Jump Seat: 1963-1976: A Stewardess' Memoir
Janet Angell, author
Janet Angell grew up on a farm in Minnesota. After graduating from college she hoped to travel for a year before settling down to teach, and was hired as a stewardess by Northwest Airlines. This was 1963, when marriage was not allowed and stewardesses had to quit by age 32. This is an account of her almost 13 years with the airline. She takes us from the initial interview through her eventual resignation after her second son was born. The book talks about changes in airline policies, aircraft flown, the airline itself and her worldwide travels while in their employ. Her personal experiences on and off the job, celebrities she met, what flying was like when people got dressed up to fly and it was a fun experience, are what this book is about.
This slim, upbeat debut memoir from former flight attendant Angell chronicles her 13 years with Northwest Orient Airlines during the 1960s and ’70s. As a “ticket to seeing the world,” Minnesotan Angell applied for a stewardess position rather than accept a teaching job after college. As the jet age arrived, she went from commuter flights from Washington, D.C., to Detroit to longer flights to California, Alaska, and Japan. Angell writes of meeting VIPs and celebrities on her flights—Sonny and Cher, Jimmy Dean, and Diana Ross among them—but readers hoping for juicy gossip about bad in-flight behavior will be disappointed, as everyone is on their best behavior here. The choppy-feeling narrative goes light on workplace politics and focuses more on Angell’s time off, the travel perks that came with the job, and the exotic places she visited. Rounding out the tale are the head-shaking requirements of being a flight attendant in that era, such as mandatory retirement at 32 and weight checks. Much like the friendly skies, this memoir is bright and breezy, with the occasional bit of turbulence. (BookLife)