Summer B. Geist
24; Vegan Years 1; Hometown Spokane, WA
“I spent about three months overseas in Tokyo, just kind of living my dream over there, and when I came back to America, suddenly I felt a little bit claustrophobic thinking about being home and not being able to travel. I thought, 'You know what? My stepdad is a pilot for Southwest and I know that he had these amazing flight benefits and he can kind of go where he wants. I thought, 'Well, I should just be a flight attendant and I can just go wherever I want whenever I feel the urge to travel.'
The application process is incredibly difficult, and then the interview process is incredibly difficult, and there's a month of game-show-style training that they put you through. They literally eliminate people as you go and it's terrifying. They train us in firefighting and they train us in evacuations. There's a week where they make you watch video after video of flight incidents, crashes, and emergencies. That week was pretty rough, trying to get through watching all of these terrible things that happened on the airplanes, but boy, did I learn a lot. They're very strict about their dress code and everything, so they do just send people home for all kinds of things. Even if you make it through the first three weeks, if you show up to class without one of your required items or your skirt is just an inch too short, they don't give you any second chances, they just say to pack your things and go home. Then, if you want to rejoin, I believe you have to wait six months and then go through the whole process again. I was very lucky and very careful."
Photo by Margaret Albaugh