Monthly Archives: June 2011
After hearing about this situation with the Southwest airlines pilot and his rantings, I did laugh a little. First, I did think it was unprofessional of him to speak that way at work about his co-workers. There is spoken and unspoken rules about that kind of behavior at the work place.
However, as you can see form my recent blog concerning pilots, we all have opinions about eachother and our expectations of our crew members. while I do not condone his behavior, I don’t completely disagree with his opinions. I know that there should be equal opportunity companies and jobs but there is also a profile of the individuals in those professions. That is just a fact. And iam ok with that. Iam not saying I agree with discrimination of any kind..but iam ok with profiling. I know that in private aviation, if I looked elderly, or over weight or unkept, I would probably not have a job. First, its a safety factor when an individual is over weight on this job because there is small spaces such as emergency exits that may have to be used in order to save someones life in the event of a emergency landing or fire. On commercial planes as well, this is the case. Second, the customers are paying for specific product when they charter a private plane, which does include a well kept, younger flight attendant. They should get what they ask for and pay for. Commercially speaking, the flight attendant represents the company, and his or her appearance should be important.
Age is also important. again, from a safety standpoint. Younger individuals are more likely to have the ability and physical strength to save lives.
Now, as for the ” gays” part of it.. I have nothing really to say. They are usually more put together than a lot of women out there in the community. also, the gay flight attendants are usually younger. That SWA pilot is probably just homophobic, in my opinion.
I think that SWA pilot, and the rest of them, has probably now learned their lesson about speaking their judgmental opinions, at work.
what do you think?
So I recently wrote a blog on travel snacks and how to eat healthy on the road. I would now like to shed some light on how to look your best even after a 17 hour flight around
Let me start by saying the obvious.. Drink lots of WATER! Hydration is the most important beauty/ health rule when flying. This important for your body functions, skin, and hair.
Sleep is number two. I know how difficult it is to sleep on planes ( unless you are lucky enough to be traveling private), but for your average income person, good sleep is a struggle but it is very important so try the following tips…
First and foremost, I suggest EYE MASKS. You can buy them anywhere. You can even buy the ones with cooling eye pads to reduce the inflammation due to the altitude pressure. The travel goddess can apply their favorite eye cream, or even cucumber slices,then cover eyes with mask.
Next, the NECK PILLOW again, you can even buy these in the airport. there are some with aroma therapy, beads, or massagers inside them. Find the one you like best, and I swear it will make sleeping sooo much easier.
For additional “travel goddess” appearance tips, try the following.
FACIAL HYDRATING SPRAYS are a must. Not only are they refreshing, but also help hydrate, soothe, and reduce swelling.
apply your favorite night time FACE CREAM for added hydration too. The dry recirculated air on the planes reek havoc on your skin. trust me. I also suggest hair moisturizer during a long trip.
AVOID salt and alcohol at all cost. They cause major Bloating on planes. Now I know a glass of wine can help you sleep, so if you ” have to” have one, just balance it with water. And, avoid those peanuts that flight attendants are passing out! ( also pack some gas-ex products If you know you are prone to above average bloating.)
Finally, I would suggest you do get up and walk around before and after your rest to avoid blood clots and promote circulation in your limbs. Prior to flying I would suggest you exercise to rid your body of waste, water retention, and to promote relaxation.
Ok, so now you have covered your eyes, relaxed your neck, misted your face and applied your favorite night cream and had a healthy low sodium snack ( like an apple)..
You are sure to reach your final destination looking like a travel goddess!
some of MY favorite products include:
Water: smart water, coconut water, any other bottled water ( at least 8 oz for every hour you are in flight).
Neck pillows: inflatable Komfort kollar, eagle creek comfort travel pillow, and Travel rest pillow. ( most found at amazon.com, brookstone.
facial HYDRATING sprays: Evian, Mario Bradescu( aloe and rosewater), and Eau Thermale Avene. Stores like Sephora, and Ulta carry these or use your favorite search engine to order online.
face creams: L’occcitane, Lumene firming cream.
So you want to be a corporate flight attendant?
