The Flight Attendant Life

I recently had a chance to watch the new show on ABC, Pan-Am, the drama series that begins in 1963, and follows the lives of pilots and stewardesses that fly for the iconic Pan American Airlines.  The show, to this point, has proved to be timeless, poised, and well written, with just enough scandal to add interest without feeling trashy.

The beautiful, petite, women, with barbie doll smiles, in their polished blue uniforms, and matching luggage, see and travel the world, with stops and adventure in destinations like Paris, London, and Berlin.  The all too young, but doggedly handsome pilots add an element of intrigue to all of the glamour.


I find myself wishing I was a flight attendant…oh wait…I am one.

So, where is the glamour? And those doggedly handsome pilots? ummm…am I blind, or are they just non-existent?

Collecting garbage, serving drinks, and cleaning vomit is not glamour, and the pilots I fly with are generally 20 years older than me, married, with kids, although it’s sadly true that for some airline personnel, a ring doesn’t mean much.

My life is not the life of a Pan Am stewardess or a TV show, but being a flight attendant is probably one of my best adventures thus far.  My uniform is not cute, classy, powder blue, but at least I don’t have to wear a girdle or have mandatory weigh-ins.  You won’t find me working trips to Istanbul, Munich, or Madrid, and I don’t speak three languages, but I’m not worried about.  I plan on learning Spanish, Istanbul and Madrid are on the to do list, and I’ve been to Munich three times in one year.  I’d say that’s pretty great.

The beautiful part of flying is being able to see the world, experience different cultures, and meeting interesting people.  I love the constant change of my job, the freedom it allows, and the unique characters I meet.

My schedule most often turns out to be fantastic.  Within just two years of flying, I generally get my first choice in schedule every month, which allows approximately 17 days off.   And on my days off, I travel.  Just since January, I’ve traveled to Guatemala, Whistler B.C., Italy, Kauai, Oahu (twice), Alaska (twice), Germany, Croatia, Athens, Crete, Budapest, Prague, Krakow, and that doesn’t include the lower 48 states that I pop into every so often.  All of this, plus, I am lucky enough to be based in Los Angeles, where I enjoy living a block from the Ocean and have friends, and a life outside of flying.

I don’t know when I’ll be ready for another career and a different adventure.  I never planned on doing this in my life, so I’ve been surprised at how much I love flying.  I just know that I am SO thankful I didn’t follow the typical: Graduate from college, get married, buy a house, get a dog, have a kid.  All great and wonderful, but that’s not yet for me.

For now, I’m having too much fun living My Flight Attendant Life.

Here’s just a glimpse at some of my adventures.


About the Author Kara

Curious. Bubbly. Creative. Curating a life I don't need an escape from and inspiring you to do the same.

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Christy says October 14, 2011

I watched pan am and did think of you…I am still holding out for that doggedly handsome pilot for you 🙂

Created Whole says October 15, 2011

haha…just don’t hold your breath, but I do appreciate the concern. Let me know if you find any in Missouri:) I really need to come to visit you! Miss you!

Funny Flight Attendant Stories | The Flight Attendant Life says April 15, 2012

[…]  I’ve learned that the baggage flight attendant carries with it ranges from thoughts of our “glamorous lives” to we “must always meet terrible […]

Emderald says October 5, 2016

An interesting blog so far from just skimming the first post on your blog but I look forward to reading it. I’ve never seen flight attendants blog about their lives and careers before but it’s amazing being able to see so many places. Best of travels.

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