Tag Archives: cruising attitude

Flight attendant details life in the sky in best-selling book

20130223-085718.jpgFlight attendant details life in the sky in best-selling book by Brian Summers originally appeared in the Daily Breeze on August 6, 2013. 

Heather Poole will not soon forget the underwear incident.

It was three years ago, when a New York Times photographer visited her home. Poole is a flight attendant, and the newspaper’s website published 12 pictures detailing every step of how Poole packed for a week-and-a-half trip. One tip: Poole prefers rolling some clothing rather than folding to save space.

There was only one problem: She didn’t pack any underwear. And people — lots of them — noticed.

So eventually, she came clean on her blog.

“All right,” she remembers telling her readers, “I wear underwear. I just didn’t want the whole world to see.”

Such is life for Poole, a Redondo Beach resident who might be the most famous flight attendant in the United States. Her 2012 book, “Cruising Attitude: Tales of Crashpads, Crew Drama and Crazy Passengers at 35,000 Feet,” was a New York Times best-seller.

While still working for a major airline, she has appeared on ABC’s “20/20” and “Good Morning America,” as well as “The Ricki Lake Show.” She has almost 90,000 Twitter followers, and her blog is among the most popular in the industry.

The recipe for her success is simple. Poole, 42, engages with readers about flight attendant life — layover hotels, seemingly endless shuttle bus rides, cranky passengers and canceled flights. She shares how she can never plan for holidays like Thanksgiving or Christmas because she rarely knows her schedule in advance.

When she told me she was writing the book, I said, ‘Oh yeah, OK. I am sure a lot of people are going to read that,’” said her mom, Elise Poole, a recently retired flight attendant at the same airline. “Shockingly, a lot of people did want to read it. I’m very proud of her that she did it.”

Heather Poole is fond of telling how she met her husband, Neil, on an airplane and how he told her, in the aircraft’s galley, that she could do better than the men she was dating.

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Everything you ever wanted to know about being a flight attendant…

Book View TV interviewed me about my book, Cruising Attitude: Tales of Crashpads, Crew Drama and Crazy Passengers at 30,000 Feet.  Basically we discussed everything you ever wanted to know about being a flight attendant.

PART 1:  BARBIE BOOT CAMP.  A little bit about how my book Cruising Attitude came to be, and what it’s like, really like, to be a flight attendant

PART 2: SKY ROMANCE?   What’s a crashpad?  Why do flight attendants commute?  How does it work?  How do flight attendants balance flying with life on the ground?  It ain’t easy.  And what about dating pilots?  Watch here….

PART 3: TURBULENT GLAMOUR. It’s not a glamorous life.  We discuss flight attendant pay, uniforms, and what scares me more than turbulence.

PART 4:  THE CRAZIES. What it’s like to work on a private jet, why passengers go crazy in flight, and a little bit about special passengers (AKA frequent fliers)

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The Paul Harris Show: Flight Attendants, Crashpads, Delays, THE MILE HIGH CLUB

3This interview originally appeared on The Paul Harris Show

I predict this will be one of my most-downloaded interviews. It was certainly a lot of fun for me. On my America Weekend show, I talked with Heather Poole, who has been a flight attendant for major airlines for 15 years and has written about her adventures in “Cruising Altitude: Tales Of Crashpads, Crew Drama, and Crazy Passengers at 35,000 Feet.” We talked about passengers trying to get into the mile high club (without bothering to move to the bathroom!), whether checked-luggage fees are causing havoc during the boarding process, and whether she has had many male passengers hit on her. She also revealed something I didn’t know about when the payday really starts for flight attendants, and what it’s like in the apartments they share in various cities during layovers.

LISTEN

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Bad passengers, best pick up lines, my last flight…

20130223-085718.jpgThis interview originally appeared on Societe Perrier

What led to your foray as a flight attendant? Was it always the plan or was there a moment that led to the leap?

My mother always wanted to be a flight attendant. Whenever anything went wrong in my life, she’d suggest I apply to Southwest. That only made me not want to work for an airline. But when a job promotion didn’t lead to a raise, I decided to apply. I figured I’d do it for a little while. I thought as I travel the world and meet new people, I’ll interview for other jobs, the kind that people have respect for, maybe something in sales or marketing. Eighteen years later I’m still flying. And happy to be doing so!

What is the biggest misconception that people think about flight attendants?

