Tag Archives: crewlife

Focusing on the journey

And then there was the time…I took my last flight as a flight attendant. It was an easy trip; a turnaround. And guess who’s on my flight? The one and only Stevland Hardaway Morris, aka Stevie Wonder. He was traveling with 3 other people who guided Mr. Wonder onboard and settled into first class. I wished them all a safe and enjoyable flight as we departed for Philadelphia. The flight back to my base was full. We had just enough time in tourist class to serve all the customers and pick up. During our decent I had a lovely conversation with the customers opposite my jumpseat. They were an older couple who had been married for many years and their “thing” was visiting baseball stadiums around the country. While not a fan of baseball, I found their story interesting; here were two people with common interests, enjoying themselves, the places they’ve been, and each others company. And just like that, my career as a flight attendant ended. No water cannon salute, no paparazzi, no throngs of well-wishers. What a beautiful ending.

Moral: It’s all about the journey, not the arrival. Imagine had my last flight been overly dramatic. It may have eclipsed much of what I had experienced up to this point. I find life to be more fulfilling when focusing on the journey; the experiences, the people you meet along the way, the lessons you learn, and not the arrival at the final destination.

Safe travels!

Sylvester

A “North of Expected” experience at Alaska Airlines

The Spirit of Alaska

Recently had the opportunity to visit the Alaska Airlines Flight Operations Training Center. The Spirt of Alaska was very much alive and palpable here.

Located near SeaTac Airport, the center is a two-story building housing training facilities for Alaska’s almost 2800 flight attendants and approximately 1400 pilots. My first impression was that of entering a small private school. As it was early, activities had not quite kicked off; there was minimal activities in the hallways. However, behind closed doors there was a flurry of activity and things happening to keep the Alaska Airlines operation running safely, comfortably, and on-time.

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Alaska Airlines Flight Operations Training Center

Alaska Airlines has come a long way from its humble beginnings as McGee Airways in 1932 and has grown in to a profitable airline that has 136 aircraft, and serves almost 100 cities. Alaska Airlines is adored by the industry and has a loyal and dedicated customer base as well as motivated and dedicated employees.

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It was via a some of these motivated and dedicated employees that I got the opportunity to see how Alaska Airlines has become, and remains, truly Alaska (the Alaska spirit).

During the visit I was shown and introduced to many people who are responsible for the safe operation of Alaska Airlines flights throughout their system. We toured the Systems Operations Control (SOC) area where I was given an overview of flight attendant and piloting scheduling, dispatch, and load control. I then received a thorough overview of the Command Center. This room becomes the center of activity during emergency situations that impact the airline. The personnel giving tours were humble, thorough, and answered the many questions I had. I also had the opportunity to look upon the flight simulators used to train pilots at Alaska Airlines.

The majority of the visit included time spent with Inflight Services. It was in this department that I could relate closely with. When I was introduced to the office staff, they went out of their way to make me feel comfortable and at home.

After meeting the good people who manage inflight services we proceeded to the 737 mockup where safety and service procedures are learned and perfected. As Alaska Airlines only flies the 737, they have one mockup that is used for these purposes. As with most mockups, this one is a very fair representation of the real thing: cockpit, FC + YC galleys, FC cabin, YC cabin, lavatories. The mockup is capable of simulating different “situations” that may arise on board an aircraft: smoke in cabin, smoke in lavatory. The mockup is also used for evacuation drills via emergency window exits and doors.

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“Leave everything! Come this way!”

To my delight there was a flight attendant training class in session! I had the opportunity to meet the class and observe them practicing emergency and service procedures. Ahhh, the memories! Have to say they were a nice looking group of people who were excited and happy to be joining the Alaska Airlines family. One of the takeaways from the customer service training was “don’t get lost in the task, because you have a purpose on board.” To me this sums up how to give the best customer service you can. It’s about “creating moments” with each and every passenger you interact with. Deep.

There were a couple other “deep” moments spent at the training center. While watching the nicely-produced, emotional indoctrination flight attendant training video, “Their Story is Our Story”, Flight Attendant Carol S. says, “It’s not just a company. There’s something unique about Alaska. It’s spectacular.” I’d have to agree. The people that I met while on this tour are passionate about Alaska Airlines and work very hard to keep the spirit alive. They’re protective of their brand and culture. The feeling I get from Alaska Airlines is that they are a close-knit family where relationships mean everything. Because they care for each other as fellow employees, this feeling of caring and well-being is bestowed upon its passengers. Alaska Airlines has won the JD Power and Associate Award for Customer Service 7 years in a row now. They’re definitely doing many things right.

