Yvonne Peel, retired Air Canada flight attendant, has put together a collection of her memories and experiences during her 31 years adventure with the airline. Her story first started off in NetLetter #1381, continued in NetLetter #1382 and, now, here we have another episode.
I had not been flying long and was still very much in awe of passengers, especially when working in First Class. This was a rather daunting task for a new recruit at the best of times. People still dressed up to come on flights as flying was still a luxury for most people, especially in first class.
All the food had to be prepared in the rather small galley. The meat came on board partly cooked and we had to finish off the cooking, prepare the rest of the food, make sure everything was piping hot and arrange the serving trolleys to make the food look appetizing and the presentation elegant.
Beautifully printed menus were given to each passenger. They then decided which of the selection of food they would choose. The choices were varied so as to accommodate all tastes and the food was of extremely high quality.
We always began the service with drinks, nuts and canapes then prepared each individual chair table with a beautifully white starched tablecloth and matching napkin. All the necessary cutlery depending on the menu, glasses, cruets and side plates for the bread were all meticulously displayed. Often a small vase with fresh flowers would finish off the presentation.
However, you could almost bet that as everything was ready for the start the service, one passenger by the window would "need to go'' and both he or she and the passenger in the aisle had to have all their table settings removed and rearranged!
The roasts had to be carved from the trolley and each passenger was served individually. My worst nightmare was serving the meat and vegetable brochettes. The food had to be removed from the skewers, and invariably as you eased the fork down the skewer, the meat would suddenly fly off and either end up on the floor or all over the trolley!
The trolleys were extremely low to allow the seated passenger to view the food on offer, and this did nothing for the state of our backs by the end of the meal service. Finally, after what seemed like hours of backbreaking work, the meal service was over!
Pillows, blankets, gifts and travel bags full of goodies comprising the usual eye shades, ear plugs and all the creams and potions were handed to each individual passenger to make their flight comfortable and, hopefully, send them to sleep.
Finally, we could then eat the leftovers which were much better than our crew meals!!