flyboy80
Topic Author
Posts: 1899
Joined: Fri Jul 13, 2001 8:10 am

Flight Attendants And Physical Aging

Mon Oct 29, 2012 6:50 pm

in the 6 years I've spent working in the skies I've noticed that many of my "seasoned" colleagues often have very admirable looks for their age. And in the United States, as is quite normal, many of these gentleman and ladies have been flying for several years.

This brings up the question regarding flying and physical ageing, and sparks my curiosity. Are there any proven effects of flying on the human body over long time periods, and what effects in may cause on appearance and ageing? Many of these people worked in different cabin conditions which have improved with modern airliners.

I also will note that many FAs i've observed might not look so graceful, due to years of smoking, and heavy drinking often both of which accompany this job for some reason it seems, however I'm more or less interested in what makes a great deal of difference in preserving ones age while flying year after year?
 
GT4EZY
Posts: 511
Joined: Thu Dec 06, 2007 9:35 pm

RE: Flight Attendants And Physical Aging

Mon Oct 29, 2012 6:55 pm

When I first started flying 7 years ago I assumed that 'faster' ageing would be inevitable. Even if I say so myself, I look younger than 29.
Proud to fly from Manchester!
 
User avatar
ClassicLover
Posts: 4022
Joined: Tue Mar 09, 2004 12:27 pm

RE: Flight Attendants And Physical Aging

Mon Oct 29, 2012 7:02 pm

Quoting flyboy80 (Thread starter):
in the 6 years I've spent working in the skies I've noticed that many of my "seasoned" colleagues often have very admirable looks for their age. And in the United States, as is quite normal, many of these gentleman and ladies have been flying for several years.

Probably because back then the airlines hired people who were particularly good looking. That plus the good salary and perks (good healthcare and so on) means they have a fairly stress free lifestyle, which helps too. Also, due to the career, they are well practiced in wearing decent makeup, taking care of their skin and so on as part of the job.

So a number of factors really   Though I would say flying has little or no effect on looks overall - apart from the many hours of sleep during the day and working during the night - keeping out of the sun is the biggest benefit to looking younger.
I do enjoy a spot of flying, especially when it's not in economy!
 
CM
Posts: 623
Joined: Wed Feb 08, 2012 4:17 am

RE: Flight Attendants And Physical Aging

Mon Oct 29, 2012 7:12 pm

It is the compounded effect of exposure to cosmic radiation (pickling effect) and a very real phenomenon of General Relativity called "Time Dilation" http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Time_di...ion#Time_dilation_and_space_flight

OK, I'm kidding about the radiation, but time dilation is real and can be demonstrated using clocks (one stationary, one moving). At the speed of an airliner, flying for your entire life will reduce your aging by... A second or two. . If you can go faster, time can slow down considerably.

See also "Light Travel Time Delay" http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tests_o...ty#Light_travel_time_delay_testing
 
flyboy80
Topic Author
Posts: 1899
Joined: Fri Jul 13, 2001 8:10 am

RE: Flight Attendants And Physical Aging

Mon Oct 29, 2012 7:36 pm

What I've always struggled with is my appetite- when at work and flying I find myself constantly hungry or in the mood to "snack"
 
AWACSooner
Posts: 1824
Joined: Tue Jan 22, 2008 12:35 am

RE: Flight Attendants And Physical Aging

Mon Oct 29, 2012 7:38 pm

Quoting ClassicLover (Reply 2):
Probably because back then the airlines hired people who were particularly good looking.

So why didn't I get hired?  

Honestly, it really depends on which airline...I remember my brother trying like mad to hit on this one stewardess on DL back in 2005...where it seems (generalization here...I know there's exceptions) that a lot of stewardesses at AA look like they have one foot in the grave already.
 
