Tuesday, December 8, 2009
This is great to have a beverage during a lengthy delay, but do remember that Federal Air Regulations 121.575, and 91.17 state that "No certificate holder may allow any person to board any of its aircraft if that person appears to be intoxicated", as well as, "no pilot of a civil aircraft may allow a person who appears to be intoxicated or who demonstrates by manner or physical indications that the individual is under the influence of drugs (except a medical patient under proper care) to be carried in that aircraft."
Alright, well those regulations are for restricting drunk passengers get onto the airplane, but what about while on the plane? Believe it or not, the same FARs hold true, and when a passenger gets out of hand in-flight, they could be met by law enforcement upon arrival...something you don't want to have happen!
So whose to blame if you get intoxicated while in-flight? Well, it actually comes down to the consumer. Flight Attendants aren't bar tenders, and with all the other Safety Related things they need to worry about while working, a drunk passenger shouldn't be one of them.
One thing people need to know about alcohol and flying, is it affects your body differently in the plane, than it does while on the ground. The cabin altitude is generally set between 5,000 and 7,000 feet-meaning that there’s less oxygen to breathe. While your blood alcohol level remains the same as it would be at sea level, it feels as if you’ve drunk a lot more. Never mind that the cabin humidity is often less than 10 percent, and that alcohol dehydrates you.
Over the years, there have been many issues where you may have heard about intoxicated passengers:
DUI in the Sky, Drunk passenger gets jail time, has to reimburse AA $7,757, Court to decide whether Delta can be sued for alcohol sales to name a few.
I'm not saying that you shouldn't drink...by all means, DRINK, just drink moderately. Do remember that the altitude will affect your body differently than you would be at sea level, so be careful. Just because you normally drink 5 beverages at the bar, doesn't mean you can actually handle 5 beverages in the air. A plane is not a bar. If someone drinks too much at their favorite tavern, they can push that person out the door and call him a cab. Try doing that at 30,000 feet.
If your drink gets low, don't ever say “Hey, stewardess!” The term “stewardess” and “steward” are widely considered to be archaic, if not derogatory. They are especially offensive if they’re used while, at the same time, you repeatedly press the flight attendant “call” button over your seat. Flight attendants are not airborne waiters. They are bona fide crew members who have undergone many hours of safety training. Yeah, they serve drinks but if the plane goes down, they can also save your butt.
To quote a selection from Christopher Elliott's page which highlight some idea's about alcohol on flights.
Unless you haven’t flown in a few years, you probably know that air travel is getting more stressful. Alcohol can make it worse, say experts. “Drinking on planes has unique hazards, particularly as flying becomes more stressful,” says Karen Sternheimer, a sociologist who teaches at the University of Southern California. “If there is a long delay on the tarmac the irritation can be magnified by alcohol.” At a bare minimum, passengers need to be sober enough to understand and cooperate with crew instructions. “Under increasingly stressful conditions, too much alcohol can make a simple annoyance into a serious problem,” she adds.
2. There’s nowhere to run.
Anywhere else, you can walk away from an unruly drunk. But not on a plane. “It’s a metal tube and blasting off at hundreds of miles per hour,” says Jeffrey Lord, a veteran frequent flier based in Burlington, Vt. (Lord believes alcohol isn’t the only problem on a plane. “How about spending hours strapped in with these stressed-out companions with nothing other than caffeinated beverages being served?” he asks. Good point.)
“Higher altitudes do amplify the affect of alcohol, which, as you can imagine, can cause problems for passengers that imbibe too much,” says Ashley Halsey, a spokeswoman for American Behavioral, a healthcare organization that specializes in drug and alcohol abuse and treatment for employers. “Because alcohol impairs judgment, the likelihood of violent or other anti-social behavior is increased. When people fly, they also get dehydrated, and alcoholics tend to drink alcohol instead of water, which tends to increase their adverse reaction.”
4. It’s annoying.
Just listen to Terry Ward’s account of her last flight from Orlando to Newark. “I sat next to a group of guys who were on their way to Montreal for a boys’ weekend,” she remembers. “They started drinking right after we took off and didn’t stop. Hard liquor the whole flight.
