3.02.2010

My life in the sky


(Here's a copy of the article featured recently in the New York Times no, not that article...)

With my line of work, I’m often in and out of airports, sometimes in Europe, Asia or the Americas, all in the same week.

It’s not new to me. My mother, Juanita, is an Air Canada flight attendant. My father, Trevor, and stepmother, Allana, both work in the airline industry. My Auntie Norah is a flight attendant, too. And my Uncle Stuart was a founder of Air Transat. With a family history like that, it’s no surprise that flying is second nature to me.

That doesn’t mean that I really like it.

I just know too much. I don’t like to see flight attendants using the phone. That’s because it’s usually an emergency. I know that every airline has specific alarm codes. So if I hear a lot of buzzing or ringing, I always start to wonder what’s going on. And, of course, I always think the worst.

In the old days, before Sept. 11, my mom, who was a single parent, would often bring me on the long-haul flights to and from Asia. For a little girl, and even now as an adult, these flights seemed to last forever. And usually, all I wanted to do was find somewhere cozy to fall asleep. A few times, that meant the cockpit. The pilots were great. But I was always afraid that I would bump my head on a button and wind up crashing the plane.

Even though I was just a kid, I often flew alone since one parent was in Toronto and the other was in Vancouver. During the flight, the crew kept watch over me. It was like having a giant, extended family. And since everyone knew my parents, the crew wasn’t averse to letting my parents know exactly how I behaved on the flight. I couldn’t get away with anything.

Even now, years later, a lot of the same attendants are still flying. It’s kind of embarrassing. My mom likes to show her friends when I’m in a magazine, and sometimes she cuts out my pictures and puts them in a scrapbook and shows that off, too.

So I always hear about that when I fly. It may be a little embarrassing, but deep down I like it. For me, flight crews will always be extended family.

I remember one trip when I was a teenager. I was on a flight home from Asia, and my mom happened to be working that flight. As we were about to take off, there was a strong smell of smoke wafting through the cabin. Every passenger, including me, started to panic.

I was seated in the back of the plane and I overheard my mom talking to another attendant. Both of them were in the galley area. My mom said that she had noticed this smell on prior flights and she was sure, and I quote, “Everything was fine.”

I didn’t feel so confident.

I then overheard the pilot talk to the attendants over a speaker. He said, “If Juanita says its O.K., it’s O.K.”

I started to freak out. I kept thinking terrible it was that he was listening to my mom. I figured everyone would ignore protocols and we were going to crash — all because of my mom.

I later found out that they had followed appropriate protocols and the smell was the byproduct of the engine being cleaned.

I’m happy I didn’t make a scene. Like any family, I’m sure my extended family of flight attendants and crew would never let me live it down. Neither would my mom.

By Coco Rocha, as told to Joan Raymond.

35 comments:

Maureen said...

i think you're blog is lovely .. hope you'll stp by mine.. xx
http://maureenas.blogspot.com

Aydan said...

hahaha! so sweet!

The Style Revolution said...

Great post. My mom flew for United....

pirs said...

Nice text! I love flying. Though I had never done it outside my country. Can't wait to someday travel to the USA (or maybe Canada).

Do you often find people that are flying for the first time? It's kinda fun, right? They look so excited, about everything! And to us, it all seems so normal and commom.

Greetings from Brazil!

Alina said...

this story is so endearing! I actually imagined a little girl on her adventures in the sky.

Congratulations on your engagement, wishing you and your future hubby the best!

Cheers,
Alina

www.dreamingchic.blogspot.com

Ann said...

I love it, it's so nice you think of the flight crews as your family+ honestly saying how you feel about flying! A refreshing read!
Xoxo foreva

Ellyn Lee said...

I don't really like flying because my head always hurt due to the pressure when the plane is about to landing. The pain is often excruciating and there is nothing I can do about it.

Anyway, I really like your blog. Do drop by mine if you have time. :)

Cheers,

Ellyn

thoughtsdiarrhea.blogspot.com

Jenna said...

Fantastic post!

I absolutely adore reading your blog!

Namitha said...

And I, have never flown in my 23 years of life (which is not too much anyway)!
Loved reading the post. Thanks.

Clare said...

Hi! I've only been on a plane once, I was about 10 years old and it was so thrilling. Although, it was only from Brisbane to Sydney (in Australia where I live). I wish it had lasted longer!
What a day that was, I was even excited to see the flight attendants, they all looked so smart.

