Don’t Call Her ‘Stewardess’

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.

5 thoughts on “Don’t Call Her ‘Stewardess’

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  2. I got a beauty of a story-in the late 70’s in Chicago we had a female agent working an area with some other agents-all of them were in single officer units-this agent had a female illegal alien in custody who wasn’t handcuffed(thankfully)when she got out to stop and question a male and was immediately attacked,suffering a fractured skull and other serious injuries-the illegal alien in the car declined to escape and got on the radio and summoned up all her English to call for help on the car radio and give a location-other agents and Chicago PD were on the scene fast and subdued the suspect quickly.The agent survived the beating,but never could work in enforcement again,and was transferred to airport inspection duties.
    The female alien detainee was a witness for the government and for some odd reason was never deported.:))
    Too bad we couldn’t have hired her.

  3. I couldn’t think of where else to put this-have a nice Thanksgiving-and also Kiersten-I didn’t forget you.This is my favorite liberal blogsite because of the civility and life experience which is always present.

  4. Thanks very much, Joe. You are a great presence on the blog yourself. You help me question things from other perspectives. And so, without further ado, some words of wisdom from the fortune cookie: “Doubt is the beginning of wisdom.”

    Great stuff!

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