Flight Attendants and Maintaining a Public Face

I liked the following quote from a weekend interview with a longtime Southwest Airlines fight attendant:

The flight attendants that sit up front — there’s two of them — one’s on the
aisle, so she’s always in view of everybody. And when I fly on the inside, where
they can’t see me, I always tell her, “Keep a nice, straight face, honey.”
Naturally, if the plane drops, it’s like you’re on a roller coaster, but people
look to you for guidance. They say: “My God, we dropped — Oh, she’s okay. The
stewardess is still laughing and smiling, so everything’s good.”

While she is talking about airlines, the example is very portable: a lot of CEOs would do well to remember.


  1. Interesting quote Paul — I just flew back from London last night and our takeoff was one of the most bizarre I’ve ever had (levelled off at 5,000 feet, throttled down and started doubling back to the airport).
    First thing I did? Looked around for an attendant’s face to try and guage what was going on. When I couldn’t see any the mind started racing…
    (Final conclusion was skirting some bad weather – but still, not a fun 15 minutes)

  2. Thanks Ryan. Isn’t it interesting? I came at this some time ago from the opposite angle, having noticed ages ago that flight attendants have a kind of “flight attendant face” they put on while seated at takeoff, landing, and during turbulence.