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Monday, 22-May-2017 15:22:18 ET

10 Ways Becoming A Flight Attendant Changed My Life
by Marsha Marks
  1. Relaxing in 4 star hotels, with drivers on call.
    Prior to becoming a Flight Attendant, I had a good job in middle management, with a large US Corporation, with lots of travel. But, I never relaxed when I traveled. Instead I had to attend meetings, and every minute of the day was scheduled. Imagine, my surprise, when I realized -- as a Flight Attendant, once we get to the hotels – our time is our own. Rooms, transportation and food is all paid for, and we have pre-scheduled drivers who pick us up on time and get us back to the airport the next day! They even drive us to shopping if we want. When I settle into a 4 star hotel, now, I take a bubble bath, order room service, and read -- something I never have time to do at home! (And would never do, if I were not a Flight Attendant.)

  2. Parties that only Flight Attendants are invited to.
    Before I became a Flight Attendant, I was trying to meet Mr. Right, but couldn’t seem to find him among the dross that everyone had to sift through to find a true Gem. Then I became a Flight Attendant and on my first night of Flight Attendant Training, I was invited to a party, (happening the next weekend) for Fight Attendants and Aerospace Engineers. There I met the man of my dreams, educated, intelligent, gainfully employed and incredibly handsome, and oh so grateful to be meeting and dating a Flight Attendant. We were married a year and a half later!

  3. Able to pursue my second career – with time and energy left over.
    The whole time I was in the corporate world, I would get up at 6AM to get ready and drive an hour to my work, and then work 8 hours and drive an hour home. I was exhausted. I only got 2 or 3 weeks vacation a year! I had no time to pursue what I really wanted – writing the great American Novel. But, shortly after becoming a Flight Attendant, I found I had tons of days off every month. Lots of months, I only worked 9 days! So, I had time to pursue my “dream career” of being a writer. In 2002, I became the first Flight Attendant ever to sign a three-book deal with a division of the largest publisher in the world. Many of my fellow Flight attendants are Nurses, Lawyers, Teachers, and Real Estate professionals, - all career’s they can pursue, on their days off.

  4. Meeting and networking with the rich and influential.
    When my husband and I were trying to sell a condo in LA and living in Seattle, we flew down to LA to check on our property. Of course we flew Space Available. And of course, the space most often available was in First Class. So, we sat next to the rich and influential, and met people who asked us if we could use what they couldn’t…like box seats to pro-games they weren’t going to be able to attend. Tickets to the symphony, - they wouldn’t be able to make the night in question. And invitations to top “benefactor” parties, where we met Senators, and congressmen, and CEO’s. Believe me, this would not have happened, if I had never become a Flight Attendant.

  5. Glamour.
    I always thought I’d grow up to be Miss America. It would just happen, I thought by write In ballot. But, it turns out, you actually have to compete for these titles, and I never did. When I told all this to my fellow wing sister, she said, “If you can’t be Miss America, and you can’t be a model, then you become a Flight Attendant.” And the glamour is there by profession.

  6. Instant membership in a most elite sorority.
    My Wing Sister, Melanie, (who now is a real estate mogul) tells of the time she was engaged to a Physician. They attended an exclusive black tie dinner party. At the table when everyone was introduced, Melanie said she was a bit intimidated by other people’s titles and education…until they asked her what she did, and she said she was a Flight Attendant. The whole table turned to her and said FLIGHT ATTENDANT! And for the rest of the evening, she was the “star”. Becoming a Flight Attendant is like gaining an entrance to an elite sorority. A sorority which everyone is curious about!

  7. The longer you work, the less you work.
    How would you like to work 8 days a month and make a full-time salary? (Legally). Flight Attendants make more and work less, with each passing year. It's the nature of the business - all schedules and pay - are based on seniority. The more senior you are, the better trips you have and the better the pay.

  8. My family flies free anytime anywhere – and my friends get buddy passes.
    I don’t think I need to say anymore about the wonder of being able to offer my family and friends trips to Hawaii, or Rome or New York, First Class. It’s great – and certainly would never happen if I were not a Flight Attendant.

  9. Education.
    Where else could I actually get paid, to discover up close and personal, that the Mona Lisa is in fact, a quite small painting. Or see what the Cathedrals look like, in Rome. Or visit the North Pole at Christmas. Some education can best be learned, while on the job. The job of a flight attendant!

  10. The heartfelt knowledge that each day, I can make someone’s life, a little happier.
    People who travel are usually tired, and stressed. They board my flight looking for someone with a smile and a reassurance that all will be well, and this flight will be wonderful. I love making someone’s day simply by offering a pillow and a blanket, or a beverage with lots of ice. I love my job. And there is not another job that can so change someone’s life, like that of becoming a Flight Attendant.

Marsha Marks is a Flight Attendant for one of the largest airlines in the world and is the author of FLYING BY THE SEAT OF MY PANTS: Flight Attendant Adventures on a wing and a Prayer. Order her book: http://amzn.to/10YWlpo.

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