8 Most Famous Flight Attendants

With Labor Day less than a month away, time to salute some of the men and women who work at 35,000 feet: airline flight attendants. We are doubly appreciative of their efforts because so many will not be getting the day off.

Are today’s flight attendants too old?

Famous Flight Attendants

Fortunately, the flight attendants FareCompare knows have a good sense of humor (unless you call them ugly or old), and we’ve designed the following quiz with that in mind for some of our selections. See if you can identify the ‘famous flight attendants’ below. Answers are at the end.

Who is This?

1. Deltalina (see her famous video below)

2. Steven Slater

3. Ellen Church

4. Elaine Dickinson

5. “1950s gym teacher”

6. Heinrich Kubis

7. Bearded, mini-skirted flight attendant

8. Grandmother of a future king of England


1. Delta flight attendant Katherine Lee starred in her airline’s onboard safety video(from 2008 to 2012) and earned half her nickname due to her Angelina Jolie-esque cheekbones. We hear she is still flying for Delta today but are trying to confirm this (and see the video below).

2. Steven Slater became an instant celebrity when the fed-up JetBlue flight attendant decided to quit his job. It was the manner of his resignation that caught peoples’ imaginations: He grabbed a couple of beers from the galley, deployed the emergency slide, and zipped down the chute into social media infamy – and unemployment.

3. In 1930, Ellen Church became the first flight attendant in the U.S. She was also a pilot but the long-defunct Boeing Air Transport airline wouldn’t hire her to fly planes so she took a job with them as stewardess. This woman of many talents was also a nurse and that became a standard requirement for flight attendants over the next several years.

4. Fictional flight attendant Elaine Dickinson played by Julie Hagerty in the movie Airplane! was most often straight man in this 1980 comedy hit but she had her share of comic lines including, “There’s no reason to become alarmed, and we hope you enjoy the rest of your flight. By the way, is there anyone on board who knows how to fly a plane?” Ms. Hagerty has been working steadily in mostly supporting roles ever since (she is currently featured in a commercial for Old Navy in the role of a – yes, flight attendant).

5. “1950s gym teacher” is the nickname Alec Baldwin assigned to the unknown American Airlines flight attendant (unknown to FareCompare, anyway) who told the actor to turn off his electronic device. The actor apparently did not do this and was kicked off the plane and as has become de rigueur these days, a social media cluster-something ensued. If anyone has an update on the flight attendant, we’d love to hear about it. As for Mr. Baldwin, he continues to act and continues to garner interesting publicity from time to time.

6. Heinrich Kubis was actually the first flight attendant in the world if you include zeppelin stewards. The German-born Kubis launched his career back in 1912 but is probably better known as one of the survivors of the fire that swept the Hindenburg as it attempted to land in Lakehurst, New Jersey in 1937.

7. Virgin emperor Richard Branson lost a bet and agreed to play flight attendant for a day (a stunt that raised big bucks for charity). Although Sir Richard happily shaved his legs for the five hour long flight, he could not part with his beard and mustache but he did apply scarlet lipstick.

8. You really didn’t think we meant Queen Elizabeth, did you? The lady in question is Carole Middleton, mother of Kate, mother-in-law of William, and grandma to George Alexander Louis. You know, one of the Windsor kids.

Watch for Deltalina’s famous finger-wag at 1:50 in the video below:


Published: August 8, 2013