How interesting it is to fall in love in the sky; even at about 40,000 feet above sea level.
It is a norm while travelling by air to see charming, beautiful, down-to-earth, well dressed and courteous young ladies serve as air hostesses. Their male counterparts are known as air hosts. These people are also known as flight or cabin attendants, cabin crew, stewards and stewardesses.
To say their presence in the plane is as important as that of the pilot might not be far from the truth, because they are also members of the aircrew employed by airlines primarily to ensure the safety and comfort of passengers aboard commercial flights, private jets and even some military aircraft.
Often beaming with enchanting smiles and being overly polite, coupled with their glowing appearance as they walk from one end of the cabin to the other, taking orders and attending to the needs of passengers, it is heart-warming to know that in the middle of all these, some men fall in love with these hostesses, even though they (very) rarely have exclusive contact with passengers.
“Their movement and courtesy alone are enough to appeal to anyone because these ladies are always very beautiful and polite,” says Tolu Abe, a regular air traveller who says he has ‘fallen in love’ with them many times.
Tolu gave an insight into an experience he had whereby he couldn’t resist the move to talk to the hostess later in the course of the trip.
He recalled, “It was a flight from Lagos to Atlanta, United States. There was one of them I had been admiring. She was so beautiful and young. I looked at her ring finger and I saw that she was single, so I made up my mind to say hello to her later, not even for anything funny but maybe friendship.
“When we were about seven hours into the journey, the main light was off and many people had slept. I saw her passing, so I beckoned to her and asked if she could give me her number but she declined. Even though she was polite, it didn’t strip me of the feelings I had developed for her. She was so appealing. Till date, I still wish to see her again.”
Perhaps, the popular saying that men are moved by what they see, is enjoying some credence once again. It is noteworthy that there are men who got married to air hostesses whom they met in the line of duty. For example, popular American actor, Kelsey Grammer, eventually got married to British air hostess, Kayte Walsh, after Walsh served him in first class while he was on a trip. Another actor, Clint Eastwood, also got married to an air hostess, Jacelyn Reeves.
Findings by Saturday PUNCH also revealed that a number of men have developed serious liking for these hostesses in the course of their trips, and it appears such feelings tend to escalate on longer trips for obvious reasons.
Thus, one is tempted to ask, why do men fall in love with air hostesses?
A psychologist and body language expert, Judi James, who undertook to unravel the reason, said the trend could be placed down to the fact that men tend to be vulnerable to people who look after them, adding that care from people often creates a feeling of love and dependency.
James, in a chat with Mail Online, said, “When people fly, they are in a state of helplessness – they leave all their ability to control at check-in and this makes them vulnerable and dependent.
“They might also be anxious or scared of flying, so the hostess becomes a form of support and reassurance, you just have to sit back and let them take care of you. Because you are helpless and they are taking control of your life, this creates feelings of love and dependency, almost a parental feeling. It is the same reason some patients fall in love with doctors and psychiatrists.
She argued that people of influence, like businessmen and celebrities, are more likely to have such feelings because they are used to being treated as such all the time, and that the attractiveness and courtesy exhibited by such people tend to make them more acceptable.
She continued, “This tends to focus their attention on the people that are there to help them more than they usually would do. If you watch people with waiters and waitresses, you can often see the same thing because they are in charge of the food, much like mummy and daddy used to be, so there is often a degree of flirting going on in their mind and this is more prolonged on a long haul flight.”
James explained that the seating position in the plane, which makes passengers seat like people in need of attention, and the fact that hostesses are always dressed in a stylish manner all contribute to the reasons why they tend to be attractive.
She added, “They look groomed and smart in a way that turns them into a fantasy figure for a lot of travellers. Some people still like to know that there are old fashioned, traditional women around who wear high heels tight skirts and red lipstick. It’s an old-fashioned trigger.
“This combined with a flight attendant’s high level of concern and charm is often unique in the modern world and it is very seductive. These all combine to create the perfect storm for creating feelings of love.”
In the view of Prof. Toba Elegbeleye, who is a psychologist, air hostesses are like other young ladies who could attract men. He, however, cautioned that such love could be one-sided because most of the time, they don’t have personal relationship with the passengers.
“But if the love is abstract or a kind of fantasy in the mind of such men, it is possible. It is the same with when you go to a good hospital and you meet nurses who are very polite, neat and good at what they do, you tend to fall in love with such. A man could start having a kind of feeling for such a nurse. So, it is not limited to air hostesses. It covers nurses, secretaries and other jobs that require women to dress smart, have a smart outlook and good inter-personal relationship.”
On the other hand, another psychologist, Prof. Oni Fagboungbe, opined that men would always find well-dressed ladies attractive, adding that with the polite manner the attendants relate with the passengers, men tend to find such ladies appealing. He noted that some men could condemn the dressing of some of these ladies, but that some of such men could also be admiring the ladies quietly.
He said, “Usually, a lady that dresses in a cute and smart form would attract a man, regardless of the fact that they are in a plane, or several feet above sea level. It is not surprising that some men tend to condemn the way these hostesses dress, but deep down in the mind of some of these men, they admire the attendants. So, any lady with a good dressing would attract men.”
Fagboungbe explained further that the polite way the hostesses relate with the passengers could also bring about such feeling to the mind of such men. “Even though politeness is part of their trademark as well as an instrument of performance, it reinforces the patronage of the customers because it makes customers feel big, and boost their ego.”