What made you want to be cabin crew?
Was it the thought of travelling the world, visiting exotic and far-flung destinations and getting to stay in the best five-star hotels? Was it your desire to wear a fabulous designer uniform and strut your stuff through airport terminals as girls and boys looked on in awe? Was it the thought of working with other gorgeous hosties and hunky pilots that persuaded you? Or was it a childhood dream you had to fulfil?
I put this question to my wonderful Facebook followers and was overwhelmed by the response.
Even today, one of the biggest incentives for becoming crew is the chance to see and explore the world. Travel and experiencing the delights of other countries and cultures is one of the most exciting perks of our role…..
“I wanted to become a flight attendant to travel the world and be admired by customers. I loved being the five-in-one hostess……Police officer, nurse, babysitter, health and safety officer and the tea and coffee lady”
“I trained as a French teacher and didn’t want to do it so I decided to take a year out to see the world, which as crew we actually did in the 1970’s. Seven years later I left. I almost went back twice as I missed it that much”
“I was living abroad at the time and began to get homesick for the UK. Flying seemed the best of both worlds. You get to travel but still be based at home. Really didn’t think I’d still be here, flying the skies 19 years later”
“Having family spread all over the globe it seemed like the best possible job and I love the smell of jet fuel in the morning”
“To see the world on someone else’s nickel”
“I always wanted to travel, the opportunity came along and here I am having a delicious breakfast in a beautiful hotel in Geneva. Wouldn’t change it for the world”
“I was a rep for Scandinavian TUI, living abroad and got the tip from a pilot that it was a fun job and similar to the service I did then. I was a bit homesick and wanted to live in Sweden again so for me, it’s a perfect way of living”
“Discount on travel. 90%, who wouldn’t want that?”
For many, flying was in our blood from a young age and becoming crew was always a childhood dream…..
“When I finished high school I suddenly realised what I wanted to do in life. I applied and one year later was hired. I love my job and I love the feeling I get when I put my uniform on”
“I flew a lot as a child because of divorced parents. I remember the first flight I ever took when I was about 8 years old. Every time I flew after that was like Christmas morning and I still get that feeling today”
“I lived near an airport and I always said, since I was 4 years old, that flying was my dream. I went to the UK to learn English and applied to British Airways. 20 years later I still love the job. No glamour at all though!”
“It was always a childhood dream for me. I worked with Air 2000 in 1995 and then Airtours International from 1996 to 2001. The good old days. What a laugh we had and fabulous trips”
“When I was in grade 2 I took my first flight on a TAA Fokker F27 Friendship, back in 1978 and I knew there and then that I wanted to fly. 20 years later and I’m still living the dream. I just love flying and the benefits are great too”
“My first flight to Orlando was with Laker Airways and that was it. My future career was made there and then”
“I wanted to be a pilot as a kid and that didn’t go to plan as it was too much effort, so I applied for cabin crew, just for the experience and nearly 6 years later I’m still here”
“A childhood dream from the age of 3 when my dad used to take me to Elmdon Aerodrome, now Birmingham Airport, on a Sunday for an orange juice and a packet of Walkers crisps. I’m now 51 and still flying”
“I wanted to follow in my fathers footsteps. He was a steward for BOAC and subsequently a CSD at British Airways”
“I didn’t have a clue what to do until my mom brought home a book which had a poem in about ‘air hotties’. I was hooked!”
