Double Duty Daddy

Thoughts From A Flight Attendant

Let’s face it, at one point in your life you’ve wondered about the job of a flight attendant. Do they love it? Does it get old after a while? Are they fearful of flying so much? Do they get homesick from staying at hotels all the time? Ever wonder what flight attendants really think of you?



A good friend from my childhood worked as a flight attendant with JetBlue for 7 years. She called the friendly skies her workplace. I asked her several questions about her experience as a flight attendant as well as what the cabin crew really think about passengers, which kind of passenger do flight attendants dislike the most (Hint: frequent flyers) and how she feels about crying babies on a plane.



Without further ado, here is our Q&A:

What are some of the most and least appealing domestic routes to work?

Most appealing would be anything that got us a lot of hours. While I was at Jetblue we didn’t fly to Europe or anywhere in the eastern hemisphere so transcontinental flights were what everyone wanted. And of course anywhere that gave us a sweet layover.

The Caribbean in the winter to get away from the awful New England cold was often sought after. Now when it comes to least appealing that all depended on the passengers. Certain routes already have a reputation before your first day on the job. New York to anywhere in Florida is dreaded by ALL. Especially the White Plains-West Palm Beach route. Those passengers tend to be a bit more needy and felt we were their personal assistants.

What do flight attendants really think about passengers?

Believe it or not, most flight attendants enjoy their time with passengers. We meet new people everyday and learn amazing things from people. There’s always going to be those special passengers that set us off and we will talk about you in the galley. But overall, we’re not really thinking negatively about passengers.

Is there one particular type of passenger that annoys FA’s?

The frequent flyer that thinks they know more than we do. The one that flaunts their status. While I was at Jetblue we really didn’t have different levels of passengers or elite statuses so everyone was pretty much treated the same. That has changed so I can’t really contribute an opinion about that. But when a passenger comes on the plane and makes it a point to tell us that they probably fly more than we do or that think they know why we’re delayed, it made my eyes roll so far back I could see my brain!

What was your longest shift in a day and where to?

Longest shift doesn’t necessarily mean we were on a long flight. My longest day was actually just a regular Boston-Tampa turn. But because of weather I was on duty for over 20 hours. Flight attendants are under different rules than the pilots. And what most passengers don’t know is that we are not getting paid while we’re delayed. So we’re sitting there in misery along with you. We don’t start getting paid until that airplane door closes and stop getting paid when it opens after landing. So that while we’re boarding, helping you with you bags, maybe stuck at the gate delayed with the plane full, we’re not being paid for any of that. 

For our ‘fear of flying’ friends, how safe do you feel on a plane 33,000 feet in the air and flying as often as you did?

I feel safer on an airplane than I do driving to work everyday. I truly enjoyed flying and never felt unsafe. I’ve been through extremely rough turbulence, have been thrown in the air and slammed down on the floor and still felt safer in the air than I do on the ground. Those planes are routinely checked and the pilots are so incredibly trained that I never felt in danger.

Is it true what they say, do pilots really try to sleep with the FA crew?

Wellllllllllllll, that’s a tough one. Yes and no. You’ll have pilots that are awesome, really respectful and talk about their families. Some even bring their wives (and husbands) along for the trip. But there are always a few that take their wedding rings off before boarding the plane. Worst of all, you can clearly see the wedding band tan line!

And to end the turbulence myth, can you tell DD Daddy readers that turbulence has never been the cause of aviation accidents?

I’m not an aeronautic master but in my opinion I do NOT think turbulence causes crashes. A bird would cause more damage than turbulence. Pilots get reports on turbulence constantly. They see it coming in there radars, they change their routes. Airplanes are built to get beaten around in the air. Most aviation crashes are due to mechanical or human error unfortunately.   That being said though, I’d still choose to flying over driving a car, every day of the week!

What was your favorite part of being a flight attendant for JetBlue?

It’s going to sound corny but I have always wanted to be a flight attendant. Ever since I can remember, I loved them! Flying to Colombia when I was little, I was fascinated by flying and was enamored with the flight attendant profession.

In 2007, when I was let go by from my 9 to 5 job, I applied to every single airline known that exists! But JetBlue was always my number choice and I was crossing my fingers they’d call. I was a true blue member since 2001 and just loved how I felt when I got on their planes. I got a few offers but then Jetblue called and they were the only ones I wanted to interview with. They didn’t let me down either. I absolutely loved working for JetBlue. From day one, they let you know that the employee comes first. They feel that if they keep their team members happy, in turn, we’ll keep the customer happy. And I lived through that motto every day for the 7 years I was there!

Oh I almost forgot, your feelings about crying babies on a plane are???

I’ll be totally honest…they annoyed me! I wasn’t a Mom (yet!) and I really didn’t understand what it was like to fly with a kid. I would try to help the best I could but personally I was very awkward around kids and didn’t know how to handle them. I recall one particular flight which happened to be a red-eye from San Francisco to Boston. Everyone is trying to sleep, it’s like 2AM and there’s one baby that won’t stop crying. I go over to see if I can help and the parents were totally knocked out! I was so mad.

Those two adults were completely oblivious of the anxiety they were causing the other 147 passengers on board. I woke them up and asked them to hold, feed or change their baby.  As soon as the mom picked the baby up, he calmed down. So I guess my issue wasn’t with the kids but more so with inconsiderate parents.

Any parting words?

Please be kind to your inflight crew. I know there are some bad apples. But overall, we really do want you to have an enjoyable flight experience and most of us really love what we do!

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