Discover what air travel was like in the 1980s through the testimony of Ann Hood, a former flight attendant who worked at that time and who reveals to us the behind-the-scenes aspects of this job that is so different from today.
The 80's, a time of transition for stewardesses
The 1980s was a time when air travel was much different than it is today. Ann Hood, a former flight attendant, tells us about those days in an interview with CNN where she worked for the prestigious TWA, which merged with American Airlines in 2001. At the time, being a flight attendant was considered “glamorous and sophisticated”, although women were still perceived as “beautiful and sexy objects”, conveying a macho and stereotypical image.
Flight attendants had to follow strict rules regarding their appearance, weight, height and privacy. If they got married or had children, they lost their jobs. Despite this, Ann Hood explains that by this time, the struggle for women's rights in the industry was already underway.
Fancy meals and cigarettes on planes
On board the planes of the 80s, passengers were served with real luxury menus, because traveling by plane was a privilege reserved for a certain elite. The stewardesses were also confronted with smoking, which was allowed during the flights. They had to take several uniforms with them to change after each flight, because of the persistent smell of tobacco.
Ann Hood's juicy anecdotes
Ann Hood has many anecdotes to tell about the hundreds of flights she has made. Among the most unusual situations she has encountered, she remembers catching couples in intimate situations, whether in the airplane lavatory or in the middle of the seats, hidden under a blanket.
One of the most “disturbing” stories she experienced was a woman in first class nursing a kitten. She also encountered men without pants, people riding bicycles in the cabin, and many other funny situations, which she recounts in her novels.
The balance of her career and her passion for travel
According to Ann Hood, being a flight attendant in the 1980s was 80% fun and 20% boring. This experience allowed her to travel the world and feel empowered, able to “walk around a city and feel at home. She left her job as a flight attendant in 1986 to become a writer, but still loves to fly and travel.
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