Person of the Week

Sharon Aylward

Flight Attendant

My worst day was 9/11…….I’ve survived with the knowledge that there is still respect and kindness in the world and you can claim it for yourself.

1.  What led you to the mission of being a flight attendant?

I found a job in one place and with regular business hours — suffocating.  I wanted a career that had more latitude – literally!   I was interested and curious about people, cultures, customs, food, buildings, landscapes, and history.   I’ve been able to support myself, earn an income, and have the freedom to explore the world.

2.  What does this mission mean to you?

Being a flight attendant is an education.  What I’ve learned is that an individual’s behavior is not about me.  If someone is behaving badly, I don’t take responsibility for this bad behavior. I seek understanding through this relationship and realize individuals have more in common than not.  What is most important is to see the bad behavior, note it, but turn and keep my focus on doing good service to everyone aboard.

 3.  What was your best day as a flight attendant?

My best day is working with other flight attendants and learning something new or building on what I already know.  Each day has a wide spectrum of new life experiences.

4.  What was your worst day as a flight attendant and how did you survive?

My worst day was September 9, 2011 when “planet earth” was knocked off its axis with hate and fear.  The question I had in my mind was, “How do we all love one another?”  I’ve survived with the knowledge that there is still respect and kindness in the world and you can claim it for yourself.

(Note: September 11, 2011 was the day terrorists hijacked four commercial planes and used them as weapons to destroy innocent lives and target three large populated buildings in the United States.)


  1. Judith Felch 02/18/12
    6:22 pm

    I am drawn into watching a person in a job serving others who is genuinely dedicated to listening and helping a stranger. There is usually a “selflessness” that radiates true kindness. My grandson has flown numerous times as an “unaccompanied minor” and I have been deeply moved by the mothering qualities of the flight attendants who care for him. Thank you for your kindness….your giving of yourself to others rather than just going through the motions.


  2. As a very “Frequent Flyer” I recognize the hard work that flight attendants do every day. I try to be extra nice to them to make up for the rude passengers. Your hours are long and your responsibility to your passengers goes beyond making sure they get peanuts and a drink. You are trained to take care of emergencies in order to save lives. You probably don’t know this but if something happens that seems a bit odd (like a strange noise, excessive turbulence) I look at the faces of my attendants to see if they are concerned. And as always, never even a blip so I go back to my computer secure that I am in good hands. Thanks for all you do!


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