The Way We Were

There seems to be continued curiosity regarding the behaviour of airline people, past and present. 

Are Pilots and Flight Attendants really a pack of promiscuous bed hopping hedonists?

Probably not much more than any other group of co-workers out of town on a trip. Probably a lot less than some. Definitely less than in the past. 

Certainly not like you might think.

Things were very different In the golden age of bed hopping  between the advent of effective birth control and the onset of STDs that wouldn’t wash off with soap. The time and the morality, or lack thereof, were different everywhere too so this can’t be assigned to just airline behaviour.

Then came the whole 911 thing. Islamic fundamentalism actually resulted in a widespread change in airline employee demographics. This is of course not scientific.  All of this is stated without regard to research and is the product of what I happen to notice and choose to remember.

One of the things thrown overboard after 911 was the last of  the “pilot/hostess” party ethic.

This was once epic in scope and deservedly legendary. Things had already settled down to pretty much PG-13 at even the airlines with the “party animal” reputations by the mid ninetys.  There were still occasional “room” parties (and still are) but anything worthy of media notice is fairly rare. This is also concurrent with the long term result of the airlines abandoning policys of “weight/height” rules for flight attendants. Not an insignificant point.

The Flight Attendants are now fooling around with one another instead of with pilots.  If anybody bothered to do the research it would show a big increase in marriages between Flight Attendants. The Pilot / Flight Attendant relationships seem to be pretty much limited to the occasional single guy meets single girl thing.

The days of the tacky destructive third rate romance and somebody dumping a wife and family seem to have passed. It used to be constant. It used to be the abnormal norm.

Telling someone in your crew what you heard yesterday could be like trying to explain the genealogy of a 1980s hair band. Julie Jones? Well, it was Jones but then she was goofing around with Smith, he left his wife for Suzzy to marry her but Julie got to him first. Then she left him for …. Not a month went by that there wasn’t at least one shocking “who would have thought it” story going around. SCANDALOUS, SHOCKING, common as dirt.

That was when we used to talk. That was when we saw eachother on the airplane other than when passengers are walking by and we’re trying to say something other than buh bye, or Hi.

Only the Flight Attendants now actually work together and talk. Slinging drinks and snacks around and dealing with passenger issues all day seems to develop some sort of bond.

Then there is the gay thing … that was unexpected. At least where pilots were concerned. And the trans-gender thing. WOW, none of us saw that one coming.

They all seem to be clumping up in non-gender specifically oriented pairs.

I think I will just continue to hide and watch from a safe distance.

It is a very different world.        Happy Landings.

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