What I Miss About Being A Flight Attendant
If you have been on this journey with me for a while, you probably know that I am a former Delta Airlines Flight Attendant.
The other day I was sitting on my deck watching the big jets I used to fly enter into landing and flying patterns near my home. You would have to understand the altitudes of aircraft to relate to that. Anyway, I found myself becoming a bit nostalgic just seeing landing lights and the roar of the engines as the sleek airliner so ever gracefully glided through the air.
Things really have changed since I started my career in 1974. When I hear about things happening in flight these days, I tend to focus on how it was “back in the day.”
I always looked forward to going to the airport. This was the most exciting place I’d ever been. Many times I would get to work way ahead of time just to watch people as they moved about through the terminals. It was so wonderful to see people from all walks of life and different countries scurrying around with fierce determination to get to their flights or try to figure out where to find their luggage. This was hilarious at times and heart wrenching at other times to observe lost passengers who really didn’t have a clue. Either way, I never saw the same person when I took time to pause for this experience.
Most of the time the same flight crews would fly together so we really became like family for the entire trip. Some assignments were one, two or three day trips. There were a lot of layovers scheduled that allowed us to become temporary residents in a designated hotel overnight. And, if the layovers were long, which typically exceeded twenty four hours, dinner and sightseeing was par for the course- which was packed with a tremendous amount of adventure and fun!
Oh, did I forget being on board with passengers? That was an incredible joy for me because I really love people. There was more time to chat after the service was completed depending on where we we going. I learned quite a bit from investments to grandma’s favorite recipes and heard over 200 life stories! It was a pleasure helping a young mother quiet her fussy infant and to pray with the soldiers who were experiencing their first deployment overseas. The proper handling of a disgruntled passenger simply fine tuned my people skills, especially when I was awarded a commendation for excellent service.
When I began to fly international routes I was so excited! I had the opportunity to travel to: Paris. Rome, Milan, Munich, Frankfurt, São Paulo, Nigeria, Japan, Hawaii, Montreal, Toronto, Mexico City, Montego Bay, Zurich, Copenhagen, Seoul, Punta Cana, London, and some other extraordinary places that would take more time but I’ve got to finish this story! Whew!
Right at this moment, my best memories are the cultural differences and the FOOD! Good thing that I’m not still a Flight Attendant, because the food was so hard to resist. What was amazing is that I was not designated as a language qualified Flight Attendant, but I could communicate with any person even if I didn’t speak his/her language. That’s because speech is not the only way we communicate. We communicate by word, gesture and spirit.
Someone asked if I would be a Flight Attendant all over again? Yes, I would without hesitation. I believe that Flight Attendants are the most unique group of folks in existence; not perfect but perfect for what they do.
This job matured me greatly and instilled in me a great love not only to travel, but to embrace people from all over the world. It helped me to “connect yet respect” differences and be grateful that God chose me to be a FLIGHT ATTENDANT ❤️