Crew Talk: Anneline Mouton


With four decades of experience, SAA Senior Purser Anneline Mouton has travelled the world. She shares some wonderful memories in this month’s Crew Talk.

There were three careers I wanted to pursue when I left school: as a flight attendant, an actor, or a teacher … and it was with great joy that, in 1978, I learned that I had been selected as a flight attendant!

I would be able to travel and see the world – a dream come true – and interact with people.

Aviation has been a part of my life for 40 years now, and never for one moment have I regretted my career decision.

The Mariinsky Theatre
The Mariinsky Theatre

What I Love Most About The Job…

… that I get to travel the world, meet interesting passengers, and experience various cultures. What a fantastic lifestyle! No flight is ever the same – there are always different destinations and new faces.

There is also no set routine, and I seldom have to endure early-morning or late-afternoon peak traffic when I go to work.

There is enough time to relax between flights, and I can spend quality time with family and friends on free days.

Carlo's Bakery Shop on the way to Madison Square Garden
Carlo’s Bakery Shop on the way to Madison Square Garden

Most Memorable Moment On Board

During my career, I have been fortunate to fly with many prominent leaders, as well as celebrities, but my most memorable flight was to Hong Kong with my daughter. She was also a flight attendant with SAA at the time.

It was her first flight with me, and my late husband, her dad, happened to be a passenger on board too.

It was the only flight during which we ever worked together. What a wonderful memory and a flight never to be forgotten.

The Mariinsky Theatre

What I Love About Travel 

Travel enriches your life. It teaches understanding, as well as patience with the various situations that you will encounter on your journeys. Travelling provides you with knowledge and insight, and all the people you meet and places you travel to make for beautiful memories.

It has been wonderful to see Tchaikovsky’s ballet Swan Lake being performed in the Mariinsky Theatre in St Petersburg, as well as visit the Palace Square and Peter The Great’s Winter Palace with its beautiful fountains. Venice and a trip to the famous Murano glass factory was another great memory.

In Argentina, I loved Buenos Aires with its exquisite tango shows. And you must visit the Gato Blanco restaurant in Tigre, just north of the capital.

They serve the best Captain’s Fish. Getting there is quick – take a 45-minute trip by ferry. And don’t forget the La Recoleta cemetery in Buenos Aires where Eva Peron’s grave is.

A giraffe in the Victoria Falls National Park

When I Am Not Flying, I… 

… am passionate about wildlife and the bush. I love going on game drives and sitting at a fire listening to stories. I enjoy entertaining too, having friends around for a nice meal, and beautiful music, especially light classical music.


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