Come Fly With Me

 
"The desire to fly is an idea handed down to us by our ancestors who, in their grueling travels across trackless lands in prehistoric times, looked enviously on the birds soaring freely through space, at full speed, above all obstacles, on the infinite highway of the air." 
                                                   --Wilbur Wright

Have you ever wondered what really goes on behind the galley curtain on a long, overseas flight?  Or how the flight attendants manage to stay so calm and polite when confronted by an obnoxious, overly-demanding passenger?  Heather Poole tells about everything flight-related in Cruising Attitude:  Tales of Crashpads, Crew Drama, and Crazy Passengers at 35,000 Feet.

In this fun and very readable book, we learn about flight attendant school, where you can be thrown out for being late even once, since the flight waits for no one.  We see the crashpads that over ten women may share, since they’re all never home at the same time, anyway.  And we get interesting facts, such as pilots never get served the same meals on a flight, as a precaution against food poisoning.  That’s definitely not something I had ever thought about before!

Poole also gives us some tips to use on our next flights:
  • Try not to use the call light:  “unless it’s an emergency or the seat belt sign is on or you’re stuck by the window next to a sleeping passenger, you really shouldn’t ring the call light.”  Flight attendants assume it’s an emergency when they get the signal, so it’s better to get up and stretch your legs, if you want a drink refill.
  • Keep your seat belt fastened:  “Each year approximately 58 passengers in the United States are injured from turbulence by not wearing their seat belts.”
  • And note on reclining:  “anti-recliners need to understand that all passengers are allowed to recline their seats,” but “recliners should be mindful of the way in which they recline.”
Cruising Attitude is perfect summer reading.  If you’re going on a trip, you’ll get a behind-the-scenes view of what happens in the galley and some tips on how to make your flight a bit more pleasant.  If you’re staying on the ground this summer, you’ll get an insightful and entertaining read.

For even more inside information about life at 35,000 feet, click here for Poole’s regular column, Galley Gossip, on Gadling.com.


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