I’m always asked, “which airline do you work for?” whenever I’m being interviewed. As if the answer is going to give people a better understanding of why I wrote the book, Cruising Attitude, or why I feel the way I do about flying or travel in general.
“One of the big ones,” is the usual response, followed by something about how the book isn’t an airline expose so it doesn’t matter who I work for. The company name is irrelevant. Then I’ll remind the interviewer that the book is about being a flight attendant, not an airline, and how being a flight attendant is more of a lifestyle than a job. “Half of the book takes place on the ground!” I’ll exclaim to get my point across. Then I’ll wrap it up by saying something like, “It doesn’t matter who you work for, the job is the same wherever you go.”
I’ll admit that there have been times, not many, when I’ve wondered just how true that statement really is, like when I’m checking into a layover hotel and spot a foreign crew doing the exact same thing. Because certainly the job has to be different overseas! And by different, I mean better, of course. What’s strange is whenever self doubt begins to creep in, something will happen to confirm what I believed all along. Take for instance the time a newspaper out of Australia reviewed my book. I was shocked to see so many Australians felt the exact same way about Qantas crews as Americans feel about U.S. crews.
One of the most exciting things about having published a book about flight attendants is getting feedback from other flight crews, and not just flight attendants from other airlines, but from crew who live in foreign countries and work for international carriers! Sometimes it comes in the form of a really nice letter. They’re always my favorite. Other times it comes in gold and arrives wrapped in bubble wrap inside a Fed Ex envelope. Imagine how excited I was to receive a pair of Saudi Airline flight crew wings yesterday! A sign to me that flight attendants worldwide really do have parallel lives, regardless of the company name written on the side of the plane.
Yeah, that's me, the one standing in the aisle wearing flammable polyester...