Female flight attendant on angry passengers and “crash pads”
In an unusual break with protocol, a woman who spent 17 years as a flight attendant has published some insider secrets about the profession. Heather Poole, author of “Cruising Attitude: Tales of Crashpads, Crew Drama and Crazy Passengers at 35,000 Feet”, describes several parts of the book to the Overhead Bin travel column at MSNBC. What makes the book so unusual is that airlines keep very tight control on their image and what is said about them. Poole doesn’t reveal which airlines she has worked with. She claims she wanted to write the book “so people will have a better understanding of the life”.
Among other experiences, she writes about a passenger angry about being late who followed her into an airport bathroom intending to do harm. On another occasion, she made sure a dangerous passenger was escorted off the plane in handcuffs, but later bumped into him in a local restaurant.
She also writes that junior flight attendants, at least in the US, tend to share a “crash pad” – an apartment with “bunk beds lining the walls in every room”. There are apartments where “flight attendants will pack up their pillows and sheets and store them in a tub so that others can use the bed after they leave”.
Stewardess, circa 1949-50, American Overseas, Flaghip Denmark, Boeing 377 Stratocruiser; Photo by Chalmers Butterfield]