Archive for January, 2013

If the Shoe Fits

shoes

If the shoe fits, wear it….a shoe is a shoe is a shoe. Right? I know, I know! I wish this were true. This is definitely not the case for flight attendants. How many shoes have you purchased that you thought were the perfect pair only to find out that they caused you blisters, pain or just didn’t fit quite right? I have a closet full. Many a layover has been spent perusing the sale racks at shoe and department stores. Payless has gotten a small share of my income over the years and although sometimes “ya gotta do what ya gotta do” I have found that your uniform shoe is worth the investment. Once in a while I do find a gem at payless or Marshalls, though these are the companies that have served me the best and lasted the longest:

My first big investment didn’t come until I had been flying a couple of years. I really wanted a pair of Dansko clogs for my inflights. Many flight attendants had them and bragged about how their feet didn’t hurt, even after fourteen hour duty days. I purchased mine online and paid the price, around $125. At the time it was an astronomical price for me to pay, about a months worth of groceries. I still love the Dansko clog, the only draw back being how much space they take up in my tote.

I recently discovered a company in the UK called Fit Flop. They make a ballerina style shoe called the “DUE”  that is stylish and comfy. Fit Flop even refers to it as “sneaker-meets-ballerina. This shoe also runs about $125 USD. It make a perfect inflight shoe with no draw backs because it’s not too bulky which saves space in your tote.

I still prefer heels for the terminal so this is were my feet have taken a beating over the years. I always used the logic that I was in my inflights longer than my terminal shoes. My feet paid the price. Did you know there’s a company that makes a uniform shoe specifically for crew? I didn’t either. SkyPro shoes, which was only based in Europe until recently has opened up shop in the US as well. They have a shoe for everyone! Heels as high as 3” and boots (for those stews lucky enough to be allowed to wear boots with their uniform). They even have fourteen different styles of men’s shoes including an ankle boot.

Another thing I would suggest is to find out the return policy. I walked around my house for three days in my Danskos because there was no way I could afford to keep them if they weren’t going to work for me.I know it’s hard to part with hard earned money on uniform shoes. I’d much rather spend it on my personal wardrobe but, talk to a few flight attendants who have had foot surgeries, there are many, they will tell you to invest in the right shoes. The only thing foot surgery is good for is getting the holidays off. Ever notice that all the elective surgeries get scheduled in December? 🙂

What are your favorite uniform shoes? Do you have a brand you love? Did you ever find the perfect pair only to never find them again? Share your finds and stories in comments.

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How to See a City in Twenty Four Hours

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As flight attendants we are sometimes lucky enough to get more than minimum rest in a great city like, Boston, Seattle, New York or even Paris! Maybe you’re new and afraid to venture out on your own or you just never got the hang of really exploring and old habits die hard? Do you have the same haunts in every city every time you’re there? Why not try something new? But, where do you start? Here are some tips for seeing a city with new eyes!

  • Do your research! Whether you are a line holder and have time to plan or a reserve flight attendant who just got quick called take a peek on the internet and see what you can find out about the city you’ll be visiting. If you did actually get quick called, you can look on the internet once you arrive at your destination. It’s a great way to discover what you are interested in seeing. A good place to start is by googling the cities visitor’s bureau.
  • When you do look up a particular city google, “free things to do in ______.” I have found great concerts, flea markets and even plays this way!
  • Download a few apps to help you plan. I like “Around Me” for events and shopping and “Urban Spoon” is my go to for restaurant information.
  • Take a sightseeing tour! Most cities have a trolley tour that gives you a wonderful overview of the city and a little history too! As a bonus you’re usually able to hop on and off all day and use them as transportation. They may seem a little pricey but, I see it as an investment for all my future layovers in any particular city.
  • Find out about public transportation. Once you’ve taken a sightseeing tour you’ll want a cheaper alternative to getting around on your next layover to said city. Get comfortable with  riding the subway or bus. The hotel concierge will be able to help you with maps and directions.

I know being in a new city or flying with “slam clickers” (those flight attendants that slam their hotel door shut upon arrival and lock it never to be seen again until show time) can make venturing out scary but, don’t let it stop you! One of the best things about being a stew is seeing the world and meeting the locals! So, next time you find yourself in an amazing place skip the mall and have an adventure!

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