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Faces of PSA: Meet Cathy Prinz

Faces of PSA: Meet Cathy Prinz

Name: Cathy Prinz

Title: CFA, Part-Time Instructor, FA TYS

How long have you worked for PSA? 6 years

How long have you been in the airline industry? Where did you work before PSA? I like to say all my life. My mother worked for TWA in Reservations, as MIA Station Secretary and at her retirement (after 30 years) in Business Administration Budget and Planning, I was the crying baby on one of TWA’s “Connie” airplanes. While on a family trip, (I was 8), I remember looking up at the nice “Stewardess” and thinking “That’s what I want to do.” I met my husband at an Air Florida Commuter Airline, Air Miami. I was the new girl working in Marathon, FL as a Customer Service Agent. He was a pilot of the Casa 212. I was hired by mainline Piedmont in 1982 as a Ramp Agent in Miami. When Piedmont opened our BDL station, I was promoted from part time to full time and became a Customer Service Agent. I was one of five of the original full-time agents in BDL. After serving there for two years, I transferred back to MIA. In MIA, I was in Customer Service, ran the MIA station training, including interviewing and training new-hire Customer Service Agents. At that time, MIA was a mini hub for the Florida Shuttle. Bob, my husband, was hired with Piedmont in 1985. Bob and I married in 1986. I kid that he married me for my seniority. During his career with Piedmont/US Airways/American, he was based in ROA, MIA, BWI, CLT, PIT and PHL. He retired after 30 years and was Captain on the AirBus 19, 20, 21s. I was with Piedmont/US Airways for 13 years. I left to be a stay-at-home-mom for our three children.

What brought you to PSA? I live in Greenville, SC and was introduced to PSA’s fleet on family travels. I was impressed with the aircraft and the crews. 

Give us a brief overview of what you do: At present, I have the privilege of being a line Flight Attendant, based in TYS. I am a Check Flight Attendant and have become a part-time instructor. I have worked with the launch of the FA Tablet and am currently facilitating the Elevate 2 Flight Attendant Classes.

What is one of the biggest challenges of your job? I would have to say, living out of a suitcase. I’ve learned to have my suitcase supplies and my house supplies. I replenish them separately so that I don’t run out of supplies in either place.

Where’s your favorite place you have traveled? My absolute favorite city of all time is London, England. My favorite overnights have been MLB, SRQ, VPS, MEM and OKC. These overnights have been so memorable because of the crews and the relaxing, fun times we had.

What are some of your hobbies? I enjoy cooking and craft projects. 

What do you love about working for PSA? I love the people here. When I worked for Piedmont, it was like working with family. I have found that same atmosphere here.

Would you recommend PSA and why? I definitely recommend PSA. There are so many great people that work here; one is bound to find others that will become life-long friends. There are also so many opportunities for advancement. You can explore many facets of the airline industry. All jobs have frustrations, but when you work with great people, frustrations become subjects to laugh at and forget OR subjects that make you roll up your sleeves and become part of the solution.

How much has changed in Inflight since you started with PSA? PSA has doubled if not tripled in size. We have added CVG, DCA, PHL, and ORF as crew bases. In addition to the new maintenance bases, we’ve added the CRJ900s to our fleet. The merger with USAirways and American. (Trying to remember to say American Airlines instead of USAirways when making our Inflight Announcements.) The addition of the FA Tablets. The Elevate Program that gives everyone tools to understand and deal with sticky situations and retain the customer.

Tell us something about your role that most people don’t know: I say that the FA position has a hidden and a visible side. One sees us serving beverages, answering questions and hopefully think that’s all we do. But the “hidden” side is what is taught in New Hire Training for four weeks. The intense training includes medical procedures, fire fighting at 30k, evacuating the aircraft during a planned and an unplanned aircraft emergency. The “visible” part of our job is learned on two trips. When we secure an aircraft prior to push back, we are securing for the worst possible what if situation ever. We keep that FA smile on while reviewing our emergency procedures from the time we turn onto the active runway until we are released to do our “visible” job. So, when asked to turn your phone into airplane mode, or stow your bag a little further under the seat in front of you, I hope that you comply and understand we are just doing our job to keep you safe.

What has been the most rewarding part of your job? Working with crews of all ages. I have learned to laugh at myself and be more flexible. I have enjoyed the “tourist days” we have on our overnights. I’ve enjoyed the passengers that have been kind and returned my smile.

Tell us something no one knows about you: I am a cancer survivor. I was diagnosed with colon cancer in 2004. I had surgery to remove the tumor and made a full recovery. Colon cancer has very quiet symptoms, so please get checked as directed by your doctor.