2012: #7 – Cruising Attitude (Heather Poole)

Title: Cruising Attitude
Author: Heather Poole
Format: Kindle
Pages: 272 (2012 total – 1,856)
Approx. Word Count: 68,000 (2012 total – 542,004)
Release Date: March 06, 2012
Publisher: Avon
Categories: memoir
Source: ARC from Publisher
Rating: 3.5 out of 5

Back of the book:

Flying the not-so-friendly skies…

In her more than fifteen years as an airline flight attendant, Heather Poole has seen it all. She’s witnessed all manner of bad behavior at 35,000 feet and knows what it takes for a traveler to become the most hated passenger onboard. She’s slept in flight attendant crashpads in “Crew Gardens,” Queens—sharing small bedrooms crammed with bunk beds with a parade of attractive women who come and go at all hours, prompting suspicious neighbors to jump to the very worst conclusions. She’s watched passengers and coworkers alike escorted off the planes by police. She can tell you why it’s a bad idea to fall for a pilot but can be a very good one (in her case) to date a business-class passenger. Heather knows everything about flying in a post-9/11 world—and she knows what goes on behind the scenes, things the passengers would never dream.

Heather’s true stories in Cruising Attitude are surprising, hilarious, sometimes outrageously incredible—the very juiciest of “galley gossip” delightfully intermingled with the eye-opening, unforgettable chronicle of her fascinating life in the sky.

My thoughts:

For someone who “doesn’t read memoirs”, I’ve picked up more than a few this year. This one drew my eye because I enjoy flying, and had absolutely no idea what a flight attendant’s job was like.

After finishing the book, I’m fairly certain that I would never want to be a flight attendant. I never would have imagined a super-strict book camp, or the fact that for a long time, an attendant makes so little money they are lucky if they can afford to rent a room of their own, let alone an entire apartment. And we’re not talking about the 70s or the 80s here — when Poole became a flight attendant in 1995 she made $18,000. That number is even lower now, because attendants took a pay cut following 9/11.

And it was the lifestyle that I found most intriguing about this book. We also get plenty of stories of crazy behavior, by both passengers and crew, but most of them are nothing we haven’t already imagined for ourselves. The real meat is the life of the flight attendant. She does a pretty good job of explaining the system, but I’m still not sure I completely understand it. The concept of being “on reserve” is ridiculously complicated. Being a commuting flight attendant also seems a bit complex.

Overall, I found this to be not only interesting but very entertaining. Poole has a nice easy tone, and she seems like someone who would be fun to hang out with.  The one pick I have about the book is that I think it could have been a little better organized. She goes off on a lot of tangents. Entertaining as they are, I think sometimes the reader can lose the theme of the chapter.

If you like humorous memoirs, this is definitely one to pick up. I know I’ll never look at a flight attendant quite the same way again.

Available from: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | IndieBound | WorldCat

Other reviews:

Past reviews:

2011: Vows, Vendettas & a Little Black Dress (Kyra Davis)
2010: Pacific Vortex (Clive Cussler)
2009: Plum Spooky (Janet Evanovich)
2008: Gone (Lisa Gardner)
2007: The Dark Tower (Stephen King)
2006: Whiteout (Ken Follett)
2005: Twisted (Jonathan Kellerman)

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