Home Hospitality Laying Over – The Life of a Hotel Doctor

Laying Over – The Life of a Hotel Doctor

In the old days, airlines called me directly to care for crew laying over in Los Angeles. I enjoyed those visits because patients are mostly young and rarely seriously ill.

Since then they have given responsibility to an independent agency which contracts with a national housecall service. The housecall service calls me. I collect the same fee, but it costs the airlines triple what they once paid. I am too old to question their logic.

Hotels compete to put up crew, offering discounts. Always searching for a better deal, airlines often change places. Long ago they stuck to lodgings near the airport eight miles away. In another mysterious deterioration from former times, crew now mostly lay over at wildly distant hotels.

During my latest visit, I traveled to the Long Beach Hilton, thirty-five miles away, to care for a Virgin-Australia flight attendant with an earache. As usual, delivering care was the easiest part. Afterward I filled out a form required by the housecall service plus another form from the airline containing many identical questions followed by another airline form to determine when the flight attendant could work or return home as a passenger.

Mike Oppenheim

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