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Aloha Airlines Flight Attendant Retires After 50 Years

Date: November 30, 2007

Washington, DC - Aloha Airlines flight attendants, represented by the Association of Flight Attendants-CWA (AFA-CWA), fellow crew members and management today celebrated the retirement of Aloha's longest flying flight attendant, Patricia Smart, after 50 years with the airline.

"Patti's dedication to Aloha Airlines has set a standard we should all strive for," said Gail Kim-Moe, fellow Aloha flight attendant and AFA-CWA Master Executive Council President. "She has been an advocate for the flight attendant profession and her long and distinguished career is a true testament to her professionalism and dedication."

Ms. Smart began her career in 1957, two years before Hawaii became an official U.S. state. Since that time, she has seen the amazing evolution of the flight attendant profession and has served witness to several important achievements that have withstood the test of time. When Ms. Smart started at Aloha, the average career span for flight attendants lasted only 18 months and most were forced to resign by the time they reached 35 years of age. However with the strength and determination of individuals like Ms. Smart, and the collective voice of AFA-CWA, those discriminatory practices have since been removed.

"What is particularly humbling about Patti's achievement is that AFA-CWA was founded over sixty years ago to ensure that flight attendants had the opportunity enjoy long and successful careers," said Patricia Friend, AFA-CWA International President. "Our founding members, and those who continue to walk in their footsteps, have worked diligently to make the flight attendant career something that would endure the test of time. AFA-CWA congratulates and thanks Patti for her years of devoted service and all that she has done to advance the profession."

For over 60 years, the Association of Flight Attendants has been serving as the voice for flight attendants in the workplace, in the aviation industry, in the media and on Capitol Hill.  More than 55,000 flight attendants at 20 airlines come together to form AFA-CWA, the world's largest flight attendant union. AFA is part of the 700,000-member strong Communications Workers of America (CWA), AFL-CIO. Visit us at www.afanet.org.

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