CHANGES OF THE AIRLINE INDUSTRY
1970 - Today

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Flight Attendant

The career of a flight attendant or stewardess as it was called back in the 70s have gone to different changes, not only in the qualifications to become one, but also in the variety of benefits that were offered. In the era of the 1970s qualification would vary from a college degree to the uniforms that they would wear. Cliff Muskiet gives you a tour for the history of the uniforms that have been used in the past for different airlines with a collection of more than 250 uniforms pictures.www..uniformfreak.com

Education, pay and the hiring process were only of the few changes that occurred through the years. Cabin Crew Job's Web site gives future fight attendants an explaination of the difference of the job hiring process between the 70s and 90s.www.cabincrewjobs.com

Willie Valdez is a vivid example of these changes as he went through all of them during the decades of the 70s, 80s and the 90s. Let's hear what he had to say about the beginning of his career. Willie’s start of interview

For example, in the 70s they were required to have a minimum of two years of college education. Height and weight were also part of the requirements to work as a flight attendant. Their weight was measured every year during recurrent training and if for any reason the flight attendant was overweight, they would have to lose those extra pounds. Flight attendants of the 1970s would have to be a certified nurses to assist passengers during any type of medical emergency in-flight.

Another major difference of the flight attendants, which has changed in the past decades is the uniforms. In the past uniforms were professional but also very classic. Every airline designed the uniforms thinking in the basic image of the company and not in the comfort of the flight attendant. Made to Measure Magazine is in charge of bringing the word out of the professional appereance that different industries shoud have.
www.madetomeasuremag.com

Me and my colleagues on a flight to Haiti. Me and my colleagues on a flight to Haiti.

 

Since the 1990s becoming a flight attendant only requires a high school degree, but not certifications are needed. Also, height and weight have been deleted from the list of requirements because of issues involving lawsuits against the industry. The incorporation of technology into the airline industry led to changes that affected not only the industry in general, but also the benefits that crew members were used to have.The second part of this interview, Willie talks about all the changes in the hiring process.Willie’s second part

Also, the changes in the size of the airplanes has helped to the disappearance of these previous requirements. However, flight attendant’s job is sometimes called the job of a “waitress in the air,” since its beginning it has always been a glamorous job that little girls dreamed of becoming one day. This job demands respect toward flight attendant because of the power that they possessed when performing their duties. But, all the glamour that flight attendants have while walking in the airport goes away once they arrived to the airplane. Emergency equipment inspection, counting meals, counting drinks and picking up the trash from passenger is only a few of the duties that flight attendants must perform during a flight.

Me and Alvaro in a flight to Cuba in 2000.