Book Review — Cruising Altitude
Among the many books I have read and reviewed on this blog, I bet the topic of this book is different. This book is about a flight attendant’s account of a career in the air travel industry — part memoir, part tell-all, part tips and tricks on how to make your journey pleasurable to yourself or miserable to others (your choice!).
At the outset, the airline industry is heavily seniority based. This may seem true for any profession — but in many ways, this is quite literally true with the air travel industry.
Seniority determines what type of routes you fly, what type of services you provide, where you go, whether you go Eagle County CO or Paris, whether you operate first class or economy or worse, how you get paid and how well you get paid, how many days you work in a month, who you befriend, how you date, how you score, where you live, what you eat, whether you can or will have a family, what other “perks” you get as an airline employee etc…In summary, your life depends on seniority. In just few weeks of a new job, some can’t “take it anymore” and some survive to become 55 year old attendants.
Switch to pilots — everything I mentioned about seniority still applies. There’s not a whole lot of grades — just different kinds of equipment you fly and different kinds of destinations you fly to. Oh, and who you date.
In these two aspects, this book is not exactly a tell-all, but pretty insightful of how they operate.
If you go with the number of pages spent on this and on everything else, “everything else” wins. Lot of stories about the author’s own path to becoming a senior attendant, flying private jets and finding her love. Some secrets on mile high clubs and why they are on the decline. Some appealing around how they are there not just to serve drinks and collect trash, but got a higher purpose as well. Sprinkle of stories also about bothersome passengers and what the crew members really want to say to them, but wouldn’t.
Overall, easy read. Insightful read. NOT a must-read.
PS: Besides flight attendants and pilots, there are some other professions I am curious about, will write about it when I get hold of a book and when I get to reading them ;)