There is so much gossip and misunderstanding in the airline industry today. If you work for an airline, especially in the crew member, there are stigmas that are still alive today. From the famous line of the 70’s Novel “Coffee Tea or Me” Most flight attendants have been labeled as promiscuous women that were always looking for love. Today’s reality is much different. The airline industry has always been glamorized as an industry that is exciting and full of fun, pleasure and great travel. The truth generally leans towards the exact opposite. The general day in flying for a living usually involves rude passengers and putting up with government controlled environments such as the TSA and air traffic control.
In the airline industry it is fairly easy to cheat on your spouse if you are married. The traveling part makes for a perfect backdrop of finding and meeting other people and “hooking up” while on the road. The fact is usually farther from the truth. Most airline crews, pilots especially, are run pretty ragged by their company’s pursuit of productivity. This means laying over after flying 12 to 15 hours a day and falling down dead tired after a long day. Usually you are in a place that you do not want to be in (Detroit is a good example) late at night and all you want to do is go to sleep. Sure there are few players out there, but they definitely do not represent the majority of the airline crews. The bottom line is, we just want to go home and sleep in our own beds with our own spouses. Are there cheating spouses in the airline business? Sure, but its not any more than your typical nine to five type of company.
Hags and Gays
Hag’s is a common phrase in the airline industry and it applies mostly to the senior female flight attendant ranks. The hag label usually applies to older flight attendants that are more or less battle hardened from years of flying on the road. They really have no interest in getting to know you or moving up in their career, its all about getting their time in for the month and then going home. The Gay label applies to the ever growing popularity of gay flight attendants (men) migrating to the airline industry. Is it a politically correct label? Probably not, but sometimes that’s what you end up with. No one is really sure what the draw is for the gay community, but it can be speculated that the airlines provide a means to be mobile and thus being able to move around and meet others that they are interested in “connecting with” This is starting to permeate into the industry as a “standard” and a stigma that is not a very flattering view for the airlines.
Married pilots, mostly men, probably have it harder now in the industry than ever. There is an ever growing trend of gay flight attendants trying to “turn” a married pilot into a conquest of love. This is a form of harassment that you never hear about since most men tend to ignore it or just deal with it as part of the job. The truth of the matter is pilots and flight attendants do not really hook up anymore, most flight attendants do not want much to do with pilots. Somewhere in the past a few pilots have made fools of themselves in the game of love and a stigma has emerged labeling all pilots as players. Of course there are always the exceptions to this; as in any company.
So what is a wife of a pilot (or flight attendant) to do to protect their spouses against traveling on the road? Same thing as any spouse that wants to protect their relationship, they have to work at it while their partners are at home and try to strengthen their love for one another.
In summary the media usually has some sort of control over what label or stigmas get attached to industries. I would imagine the age old proverb of “Don’t believe everything you hear” probably applies best.