Having grown up with such female role models as ‘Coffee, Tea, or Me’, it’s been particularly sweet to see flight attendants gain better working conditions and respect. It’s a tough job, as this story shows…
DUBLIN, Ireland: An Air Canada co-pilot having a mental breakdown had to be forcibly removed from the cockpit, restrained and sedated, and a stewardess with flying experience helped the pilot safely make an emergency landing, an Irish investigation concluded Wednesday.
Rather than filch from AP, I’ll give you a quick summary—The co-pilot totally lost it. The flight attendants tackled him and tied him up. One of the flight attendants got hurt in the struggle. No one on board knew how to fly a plane except for one of the flight attendants who had a commercial pilot’s license and experience reading cockpit instruments. She helped the pilot safely land the plane.
You can read the whole story here.
It seems that flight attendants rival ‘maintenance’ in their multi unsung skills and usefulness in a crisis.
When ‘Coffee, Tea or Me’ was published in 1967 women as we know them today hadn’t been invented. There were girls, chicks and ladies, but the current generation of women in power was still in school — nursery school some of them, or in college as ‘co-eds’. Stewardesses had to wear miniskirts, stay thin, and when they got old they didn’t get seniority — they got fired. That’s why they got unions, I guess.
‘Coffee, Tea or Me’ became a franchise, spawning sequels and movies. Maybe in its small way it added an irritant to flight attendants — one more straw piling up before they decided to organize. Ironically, this frank expose is sort of a book in drag. The real author is a ghostwriter named Donald Bain, who has enjoyed a long, prolific career and is probably still hacking them out.