By Jennie Jordan author of Flying High
WANT to see what cabin crew look like out of uniform? Go to your local cinema to see Pedro Almodovar's I'm So Excited. When I went in London at least three quarters of the audience was clearly crew. Leggy girls with deep tans and their hair down? Crew. Buff guys with tight t-shirts and very short hair? Crew. Big groups of twenty-something pals turning up late and strutting across the cinema lobby arm in arm? Crew. The occasional forty and fifty something couple who arrived early and look just a little bit disapproving? Crew.
We're all there to see Pedro A's version of our job. And we like it.
It's not the laugh-a-minute film the trailer suggests. There's some sad and emotional bits in it, after all.
But there's also the dream economy class cabin. That's what I want to see again and again - and in real life.
I won't give away the plot. But the deal is that the plane has to be kept calm. So everyone in economy, including the crew, has been drugged. The camera pans over them all. Passengers are squashed ten across, what looks like hundreds of rows back - and they're all asleep. No babies are crying. No toddlers are screaming. No fit and healthy able-bodied people are pressing call bells to ask for a third Jack Daniels and coke. No angry vegetarians are arguing about their special meals. No old men in socks are doing stretching exercises by the loos. Of course it's wrong, even in a film to just knock the passengers out like this. But doesn't it look peaceful? Isn't it the best way to travel, really?
In I'm So Excited the action - in every sense of the word - ends up happening in Business Class. And at several grand a seat that's only fair, no? In Business the passengers and crew talk about sex, drugs and rock and roll. They have sex, take drugs and skip the rock and roll in favour of The Pointer Sisters. Is any of that realistic? Do crew really do these things? I couldn't possibly say. But I have written a book about it. And now the film's over, I'm back on the other side of the galley curtain making notes for a sequel.
Flying High by Jennie Jordan is out now by Endeavour Press.
Follow her on twitter @JetSetJennieJ