The thoughts in this piece are mine. I can not speak for others.
For all flight attendants, their first and most important duties are safety. Safety first. It’s drilled into our heads from the first day of training and every day at work. We take safety to heart. It keeps us vigilant
It is so ingrained in us that we protect the flight deck with the ferociousness of a lion over their pride. We will put our lives on the line to stop an attempted breach of the flight deck. Every flight attendant, from any airline, that I’ve talked to tells me the same thing. “Over my dead body is anyone getting into the flight deck” This is a relative new way of thinking, sadly brought on by 911.
The tightness of the flight attendant community transcends language barriers. It breaks through lifestyle choices, religions, age, and cultures. It bonds us together.
So what goes through our minds when we hear there is a commercial plane is missing? Dread. Cold chilling dread. And sorrow. Deep sorrow. Tears for our fallen. We don’t think about ourselves, we think about our comrades. The women and men who have the same mindset we do. Who do the same job we do.
We picture them in the aisle and galleys, doing their jobs. We feel their emotions as they realize something is wrong. We feel their terror, when they realize they and everyone on the aircraft are going to die, and all their training cannot stop it. We know they tried, in the end, to comfort the passengers and then each other. And yes, we pray. Pray for their families. For the love ones they left behind. We wonder if their spouses, children, parents, and siblings know how much they loved their jobs. Do they know how much we put at risk every day, for our passenger’s? We want to reach out to them, to let them know their lost love ones are at peace. That we understand.
I tell my children if anything ever happens to me while I’m working, to take comfort in the fact that I died doing what I loved. That my job brought me hours of joy. That I knew the risk I took every time I armed my doors. I hope the flight attendants on Malaysia Air flight 370 told their families the same thing.
While we wait to hear what happened to flight 370 we talk among ourselves, and speculate how an airliner can vanish. Was it terrorism? Engine failure? Pilot error? We know that we will have the answers, no matter how long it takes.
In the meantime, we pray.