Monday, December 14, 2009

Korean Flight Attendants

I hate traveling. Driving is lame. Airports make me nervous. Airplanes provide an expensive and ultimately unsatisfying napping experience. But on a Korean company's airplane, you will find little to complain about (other than the fourteen hour flight). Ladies and gentlemen, I present to you the fine men and women that make up the flight attendants of Korean Air and Asiana Airlines.

Korean Flight Attendant Airplane
Let's talk about the flight attendants. They are young, let me tell you. Younger than their average Western counterpart. I don't have numbers to prove it (which is usually a bad sign, but hey) but think about it.

American flight attendants are working a job. They represent a fairly broad age demographic - some young, some old. It's not that big of a deal because it's like any other industry - new blood coming in while veterans retire thus keeping the cycle going. But apparently these young Korean flight attendants are like high school football stars in Texas - once you get a certain age, your chance is blown. You had one shot while you were young and once you're done, a new, younger generation replaces you. Kind of harsh sounding, isn't it?

For that matter, I see a much larger proportion of female flight attendants. Where's all the guys? Strange, seeing how male flight attendants are in demand. Perhaps it's like the teaching field - always a demand for quality male teachers but a short supply of young men who want to commit to teaching. I'm seeing a recipe for disaster...and wouldn't you know it? Korean Air has had a troubled past regarding their hiring practices. Let's hope that things have changed, yes?

But what about these hot young things? What makes them so worthy of a lowly blogger's attention? Come on, people. These women aren't born, raised, and groomed to be flight attendants. But something about those uniforms... Oh keep your minds out of the gutter. I'm not talking about how cute they are (which they are). But the aura of service they radiate is almost intimidating. Their attention to small details, pleasant demeanor, and unyielding veneer of professionalism is admirable. Even the male attendants have this dignified charm about them. They truly are the color of perfection or so says last year's advertising campaign. Hey that's a whole lot better than their first slogan.
Korean Flight Attendants Uniform
But make no mistake, they are watching you as close as you are watching them. It's just that they aren't checking you out - they're looking for potential risks and in my case, a potential husband. They are trained professionals and not just eye candy for your extra long trip. I mean, wouldn't you want someone who was working a 14 hour shift to be on their guard for some goofball on the plane? Keep up the good work.

As someone who lives for good service (come on, who doesn't it?) I absolutely love the service on Korean flights. They know you're going to be on the plane for an eternity anyways, so might as well make it comfortable. Touch screen monitors, good food, decent leg room in coach, and unlimited supply of movies in Chinese, Japanese, English, and Korean. The only thing missing for me is a commons area to stand up and have a drink with fellow passengers (too much?). That would be awesome, though.

So, in summation, for someone who hates to fly, I love flying Korean. I'd live on a plane if I could. What are some of your experiences on an international Korean flight? Good service? Bad service?