Lifestyle ~ 9/11 A Flight Attendant's Perspective

I spent the greater part of my adult life as a Flight Attendant for Northwest Airlines. Some of you probably remember NWA, which was later bought out by Delta Airlines.  My flight attendant career spanned almost 20yrs until I retired in 2008.

As I look back over my career, traveling around the world, site seeing and meeting so many wonderful people, I can't help but realize how blessed I was.  I've been in numerous emergencies throughout my career but none as devastating as the 9/11 tragedy... so for this reason I feel blessed.

I wished that there were cameras on our cell phones during the 90's and even early 2000's. I don't think cellphones came with cameras until somewhere around 2008 right after I retired.  Before then, we had to document everything with hand-held cameras (I mostly used disposables) and take them to have the photos developed onto disks or hard copies. 

September 11th From A Flight Attendant's Perspective
In the cockpit of a 757

My life was so different then, I started flying in my late 20's and ended in my late 40's, actually I was 48 when I retired.  I was able to travel and see the world and then retire.  My granddaughter was almost 3yrs old then and I was able to keep her until she started kindergarten.  I feel blessed that I was able to have those early years with her and teach her a little wisdom..... what little wisdom a 3yr old could under stand.  Back then it was "no, don't touch that, go potty"  etc., but it was such a great time for me getting adjusted to being home full time.

September 11th From A Flight Attendant's Perspective

Looking back into the worst tragedy in the history of aviation in 2001, I was actually on a layover when the news broke.  I believe I working out in the hotel's fitness center when the news broke all over the TV screens.  Then in an instance, my pager started going off non stop.  As a FA, the first thing you're taught to do is go into emergency mode but you're stranded and helpless and all you can do is suffer in silence along with the rest of the world.  We were stranded at that hotel for at least 5 days, feeling helpless, worried and devastated. 

All the emotions that you were feeling.... I was feeling also but on a different level.... I could have been the FA on one of those planes.  The lost to the world and especially the lost from the Aviation community impacts us differently because any life lost in the line of duty is a life well served. 

September 11th From A Flight Attendant's Perspective

I would continue flying for another 7yrs because I was a little addicted to International flying. My base was Detroit because it had the most International routes.  The normal route that I would fly twice a month was a 5 day trip.... DTW-AMS-BOM-AMS-DTW.... do you know your airline codes??  We we would layover in Amsterdam (the Neverlands) and in Bombay (India).  I basically only flew 10 days a month and had 20 days off... this was the life of a Sr FA.... we paid our dues in our early years and now we had many many days off but were still paid full time wages (thanks to the Unions!!)

I made so many wonderful friendships that would eventually last a lifetime.  The funny thing about being a flight attendant and flying out of a large base like Detroit is that you never fly with the same crew twice.  So I would never see the same crew members again unless  we all purposely booked the same trips again.  

Some you bond with and others make you scream and pull your hair out.  All in all, my years as a flight attendant were some of the best years of my life.... I will always cherish those memories!

Dead tired after a long international flight!

September 11th From A Flight Attendant's Perspective

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