User avatar
jetjack74
Posts: 6611
Joined: Sun Jul 27, 2003 6:35 am

RE: Flight Attendants And Physical Aging

Mon Oct 29, 2012 10:12 pm

Well, i've been flying for 15 years, and in the base I fly out of on the west coast, over 95% of the base is older than 45, and that spans a very wide range in seniority, as some were hired late in life. However, this base is very senior, even after a large number has taken a buyout of some sort. We have had recently, an influx of new-hire FAs transfer in due to needs for language-qualified personnel. While the French speakers vary in seniority, the Japanese and Mandarin speakers are relatively junior, and young(which is nice). After seeing a base full of overweight, crabby curmudgeons for so long, it's nice to see more you, fresh and pretty faces come in.

That being said, there are many who feel their seniority has been stripped from them due to the positions being taken over by Language of Destination(LOD) FAs onboard these prize-international trips. And since the introduction of a Service Leader position in coach now going to a Purser-Qualified(PQ) FA, it's created alot of friction between them and the LOD/PQ flight attendants. Which these are not a sign of physical aspects, but they are on mental aspects which plays into the physical deterioration, IMO. Not sound in mind, not sound in body
Made from jets!
 
manny
Posts: 495
Joined: Sat Sep 09, 2006 8:59 am

RE: Flight Attendants And Physical Aging

Mon Oct 29, 2012 10:44 pm

In service industry the unfortunate fact is most companies prefer young and fresher faces.

So even though you think you look great at the age of 50 you might not in the customer's eyes. And as the world get more and more competitive more companies will find ways to introduce younger and fresher faces while you even with your seniority, great work et al will always find yourself at the short end of the stick. That's the true non-sugar coated version of facts!

So not sure FA is a career option any more. Its something to do for a few years while you acquire other skills by education or training or the plan has to be to meet a successful man/woman on the flight and settle down!
 
Prost
Posts: 1956
Joined: Wed Oct 03, 2012 6:23 pm

RE: Flight Attendants And Physical Aging

Mon Oct 29, 2012 10:50 pm

Thank God I can get cheap facials done in BKK and PEK. Yup, I'm one of those over 45 y.o. at the same base as jetjack.

I'm gonna have to whoop his @ss next time he's on my crew.
 
Silver1SWA
Crew
Posts: 4458
Joined: Wed Mar 10, 2004 6:11 pm

RE: Flight Attendants And Physical Aging

Mon Oct 29, 2012 11:05 pm

Ok wait. You say you have observed both FAs who have aged very well and others who haven't aged so well. Doesn't that imply that some people age well and others don't, as observed with the general population?  
ALL views, opinions expressed are mine ONLY and are NOT representative of those shared by Southwest Airlines Co.
 
RyanairGuru
Posts: 6559
Joined: Wed Nov 01, 2006 3:59 am

RE: Flight Attendants And Physical Aging

Tue Oct 30, 2012 12:53 am

Quoting Silver1SWA (Reply 9):
Doesn't that imply that some people age well and others don't, as observed with the general population?

I was wondering that as well!

From my understanding the biggest impact of flying as a career (for both pilots and FAs) come from 2 things: irregular sleeping hours and non-standard meal times/the propensity to snack. Over the long term these can impact your health, just as they do in 'real life'.
Worked Hard, Flew Right
 
tonystan
Posts: 1399
Joined: Sat Jan 07, 2006 7:39 am

RE: Flight Attendants And Physical Aging

Tue Oct 30, 2012 1:09 am

Dont think its anything to do with flying.

Its down to the individuals personal lifestyle! I work amongst a pretty "senior" workfroce. Some look great, some look haggared. Some have a glass or two of chardonnay after a flight, some have a whole keg! Some go to the salad bar, some order a steak and fries for breakfast and dinner......

I personally put in plenty of time in the gym or the pool, try to avoid the cr@p supplied for us onboard and drink in moderation when im downroute! My lifestyle at home is an active one and although Im not exactly ancient anyways, I still think I look pretty damn....eh......pleasable!?!?!?!
My views are my own and do not reflect any other person or organisation.
 
ek36
Posts: 5
Joined: Fri Sep 07, 2012 8:36 am

RE: Flight Attendants And Physical Aging

Tue Oct 30, 2012 1:50 am

Quoting Prost (Reply 8):
Thank God I can get cheap facials done in BKK and PEK.

