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Fly Girl

A Memoir

by Ann Hood

Fly Girl by Ann Hood X
Fly Girl by Ann Hood
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  • Published May 2022
    288 pages
    Genre: Biography/Memoir

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There are currently 26 member reviews
for Fly Girl
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  • Patricia B. (Norwood, MA)
    Fly Girl is Going Places
    Ann Hood is a wonderful story teller; her craft brings her life experiences to another level.
    Relating to the time in which she worked for TWA, her experiences were entertaining as well as reminiscent of time gone by in air travel.
  • Karen S. (Orlando, FL)
    Fly Girl is First Class
    Ann Hood has written a wonderful walk through aviation history from the flight attendant perspective. She shares humorous and touching stories from her own experience. It brought back memories of my own experiences as a child boarding my first plane. This is a great book to pack in your carry-on bag for your next vacation. I highly recommend this book!
  • Emily C. (Naples, FL)
    A Fun and Informative Trip
    The moment I saw this memoir I knew I had to read it. Based on the experiences of Ann Hood as a flight TWA attendant, it is an entertaining and informative telling of her experiences at the end of the "glamour days" of flying.

    Hood was hired at a time when "perceptions of the job (flight attendant) and women's roles began to shift, as well as the start of airline deregulation, arguably the most crucial turning point in the airline industry".

    Qualifications for flight attendants at the time were sexist. TWA required candidates to be unmarried, of a certain height and weight, a certain age range (28 years old and out), and willingness to relocate. There were unannounced weight checks, and measurements of earrings, heel heights, and hemlines.

    American Airlines had a 32 age limit and argued the a basic requirement of attractiveness was found only in young women.

    The training was rigorous. In addition to comportment classes "in the interest of grace, rhythm, and the body beautiful," candidates took classes in grooming, poise, food and beverage service, teamwork and customer service. if that wasn't enough, they also learned the safety practices for all planes in the airline's fleet, how to locate and operate the emergency equipment, and how to evacuate the plane in the case of an emergency.

    One of the hardest parts of emergency training was studying plane crashes: what caused them, and how people were and weren't saved.

    Hood tells us that after years of flying, she was no longer a small-town girl. She goes on to say that: "I'd flown thousands of miles, fixed countless mistakes, helped thousands of people, and navigated new cities-often by herself. Being a flight attendant had turned me into a confident, worldly young woman".

    She details how hard flight attendants had fought for basic rights, like eliminating age, marriage, and pregnancy restrictions. As she says, "we were living examples of winning those struggles for equality and professionalism".

    She concludes by saying, "I learned...that most people are pretty wonderful, to laugh at human foibles and myself, and to stop taking things too seriously. TWA made my childhood dreams come true and turned me into the person I am today, forty years later".

    Thank you BookBrowse for the opportunity to review the ARC. I loved every page of this book, gained lots of historical information along the way, and laugh outloud at many of the episodes described. I highly recommend it.
  • Lizmarie
    Sexist Skies
    Ann Hood's Fly Girl made me nostalgic for the days of my youth when I, too, watched with admiration as the TWA flight attendants walked confidently, in their high heels, through the airport, pulling their roller bags behind them. To a young girl, they seemed so worldly, so competent, and so "put together," in their navy and red uniforms. I was impressed with the glamour of flying, but totally ignorant of the required training. Much later, as a business traveler, I marveled at the skill required to cope with mechanical issues, obnoxious passengers, and medical emergencies.

    Hood skillfully documents the technical and historical aspects of flying and the human experiences, good and bad, of her passengers. She also chronicles her own development as a woman and as a writer.

    Anyone who has ever traveled by air will enjoy this look behind the scenes. Book clubs, especially those members of a certain age, will enjoy comparing the good old days of the sexist skies with today's cheaper, no frills flying, TSA inspections and mask mandates.
  • Diane C. (Gainesville, FL)
    What if...
    Many young people long to travel the world, but perhaps none so passionately as aspiring flight attendants. What is it like to thrust aside college plans and follow your travel lust? As Hood describes in this excellent memoir, it's a tough path in many respects. But for her, the adventures far outweighed the difficulties. Jaw-dropping sexism? Check. Spur of the moment free travel to Rome? Double check! Readers of a certain age will well remember the days of complimentary meals and cabin smoking. Younger readers, who may hop on an airplane as casually as hopping into an Uber, will find tales of the early days both enthralling and appalling. An enjoyable vicarious trip up, up, and away!
  • Ariel F. (Madison, WI)
    What it's really like being a flight attendant'
    This was a well written book. It held my attention about the real life of a flight attendant. All too often we think of that life as being so wonderful. Hood brought the realities of that to light in her memoir. I enjoyed reading about her various experiences—whether it was sharing an apartment with other flight attendants or sleeping on the floor of an airplane.
  • Marguerite K. (Vernon, CT)
    This is an interesting book, especially for someone who has flown many times and may have wondered what being a flight attendant was like. The experience of going through the process of getting hired and trained is well documented. The many experiences on the job and spending time in cities all over the world sound fascinating. Although dealing with all the many tasks involved as well as with sometimes difficult passengers must have been challenging she never lost the love for the profession she chose. I wonder what her college classmates headed for the financial and business worlds who were skeptical of her career choice would have thought of everything she saw and learned. I loved that a little girl achieved her dream; that does not always happen.


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