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82 Year Old NWA Flight Attendant  
User currently offlinePositiverate From United States of America, joined May 2005, 1590 posts, RR: 8
Posted (7 years 11 months 4 weeks 1 day 13 hours ago) and read 23665 times:

After 55 years, NWA's most veteran attendant still loves his job

JULIE FORSTER
St. Paul Pioneer Press
ST. PAUL - Longer hours, pay cuts and strike threats. Those could be good reasons to quit your job.

Bob Reardon will need several more. At 82, he has no intention of giving up the title of Northwest's longest-serving flight attendant.

After 55 years of working the aisles of Northwest Airlines planes, Reardon keeps a full-time schedule as purser in charge of the cabin crew on the airline's international flights.

Sure, his job gets under his skin sometimes. Yes, he's dismayed at cuts and work-rule changes that require him to work more for less pay.

But Reardon finds the rewards of working Northwest's Pacific flights too alluring to surrender.

"If I didn't like the job," he says, "I would have quit 20 years ago."

Entire article here: http://www.dfw.com/mld/dfw/business/15437869.htm

94 replies: All unread, showing first 25:
 
User currently offlineN62NA From United States of America, joined Aug 2003, 4452 posts, RR: 7
Reply 1, posted (7 years 11 months 4 weeks 1 day 13 hours ago) and read 23629 times:

Great post - and kudos to Mr. Reardon for his 55 years of service with NW.

User currently offlineNWOrientDC10 From United States of America, joined Mar 2005, 1404 posts, RR: 4
Reply 2, posted (7 years 11 months 4 weeks 1 day 13 hours ago) and read 23557 times:
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Quoting Positiverate (Thread starter):
After 55 years of working the aisles of Northwest Airlines planes, Reardon keeps a full-time schedule as purser in charge of the cabin crew on the airline's international flights.

I wonder what a/c types on which he worked/works.

Fifty-five years ago, he may have had the job title of "steward".

Good Day  Smile

Russell



Things aren't always as they seem
User currently offlineContrails From United States of America, joined Oct 2000, 1833 posts, RR: 0
Reply 3, posted (7 years 11 months 4 weeks 1 day 13 hours ago) and read 23531 times:

I hope he stays at it for many more years. What a great story!


Flying Colors Forever!
User currently offlineZvezda From Lithuania, joined Aug 2004, 10511 posts, RR: 64
Reply 4, posted (7 years 11 months 4 weeks 1 day 13 hours ago) and read 23464 times:

He'd be junior at UA or DL. The senior flighties there are pushing 90.

User currently offlineFCA787 From United Kingdom, joined Sep 2006, 19 posts, RR: 0
Reply 5, posted (7 years 11 months 4 weeks 1 day 13 hours ago) and read 23428 times:

how come US flight attendants are of the 'upper age limit' I was walking through Manchester Airport (UK) the other day and saw a CO and DL crew making their way to their flights and they all seemed the 'upper age limit', the walking just behind them was a crew for a BA flight and they were alot younger?

User currently offlineFalcon84 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 6, posted (7 years 11 months 4 weeks 1 day 13 hours ago) and read 23399 times:

Quoting Zvezda (Reply 4):
He'd be junior at UA or DL. The senior flighties there are pushing 90.

 rotfl 

Hell, I just want to be ALIVE at that age.  old 


User currently offlineMauriceb From Netherlands, joined Aug 2004, 2490 posts, RR: 25
Reply 7, posted (7 years 11 months 4 weeks 1 day 13 hours ago) and read 23399 times:

well NWA has old attendents, if noticed myself, once i thought a monument from the cargo hold climbed upstairs and decided to serve drinks.

User currently offlineDeltAirlines From United States of America, joined May 1999, 8897 posts, RR: 12
Reply 8, posted (7 years 11 months 4 weeks 1 day 13 hours ago) and read 23363 times:

Quoting FCA787 (Reply 5):
how come US flight attendants are of the 'upper age limit' I was walking through Manchester Airport (UK) the other day and saw a CO and DL crew making their way to their flights and they all seemed the 'upper age limit', the walking just behind them was a crew for a BA flight and they were alot younger?

Flights are determined by seniority in the United States, meaning the longer you've worked at the airline, you get better choices for picking your trip. Many of the long-haul routes give more hours, and I'm guessing they're a lot less rigorous than doing 4-5 short hops in one day, so these long-haul routes tend to go fairly senior for US carriers.


