Arriving in such a fairytale-like city made this nightmare of a trip seem worth it! I picked up a 3 day trip to Prague out of New York City, and with delays arriving for sign-in, leaving part of my uniform at home, and ending the trip with a crash, I was really regretting this pick up! I didn’t need the hours and was exhausted upon arrival, but I fought through and explored the city anyways! If I was going to be in trouble anyways, I wanted to make the trip memorable!
In this job you never know what the weather will be like, so unfortunately my flight, and my back up flight, to NYC were both arriving after my check-in which is a big “no-no” as being late in any job would be. Luckily, I still made it to the aircraft before boarding but not without some repercussions from management. Feeling down already, I noticed I forgot my name tag as well. This might not seem like a big deal for a normal job, but this industry heavily prides itself on appearances and every single crew member noticed I was missing my wings. I even tried to pin on the kids wings for the flight but that didn’t go without notice either. Feeling like a hot mess, I worked the 8 hour flight from JFK to PRG and made friends with another flight attendant along the way. We decided to head straight out once we reached the hotel to make the most of our layover!
First stop was coffee! We needed to refuel from working all night and stopped at Costa Coffee (think European Starbucks) and then caught an Uber up to the Prague Castle! This castle looked like something straight out of a Disney movie and we were amazed at the history behind it! The castle took almost 600 years to complete and you can actually see the points where they stopped the building and came back to it due to the color changes in the brick. Every inch of it is covered in intricate details, and tourist might I add, but seeing this beauty was a highlight of our day for sure!
After the castle, we caught a glimpse of the city down below, and with the way that the city is designed, we were able to hit up some other recommended areas as we strolled down to the city center! The weather was perfect and the red roofed houses and warm colors of the city painted a picture perfect scene for our day outdoors!
We peeked our heads into a few shops and then stopped in front of the John Lennon Peace Wall that is tucked away down a small alley near the Charles bridge. This iconic wall is filled with ever changing graffiti inspired by John-Lennon and The Beatles and is a global symbol of love and peace. Authorities have painted over the wall but found it covered in new poems and lyrics shortly after and now the owner of the wall has allowed the graffiti to stay and grow!
After the wall we headed up the steps to Charles Bridge and got the most breathtaking view of the city! It is said that during WWII bombing of the city was intended to be avoided to maintain the beautiful city. Unfortunately, Americans ended up bombing the city on February 14th claiming a navigational mistake. Standing on the bridge this weekend it is hard to imagine this city undergoing such distress, but you can feel the strength in the community now! The locals were so welcoming and you can tell they have a rightful pride to be from their country!
Near the end of our day we met some of our other crew members by the famous Astronomical Clock in the city center. This clock was not only a work of art, but is the 3rd oldest astronomical clock in the world and it IS the oldest one still operating today! Made in 1410 the clock has been around for over 600 years and has been regularly maintained and renovated after any damages have occurred. During our visit the clock was undergoing some of these renovations, however the clock face was still visible and was worth the crowds to see!
The rest of the night was filled with dinner and drinks before we all retreated back to our rooms! After powering through 34 hours of being awake, I slept so peacefully that night! The next day I felt so much better about picking up this trip even after getting in trouble right off the bat and felt like the worst was over. Unfortunately I was wrong. Shuttling to and from the airport I had the Captain comment on how he was impressed that I actually wore my seatbelt and I told him that I always did. It never makes sense to me that we spend everyday making others wear their seatbelt and then when we get in the car nobody seems to put it on. Well it is true what they say, and car accidents are much more likely to occur than a plane crash! After beginning this career I have been in 4 car accidents and still, knock on wood, 0 plane crashes! We made a safe landing into NYC and then the First officer, his wife (a flight attendant on the trip as well) and myself shared a cab from JFK to LGA. The traffic was pretty bad and as we went to exit off the freeway we ended up at a standstill on the ramp. As flight attendants on standby, we were all distracted by our phones (we weren’t driving as we were in a crew cab) and checking flight loads that we never saw it coming.A distinct and loud metal crunching sound was followed by us flying forward and hitting the seats in front of us. Thank God for the fact that we were not seriously injured and were able to walk away from the accident, but one person did not have their seatbelt on and flew into me as I hit the seat in front and behind me. The door on their side was crushed, and we had to get out due to some claustrophobia. As we were standing outside, another Delta employee pulled up and offered us a ride. He said he spotted the red dress and figured he should lend a hand to his fellow airline family! Even though we probably should have waited around to get checked out, we all just wanted to get home and be safely tucked into our beds at home, so we took up the offer and made the last flights out of New York to make it home.
As the saying goes, things could have been worse and I am thankful that they weren’t this time! Even though I had an unforgettable layover, I think I am going to stick to my own trips in my own base for a little while! For now, I am going to lay in bed and recover before work again tomorrow and reminisce on this wonderful city!