You Think You’re a Frequent Flyer?

Discussion in 'General Discussion | Travel' started by sobore, Mar 18, 2012.  |  Print Topic

  1. sobore
    • Original Member

    sobore Gold Member

    Our colleague Michelle Higgins introduces us today to Ron Akana, 83, a United Airlines flight attendant who has plied the friendly skies for an astonishing 63 years — logging 20 million miles, the equivalent of circling the globe 800 times. And while nobody is officially keeping track, he is widely believed to be the longest-serving flight attendant in the United States.

    Anyone who does a fair bit of international flying probably can’t help but notice that average cabin crew on American carriers are noticeably older than their foreign counterparts. In fact, recent data show that more than 40 percent of the roughly 100,000 flight attendants in the U.S. are over age 50. Less than 18 percent are 34 or younger.

    It’s a far cry from the world depicted on the TV series ”Pan Am,” when stewardesses — remember that word? — faced mandatory retirement at 32 and were fired if they became pregnant or married. Mr.Akana married a fellow flight attendant in 1963. According to the rules of the day, he continued to fly, but his new wife had to quit.

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  2. rwoman
    • Original Member

    rwoman Gold Member

    Wow! That's a lot of time in the air and around the globe!!
    Thanks for sharing.

    CharlesG likes this.
  3. NYCAdventurer

    NYCAdventurer Gold Member

    Great post, enjoyed the video and reposted to FB
    CharlesG likes this.
  4. MSPeconomist
    • Original Member

    MSPeconomist Gold Member

    I'm surprised that Bob the infamous old guy FA and purser based in MSP for NW and DL isn't older. My best guess is that Bob is 87-88 and started work flying at about age 20.
    CharlesG likes this.
  5. DLroads
    • Original Member

    DLroads Gold Member

    I was wondering how many times he and ua1flyer have met on a plane...
    CharlesG likes this.
  6. Toula
    • Original Member

    Toula Gold Member

    Not sure how I would feel in the case of an emergency having an 83 be in charge of my life. For the life of me I can't imagine too many peeps of that age being able to comfortably throw open the exit door and help passengers. After all, I can't imagine that any airline would allow an 83 to sit in the exit row.
    CharlesG and viguera like this.
  7. viguera
    • Original Member

    viguera Gold Member

    Good point... I like old people as much as the next guy, but in case of emergency he might actually be a liability, and people would have to end up helping him rather than the other way around.
    CharlesG likes this.
  8. Gaucho
    • Original Member

    Gaucho Gold Member

    Im surprised its legal for an airline to hire someone thats 80 years old.... :rolleyes:
    CharlesG likes this.
  9. desamo

    desamo Gold Member

    If you read the article, he is older, he just doesn't have more years in the air.
  10. desamo

    desamo Gold Member

    You obviously never met my old 87-yo landlady. She could out-perform me at any physical task (and this was 15 years ago, before I was handicapped). Sure, one needs to be careful that the elderly can do the work, but I'm glad there are elderly FAs.
  11. perryplatypus

    perryplatypus Gold Member

    With his years of experience I bet he makes a mean cocktail :D
    hpc likes this.
  12. Captain Oveur
    • Original Member

    Captain Oveur Gold Member

    With the airlines looking at cutting costs everywhere, I'm sure they wouldn't mind losing his salary. Thus, I'm sure they have made sure he is physically capable of doing his job.

    Heck, I would feel safer with Mr. Akana on board than some of the FAs on regional carriers. Some of which look like they need to get back to their domicile in time for their prom.
  13. Scottrick
    • Original Member

    Scottrick Gold Member

    I know 50-year-olds who have trouble walking, and 80-year-olds who I've greatly underestimated. Age matters not, only proven ability.
    LizzyDragon84 likes this.

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