It seems that Sylvie Drake, the Times theater writer, has been completely taken in by a bit of TWA theater. This is not surprising. What is surprising is that The Times would run a piece on TWA written by a layperson. As a flight attendant, I certainly wouldn't expect The Times to publish a piece I might write about theater, for I don't know all the details and nuances that are critical in that area. In other words, I know what I like, but I don't know what's "good." In this same sense, Drake knows what she likes about airline flights, but not what's good--or, in this case, safe.
Did she watch closely during the critical three minutes after takeoff and the eight minutes before landing, those times when most emergencies develop? Was all the safety equipment located, and were all the emergency exits engaged? Were the cabin and emergency centers secured for takeoff and landing?
As her charming "understudies" scanned their cabins, were they wooing the crowds and checking seat belts, or were they also automatically evaluating their cabins: imprinting the locations of children, elderly, handicapped and the most able-bodied and, finally, any suspect passenger who might prove a threat to flight and passenger safety? If, while in flight, there was a lavatory or oven fire, the terror of decompression, a choking child, an epileptic or drug-induced seizure, a noxious drunk or a frightened child traveling alone, what would these TWA actors do? What if there was an anticipated emergency landing?