I thought the flight attendants would stop serving them but they didn’t, because one of the guys was tipping them $20 each round.” Instead of cutting off the passengers, she made all of their drinks doubles, as they requested. “It was completely obnoxious,” she adds.
5. It’s embarrassing, too.
Who doesn’t have a story to tell about having one too many on a plane? Here’s Denise Vardakas’. She and her mother were flying from San Diego to Grand Cayman, and on their final leg they enjoyed “endless Jack and Diet Cokes.” She adds, “We were having a great time chatting with the crew members, and a few of our fellow passengers.” On their way back a week later, the same crewmembers greeted them as the “Jack and Diet” ladies. Oh, my.
6. You could relapse.
If you’re off the booze, a plane trip is a relapse waiting to happen, say experts. “I’m still constantly surprised by how many of my patients will relapse or overdrink on planes,” says Carrie Wilkens, the co-founder and clinical director of the Center for Motivation & Change, a private group practice in New York that specializes in treating addiction and compulsive behaviors.
“It’s gotten to the point where I’ve heard it as a therapist so regularly that now, when any one of my clients is planning a trip, I tell them, ‘OK, we have to make up a plan for how you’re going to manage this flight.’” Her patients inevitably agree that they drink more in the air, and take precautions to avoid it.
7. How are you getting home?
Even if you survive your flight without incident, there remains the issue of getting back home. If you’re planning to drive, you might keep the case of Dana Papst in mind. A few years ago, after disembarking from a US Airways flight on which he was served alcohol, he crashed his car, killing himself and five others. The FAA later cleared the airline of any wrongdoing.
I don’t consider myself a modern-day prohibitionist, but I think these practical reasons for keeping the skies alcohol-free make sense.
Why not wait until you’re home to crack open a bottle? It could make your next flight a better one — if not save your life.
Wednesday, November 25, 2009
Despite all of the different travel delays over the last year (and to come before year end) I hope that everyone will stop to remember that a good portion of the delays were not the fault of the individual flight crews. In-flight crew members are the ones that you may see the most, but remember that those long delays sitting on the tarmac are because of the antiquated Air Traffic Control systems. Something that your Flight Attendants and Pilots can NOT control.
When it snows, many things have to happen on top of the normal operation of getting your plane to the runway.
Snow has to be removed from the gate area in order for the plane to see the center taxi line so it doesn't taxi off of the taxi-ways.
Just like the roads and highways, special snow-removal trucks go out to clear the snow and ice on the taxi-ways, as well as the runways, to ensure these are clear for the planes.
If it's close to freezing and raining, sleeting, or snowing, then your plane may have to be de-iced, especially from ice and snow. Some airlines have a system where you taxi to a specific location set up by the airport to get de-iced, but you are still being de-iced in order of your take-off slot. Some airlines will de-ice your plane at the gate.
Both instances are done with the engines turned off. This prevents any fluid getting into the air that you breathe on the planes. Special trucks will quickly go around the plane to remove as much snow and ice as possible. Once this is done, you may smell a slight odor upon engine start, but that's normal.
Hopefully there won't be too many delays this upcoming winter season, but do take a second and ask yourself how you got to the airport and what the conditions were like. Don't take the frustrations of delays out on the innocent flight crews, they want to get you to your destination as much as you want to get to your destination.
Have a specific cruise that you need to get to? Some cruise lines will give you an estimated time from your flight arrival to the ship, but remember that that's on a good day. If you have a cruise and it's snowing at your departure city, there is nothing the airlines can do because the ship left without you. Always remember that the reason for your delay is for your safety, snow has to be removed in order for the plane to take off. You can't rush weather delays, especially snow delays. All we have to do is remember back to January of 1982 the Air Florida crash into the 14th Street Bridge in Washington, DC and plunged into the icy Potomac River.
Despite some improper de-icing procedures that American Airlines had at Washington National Airport at the time, it was freezing and snowing, the crew did not activate the engine anti-ice system. Analysis of the cockpit voice recorder determined that, during the departure checklist, the copilot announced, the pilot confirmed, that the plane's own engine anti-icing system was turned off. This system uses heat from the engines to prevent sensors from freezing and providing inaccurate readings.
