I made a few flight attendant cookies for a special person today. That someone was a co-worker, or flying partner as we refer to each other, but someone who meant so much more than that to countless people.
It’s difficult to explain to anyone outside the airline industry what it’s like to be a flight attendant.
Regardless of the airline you work for or the uniform you wear, regardless of the language you speak, your age, race, sexual orientation or gender, you’re first and foremost a flight attendant. You’re part of a very special family.
Once you join the ranks it becomes part of your persona, your character and your blood. And we have a special blood type, unlike in any other industry except maybe among police officers and firefighters.
Nowhere was that more evident than at our United Airlines base in Miami. MIASW is the “code-name” for the base we all enjoyed for more than 12 years until, sadly, United closed the base and everyone in our “family” was suddenly communicating with one another from all corners of the globe.
Whether you worked in MIASW, MIAFO, MIAMM, MIACS, or any of the other departments at that base, you were a family member.
And always will be.
The base is where we began and ended every trip, checked in for flights and decided where on the plane we wanted to work, caught up on gossip and made plans for the layover: The place where we traded trips with one another, promised to bid lines with friends, shared tips on hidden places we’d found on layovers around the world, laughed, cried and let off steam.
MIASW was simply HOME.
Regardless of where you finally landed (not always at the destination you planned for) there was a good chance you’d run into a “family member”. Whether sitting at the pool in Caracas, eating in a churrascaria in Rio, or polishing off another bottle of red wine in a little corner restaurant Buenos Aires, you felt more comfortable sharing the time with one, or many, MIASW flight attendants and pilots.
It’s an amazing group of people from a wide array of backgrounds. There is both strength and unity among flight attendants and never was it more evident than at the MIASW base.
Uniforms, and work rules change, supervisors, aircraft and routes come and go, new-hires join the ranks and others retire or move on; but we all have a bond that is unbreakable and only those in the industry realize how strong and special that bond is.
And so, as a small tribute to Lisa Taylor, a beautiful flying partner from MIASW who we tragically lost this week, I made a few cookies. It’s the least I could do.
We all said our final goodbyes to Lisa. Some were at the church and others had their own moment of silence at a layover somewhere in this crazy world of ours.
It’s called solidarity and it’s a big deal among flight attendants.
It was both heartbreaking and heartwarming as so many from MIASW were brought together by another funeral. This is just a part of the “crew” from the memorial service.
There are a lot of people who will miss Lisa. She’ll never know how much she is loved and missed but we all pray now for one thing: That’s she’s finally at peace.
We’re sending you love & hugs Lisa. These hearts are from your entire MIASW crew.
We know that you are Dancing in the Sky now.