That we’re not college educated. We make a lot of money. While you don’t need a college degree to get the job, competition is fierce and only the most qualified are hired. I’ve worked with flight attendants who are also doctors and lawyers. And trust me no one takes this job for the money. What money!?!

What is a telltale sign that you got a hell on wheels passenger in flight?

When they board the flight complaining. How am I supposed to respond to a passenger that looks me in the eye and says, “This airline sucks!”

Last night a woman came on board miffed, because she had to check her third bag. Then the flight was delayed because she didn’t think the business class bathroom was clean enough. After we had the cleaners come in to take care of it, she informed us she’d only be using the first class bathroom. It just went on and on.

Worst pick up line in-flight?

You fly this route often?

Best?

A smile. More wine and water for them!

Porn in flight? I saw your post on that the other day. Can you share your thoughts and the latest update on that status with our readers.

Passengers cannot read porn in flight. Most people realize they’re in a public space. But those who don’t follow the rules actually get mad at us for embarrassing them when we politely ask them to put it away.

KEEP READING

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Flight attendant confessions video

get-attachment.aspxEver wonder what your flight attendant really thinks of you? What they’d tell you if they had the nerve? Or weren’t afraid of being fired? What deep, dark secrets would they reveal about their jobs?

There are 17 Things your flight attendant won’t tell you.  No more.  No less.  And Fox & Friends invited me on their show today to discuss a few of those not-so-secret “secrets” mentioned in the article making waves online.  We talked about coffee, upgrades, turbulence, and getting licked by passengers in flight… Yes, you read that correctly, LICKED.  (We’ve found crazy!) There may have also been something X-rays and giving in birth in flight.

Watch the video at Foxnews.com.  <—- CLICK IT!

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Books, books & more books giveaway!

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**THIS CONTEST IS OVER**  

Since it’s that time of year, Harper Collins and I have teamed up to do a book giveaway. Seriously what traveler can’t use a new book? What if I told you I had a box of 11! And one MIGHT be an autographed copy of my book, Cruising Attitude: Tales of Crashpads, Crew Drama, and Crazy Passengers? Now we’re talking, right?!

An excerpt from my book:

“Even after just a few months on the job, the main question I’d learned to dread was, ‘What do you do for a living?’ The moment I smile and say I’m a flight attendant, I find myself holding my breath. Without fail, there’s a two-second pause, which is always followed by one of two responses. The good response is full of excitement and ends with a question mark: ‘I’ve always wanted to be a flight attendant!’ The good response leads to a very nice conversation about travel, which then leads to other interesting topics related to travel, and maybe even plans to meet for lunch next time I’m in town. The rest of the time, it begins with the same four words: ‘On my last flight…” Then I’ll hear a very bad story about a flight from hell. Needless to say, the conversation never goes so well after the bad response. How can it? I’ve just been linked to the worst flight this person has ever had!”

I thought we could have some fun with this. Complete the following sentence, “On my last flight….” (Keep it nice!) by 5 PM EST on Friday, December 21, 2012 and you’ll be entered to win the following books:

  1. The Voluntourist: A Six-Country Tale of Love, Loss, Fatherhood, Fate, and Singing Bon Jovi in Bethelehem, by Ken Budd
  2. In the Bag, By Kate Klise
  3. I, Iago, by Nic Galland
  4. The Thirteen, by Susie Moloney
  5. Losing Clementine, by Ashley Ream
  6. The Boy who Stole the Leopard’s Spots, By Tamar Myers
  7. The Cougar Club, by Susan McBride
  8. A Prayer for Owen Meany, by John Irving
  9. Spin, by Catherine McKenzie
  10. Being Lara, by Lola Jaye
  11. Cruising Attitude: Tales of Crashpads, Crew Drama and Crazy Passengers at 35,000 Fee

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Skydoll: Destination Unknown (Book 2)

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The Next Big Thing Blog Hop is a chance for authors around the world to tell you what they’re working on. The author answers 10 questions about their next book, and tags the person who first tagged them, plus at least 5 other authors. Margo Candela, author of The Brenda Diaries,  tagged me.  

What is the working title of your book?  Skydoll: Destination Unknown.

Where did the idea come from for the book?  LONG AGO I was working on a book called Stewardeath, a dark comedy about a serial killing flight attendant.  Almost every agent who read the manuscript said they liked the voice, but wished I could make it more “fun.”  An agent who’s famous for being snarky scribbled a personal note at the bottom of a generic rejection form letter that said she hoped to never have me on one of her flights. HA!  So I did what most wanna-be-published writers do and stuck to my guns and….well…you guessed it.  I never sold the book.  Eventually I got the hint and changed the name to Skydoll.  I was busy working on that when an editor at Harper Collins found my blog and asked me to write a memoir for them.  That book became Cruising Attitude: Tales of Crashpads, Crew Drama, and Crazy Passengers at 35,000 Feet. Now I’m back to working on Skydoll – AGAIN.

