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The School of Flaunt

Back when "Flying Was Fun" Alexandra Smythe and Cate Clarke were Flight Attendants with a Major International Carrier. Prior to Private Jets coming into vogue, Alexandra and Cate traveled in the First Class World, meeting and greeting the top celebrities, politicians who would become Presidents, nouveau riche, and yes the occasional Headline Grabbing Criminal in Handcuffs!

What the two ladies viewed and experienced became fodder for the School of Flaunt, so much money, such bad taste and oh those terrible manners. Something had to be done! Hence, The School of Flaunt Handbook was born. Read More

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Patsy and the Pope!

Category: SOF Divas’ Diaries ®  |  Permalink

Published: Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Patsy and the Pope!

Everyone loved Pope John Paul. He was charismatic and kind in every situation. He loved to reach out to his flock and made several major trips to America. It was just one of these trips that brings me to my memories of Patsy and the Pope.

Patsy and I were working in First Class on a transcontinental flight to JFK. Who might be among our passengers but the two biggest honchos with the airline our CEO and CFO. And yes they were very nice gentlemen.

The talk among all of our airline's employees was about having snagged the biggest celebrity of the time, none other than the Pope, to take our airline for his tour! To say this was a major coup would be putting it mildly. All of the carriers had wanted this charter!

Anyway, Patsy and I had been discussing the Pope's upcoming American trip and we had wondered how to get our names in as CREW for the Pope's trip. Clearly this was a long shot, but I quickly decided that now was the time to take advantage of having the big shots on board! I pulled Patsy into the galley and whispered, "Now is our chance to pitch ourselves as crew members for the Special Pope Charter. Are you in?" Patsy was not shy and immediately replied, "Let's do it."

As you all know from following the Pan Am TV series, there was a period in flying history when flight attendants were not only young, but perfectly groomed and always ready to strike up a conversation when it was appropriate. And boy did we feel like it was appropriate now! So Pasty and I got ready for the kill. We casually engaged the Airline execs in conversation. Quickly, I zeroed in on the upcoming Charter in question.

Moi: "We understand that the Pope will be using our Airline to travel to and around America. We are so thrilled for the company to have this publicity!"

CEO: "Yes, that's correct. We are going to provide the Vatican with three jets for his trip."

CFO: "Each jet will be refigured to take care of the Pope, traveling clergy and press. And we will be serving food that has been expressly ordered for the Pope."

Patsy: Smiling ever so sweetly says. "How are you selecting Crew for these charters? Are you only going to use Catholic crew members?"

Moi: I immediately chime in with, "That's a great idea, Patsy, as Catholics, they would understand the ins and outs of protocol in dealing with the Pope, Cardinals, and Priests."

Patsy: "And it would mean so much to a Catholic. Really a dream of a lifetime!"

CFO: "I'm a Catholic and I can tell you I was thrilled to meet him in the Vatican when we were planning this trip."

Patsy and I are smiling now! Maybe this was going to work?

Patsy: "We are both Catholic and would love to be on the Pope's charter."

The CEO who had been sitting there quietly now chimes in, "Well, I am not Catholic. But my wife and I also were thrilled to meet with the Pope."

Ouch! Awkward moment now, as we feel our Catholic faith "hook" slipping away. But it was still worth a try.

Moi: "Well, we would be honored to be chosen. Please keep us in mind and here are our names and domiciles. It was a pleasure to meet you."

Back in the Galley by ourselves we both agreed that we gave it our best shot!

Fast forward to the Pope's Charter one month later-

Patsy: "So did you see who they announced would be working the Pope's charter? Our Supervisors!!" Yes, the management took the opportunity to don brand new uniforms and work the Chartered Planes for the Pope's visit.

Moi: "How could we be so naïve to think that they would chose real flight attendants to work the Pope's flight? And guess what, not one of them is Catholic!"

Well, the Press did not miss this little faux pas. They noted that the Flight Attendants were not regular working Crew Members, but their managers. The Pilots however, were only selected out of a Catholic pool of Pilots and brought their family Bibles for the Pope's blessing. Can you see this scenario happening today?

In a follow-up on another trip to America, a good friend Maureen, who has now passed away, was able to fly with Pope John Paul and this time the press published beautiful photos of the Pope and Maureen on the specially configured 767.

It was only fitting that the Pope, Traveled With Angels.

Xoxo,

Cate

Posted by: Sandra LaBorde
Sunday, March 4, 2012 @ 12:08:32 PM

This is a Great site...


Posted by: Patty
Saturday, March 3, 2012 @ 8:55:10 AM

LOVE your posts! Thanks!

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