In the cabin today we have Travis Henry, a sexy, rugby-playing bear — and this issue’s cover boy! — who, as Fab goes to press, has been working in the industry for five years, three months and 12 days. He’s specific because “seniority is everything here!” He worked as a teacher and bartender for a few years, but one day he agreed to keep a girlfriend company for the four-hour wait in line to apply for a job as a flight attendant and figured he’d apply, too, since he’d already waited so long. She didn’t get the job, he did, and they don’t speak anymore. Ladies and gentlemen . . . well, just gentlemen really, please note that Travis might give you special attention if you’re his type. He says that one day he was on a flight with some stocky, handsome, muscled bears (his type!). It turns out they were the Toronto Argonauts; a large belly is kryptonite to Travis, so whilst manning the bar and snack cart he offered full cans of soda and extra snacks to these fellows, as, in his words, he considers this “maintenance.” A skinny twink seated nearby piped up and complained that he got only a glass of soda whereas they got the full can, blurting out, “What? Am I not your type?” The football player didn’t miss the opportunity: “So, if I’m your type, can I get an orange juice, too?” Travis’s story reminds me of the time I was “mystery shopping” a Virgin flight from London to New York; the steward took a shine to me and palmed a bottle of champagne into my bag when no one was looking, then proceeded to get me so drunk that I eventually revealed the forms I was filling out evaluating his service. He turned pale as a sheet until I showed him the 10 out of 10s I’d scribbled down. Ah, the joys of air travel when you’re a gay man.
Also in the cabin today we have Stephen MacDonald, in his 12th year, which included one year of humanitarian service that took him all over Afghanistan. Stephen, a self-confessed plane nut, believes his job is the “best-kept secret off the planet!” Many who enter this industry are tempted by the almost endless opportunity that travel affords, and there is no shortage of stories to be told back on the ground. Stephen’s favourite memory is an eight-day layover in Costa Rica, where he and nine crew members would spend their evenings looking across the Pacific Ocean while sitting in an infinity pool, sipping on gin and tonics before heading to dinner. Ryan tells of the time he found himself on a layover in NYC, made pals with a lesbian flight attendant couple and went with them to Stonewall for a drink, a night that was both meaningful and fun. When Travis offers you his salty nuts, please be sure to ask him about the time he and his colleagues used their crew jackets to toboggan down the Great Wall of China so they’d be on time for a flight. No word of a lie.
Lastly, ladies and gentlemen, I’d like to introduce Jesse Hazen, who has served the skies for one and a half years. Jesse kindly asks that you pinch him as he passes by because every day he finds himself reflecting on how he is living his dream. Just don’t be like the well-meaning but misdirected grandmother who tried to hook Jesse up with her granddaughter. That’s a not-going-to-fly zone.
It appears the captain has turned on the “Fasten seat belt” sign as we prepare for landing. You may wish to wake the loudly snoring man to your left with a sharp clap of the hands in front of his face. It’s been our pleasure flying with you today.
Will Eagle is a writer who thoroughly enjoys salty nuts on the regular.
If you’re interested in joining the travel industry, Fab suggests you take a look at these links:
To help you fly away with us, make sure you download this exclusive new mix from DJ Kris Steeves:
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