Imagine my surprise when I learned that the flight attendant on my upcoming flight was someone from my high school graduating class who had found a new career in mid-life as a Southwest Airlines flight attendant.
I had a few issues on my last airline flight. When I was waiting in the stand-by line, I struck up a conversation with a flight attendant. I asked her if the airlines also made flight attendants wait in line for booked flights and she explained that she was just starting her work day and was checking in. I proceeded to explain to her my dilemma of just trying to get home and that got us comparing notes on where we lived. Apparently, this flight attendant had grown up in and around the same area I had. When I asked her where she graduated from high school and she replied North Hollywood High – Class of 1977, I just about fell over. Why? Because I graduated from North Hollywood High in the class of 1977!!!! We didn’t recognize each other by our maiden names so we hadn’t hung around in the same crowds (she was on the drill team; I was in student government) but we did have fun trying to come up with mutual friends (which we eventually did). What a small world it truly is.
While we were waiting for our flight, I also had the time to ask Khris about her experience of making a career change in mid-life and becoming a flight attendant.
How long have you been a flight attendant? 6 years.
What brought you to this career change? I was having a bad day and literally wanted to just “fly away.” I happened to go on Southwest Airline’s web site and looked at their SWA Career Page and applied for a job. What I didn’t know then was that the job opening was only being offered for a nine hour window. During that short time period, over 349,000 people applied and only 500 (including me) were hired. It was truly meant to be.
What do you like the best about your job? Traveling to all kinds of different destinations is the best. I am able to connect with friends all over the country.There is a lot of truth to having a friend in every port.
What don’t you like about your job? There isn’t anything I don’t like. There never is a bad day. Maybe there is a bad flight but it only lasts so long and the passengers eventually get off and I can start all over with a new group of passengers.
Is your job hard on your family? I have just recently remarried and my new husband was a career military man so he knows what it is like to pick up and travel. He doesn’t mind me being gone for short periods of time. As for my three children and five grandchildren, I live in Las Vegas and they live in Burbank and San Diego. My job allows me to go and visit them more often.
It was really fun to talk with Khris. You just never know when your past will come back to you.
Do you stay connected with people from high school? How do you stay in touch?