Cruising Attitude: Tales of Crashpads, Crew Drama, and Crazy Passengers at 35,000 Feet

( 65 )

Overview

Flying the not-so-friendly skies...

In her more than fifteen years as an airline flight attendant, Heather Poole has seen it all. She's witnessed all manner of bad behavior at 35,000 feet and knows what it takes for a traveler to become the most hated passenger onboard. She's slept in flight attendant crashpads in "Crew Gardens," Queens—sharing small bedrooms crammed with bunk beds with a parade of attractive women who come and go at all hours, prompting suspicious neighbors to ...

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Cruising Attitude: Tales of Crashpads, Crew Drama, and Crazy Passengers at 35,000 Feet

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Overview

Flying the not-so-friendly skies...

In her more than fifteen years as an airline flight attendant, Heather Poole has seen it all. She's witnessed all manner of bad behavior at 35,000 feet and knows what it takes for a traveler to become the most hated passenger onboard. She's slept in flight attendant crashpads in "Crew Gardens," Queens—sharing small bedrooms crammed with bunk beds with a parade of attractive women who come and go at all hours, prompting suspicious neighbors to jump to the very worst conclusions. She's watched passengers and coworkers alike escorted off the planes by police. She can tell you why it's a bad idea to fall for a pilot but can be a very good one (in her case) to date a business-class passenger. Heather knows everything about flying in a post-9/11 world—and she knows what goes on behind the scenes, things the passengers would never dream.

Heather's true stories in Cruising Attitude are surprising, hilarious, sometimes outrageously incredible—the very juiciest of "galley gossip" delightfully intermingled with the eye-opening, unforgettable chronicle of her fascinating life in the sky.

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  • Cruising Attitude
    Cruising Attitude  

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Much more goes into being a flight attendant than most people think and Poole, a flight attendant and popular blogger, gives readers the hilarious nitty-gritty details of a life spent in the sky. Starting out at the now defunct charter airline Sun Jet after college, Poole never considered being a flight attendant as a career option. But at her mother’s urging, she applied to a major airline, was hired, and has worked steadily ever since, surviving the rigorous training camp run with military precision (one false step could send you packing) and soon found herself at her first cabin service. Equally fascinating are Poole’s tales of what happens in the hours between flights, particularly in the cramped apartments known as “crash pads” that are more akin to dormitories than real living spaces, where the houses’ rosters are constantly in flux. Based out of New York, Poole describes a series of hilariously unappealing “pads” in Queens—chosen because of its proximity to JFK, LaGuardia, and Newark airports—and her fellow flight attendants, not to mention their often unscrupulous landlords. The snapshots of testy—or downright bizarre—travelers’ exploits ring particularly true because Poole doesn’t inundate the reader with so many that they all blur together. Whether you’re a frequent or once-a-year flier, there’s something for everyone in this witty tell-all. (Mar.)
Washington Post
“Fun airplane reading.”
Los Angeles Times
“Heather Poole is the fly-and-tell queen of the skies.”
Huffington Post
“A charming and funny insider’s account of life and work in the not-always-friendly skies.”
Booklist
“[An] insider’s perspective on the friendly skies . . . [an] entertaining, gonzo account.”
People
“A veteran flight attendant’s hilarious take on what really happens behind the scenes at 35,000 feet.”
Denver Post
“Poole knows what her readers want[:] juicy tidbits about celebrities (she delivers, with no names but sometimes enough description that you can figure it out), to know if flight attendants ever date passengers (yes) and the dirt on whether pilots are as skeezy as they sometimes seem (yes and no).”
People Magazine
"A veteran flight attendant’s hilarious take on what really happens behind the scenes at 35,000 feet."
People
“A veteran flight attendant’s hilarious take on what really happens behind the scenes at 35,000 feet.”
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780061986468
  • Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
  • Publication date: 3/6/2012
  • Pages: 272
  • Sales rank: 209,278
  • Product dimensions: 5.30 (w) x 7.90 (h) x 0.80 (d)

Meet the Author

Heather Poole has been published in The Best Women's Travel Writing 2010. Her regular online column, "Galley Gossip: Confessions from the Jumpseat with Heather Poole," has received more than two million views and is featured on AOL's award-winning travel website, Gadling.com.