A poignant moment in the tour involved visiting the Memorial Garden, a beautiful and serene area honoring those lost on Alaska Airlines 261. The garden is reflection of the caring nature of the people who are Alaska Airlines.

We at AirlineGuys are always interested in sharing what we’ve learned and know about the commercial aviation industry. In fact sharing thoughtful, impactful stories and information are what we’re all about. The tour of Alaska Airlines was truly impactful. Seeing how other airlines operate, the impact that company culture has on customer service, and what makes each airline unique drives our passion to be the AirlineGuys.

A very special THANK YOU to Arnie Tharp. Thanks for allowing me the opportunity to observe the very special culture that is Alaska Airlines. Thanks for arranging such a thoughtful, well-executed tour.

Arnie and me

 

Thanks also to Blair Kimball, Todd Horn, and Ashleigh Berlin-Stebner for giving me the opportunity to observe you impart your commitment to customer service to the Alaska Airlines trainees and for your part in keeping the spirit of Alaska alive and well (you too Arnie!).

The experience was definitely “North of Expected”!

Sylvester Pittman

 

 

 

Open Sky for Fearful Flyers

Had the pleasure to attend the very first Open Sky for Fearful Flyers class conducted by AirHollywood, the largest airplane mockup studio serving the motion picture, television and commercial production industry. While not afraid of flying, I decided to attend because I knew there would be useful information shared AND anything aviation-related designed to assist others is always a good thing. Well, we weren’t disappointed.

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The class was facilitated by Capt Ron Nielsen, a retired commercial airline pilot. According to a published bio, Capt Ron has been a pilot for almost 40 years and recently retired as a captain for a major airline. Flying has been a lifelong passion of his and he now devotes much of his time and energy to helping others overcome their fear of flying. He began working with those fearful of flying in 1987, and has gained a unique understanding of fearful flyers and their fears. His master’s degree in professional counseling has served him well in his endeavor to help others. His knowledge of people combined with his knowledge of airplanes has helped him develop strategies for fearful flyers to successfully manage their fears. Through his live classes and webinars, he has restored confidence to thousands who are now flying again.  He is frequently contacted by the media for his aviation expertise.

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The class was set up as a 6-hour course. Introduction of the weaker was followed by why people are afraid of flying (control, irrational fears, previous situations, etc.). After receiving statistics and facts about the safety of flying in today’s world, we partnered up with others in the class to learn more about what motivates your fear(s). As I’m not afraid of flying, my activity partner did most of the talking as I interviewed him about what makes him fearful. After sharing bios in a group forum, and what makes you fearful, we were treated to a very nice, casual lunch on the backlot. Lunch was followed up by “boarding” our flight. The studio is complete with Jetways and a motion-based mockup which simulates turbulence. We were then treated to the full phase of flight from boarding, to take off, cruise altitude, turbulence, landing, and arrival back at the gate. Even the owner of AirHollywood got in on the action, providing drinks from a beverage cart!

 

To my delight I had the opportunity to speak with the students in the Open Sky for Fearful Flyers course!

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Our day concluded with a tour of the AirHollywood props department and backlot, where we saw upclose and personal everything studios would need to film movie scenes, commercials, or photo shoots.

As this was the introductory course, AirHollywood and Capt Ron listened to, and answered questions from the students regarding what worked well and what we’d like to see in future classes. The goal is to have an on-going fear of flying classes complete with classroom instruction at the studio followed up by taking a real flight.

Here’s some of what we learned:

  • Every year, flying becomes safer > less accidents, although more traffic. Increases in safety due to better engines, technology, training
  • Fear of flying is NOT the same as risk of flying
  • Approximately 60 million people in the USA have a fear of flying
  • If you’re afraid of flying, first introduce yourself to the flight attendants and let them know. Then the pilots. Make sure all of the crew is aware
  • Breathing through a drinking straw will prevent you from hyperventilating. Carry one with you if you’re prone to hyperventilating
  • Sights. Sounds. Sensations — overcoming the fear of flight begins by recognizing these

I left the studio feeling great. It’s a nice feeling knowing that there are others out there who have a love and passion for what flight can add to your life and how overcoming your fear of flying can enrich your life and make it more fulfilling.

