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Retired flight attendant relives fulfilling career

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Posted at 8:14 AM, Apr 18, 2022
and last updated 2022-04-18 10:14:46-04

Geraldine Johnson is a retired Eastern Air Lines flight attendant. 

“Well, I go by Gerri,” said Johnson, while recalling precious memories, from a long and fulfilling career. 

“When I was flying, I never sat in the jump seat for landings and takeoffs. I always sat with a passenger because I just loved visiting with people,” she added.

Johnson's husband was a pilot, and for Gerri, life with Eastern was a dream. 

“Everything was perfect. Nothing was ever a job. I couldn’t wait to be there, do that,” said Johnson.

A dream she recently got to re-live, with another trip to the galley. 

“Oh, that was fun, that was fun—because I love being on an airplane,” said Johnson.  

A day at Delta’s Flight Museum, and another chance to walk the cabin. The opportunity was granted by Heartis Senior Living center’s “Living the Dream” program. Their mission this day was to honor Johnson and several other residents with a past in aviation. 

“We got to tour, we were able to take them up to one of the aircrafts where Gerri and I got to do a safety demo for her friends,” said Dekota Hunter, a Delta Air Lines flight attendant. 

It was a wish Delta flight attendant Hunter was happy to help fulfill. 

“It was great, it was really great to see Gerri really remember her time as a flight attendant and get back in tune. She hasn’t missed a beat, even being retired for so many years,” said Hunter.  

Now in her 80s, Gerri began flying at age 21 and would go on to fill many roles at Eastern Air Lines over the years. 

“Back then, when you married, you couldn’t fly anymore; I married in ‘55 then I went on the ticket counter,” said Johnson. 

 After retirement, Gerri even volunteered her time as a tour guide. But it was being on an aircraft that she loved most. 

“It was like having people in my home! It was wonderful—and to think I got paid for it! Something I loved doing, I couldn’t wait to be there every day. I sure miss it,” said Johnson.

Hunter presented her new friend with gifts. A bag, scarf, and that signature red lipstick that Johnson still wears to breakfast each morning.  

 

“Once a flight attendant, always a flight attendant no matter who you work for. And it made me reflect-- maybe one day when I’m retired, I can come back and still remember the joy I had being in the air like she did,” said Hunter.

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