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Table of Contents

1 Plane Crazy 1

2 I Never Wanted to Be a Flight Attendant 12

3 Barbie Boot Camp 26

4 Welcome to New York 51

5 Prepare for Takeoff 67

6 Unhappy Holidays 85

7 Cruising Altitude 99

8 Love Is in the Air. Sort Of. 118

9 Life on the Ground 128

10 Flying Freak Show 148

11 Dating Pilots 164

12 Marry Me, Fly Free! 178

13 Turbulence 193

14 There's No Respect Flying Domestic 215

15 I'll Never Quit! 232

Acknowledgments 261

About the Author 263

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4
( 65 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(26)

4 Star

(15)

3 Star

(13)

2 Star

(5)

1 Star

(6)

Your Rating:

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 65 Customer Reviews
  • Posted March 7, 2012

    more from this reviewer

    Take a behind the scenes look at flying the friendly skies! I'm

    Take a behind the scenes look at flying the friendly skies!

    I'm sure most of you have flown before and have had the opportunity at sometime to interact with a flight attendant. I think there are quite a few details we, as passengers, never consider when flying and that's just how hard of a job, flight attendants actually have. It takes more than a nicely dressed attendant who smiles graciously as you enter and sets about to make sure your flight is enjoyable.

    In the book, Cruising Attitude by Heather Poole, a reader is taken on a behind the scenes tour of what it takes to make it to a flight attendant. From the long and grueling training most don't pass, to the crazy stories of some of the things passengers expect while flying. Not to mention just where do they go in between flights, what happens when flights are delayed and what are some of the perks about being a flight attendant.

    Heather Poole has been a flight attendant for various airline companies in the past fifteen years and has seen it all. Things we would never think about but that people have tried, done and some have been arrested for. She shares some celebrity encounters without mentioning the names of just how some use their status and some are strictly just like us as passengers. I think for me the most unusual story is that flight attendants don't get paid until the plane leaves the gate, which means, when faced with delays, they aren't getting paid to hear our complaints. Another crazy story is one passenger who packed his deceased mother in a garment bag to get her to her final destination to avoid the exorbitant fees to have her shipped any other way.

    This book is packed with amazing and down-right shocking stories of just what a career in being a flight attendant really is like and for me, makes me appreciate what they do a whole lot more. Never will I see them the same after reading this great book. I received this book compliments of William Morrow, a division of Harper Collins Publishers for my honest review and LOVED it! This one rates a perfect 5 out of 5 stars in my opinion and look forward to sharing this one with my readers. If you're a frequent flyer or are just interested in what it takes to be a flight attendant, you'll definitely want to check this book out.

    10 out of 11 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted March 27, 2012

    Crusing Altitude never Gets Off the Ground

    Heather should stick to her day job. Her writing style targets the average intelligence of a 10 year old. The in-flight magazine is more interesting than this book.

    6 out of 9 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted March 17, 2012

    Have you ever wanted to go behind the scenes on someone else's j

    Have you ever wanted to go behind the scenes on someone else's job? For some reason I love hearing what other people do and what they love and hate about their job. I am not quite tall enough to be a flight attendant, but I am intrigued by the lifestyle of their job. This book was the perfect read to hear the ins and outs, the positives and the negatives to this unique job.

    As a flight attendant Heather Poole has experienced a far share of the crazies - from celebrities to your average person crazy! Her format to the book, going chronologically and even by subject matter was entertaining and easy to follow. She didn't a great job of sharing stories without throwing anyone under the bus, I didn't mind the vague details when it came to names of people, places or the airline carrier. It didn't affect the hilarious stories that she shared.

