Flight attendants aren't waitresses in the sky

The world's first eight flight attendants took to the air in May 1930. They were all nurses, hired by Boeing Air Transport (forerunner to United Airlines) to give early-era air passengers a greater sense of security on board.

As air travel became safer over the ensuing decades, nurses were no longer required in the cabin.

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on January 11, 2019, with the headline 'Flight attendants aren't waitresses in the sky'. Print Edition | Subscribe