That must explain why I've never seen this phenomenon on SQ,TG or CX.
 
User avatar
Zkpilot
Posts: 3797
Joined: Wed Mar 08, 2006 8:21 pm

RE: Flight Attendants And Physical Aging

Tue Oct 30, 2012 2:11 am

Crew tend to drink more water, have more ready access to product (cremes, etc), often exercise more than most, and eat better (in port not onboard...airplane food is the worst).

Flying does dehydrate you and your skin resulting in premature aging however coupled with lack of sleep etc
56 types. 38 countries. 24 airlines.
 
User avatar
b727fa
Posts: 1072
Joined: Sun Jun 12, 2011 8:21 pm

RE: Flight Attendants And Physical Aging

Tue Oct 30, 2012 2:21 am

Quoting jetjack74 (Reply 6):

Gee...I have NO idea where you work. (ha ha) I have a MSP based co-worker who says to the Nasty Ninnies who say they're "losing" their NRT trips (I've been doing them for 35 years--I *deserve* them!), "Well then why the hell can't you take the JP LOD test if having done the run for 35+ years isn't good enough!?"
My comments/opinions are my own and are not to be construed as the opinion(s) of my employer.
 
User avatar
DocLightning
Posts: 20248
Joined: Wed Nov 16, 2005 8:51 am

RE: Flight Attendants And Physical Aging

Tue Oct 30, 2012 2:59 am

Quoting CM (Reply 3):
At the speed of an airliner, flying for your entire life will reduce your aging by... A second or two

That much? I would have assumed even less. Milliseconds.
-Doc Lightning-

"The sky calls to us. If we do not destroy ourselves, we will one day venture to the stars."
-Carl Sagan
 
AA767400
Posts: 1892
Joined: Tue Jan 23, 2001 2:04 am

RE: Flight Attendants And Physical Aging

Tue Oct 30, 2012 3:05 am

Quoting jetjack74 (Reply 6):
ell, i've been flying for 15 years, and in the base I fly out of on the west coast, over 95% of the base is older than 45, and that spans a very wide range in seniority, as some were hired late in life. However, this base is very senior, even after a large number has taken a buyout of some sort. We have had recently, an influx of new-hire FAs transfer in due to needs for language-qualified personnel.

Sounds like another airline with a base out west. An influx of LODs were hired, and all hell broke loose. The senior folks didn't like 3 positions being taken away by the LODs. Unfortunately - the seniority system by many U.S. airlines is antiquated and flawed. Entitlement is very common. These people will let you know it's their plane/route/seat whatever. It's out of control, and few retire because the lifestyle is too good. Keeping the junior people at the bottom, with no move up in sight.

The job will age you. That's why it's important to take care of yourself. I do however view the flight attendant job as no longer a career. Just my two cents.
"The low fares airline."
 
User avatar
jetjack74
Posts: 6611
Joined: Sun Jul 27, 2003 6:35 am

RE: Flight Attendants And Physical Aging

Tue Oct 30, 2012 7:34 am

Quoting AA767400 (Reply 16):
Sounds like another airline with a base out west. An influx of LODs were hired, and all hell broke loose. The senior folks didn't like 3 positions being taken away by the LODs. Unfortunately - the seniority system by many U.S. airlines is antiquated and flawed. Entitlement is very common. These people will let you know it's their plane/route/seat whatever. It's out of control, and few retire because the lifestyle is too good. Keeping the junior people at the bottom, with no move up in sight.

If there was a better interpretation out there, I'd be shocked
Made from jets!
 