User currently offlineJaysit From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 9, posted (7 years 11 months 4 weeks 1 day 13 hours ago) and read 23279 times:

One of these days we'll be on a flight in which the entire cabin crew collapses in the aisle.

User currently offlinePAAClipper707 From United States of America, joined Jan 2006, 50 posts, RR: 0
Reply 10, posted (7 years 11 months 4 weeks 1 day 12 hours ago) and read 23218 times:

Did anyone ever hear of Norma, 85 year old Delta FA. I got to work with her once on a flight. She retired a few years back now. Poor Norma fell out of the R2 door of our 767. I think that's what retired her?  boggled 

Great attitude Bob! Congrats on your 55th



PAN AMERICAN -Dont Leave the Country Without Us-
User currently onlineUnited787 From United States of America, joined May 2005, 2702 posts, RR: 1
Reply 11, posted (7 years 11 months 4 weeks 1 day 12 hours ago) and read 23135 times:

Holy cow, I am amazed that NW lets someone that old still work for them. Amazing story.

With all do respect, I am concerned at how someone at that age could handle an emergency, which is the primary role of a flight attendant after all.

Quoting Zvezda (Reply 4):
He'd be junior at UA or DL. The senior flighties there are pushing 90.

Seriously?


User currently offlineB6FA4ever From United States of America, joined Aug 2003, 816 posts, RR: 11
Reply 12, posted (7 years 11 months 4 weeks 1 day 12 hours ago) and read 23114 times:

anyone know how old Iris is at United? i know she "IS" the senior mama at the company and based in SEA...unless she finally retired already. not sure how old she is but i know she's well into her 80's.

~B6FA4ever


User currently offlineLTBEWR From United States of America, joined Jan 2004, 13078 posts, RR: 12
Reply 13, posted (7 years 11 months 4 weeks 1 day 12 hours ago) and read 22964 times:

Probably some of those 'senior' f/a's cannot afford to retire, especially with the massive cuts in pensions and health care benefits  biggrin 
Besides, some of them would just be sitting around watching TV, petting their cats, knitting and get bored to death. I do think they should have a max age for f/a's like pilots have, perhaps at 65, due to the needs of mobility and good health in case of an emergency.


User currently offlineRdwootty From United Kingdom, joined Sep 2005, 902 posts, RR: 2
Reply 14, posted (7 years 11 months 4 weeks 1 day 12 hours ago) and read 22921 times:

Personally I think air crew should retire at an age they can still be of use to passengers in an emergency. Frankly I would not like an OAP dealing with a flight emergency as I am sure neither would the authorities. What if it was folund they were lacking and passengers got injured or even may died because of the crew?

User currently offlineLetsgetwet From United States of America, joined Jul 2005, 609 posts, RR: 0
Reply 15, posted (7 years 11 months 4 weeks 1 day 12 hours ago) and read 22921 times:

Quoting United787 (Reply 11):
Holy cow, I am amazed that NW lets someone that old still work for them. Amazing story.

If they tried to MAKE them retire, I'm sure they would have an age discrimination law suit on their hands.


User currently offlineMCOflyer From United States of America, joined Jun 2006, 8671 posts, RR: 15
Reply 16, posted (7 years 11 months 4 weeks 1 day 11 hours ago) and read 22860 times:

Congradulations Bob Reardon.

Quoting PAAClipper707 (Reply 10):
Did anyone ever hear of Norma, 85 year old Delta FA.

I've heard of hear but don't recall from where. Either way, Congrats to these flight attendants.

MCOflyer



Never be afraid to stand up for who you are.
User currently offline1rocco From United States of America, joined Dec 2003, 119 posts, RR: 0
Reply 17, posted (7 years 11 months 4 weeks 1 day 11 hours ago) and read 22815 times:

Quoting NWOrientDC10 (Reply 2):
I wonder what a/c types on which he worked/works.

I believe he does 6 day asia trips on the 747-400. Since the new work rules started he has had to pick up a HNL to get all his hrs.