    What can happen 35,000 feet in the air? After reading this book, anything! I would recommend this book to those who travel constantly for a living or those who only travel every so often, each of us can find the humor in the customer service situations that she is thrust into on a daily basis.

    4 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted April 2, 2012

    Good Book

    Interesting information. The world of airline crews is crazy! Book was written "just okay" but the intrigue kept me going.

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted April 1, 2012

    more from this reviewer

    While I'm not usually a fan of memoirs or non-fiction, this one

    While I'm not usually a fan of memoirs or non-fiction, this one sounded intriguing enough to give it a try. And it didn't hurt that I once considered becoming a flight attendant. Never got past picking up an application, but Heather walked me through the entire process and showed me what I missed!

    Really enjoyed this book as reading it was like hanging out with a friend. A very funny friend. With a very interesting life. It was more a conversation than a dry recital of her experiences, which made this a fun read!

    While I knew that flight attendants were more than the glorified waitresses that comedians make fun of, I had no idea just how intense their training was or how difficult their schedules actually were. I know that I'll never look at a flight attendant the same way ever again, and I have a new-found respect for them!

    But what's really cool about this book is that Heather makes her job sound fun! Despite the crazy passengers and exhausting schedule and the difficulty in maintaining relationships, it still sounds like an amazing adventure! So glad that she pulled back the galley curtain to give us a glimpse into her world, as it's a wild, wacky ride!

    2 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted March 27, 2012

    more from this reviewer

    The idea sounds great but the execution is very poor. Well, the

    The idea sounds great but the execution is very poor. Well, the writing style does read like gossips exchanged among attendants by the galley. Mindless.

    2 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 17, 2012

    Great read!!

    Great read!!

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted March 9, 2012

    Awesome read

    Funny and to the point a must read. You will not be disappointed

    2 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted June 16, 2012

    This book was a lot of fun - which is why I think the author wro

    This book was a lot of fun - which is why I think the author wrote it. Not great literature but still a fun look behind the curtain if you fly a lot. I give it a thumbs up!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 16, 2012

    An OK Read

    Upon seeing the interview of the book on one of the morning talk shows, I was very eager to read this book, especially being in the travel business myself. The stories were ok, but was expecting more.

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted April 3, 2012

    more from this reviewer

    I had just finished Heather Poole's memoir, Cruising Altitude: T

    I had just finished Heather Poole's memoir, Cruising Altitude: Tales of Crashpads, Crew Drama, and Crazy Passengers at 35,000 Feet, when the news broke about the Jet Blue pilot who had a breakdown on his flight from New York to Las Vegas. After reading Heather's book, you kind of understood how this happened.

    Poole began her career on a regional airline, SunJet, that offered a $69 flight from Dallas to Newark, Ft. Lauerdale and Long Beach. The airline was often filled with unattended minors shuttling back and forth between parents and grandparents, and one flight Poole flew had 12 unattended minors. She joked that the planes were literally held together with duct tape on seats, in the galley, etc.

    She eventually moved on to a bigger airline, and she gives the reader a fascinating insight to the world of flight attendants. The first step was flight attendant school, or as Poole called it 'Barbie Boot Camp', which lasted for two months. Each day, fewer and fewer people would be at school; it reminded me of Demi Moore in the movie G.I. Jane, where recruits would disappear without a word.

    Poole made a good friend in Georgia, a gorgeous Southern belle who had always dreamed of being an flight attendant. Her roommate was a Texas gal named Linda, who was a grandmother. Heather had her doubts about Linda, but they became friends too.

    I learned many interesting facts about flight attendants. For example, they do not get paid until the plane backs away from the gate. While you're boarding and they are welcoming you and helping with your bags, they are not being paid. I think that is just plain wrong.

