Who can mix up a cocktail, deliver a baby and carve chateaubriand? A TWA flight attendant, that’s who! Yes, a TWA flight attendant was capable, calm, intelligent and attractive with a love for flying and a taste for adventure. It was exactly what writer Ann Hood wanted to be when she grew up.
In her delightful memoir, Fly Girl, Hood recounts her childhood dreams of being a flight attendant and her starry-eyed excitement when she was hired by TWA (more difficult to get into than Harvard, boasted her trainers!). Hood had a college degree, but even she found the 6-week training to be grueling. Of course, knowing all the safety rules was a given, but climbing a spiral staircase in heels with a tray? That was the real challenge.
Hood began her career during the golden age of flying when passengers dressed up and were served three-course meals on real china. Eight years later when she ended her career to become a full-time writer, airline deregulation lowered fares and made air travel accessible to more people at the expense of comfort and service. Yet, through all the furloughs and deregulation, the querulous passengers and absurd weight regulations, Hood genuinely loved being a flight attendant.