Flying the friendly skies

September 8, 2018 | 4:00 am

Updated September 10, 2018 | 10:41 pm

Sydney Loucks and Jasey Hartz | Photos submitted by each

Two Owensboro women have made a career choice as flight attendants for Delta and American Airlines.

Jasey Hartz graduated from Western Kentucky University in 2013, with a degree in Child and Family Studies. After returning to Owensboro, Hartz worked as a nanny when a college friend informed her she had applied for a flight attendant position at Delta and suggested Hartz apply, too. After much consideration — and desire to try something new — she found herself submitting her resume.

For Sydney Loucks, growing up with a father who is an airline pilot instilled a desire to pursue the same career field.

“I always found it fascinating that my dad was able to go to Europe for the weekend and explore then come back home,” Loucks said.

In December 2017, nearing graduation from the University of Kentucky with a marketing degree, Loucks applied for marketing jobs, but in the back of her mind she wanted to take time and travel the world before settling into her career.

“I talked to my dad about being in the aviation and airlines business and decided with my outgoing and adventurous personality, being a flight attendant would be a great fit for me,” Loucks said.

According to Loucks, the process to become a flight attendant at American Airlines is highly competitive. Representatives told the class of recruits that based on the numbers, it would be more difficult to become a flight attendant for American Airlines than it would being accepted to Harvard.

“Over 200,000 applicants were looked at for this year, and only 2,000 were hired,” said Loucks. Luckily, after three rounds of interviews, Loucks was accepted. She completed the six-week training program in Dallas, Texas, graduated and began her job as an American Airlines flight attendant on June 1, 2018.

“I was so happy my dad was able to come to graduation and pin on my wings,” said Loucks.

Sydney Loucks and her father, Eric after her pinning ceremony. | Photo submitted by Sydney Loucks

Hartz also went through a stringent interview process with several hours of one-on-one interviews and group interviews with different members of the hiring team.

“At the end, four of us were then offered a conditional job offer,” Hartz said. “The condition depended upon a background check as well as the completion of an eight-week training course in Atlanta where we trained and tested over everything from CPR and first aid to emergency landings, self-defense and how to evacuate hundreds of people from an aircraft in only a few minutes. We also learned and were evaluated on every procedure in place that protects our passengers and crew members from every type of threat from terrorism to human trafficking. We were graded on safety, security, and customer service and expected to keep a required 90 percent average throughout training,” Hartz said.

After passing written, verbal and physical exams, Hartz’ family was flown to Atlanta for a pinning ceremony in February 2014.

“That’s when I officially became a flight attendant,” said Hartz.

Loucks has since relocated to Boston, Mass., though she comes home monthly. Hartz lives in Owensboro and drives to Evansville, Louisville or Nashville to commute to her base in Detroit, Mich. She used to be based in Atlanta, but Detroit has given her the opportunity to fly some international and domestic routes that she has really enjoyed.

Loucks has enjoyed planning her schedule and her favorite part, so far, has been visiting different places on layovers and checking out the local places and museums.

Loucks on the Cliffs of Moher at her last layover. | Photo submitted by Sydney Loucks
Hartz in Reykjavik, Iceland, with her husband. | Photo courtesy of Jasey Hartz

One of Hartz’ favorite perks is the people she has met throughout her career. Her Instagram account details the friends she has met and the places friends and family have visited with her along the way. Her mom has joined her in Dubai, Abu Dhabi and Rome, her sister-in-law met her in Paris, and her husband goes “to work” with her on some of her travels and appreciates it “just as much.”

Hartz in the Arabian Desert, Dubai | Photo courtesy of Jasey Hartz

“Some of the best moments I’ve experienced with my career have been traveling with those I’ve gotten to know through this job, and truly nothing seems as strange or feels as cool as running into someone you know in the security line in Amsterdam or at a temple in Japan or even in the middle of nowhere Nebraska on your very first layover,” Hartz said. “It’s experiencing the world alongside those who appreciate it as much as you do that remind you why you’re here.”

Hartz remembers her favorite passenger, a lady who had just celebrated her 97th birthday and was on a flight to Brussels.


“I’ll never forget her,” Hartz said. “She was having a little trouble cutting her food so I offered some assistance. As I cut up each of her meals for her, she explained how much she has loved traveling throughout her life, too, then shared the greatest wisdom with me. ‘Here is nice, and there is nice, but home…it’s the nicest!’ I couldn’t agree more.”

September 8, 2018 | 4:00 am

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