Early travel fascination, combined with familial connections and industry inspiration. Find out what inspired Ben to become a flight attendant.
What inspired you to become a flight attendant?
I have always been fascinated by flight since a very young age, and there are some familial connections as well. My uncle, Dan, was officially on the lookout for bombers flying over Massachusetts as a young boy, and my uncle Steve served during the Vietnam War as a UH-1 “Huey” pilot.
My inspiration, specifically on cabin crew, comes from my good friend Bill McGlashen, who passed away unexpectedly in 2014, aged 55. I remember seeing a post on his social media with a photo of a new CRJ-900 delivery to American Airlines at Dallas-Ft. Worth (DFW) before he passed and I never thought I’d be working on the same exact airplane pictured. My continued inspiration comes from Sara Nelson, the International President of the Association of Flight Attendants-CWA, in how she represents 50,000 flight attendants at 20 airlines before industry and government. Sara’s vigour, how much she cares about the profession and the people, her unwavering commitment to the mission, and the way she harnesses emotion while working absolutely tirelessly on our behalf is a great example to live by.
How long have you been a flight attendant and with what airline/company?
I have worked for PSA Airlines, a regional carrier and wholly-owned subsidiary of American Airlines, since July 2017, and this is my first aviation job. I’ve accepted a conditional job offer from a mainline US carrier and currently am awaiting a training date. I even mentioned App In The Air during the in-person interview process and how helpful it was with keeping me on time. With our current situation I understand that a confirmed class date might take a while. I know this is absolutely the career for me so I’m willing to wait however long it takes.
What has been your favorite travel memory?
My most recent trek took me to the island of Curaçao, which I absolutely loved, and where I got to swim with the sea turtles (but not touch them). Berlin is a perennial favorite, and I have very fond memories of Sydney and the Blue Mountains. I am very happy to have visited Buenos Aires and also scuba dive in the Gulf of Thailand. If I had to pick just one travel memory which is my absolute favourite, then it would be Munich at “The Tent”, an ecologically minded non-profit youth camp/hostel funded by the city. I remember waking up in my tent on a warm morning, biking to the nearby BMW Welt and Museum, and then coming back to the bayerische biergarten to enjoy a cold drink and the company of my fellow travelers from literally all over the globe.
Where are you looking forward to traveling once it’s safe to do so?
I really can’t wait to return to how it used to be before the novel coronavirus. Some of my travel plans for this year were disrupted. Next spring my mum, sister-in-law, and I will travel to Amsterdam to enjoy the tulips. My father passed away suddenly last year, and we had a trip planned as well. He was a big Beatles fan, so we were going to visit Liverpool and do a tour there, and also see a Liverpool FC match. I want to still do it and bring a photo of us together.
Do you have any advice for future flight attendants?
Always load your schedule into App In The Air to help you make sure you’re at the right gate and on time! Putting in a little work once a month will help you stay organised and under the radar of your airline’s management! As far as the job itself, the workdays can get pretty long and sometimes you’ll need to open a map app on your phone to remind you where you are in the world.
My best advice is no matter which airline you choose, make sure it also fits your needs as a person and the company culture works too. For some, a regional carrier in the USA would be best because you’re only one or two time zones away from your significant other, pets, and home. Or, for others, a large international carrier where you go to faraway places on the other side of the globe might work better for you. It all depends on your life. Know that whatever path in aviation you choose it will always be exciting and extremely fulfilling. However, if you know it’s for you then don’t stop applying and interviewing until you get a job offer. It might take one, two, five, or more, interviews until you land where you know you’ll be happiest.