Flight Attendant FAQs

Aviation Lessons: Then and Now

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A Flight Attendant’s Hierarchy of Needs.
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Costa Rica, Playa Flamingo
Blog and Images from the journals of Catwalk to Runway.
“Life’s ups and downs are navigated with courage and fortitude. Flight Attendants eat unexpected flakes for breakfast. We always land on our feet.”

Female Lifestyle Model/Actress/Flight Attendant Paula represented by Vogue Models and Talent Agency. Always landing on my feet, featuring Shoes by House of Hayla


My mother Carmela saved her waitress tips, (before achieving her hairstylist dream), to fly us almost every year from Canada to Croatia. She wanted us to know our grandparents and heritage. A few years after this moment, a flight attendant asked me, “what do you want to be when you grow up? Maybe, a flight attendant?” Around 12 years old, a flight attendant put a tray in front of me on my table tray with neat little compartments of food. I thought, the luxury! I turned to my Mom and said, ” Mom, this is the life!”

Midnight Call to Anywhere

The first years of flying were lean. I was used to it as I always had multiple jobs with very understanding bosses/bookers while modelling. One kept other jobs on the side to survive, started little businesses, to maintain one’s mounting seniority. We longed for layovers, to get per diem to pay the bills. We wanted to walk on European cobblestone in heels. We soon discovered that running shoes went a much longer way. Discovery of self and others. Mingling with multiple cultures. Getting the inside perspective on historical landmarks. Looking at the same infinite sky and exploring the remarkable earth from the other side of the planet. Travel widens our perspective. We could even reinvent ourselves. We slept with pagers by our bedside pillow, then cell phones to answer that midnight call to anywhere.

We had roommates to make ends meet, moved back with our parents to save money, back to roommates again. Later, we would buy houses with a sibling or friends, have tenants, partners and modern families. To be clear, these are first world problems. All of which some of us have reverted to cope during these pandemic corona virus times.

Village of Selce (Crikvenica), Croatia. Attention Skyward. I call it a stairway to heaven.

Attention Skyward

The best part of being on reserve was scoring 5 day pairings in Berlin, Germany. A rumor about the hotel’s far away location had circulated and these normally super senior flights were granted to the reserve crews. Or a 3 day Lisbon, Portugal layover. Operational delay. Or 2 days in Greece. Air traffic controller strike. Or 24 hours in London, England. A crew exceeded their duty day. Or scoring a 13 hour layover in Istanbul, Turkey. Awake 24 hours. Working overnight. Cramming 2 hours of sleep in at the Istanbul hotel. Wandering the famous Turkish Bazaar while the veins in our legs pulsed with fatigue. Traditional Turkish food cooked in clay pots were smashed in front of our eyes, before being devoured. All worth it.

Unexpected Flakes for Breakfast

Catwalk to Runway. Paris Airport, CDG. Flight Attendants are fashionable safety professionals. Proceeding with caution. Photo and blog by Paula Erskine

Travel aficionado is in one’s already, jam packed talent punch bowl. A flight attendant’s longevity in the travel industry has flexibility running through one’s veins. Airplane french language skills, check. Croatian, check. Unforeseen Russian lessons, check. Ups and downs are navigated with a courage and fortitude garnered from years of eating unexpected flakes for breakfast. We control nothing. Adaptation is one’s middle name.

Championing Adventure Into Everything

We are not defined by our jobs, but the qualities which we all hold. In these uncertain times, let me assure you of one thing. Flight attendants are global models that any employer will benefit from, short or long haul. We can turn that frown upside down. We can evacuate a plane in 90 seconds. We are crowd control and front line marketing. We are fire fighters and trained in first aid.

We are essential workers that connect people to their jobs. We zigzag to many countries, boosting economies. As flight attendants working in the second largest country in the world, we connect our country persons from ocean to ocean. The width and girth of our country alone, makes air travel both essential, for business and a pleasure.

Deadheading Flight Attendants positioning from Barcelona to Zagreb. Croatia Airlines. Let’s elevate ourselves by lifting each other up.

Lifting Each Other Up

We know how to make ginger ale by mixing sprite with a touch of coke. We make it our mission to give directions in every grocery store and gas station complete with hand gestures. We hand you the garment you ask us for, eyeball your size, and suggest a top to go with it, because you think we work there anyway. We have the eye of the tiger like that. We photograph our food. We can make anything sound more delicious than what we don’t actually have to serve you. When you call our cell, we state our location with a smile in our voice and scan the room, ready to lead those standing by to the closest exit.

At the baggage belt. Never a dull moment. Working all major holidays to bring you to your well deserved vacation destination.

We Can Negotiate And Compromise

We do night shift and early mornings like a trooper. We eat standing up, so you can eat at the comfort of your seat. We can direct 369 people into an aircraft fuselage in 35 minutes or less. We are trained to assess and develop an action plan to any situation with that bird’s eye perspective. We have lived to tell the tale of unbelievably, entertaining stories, because they are true. We are willing to conduct taste tests, so you know where to get the best gelato.

We worked through H1N1, 911 and SARS. We can negotiate a compromise on anything, except the safety and welfare of the whole. We can also keep a secret in the vault, FBI style. Our finger, on the pulse of a passenger not feeling well. Our finger on the pulse, of a nation.

Gelato with my nomadic tribe on a layover laugh-fest in Rome, Italy.