For those of you that are considering this occupation, i will fill you in on the details you cant find through a google search. There are also some important questions to ask yourself…
Starting with the obvious- Do you like travel? And I don’t mean ” vacation”.. I am referring to packing bags, leaving your home, residing at 41,000 feet for a considerable amount of time,and landing in foreign states and countries where you don’t even know where a grocery store is let alone where your hotel is.. And, have no control over when you get home again or have time there..Those are all facts of the job. I think, like with any occupation, a person is either cut out for the job or they are not. I happen to love it.. Because with all the difficult points, like the ones I mentioned above, there are also wonderful things like learning a new culture, seeing the worlds greatest places and discovering things you would never have the opportunity to see and do, at home. Having said that, I also don’t have children. I have the freedom to take off for weeks on end with only a dog to worry about. ( and trust me when I say I love her to death and make sure she is well cared for when I am gone). But you can’t leave children with friends and dog walkers…As much as iam sure the thought has crossed your mind from time to time. Ha Ha.
Besides the travel aspects, there is the job it’s self. First, you need to decide if you would like to be a contract cabin attendant ( work for yourself) or full time employee. Contract CA’s pay for their own training, control their own schedule, and pay their own taxes. Full time CAs work for one private aviation company, are on call 24/7, 365 days a year, with a few elected days off. But, have benefits, paid training, and more stability . Either way, you have a long road of interviews ahead of you. And the prerequisite is either commercial flying experience or restaurant experience, a professional and friendly demeanor, and, of course, the ” look”.. Interpret that any way you want…
Next, there is the education aspect. Safety training, culinary training, and yes, service and social etiquette training. You can’t walk on a 30 million dollar plane and serve high profile people and “wing it”, You learn how to speak to them, serve them, and ” handle them”. This is the etiquette training. You must know how to set a table for formal dining. (. I had not a clue Prior to this job). Proper Utensil placement is for dinner is required. I have actually been corrected a few times (by a passenger ) during my career when I forgot to put a butter knife where it needs to go! No shit.
Third, you learn the safety related issues. Like commercial, you learn emergency evacuation techniques, CPR, and emergency equipment procedures. And if you have not been hired full time by a corporate company, you shell out close to 4 grand for this and repeat it every couple of years.
And finally, there is culinary training where you learn how to replate food, garnish plates, and make salads, appetizers, caviar displays, etc. This training is essential for the job but it also my favorite part. It leaves room for creativity and self expression.
Once you have gone through these trainings, you start the ” on the job training”. You may fly a few times with a seasoned cabin attendant or you learn as you go… And become a nervous reck for about 6 months or so! You see a name like Julia Roberts or the president of google, on your trip sheet and you freak out a bit. Messing up is not really an option if you intend on keeping your job and a good name in the industry. And after 5 years in corporate flying, I still get nerves when I initially read some passengers names on my trip sheet..
You also learn how to order catering.. Where from, how to have it prepared, how to reheat, And how to store it so when it reaches it’s final destination ( on your passengers plate), it looks and tastes like it would if you where dining at four seasons.
How does this all sound to you? If you’re still interested, read on.
Here is an important one- Do you actually like people? iam being totally serious with that question..Can you handle criticism, flirty men, and picky palates? Can you read peoples body language ( do they want to be left alone or babied. . and have intuition to know how to deal with each personality and anticipate their needs before you get a request. An example of this “anticipation ” is typically in food ordering. You may get a vague catering request via email and it becomes your responsibility to fill in the blanks and cover all basis. Have choices and alternatives similar to being in a restaurant. I will often present My passengers with a menu of items they can choose from. I will include GF food, vegetarian, and child friendly. In LA it seems the trend is Vegas and GF these days so I try and keep that in mind. On the plane, anticipate their need for beverage refills or when they want their next course or is done eating the one prior.
Finally, how do you handle stress.. IE, things going wrong, on the ground with your catering , or in the air with your pax or even a mechanical issue with the jet? This has a been work in progress for me. I think i have come close to being thrown out of a few foreign countries ( like France) due to impatience and intolerance when dealing with unprofessional caterers!
So I suggest you yourself well before making the choice to follow this career path.
