Hello friendly Interliners! We’re back today with a very special article where we get to feature one of our outstanding members. We’ve got a lot of amazing customers here at ID90 Travel, which isn’t really hard to believe – since the airline industry is full of incredibly passionate and wonderful people!
In order to celebrate and honor these exceptional members of the airline community, we’ve decided to feature some of the truly inspirational ones right here, on Interliner.
The incredibly talented Kelly Kincaid (artist/creator of the well-known Jetlagged comics) helped us to start off these featured articles by letting us interview her recently on an LA turn. Read on to learn more about this skilled cartooning comedian – about her life as a flight attendant, the secret behind her talent, and her dreams for Jetlagged.
Before we go in to all the cool tips, tricks, and stories Kelly told us in her interview, we want to pause and first give her a proper introduction. So say hello to Kelly Kincaid! If you’ve never heard of her, it’s about time you did. She’s the original creator of Jetlagged, a comic about in-flight crew life. For her, the unique career of an airline employee is one she’s very familiar with. Not only does Kelly work as a flight attendant herself, but she also grew up in the industry (as the child of an “FA”).
After a challenging work experience, Kelly quickly realized that sanity was an important piece of job criteria for her. So after leaving a job as an English teacher in a German high school she “naively chose flight attending” as her next endeavor. Kelly told us that when she went in for her flight attendant interview she immediately felt at home.
Since Kelly grew up in the airline industry, she really feels like it’s ingrained in her. And that’s something she’s grateful for. “Flight attendants are such a cool group of people, they’re so different! They come from all walks of life and some of them are the most eclectic, interesting, and intelligent people in the world.”
“They’re also a really encouraging group too. Everyone’s really positive and pretty upbeat. There’s no trolling, there’s not a lot of negativity, and that’s where I wanted to go with my cartoon. Upbeat, and goofy.” To read more about Kelly Kincaid, check out her article with World of Crew on her website.
Kelly began drawing Jetlagged after a furlough led her to start her own cleaning business. Once the furlough ended she continued cleaning houses, although she didn’t find it particularly fulfilling. With her newfound business management abilities, Kelly set out to find a new side hustle – but this time, one she was passionate about.
She grew up enjoying drawing, so she turned back to it. A ‘talent’ of hers, she started to repursue it. “I believe everyone has a ‘talent’, you just have to find what you love doing! You’re not always going to love everything about it (especially when it comes to the business portion of it – if you decide to take it there), but at least you’ll enjoy doing it more than you would something else.”
“Search that part of your soul, and play with it!” is her advice, and that’s exactly what she did. After taking some classes (that encouraged her to draw what she knew), and with the support and organization skills of her husband, Kelly started to draw. “I didn’t expect anyone to really care about it at first.” But people cared about it indeed.
“What I love about Jetlagged is that it brings airline employees together, no matter the uniform, and it makes people happy.” Kelly’s biggest inspiration for her comics naturally comes from her work. Although working on an airplane is exhausting (as we’re sure many of you can relate), it’s also one of the most interesting places in the world to be!
You’re in a tight metal tube soaring through the sky, with people at both their worst and their best. Hilarity is bound to ensue! Whenever something interesting (to say the least) happens on the airplane, she’s quick to use it in her next comic. “It’s my therapy! I can’t say anything I want to that obnoxious passenger, but Bev can.” In fact, the idea for many of her characters (like Wanda, Rob, and Kitty) come from the people she’s worked with. “Bev is my inner monologue. She’s that sassy senior mama who doesn’t put up with much, who would rather be left alone so she can read her people magazine. Sometimes she embodies what I really would rather say to people!”
When asked why she loved drawing about the airline community she said this; “It’s really cool to draw for the airline employee crowd; it helps me relate to people who are having the same experiences as me. It’s the great equalizer to laugh at our similar airplane stories.” Moving forward with Jetlagged, Kelly would like to be syndicated.
“It’s a bit of a process to get syndicated, but what I think Jetlagged offers is that it reaches multiple people on many different levels. I’ve had a nurse come up to me and tell me that my comics have brightened her day, and that makes me feel good.” In fact, many people in the airline community and other service industries say they relate to the comic and she’s received a lot of fun feedback because of it.