User currently offlineZvezda From Lithuania, joined Aug 2004, 10511 posts, RR: 64
Reply 18, posted (7 years 11 months 4 weeks 1 day 11 hours ago) and read 22774 times:

Quoting B6FA4ever (Reply 12):
anyone know how old Iris is at United? i know she "IS" the senior mama at the company and based in SEA...unless she finally retired already. not sure how old she is but i know she's well into her 80's.

Iris is either about to turn or has recently turned 89.

Quoting United787 (Reply 11):
With all do respect, I am concerned at how someone at that age could handle an emergency, which is the primary role of a flight attendant after all.

It is the responsibility of the passengers to plan how to evacuate the geriatric flighties in the event of an emergency.


User currently offlineJetjack74 From United States of America, joined Jul 2003, 7408 posts, RR: 50
Reply 19, posted (7 years 11 months 4 weeks 1 day 11 hours ago) and read 22724 times:
Support Airliners.net - become a First Class Member!

Just saw him 2 days ago over here in NRT. He came off the MNL-NRT flight.


Made from jets!
User currently offlineJorge1812 From Germany, joined Apr 2004, 3149 posts, RR: 8
Reply 20, posted (7 years 11 months 4 weeks 1 day 11 hours ago) and read 22702 times:

Nice article, would like to see a pic of him.

Georg


User currently offlineCRJ900 From Norway, joined Jun 2004, 2178 posts, RR: 1
Reply 21, posted (7 years 11 months 4 weeks 1 day 11 hours ago) and read 22654 times:
Support Airliners.net - become a First Class Member!

Great story. I think it's wonderful that mature people can still be a great asset to themselves and companies, this guy seems happy and content with life - which is becoming a luxury nowadays.

I'm sure he can evacuate people just as quickly as a dim-witted 20-year old FA with long fingernails and big hair...



Come, fly the prevailing winds with me
User currently offlineIsitsafenow From United States of America, joined Feb 2004, 4984 posts, RR: 23
Reply 22, posted (7 years 11 months 4 weeks 1 day 10 hours ago) and read 22473 times:

Its Doug's stepdad...
safe



If two people agree on EVERYTHING, then one isn't necessary.
User currently offlineFlyingColours From United Kingdom, joined Dec 2003, 2315 posts, RR: 10
Reply 23, posted (7 years 11 months 4 weeks 1 day 10 hours ago) and read 22440 times:

Quoting CRJ900 (Reply 21):
I'm sure he can evacuate people just as quickly as a dim-witted 20-year old FA with long fingernails and big hair...

You just described me  Wink

Quoting PAAClipper707 (Reply 10):
Poor Norma fell out of the R2 door of our 767. I think that's what retired her?

Wow, Its lucky someone can survive a fall from a 767 let alone at 85!

I read about Iris the other day, it is great to hear of older hosties - the ones with the super sinscere smiles and who love their jobs (more than the crews everyone seems to talk about here).

I'd still want to be flying at 85 but I dont think I could manage our very heavy drinks carts, aside from other things.

Phil
FlyingColours



Lifes a train racing towards you, now you can either run away or grab a chair & a beer and watch it come - Phil
User currently offlineTBCITDG From Australia, joined Jan 2004, 921 posts, RR: 3
Reply 24, posted (7 years 11 months 4 weeks 1 day 10 hours ago) and read 22440 times:

All nice thing aside, but can some one of that age be of any real use in an emergency situation?
Could they lift/drag a 30-40 year old injured person from a burning plane?
Could the remove an overwing exit from a 767?
Are things that lax over there?