What genre does your book fall under?  Novel.

Which actors would you choose to play your characters in a movie rendition?  Emma Stone!  Love her.  But Lizzy Caplan is pretty awesome, too.

What is the one-sentence synopsis of your book?  I’m striving for (HBO) Girls meets Cruising Attitude.  Can I use my own book?  If not how about Sex in the City meets Coffee Tea or Me.  Or maybe 2 Broke Girls meets…A View From the Top?

Will your book be self-published or represented by an agency?  An agency, I hope.

How long did it take you to write the first draft of your manuscript? I’m on page 5 of Chapter 2, so…  Over ten years if you count Stewardeath!

What other books would you compare this story to within your genre?  I’m lucky because there aren’t many books about flight attendants, and very few of those are actually written by flight attendants – who are still working – LIKE ME!   On that note the most famous stewardess book of all is Coffee, Tea, or Me.  It was ghost written by Donald Bain, but an airline hired two stewardesses to become Trudy Baker and Rachel Jones as a marketing stunt to promote the book.  For years Coffee, Tea, or Me was sold as a nonfiction book, but today you’ll find it in the fiction section of the bookstore.

Who or what inspired you to write this book?   I can’t say that anyone or anything inspired me to write this book.  But the author who inspires me the most as a writer is Marguerite Duras.

What else about your book might pique the reader’s interest?  You mean sex, love and flying isn’t enough?  Seriously what more could you ask for in a book?

TAG – You’re it!

(Check back soon to see who got tagged)

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Flight attendants: The good, the bad, and the not so ugly world of flying

232323232fp73452>nu=3277>273>5;5>WSNRCG=377646<89732-nu0mrjThe Azumano Travel Show, a weekend travel radio show on KPAM out of Portland, Oregon, had me on the air last week to discuss my book,  Cruising Attitude: Tales of Crashpads, Crew Drama and Crazy Passengers at 35,000 feet - and what’s it’s like, really like to be a flight attendant.  You can listen by clicking the links below.

Azumano Travel Show: Heather Poole (Part One): Celebrities, traveling with kids, the mile high club, naked passengers

Azumano Travel Show: Heather Poole (Part two): What kind of person makes a good flight attendant, how flying has changed over the years

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Do you have what it takes to become a flight attendant?

A Cathay Pacific flight attendant shows off her Cruising Attitude

Hi Heather, I read your book en route to a recent flight attendant interview with United, and I ‘landed’ the job! I will recommend your book to all the other recent hires in my upcoming training class. Thanks for the insight, inspiration and humor. I cannot wait to embark on this newest chapter of my life! Rebecca

This is by far one of my favorite letters from a reader to date.  Partly because I figure if you STILL want to become a flight attendant after you’ve finished reading my book, you’ve probably got what it takes.  It’s not just a job, it’s a lifestyle, a lifestyle that 99% of people couldn’t handle.  If you understand what you’re getting into before you get called in for an  interview and can convey to an airline recruiter that you’re the right person for the job – ahem, the lifestyle! –  you’re only going to score more points.  That’s one reason why I wrote Cruising Attitude: Tales of Crashpads, Crew Drama, and Crazy Passengers at 35,000 Feet . Another reason was to help my friends and family on the ground better understand why, after seventeen years, I STILL can’t make long terms plans and why I won’t be home for the holidays this year.  Yep, you read that correctly, after seventeen years I’m still on reserve, still working over the holidays – and I’m based at the most junior base in the system!  You sure you want this job?

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The Vile High Club

A few weeks ago 20/20 ran an episode called Real Dish which included a segment about airline food that featured a cameo of me talking about an Egg McMuffin a passenger stole out of my jump seat.  So what does my breakfast have to do with mice and roaches seen by the FDA inspecting airline food?  Good question.  Just know that at the time I couldn’t believe a passenger would do such a thing.   Now I get it.  I totally get it.  Watch THIS VIDEO and you will, too. 

ABCNEWS.COM – Airline food isn’t just an old joke – FDA records show the prep facilities can be alarmingly dirty:

The Vile High Club.

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