Tribute to stewardesses / 機上の女神


I love stewardesses, or female flight attendants working on the aeroplane. As is often the case with Asian airlines, Japan’s airlines such as Japan Airlines and All Nippon Airways have many attractive-looking stewardesses because of the history they once hired such women as flight attendants.

Nevertheless, I love them not only because they look good. It goes without saying that they aren’t so much “the waitresses on the plane” as “the security staff” who maintain the security of the aircraft cabin. To satisfy passengers in normal or emergency conditions, they need to have hard training and pass tests to be qualified as flight attendants. Even after they manage to become stewardesses, they should have and pass periodic tests to avoid being disqualified. Their attractive smiles, dignified attitudes, and graceful behaviour on the plane backed up with their pride in strict training, mesmerise us very much. They are really noble and saintly women, differing from similarly good-looking women like newscasters of telly stations or campaign girls in pits of motor racing circuits.

Their brave and cool-headed actions often save many passengers. When the ANA 857 aeroplane was hijacked at Hakodate Airport in Hokkaido, Japan on 21 June 1995 by a desperate banker, a flight attendant was captured by him, being got a full nelson with a knife pointed at her, and taken in hostage in the cabin for tens of hours with the passengers and the other crew. After police and all the passengers released had captured the criminal, she attended a press conference. She had an interview with the press corps, talking calmly in front of TV cameras about what had been going on in the cabin at that time. She behaved like a real professional. A standard young girl would’ve been too shocked and mentally damaged to appear in public and talk in front of press staff if she had experienced such tough circumstances. The crew members were so calm, disciplined, and strong-minded that the criminal didn’t get so much furious, resulting in killing or injuring no personnel until arrested.

When it comes to strong-minded actions in a dangerous situation, policewomen and military servicewomen may have such professionalism as well. They don’t enchant me, however, for police officers are the person who controls us, regulates us and exercises power over us, and the soldiers, sailors, and airwomen don’t appear in our daily lives, so they aren’t familiar to me.

For me, flight attendants offering us their best service on board are the best women. It’s the happiest time for me that, on the taxiing aeroplane preparing for takeoff, I catch the eyes of a stewardess sitting in the jump seat facing me and when our eyes meet we smile at each other.

As a passenger, I always respect them. When getting aboard, I don’t forget to say hello to the greeting crew at the entrance door. When I lift my heavy luggage to stow it into the overhead stowage, I do it by myself instead of making her do it. I order food or drink in a polite attitude, and when she serves me and clears the table, I always say thank you to her with a smile. Of course, I say thank you and goodbye to them to show my most gratitude when I’m getting off the aircraft at destination.

Needless to say, annoying the cabin crew is absolutely unacceptable. Deplorably, there are such idiots that smoke in the lavatory, use a mobile phone in the cabin, yell at her for trivial matters, or even use violence or pervert actions on her. Such vulgar passengers should get off the plane, as they don’t reach the level of class to be qualified to use it.

An aircraft cabin is a salon for sophisticated ladies and gentlemen. The noble hostesses will smile at only such cultivated persons that can prudently enjoy travel.