User avatar
jetjack74
Posts: 6611
Joined: Sun Jul 27, 2003 6:35 am

RE: Flight Attendants And Physical Aging

Tue Oct 30, 2012 7:38 am

Quoting Prost (Reply 8):
Thank God I can get cheap facials done in BKK and PEK. Yup, I'm one of those over 45 y.o. at the same base as jetjack.

I'm gonna have to whoop his @ss next time he's on my crew.


Oh will you now? I'd like to see you try sometime.
Made from jets!
 
User avatar
jetjack74
Posts: 6611
Joined: Sun Jul 27, 2003 6:35 am

RE: Flight Attendants And Physical Aging

Tue Oct 30, 2012 9:01 am

Quoting B727FA (Reply 14):
Gee...I have NO idea where you work. (ha ha) I have a MSP based co-worker who says to the Nasty Ninnies who say they're "losing" their NRT trips (I've been doing them for 35 years--I *deserve* them!), "Well then why the hell can't you take the JP LOD test if having done the run for 35+ years isn't good enough!?"

   See the above post to see how UNHINGED some of these jokers are becoming. The jist of my post is not busting on senior people, I was just explaining the predominant range of Seniority in Seattle, which is mostly over 45. Me being just under 40, people still say to me "Oh youre still young" when I tell them my age. My graying hair is abit deceiving. But the point I was making, was, that it is nice to see a younger generation of new people come in. Some are great to work with, some I have found, are not. My seniority has been affected by it, but if I spoke JP, FR or MA, I would use that to my full advantage too. Most of the the really bitter ones are the ones that have been flying since the days of the 707, or the when the 727-100 was retired. Yes, they have an ENTITLEMENT mentality. Did I LOVE losing the opportunity to fly NRT, AMS, KIX as a reg FA? No, not at all. I'd had hoped the union prevailed and we could've stopped or limited the number of LOD positions on any given flight. But it didn't happen, and just like everything else in life, you accept it and you move on. You just have to be patient and wait for the next opportunity to come. But i'm not stewing over it from here to eternity. And it's also worthy to note, that our last UNION CONTRACT had provisions for 2-3 LODs on an A330 and up to 5 on a 747-400, eventually. Now for that time that we flew under that contract, I only heard scattered complaining here and there when the LODs had no real residual responsibilities other than showing up. But when May first rolled around, all of a sudden, everyone was up in arms over it after the IFSRs were replaced and the LODs were thrust into that role(And now all these reg-FAs are experts on the roles of the LODs with lofty comparisons, but yet some of these FAs with "Senioritis" aren't worth diddly-poo on the aircraft).
The straw that really broke the camel's back was when the Service-Leader position was added, which you required you to Purser-Qualified as I stated above. Because of all of this, I decided to rejoin the purser program, a program for which I quit from 7 years prior, because it wasn't working for me at the time. Nowadays, the process is different to get on as a purser. You have to go through a selection process, rather than the old system of "seniority-first". And now, they're all complaining that "We don't need the B-purser position, cus we did it fine for years" and other complaints like "Most of the pursers stink in the coach galley, cus they've never done it before", which might be true. But anyone who puts-forth an ounce of effort can learn in one segment(it aint rocket-science). SOME of the senior non-purser FAs who bid the Y-class galley did so because they were the LAZIEST D-bags on the planet, and the service in coach suffered because of it. And the simple fact that those lazy clowns are no longer in the galley anymore shows that, for the most part, it's working actually. Those lazy people now simply gravitate to the non-rotating position and create more work for the mostly-motivated people who became, or who are pursers. We have a good corps of people in Seattle, but its not without it's idiots, as you can plainly see from above

Hi Prost!
Made from jets!
 
Type-Rated
Posts: 3901
Joined: Sun Sep 19, 1999 5:18 am

RE: Flight Attendants And Physical Aging

Tue Oct 30, 2012 11:05 am

Quoting Zkpilot (Reply 13):
Flying does dehydrate you and your skin resulting in premature aging however coupled with lack of sleep etc

This is a large contributing factor. Ever look at people who live in the desert? Their skin can look like leather.

