Don’t know if you caught all the crazy comments on AOL after they featured my post from Galley Gossip, FLIGHT ATTENDANT PET PEEVE #1: Please Answer! yesterday. I mean sheesh, who would have thought that one question – would you like something to drink? – would rile so many people up. With all the negativity going on, it was nice to see something positive about my post at Global Traveler.com. I’d never seen this website before, not until Kent over at Gadling sent me the link, and I have to say Global Traveler is a great site for those who love travel. Check it out! Oh and guess what, AOL is running my story (AGAIN) this weekend. I think I’m ready this time.
Category Archives: Heather Poole
I can’t fly without my…Reading material
Now ask me a question, any question?
How long has your mother been a flight attendant? 11 years. I’m actually senior to her!
See that guy over there, the tan one wearing the white shirt with the long brown feathered hair. The first time I saw that guy I laughed. I know that’s mean, but it’s the truth. His shirt was unbuttoned half way down his chest, his too tan chest, a chest sprinkled with quite a bit of chest hair. A brown blazer had been slung over his shoulder and fancy leather white and gold sneakers were on his feet. I remember thinking, oh my god what a freakin cheeseball. I mean this was the kind of guy they make fun of on Saturday Night Live, and here he was, in real life, on a bus in Italy standing next to me.
But then, as I stood swaying and sweating my ass off on that overcrowded bus driving across the tarmac to the Air One flight that would take us from Venice to Naples, I found myself becoming strangely attracted to the cheese. I don’t know what the hell was going on with me, but his machismo had gotten under my skin.
“What are you doing?” whispered The Husband who was standing right beside me, holding onto the overhead bar. Dark Oakley sunglasses covered his eyes.
“Nothing,” I said, as there was no need to alert The Husband to what I was doing, which was smelling the guy, the guy who was a mere millimeter from my nose. He smelled like sweat. And musky cologne. Mainly sweat. But in his defense, we were all sweating. Even me. It was hot.
As we walked off the bus and lined up on the tarmac, luggage in hand, I couldn’t take my eyes off the guy. He was hot. For a cheeseball. Man, if only I were single. And in a bar. And I could actually get away with doing something like that. Whatever that might be. Which I’ve never been able to do. Even when I was single and in a bar.
“Stop staring at him,” said The Husband, shaking his head.
“I can’t,” I said, and then laughed. That’s when I pulled out the camera and clicked away.
I could feel the husband’s warm breath in my ear, when he whispered, “He probably wears a banana hammock on the beach.”
I closed my eyes. “Stop it.”
The Husband laughed. “A ban-yan-a-ha-mach-ee.”
“You’re ruining the fantasy,” I said, cringing at the visual.
“Fantasy! Are you kidding me?” said The Husband, giving me a crazy look. “Look at that guy. He’s probably wearing one right now!”
“No he’s not!”
His friend, yeah, okay, maybe. But not him. No way. Not my guy with the button down shirt and the tan chest and the chest hair and the fancy sneakers. And that’s when I saw it, the banyana hamachee. It was yellow. Bright Big Bird yellow. And he wore it with a pair of fine Italian fancy sneakers. That’s it. Nothing else. Just the hamachee de banyana and the sneaks. Gold ones. Needless to say, I was no longer looking at him. I couldn’t look at him. Not when he was dressed like that! Now I was staring at my husband. Giving him an evil eye.
“Thanks,” I said.
The Husband just smirked.
And now I bring you, straight from Positano, a real life banyana hamachee. Enjoy.
I thought this would be a great way to get to know (and I mean REALLY get to know) your flight attendants, and so I start with your favorite flight attendant of all – ME!
Hometown: Los Angeles, California
Base: New York (LGA)
How long have you been a flight attendant? 13 years
How many airlines have you worked for? Two. (3 months at a discount airline. 12 years for a major US carrier.)
Average hours flown a month? 33-37
Best thing about the job? The lifestyle. The flexibility. The travel benefits ain’t too bad, either.
Worst thing about the job? The way my uniform smells after a flight. Breathing in all that recycled air. Worrying about whether or not I’m going to get a seat on my commuter flight home.
Last flight? Atlanta/St. Louis – 3 day. (Day1: JFK-ORD-ATL / Day2: ATL-LGA-STL / Day3: STL-MCO-JFK)
Galley or Aisle? Aisle! Unlike most flight attendants, I can’t stand working in the galley. I can’t cook, I’m not organized, and I always feel like I’m missing out. Yes, I actually enjoy talking to passengers – nice passengers.
First class, business class, or coach? Coach, of course, but I always get stuck in business class on the widebody- the most junior position for that particular aircraft. The only exception to this rule is the 757, where you’ll find me working in first class because there are not enough flight attendants for all those miserable passengers cramped in coach.
Widebody or Narrowbody? Widebody. There’s more room for the passengers, which always makes the passengers happy (and keeps them settled in their seats), and when passengers are happy (and settled in their seats) I’m happy. Not to mention there are more places for a flight attendant to hide.
Favorite airplane? 777, but since I’m not qualified to work that type of aircraft, I’ll say the 767
Regular Route? New York to LA. (Sometimes San Diego or Seattle)
Dream Work Trip? Any transcon flight with a light load and a good crew. If the crew is fun, it really doesn’t matter what kind of a trip it is. But a long layover is always nice.
Nightmare Trip? Working multiple legs on a 757 with a flight full of miserable passengers and a crazy crew.
