'In her fascinating new book, Betty Riegel reveals how she lived the high life as a stewardess for Pan Am, the world's more glamorous airline'- Daily MirrorAt the age of 22, Betty Riegel was plucked from more than a thousand eager young British women who had applied to be part of the Pan Am programme and was sent to New York to learn the art of being the perfect stewardess. Growing up in a working-class family with parents who struggled to make ends meet. In her early twenties, she saw an advert in the local newspaper and secured herself an interview for the Pan Am training programme. She was weighed and measured, and declared 'desirable' enough to earn a coveted place. Betty said goodbye to her parents and her high-school sweetheart, boarded her first plane to New York, and landed in Manhattan - a city full of noise, traffic, towering skyscrapers and promise. Under the watchful eye of her housemother, Dottie, Betty was taught deportment, geography, safety, make-up application and how to charm the passengers. But nothing prepared her for the rollercoaster of life in the air - preparing five-course Parisian cuisine from scratch in the galley of the plane, mixing cocktails at an open bar, serving lobster thermidor and two-foot-long fillets of beef to each passenger's specification. Scrambling 280 eggs for breakfast in severe turbulence and teaching the mashed potato dance to a Saudi Prince - Betty lived the dream.
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Betty is 72 and lives in Delaware with her husband and two sons and regularly travels to the UK.
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