Didn’t think so.
Depending on our rapport, I might come right out and tell a passenger who’s had one too many that that’s it, the last one, enjoy. Other times I might serve a passenger a glass of very little Jack with a whole lot of Coke. Mostly Coke. All Coke. With maybe just a tiny bit of Jack rubbed around the rim of the glass. Sometimes It’s just easier saying we ran out of alcohol. But sometimes we really do run out so don’t assume we think you have a problem when we tell you that. Another tactic is to just disappear. Hide. On one occasion I became the most forgetful flight attendant on earth. “I’m so sorry I forgot your drink,” I said. Then I promised to be right back, with no intention of ever returning. Anything to keep the situation under control.
I’d been in Saint Lucia less than 24 hours and already I felt antsy. It didn’t help that the resort was only 10 minutes from the airport, or that we were handed a rum punch the minute we walked into the hotel lobby. Thirty minutes after getting off the plane, I was sitting under a palm tree on a blue and white striped towel reading a book.
The resort was nice, the drinks were free. From my cushy lounge chair I could hear the waves, and see the ocean, vast and blue. Off in the distance, the land jutted out into the sea on either side of me. People were getting ready to get ready to line up at the buffet for dinner. Tacos and empanadas, I overheard somebody say. None of it helped.
I was depressed, but I don’t think anyone could tell.
I took a sip of my drink, the local beer Piton, and it reminded me of college, Pearl Jam — that song “Alive.” I felt anything but alive as I tossed the book I couldn’t get interested in aside, threw on shorts and a tank over my swimsuit, and decided to take a walk. I told my husband to watch our kid, who was splashing around in the pool
Ten months earlier, I lost a child. Not my first. There have been six altogether. Six pregnancies. Six losses. The last one was the hardest one, because I was five months along when he decided to leave this earth. One minute I was in labor, and the next minute I was being handed a list of funeral homes and crematoriums.
I had to take a year off from working as a flight attendant after that. The thought of being asked to hold a baby — or even having somebody yell at me over nothing. A broken seat light, a middle seat, running out of chicken in first class.
I went to Saint Lucia to get lost, blend in, disappear. Which wasn’t hard to do at this all-inclusive resort five minutes from the airport. But I was still restless.
Walking onto the beach, I picked a direction at random.
“Venture at your own risk,” read a wooden sign stuck in the sand. The risk being — I looked around — seaweed? Another American tourist? There was nothing else.
More than anything I wanted there to be something else, anything else, that could distract me. Something to make me forget everything I’d been through. I found tire tracks leading back to the hotel, and followed them with my eyes to a seaweed removal machine behind a cluster of palm trees. Still I hoped for more as I turned the corner and imagined signs of life: colorful cottages, half naked children, laundry flapping in the breeze.
Instead I found more of the same: Sand, seaweed, a big blue beautiful ocean and a kayak on a deserted beach. Paradise.
Disappointed, I turned around and went back to my chair.
“We’re renting a car,” I told my husband.
“How much longer do I have to feel like this?”
“How much longer do I have to feel like this?” I’d asked my mother every single day leading up to our vacation. She was the only person I could talk to about it, the only person I knew who wouldn’t worry about me simply because I wanted to talk about it, the only person I didn’t make uncomfortable just by talking about it.
She assured me the feeling would pass, and that things would get better, over time. I wasn’t so sure about that.
Time takes too much time when you’re feeling down.
It’s hard losing a baby, but dealing with people who can’t deal with you afterward is even worse. A lot of people knew I was pregnant. At three months along, I probably looked more like six months. It’s how it is for the women in my family; I come from a long line of very large pregnant women.
And so everyone knew: parents at my son’s school, parents on the soccer team, parents at the music school, parents I rarely spoke to but saw on a daily basis. Then, all of a sudden, I was clearly no longer pregnant.
Some parents seemed confused and asked me about my weight loss. Others congratulated me and wanted to know what I’d named the baby. Then there were the majority of people who just kept their distance. No eye contact, no questions — they may as well have been running away. My deflated belly had become my scarlet letter.
I couldn’t wait to get away from it all in Saint Lucia.
Hello! I am an aspiring Flight Attendant. I’m 20. I live in Germany as an Au-Pair and I’m finally headed back to San Diego in a month. I don’t have a college education under my belt so I was wondering what should I have to accomplish before applying to airlines? In other words, what should be on my application/resume to standout? I’m considering an aviation operations degree program but I know I want to be a flight attendant in at least 1 1/2 years and know to complete an associates degree I need at least two years.. So i guess that’s my also a question, will I have a chance of getting an interview with being in college for aviation? Or will they truly only consider me if I’m a college graduate? I’m also considering CNA Training to let them know I’ve been trained for emergency situations. But i dont know what’s truly need and im hoping you could enlighten me on how to land an interview. Thank you for your time! I look forward to hearing back! -Olivia
It’s not required to have a college degree to become a flight attendant. But competition is fierce. Only the best get hired. That’s why most flight attendants do have college degrees (doesn’t have to be related to aviation), speak another language, or have worked as medical professionals. Good customer service is everything to an airline. A smile and a good attitude go a long way. Who better to work for an airline than an au-pair! You’re used to dealing with people – children, so you must know how to make them happy. I’ve seen grown men cry over not getting an upgrade. Recently a grown woman refused to share her row with another passenger. In this job you have to have patience, be able to keep people calm, and also know how to adapt to change quickly. You can’t be rigid. You have to be able to go with the flow. I say apply to the airlines and see what happens. While you’re waiting to hear back, enroll in school. Study whatever you like. It’s always good to have something to fall back on, especially in Airline World where things are always changing, not necessarily for the better.
Those first few years as a flight attendant are tough. It’s not just a job, it’s a lifestyle. This is why flight attendants only last a few months or an entire life time It’s that extreme. As for the pay, nobody becomes a flight attendant for the money. New hires average between 14K-20K the first year – unless they work insane hours, in which case they’re never home. What kind of life is that when you have a young child at home? (You can read more about how much flight attendants make HERE.) Most flight attendants start out very young, that or this is a second career later on in life after the kids have grown. I don’t want to squash your dream, but starting this job with a young child at home will be difficult. There’s a good chance you won’t get based where you live. Sure you’ll have days off to fly home and you’ll be able to use your flight benefits to get there, but unless you have a 24 hour support system while you’re away it’s going to be hard. Add bad weather, flight cancellations, and full flights into the mix and you might not even make it home. That’s why you have to be flexible. Why you always have to have back up plans A, B, C, and D. The hardest thing about the job is reserve. It’s a killer. You’re at the airlines beckon call. Research each airline to see how their reserve system works. Some airlines require flight attendants to work an entire month of reserve until you’re senior enough to hold off. Other airlines only require flight attendants to work a few days each month. If the airline is at the end of a hiring spree, you might get stuck on reserve for a long time. If you’re one of the first to be hired or you know the airline will continue hiring, there’s a good chance you might not be on reserve for long. But that also depends on where you’re based, and how senior the flight attendants are at that base. Reserve is what breaks most flight attendants. You should also know that most airlines don’t pay for training. Training averages 4-7 weeks, depending on the airline. If you have a good support system at home, I say go for it! If you don’t like it you can always quit.