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May Marks 75th Yr Of Flight Attendant Profession

Tue May 03, 2005 7:27 am

From United's Skynet (internal):

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May Marks 75th Anniversary of Flight Attendant
Profession
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This month marks the kickoff of the 75th anniversary
of the flight attendant profession. Eight
courageous women of United introduced the position
to the world.

In 1930, Iowa-born Ellen Church learned that Boeing
Air Transport, one of United's predecessor airlines,
was planning to hire male stewards to work on board
its Boeing 80A aircraft flying between Chicago and
San Francisco. She thought that a woman with
nurse's training could do a better job and proposed
the idea to Boeing Air Transport manager Steve
Stimpson, who convinced Boeing's executives, and a
profession was born.

When Ellen Church was hired, she assembled a top
flight team of seven nurses for the job. The
world's first stewardesses -- they were renamed
flight attendants in 1973 -- not only served
customers but loaded baggage, hauled fuel and
sometimes even pushed planes into their hangars at
night. A profile of Church and a timeline of the
decades-long flight attendant success story are
found in the current issue of Hemispheres.

Other airlines did not begin to hire flight
attendants until 1933.

Jane Allen, senior vice president-Onboard Service,
says, "Since the days of Ellen Church, the men and
women who serve as United flight attendants have
consistently displayed certain characteristics that
make them so successful -- professionalism, hard
work, dedication and an unwavering focus on safety
and service to our customers. We at United salute
everyone who serves now or has served as a United
steward, stewardess or flight attendant."

Typical of the can-do spirit of United's flight
attendants is Iris Peterson, who began her career in
1946 and currently ranks as the No. 1 flight
attendant in terms of seniority. In 1968, the same
year that United stewardesses were first allowed to
hold the job if they were married, Peterson
participated in aircraft safety planning and was
instrumental in making 17 different safety items
part of the standard onboard equipment worldwide,
including the evacuation alarm on commercial
aircraft.

In honor of the tens of thousands of women and men
who are now or have been United flight attendants,
the Onboard division has adopted a tagline: "United
Airlines Flight Attendants -- 75 years of service
and safety." There will be anniversary events at
domiciles across the system, and interactive
material about the contributions of United's flight
attendants can be found on SkyNet.
The debate continues... Starwood or Hyatt... which is better