Friday's Fabulous Flyer!
M. J. Hinds
M.J. began her aviation career in 1983 at America West Airlines (AWA). She was number 6 in seniority. She began as C.S.R.'s, customer service representatives. What's CSR? These were the fabulous people who were flight attendants, baggage handlers and gate agents (3 in 1). They flew out of Sky Harbor, Arizona, in the good ole days.
In 1984 M.J. left AWA to start on the ground floor of another startup company, McClain Airlines. McClain Airlines would be an entire aircraft with only first class service . M.J. said, "I was hired as a flight attendant but was offered a flight attendant supervisor position rather quickly. I went around the country hiring flight attendants. I was a consultant on many decisions to include; uniform, menu, to allow smoking or not on our beautiful aircraft, etc.. "
They operated 727's with telephones at every seat, well before any other carrier offered phone service. Art hung on the walls and they served first class meals and liquor for the price of a full fare coach ticket. The plan was to appeal to the frequent business traveler. They probably could have made it if they charged a first class price. But, that is history.
"Our flight attendants wore navy colored Jones suits out of N.Y. with ivory colored Seville blouses. Our planes were all first class, painted navy blue with gold leaf lettering and a gold leaf phoenix on the tail. We had seating for only 74 with three flight attendants. "
I met M.J. at the NW aviation conference and she began telling me about her writing, as well as her history at America West Airlines.
M.J. has drawn upon her traveling experiences, as well as having been a resident of Bermuda and Jeddah, Saudi Arabia. As the former innkeeper/owner of The Anniversary Inn, originator of Fashions For Fun Boutique, flight attendant and airline supervisor. She's been a public speaker and model and has gathered much material that has been transformed into a non-fiction book and a novel. Her published works are Dreaming Of Inn-keeping and Reunion In Paradise. M.J. is a grandmother of twin grandsons and resides with her husband, Bruce, and their Old English Sheepdog, Oliver, in Port Orchard, Washington
"Living in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia
was a real experience."
"Our 6 year old son and I accompanied my husband who flew for TWA. I was the only female who lived in the compound, in the garbage dump, with all the other pilots from around the world. Originally, we went for 6 weeks but ended up staying 3 months. They confiscated our passports at customs when we entered the country but were unable to leave until they were returned. My son attended the P.C.S. (Parents Cooperative School). His only playmates were the wild desert dogs, he was the only person they let near them. He had a favorite little puppy he named “Hashbrown.”
Stephen and I committed a huge NO-NO and took a taxi into town so he could join the Cub Scouts. My husband on a trip out of the kingdom, which he often was, I was determined my son was going to be able to join the scouts. Going home in the dark to the compound we had to give the driver directions in Arabic. The driver didn't know what to make of us; an American woman and a fair- haired child and no man with us.
When we first arrived in Jeddah we went into town to shop in the Souke (marketplace). I had on short sleeves and jeans. I later learned you did not show any skin for the paint squad would throw red paint on your exposed skin to shame you. So, after that it was a long-sleeved blouse, long skirt, and covered head at 120 degrees! All in all it was an enlightening experience."
For more information about M.J.'s books
check out her website.
Enjoy the Journey!