Nice to hear your story Coco!
And congratulations on the engagement!!! So exciting :)
xxx

fortywords said...

inspiring and fresh.
love your stories.
keep writing more :D

céline said...

so cute & confidential note :)
I'm a really nightmare for the staff when I take plane :s
bisou

Celine said...

I didn't know that you have a blog!
Your amazing, since i saw you you're one of my favourite models, and you seem very nice and confident :)

I have a blog called celineloveslace.blogspot.com

xx

(i loove your blog and the things that you write, i'm sure that your line ''ROCOCO''will be amazing)

SophieGrace said...

Really good article. I love flying although I find flying at night scary.

chatroulettetroll said...

Trevor and Allana bumped my gramma up to first class once on her way to cuba. Years later and she is still so happy about it lol.

Anna said...

lovely write up! i really enjoyed reading that.

satinsugar.blogspot.com

Miranda said...

Even though I only fly to Asia and back once a year, I get what you mean...

How do you feel about airplanes now? Do you still worry as much about the plane crashing every time you board one?

U-NI-TY said...

J - 1

on

http://u-ni-ty-paris.blogspot.com/

on

http://u-ni-ty.com/

on Facebook and on your I.phone

(by the way, all the best!)

Amanda said...

Hey, I'm cabin crew! If you happen to fly to Dubai, ai'll make sure he crew will take care of you as your mom would do :)

Anonymous said...

I love this! It's well written and described. That's awesome how you got to travel all the time....but I bet it was just like second nature to you! Cool post. :)

Sophiie7 said...

Hi Coco,
I dit a post on you on my blog
But it's in french (you can translating via google if you want to read it)
love you xxx

http://www.sophiie7.blogspot.com

crybaby said...

that was really beautiful.

Romi said...

HI !
I love your blog and I think U are the most beautiful model of the moment... And I'm not drippy !
I see U in YSL ad and I liiiiike (tuxedo, catseyes, Tribute... ♥)

Donned and Delivered said...

I was checking out style.com to see the new Christian Dior collection and I saw you!!!!! Nice to see you on the runway finally! Very nice knitted dress and thigh high boots.

Natalie said...

love reading ur blog! great post :)))

natalieoffduty.blogspot.com

dancinginchiffon said...

great post!

Elizabeth said...

I would only like to say that I admire you so much and one day I wish to be a model like you. You are not only one of the best models in the world, you also have a conscience. You care about people and not only clothes. I think its amazing that you are launching your own clothing line and I wish you the best.

Candy Rosie said...

Hi !
i met you in the streets of Paris last week, i did an article.

Love your blog.

xx

Stéphanie

mcha3628 said...

Hi,
I couldn't really find anywhere to send you a message, on your facebook group or this blog. But I was wondering, what are some of your favorite songs to walk to on the runway ?

I'm organizing a fashion show for a battered women's shelter as my senior project for high school, all featuring my original collections, created with donated clothes. I don't really know exactly what songs could be used, so could you maybe give me a few ? Thanks :)


-Melody

Soapee said...

Ahaha, my mother had a sorta similar incident, too. Except she had no idea who the flight attendant was. I love this, very well-written and amusing. (:

Grace L said...

my mom used to fly with your mom back when and she used to brag about you all the time. best wishes on your engagement!

Jiale said...

Very lovely entry.

Monica @ Beauty Parler said...

Great post! I too work at the same airline as your mom & when I first started (3 years ago) I worked with a Vancouver crew & remember one of the Flight Attendants said, "oh Juanita's daughter's a supermodel" & I was like "yeah OK! Every mom thinks her daughter's a supermodel." LMAO little did I know she meant YOU!!

ared13 said...

Haha I am also an Air Canada brat, my mom was a flight attendant and father in management. Its the first time that I actually hear somebody talk about that... the good old days before 9/11 where anything went, having EVERYBODY know you, feeling entitled to be in business class and the joys of traveling standby...
Anyways, I admire your work and think that you make Canadian airline brats proud!

Sofia said...

hola, soy española y me gustaria saber si has echo algun desfile en España?
y otra pregunta a lo mejor lo sabes a lo mejor no de que color son los espejos?
jajaj se que es una pregunta tonta pero da que pensar jajaj
kisses