The F/A job is stress free? I don't think so. Rushing for flights due to traffic tie ups, fast overnight turnarounds, dealing with cranky passengers and crowded terminals, it all takes its toll.
Fly North Central Airlines..The route of the Northliners!
 
Prost
Posts: 1956
Joined: Wed Oct 03, 2012 6:23 pm

RE: Flight Attendants And Physical Aging

Tue Oct 30, 2012 2:50 pm

*Waves at JetJack* I'm still whooping your @ss! I'll just get a manicure when I'm finished.
 
atlflyer
Posts: 590
Joined: Wed Jan 11, 2006 11:13 am

RE: Flight Attendants And Physical Aging

Tue Oct 30, 2012 5:12 pm

Appearance and at least a "young-spirit" seem to be pretty important to airlines. AA offered $40,000 to any FA that has been with the company 15 years or more and 2,250 accepted it. Then AA turned around and hired 1500 new, young, less-expensive FA's...win win situation for everyone.
 
UALAMT
Posts: 4
Joined: Wed Aug 01, 2012 8:45 pm

RE: Flight Attendants And Physical Aging

Tue Oct 30, 2012 5:26 pm

I would be more interested in someone studying Our flight attendants age and how safe are they for the flying public. I have been here 24 yrs and my group is in the same boat.there not hiring anyone young. Age,weight,physical ailments.are becoming a big issue.at what point do you say your not capable of being here for my safety anymore? In Maintenance its easy.The older guys just do less and the rest of us pick up the slack. But when it come to safety in the cabin in the air are they policing themselves? No Im not trying to pick on this group. It is just becoming a huge issue in all the work groups there are no youngsters being hired.
 
hrc773
Posts: 50
Joined: Tue Jan 06, 2009 4:35 pm

RE: Flight Attendants And Physical Aging

Tue Oct 30, 2012 5:39 pm

Quoting ek36 (Reply 12):
That must explain why I've never seen this phenomenon on SQ,TG or CX.

At least on SQ, you won't see anyone that looks older, because they're not. They have to quit their jobs as a f/a when they turn 35.
 
CPHFF
Posts: 150
Joined: Fri Aug 19, 2011 11:03 am

RE: Flight Attendants And Physical Aging

Wed Oct 31, 2012 10:23 am

Attention Flight Attendants:

Don't work on SK long-haul aircraft. For some reason, every FA look 10 years older than their actual age. Maybe it is an Airbus problem......
:D Never underestimate the power of ignorance
 
User avatar
b727fa
Posts: 1072
Joined: Sun Jun 12, 2011 8:21 pm

RE: Flight Attendants And Physical Aging

Wed Oct 31, 2012 4:03 pm

Quoting manny (Reply 7):
So not sure FA is a career option any more. Its something to do for a few years while you acquire other skills by education or training or the plan has to be to meet a successful man/woman on the flight and settle down!

Well, manny, THAT post just set this career back 40 years!

Quoting jetjack74 (Reply 19):
that our last UNION CONTRACT had provisions for 2-3 LODs on an A330 and up to 5 on a 747-400, eventually. Now for that time that we flew under that contract, I only heard scattered complaining here and there when the LODs had no real residual responsibilities other than showing up. But when May first rolled around, all of a sudden, everyone was up in arms over it after the IFSRs were replaced and the LODs were thrust into that role(And now all these reg-FAs are experts on the roles of the LODs with lofty comparisons, but yet some of these FAs with "Senioritis" aren't worth diddly-poo on the aircraft).

Bravo! Well said! An interesting note: when NW wanted to off-shore ALL of the Asia flying the union (rightfully so) raised a fury saying, "You can't offshore our US Based FA's! We want to protect our flying." And then, when DL starts to replace the (off shore) contract FA's with US based FA's and adding to the SN list "on-shore" some of the Nasty Ninnies get fired up again: "You can't take my position that I've done for 35+ years and replace it with a new person on our (now stronger and better) US BASED SN list!" They want it both ways!   
My comments/opinions are my own and are not to be construed as the opinion(s) of my employer.
 
