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Behind the Wings: Serving on the ground and in the air

After serving in the United States Army and working as a food inspector, Flight Attendant Danny Shell says he has found a career that suits his previous work experience and personality perfectly. “At 57 years old, I feel like I’ve finally found the job I was made for and the many skills I learned in the military help me to be successful in my job as a flight attendant.”

Danny learned in the military the importance of accountability, punctuality and neatness. Learning how to handle situations calmly is an additional skill he uses in his current role.  “We have to be on-time for flights, maintain a clean and neat cabin, and when situations with customers arise, we have to deescalate them calmly and with tact. I was trained in the military to handle many situations that others have not, “says Danny.

Originally from Charlotte, Danny joined the Army after high school where he worked in field artillery and later human resources. In his position with human resources, he provided support to soldiers and their families who arrived at Fort Hood, Texas and supported families while their soldiers were away on duty.

Danny left the Army after six years and began working in quality control as a USDA food inspector and inspector for multiple food companies for almost 20 years. A friend of Danny’s who was a flight attendant spoke with him about pursuing a career in Inflight himself. “She told me I was engaging with people and talkative and thought I would be a perfect fit as a flight attendant,” exclaims Danny.

Danny was under the impression that airlines only hired women as flight attendants but still researched the job when he learned Piedmont was hiring. “I recall first hearing the name Piedmont Airlines in a commercial with a catchy jingle when I was a young kid growing up and it has always stuck with me,” says Danny with a smile.

Danny applied and joined Piedmont as a flight attendant in August 2021. “My friend was right; I love this job and it fits like a hand in a glove!” His experience in the military had piqued his interest in traveling the world and now working for an airline, he can take advantage of the company travel benefits and see the world on his own time.

In the military, Danny had interactions with people from different cultures and he soon realized the world was larger than his neighborhood. On his aircraft, he enjoys meeting customers who come from different walks of life and prides himself on providing good customer service.

In his spare time, he enjoys spending time with his two children and two grandchildren. Danny also volunteers at homeless shelters and distributes food. He reflects that many of the people he meets, unfortunately made one bad decision that knocked them off their feet and landed them in homelessness. “I look at them and think that could be me. I’m grateful for what I have and want to share it with others.”

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Behind the Wings is a Piedmont feature that highlights the accomplishments of the aviation professionals who make us Piedmont Proud inside and outside the airport. Piedmont is proud to recognize our military veteran team members and their contributions to the success of the airline and making a difference in their communities.