As you can probably guess, applying for syndication is a nerve-wracking process – as is starting a business from a small passion, but Kelly is positive. “There are some days where I have to give myself a little pep talk to power through and keep going. Thank goodness too for my husband! He has that numbers mind that makes a lot of jetlagged possible. Also, he’s my emotional support.”
So how does she do it, and how should you (if you want to, that is)? Kelly recommends finding what you enjoy, doing a little research, and finding a balance. “Keep it simple, and start simple!” says Kelly. Give yourself a realistic place to start and build from there. This way you can keep the passion, but build upon it.
From there continue to try to find balance. “At first I worked on my layovers, but now I’ve limited it down to a few light things that fit in my backpack. So you’ll find me working when I can, which is sometimes on a layover at a gate.” She’s nowhere as organized as she’d like to be, but things are getting easier. “Take the work with you, stay ahead (there’s plenty of apps to help you do so!), and get some solid support.”
“In the end, if you like it you’ll make time for it! Be realistic with yourself and your abilities, and don’t fear messing up. Also grow a thick skin. There are going to be trolls out there, but there are lots of positive people out there too.”
Besides being a hilarious artist with a wicked sense of humor, Kelly is also a flight attendant for a major US carrier. So she has all the same funny, and sometimes horrifying, stories we hear from y’all! In order to get some of her best tips and tricks we threw a few rapid fire questions at her, and her hilarious responses are listed below.
So Kelly, as the wife of a flight attendant (and as an FA yourself!) how do you keep in contact while flying?
“Airport codes. I’m not one to talk on the phone for hours, although I can get caught there with my mother sometimes. With the airport codes, it helps both me and my husband Rob know that the other person is at their location safe.”
That’s a great idea! What about your favorite travel hack or tip?
“Well for starters I travel light, and in some ways, because I have to. I drive my scooter to work (parking is easier that way) or I ride public transport to the airport. At my airport, you can trade in your commuter pass for a public transportation pass (that you can sometimes use in other cities). But overall, the less baggage you have in life the better, and that applies to air travel as well. When it comes to overnights I recommend that old “towel to block the light” trick, and swimmers wax for earplugs. They’re better than normal earplugs, and they don’t hurt!”
What’s been your favorite non-rev trip?
“Well, my husband is a creature of habit so we go back to the same places a lot, like Paris and other places in France. But otherwise, I utilize my non-rev benefits mostly for stateside travel, visiting family in Alaska and the like. I think we forget sometimes, though, just how cool that is. My friends plan their trips for weeks (like the one we’re taking to Lihue) and I can just show up and go with them on a whim.”
Good reminder! What about onboard stories – what’s been your favorite and least favorite customer encounter?
“I’ve actually had a lot of really good ones recently! One time our captain helped wheel an older passenger to the gate and stayed and chatted with him until his family arrived. That was really sweet. Another time, an older woman in a wheelchair (who really liked the way our male FA looked) grabbed his face and gave him a big ‘ol smooch. The whole jetway ‘awed’!” It was so cute.
For the worst, one time I had an older gentleman in first class “miss” the toilet. So not only did I have to clean it up, (because the pilots and President of Iceland onboard would need to use that lav later!) but I also had to put him on oxygen. Poor thing over exerted himself in the, uh… ordeal, and passed out! It was so crazy, but thank goodness his, um… “mess” was “well-formed” (if you know what I mean).”
Too funny! Ok, any last advice for the other airline employees?
Check out my comic, and let me know what you think! Keep humor in your life, utilize those non-rev benefits whenever you can, and be thankful for the home that is our airline community.”
YAS! Thank you, Kelly. We had such an amazing time getting to know this awesome gal and getting to hear her stories. If you want to learn more about Kelly, Jetlagged, or her process check it all out on her website (Facbook, Twitter, or Instagram). She also has a book out that’s filled to the brim with unlimited laughs, so if you ever need a gift you know where to go! Until next time, sweet Interliners. Safe travels and keep your eyes on the skies.
Author: Emily (@ID90 Travel)
Emily is the Content Marketing Specialist here at ID90 Travel. An avid non-rev flyer (she grew up in the industry), and passionate private pilot, Emily can’t get enough of all things aviation. When not writing awesome ID90 Travel content she can be found on a Texas patio, being one with nature, or annoying her ID90T co-workers with her many, many, crowdsourcing questions.