By Ho Lian-yi
ONCE, she caught an air stewardess under her charge engaging in hanky panky with an Australian passenger in the plane's toilet.
Another time, she claimed, a local 'leading man' told her that he had sex with an air stewardess in the crew bunk.
Such tales of sexual trysts at 35,000 feet are revealed in a new tell-all book, The Mile Hi! Club: Memoirs Of A Stewardess, by former air stewardess Janet Chew, 35.
The title is a pun on the term 'mile high club', which refers to people who have had sex in the air.
All the names in the book - launched last Wednesday - have been changed and the airline Ms Chew worked with is also not named, except it is 'reputably one of the best in the world'.
Ms Chew, who quit flying last year, worked for the airline for 13 years.
So is Ms Chew, who is married with a son, a member of the mile high club?
'That is a very interesting question,' she said, before laughing.
After a pause, and some explanation of her stand against such behaviour, she said: 'A big no!'
She wrote in her book that she reported the stewardess under her charge though it was 'painful' her to do so.
'In my opinion, such unprofessional behaviour can never be condoned,' she said.
She has no idea what happened to the girl, and has not seen her since.
There are also tales of good-looking married male attendants who cheat on their wives, one who was seduced by a senior stewardess and a steward with a 'partner in every port'.
She also dished the dirt on the 'tryers' among pilots who are tired of their wives and the 'willing, young impressionable girls' who surround them.
But Ms Chew insisted that those in the mile high club are a small minority, and that they are not representative of the profession as a whole.
She said she has personally encountered only two cases.
'The majority go home with a clean conscience,' she added.
Not that there is any shortage of temptation in the skies.
To fend off unwanted attention, she said, some girls took to wearing 'wedding bands' even though they were single.
Ms Chew claimed she got around 20 offers, but accepted none of them.
'The thing is, I don't know if the passengers were just using a 'cut-and-paste' on every girl,' she said.
She insisted she is not out to slam the industry. She claimed to have loved her stint and stopped flying only so she could look after her 5-year-old son.
She still misses the experience, she said.
The 1.71m former Miss Intercontinental and Miss Chinatown runner-up still walks with the leggy, straight-backed grace of a flight attendant.
She said she wrote the book because she had many stories to tell.
Her father, Mr Chew Kok Chang (better known by his pen name, Zhou Can), a Cultural Medallion winner for literature, also encouraged her to try her pen.
So she and a friend, Mr Adrian Teo, 37, set up PepperConn, a social media and marketing company. They self-published the book at a cost of $9,000, and printed 3,000 copies.
Ms Chew said the book does not just have tales of sex - she could have added a lot more of that if she wanted.
It is also full of humorous anecdotes, such as how an airline crew was booted out from a serviced apartment in Adelaide for stealing. Then there is the story of the stewardess who went without panties because she found the uniform 'inhibiting'.
And in case you wonder, the book also reveals the state of a stewardess' panties after a tough flight of standing and squatting.
Ms Chew said she also wanted to dispel the idea that stewardesses were just 'waitresses' in the air. The book features many examples of the hard work flight attendants put in.
Her business partner, Mr Teo, said: 'We try to have a good balance of the good and the bad. We wanted to be as close as possible to what is really happening, not to be scandalous.'
What crew think of book
So, what do airline crew members think about the book?
A 33-year-old air stewardess of 13 years, a friend of Ms Chew's, who gave her name only as Ms Celestine, said she is glad someone has finally decided to put their experiences on paper.
After browsing through the book, she admitted that what it describes does happen, but added that hanky-panky among crew members in the air is not common.
'With the workload, I'd say that the people up there have no time,' she said. And such things happen in most workplaces, anyway, she added.
'People always view it as juicy because it's up there in the air,' she said.
Former air steward Willy Tan, 33, who flew for three years, said it is 'quite common' for flight attendants, pilots and passengers to form relationships.
'When one is away from home, from friends and family, one tends to get lonely,' he noted.
'Friendships and other bonds may form quite naturally, through working, sightseeing and dining together. How far they want to take it is up to the individual.'
He recalled that the closest encounter he had with mile-high clubbing was when a passenger complained about 'a couple (having sex) in the toilet'.
The Mile Hi! Club: Memoirs Of A Stewardess is available at major bookstores for $22.90 and at www.milehiclub.sg for $19.
This article was first published in The New Paper.