Travel Essentials (Of the Human Variety)

Kastrup airport, Copenhagen, a summer evening in 2010

We had some spare time on our turnaround and we, the crew members, left the empty plane for a quick tax-free shopping round at the terminal.

With a caramel macchiato in my hand, I idly browsed all the travel-sized packages of mascara, testing some miniature perfumes, and walked from shelf to shelf brushing my fingers over the three-for-one packs of face creams for confusingly different purposes.

My colleague arrived with her purchases and when I turned around, I bumped into a guy I used to work with over a decade ago in retail. We said hi, exchanged the usual pleasantries, wondered what had happened to the other people we worked with, and he commented on my uniform, as people do.

Then he said, “Well, I’ll have to get going, my flight to Helsinki leaves at 8 p.m. I don’t want to be late.”

To this, my flight attendant colleague stiffled a laugh, “Don’t worry, they won’t leave without us!”

It took him a moment to understand.

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