What happens when you live in one city and you work out of another? You commute. You are a commuter. You make a conscious choice to live in beauty and grandeur surrounded by your friends and family on your days off. You have a nice home, drive nice cars, a wonderful husband, loving children and a fuzzy little dog that greets you at the door. It's utter utopia.
But what happens when you go to work? (See "Commuting Bites"). In addition to flying nonrev to your base, you get the opportunity to pick your own and pay for it as well.
Now I do have to say, that when the airline picks up the tab while we are working, we are a fickle group of folks. We like certain beds, coffee makers, hair dryers and shower heads. We can't be too close to the elevators or ice machines but not too far away either. The hotel has to be properly situated near something to do. Preferably not by the airport but by nightlife or shopping of some sort. The food in the restaurant needs to be good with a significant discount and van service wherever we want to go, whenever we want to go there. The work out room needs to be top of the line and the towels soft. This is the short list!
Keeping this in mind, commuting can get expensive. Especially if you are a new flight attendant (a.k.a broke) sitting reserve. Scheduling doesn't always need you to work. So a long time ago, to alleviate the financial hardship, some very frugal flight attendants came up with the idea of a crashpad.
Why anyone would name anything "crash" while working in the airline industry is beyond me. However, they serve a purpose. While on reserve, instead of paying for 3 or 4 nights in a hotel a week waiting to see if scheduling uses and abuses you.... you can hook up with many different flight attendants and share a room.
In theory this works and it works well. One person is going while another is coming, ships passing in the night. In reality it goes a little something like this: 20 people pay $250 each for a 10x10 room with two queen size beds in the hopes that 9 people are working, 7 people have the day off and 2 people are on vacation. That leaves one other person to share a room with. No problem.
However, this is rarely ever the case. It's more likely that no one has discussed what schedules they will all bid and since they are all most likely new they are all working reserve on the same days, weekends.
This can build/break great friendships, start romances or end marriages. (Not all flight attendants are female and not all male flight attendants are gay, hell not all female f/a's are straight!) Good times will be had, memories made, cat fights will ensue, rumors started and oh the pranks.....
Now back to the kinds of hotel rooms we purchase for ourselves..... they are the closest ones to the airport, usually in unseemly areas. The beds are hard, the showers tiny, the towels rough and the decor is despicable. There are no amenities, the ice machine is broken, the elevator smells and the bedspreads (yes I said bedspreads) have all seen better days. There are stains on the chairs and the heater/air conditioner may or may not work. But look at the bright side... you get to share stories with the other 19 people in room!