jaron summers (c) 2024
You won’t notice her as she helps you lug your suitcase down the jet’s aisle.
She smiles behind a touch of too much makeup and her shoes are not sexy now. Polished but functional with one-inch heels.
Her hair would be grey if she did not color it and there are lines, not all of them from laughter.
She is an old flight attendant and it took all of her energy to get out of bed and pull on her uniform and “welcome” a thousand strangers who do not look at her anymore.
There was a time…
Ah, what a time. When the airlines were young and so was she. Every trip was an adventure and she stayed up too late and partied too much and soaked up too much sun.
Three-day layovers in Hawaii…before the computers had figured out how to lock her into a Kona-turn. That’s when she flies there and back in one day.
Now it’s a win-win deal for the airlines. All they have to do is buy her lunch and with the revised union contracts, they can make her do 90 percent of the cabin cleaners’ work while the ground crew refuels the DC-10 for a trip back to Los Angeles that very same day.
The good old days. She and her husband had a lot of laughs but he liked hot chicks and it was tough to be hot after flying across America and back on a long weekend.
She was on her own.
At first the money was okay and benefits were decent. But that changed after bankruptcies and threats of bankruptcies. And all the deals that the unions made for her turned to smoke — they got her to work more hours, for less pay and fly farther.
She could quit but she lost all of her money in her 401K because she believed in the stock that her airlines offered her.
Management stole tens of millions. She was left holding an empty nest egg.
Sure, she could work for McDonald’s or Target. Have to start at the bottom. What’s the point? She’s already at the bottom.
The few eligible guys joke that she served coffee to Wilbur and Orville.
The bachelors zero in on the sleek female executives sitting beside them and maybe they talk to the new hire flight attendants who balance their lithe bodies on three inch heels and know just how to flip their blonde hair.
Who wants an old flight attendant with 35 years of seniority for a lover or even a friend?
Look past the makeup.
That tired old flight attendant can tell you stories that will rock your life and she can take you any place in the world she wants.
Most airlines still give their flight attendants companion coupons. Companion coupon? Lets put it this way. If that old broad wanted to she could snare you a ticket with one of her coupons and you’d fly first class from LA to Sydney for $400. The passenger next to you would pay $20,000.
Look in the mirror yourself, Jet Setter.
Gosh, is that Grecian Formula in your thinning locks?