Aviation Memorabilia Newsletter Since 1995

Aviation Memorabilia Newsletter

Since 1995

Monika Hilson recounts a story about working in the first class cabin -

On the DC-8 there were 12 first class seats. They were the choice of the elite in the 1960's that could afford the fare.

It was wonderful to see nicely dressed up and well mannered passengers. We, 'stewardesses', were actually looked up to as a dream career. All of us were immaculate from head to toe, well groomed young and attractive.  I had never seen a passenger sitting in a cut off undershirt until 25 years later working a flight to Waikiki, what a shock!

In first class we had a seven course dinner. I can see you all salivating now. It started with beluga caviar, and champagne. Next came the fresh lobster claws, shrimp and scallops done in an exquisite sauce.

Now you could order a cold soup with beautiful breads or a soup called Mulligatawny. We always had vintage French wines. Following that we served a Chateaubriand or another choice of meat, usually Chicken Kiev. The meats were carved at your seat. There was a beautiful red rose and about three wine glasses that were set up on a large linen tablecloth.

Next was the beautiful choice of cheese and fresh fruit and last was the dessert trolley with coffee followed by the liquor trolley and ending with Cuban cigars.

One time I was delegated to work the first class galley. Usually the senior 'stewardess' took the position but, on this occasion, she was a bit tired of working with the public too much.

I hated working the galley. Who wants to move china, glasses, scrape dishes and look after the pilots who did not want to eat their crew meal and would wait to see what was left over from first class. 

Now, here is what happened on that flight. It was a rather short take off and we climbed suddenly. Right behind me, I was sitting on the jump seat, I could hear the click of the oven door opening up.

As I was strapped in and we were climbing rapidly I could not get up. All of a sudden, to my horror,  I see a beautiful Chateaubriand rolling down the aisle past me. The passenger in the first row caught it and, when we levelled off, I went up to him and said, "thank God we have two of them".

Actually, there were no extra meals on board and we had to work with what we had. I proceeded to the galley, closed the curtain, washed it off and stuck it back into the oven. It turned out very well for escaping down the aisle. 

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