not required to wear the red lipstick now, due to the face mask, so I opt for a tinted lip balm instead. You can read all about the makeup products I use here. For my hair, I go for a low bun. Now that I have cut my hair, I actually find it harder to style it for work! I miss my plaited bun that I always used to wear but now it is just too short!
I put my uniform on and make sure I have everything for the flight. For turnaround flights, we only need to bring our cabin bag and our red bag. Inside my cabin bag, I keep my flat shoes that I change into after take off, my waistcoat for the service (which we no longer need to wear underneath the PPE gown), my cardigan if I get cold and then oven gloves if I am operating the galley. I keep all of my important flying documents in my red bag. I leave my house at 12am.
12am: Travel to work
We have company provided transport that serves each accommodation building and takes us directly to our headquarters. I take the 12:05am bus and arrive at HQ 20 minutes later.
1:30am: Board Aircraft
My E-Gate opens at 12:25am so I sign in just after that. I pass through security and then make my way to briefing room number 8. In the briefing room, we cover all sorts of topics such as safety, COVID-19 and the service sequence. We choose our working positions in order of seniority then have a brief chat from the Purser and the Flight Crew. We board the aircraft around 1:30am and then conduct our safety checks and prepare the aircraft so that it is ready for boarding by 1:45am.
2:30am: Take Off
The aircraft takes off on time at 2:30am and we make our way towards Jinnah International Airport in Karachi Pakistan. The flight is only 1 hour and 40 minutes, so super quick and easy. Straight after take off, we hand out food and drinks to the passengers and then collect everything once they have finished eating. By the time we are finished, the captain has already started to descend, so we begin to prepare the cabin for landing. We land ahead of schedule and all customers disembark happy!
8am: Land Back in Dubai
On ground in Pakistan, the cleaners come on and then once they have finished, we conduct a safety and security check of the whole aircraft. It is then time to welcome our customers on board and return to Dubai. By this time, it is already 6am so I’m starting to feel a little bit sleepy by this point! We do exactly the same service on the return sector, but this time, we have double the amount of passengers so it takes a bit longer. We eventually land into Dubai International Airport just before 8am.
We make our way back to HQ, go through the E-Gate once again and then through security. I take the crew bus back to my accommodation and arrive around 9am.
9am: Arrive Back Home
After I get home, the first thing I do is have a shower. I’m pretty hungry at this point, so I make myself some breakfast and then get into bed around 9:30am. I thought about trying to stay awake all day so that I wouldn’t mess up my sleeping pattern, but I was just too tired so I decided to sleep right away and listen to my body. Thank goodness for blackout curtains!
I wake up that afternoon around 4pm (Oops!). It was a pleasure flying to Pakistan and back and I am now looking forward to my 5 days off until my next turnaround flight to Cairo. Luckily this flight is during the day which I much prefer! If you would like to see a more in depth ‘Day in the Life’ and find out what happens on the aircraft, you can read all about it here.
Thanks for reading.