Adding to the plane's troubles was the pilots' decision to maneuver closely behind a DC-9 that was taxiing just ahead of the Air Florida aircraft prior to takeoff, due to their mistaken belief that the warmth from the DC-9's engines would melt the snow and ice that had accumulated on Flight 90's wings. This action — which went specifically against flight manual recommendations for an icing situation — actually contributed to additional icing on the 737. By sitting behind the preceding aircraft, the exhaust gases melted the snow on the wings. During take off, instead of falling off the plane, this slush mixture then froze on the wings' leading edges and the engine inlet nose cone.
When you sit down for dinner during the holidays after a flight, stop and be sure to be Thankful of the miraculous feats that got you there, even if you did get there late.
Saturday, November 21, 2009
The Flying Pinto did some thorough digging, and got some guidance about the policy for airlines by the FAA, but it wasn't until just recently that we would have a more defined guideline on the info about what can or can not be placed in that seat back pocket.
Here is clarification on Seat back pocket for everyone to better understand.
U.S. Department of Transportation
Federal Aviation Administration
InFO Information for Operators
Flight Standards Service
An InFO contains valuable information for (clip)... impact on safety.
Subject: Stowage of Items in Seat Pockets
Purpose: To clarify guidance for air carriers about the stowage of items in seat pockets.
Discussion: Existing Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) policy in FAA Order 8900.1, Volume 3, Chapter 33, Section 6, part 3-3547. CARRY-ON BAGGAGE, Section F #5, Operations—Cabin Safety, states that carry-on baggage programs should...
Define properly stowed, to include overhead bin stowage and under seat stowage. For proper under seat stowage of carry-on baggage, there must be forward and side restraints to prevent bags from sliding into the aisle.
Prohibit the stowage of carry-on baggage and other items in the lavatories and seat back pockets (the only items allowed in seat back pockets should be magazines and passenger information cards)...
The intent of the carry-on baggage regulation, [I]Title 14 of the Code of Federal Regulations (14 CFR) part 121, § 121.589, is to prevent carry-on items from slowing an emergency evacuation and to prevent injury to passengers by ensuring items are properly restrained. Seat pockets have been designed to restrain approximately 3 pounds of weight and not the weight of additional carry-on items. Seat pockets are not listed in the regulation as an approved stowage location for carry-on baggage. If a seat pocket fails to restrain its contents, the contents of the seat pocket may impede emergency evacuation or may strike and injure a passenger.
If small, lightweight items, such as eyeglasses or a cell phone, can be placed in the seat pocket without exceeding the total designed weight limitation of the seat pocket or so that the seat pocket does not block anyone from evacuating the row of seats, it may be safe to do so.
The requirements of the carry-on baggage regulation are applicable to take-off and landing. Nothing in the carry-on baggage regulation prohibits a passenger from taking out small personal items from an approved stowage location and placing them in the seat pocket after takeoff and stowing them in approved locations prior to landing. Crewmembers may still direct a passenger to stow carry-on items in an approved stowage location, during flight should they pose a hazard, such as in the case of turbulence.Hopefully this helps in some of the confusion that many of us had previously. I know that some airlines are more strict on this policy than others, as well as some flight attendants being more strict than others, however, this is the official guidance made just this month on what can, or can't, be placed in seat back pockets.
Happy flying and btw, don't put your laptop in the seat back pockets!
Friday, November 20, 2009
It truly feels that it was just yesterday when I saw my only 2009 show in Stillwater, MN. It was all over before I knew it. Now, it's starting all over again with annual banquets, auditions, and instructional camps one weekend a month until move-in, usually around Memorial Day weekend.
Drum Corps International today announced the schedule for the 2010 DCI tour. I'm extremely happy, no, ecstatic, to see that DCI will be here in Minnesota not just for their normal Stillwater and Mankato shows, but also a new show at the University of Minnesota's TCF Bank Stadium.