25 Bicoastal : I believe all flight attendants are required to pass annual or biannual recurrent training. If they can't handle the emergency procedures, they don't
26 Post contains links and images KaiGywer : Getting one of his ritual hair cuts. According to the article, he gets his hair cut before each trip. Correct. From the article: Lately, Reardon's mo
27 MCOflyer : I would pick up a trip thats short distance like to LGA or Florida. I've got to admit that guy looks like hes in good shape. Anyone on here have him
28 Freedom747 : Personally, the more grey hair -- the better. As long as the F/A passes Jet Recurrent, happy trails!!
29 Post contains images AAFLT1871 : I agree with you on that.
30 Jetjack74 : This was an article written in 2002 about Robert "Buddy" Reardon after he assumed the title of being number 1 when Bernice Epple passed away. I flew w
31 B4real : Not necessarily. The same underlying reasion (safety) that kicks pilots out at an age, if presented correctly for F/A's could be applied.
32 KaiGywer : And that was definately written four years ago
33 Lincoln : On the subject of manditory retirement... As long as he (or any crewmember, for that matter) can pass a physical and recurrent training I don't see an
34 SCCutler : Hey, y'all, so long as he is capable of meeting the basic physical requirements ofthe job (and he would not be allowed to continue working if he could
35 Cusaeng : now if he was a lady i could think of a coment about keeping the old birds flying way to go for him tho id love to be in the aviation industy when i
36 Lincoln : Can you imagine? From the dawn of the jet age to the first Jumbo era (747) to the changes the A380 and 787 are bringing to the table...Not to mention
37 Ptugarin : In order to regulate this there should be legislature similar to that for pilots mandatory retirement age.
38 Ptugarin : I am glad the grandpa is still strong and healthy enough to keep working. I am sure many FA's would love to keep flying at this age, but their health
39 Post contains images Mjlhou : Cheers to you Bob! I hope I'm still able to get through reccurent training at 82!
40 RandyWaldron : I have met, and, have flown with Mr. Reardon on several different occasions. When I was a new-hire Flight Attendant with Northwest in 2000 (at age 18)
41 MCOflyer : Who is he? MCOflyer
42 Falstaff : That is a relative idea. When I was 26 I worked on a ship (SS Willis B. Boyer) with a guy, 87, who could kick my butt up and down the deck. I have a
43 MCOflyer : If you know someone in NW scheduleing, ask which flt he is on and book a first class ticket on NW. MCOflyer
44 Falstaff : I do. She is a wife of a co-worker. I will have to check it out... Thanks for the tip!
45 Deputydawghere : Cheers to Bob and his outstanding service. He probably has the most energy on the flights he serves.
46 Baw716 : First, I'm with Zvezda: I'd simply like to be ALIVE at that age. With the medical challenges I face, well...its a nice thought. These days, I believe
47 Jetjack74 : Bernice Epple was the #1 seniority flight attendant who passed away at 79, after 55 years of flying. Although she had a collapsed lung and was unable
48 MCOflyer : Your welcome, maybe she can arrange a meet. Agreed. To Bob and and to all of those other men and women who have served us with such grace and style a
49 B777ER : Good stuff guys.....had a great laugh. Interesting.....
50 Zvezda : I'm opposed to a specific mandatory retirement age, but I've seen enough senile or infirm flighties to convince me that the recurrent checks need to
51 Centrair : As a part-time teacher in Japan with socilaized health care and a yearly renewable contract. This was surprising. He makes as much as I do and his pe
52 Post contains images Zippyjet : Couldn't agree with you more if I said this myself! But, wow, something or someone actually older than NWs DC-9s. Couldn't resist that one. I've been
53 Post contains images F9Animal : I could have sworn I saw a 757-300 a few years ago with Bernice Epple's name on the side of it. Could be wrong though. On a side note: How could a 82
54 AeroWeanie : Sad to think of all of those years of service and now... no pension.
55 Post contains images JetBlueAtJFK : Lol now that wouldn't be good at all, the shock on everyone's faces would be hysterical though. Whoa that's not good, how an old person survived that
56 F9Animal : I have not followed this issue. If I am not mistaken, does it not go to the PBGC program? I understand it really only covers a little over 60% of the
57 Post contains images NWOrientDC10 : He looks like Johnny Unitas with that hair/crew cut. He would look good in a Baltimore Colts Jersey "19" . Good Day Russell
58 Jetdeltamsy : If we lose our pensions at Delta, I may be flying that long. Only another 37 years. Oh yea, I'm looking forward to that.[Edited 2006-09-06 06:53:19]
59 AlexPorter : The 2002 article said his first flight was on a Stratocruiser, so it seems he started with NW.