Anything interesting in your totebag? Magazines (usually a copy of Writer, Us, Vanity Fair, Budget Travel), a book (More Than This, by Margo Candela), several tea bags (green tea, peach, apricot), powdered coffee creamer (there’s never enough in the hotel room), instant oatmeal (regular flavor), plastic spoon/fork/knife (just in case), a small jar of peanut butter to go with my banana and two pieces of bread, my Dana (for writing), flight attendant greeting cards (in case someone might want to buy a set), Skydoll chapters 1-4 (you never know who you might meet), camera (in order to create more flight attendant greeting cards), small Coach wallet/purse, airline manual, pocket mask, flex cuffs, cell phone with charger, small photo book (to show off the kid), whatever food I may have picked up in the terminal, a bottle of water, whatever hand lotion I snagged from a layover hotel, tons of hotel pens, non-drowsy Sudafed (gotta be prepared), Tylenol PM (you never know when your 10 hour layover is going to turn into an 8 hour layover), and gum.
Any packing tips/tricks? lay clothing lengthwise, one piece of clothing on top of the other, in your suticase, so that it extends over the edge of your bag. Fold it all over, so that you have one big gigantic fold – leaves clothing wrinkle free.
What’s in the blazer pocket? A packet of Tazo green tea, 2 hotel pens, a stack of first and business class coat tags, a flight attendant phone number written on the back of a coat tag, a wadded $10 bill, Laura Mercier lipstick in the shade of Peony, an old hotel room key card, Airline ID, flight schedule.
Favorite brand of pantyhose? DKNY navy or black opaque hose or SPANX control top in navy or black.
Brand/type of in-flight shoe? Mudd heels (low heels) in Navy blue with a rounded toe. (Scroll down two posts below to read flight attendant shoes shoes and more shoes)
Brand/type of shoe you wear through the terminal? Same as above. (I don’t switch shoes.)
Any airport routines? Leave flight operations, buy a bottle of water, grab something to eat, usually a sandwich – At LaGuradia I go to Cosi and at JFK I’ll hit Au Bon Pain. Sometimes I grab a tall latte or a grande black iced tea at Starbucks. Then I’ll head to the airplane.
Nicest Airport? JFK
Worst Airport? LGA
Favorite Airport restaurant? The burrito place in Chicago – can’t think of the name.
Any traveling snacks? Peanut butter, banana, instant oatmeal
Hotel away from home? Westin – love that Heavenly Bed.
Best layover city? San Diego. The weather is always nice and there’s so much to do!
Favorite in-flight announcement? “Flight attendants, please prepare for landing.”
Book / Magazine last read on the jumpseat? Eat, Pray, Love, by Elizabeth Gilbert
Most annoying passenger question? “Do you know where we are? Can you get the football/baseball scores?” (asked every five minutes!)
Nicest celebrity passenger? Angelina Jolie. I can’t even tell you how nice and polite she is. Plus, she actually takes care of her own kids.
Rudest celebrity passenger? Better not say.
Ever hook up with a pilot? Guilty
Ever date a passenger? There may have been one. (Or two. Or three. Or four.) You could say that I liked dating passengers so much I finally married one.
Best way to pick up a flight attendant? We see bad behavior on a daily basis, so good manners go a long way – try using the words please and thank you, make eye contact, and smile, but don’t ogle. Bringing the crew special treats doesn’t hurt, either. It’s fine to step into the galley and say hello, but don’t stay too long!
Why do passengers? bring onboard luggage they know they can’t lift into the overhead bin and then ask me to lift it for them? I mean if you can’t lift it, what makes you think I can? And I don’t care if you’re short or pregnant or have a bad back – because I could be short and pregnant and have a bad back, and anyway, you have the option to check it.
Finish the following sentences:
I can’t fly without …a good book and a bottle of water.
On my last flight…I flew a horrendous three day trip, but I had a really great crew, and fantastic passengers, which made it nice.
The worst thing that ever happened at work….a wheel fell off my bag, and my bags are heavy, which meant I’d be carrying a heavy bag for days. But a passenger saw what happened, FOUND a screw, asked TSA for a screwdriver, and attached the wheel back on my bag. I was never so grateful in my life. Another time one of the heels detached from my shoe, and all I had packed in my bag were sneakers! Thank god my flight cancelled and we deadheaded home.
On my last layover…We stayed at the airport hotel in St. Louis. There’s not much to do there, unless you enjoy walking around the cemetery (next door), visiting the Hustler Store (across the street), or grabbing a bite to eat at Denny’s. What did I do? A fellow crew member and I did two of the above three. Which two? Let’s just say I wasn’t hungry for long and I came home with a DVD. Hey, don’t get excited, it was just a documentary, and there was nothing else to do, okay!
I love when passengers…leave behind magazines, particularly the trashy gossipy kind, or an Oprah book.
A passenger once…gave the entire crew a pair of gold hoop earrings.
I can’t stand when pilots…ask to use the lavatory when I’m in the middle of a service.
If I could be anywhere in the world, I’d…go to Spain, or Croatia, or Greece…and I’d stay a REALLY long time!
When it comes to traveling, I wish…I traveled to more exotic destinations.
Any advice for travelers? Keep it light, check it if you can’t lift it, and never come onboard without a bottle of water and something to eat. You never know what’s going to happen, so come prepared. Mechanicala, bad weather, and inflight emergencies really do happen, much more often than you think, turning your 3 hour flight into a 10 hour ordeal. Be nice to the flight attendants and they’ll be nice to you.
Next flight? JFK to LA