Talaat Captan, Capt Ron Nielsen, Rachel Owen, Me

Talaat Captan, Capt Ron Nielsen, Rachel Owen, Me

Sylvester

Please see our previous post on visiting AirHollywood > click here

Passenger dominoes

And then there was the time…

That I was working an (in)famous LGA to PBI flight; a flight that is known for it’s (ahem)…seasoned traveler. I always had a great time working these flights and you had to take on a new tone with this group of flyers. It always worked best if you could match their zeal and energy. One day during boarding there was a back up and people were standing in the aisle with no space between them. As a passenger was putting his bag in to the overhead bin he lost his balance and caused a domino reaction; bodies started toppling. When the domino effect reached a certain passenger she began to react in the most dramatic way. “Ooooh!”, she yelled! “He is trying to knock me down!” “Whats going on?!” She was about to really get going when I stepped up, looked directly in her eyes and said, “Ma’am! You know just as well as I do, that was not what he is trying to do. This began a few people ahead of him and no one was trying to do something to YOU.” She looked me dead in the face, completely calm and said, “You’re right.” She then took her seat. She couldn’t have surprised me more.

My thoughts on this situation: Assume the best in people, help them see the real situation and let them rise to the occasion. It always makes your day better when a passenger surprises you with a great experience.

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Tax Day, Concorde, and Regret

And then there was a time…

…when my roommate and I decided “Let’s fly Concorde to London!” Being FAs without a lot of seniority, and being based in NYC, we had limited funds. So we decided “Let’s do this after we get our tax refund!” For the next few months we flew our schedules and talked frequently about our trip. Our airline offered a sweet deal: for approximately $800 you could fly British Airways roundtrip (standby of course) to London. This particular interline agreement allowed you to decide whether to fly over supersonic and back subsonic, or vice versa. We decided we’d take Concorde over, spend a day or two in London, then hightail it back on a 747. Tax time came and went. Refund checks arrived and were spent. Time passed. We never took the trip. We all know how this story ends. After the accident of an Air France Concorde, the subsequent grounding of the Concorde fleet, and the economics of operating supersonic flights, Concorde flew into the sunset, never to fly again. The end of an era had arrived. Every Tax Day since then serves as a reminder. Not flying Concorde has to be one of my life’s regrets.

Moral: If there’s something you REALLY want to do, do it! Make a plan, stick to that plan. Live life without regret.

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If I could’ve pulled a DB Cooper…

Then there was a time…

…we were cruising through the beverage service; nice crew, light flight, no troubles, very nice passengers. I say to the customer at the window, “And what would you like to drink sir?” And the LADY with the deep voice and sensible haircut at the window answers, “I’d like a Diet Coke.” Talk about embarrassing.  The fact that it takes a long time to pour Diet Coke added to the duration of my embarrassment. If I could’ve pulled a DB Cooper I would have jumped out of the plane, never to be found again.

Moral: Look people directly in the eye when asking questions. Doing so can save yourself from embarrassment AND of the possibility of having to jump out of a perfectly functioning airplane.

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So much depends on HOW you show up

And then there was a time…

…I was working a LHR to JFK flight and decided to go visit with Joan Collins who was seated at the front of the plane. Yes, THE Joan Collins! I spruced up, checked my teeth, opened the curtain and confidently presented myself at her seat. She was reading at the time and kindly placed her book to the side. “Ms. Collins, I heard you were onboard and wanted to come say hello and see if you needed anything.” With eyes wide open, a friendly smile and an attentive gaze, Ms. Collins asked, “Are you the captain?” I found her question splendid. I chuckled and let her know that I was a member of the cabin crew. After some small chit chat, mostly me telling her how I missed her appearance at a London booking signing and her travels to NYC, I refilled her beverage and returned to tourist class. She was most gracious and kind.

Moral: People can be very nice. Depending on HOW you show up and present yourself, people may think the world of you. You part ways feeling like you’re on top of the world.

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AJC article — “Absolutely beautiful, the sheer monster size of it” — Korean Air A380 lands in Atlanta

We had the pleasure to speak with AJC aviation reporter Kelly Yamanouchi recently to discuss aviation and the arrival of the Korean Air A380…the world’s largest passenger plane. Here is the article. Thank you Kelly for helping us to spread the word on how truly wonderful aviation is.