I am so excited for this show as it will be the first biggest show with 24 corps that I have seen in a long time. (actually since I was volunteering with The Cavaliers in 2003) I may not be able to watch the first show on June 27th in Stillwater (which is a great location for a show) because it is Twin Cities Pride weekend here in Minneapolis, but you can bet your sweet bippy that I will be inside the TCF Band Stadium to witness a great night of drum corps!
New events, new locations, new venues and the unprecedented excitement that only the corps of Marching Music’s Major League can deliver are all on schedule for another spectacular summer! The 2010 Drum Corps International Tour will be comprised of an impressive lineup of 113 events in 39 states taking place over a 58-day span from June through August.So be sure to check out DCI's website to see if there is a Drum Corps show in your city!
I thought it would be good to not only highlight his blog, but post it here to give you a good reminder and advice on getting through the TSA Security checkpoints quickly.
Over the past few days I have been writing about airport security and traveller personal security. Over the course of these few posts I have been revisiting important topics I think every traveller should know to make their experience easier, smoother, less stressful and overall safer for them on the road.
It has been quite a while since I discussed the anatomy of the airport security screening process. So while summer travel hits its peak period in the Northern Hemisphere, I thought now was a good time to revisit this topic.
Of all the e-mails I receive, airport security and the whole process of airport security tops the list of questions, comments and complaints. Maybe it is just that I am in tune with how airport security works that it does not phase me, but I know the whole process is confusing and frustrating to millions of air travellers around the world.
So…without further ado…I present to you, The Passenger Airport Security Screening Experience…From Start To Finish. This security process is virtually identical around the world.
1) The Line Up — The Line Up is simple. It is where passengers begin to line up to enter the security-screening checkpoint. You only enter the security-screening checkpoint once you have your boarding pass (I have seen people get all the way through the security line only to be turned away because they forgot to pick up their boarding pass).
2) The ID Checker — This is the security person at the ‘entrance’ to the actual screening process. This person inspects your photo identification (usually a passport or drivers license) and your travel documents to make sure your name/face match those on your boarding pass.
3) The Barker — ‘The Barker’ is the security person who walks up and down the line ‘barking’ that you should have your boarding pass and valid photo identification out and available for inspection, that your laptop should be out of your bag for x-ray inspection and that you are only entitled to only pass through security with no more than 3oz of liquids in each container (you may actually have 3.4oz), these containers must be in one single 1-quart bag and only one bag per person (hence ‘3-1-1′ bag). “The Barker” may also split a single line into two lines, ask to see you boarding pass and at times just intimidate inexperienced travelers.
4) The Long Table — The actual x-ray and metal detector process usually begins with a long table with plastic bins. This is where you remove your shoes (if required, the TSA does require it everywhere though); your laptop (if required); your 3-1-1 bag (now
virtually universal at all security worldwide). You also want to start making sure you have no metal on you, this means place your coins, keys, mobile phone, etc in a secure pocket, or inside one of your bags.
5) The Bins — Every ‘Long Table’ has ‘The Bins.’ ‘The Bins’ are where you’ll place your jacket, laptop and other lose items. Some airports require shoes go in a bin, others do not. When it doubt, toss them in a bin.
6) The X-Ray Scanner — At the end of the ‘Long Table” is the X-Ray Scanner and its conveyor belt. You want to place your bags and bins in the X-Ray scanner. Remember that bins go in vertically NOT horizontally. Make sure you witness your bags entering the X-Ray scanner before proceeding to the next step, and from that moment never take your eyes off the ‘exit’ of the x-ray scanner! Also remember to keep your boarding pass out and in your hand, do not place that through with your bags and bins.
7) The Metal Detector — Once your bags and bins are in the x-ray scanner (and your boarding pass is in your hand!) you’ll line up for the metal detector. Always wait outside the metal detector until the security personnel have motioned for you to pass through the metal detector. Before passing through pat yourself down to check for any metal items you may have missed. If you have any loose metal items declare them before you go through the metal detector.
7a) The Metal Detector Wand (if you set off the alarm)– ‘The Wand’ is a simple hand held metal detector used by security personnel to check passengers who have set off the metal detector multiple times. You are usually hold your arms out and are ‘traced’ with the wand to find the source of the metal.
