I love to travel and as I just mentioned I did briefly contemplate a career as a flight attendant. Fortunately for me a chance meeting with an old school friend who had just left the industry gave me enough insight to realise that being a flight attendant may look glamorous but in reality it is far from it. Owen confirms this as he details the decade he spent airborne both domestically and internationally. Such things as toilet emergencies and the hazards of the food trolley are explained with humour and honesty.
As a gay man, Owen found acceptance in the industry and happily embraced the party lifestyle in hot spots around the world. He soon learned the right combination of pharmaceuticals to co-ordinate sleep/awake time and where they could be purchased. It was interesting to hear how the seniority system worked within Qantas and just why your years of experience counted not only in getting the best flights, but maintaining the superior employment conditions that were beginning to change shape quite rapidly.
Naturally Owen encountered many celebrities during his years in the skies and speaks about his favourite encounters with several stars. He also speaks honestly about his brushes with management as he and other staff members were unwillingly coerced into accepting different working conditions and pay as the previous perks once enjoyed in Qantas began to erode quite rapidly. It is an eye opening insight into just how the flying kangaroo has recently faced a severe financial crisis as it struggles to compete with cheaper labour worldwide.
All in all this was a very interesting account that gave me a whole new insight into the world of a flight attendant. While they must always look the part, it is quite clear that behind the scenes there is a whole other world operating behind the galley doors.