Sylvester Pittman and Darin Topham, airlineguys

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Korean Air A380 taxis to gate at Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport. Picture provided by airlineguys

 

BY KELLY YAMANOUCHI – THE ATLANTA JOURNAL-CONSTITUTION

Airport workers stopped their tugs to watch. Catering employees came out to take a look. A child atop the Terminal South parking garage stood on a cooler for a better view. Dozens of adults pulled out their cameras and smartphones to capture a piece of history.

And, yes, time stood still.

At least, that’s how it felt to Sylvester Pittman.

“It was almost as if traffic sort of stopped for a moment as that plane came in,” Pittman recalled, savoring a moment that, for him and Atlanta’s legions of av geeks, had been a very, very long time coming.

And yes, that’s av geeks — short for aviation geeks, the tribe of airplane connoisseurs for whom last week’s arrival of the first Airbus A380 to fly into Hartsfield-Jackson was almost a religious event.

You see, for av geeks, an airplane is more than just a mode of transportation. It’s a fabulous machine. A technological wonder. A thing of beauty.

The super-jumbo Airbus A380, the world’s largest passenger plane, has been flying around the world since 2007. But the world’s busiest airport was not on its itinerary, much to the frustration of Atlanta’s av geeks.

“It seemed like it was never going to become a reality,” Pittman said.

The day finally arrived exactly one week ago when a Korean Air flight from Seoul touched down.

“Amazing,” rhapsodized Pittman.

“Absolutely beautiful,” breathed av geek Jeanene Wilson, “the sheer monster size of it.”

(How big is the A380? Big enough to carry 853 passengers, though current versions are configured to carry far fewer. Powerful enough to lift off weighing more than 1.2 million pounds.)

As you might expect, Atlanta’s enormous aviation industry supports a strong, close-knit community of passionate av geeks.

Pittman and his friend Darin Topham, both former Delta employees, run a website called airlineguys.com targeted at that community.

These are folks who track flights online and on apps, following them around the world as if the planes were celebrities. They travel to other cities just to hang out at the airport and watch planes take off and land.

Sometimes they’re stalking a specific plane, like the A380 or the Boeing 787 Dreamliner. Sometimes they’re content to watch any plane, every plane, all the planes they can.

Av geek Chris Byington grew up in Washington, D.C. watching the Concorde come and go. On Wednesday he watched the A380’s second landing in Atlanta, marveling at how he could smell the jet fuel and see the grass ripple from the engine blast.

A 27-year-old MBA student at Georgia State, he visits Hartsfield-Jackson about once a month, just to plane-watch. “It’s just cool,” he said. “I guess I’m still a little kid.”

Pittman has flown to Los Angeles and Washington to indulge in plane spotting. Wilson likes to travel to the Caribbean island of St. Maarten to watch planes fly directly over her head on a beach near the airport.

Craig Campbell, an ExpressJet dispatcher who took photos of Wednesday’s A380 touchdown, flew to Boston this weekend to embark on a plane-spotting cruise.

It doesn’t take an av geek to understand the fascination of a behemoth like the A380. But listening to them talk planes is like listening to wine snobs wax poetic over rare vintages.

The 777? “Always a delight to see,” Pittman said.

The 747? “Never ever gets old. Just never gets old.”

The 787? “It’s a very, very beautiful plane. The technology alone makes it very special. The profile makes it top notch.”

Huh?

“The nose makes it beautiful, and how the engines sit on the wings,” he strove to explain. “The vertical stabilizer also kind of makes the profile complete.”

OK. Maybe non-geeks will see what he means once the 787 arrives in Atlanta, an event for which no date is yet set.

“We can only hope,” Pittman said. “And the day that happens, we will definitely be out there.”

Pittman’s affection for planes was kindled when he took his first airline flight in the summer of 1981 at the age of 16.

“I remember it like it was yesterday. It was a Saturday,” a flight back from a summer program in Atlanta to his home in Florida, he said. “And after that trip, I knew, this was it. I was hooked.”

That summer, he also toured the Atlanta airport’s new terminal complex, which had opened the previous fall.

“We went out to the airport and rode the train from concourse to concourse,” Pittman said. The people-mover train “was very futuristic at the time.”