Collective Action Under Pressure

To say we are collectively missing our jobs is an understatement. We are brand ambassadors and champion adventure into everything we do. We will enhance the atmosphere of any company with the customer service skills of yore. If you let us help build it, your business will ascend with us on your team. Flight Attendant hours can be 65-85 flying hours a month. There is plenty of time for us to put in meaningful hours elsewhere. Until we get our dream jobs back, we can infuse your workplace with that enthusiasm. We are accustomed to working around the clock and will likely keep that second gig.

Flight Attendants thrown together by schedule or reserve from all seniority levels. We are making the best of a very short layover. Jetlagged, but happier together! This is Lamezia, Calabria, Italy. This body of water is the Marcellinara Isthmus, where the Tyrrhenian Sea separates the Ioanian Sea. It was warm, clean, beautiful and not overcrowded.

Buckle Up

Let our voices emit a natural confidence and calm from years of collective public address announcements to the masses. Brainstorming and collective action under pressure is our method of operation.

Ready for lift off out of this world-wide crisis? Battleship stations. Clearly we see the divisive obstacles that keep society from bouncing back. We are stacked with positive energy and altruistic intentions. Buckle up and stay strong. Restoring harmony means getting in tune with our earthbound behavior. We can and will travel again. Let this challenging time, not be all for nothing. Hopefully by now, we are feeling the oneness. Let’s elevate ourselves by lifting each other up. Let it be all of us, as one, for the common good. Don’t stop believing that we will travel again. Hold on, to that feeling.

Love for all, is all we really, really knead…layover in Zagreb, Croatia. Airport.
Life on a Higher Plane
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Boarding Shoes”@houseofhayla

Actor, Writer, Makeup Artist, Model and Flight Attendant Paula
@Vogue Models and Talent Agency

Creative Photographer Alexis Lagos @laceupimagery

Makeup and Hair Artist @wilfertorres

“Don’t stop, believin’, hold on to that feeling.” Journey lyrics

Website design by Antonia Macukat, Ciziba on Facebook

12 Comments

  1. Kathleen

    October 10, 2020 at 6:17 pm

    You guys are more than essential workers, flight attendants are like angels with style. I know it coz i live with one 💓

    • Catwalk to Runway

      October 10, 2020 at 6:57 pm

      Awwwww, Kathleen, you are essential too, taking care of children and everyone around you. Always for the benevolence of everyone!

  2. Pamela

    October 10, 2020 at 6:29 pm

    I love those pants with the quilted patches – super cute. A great summary and feeling of pride as well as hope. Wonderful!
    PS. That’s not making ginger ale – that would require ginger 😉

    • Catwalk to Runway

      October 10, 2020 at 6:56 pm

      The Pants are spanx, believe it or not! Thanks always for your support, and tips on ginger ale!

  3. Jo G

    October 11, 2020 at 1:15 pm

    Love reading your blog! Sure does make me miss flying even more!

    • Catwalk to Runway

      October 11, 2020 at 1:45 pm

      Hi Jo!

      Me too, big time! I guess even this attention closer to home is part of “our journey.” We have made great friends and memories together! But since we know how to champion adventure into everything we do, most of us, I am sure are making the best of it. Local adventures and imagination and surrounding ourselves with our loved ones. Nice to hear from you Jo!

  4. Jelica Petrovic

    October 11, 2020 at 10:40 pm

    Glamour is in the air! Always with you, dear Paula!

    • Catwalk to Runway

      October 13, 2020 at 12:21 pm

      Thank you my gelato partner in crime! My Rome aficionado! This was one of many great layovers, missing Italy, all of us are! Thank you for your comments and your shared selfies. A wonderful reminder of time well spent walking, shopping, exploring and eating on the streets of Rome. We laughed so so much, and then we went to Spain the next day, and laughed so so much. Looking forward to getting the green light to fly again, soon. xo

  5. Matilda Lončarić

    October 13, 2020 at 6:52 am

    Čitajući tvoj blog zaključila sam da mi nedostaješ darling 😊😘
    Btw pjesma “Stairway to haeven” moja je najomiljenijih pjesma svih vremena….. obožavam 😄😄😄

    • Catwalk to Runway

      October 13, 2020 at 12:17 pm

      Matildica Draga,

      Nedostajes(sh :-)) i ti meni! It means a lot to me that you read my blog, da si (ch-)citala i uvjek razumis(sh:-)) sve, naravno!! Excuse my non-hrvatski keyboard!
      Jelda je nas(sh:-)) “Stairway to Heaven?!” Obozavam taj pjesma isto. To je skoro nas(sh:-)) generacia…it is,almost, our generation…Vidimo se drugi ljeto! Nadamo se!

      Miss you too, Matilda, and our little piece of heaven next to the Adriatic Sea. The sunsets are quite beautiful in Selce, Primorje-Gorski Kotar, Bay of Kvarner, Croatia… setting just behind Krk island and radiating peace. We have lingered there on the beach until the entire sun dips into the edge of the sea and permeates the sky with reds and orange. There is no substitute for that feeling it produces. It is a reverence for the “now.” If we pay attention, we can appreciate and feel it, everywhere we are. See you in my dreams and memories for now! Voli te, Polica xoxo

  6. Pam

    October 18, 2020 at 2:30 pm

    Thought provoking. Eloquent. Painting pictures with words. Thank you. 💕

    • Catwalk to Runway

      October 18, 2020 at 2:47 pm

      Pam! Thank you…very much appreciated. We can always pick up where we left off….a friend near or far.

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