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4.5 out of 5 stars68
4.5 out of 5 stars
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on 19 May 2013
Definitely recommend this to anyone who enjoys reading about airline industry and travel around the world. The author gives a fascinating insight into what it was really like to be a Pan Am stewardess back in the day, with so many interesting and amusing anecdotes. Its also an interesting journey through history, hearing first hand what many of the worlds most significant events were like, and how a young lady in the early 60's beat all the odds to fulfil her dream. I really didn't want it to end!
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on 16 May 2013
my wife said it sounded like book for women !! however i have really enjoyed reading this book and have found it hard to put down it is certainly worth the five stars i have given it
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on 19 April 2013
Having just gone into the airline industry, I could really relate to this book! Not only this, but part of the book is set in my hometown! It's a really easy read and the part I especially loved was the fact that the author included personal pictures at the end. It really helps you picture the story! A fantastic book!
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on 10 September 2013
Just finished this insightful, interesting and enjoyable book. Completed in about 2 days, very much a page turner.
Written very well, and Betty includes all necessary detail, without boring you with the unnecessary. Charters her full career with Pan Am in wonderful detail.
As previous Cabin Crew, I found the comparisons interesting to read and to only wish I flew during this era as i would still be doing it now!
A must read for anyone in the aviation industry or for anyone simply interested in aviation.
Enjoy.
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on 26 April 2013
As current crew remembering the pan am era it was great! Well recommended ESP for those who started/were flying whilst they were still operating.
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on 14 July 2013
Really loved this book. I was able to imagine what it was like in the days when people had 'Sunday best' and dressed put to travel. Great read
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on 22 September 2014
I so much enjoyed this book! It is no great literary masterpiece but that doesn’t matter; the normal, chatty style of narration is perfectly pitched. Betty was just an ordinary girl from a council house in Walthamstow, like many others, but one who grabbed every opportunity with both hands, and followed her dream; what an amazing life and career she had. She went from the typing pool to work as an air hostess, which completely changed her life. How exciting it must have been to have such a job; I was so envious, in a nice way, whilst reading this book. She really did live the dream, and after travelling the world, whilst based in the States, chose to settle there.

It also brought home to me how standards have changed in the last 50 years with regard to service on board and behaviour of passengers. These girls were proud to have such a privileged role and thoroughly lived up to it, setting standards and acting as role models, whilst still taking advantage of all the fun and perks that came their way. What a marvellous job it must have been. And flying was then an event for the passengers, not like today when we see people slobbing around in tracksuits on the way to Benidorm. Unfortunately some of the aspects of life as a PanAm stewardess were sexist but that is just a sign of the times; such as having to remain single, being forced to leave upon marrying etc. This was anathema to a modern woman like me who was born around the time of the Equal Pay Act.

I found it so attention-grabbing and I particularly liked how Betty talked about contemporary issues, ie the Kennedy assassination and the Vietnam War which helped to set everything in context in her personal world, and juxtaposed the luxury lifestyles of some of the passengers against the reality of what was happening in the changing and unpredictable modern world. The anecdotes and stories were so interesting.

My only criticism (which lost the half star for me) is that she said she had lost touch with some of her friends back in England because she had moved on and had nothing to talk about. That to me is no excuse and you don’t have to think you are being smug because you are fortunate; everyone has something of interest in their life and it is up to you to ask them about themselves and to keep the conversation and the relationship going. I found that quite sad as my friends mean everything to me and I would never let that happen.

My friend was an air hostess in the 1990s/2000s and I am sure she will love this book.

4.5
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on 15 November 2013
This is the first time I'm compelled to write a book review immediately. I got the book yesterday and today I finished it. To read a book in two days is very rare for me, so as you can guess this book really struck me.

I've always thought of flight attendants and captains sitting in their ivory tower when seeing them walking in the airport terminal chatting happily with each other. This is not the case with Betty Riegel. From the very beginning I could sense her humility and modesty. For example at one point of the book she tells how she gradually lost contact or at least felt a bit disconnected with her childhood friends who were still living in England, because she didn't want to brag about her adventurous life around the world while they were living a normal family life. She also has a great sense of humor while recalling some funny incidents in her stewardess career which probably weren't so funny at the time. She always thinks well of other people and never in the book does she speak badly of anyone. Also a thing I have to point out is that she takes in consideration readers from non-english speaking countries. Like for example when she explained that Time is a popular weekly magazine in America. A small detail but I think most of the authors believe that readers from non-english speaking countries know everything about America, Canada, UK or the other english speaking countries, which of course we don't. I like how well she remembers many conversations or maybe she kept a good diary. I cannot praise her enough. I feel like she deserves so much more. Just one more thing. Although she lived a life which many would envy, she doesn't speak of herself as a celebrity or better than the rest us. She speaks about the great movie stars flying Pan Am whom she had the privilage to serve, when in fact Betty Riegel could be the star instead!

Thank you Betty for letting us into your dream life!
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on 2 June 2014
I would recommend this one to all single ladies who loves to travel - in an age when most "girls" left school and married, Betty chose a different life for herself - and what a life! I toyed with the idea of becoming an "air hostess" but couldn't swim and wasn't about to learn either, being too scared of the water. Dreams of faraway travel in an era when only the rich could afford it, seeing the wonders of the world and how other people live, has a strong pull for some of us, whilst others are happy to return to the same place time and time again - hey, each to his (or her) own.

Betty fulfilled her dreams and this is a wonderful book to read. She has a lovely turn of phrase and engages you all the way. The world was a very different place in the late 50s/early 60s and she really gives insight into what was happening from a personal perspective, which is not what you get from news coverage of the time. She was there for so many important events, across the world, which was quite unique at that time for a "girl" from her background.

I found it very difficult to put this book down - reading through to 2.00 in the morning at one time. Buy this one - you won't regret it.
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on 12 July 2013
i bought this book for my daughter and she sat down and read it in one day, it has all ready been passed on to her friend
who is a real life trolley dolly
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