8 ) The Rollout — ‘The Roll-Out’ is the end of the X-Ray scanner where you retrieve your bags-n-bins. Pay attention that you have all your items and that they have exited the x-ray scanner before walking off. Take your items methodically from the x-ray scanner and if you must ‘put yourself back together’ do so at the chair or benches away from the x-ray scanner. By moving away from the x-ray scanner you’re not only allowing other
passengers to proceed through, but you’re also moving to a calmer environment to put your shoes on, put your laptop away, put your 3-1-1 bag away and retrieve the small metal items you have placed in a pocket or a bag.
9) The Bag Check (**NOT EVERYONE GETS A BAG CHECK**) — There seem to be few words dreaded more than hearing “BAG CHECK LANE 7″ (or whatever lane you’re in) for many passengers. Honestly, I know what my carry on bags look like and I’m personally often more concerned when I don’t here this being yelled out while the x-ray security operator is viewing my bag. A bag check is really simple. You collect all your items, just as discussed in “8 ) The Rollout” and a security screener carries one of your bags, in your full view, to a separate table. At that table you must never touch your items unless instructed to do so, the screener will look through tour bag and possibly wipe it down with a swab intended to detect explosives. This is not a big deal; when they are done you repack your bag (unless you have explosives in which case you have a lot of explaining to do and you’ll be greeted by law enforcement shortly).
10) Have A Good Flight — Make sure you have all of your possessions and head off into the terminal to have a good flight.
Above is a photo of the TSA security screening process at JFK Airport’s Terminal 7.This, and other great information, can be found on Fish's website: The Passenger Airport Screening Experience. Flying with Fish
Thursday, November 19, 2009
Flight Attendants have to make sure that the aircraft cabin is ready for departure. Before they can inform the Captain that it's ready, all regulations that the airline must follow per the Federal Aviation Administration need to be in place, which brings us to Portable Electronic Devices.
Per FAA Title 14, Part 91.21, and Part 121.306,"Portable Electronic Devices" "no person may operate, nor may any operator or pilot in command of an aircraft allow the operation of, any portable electronic device on any of the following U.S.-registered civil aircraft:But the question remains, why do flight attendants get so frustrated, mad, or go 'postal' (for lack of a better word) when a passenger ignores them when asked to turn off the device? It's quite simple; If the passenger can't follow a simple rule while on the ground, then what's going to happen once they are in the air? Can't you just turn off your device for 10-30 minutes until it's ok to turn on your device back on?
(1) Aircraft operated by a holder of an air carrier operating certificate or an operating certificate; or
(2) Any other aircraft while it is operated under IFR"
ABCnews.com did a great article back in February asking this same question. Why Can't we use Cell Phones on Planes? by KI MAE HEUSSNER. The article highlights that "contrary to what most passengers think, it's the FCC – not the FAA – that implemented the cell phone ban in the first place". The article goes on describing "That before an airline could allow cell phone use in-flight, it would have to prove to the FAA that it wouldn't interfere with the airplane systems." But the FAA says the point is moot.
"As far as the wireless system goes, the final authority rests with the FCC," Les Dorr, an FAA spokesman told ABCNews.com. Since 1991, the FCC has banned the use of cell phones on airplanes because of potential interference with ground networks.
20/20 did an interview to see if Cell Phones are Dangerous in Flight: Myth of Fact. Whether it's proven that there is little to no interference from one cell phone, or one electronic device, why take the risk into your own hands? Even though there isn't proof that a cell phone can bring down a plane, until the FAA and the FCC say using cell phones in flight is safe, it's probably best to just keep those gadgets off.
There is also a good video back in 2006 about Phone Safety in the Sky with Scott McCartney who writes "The Middle Seat" column with the Wall Street Journal.
The Internet In-Flight is new technology that is being added to planes like wild fire. It's amazing how fast airlines are adapting to the new technology, but the planes are outfitted with a system, which includes three antennas outside the plane to receive signals transmitted by AirCell cellular towers across the country.
Legit Review.com did a great article on their website about "GoGo inflight internet speed which they tested during a flight. While traveling at speeds over 500mph, Legit reported the service was "not as good as what we see at home on our Charter Cable Plus (10 Mb/s) service, but not bad for being the first generation of Wi-Fi service in an airplane."
