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The Romance of Aviation

October 21, 2014 English for Flight Attendants, Listening, Reading, Videos No Comments

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The romance of aviation

This is an originally produced article and audio by Global Aviation English

Aim

  • Practice English skills in an aviation context
  • Discuss the idea of the romance of aviation and practice listening skills
  • Have fun!

Once, flying was about brave feats and privilege, and it carried an air of glamour and mystique. In the early days of both airplanes and cinema, wealthy aviators dated Hollywood starlets, and Hollywood continues to romanticise flying with films that glamorise the life of pilots, crew and even military aviators. But is the aviator/flight attendant lifestyle as romantic as it looks?

Some suggest budget airlines have killed the glamour of flying, others maintain that it has never been as glamorous as it looked. The article and video below both suggest a combination of factors. In ‘Up, up and away’, the author says air travel is just another form of mass transit and asks, “Is there any going back to the glamorous days of yore?”

The video, Cabin Crew Glamour, is a short (6 minutes) documentary. It features interviews with some flight attendant from the ‘golden days’ and suggests there’ll be no return to the days of long layovers and cocktail parties stewardesses once enjoyed.

Times may have changed but we’re not immune to the allure of the idea – just look at the popularity of recent films such as Amelia and The Aviator and how they influenced fashion with a return to aviator style.

Link to “Up, up, and away”

Comprehension

  1. Price competition, security checks, and ….who?…. ruined everything
  2. Where does airline glamour exist? (Hint: not on the planes themselves)
  3. There were two eras of airline glamour: pre-war and post-war. Which two movies starring Leonardo DiCaprio gave us a taste of the glamour of each era?
  4. Arthur Hailey’s 1968 novel, Airport, and its movie spin-offs, portrayed flying as __________, ______, and _________.

Link to video ‘Cabin Crew Glamour’

Read through these questions before you watch Cabin Crew Glamour, then listen for the answers to the questions. You’ll hear a variety of accents in this video.

  1. To fly anywhere in the 20th century was to be a ‘cut above the rest’, and the people who served you were equally __________.
  2. What did one always pack? (In case of invitations to the embassy)
  3. The gap between the glamour of yester year and the hard slog of today’s crew couldn’t be _______.
  4. Any crew still on the old lucrative contracts should count their blessings, and crew that aren’t, ____ ___ ____ ____ _______

 

Answers

Comprehension

Article

  1. Price competition, security checks, and ….slobs in sweatpants.. ruined everything
  2. Where does airline glamour exist? In the imagination
  3. 3. There were two eras of airline glamour: pre-war and post-war. Which two movies starring Leonardo DiCaprio were gave us a taste of the glamour of each era? The Aviator and Catch Me If You Can
  4. Arthur Hailey’s 1968 novel, Airport, and its movie spin-offs, portrayed flying as stressful, sordid, and dangerous.

Video

  1. To fly anywhere in the 20th century was to be a ‘cut above the rest’, and the people who served you were equally privileged.
  2. What did one always pack? A cocktail dress
  3. The gap between the glamour of yester year and the hard slog of today’s crew couldn’t be greater.
  4. Any crew still on the old lucrative contracts should count their blessings, and crew that aren’t, kiss the good life goodbye

Interesting documentary:

Part 1

Part 2

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