RyanairGuru
Posts: 6559
Joined: Wed Nov 01, 2006 3:59 am

RE: Flight Attendants And Physical Aging

Wed Oct 31, 2012 4:32 pm

Quoting jetjack74 (Reply 19):

Out of interest how many LODs do you have to NRT etc now? From what you're saying I take it that the number has increased, or is that they have reduced overall crew count by making the LODs work?
Worked Hard, Flew Right
 
silentbob
Posts: 1541
Joined: Tue Aug 15, 2006 1:26 pm

RE: Flight Attendants And Physical Aging

Wed Oct 31, 2012 5:20 pm

Quoting B727FA (Reply 26):
They want it both ways!

Maybe it's am airline thing, or an american thing or even a human thing, but people usually want whatever will benefit them personally, not what is best overall.
 
manny
Posts: 495
Joined: Sat Sep 09, 2006 8:59 am

RE: Flight Attendants And Physical Aging

Wed Oct 31, 2012 5:24 pm

Quoting B727FA (Reply 26):
Well, manny, THAT post just set this career back 40 years!

I was talking about people getting into this now.  
 
User avatar
jetjack74
Posts: 6611
Joined: Sun Jul 27, 2003 6:35 am

RE: Flight Attendants And Physical Aging

Wed Oct 31, 2012 9:38 pm

Quoting RyanairGuru (Reply 27):
Out of interest how many LODs do you have to NRT etc now? From what you're saying I take it that the number has increased, or is that they have reduced overall crew count by making the LODs work?

3 on both A330 and 767. What the staffing levels will be in the 747, that I don't know. Rumors about HNL that it's 6-7 preflight, but its almost 99% Japanese from HNL-KIX/NRT/NGO/FUK, so I can see there being a need for more. Mainland it's more 60-40. I think we would closely mirror DTW or LAX on the LOD staffing on the whale.

Quoting Prost (Reply 21):
Waves at JetJack* I'm still whooping your @ss! I'll just get a manicure when I'm finished.

Ok, now that I finally know who you are, geez.
Made from jets!
 
User avatar
b727fa
Posts: 1072
Joined: Sun Jun 12, 2011 8:21 pm

RE: Flight Attendants And Physical Aging

Thu Nov 01, 2012 8:04 pm

Quoting RyanairGuru (Reply 27):
Out of interest how many LODs do you have to NRT etc now? From what you're saying I take it that the number has increased, or is that they have reduced overall crew count by making the LODs work?

The difference is that there are now LOD's who are FA's and not IFSR who aren't. Crew Staffing is the same; IFSR's are reduced.
My comments/opinions are my own and are not to be construed as the opinion(s) of my employer.

Popular Searches On Airliners.net

Top Photos of Last:   24 Hours  •  48 Hours  •  7 Days  •  30 Days  •  180 Days  •  365 Days  •  All Time

Military Aircraft Every type from fighters to helicopters from air forces around the globe

Classic Airliners Props and jets from the good old days

Flight Decks Views from inside the cockpit

Aircraft Cabins Passenger cabin shots showing seat arrangements as well as cargo aircraft interior

Cargo Aircraft Pictures of great freighter aircraft

Government Aircraft Aircraft flying government officials

Helicopters Our large helicopter section. Both military and civil versions

Blimps / Airships Everything from the Goodyear blimp to the Zeppelin

Night Photos Beautiful shots taken while the sun is below the horizon

Accidents Accident, incident and crash related photos

Air to Air Photos taken by airborne photographers of airborne aircraft

Special Paint Schemes Aircraft painted in beautiful and original liveries

Airport Overviews Airport overviews from the air or ground

Tails and Winglets Tail and Winglet closeups with beautiful airline logos