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 Flight Attendant History

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Join date : 2009-09-17
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PostSubject: Flight Attendant History   Sun Dec 27, 2009 11:36 pm

The stewardess experiment:
The nation's first commercial airlines were men's territory. Pilots were
expected to take care of the mail, not to look after the needs of the few
intrepid air travelers who might be crammed into the mail compartment.


With the appearance of larger aircraft that
could accommodate more passengers, a few fledgling airlines experimented with
adding men to the air crew. Sometimes called aerial couriers, cabin boys,
flight companions, airplane attendants, and stewards, these pioneering workers
were mostly dispatched on a haphazard basis. Stout Airlines is credited with
hiring America's first
aerial couriers in 1926 where they worked on Ford Tri-Motor airplanes between Detroit and Grand
Rapids. Stout Airlines later became part of the United
Air Lines conglomerate.

Stewards often loaded baggage, ticketed
passengers and provided inflight services that included dispensing chewing gum
for ear discomfort and serving snacks and beverages. In one instance, the New
England & Western Air Transportation Company, which operated in Massachusetts and New York during the summer of 1930, hired men to work as "Pullman
porters" on their planes. By the late 1920s, Pan American Airways required
extensive first aid and seamanship training for its steward trainees. The
preference at Trans World Airlines' predecessor Transcontinental Air Transport
was to hire, as couriers, the young sons of the industrial, railroad and
steamship magnates who financed the airline.



Passenger observation of air attendant:
Passenger C. B. Allen, who flew on a number of European and U.S.-based airlines
during that time lamented, "the great divergence of practice and want of
anything approaching standardization as regards cabin attendants. . .Probably
this is the most unsettled and least-agreed-upon phase of the air
transportation of passengers, a subject still very much in its experimental
stages. . ." Allen also noted that several airlines had done away with
airline attendants all together as a cost savings.


Ellen Church pioneers sky job for women:
The position of flight attendant remained largely undefined until Ellen Church
entered the aviation industry in 1930. A registered nurse who had taken flying
lessons, Church approached Steve Stimpson of Boeing Air Transport seeking an
airline job, possibly as a pilot. Instead Stimpson and Church created a
stewardessing occupation for registered nurses.


Church's timing was critical. Stimpson, recently
back from a long flight, saw the need for cabin attendants and urged his
employer to add a courier to the crew. Stimpson had already hired three male
couriers when Church visited his offices on Feb. 23, 1930. After meetings with
Church, Stimpson tried to sell his idea of a nurse-stewardess to his superiors,
citing the national publicity that would result.

William A Patterson, assistant to the president
of Boeing Air Transport, decided to embark on what others in the airline
industry considered a daring experiment. He gave his approval to hire eight
nurses to work as stewardesses on a three-month trial basis. At 8:00 a.m., May
15, 1930, a Boeing tri-motor left Oakland enroute to Chicago with Ellen Church, the world's first stewardess, aboard.



Passengers applaud stewardesses:
Although some pilots complained that they were too busy to look after a "helpless
female" crew member, passengers applauded the experiment. Accounts from
the original eight nurse stewardesses confirm that the pilots initially did not
speak to them, and some pilots' wives from Salt Lake City began a letter writing
campaign to Boeing requesting the removal of stewardesses.

In the 1930 manual for stewardesses entitled "Dos and Don'ts," some of the first
requirements reflect the elite, hero image pilots held in the public's mind.
Directions to stewardesses included, "A rigid military salute will be
rendered the captain and co-pilot as they go aboard and deplane before the
passengers. Check with the pilots regarding their personal luggage and place it
onboard promptly."

Marriage for stewardesses became taboo from the
beginning. Ellis (Crawford) Podola was let go after two months of flying when
her marital status was revealed. Steve Stimpson, sometimes called the father of
stewardess service, touched on the origins of the no-marriage rules in a speech
for the 25th anniversary of stewardesses. Stimpson related, "As to married
stewardesses: we hired only one--that we know of--and that was very early and
when we were in a great hurry. . Miss Crawford would be out on a trip and be
delayed by bad weather and/or other causes, sometimes for several days, and her
husband would phone me around 3 o'clock in the morning and say, 'Mister, where
is my wife?'" Although the no-marriage rules for flight attendants varied
within the airline industry, women working the job at United hired on and
remained single as a condition of employment until Nov. 7, 1968.

The romantic notions of flying and high esteem
that Americans held for pilots in the 1930s spilled over to the new stewardess
profession. When Stewardess Inez Keller's plane ran out of gas and landed in a
wheat field near Cherokee, Wyo.,
she gave this account, "People. . .came in wagons and on horseback to see
the plane. They'd never seen an aircraft before and they wanted to touch it and
to touch me. One of them called me "the angel from the sky."


The chilly reception the first stewardesses got from pilots also quickly evaporated. Flying for less than 18 months, Harriet Fry explained that, on some segments, the pilots would
invite her to the cockpit where she sat on a sack of mail. She noted, "The
pilots sometimes did hedge-hopping around 500 feet from the ground. We would
frighten the pigs and the farmers didn't like that. . ." She added,
"Many times we would have no passengers. . ." Fry was insured for
$5,000 by Boeing in case of an accidental death.

At the end of the three-month stewardess experiment, Boeing officials enthusiastically endorsed it a great success. Church, a chief stewardess, was deluged by applications
from both men and women eager to experience the adventure and mobility the new
flying job offered. Church became responsible for directing and determining
standards for the new job. In the station manager's absence, she supervised
food service, bought equipment and handled the passengers in and out of Cheyenne, Wyo.
Thus, Church pioneered another first; she was among the first women to work in
a management position in the emerging aviation industry.

Although the aviation industry followed United's lead in hiring women to work on airplanes, some did so reluctantly. Eastern hired seven hostesses on a year's probationary period to work its 18-passenger Curtiss Condors. In 1933, American Airlines trained four registered nurses to serve as its first stewardesses. The new flying job for women pioneered by the
original eight nurse stewardesses was becoming an accepted idea for U.S.-based
carriers and European airlines. Stewardesses were special to William A.
Patterson, who later became the president of United Air Lines, the successor
company to Boeing Air Transport. As his associate John Hill recalled, "My
God, it was an honor to be a stewardess. United had started the profession of
stewardessing, and they were so proud of it."

taken from
Flight Attendant History
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Aviation Technician

Posts : 429
Join date : 2009-09-16
Location : BDO

PostSubject: Re: Flight Attendant History   Sun Jan 10, 2010 11:34 pm

ribed amad yah baju FA jaman dulu... cuman emang dulu tuh bener2x privileged banged orang bisa naek pesawad... only a few can afford this kind of transportation back then....

so no wonder the airlines are giving the best service and fashion to present to the passengers....

feels like a star...

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