Fleeting Flight – Mrs. Marcia Luna Feature

Elaine Chan, Staff Writer

Mrs. Marcia Luna, English nine and common core skills teacher, was formerly employed in public relations, restaurant management, retail managed, and as a flight attendant.  Although she only served as a flight attendant for one year, it has been her lifelong hope to work in the sky.  

Luna grew up next to an airport, and back in the 1970s, driving onto a runway and watching the planes taking off was not an uncommon activity. Her  fascination with  air travel first seeded when her father took her  and her siblings to the local airport to watch planes take off and land. Thus, after a previous public relations job at a YMCA started shedding employees, Luna was more than excited to take on a position at America West Airlines in 2001.  

The training and service of a flight attendant was far from glamorous. In her six month tenure in training, every day was filled with rigorous drills in putting out fires, crash-land evacuation, and triage, or assigning the degree of severity of wound or illness in an event of mass casualty.

The intense training proved useful. In one Las Vegas bound flight, after the 9/11 attacks in December of 2001, two  passengers without boarding passes hopped onto Luna’s plane. Coincidentally, photos of two wanted were circulating in the news, and Luna was ordered to discretely identify the 2 passengers before promptly notifying the FBI, which was standing by. The situation was traumatic, and Luna remembers having to be interrogated for eight hours by the FBI. She also had to inspect every inch of the plane, looking for weapons or bombs left in the seat back pockets and overhead bins. Additionally, she was not allowed to contact or have any communication with her family. She later  discovered that the suspects planned to take down the first class flight attendant, Luna’s position, before getting to the cockpit and hijack the plane to crash it  into Las Vegas’ infamous MGM grand hotel.  

“This job was really hard on me and my family,” said Luna, “Being  basically a single father wasn’t exactly what my husband signed up for.”

Instead of being away from her family 4 days a week, Luna was almost never able to return home, as the base of the airline company was in Phoenix, which was quite far from her residence in Arizona at the time.  

After American Airlines acquired America West airlines and invited Luna back to service, Luna declined, “My family was just so freaked out… I mean my kids were just nine and thirteen, and it was just too much to live in that kind of fear all the time”.