    They must find crashpads to stay in, usually rented rooms in homes near their base airport. Heather and Georgia lived in a home owned by a Russian cabbie, where they shared a room with four other women, and there were three other bedrooms set up in similar fashion upstairs. And only one bathroom. It sounds almost like living on a submarine to me. (In fact, some people did have a bed-sharing agreement, like a submarine.)

    There were even some flight attendants who lived in RVs in the employee parking lots at JFK airport.

    Poole attempts to explain the reserve system, which sounded like the equivalent of hospital residents on-call system, but I didn't quite understand all of the intricacies of it. It is very involved, and the first time Heather was called to work on reserve, she messed it up and almost got fired, as she was on probation and could be fired for any small infraction.

    In the 1970s, flight attendants averaged 18 months of employment, because they must be single and childless. Today, they last either a few months or an entire lifetime; there seems to be no middle ground.

    Most attendants take the job for the travel passes; the ability to fly for free or for a very reduced rate. They can also have a few family members or friends fly for free. For the low pay and sometime abusive conditions, I'm not sure it's worth it. (Some of her stories of horrible passengers made me cringe. How can human beings act like that?)

    Poole is a terrific writer; her book reads like a good novel. She tells her story with humor and pathos, and there's even some tension thrown in for good measure. I raced through the book, and it gave me a new appreciation for flight attendants.

    One thing she said that stuck with me is that flight attendants appreciate hearing a "please" or "thank you". I think that it is only fitting that I end by saying 'thank you' to Heather Poole for writing this informative and entertaining memoir.

    1 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 1, 2014

    The Whole Truth About Flying

    Everything you wanted to know and didn't want to know about air travel, Heather Poole tells it straight with insight, heart and humor. This book will make you re-think the reality that is air travel and make you be a lot nicer to those who serve us in the skies. I know I will.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted January 30, 2014

    Emma

    Walls in. Hello?

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 29, 2014

    FUCK

    DONT ADVERTISE IN OUR TERRITORY

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted September 20, 2013

    A new view of flight attendants

    Decades ago, I read "Coffee, Tea, or Me" when I was in the travel industry. When I saw "Cruising Attitude" I knew I had to find out what's been happening in the friendly skies.
    Poole's book is fun, sometimes upsetting at the way Flight Attendants are treated by passengers, and eye-opening as to their work schedule and what happens on short flights (they have to pack their own lunch!).
    A good, quick read if you travel, plan to travel, or just want to understand the airline industry today.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted August 28, 2013

    Cruising Attitude by bookworm

    I would not call this great literature, but fun and informative. I never realized training for flight attendants was so demanding and that person serving you a cola was so highly educated. This is a compilation of a real persons experiences told by the real person. She is smart and witty. Maybe you are fortunate enough to have a friend who is just great to be around. This book will remind you of that friend and will make you feel like you are having a fun lunch together as she tells one amusing story after another. She uses her own voice. I gave it 3 stars because it is just a light fun read and not The Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 23, 2013

    Loved if!

    I enjoyed seeing the not-so-glamorous side of being a flight attendant. I'll never look at them the same way.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 9, 2013

    Enteraining and informative

    A good read but repetative at times!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 4, 2013

    Enjoyed this book!

    I really enjoyed this look at a flight attendant's life. My son was a pilot with a major airline, so I'm familiar with that side of the cockpit. Looking at things from the other side was a treat! I'm one of those people who say, "I always wanted to be a flight attendant!" Instead I became a nurse, and the similarity between the two professions in taking care of the nice and not so nice public is interesting.
    For me, the book had a nice pace, and kept me on my toes trying to guess the names of the celebrity passengers! I would recommend this book as a nice enjoyable read.

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  • Posted June 21, 2013

    Easy, fun, entertaining read

    This was a fun book to read. Simply written and filled with a multitude of anecdotes, it was definitely entertaining. However, it may have permanently marred my interest in ever becoming a flight attendant!

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 65 Customer Reviews

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