The biggest difference between these two is cell phones continuously search for a tower. As of right now, planes do not have any antenna's for such use, so it's great to not have to listen to that business person screaming to finalize his/her deal. This way, they can do it quietly on the internet!
It's always better to turn off your device for those few minutes. One, no matter if it's your first time flying, or your 2millionth, it's always best to stop what you are doing, and watch the flight attendants do their safety demo, (or watch the video). That safety announcement is 100x more important than that text on your phone. Remember, it was less than 6minutes after take-off when USAirways flight 1549 had to ditch into the Hudson back in January.
Just remember to follow your flight attendants instructions though. Per FAA title 14, Part 91.11: "No person may assault, threaten, intimidate, or interfere with a crewmember in the performance of the crewmember's duties aboard an aircraft being operated" An incident report may be filed with the appropriate federal agency if you do. The Federal Aviation Act provides for fines of up to $10,000. In the case of interference with a crew member in the performance of crew duties, imprisonment for up to twenty years may be imposed in addition to the fine.
Saturday, November 14, 2009
The best rule to remember is if You packed it, then You lift it. There have been too many flight attendants injured and have had to undergo surgery on their shoulders to replace their rotator cuff. If a flight attendant tears their rotator cuff due to lifting a passengers bag, they may not be covered from their insurance. This isn't good. This means that they may have to take time off from work, using their sick time and this will often be looked down upon from the airline.
Of course, a torn cuff isn't due solely on helping with passengers bags, there are many things that could lead to a torn rotator cuff, but actually lifting a bag that flight attendants don't know the weight of, could lead to a torn cuff.
Luckily, many airlines have now expanded the overhead bins to allow bags to be fit length-wise, wheels first (or out) which doing this will allow for extra bags to be placed into the bins. Unfortunately, there are still those passengers who think that the bin is solely theirs, but please remember that the bins are shared space and you have to share with others. Just like back when you were growing up, it's good to share with others!
If you plan on hanging your garment bag into the closet, please be sure to have it open and ready to hang when you get to the aircraft boarding door. This will ensure that you don't block everyone behind you to continue boarding. The great thing about putting your bag into the closet, you could just put your laptop and/or purse under the seat in front of you and leave the over head bins for those large carry-on bags!
Well, I hope that this spread a little light for everyone. There are some airlines that allow their flight attendants to help lift passenger bags, but don't be upset if flight attendants deny actually lifting it for you. Best thing if you ask for assistance, lift the bag as high as you can (usually above your shoulders) and the flight attendants will assist you the rest of the way.
Friday, November 13, 2009
Oakland (OAK), Sacramento (SMF), Seattle (SEA), San Antonio (SAT), Detroit (DTW), Washington-Dulles (IAD), Baltimore/Washington (BWI), Newark (EWR), John F. Kennedy (JFK), and Philadelphia (PHL)
I know the JFK store (that I often frequent) has extremely friendly, and knowledgeable staff. If you have a lengthy flight ahead of you, I would highly suggest to getting to the airport early to ensure a stop for a relaxing beverage and a bite so you can snooze on your flight with a satisfied appetite.
Looking for a gift for the holidays? If you are traveling through any of the above airports, then be sure to stop by and buy a bottle (or more) of wine for the holiday. It will surely be a welcome of your return home!
Rule of thumb? Small bag under the seat in front of you (where your feet go) large bag in the over head bin. Most airlines have expanded bin space, so try and place them wheels first (or wheels out and up on NWA) and hold onto your coat/jacket until everyone has found a place for their bags.
• Don't attempt to bring prohibited items such as sharp objects or bottles of liquids.
• Stow your bag with the wheels in first.
• Don't put bags in lengthwise.
• Put your larger item up top, smaller item at your feet.
• Use the bin directly over your head. Using a bin up front when you're sitting farther back is cheating.
• Don't commandeer another passenger's under-seat space.
• Make sure your bag is light enough to lift over your head yourself .