This job can be difficult, challenging, or fun and exciting.. You make it what you want it to be. And after reading this blog, and you feel you are right for this job, write me. I will send you on the right track..and be happy to help 🙂 after all, helping people is what I do!
I recently was told my a family member that my last blog ( ” a bad trip”), seemed critical and negative towards my pilots…now , seeing how my family at times have been my worst critics, I really didn’t pay much attention to the comment. However, I do want it known publicly that I was not slamming them for being young and scared.. They were. It’s a fact. And there is nothing wrong with that. I was extremely scared myself..And it comes with the territory of my job that sometimes we are in scary circumstances, ie. Bad turbulence , mechanical issues, illness of passengers, etc.. So, As an american and a blogger, I Am going to express my freedom of speech and write about it.
Having said that, here is more of my thoughts on pilots.
So far, in my 11 years of being a flight attendant, I have flown with the very best and the very worst. some have become great friends of mine, while others, well, I do my best to avoid.
So, What do I consider a great pilot?
Someone who I feel safe with- Their experience, intelligence, and demeanor give me a sense of comfort.
Someone who recognizes how hard my job is, and appreciates my hard work. And even tells me from time to time, ” you did a great job, thanks”.
Someone who believes in being a team player and knows the value of forming a crew bond at work.
And, someone who is well balanced- takes their job seriously, and their responsibility to the plane, passengers and crew members. .. And at the end of the day, is still real, down to earth, and can make a joke or laugh at mine..
What do consider a “bad pilot”? The following..
A person who is the opposite of the above. And in addition, the shovenists, alcoholics, and skirt chasers are the ones I avoid. ( and yes I realize these people do exist in every occupation),
I also have a problem with unhelpful pilots. Ones that pass me on the cabin stairs when i am holding my weight in bags and don’t offer to help. Yes, it is my job to take care of catering and organize the plane and galley, , but shivery should not be dead…And again, I do fly with those wonderful guys that not only help me carry catering bags, but also my shoe shopping bags 😉
From my observations, there are significant differences between commercial pilots and corporate pilots. Most older commercial guys Are more ,militant. This is probably due to the fact that most, especially older ones, got their training in the military. The are a little more anal retentive and controlling on the plane. I remember a flight right after 911 when a during Preflight crew meeting, the pilot said – ” ok, if we have a terrorist attack, I am gonna use the plane as a weapon.. I will drop altitude real fast and slam on the breaks. We may even do an inversion”.. I stared at him in shock and asked ” won’t that injure all of us?”.. His response was , ” first of all, we are trying to avoid a take over in the cockpit and and second of all, who is the captain, you or me!”. Its been ten years and I can still quote that guy word for word..
commercial pilots also seem to be more arrogant. They prance through the airport like they own the place.. And of course keep that left hand in their pocket ( to hide the wedding ring? ).. And please, observe for yourself then return to my blog site and comment.
Private/ corporate pilots are, for the most part more layed back. Maybe it’s because they just rested on the beach in Maui for a week, or golfed up a storm in Miami on their last trip. Or maybe it’s because the FAA doesn’t breathe down their necks as hard.
Cargo pilots, such as fed-ex or UPS, in my opinion, have it made. Their “passengers” don’t complain, dont run late, and don’t change their minds on their destination. However, They do work more challenging hours sometimes with trans Atlantic night flights and short layovers. I guess everything is a trade off.
But, the biggest similarities of all pilots is simple- they all worked hard for their wings, paid a lot for their training, and probably thank God everyday that they have a job.
Finally…NO, I have never dated a pilot.. For some reason everyone thinks that flight attendants want to date pilots and vice versa. I don’t really think this is the case. There are some exceptions but for the most part I have heard from many pilots in the corporate world, that they prefer not to date flight attendants.. It’s complicated when you work together and if you don’t, you never see them. The only upside I see is that they can relate to your crazy lifestyle, ie your lack of schedule, working holidays, and breaking plans. Otherwise, I prefer to date “non winged” men..I mean, that gender is ” flighty enough”, challenging in so many ways to understand, i don’t need to deal with the extra “baggage” ( no pun intended)..