I have been working as a cabin crew for six years and have never been so tired. Crew are facing catastrophic levels of understaffing and I am not the kind of person who usually suffers with fatigue. The travel chaos facing hard-working families who just want to get away for a well earned half-term break, being asked to travel with hand luggage alone to try to alleviate the huge delays and cancellation at Britain's airports doesn't make sense.

People are flying more and more. Our hours are longer and our schedule is more tiring. People working for airlines used to be very nice. Many of us can't afford to live close to the airports, so we drive for hours to get home after a long flight. Closed social media groups are full of tips for staying awake, as crew members are tired and having accidents.

It's only sustainable for a long time. Long-haul flights wear you down so crew are calling in sick. The airlines used Covids as an excuse to lay off a lot of people. In the past, bosses have offered us cash lump sums to recommend new members of staff, and airlines have tried to get people to apply for vacancies. Our union has told us that our airline is considering increasing pay for new recruits, which is a slap in the face for the rest of us. There is a possibility that a strike will take place.

Travel chaos has a negative effect on us. If you are a cabin crew member, you are the next person in a uniform that customers will see if they have a difficult time at the airport. A man was chasing me down the galley after the captain announced that some passengers would miss their connecting flights.

It is hard to feel sympathy for airlines because of the pressure they have been under. Government lock downs were hard on the travel industry. People are desperate to escape their troubles and have a holiday, even though environmentalists think people will fly less to fight the climate crisis. The current boom in demand is proof that's true. The transport secretary said that airlines needed to stop overselling flights and holidays because they wouldn't be able to deliver them. I don't see how this travel chaos is anyone's fault, but the airlines', when people are queueing up to spend their money, but they don't have the product to satisfy that demand

A lot of the crew were from Europe. Many people don't want to work for airlines that are bad for them. The legacy crew used to be on six figures. Current employees feel that the Pandemic was a good excuse to get rid of the last senior members on expensive contracts. The idea of new recruits getting more money is angering my colleagues. People were riled by the incentive to join. They can't pay us more if they have all the money.

Post-pandemic, there has been a shift in the way we view work, people are more careful about what jobs they accept, and at what cost. It isn't just about the money. The working conditions you will be facing are well known. The people want more.

  • A writer works for an airline. It was told to Lucy Pasha-Robinson.