60 Lucky42 : i will ad to Jetblues statement, If she could survive a fall from a 767 at that age she needs to stay on...man that is increadable
61 Post contains images Dazed767 : Must be pretty nice come shift bids with that senority.
62 KevinDCA : Good for him! This guy seems totally on the ball and more in control than any other FA I can think of seeing. Based only on what I've read about him,
63 SKGSJULAX : I had the privilege of a similar experience last year. My wife and I were taking our two year-old to visit his grandparents in Europe. We had bulkhea
64 GatwickA320 : If only all F/A's had the same attitude as Bob - I'm cabin crew and all my colleagues do is moan if they're on the 'wrong fleet' or 'the toilet smells
65 Christeljs : How did she fall out? I thought when the doors were open, there is this saftey band there.
66 CO767FA : Oh give me a break. Why not put mandatory retirement to all careers? If someone is physically and mentally capable to perform his/her job responsibil
67 DTW757 : "The Bernie Epple" N582NW, was the first 757-300 delivered to Northwest in late July 2002. I had the pleasure of flying onboard the next month from D
68 Bobnwa : Where did you get the idea he lost his pension?
69 MCOflyer : Unpredictable, what do you mean? I would love to fly with him. He seems like a nice guy. He must set the bar if he is extremely particular about the
70 Flyboy14295 : This guy sounds like and may be one of the most sincere and, for lack of a better term, "nice" and appreciative guy. I would really love to go ona fli
71 Goaliemn : I was in WBC on a MSP-NRT flight and he was the purser. It was a great flight. He really takes care of things and runs a tight ship. He was a nice gu
72 Positiverate : Agreed.
73 AJMIA : If the FA's can keep working until they are no longer physically able to do the job why to the pilots have a mandatory retirement age? Do the pilots
74 Zvezda : Seems like some them carried in feet first might not make it on the first try, but most do. The wheel-chair bound flighties always seem to make it th
75 Brilondon : Gee that is horrible having to go to HNL after going to Asia. Slave drivers at NWA should be ashamed of themselves!!
76 Tsaord : 72 to 74 hours per month??? I work 120 hours per month. How do most F/A's survive now with all the pay cuts and just about 70 hours in one month?
77 Post contains images Lostmoon744 : I live/work in New York City, and go home to RPLL at least 3 times a year. And when I fly home, I am lucky to always get on World Business Class ("WBC
78 1rocco : You obviously have no clue how the system works. Those are flight hrs. For example you could have a 15 hrs duty day and only only get paid for 5 hrs.
79 TuRbUleNc3 : Jeez good on him! i bet that guys seen some changes!
80 YULWinterSkies : I thought, and this is a nasty greedy thought of course but with today's airlines behavior nothing is surprising, that this could give NW a great idea
81 Nuggetsyl : Wow 82. Sorry but i think thats toooooo old. My grandafather is that old and i can not see him getting pax off an airplane if they just crashed.
82 Jeffrey1970 : I am sorry, but I think that is mean.
83 Adh214 : If your pension defaults, typically the PBGC takes over and covers the first $42,000. Over that you are out of luck. Pilots typically have large pens
84 747hogg : Did you see that old prune F/A on Snakes On A MF Plane? She was standing by the lav door while john holmes III was nailing the hooters girl.... she ra
85 UN_B732 : I'm sorry Zvezda, I"m not sure if anyone refuted you but I think the idea " It is the responsibility of the passengers to plan how to evacuate the ger
86 Post contains images 777DAD : Me too. I'll give the man a lot of credit, and looks good at 82. Good Luck Mr.Reardon and keep Flying. R.E.S.P.E.C.T. Jeff
87 AeroWeanie : I guess you haven't been following the NWA bankruptcy... If there is a PBGC program left after all the bankrupt airlines' plans are transferred. The
88 Bobnwa : I am very up on the NWA bankruptcy and no one lost their pension, let alone Bob Reardon the 82 year old FA. Suggest you become a bit more familiar wi
89 AeroWeanie : You're right, it isn't gone. However, the writing is on the wall: Northwest Airlines Pension Q&A Pension Termination and PBGC Basics Since Northwest
90 Bobnwa : If it isn't gone, why did you say it was? Is all the info you give that wrong?
91 AADC10 : NW's pension has not gone to PBGC yet, but most service employees receive just about as much as they would have under the regular pension. The people
92 KaiGywer : Not to be nitpicky, but I have absolutely NO idea where RPLL is. While using three letter codes are OK, due to A.net translating these, the four lett
93 Lucky42 : Well you know I used to not think that way I always said that if you can do the job so be it. But after 911 I saw a lot of people lose their jobs and
94 Jamake1 : With his seniority though, he has tremendous flexibility and works two 6-day trips and now one additional HNL trip, which I would guess is a 3-day tr
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