Breaking Stereotypes: Who Was World’s First Flight Attendant?


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The most common stereotype in aviation: pilot’s profession is only for men, whereas flight attendant’s job – only for women. Nevertheless, these are only popular stereotypes.

Did you know that world’s first flight attendant was a man – Heinrich Kubis from Germany (according to Guinness World Records).

Kubis started attending to passengers in March 1912. It was a board of Zeppelin LZ-10 Schwaben operated by German airline DELAG (Deutsche Luftschifffahrts-Aktiengesellschaft).

Prior to entering aircraft, Kubis worked as a waiter and was hired in several luxury hotels in Europe. Many years later, therefore, Kubis became a chief steward managing a team serving passengers in the cabin of an aircraft. 

Worth highlighting that Kubis was a ‘senior flight attendant’ on the famous 72-passenger LZ-129 Hindenburg and was in the dining room when it burst into flames at Lakehurst in New Jersey, US, on 6 May 1937.

Luckily, he escaped the disaster without injuries. As the note in Guinness World Records provides, he saved his life “by jumping out of the window as the cabin neared the ground”.

Heinrich Kubis entered history as the first flight attendant in the world 18 years before the first stewardess took off into the air – Ellen Church. She embarked on a Boeing 80A on 15 May, 1930.