• Remove from your bag beforehand any items you may need during the flight rather than sifting through it in the overhead bin.
• Wait until everyone's bags are stowed, then lay your coat on top.
Thursday, November 12, 2009
There have been lots of interesting news this past week:
British Airways and Iberia agreeing on a combined company
London arrests a UAL Pilot for being drunk before a flight to Chicago.
Iberia's Flight Attendants striking for better wages.
Delta Airlines engine fire in Atlanta grounded flight.
Flight Attendants get same FMLA as 9-5 jobs.
Couple jailed after stealing bags at PHX Sky Harbor Airport
US Airways Flight Attendants to picket PHX airport for better wages
AA Flight Attendants to hold "Mock Strike" at select AA hub airports
I think the one that gets my vote for the worst is:
Woman drives into Aquarium at TPA
Just a crazy week around the world of aviation if you ask me. I think I'll have to start taking my camera with me again and take pictures of my endeavors and start posting about them. However, that just might not be a good idea, I'm often too critical of my passengers, especially when they don't act the way I would expect them to.
Another thing I'll have to start doing is writing down when either one of my fellow flight attendants act up, or when a passenger does something funny or weird so I can blog about it and let you know. I know at some point I'll have to post a picture of a Business Class seat that was literally trashed by a Business Class passenger. I truly amazes me how people leave their area messier than when they found it, yet are the same ones who complain that the airplanes are filthy. Alas, I'll have to leave that for another night.
Thursday, October 29, 2009
If I have a celebrity on a flight, I try to feel them out if I could have the honor of getting my picture with them before the end of the flight. I've had quite a few great celebrities that I couldn't ask, wouldn't ask, or have been denied, but the ones that I had the honor, it's been great.
One of those honors was with the great actor Sean Penn. I'm currently watching I am Sam and I'm just amazed at how he has grown as an actor since Fast Times at Ridgemont High in 1982. I had the chance to briefly meet him on one of my flights a few years ago and was very gracious to have my picture with him.
After a young, middle class couple moves into a suburban 'starter' tract house, they become increasingly disturbed by a presence that may or may not be somehow demonic but is certainly most active in the middle of the night. Especially when they sleep. Or try to.
About the only thing I really enjoyed about this movie was the house the young couple were living in. I would LOVE to have a place that looked like this place did. It was awesome. It was a 3 bedroom, 3bath home with a large living room leading into a kitchen and dining. It even had a large attic, but you'll have to watch the movie to find out more.
This movie reminded me of the Blair Witch Project, Quarantine, and Cloverfield all combined together. Very shaky video work that could give you a headache. Stupidity of people who, after hearing things go bump in the night, don't turn on a light to see what's going on. Fun movie, good movie for those people easily scared, but the ending is just another thing to be desired....it just ends, as shall I.
Once again, the movie plays on the psychology of the mind. It plays the mind of how much do you value life. Are you willing to sacrifice your life to possibly save another, or do you value yours too much and kill them?
Special Agent Strahm is dead, and Detective Hoffman has emerged as the unchallenged successor to Jigsaw's legacy. However, when the FBI draws closer to Hoffman, he is forced to set a game into motion, and Jigsaw's grand scheme is finally understood
Monday, October 26, 2009
Reports from the APFA Negotiating Team indicate that substantial progress was made in recent discussions with the company over the cost-out of specific proposals and Article TAs. This followed meetings by members of both teams, their respective financial experts and our Federal Mediator. Through the end of this year, the teams have set an aggressive schedule to focus on issues surrounding agreed to changes in scheduling articles, the contractual language for the TAs thus far achieved, as well as the cost-out of these items. This lays a firmer foundation for the discussions over the final pay issues, now on the horizon.
As talks move forward, the last few weeks have seen APFA Negotiators and local reps holding council and InfoRep meetings in base cities to continue coordination of OUR TURN Around Campaign, which is now gearing up for a major membership action in the coming weeks. As part of this action, the APFA Team communications sub-committee has completed an informational pamphlet for the membership, detailing our positions in relationship to the company’s in several contractual areas of pay, benefits and work rules. It is important for members to know where we stand and how we plan on reaching our goal of a ratifiable contract that restores our standard of living and brings us the financial stability and security we need and deserve. Watch for the pamphlet arriving in mailboxes beginning next week.