He knows that when most people think about air travel, they think of the delays, the security hassles and the baggage fees.

But in the community of av geeks, “We also still embrace the wonderment about what aviation is all about,” Pittman said.

“It all culminates to going down the runway and lifting off, and being free from the earth and being able to fly.”

That’s a Purdy Neat story!

Where, on a regular basis, can you meet a movie star, movie producer, actress, father, mother, triathlete, veteran, lawyer, doctor, author, ballet dancer, therapist, or accomplished opera singer? If you’re thinking LA or New York City, you’d be wrong! The hotspot we’re referring to is Crew Outfitters. And it’s not a single location but multiple locations around the US. The well-travelled, successful, very connected clientele who frequently shop at its locations are mostly crew members from many of the world’s airlines. And you never who you’ll bump into. And speaking of movie stars, Denzel Washington and the production crew from the Oscar-nominated film “Flight”, shopped at the main Atlanta location for accessories and props for the filming of this intense aviation film.
Main store location - Atlanta, GA

Main Store location – Atlanta, GA

Started in 1991 as the “Flight Station”, Crew Outfitters (renamed in 2003) is a growing collection of retail establishments dedicated to crew members. Crew Outfitters sells travel accessories, luggage, uniforms, and many other travel-related items.

Crew Outfitters Main Store - Atlanta, GA

Crew Outfitters Main Store – Atlanta, GA

It all began in the garage of Rick Latshaw. Rick was a TWA flight who was determined to build a piece of rolling luggage for flight crews that would be durable, functional, and useful. So, in his garage in Purdy, Missouri, he designed and invented the first “Purdy Neat Things” bag (PNT). It was after the design phase that Rick met Jerry Baker (current CFO LuggageWorks). Jerry was instrumental in assisting Latshaw in setting up what would become the world famous Purdy Neat Things bag.

Enter Steve Merritt, Delta flight attendant. Steve was the catalyst who assisted Latshaw in establishing and solidifying the connection with Delta and its crew members. Through their dedication, Delta became the first major airline to offer, the popular and now discontinued, payroll deduct (think shop now, pay later) for PNT rolling luggage.

During the initial rollout phase of the luggage, Delta pilots began purchasing, and traveling with, Purdy Neat Things bags. It was through word-of-mouth and a great piece of rolling luggage that word began to spread about how useful, durable and amazing these bags were. One of the instrumental Delta pilots to buy and use the bag early on was Tal Fogg. The rest as they say is history. (Remember the name Tal Fogg, you’ll hear it again when we conduct an interview with the current President of Crew Outfitters, April Krantz).

As is the story of aviation, there have been many changes since Rick Latshaw designed the first PNT bag.

Many may not be familiar with LuggageWorks. LuggageWorks was founded in 1989 under the name of Purdy Neat Things. LuggageWorks opened Flight Station as a way to sell the PNT bags. Its mission was to manufacture superior rolling bags that would be preferred by airline crew members. They did this by providing the highest quality rolling bags and accessories. In fact, the “Stealth” Pilot Bag is the only metal frame rolling bag in the industry and is preferred by tens of thousands of airline pilots. Denzel Washington’s character, Whip Whitaker, can be seen sporting a Stealth bag in the film “Flight.” The Stealth Pilot Bag is one of the top-selling items carried by Crew Outfitters.

Captain Whip Whitaker sporting PNT "Stealth" bag

Captain Whip Whitaker sporting PNT “Stealth” bag

Crew Outfitters locations include:
• Atlanta (3 locations)
• Cincinnati
• Dallas (2 locations)
• Detroit
• Houston
• Miami
• Minneapolis

Many crew members have expressed a desire for Crew Outfitters to open locations on the West coast as well as the NYC area. Please know that Crew Outfitters is listening and is continually looking for growth opportunities. Crew Outfitters is dedicated to offering quality products and outstanding customer service to meet the needs of flight crew members, airline personnel, and enthusiasts all over the world.

We invite you to visit their website for luggage, accessories, and some really cool aviation-themed gifts: www.crewoutfitters.com

The airlineguys partnership with Crew Outfitters began in 2006 when airlineguy Darin worked directly with April Krantz and Crew Outfitters providing swag/accessories for a flight attendant tradeshow. The relation has blossomed into a close working relationship including designing and implementing team building activities, product research/development, instructional videos, and friendship. You can even catch us at the airport location on A Concourse in Atlanta. Like all of our partners, we do our best to provide the best in customer service in a fun, engaging way.
 
