Friday, January 21, 2011

Respect Your Flight Attendant

Are you aware of the vast amount of training that flight attendants go through in order to qualify for their jobs?  While you may consider they are only there to take your drink order, fetch you a blanket or pass out peanuts, the men and women who serve in this capacity play a vital role in the safety of those on board.

While you might consider they only stroll the aisles to pick up trash, assure seat backs are in their upright position and trays stowed and locked, actually they are required to conduct a cabin check every twenty-thirty minutes.  They’re looking for anything out of the norm that might put you in jeopardy.  Besides, babysitting passengers, they also do regular checks of the cockpit to assure that the pilot is alive and well. Think they are taking bathroom breaks too often?  Not so, they’re checking to make sure the smoke detectors haven’t been tampered with.

Attendants are trained for all sorts of emergencies, from small injuries, anxiety attacks, and even on-board births.  They are well instructed on how to prepare passengers in the case of water landings and how to utilize the emergency slides.  Since 9/11, most have also received basic instructions on defense in the case of terrorist attacks or high-jacking.  Next time you fly, you might want to consider that Allstate isn’t the only place where you’re in good hands.

The idea of A Wing and a Prayer stirred my heroine Callie Corwin to join the other voices in my head clamoring for attention.  Sometimes, which WIP I devote time to is determined by how loud the character yells, and she won out over a few other pushy people.  :)  I have to credit my friends with discussions of a news article about flight attendants that brought Callie to life.

Here's a short excerpt because A Wing and a Prayer is a short story.  Like I've said elsewhere, where else can you be entertained for less than a dollar and not worry about the calorie content?  On sale at Coffee Time Romance for seventy-nine cents.

Callie Corwin passed down the aisle of the 757 one more time before takeoff. Her heart thudded in her chest like the jet engines. Hopefully, she’d done everything by the book. This was her first flight as an attendant, and everything she’d learned during training seemed to have gotten lost in her muddled thoughts of the training manual and its long checklist of things to do.

Making her way back to her own seat in the front of the plane, she halted at a huge pair of cowboy boots blocking the aisle. “Excuse me, sir.” She jostled the muscular shoulder of a person in repose, most of his face hidden by a black Stetson. 

He lifted the hat higher on his head and pulled his long, lanky legs back into place. “Yes?”

She swallowed hard, seeing eyes bluer than a Montana sky staring back at her. “Y-you’ll have to buckle your seatbelt for takeoff.” Her gaze drifted down the length of him and rested on his bag. “And you’ll have to stow your carry-on under the seat in front of you.” 

“Yes, ma’am.” He doffed the brim of his hat and nudged the black case forward with his foot.

She tried to be professional and not chuckle at his adorable accent. With a smile and a fluttery stomach, she turned and continued to her jump seat in the galley. That cowboy certainly was a piece of eye candy. Too bad there wasn’t time to get better acquainted. Still, the eleven hour flight from California to England would certainly offer another chance.

She harnessed herself in and smoothed her hands across her skirt. So far, so good. No one had gotten angry, everyone found their allotted seat, and the safety instructions had gone off without a hitch. Of course, no one really followed along with the pamphlet in the seat backs, but at least she managed her safety belt demonstration without dropping her prop. She never expected to be so nervous. Her palms dampened even now as her fellow flight attendant announced they’d been cleared for takeoff.


Roseanne Dowell said...

I wanted to be an airline stewardess when I was a young girl (gosh that's a lot of years ago) and yes, that's what they called them then, because there was no such thing as a male flight attendant. I had never flown, so why that career came to be my dream, I'll never know. Of course my life took a different path and I married and had many children. I loved this post. It's funny people don't realize what all is involved in people's occupations. I had no idea what their jobs entailed. Thank you for sharing that. By the way, I ready your book and loved it.

Colleen said...

Yah thats true respect the flight attendant. Because if we do not respect them nothing will help us if we have a problem or need.

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