16 years ago I received my second set of wings when I graduated from flight attendant training in Dallas. In 1978 I received my first pair of wings in Miami from astronaut Frank Borman, the President of Eastern airlines at the time. I returned to flying in 1998 and felt a kindred spirit with astronaut John Glenn who returned to space that same year – we both had to fly again!
Guess there is something about flying that gets in our blood, aviation folks like to say we have “jet fuel in our veins”. I just love to fly.
I love the speed and the lift of taking off. I love seeing the sunrise from above the clouds. I love flying on 4th of July watching silent fireworks displays. I love the majestic view of the Grand Canyon & Mount St. Helens from the cockpit. I love feeling like a nurse, caring for my sleeping passengers on the red-eye. I love the crew members that feel like family for those hours we spend together from take-off to landing. I love meeting folks from all over the world and listening to their stories.
The people are the best part of flying. Celebrity folks are just people. Former Presidents are just people. Olympian Gold Medal winners are just people. Grammy winners are just people. I have served them all in my 21 years of flying. I have signatures and photos of the famous folks I admire and respect. The real and treasured memories I have are of fellow crew members who were kind to me and offered support without judgment.
Flight attendants love “jumpseat therapy”! We help each other solve airplane problems and offer free advice on life as we see it. Some of the best focus groups and small groups I have ever seen happen on the airplane with authentic people who share gathered wisdom of life’s experiences.
Flight attendants are a pure and passionate breed. We are not regular folks. There is a special type of person who loves the fly-life. We love the unique challenges of building a life in the air and on the ground. I am proud to be a flight attendant. I am proud that I am still flying and hope that my wings never get too tired to soar.