Now, that’s a Purdy Neat story!
 
Sylvester & Darin
The airlineguys

Long haul or short haul? The career path of a Flight Attendant.

We were having lunch the other day at the airport when I noticed a mature (older) flight attendant having lunch. She wasn’t partaking of the usual airport food but had a lunch tote full of goodies. My first thought was, “How cool, she’s eating healthfully.” My second thought was that maybe her wages have been impacted so greatly that she can’t “afford” to eat out while flying. Either way, I concluded it’s probably a combination of the two.

As I walked away I was struck by the thought: when did it become necessary for a flight attendant to bring their food with them on their trips. Flight attendants during the “good ole’ days” didn’t have to consider doing this. Come to think of it they had more options for onboard dining from company-provided crew meals to untouched passenger meals. Also, flight attendants made more money back then so they could afford to buy lunches and dinners when they flew. Wow, how things have changed.

My mind got to wondering. Given the dramatic changes to airline industry,  “Is being a flight attendant a long term proposition anymore? Or, has the industry changed so much that the position is moving more towards what it used to be – a job to be done for only a few years?”

That's me during initial training.

Ever since the airline industry was deregulated in 1978, the industry has endured breakneck changes. Many airlines, some of them very well-known, have come and gone. With deregulation came lower pricing. Airlines then started to compete on price and less on service. The “good ole days” were quickly approaching the end of the runway.

More pronounced since the events of September 11, 2001, air travel today has become extremely stressful. Enter the TSA with their hodgepodge of rules and regulations that are inconsistent and seemingly meaningless, body scans, and pat downs. Add to this, load factors in the mid-80% range, high expectations from the traveling public, and you have a recipe for high drama in the skies.

These stresses appear to have contributed to two recent public and disturbing events involving flight attendants. The jetBlue flight attendant who ceremoniously jumped down the evacuation slide (with 2 beers). And most recently the American Airlines flight attendant who had to be restrained by fellow flight attendants and passengers. My prediction is that there are more of these types of incidents ready to happen. As some flight attendants announce on the PA: “we’re primarily here for your safety.” As such, their mental well-being is a concern that should be investigated.

To mitigate the stresses (high load factors, security concerns, mergers, bankruptcies, and pay cuts) of the job on the well-being of the flight attendant group , how likely would it be for an airline to offer a specified period of time to be a flight attendant? Say, 5 year intervals. There could be the option to renew, and a lump sum payout at the end of the time period if you, or the company, chooses not to renew. Think of the benefits for the flight attendant?

When you think about it being a flight attendant is still a good job. The travel. The people you meet. The life skills you learn. The confidence you gain. All through travel. All while getting paid. With term limits factored in, you’ll be motivated to make the most of this time to travel, explore, learn, prepare for the next step. Sounds good.

Consider this also: as a FA you come into contact with hundreds of people in the course of a days work. That’s a lot of “hellos” and “buh-byes”. Extrapolate that over a 5 year, 10 year, 40 year range and only a small percentage of people would be able to maintain the same level of enthusiasm for serving the public. The NYTimes article featuring United Airlines flight attendant Ron Akana is a great example. He’s been flying 63 years and still loves his job. I’ve met my share of Ron’s in my years as a flight attendant. However he, and a few others are unique in their enthusiasm after all these years. They are the Gold Standard.

Many flight attendants probably don’t like the idea of having term limits on being a flight attendant. Why would anyone want to give up the opportunity to earn more and work less? Consider this: some of the longest, most challenging flights, are being worked by those with the most time under their belts. They’ve said the most hellos and buh-byes. They’ve crossed the most time zones. This type of flying takes a toll on most flight attendants. Heck, working those types of flights when I was in my 30’s was a challenge!

To institute term limits on the flight attendant position, with the option to renew, would have a profound effect on the profession. I’m sure some would see it as a step backwards. Others would see it as a way to ensure that the job is still suitable as you accrue seniority.

We would love to hear your input. The good. The bad.

airlineguys™ are Sylvester Pittman and Darin Topham. Aviation enthusiasts. 30+ (and counting) combined years of airline operation/leadership/PR experience. Former cabin crew. Discerners of great customer service.