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Small-town girl living her dream high up in the sky

Updated: Feb 7, 2024 Print
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Pan Honglin checks the luggage racks in the passenger cabin of a plane. [Photo by Su Zhigang/provided to]

For Pan Honglin, who is in her 30s, this year's Spring Festival travel rush marks the 10th year since she started working as a flight attendant.

Pan was born in a small town in Hechuan district of Chongqing. Living under a flight path since childhood, she often saw airplanes high in the sky. The information about flight attendants she gleaned from television and newspapers also helped plant the dream of becoming a flight attendant in her heart.

However, being influenced by the older generation of her family, who preferred her learning a more practical skill rather than "a job for the young", Pan attended a medical school and worked as a nurse in a hospital for four years after graduation.

Pan Honglin is celebrating a decade of working as a flight attendant. [Photo by Su Zhigang/provided to]

Yet, she never forgot her childhood dream. At the age of 24, after passing through numerous selections and interviews, she joined West Air, an airline based in Chongqing, as a flight attendant. "Actually, at that time, I was no longer at an advantage due to my age. However, my medical experience gave me an edge," she said. Recalling this challenging transition, Pan said that everything worked out for the best.

Pan Honglin trains the cabin crew on first aid-related knowledge. [Photo by Su Zhigang/provided to]

At first, due to the high-altitude working environment, Pan found it extremely difficult to adapt, feeling as if her "feet were about to break". Through methods such as lying down and elevating her feet, she repeatedly adjusted herself, eventually overcoming her "fear of flying".

Now, she is a cabin crew chief and also works as a medical theory instructor in the cabin department of West Air.

Pan Honglin holds a meeting with her colleagues before a flight mission. [Photo by Su Zhigang/provided to]

Thanks to her previous medical knowledge and experience in healthcare, she has helped passengers in emergencies in a number of cases, and gained recognition from the individuals involved. Her colleagues say flying with her is "more reassuring".

Pan Honglin (left) celebrates Spring Festival with her colleague. [Photo by Su Zhigang/provided to]

Pan said that no matter how her professional role changes, her awareness of serving the public will not change. "As long as I can better serve the passengers, I'm fulfilling my dream," Pan said.

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