I think that it is more than appropriate to post this blog today. A�Today’s story is an interview with my Mom, and today, also happens to be her fifty-sixth birthday. A�I’m not outing her age because I think that she will love everyone knowing that fun fact, but because it’s relevant to the interview we had the other day. A�The interview happened somewhat spontaneously, over a breakfast of Chia pudding, homemade bread, and PluotsA�(of which my father is convinced they are calledA�plow-ts). A�It was fun: A�quality time, well spent.
My mom has been a flight attendant for almost five years now. A�It’s nice to have family that understands when I call them, speaking the language of flying, whining about scheduling messing with my roster, I’m on reserve, or that I don’t know what to bid.
I’ve been so blessed the last few months, because I have been able to spend more time than usual at my parent’s home. A�My mom is usually leaving for a trip just as I arrive, but I’ll see her, hug her, often in airports, or in transit. A�It’s an interesting life, but it’s a good life. A�My dad will often be in another room in the house, over-hear the two of us giggling over nonsense, and come running in, saying, “You girls! Always having fun without me!”
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Hanging out with Mom is fun. A�She laughs at everything. A�I think that’s why she survives being a flight attendant. A�The older I get, the more I admire my mother. A�I used to not want to be like her, but now I realize that if I could be as sweet, laid-back, and caring as that woman, that would be an incredible gift.
I receive quite a few emails from woman and men in their 50’s, wondering if they are too old for the flight attendant life. A�I know they aren’t because I’ve seen it happen in my family. A�Enjoy the interview, and I hope you learn something from my Mom’s experience. A�She also blogs for me at www.inflightdietitian.com, which we will be growing over the next few months.
Mama playing dress up in MY uniform:)
Happy Birthday Mama! A�Here is to a year filled with laughter, many more adventures, AND…
how bout that trip to Scandinavia with me???
How old were you when became a flight attendant?
Did you ever thinkA�of doing this career when you were younger?
No- I didn’t. A�I didn’t understand the lifestyle, and the benefits. A�I had my first career. A�I was raising my kids, and liked being home with my family.
Does your age affect your job?
Not really. A�I have energy, stay healthy, and don’t get involved in drama.
What did you do before becoming a flight attendant?
I was working as a Registered Dietitian
Did you like being a dietitian?
Yes.A� I like health and wellness, but at the time, I was so busy, working three contract RD jobs that I was open to a change of pace.
What made you decide to apply for the airlines?
My daughter called, saying, a�?Hey Mom! You should be a flight attendant Ita��s fun!a�?A� She had been flying for a year at this time, and encouraged me to apply for Skywest, which was hiring.A� So, I had time that day, went online, and submitted an application.A� Then, I walked away and forgot about it.
How long until you heard anything?
It was about a month between when I applied, and when I went to the group interview.
What was it about being a flight attendant that appealed to you? A�
I do have a sense of adventure.A� I guess I am one of those people that has always had a secret dream to travel.A� Being a flight attendant was a job that allowed you to go to cool places.A� I live in a small town, and have lived their for over thirty years with my husband, and I needed a way to momentarily leave the small town life every once in awhile.A� My son and his family, and my grand babies live in Alaska, so being a flight attendant would mean that I could go see them more than once every couple of years.
Now that you are a flight attendant, is it what you thought it would be?
It is work.A� You arena��t sitting in the sky, floating around on vacation.A� And, oka��so I do love people, but after six legs, youa��ve had enough.A� There are certain overnights that I like and ones I REALLY dona��t.A� Some hotels make me feel like a pampered princess, and I can get sleep, which is really nice.A� Being gone makes me happy to come back home.A� I miss my husband.
Were you still working as a dietitian once you started flying?
Initially, I was doing both, but after awhile, it was too much.A� There were times that I would be working a trip, on an overnight in my hometown, and I would spend the day, not by the pool, but at the hospital charting patients.A� Then, in the afternoon, I would fly.A� It was crazy!
How does your husband feel about your aviation career?
Initially, he laughed and thought I wouldn’t do this [flight attendant job].
How has your relationship changed since flying? A�
When in this industry, you don’t get the daily interaction, so you miss a lot of the little stories. A�Tim [my husband] started calling and leaving voicemails about what happened in his day, so that when I would land, I have an update, and I can hear his voice, even if he is already asleep or at work or too busy to talk when I have time. A�We have always made time for each other, and carved out evenings to go on dates. A�It’s nice now, because we do travel together sometimes. A�Tim has surprised me on my overnights. A�He has met me at the airport before with flowers. A�He is an understanding and supportive partner, even when the job inconveniences his life.
What challenges have you faced with this career?A�
I remember after training, and being assigned a domicile I didn’t want- being really upset. A�I had been in “Barbie Bootcamp” for over six weeks, and I was really missing Tim [my husband]. A�I almost gave up, and quit. A�I’m glad I didn’t, but it was a really tough time for me.
What are your favorite things about being a flight attendant?
I like the flexible schedule, and days off. A�I like the free travel benefits. A�I enjoy that every day is different.
WhatA�advice do you have for other men and women around your age that are thinking about changing careers and becoming flight attendants?
Be open to the possibilities. A�All types can become flight attendants- teachers, nurses, business owners. A�You are NEVER too old. A�There are always new adventures, and if you have always had a secret dream to travel, and be a bit out of the ordinary, try the flight attendant life.
Anything else you would like to add?
You don’t live backwards. A�Take every new moment as an exciting time in your life. A�Accept it. A�Live it. A�And enjoy it. A�Do the things you never thought you would get a chance to do. A�Be adventurous.
Many airlines like Alaska, and SkyWest are actually known for wanting, and primarily hiring more “mature” men and woman. A�Also, many airlines, like Norwegian Long Haul, or Allegiant Air are looking for individuals that have never been flight attendants, or worked as cabin crew before. A�If being a flight attendant is something you have always wanted to do, or have never really thought about till now, but it does interest you, why not go for it? A�Remember…
You are never too old to be who you were always meant to be, and do what you were always meant to do.