JetBlue isn’t interested in the good-looking stewardesses of bygone days. They want flight attendants who are good in an emergency, who can take charge and inspire confidence. So they’ve been actively recruiting ex-cops and firefighters, the Wall Street Journal reports. As a result, about 10% of its 2,400-strong crew has emergency response experience, and the company says it’s thrilled with the results.
Before 9/11, an executive explains, flight attendants could fetch a captain if anything went wrong. But captains are now forbidden to leave the cockpit, so the airline needs highly capable attendants. “NYPD and FDNY are almost brands themselves, and it fits well for us,” she says. The cops and firefighters, meanwhile, often retire young, and are eager for new work. “I came here for the schedule,” said one. “The beeper doesn’t go off at 1 or 2am with someone saying, ‘We got your guy.’”