“Grew up loving aviation. My dad had a plane and we flew all the time. I went off to college and earned my four-year degree. I then applied to TWA and was hired. Love the airline industry and everything about it. I do miss the good old days and the glamour, but it’s in my blood and always will be”
“My mom is from the Philippines and my dad from Austria. I grew up in Austria and every year we would go to the Philippines for our holiday. That’s why I always loved flying. All my friends envied me flying and visiting such a far-flung country. I guess that’s where I learnt that flying is something special and I simply loved it”
“I wanted to be an F-16 fighter pilot on an aircraft carrier at sea to protect the people. As the Belgian Navy has no aircraft carriers I joined our national airline as an FA a few years later. I specialised on our African routes, so I got to fly and be a humanitarian. 2 for 1 dreams coming true and I’m addicted to the adrenaline rush and kerosene”
“I was travelling as an UM (unaccompanied Minor) and had a crew member looking after me as I was only 4. She was one of the most beautiful and lovely women I have ever met. She was adorable and glamorous in her uniform. I decided that day that I wanted to be a flight attendant. I got caught in the aviation passion and it has never left me since that day. I love my job. It’s not the easiest job in the world but is the only one that I hope I’ll do my whole life, with caring and passion”
“I grew up in aviation, it’s an addiction. Once you smell kerosene you can’t do without it”
“Both my parents used to be cabin crew. I remember one time we had to catch a 10 hour flight on the jump seat. My dad was working in first class so he let me sleep in the coat closet. I remember opening the door every so often just to watch how everything was done and I wanted so badly to be one of those crew and have that life. Oh and the staff travel isn’t bad either”
“Son of a US Air Force Colonel. Living in Italy, France, Germany loving the travel and languages”
“I always wanted to be a flight attendant. I grew up near an airport but I’m not too keen on flying so I never pursued the dream. I am however marrying a pilot and I’m starting to get over my fear. Maybe once the children are older I will apply?”
“Both of my sisters worked as Dollies. One with Dan Air and the other British Midland. I went to work for Monarch. A full dolly family”
“Childhood dream, achieved it, got retrenched and achieved it again and will never look back. Even though I’m sitting at home off sick thanks to a pax dumping a bag on my feet and almost breaking them and me!”
For some, becoming cabin crew involved our partners, either wanting us to fly, so they could benefit from the perks; or not wanting us to fly, which simply egged us on even more to prove them wrong…..
“My then boyfriend said I wouldn’t get the job as crew. So I proved him wrong. Dumped the idiot then married a gorgeous pilot. Now I’m happy at home with my girls and still have all my airline perks through my hubby”
“Broke up with my boyfriend and my mom told me to go fly. It’s been the best 7 years of my life. Moms always have the best advice”
“I was thinking I was going to be married to a Navy pilot so I figured it would be hard for me to commute from all over the world. When he broke up with me I decided to apply as revenge. A few years after I started flying he joined the company as a pilot. We flew together once and I never saw him again. Turns out he was quite the womanizer so I had a lucky escape”
“My ex boyfriend saw the advert and said I couldn’t get the job. So I made a bet, got the job and got rid of him”
“A boyfriend told me he wouldn’t let me do it. As soon as we split up I applied and got the job. Best feeling ever when I saw him going on holiday and I was looking fabulous in my uniform”
“Broke up with the ex and decided to apply. Turns out Dubai is full of people like me, I’m not the only one who flees with a broken heart”
For others it was the chance to have a fresh start and try something new. For others they simply fell into the role and never looked back…..
“I was offered an interview for cabin crew while working as a ground handler. It wasn’t something I’d ever really thought about. However, I got the job and never looked back. I’m not up there now as I’m at home with my babies. But if I’d never taken that opportunity I would never have met my husband”
“My next door neighbour got me a job at JFK working in Duty Free. As a young kid, I quickly got caught up in the airline industry and soon became a gate agent for Laker Airways. Bankruptcy caused me to look for another job within the industry, ending up as a flight attendant. Have worked for four different airlines, my fifth soon with a merger”
“I’d always considered being a flight attendant. It was there in the back of my mind for a long time. Then someone I loved died and I thought, life’s too bloody short. So I decided to take to the skies. I’m even afraid of heights”
“Went for a walk-in interview with a pal who desperately wanted to fly and I didn’t. I got the job and sadly he didn’t. Flew with Aer Lingus for 30 years, the best years of my life. Wonderful times, wonderful trips, wonderful co-workers”
“Went away on a trip with my friend who worked for Virgin. When I saw how much fun it was and what they all got up to down route it made me think. I’ve got to have a bit of that”
“The whole lifestyle was the complete opposite to the job I had which was working in a bank. I Still love it 17 years later”
“Couldn’t decide what I wanted to do when I came home from living abroad for 10 years so I started flying. I still can’t decide 20 years later”
“I couldn’t face the idea of a job that was the same day in and day out and liked the idea of a bit of travel too. Every day when you fly is different. I shared a house with a pilot and he persuaded me to go for a job with the company he worked for. I got the job and never looked back”
“I hated my 9 to 5 and loved the thought of travel. 20 odd years later I’m still here, I was only going to do it for a couple of years. Famous last words”
“I needed a job after being made redundant and I thought I might as well go for the interview as it was a temporary summer contract. The rest as they say is history”
“I was bored with the job I was doing at the time and didn’t know what I wanted to do with my life. Thought I would become cabin crew for a temporary 6 month contract whilst I decided what to do. 16 years later when I hung up my wings I still don’t know what to do”
The glamour is what lured many of us to the skies and watching films and TV shows about the fabulous jet-set era…..
