Molly Choma

The life of a flight attendant literally has it's ups and downs.

There are the perks of the job, such as choosing which class they work in.

Then there are the really annoying aspects, like rude and over expectant passengers.

Beyond the plane aisles and runways the private life of flight attendants is a mystery.

Until now.

Air hostess come photographer Molly Choma has been capturing the behind-the-scenes goings on aboard a Virgin America flight.

Her excellently titled series 'The Secret Life of Virgins' shows what cabin crew get up to when the eyes of passengers aren't upon them.

Picture: Picture: Molly Choma


Choma, who is from San Francisco, is a former art student and she was inspired to take on the project by her mother.

She told CNN Travel:

My mom was also a flight attendant, she used to work for Pacific Southwest Airlines -- and it was that cool, hot pink, retro era of flight attendants -- but there are no pictures of it!

There was always a camera around my house.

My mom wasn't a photographer, but she always had a camera and I always liked to play with it. She would enrol me in little photography classes at rec centres.



‚ÄčAs you can guess taking high quality photos in such an environment isn't the easiest thing in the world.

It's definitely been a learning curve. It's a very small dark space, with really limited light.

The challenges are really fun. I only have the camera, I don't bring lighting or anything like that, so it's just really learning how to take advantage of the light that is there, rather than the light that isn't.

Sometimes I'd have a perfect shot, and then we'd hit turbulence and then it would just have to wait. So there's all these extra factors too!



There was an extra incentive for Choma to make the series after she and her colleagues learned in March that Alaska Airlines had purchased Virgin America.

This means that by 2019 the airline will no longer be in existence. It provided Choma with an even greater reason.

When our airline got purchased it just kind of drove it home for me to preserve the culture that we grew up with.

We are like a family, so when they made the announcement that it was going to dissolve into nothing, it became kind of a priority to bring my camera to work and preserve images before it's gone.



What's better is that so far nobody has complained or even batted an eyelid.

I can tell that people notice that I'm carrying a large camera along the aisle, rather than say, a ginger ale or something!

But no one has ever asked what I'm doing.



Pictures all by Molly Choma.

HT Mirror, CNN, Molly Choma

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