Friday, June 18, 2010

Our celebrity guest flyer for this evening is....

Five years ago when I applied for my job as a flight attendant, I knew there would be certain perks; obviously traveling being the biggest. I would get to fulfill my dream of seeing Paris and the Eiffel Tower as well as any other place my heart desired. With time my schedule got better and my pay went up and now I can work as little or as much as I choose whenever I choose. I have great health benefits and though it gets tiring at times, there are some days I really can say I love my job. An unforseen benefit to flying the friendly skies has been meeting interesting people from all over the world...and some of those people just happen to be celebrities.

My first introduction to the rich and famous came in the form of a rap group that I doubt you've ever heard of because I hadn't either. I was working our 50 seater jet so I was by myself (one flight attendant per 50 passenger plane says the FAA) and this large group of black guys came onboard covered in jewelry and wearing nice (but baggy) clothing. I knew they had to be someone. The manager was last to get on and he started hitting on me, asking if I was single etc so I took it as my opportunity to ask,"who are you?" As it turns out he was the manager of this group that called themselves, "Down for Life" as far as I know the only hit they had was "The laffey taffey song." The manager assured me they were going to be big and had all the members sign one of their posters for me. I never heard of them again and I think I even threw the poster away.
Interestingly, the longer I've worked for the airlines, the bigger the name celebs I've had on my flight. My next brush with fame was with the band Hoobastank, then Felicity Huffman (of desperate housewives fame), Rumor Willis (Bruce and Demi Moore's daughter), Daisey Fuentes (remember when she hosted a show on MTV?), Gerard Butler, R. Lee Ermey and a few others who worked for ESPN or were government big wigs who I didn't recognize (but others on the plane did and would ask, "Is that so and so sitting up there in first?). I remember my sister once said, "You will never have any famous people on your plane, what famous person flies regional jets?" But when celebrities book plane tickets they don't really have a choice what size airplane they fly on...especially when goin to Aspen.

If you have never been to Aspen you should fly in there some time if for nothing else but the views and the terror factor. The runway is situated in the middle of the mountains. Our pilots who do fly in there are specially trained and there's no room for error because you can only land one way and take off the other. That means visibility has to be perfect for landing and once you commit to the land you are landing (moose and all on the runway if that were the case) or else you run into a mountain trying to extract the plane out of there. Several private planes have crashed in Aspen over the years, all with fatalities. In the winter we cancel flights all the time just because of the weather and how difficult the conditions get. But for some reason celebrities love that place and those who don't have their own personal jet like Maria Carey (she has a nice one with butterflies painted on it) have to fly with us. Our Aspen to Los Angeles route is notorious for having celebrites on the plane and the other day was no exception:

Yes, that's right Luke Wilson. You may remember him from such films as Legally Blonde, Old School, Finding Henry Poole and my personal favorite, The Royal Tenenbaums. Now normally I leave our celebrity passengers alone except when asking if they'd like something to drink, can I take their trash, etc. R. Lee Ermie (he was the bad cop in texas chainsaw massacre and was in Full Metal Jacket) did not want to be messed with on my flight so I dared not ask for any special fan favors from him....but Luke, well how can you not want to talk to Luke? My fellow flight attendant and I schemed up a plan to get him to take photos with us. We were so giddy through our service we could hardly think straight. But Luke made it easy on us by getting up several times to use the bathroom and get stuff from the overhead. Whenever we could we would make eye contact until finally after his last trip to the bathroom on his way back to his seat we summoned him to come into the galley and talk to us. He was so easy to chat with and very nice; we probably could have talked to him for the rest of the flight(and would have if some stupid 13 year old girl hadn't come up behind him and asked us for a sprite throwing our whole game off). We managed to get pictures with him (while excusing ourselves for interrupting his flight and for being such dorks) before he retreated to his seat in first class. I told him how much I loved him in Royal Tenenbaums which flattered him. We both agreed, they just don't make movies like that anymore.

The majority of celebs sit in first class but you'd be surprised how many actually do sit in coach. Both Felicity Huffman (with her daughter) and Rumor Willis were in coach on my flights and I'm sure there have been many more. When it comes to air travel you just never know who is going to walk aboard your plane...which really can make for a very interesting and exciting day. How many people can say that about their jobs?

Don't you just love him?

1 comment:

  1. How awesome Natalie. That's really cool. He was definetly the shit in Tennenbaums. Nice post.