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The Secret Life of Flight Attendants

This photographer catches a glimpse into the routines of flight attendants that we rarely see.

Photography By

In 2019, Virgin America will go the way of airlines like PamAm, TWA and countless others. The airline, which has been in operation since 2007, is merging with Alaska Airlines and will soon become a distant memory.  One flight attendant has set out to preserve Virgin America’s history before it disappears forever.

Molly Chroma has spent nearly a decade as a flight attendant for Virgin America and began bringing along her camera during her flight shifts. She snapped photos of her colleagues a few years into her career with the airline. Her hobby took on a new sense of importance when the deal between Alaska Air and Virgin America was announced. Her work eventually caught the eye of Virgin America headquarters. She was recruited to document the airlines culture before its end.

Her series, The Secret Life of Virgins, is a culmination of nearly 10 years in the sky. “I just wanted to preserve it, not necessarily for the public, but for my friends and people like me who grew up with Virgin America,” Choma tells Travel + Leisure.

Take a look behind the airline curtains below.

The Secret Life of Virgins
Sam and Annie (Molly Chroma)
The Secret Life of Virgins
Betsy (Molly Chroma)
The Secret Life of Virgins
Virgin America’s culture and history will live on long after it shuts down in 2019 (Molly Chroma)
The Secret Life of Virgins
A flight attendant knits during some down time (Molly Chroma)
The Secret Life of Virgins
Members of Virgin America crew participate in safety drills (Molly Chroma)
The Secret Life of Virgins
Flight Attendant Jennifer embraces her instructor, Karen, after she successfully completes an emergency evacuation drill. (Molly Chroma)
The Secret Life of Virgins
Chroma’s candid moments of the stewards offer a glimpse behind the cabin curtain (Molly Chroma)
The Secret Life of Virgins
Bree + Torri + [redacted bodily function] (Molly Chroma)
The Secret Life of Virgins
Joaquin. Sunday flying. (Molly Chroma)
The Secret Life of Virgins
Natasha (Molly Chroma)