NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — It’s a reunion almost a half a century in the making.
Hundreds of former flight attendants have returned to a place they once called home, CBSN New York’s John Dias reports.
Retired Trans World Airlines flight attendants came together Thursday for their largest reunion yet. Decades have gone by, but their friends are still as strong as ever.
“It’s been fun. Walking around and talking to people, they stop you. They want to take pictures,” former flight attendant Corey Mahoney said.
All of them are now part of a network called “Silver Wing International.” Beth Holcombe is the president.
“We know each other’s stories. We know each other’s lives, and to get together again is just kind of a rejuvenation of ourselves, as a group and as individuals,” she said.
A flight attendant for years, Holcombe says this reunion brings back plenty of nostalgia because it’s at a place they probably know better than anyone else — the former TWA Terminal at JFK Airport. It’s since been turned into a hotel.
“This is our old terminal. This is where we came and we went from all of our international flights, and almost all flight attendants at some point flew international,” Holcombe said.
Nearly 1,300 Silver Wing members are attending the reunion. They came from all over the country, though most of them say it feels like they’ve come home.
“I opened this building. I wanted to come back. It brings back lots of memories,” former flight attendant Jane Jones said.
While only a select few were part of the terminal’s grand opening in 1962, almost all remember the fashion. Some were even sporting their old uniforms.
“t’s fun to wear again because it’s like going back in time. You know? It’s — I’m 20 again,” former flight attendant Mary Lou Bigelow said.
Judi Trace still has her scarf.
“[Being at the reunion] makes me… I may cry,” she said.
The 76-year-old was a flight attendant for 33 years. She got to see the world.
“I loved it. I love to travel. That was the amazing part of it, the travel. The education that I received just by going to different countries and learning their culture,” Trace said.
But at this reunion, it’s not just about what they learned from working in the sky. It’s about remembering the friendships they made along the journey.
The reunion lasts through the weekend.