Daily Archives: November 24, 2010

Stewardess or Flight Attendant? (originally posted on 10/11/10)

Stewardess or Flight Attendant?

When we were flight attendants we used to have the conversation about differences between stewardesses and flight attendants. Before we get into this conversation, let’s see what Webster (not Emmanuel Lewis) has to say:

a woman flight attendant

flight attendant
an airline employee who serves meals, attends to passengers’ comfort, etc., during a flight.

Even though both words have virtually the same meaning, there’s a huge difference in what makes one a ‘stewardess’ as opposed to a ‘flight attendant.’ And just so you know ‘stewardesses’ still exist to this day!

TRIVIA: The very first flight attendant (steward) was a male. Heinrich Kubis. He flew as a steward on the Zeppelin fleet including the Graf Zeppelin and Hindenburg. More about male flight attendants in another post.

The first female stewardess was Ellen Church hired by United Airlines in 1930. She was 25 and a registered nurse. Once airlines began hiring stewardesses, being a nurse was a requirement. This requirement was relaxed at the start of WW2.

Ellen Church - first UA stewardess

It was in the 60’s and 70’s that many airlines began advertising the attractiveness and friendliness of its stewardesses. National Airlines had the “Fly Me” campaign. Southwest airlines had hostesses in hot pants. Braniff International Airlines even had what became known as the ‘Air Strip‘ whereby stewardesses would change outfits during your flight.


The Braniff "Air Strip"

Pacific Southwest Airlines

Delta Air Lines Summer 1969-70


National Airlines

Pan American

Many challenges that stewardesses faced (age limitations, no-marriage clause, weight requirements) were laid to the wayside in the 70’s and 80’s.

It was at the end of the 70’s that the term flight attendant replaced stewardess.

Even though the term stewardess was jettisoned, stewardesses still exist if you know what to look for. During our time as flight attendants it was a pure delight to fly with a stewardess. She, after all the years in the air, still:

  • loves her job
  • smiles at the customers
  • works seamlessly with her crew
  • has a great attitude
  • can fit into her uniform from when she was 21
  • has style, grace and poise
  • ALWAYS looks fabulous in her uniform (nails, hair, make up)
  • can wear a pair of heels for 9 hours, while working, across the Atlantic (you’ll see no Dansko’s on her feet!) — Dansko’s should be banned!
  • she’s loved by her passengers
  • brings glamour to this, still, amazing career
It’s nice to know (and I’m sure the passengers would agree) that even in today’s hectic airline environment there are stewardesses out there…and some are flight attendants!
Today’s ‘stewardesses’ include:

Katherine Lee aka "Deltalina"

Virgin Atlantic

Pam Ann

Today’s question: Have you had the pleasure of being served by, worked with or know, a ‘stewardess?’ If so, let’s here about it.

Remember to keep it low and tight, low and tight…


Can you hear me now?! (originally posted 10/06/10)

Can you hear me NOW?!

A few years ago there was plenty of chatter (haha) about whether or not to allow the use of cellphones on commercial airliners. After much debate the idea didn’t gather support and seemed to get disconnected by the airline industry. Fast (call) forward. Singapore Airlines announced a few days ago that they are considering installing technology to allow for cellphone use during flight on their medium and long haul flights. Not during takeoff and landing…whew! But during the flight! Imagine being awakened by someone yelling, “Can you hear me now?”
A Singapore Airlines spokesperson says they’re gathering feedback from customers and will evaluate before moving forward.
The need to stay connected is understandable. Many airlines (Delta, AirTran, jetBlue, Southwest to name a few) have already installed, or are installing, wifi on their fleets. Is this not enough connectivity for most people?
Allowing cellphone use on board will definitely make the job of the flight attendant and flight deck crew more challenging (It’s hard enough getting customers to turn off cellphones before push back from the gate, imagine once airborne?). It’s probably a matter of time before US airlines follow suit.
Today’s question: As a customer what would you do if someone seated next to you had no ‘in-flight cellphone etiquette” and repeatedly (and loudly) said, ‘Can you hear me NOW?!’
Keep it low and tight, low and tight…

A Day at the Delta Heritage Museum (originally posted 10/03/10)

There’s something about the smell of jet fuel and the sound of jets taking off that made yesterday a great day. We visited the Delta Heritage Museum for the 24th Annual Airliner Collectible Show. We got there about 10:30a and immediately surveyed the hangar. If you haven’t had the opportunity to visit the Heritage Museum, stop what you’re doing, call your best Delta friend to escort you onto the property and go! Wonderful aviation history is housed in these 2 hangars at the World Headquarters for Delta. The piece de resistance is the Spirit of Delta; a Boeing 767-200 that the employees purchased for the company back in 1982. That was not a typo. That’s right. The employees bought this aircraft for the company. Back then things were good, pride was high and as a token of gratitude the Spirit of Delta came to be (more about the Spirit of Delta at a later date).

There were many vendors at the collectible show. Mostly model airplanes, post cards, pins and signs. The most unusual item was a lavatory from Pan Am. I wonder if anyone bought it. The bigger question would be why was it on display? Anyway, after some time walking around and talking with other enthusiasts I purchased a 1/200 scale model of the first Boeing 747. It’s an amazing model. To date, the best in my collection.

Darin scored big. He got 4 models for the price of 2! The funny thing about vendors is that by the end of the day they really don’t want to pack things up and take back with them so they play ‘let’s make a deal.’ 

The rumor yesterday was that John Travolta was going to stop by. His B707 has been parked in the general aviation area for the past 3 days now. Talk about aviation enthusiast! Who has it better than John Travolta? He has his very own B707 (of which he’s the pilot, he’s also a qualified pilot with Qantas) and a home in Florida that looks like an airport! Unfortunately, it was only a rumor and he was a no-show. We’d love to talk with him about his passion for aviation.

We met the cutest, and probably oldest, airplane buff yesterday. Her name was Marty and she had been a “stewardess” from 1954-1960. She still has poise and grace. I love this pic! 

So, today’s question is: At what point does our aviation enthusiasm become an obsession?  🙂

Keep it low and tight, low and tight…