1. Would you please introduce yourself?
– Hi, my name is Phil Lerche.
2. How long have you been working as a flight attendant?
– I’ve worked as a flight attendant for 29 years. I started with Western Airlines in November of 1985. My first base was Salt Lake City, Utah. Delta and Western merged in 1987, and that’s when I transferred to Los Angeles, where I’ve been based since.
3. Have you passed the whole course in Delta?
– I have passed all required courses to crew for Delta. I am not a purser, but that is by my own choice. I am internationally qualified and also qualified for private and military charters.
4. Where do you fly to most often?
– I fly mostly to Sydney Australia, second, to Tokyo, and occasionally Hawaii, Latin America and domestic routes. Delta just opened up the opportunity to pick up trips from other flight attendants in other bases, so I expect I’ll be seeing some new destinations this year.
5. Does Delta operate internationally or just domestically?
– The answer to this one is a tough one. Many new hire flight attendants will get international flying right away if they get base in our biggest international gateways which are Atlanta, New York, Detroit, Seattle, and soon Los Angeles. They will also have to fly domestic flights and blocks of 3 to 6 access (or reserve/standby) days. Depending on base seniority, will determine how well their schedules will be. We DO have a lot if flexibility to trade our trips and days off around to our liking. Everyone likes something different.. International long haul, domestic turn around , airport standby, early mornings, or all night flights.
6. As a flight attendant, of which nationality passengers do you prefer the most to have on board? Which ones you don’t?
– Again, another good but hard question. ALL cultures and countries have their wonderful and difficult people, cultures and customs. Even America. The nicest and most polite have to be the Japanese. They follow the directions of the crew and are generally very pleasant and receptive while on board. I’d have to say that the Americans are the worst actually. The can be very pushy and self important. If any little thing goes wrong, they always seem to expect compensation of some sort.
7. Can you tell us about one of your funniest moments at work?
– The funniest moments have to be the great times spent with friends and colleagues on the layovers. As for moments on the plane… A pigeon flew in to the plane during a ground stop in Atlanta and we had to find him and get him off. (See my Facebook post for that one)!
Of course there are other random funny moments here and there like something a passenger will say or do, or a dog or cat getting out of its carrier and wandering around the aircraft. A lot of good fun happens behind the galley curtains when we are on a long night flight trying or stay awake. I’ll have to think if anything comes to mind. I’ll let you know if it does.
8. Has there ever been a moment in your life that you said to yourself that you are fed up with this job and you don’t want to be FA anymore but shortly after you change your mind and want it back ?!
– No, I’d have to say that I never wanted to give up this job. It’s very well paid, has great time off, and better benefits than many other company’s offer their employees. The travel is a bonus, and just knowing you’re in a great city or on a beautiful beach somewhere and are getting paid to be there is just icing on the cake. Sure, there have been hard times where the flying was bad, the airline seemed mismanaged and that I’d never be able to fly the trips I wanted. After September 11th, I considered leaving Delta to fly as crew on private jets after meeting a pilot for “NetJets”. But like I tell everyone, “I love this job because it’s always different every time you go to work. Different passengers, different crews, different destinations, and finally you know that when your trip is over and the flight is done, you won’t be taking your work home with you, and the only “deadline” you have to worry about is when to be back at the airport for your next trip.
9. For the last one, is there any suggestion for those interested in this profession?
– For anyone planning one interviewing for the position of flight attendant, I’d suggest doing a little bit of research on the airline you’re applying for. Know what their plans are for the FUTURE more than their past. Be natural, have a good sense of humour, be well groomed, smile easily but not constantly. Use common sense when answering interview questions. Take a look at the STAR interviewing method on the internet. This is one of the tools Delta uses. Just be relaxed and be yourself. That’s what the company wants. And always agree to working any days, holidays or relocating. Airlines need flexible people will pick up and go at a moments notice.
10. Do you think is there anthing missing? Something that can be added as a rule to facilitate the procedures?
– I can’t think of anything further to add at this time
Thanks alot Phil and hope have great and safe flight in your life