There had been quite a number of myths about flight attendants circling around. Well everyone are entitled to their own opinions and we do highly respect that, but then again, there is nothing wrong of also educating people what goes on in the life of a flight attendant.
We have been hanging around with flight attendants a lot and they have shared us their stories as cabin crew members. We know what they go through, the fun, the hardships, and the challenges. Behind those fabulous smiles they flash when you board and leave an aircraft are stuff many do not know. Is it all glamour? Are they merely glorified maids in the air as what many people thinks? Well, we will be naming these myths one by one and shall bust them wide open. This is not to counter one’s opinion but we want to educate people on what goes on behind the life and career of a flight attendant.
Myth: Flight attendants are obliged to carry a passenger’s luggage into the overhead bins.
Our answer: Flight attendants are not obliged to stow your luggage on the overhead bins, however, should the passenger be incapacitated or should they be having a hard time to carrying their luggage into the bin, the flight attendants would usually lend assistance. Usually, they would lend assistance to children and elderly people in lifting their luggage into the overhead bins. So please do not complain if your flight attendant does not offer assistance in carrying your baggage especially if you are strong enough to do so. They are not obliged to stow your luggage, not even in first class or business class. What more in economy. I remember a story of a certain actress in the Philippines who boarded a budget carrier and scolded a flight attendant for not stowing her luggage on the overhead bin. Definitely a face palm for us. Besides after the plane ride, the flight attendant will not be carrying your luggage until your hotel room.
Myth: Flight attendants are wild and they party too much.
Our answer: So do sales people from real estate companies, so do models and actresses, so do people from the corporate world, and even bums do party. Everyone parties! A flight attendant’s profession does not make them a party animal automatically. It depends on their peers. I have met flight attendants who would rather spend their offs just having coffee around, some spend them with their families, and some would even go outdoors. Lets just say a flight attendant’s job is tedious, same as those from the corporate world or even call centers. So they spend their time offs doing what they want and what makes them happy. Let’s not create sweeping generalizations about flight attendants for being party animals because there are definitely party animals from all professions. A cabin crew’s profession does not dictate their choices and character. Honestly, we believe majority of the cabin crew members would rather just rest, spend time with family, and discover new places during their offs and layovers. And besides, there is nothing wrong of partying, for as long as they know their limitations. So why does Flyhigh Manila organize parties for flight attendants? Answer is simple. Due to their hard work and the fact that their job is one of the world’s most dangerous, they definitely need a celebration.
Myth: Being a flight attendant is easy and it is a very glamorous job.
Our answer: Definitely not. If you had read our past article on WHAT IT TAKES TO BE A CABIN CREW, you will notice that it takes more just the physical requirements. A person’s character will definitely dictate if one is fit to be a cabin crew or not. A flight attendant’s training is very tedious and they face danger everyday. A inside a commercial aircraft is definitely no different from a space craft, both are huge life support systems. Flight attendants had worked and trained hard to earn their wings, hence, being able to see different places is the reward they get for the price they had paid during training. We will soon have an article about a flight attendant’s training so people would know what they go through. Their jobs may look easy but then again, we may think that an iceberg is small because of what we see on top but we really do not know how big it is because we do not see what is hidden below the waters.
Myth (and the biggest of them all): Flight attendants are glorified maids in the air.
Our answer: The purpose of this whole blog is to counter that very thought. First of all, the primary purpose of flight attendants is to ensure the safety of all its passengers. They are trained to fight fire, to open heavy doors, to administer CPR, to lead passengers into an orderly evacuation during emergency purposes, to carry injured passengers on their backs, and to make sure all these passengers lives are safe before their own. Hence, we term them as “the silent heroes in the air”. Try reading the story about Asiana Airlines 214. In fact after an emergency situation, flight attendants goes through a post traumatic debriefing. Laura Bretlinger who spend 31 years as a flight attendant for United Airlines once said “Handling the emergency itself was “the easiest part of the whole process … because you train for it and you just do it”. She continues with “after the dust settles, so to speak” and one tries to get on with life, “it’s horrific, at least it was for me.” Bretlinger was in one of those United flights in 1972 that declared an emergency landing. A flight attendant is definitely a safety professional. Serving coffee, tea, or water and so is basically just secondary. They are heroes because they will put their lives on the line just to save yours first. Flight attendants have their own loved ones waiting for them at home but instead, they are last to leave an aircraft during an unforeseen situation because they want those passengers to be safe before their own. Glorified maids are not trained to save lives, but flight attendants are.