“After watching the Mickey Mouse Show in the sixties, where Cubby and Karen tried out for pilot and air hostess roles. I was 8 and had to wait until I was 18 to join an Australian airline and succeeded twice”
“My grandmother was a typist and saw the advert in the London Standard Newspaper for B.O.A.C. She always said when I asked her that the advert was so vibrant and exciting and was her ticket to see the world. Her first flight was SYD and I never forget her words “One day grey and dismal Manchester, the next, sunny Sydney” She was there 1957-1964 and always says it was the second best time of her life, after having my dad”
“I worked in the Hilton hotel and crews would come in looking glam and tell me how amazing it was. As soon as I was old enough I applied and got the job”
“I read a book called ‘Silver Wings For Vicky’ in 1961. I joined British European Airways (BEA) in 1972 then onto B.O.A.C. (both later British Airways)”
“I watched Pan Am and that was it. I was hooked and sent off my application straight away”
“Old school crew here. It used to be oh so glamorous and we got loads of time down route. I was a lucky girl”
“Living the life of a millionaire but without the worries. I found that out later, my first desire was to travel”
“Desire to see the world, dream of a life time of glamour. I still don’t know why, aeroplanes are the dirtiest places in the air”
Of course there are other, slightly less conventional reasons…..
“I Accidentally sent my CV to an airline while I was drunk. It worked and I love my job”
“My interview sealed it. The lady told me that last summer, she’d spent all her weekends in Tenerife or Ibiza. What the glamorous girl with the perfectly coiffed hair failed to tell me was that she never actually left the plane!”
“I was on a beach in Ibiza when I found a bottle with a message inside. When I got the message out and read it, it was from a flight attendant explaining all the amazing things they had done. I knew this is what I wanted to do and applied as soon as I got home”
“I wanted to learn how to clear up vomit in eight different languages”
“For the best office window ever”
“My family decided it would be the perfect job for me. Personally I didn’t even think I’d get through the interview stage. Only worked for a UK airline for 6 months but I miss it everyday. I will be cabin crew again one day, best job I ever had”
“The ability to get away from my hubby when he gets on my nerves”
“I always wanted to blow a slide”
And it’s so lovely to hear that so many of us still have the passion for the job and everything that comes with it and of course those who are still trying desperately to join our sky family…..
“The uniform, the glamour and the exotic destinations. After 14 years on long haul, I have now done 5 happy years on short-haul. Still get to wear the uniform although the glamour exotic destinations are a thing of the past”
“I applied 25 years ago and was told I was too old…..at 30! Thought I’d have another bash at it et voila!”
“Currently working towards becoming crew. However, that mathematical paper on the day seem to be the rainy cloud over my entire dream”
“I finished flight school after training to become a pilot. At first there weren’t many jobs in the cockpit so I decided to work as cabin crew so I would still be able to fly. Turns out I fell in love with the job and enjoy being around people more than sitting behind a locked door all day”
“Someone mentioned it in work one day and I applied the next to see what happened. 7 years later and I still love it”
“A feeling that I might make someone’s day. Someone’s lifetime trip. Priceless!”
“I wanted to have that feeling on my stomach when you’re taking off every day. And I love to fly”
“Many things for me. I love aeroplanes so much and this job is my life. I really care about it. It was also a childhood dream. I don’t care about the money, I just want to do what I love and of course I like travel. Being crew is very important for me, it’s not simply a job but a passion, a dream, everything”
“It was on my bucket list to do before I die so I applied, got the job and I still love it to this day”
So what were your reasons for wanting to become cabin crew? Please feel free to add them in the comments section below and thanks again to all my lovely Facebook Dollies who helped with this piece.
© confessionsofatrolleydolly.com by Dan Air