I just read an article in the New York Times about a United Airlines steward, who is 83 years old. I have two thoughts: good for him; and, that is a sad commentary on American life.
It seems that the guy likes the job and does not want to lose his seniority. I’m surprised that the airline lets him continue, because he earns a lot more than a younger person would cost. But, I do not understand the rules and regulations. The article mentioned that less than 18% of United cabin crew in under 34. (My guess is the opposite is true with Lufthansa.)
I recall, many years ago, flying on Air Canada from Frankfurt to Toronto. It was my first flight in decades on a transatlantic flight with North American carrier. (My last flight across the Atlantic with an American airline was in the 70s! I had the misfortune of flying with one across the Pacific in the 90s, when I learned that their 1st class was comparable to business class on European or Asian carriers.) Anyways, my point about Air Canada was the discovery of being served by “my grandmother”. She was a very nice lady and service was good, but I want to get up and offer her my seat. I knew that I would have to help in any emergency situation…which never arose.
I prefer Lufthansa or Asian carriers, whose staff tends to be younger. In-flight service reminds me of the old days of flying (as portrayed by the television show, Pan Am.) I do not enjoy the feeling of needing to offer my seat to someone older…or close to my age. Of course, this is only one aspect of flying with non-US carriers, but I won’t get into another rant…
Prior to writing novels, the author enjoyed a multifaceted career: from decorated combat aviator to advertising professional to global communications director of a major consumer brand. He has traveled the world and met sports, film and television stars, political leaders, and royalty. He graduated from Middlebury College, is married, lives in Germany, and has two grown children.