Be sure you are armed with the facts and with your GOT UNION / GOT GUTS yellow and red disk for your union pin. Wear only your APFA pin—now with the yellow GOT UNION side of the disk behind it—and your Flight Attendant wings on your uniform.
The new uniform pieces for women cabin crew include several dresses, as well as jackets, pants and skirts. The men have new jackets and trousers, as well as several choices of shirts.
While some of the uniform items have a crisp, tailored look, other pieces feature fabric printed with Tahitian flowers, for a more casual appearance. Colors selected for the uniform pieces represent the colors of the ocean, the island lagoons, and the flowers of Tahiti.
Air Tahiti Nui's pilots, agents, and ground crews also have new uniforms. Here is a link to the Air Tahiti Nui Photo Gallery where you can see more pictures of the crew attire.
American Airlines is in the process of updating their 20yr old cabin crew uniforms, but no images are available. It's a true shame that American can't just pick a designer and use their uniforms and make a firm date when flight attendants must start wearing them.
As of right now, if you order the pants, you might get them by December, then sometime next year you can order the shirts. Following that it will be Coats, and possibly vests and dresses. When asked, the VFSolutions people couldn't answer when all the pieces will be available to wear. I'm sure there are some people out there like to order everything all at once.
When I was in the Air Force, we were always told to keep one complete uniform together and dressed up for promotional purposes. This means that one piece isn't a different color from another piece because you wear it at different times, or launder it at different times.
I can't believe that it's already been over three years since Delta Airlines unveiled their Richard Tyler uniforms. Even among the latest complaints from Northwest Airlines Flight Attendants who might be size 18 or bigger, Richard Tyler has every right to not put his name on something he doesn't approve. Yet, the uniform looks very good because it's a clean cut look.
I just wish that crews from (mostly US Carriers) cared about their own personal appearance because when a uniform is worn properly, it looks very good. Some just refuse to do it because they are 'protesting' to either the company for taking away uniform points, or protesting against the their Union for not fighting stronger for their rights.
All-n-all, I hope that we get new uniforms (all pieces together) very soon
Using laptops or engaging in activity unrelated to the pilots' command of the aircraft during flight is strictly against the airline's flight deck policies and violations of that policy will result in termination.
The flight was flying from SAN to MSP which would roughly be about a 3hr flight. With MSP undergoing runway construction, there have been many delays for the past few months that Flight Attendants, pilots, and many experienced travelers have become accustomed too.
The only thing that would be a little alarming to me is even if the plane was put into a holding pattern into MSP, we still would have been descending and hold at a certain altitude. After many holds into the NYC area airports, you just learn how the plane acts, feels, and sounds after a while. We even know when the plane goes into a holding pattern before the pilots contact us, the Flight Attendants, just by how the plane feels and sounds.
This is the only thing I can speculate the FAs informing the FAA and NTSB about their investigation in finding out what was going on, but what is more bothersome to me is the media harping on the idea that the FAA or NORAD didn't scramble fighter jets after radio contact.
The plane wasn't flying erratically, drastically changed it's course, or no radio demands were made. Sure, it would bring alarm that there was no radio contact, but there could have been radio loss from the plane after it's last contact with DEN center.
The passengers didn't know of anything wrong until the media brought it to light. Looking at FlightAware for this particular flight, the flight left 30 minutes late, and landed only an hour later than scheduled. Even other days when things were 'normal' the flight would leave late and arrive late.
I agree that there needs to be an investigation into why there was over an hour of radio silence, but I don't agree with the outcry for the pilots' heads on a platter. Once they realized their mistake, they regained radio contact and followed strict instructions from ATC to ensure that they were in control of the aircraft. I've been in the cockpit to where there is constant chatter from ATC to other planes changing radio frequencies, directions, or altitudes. I've even been in the cockpit to where ATC had to contact our flight three different times.
I look forward to seeing/hearing more info on this, I just wish the media would look more into why a DL Boeing 767 landed on a taxi-way in ATL instead of the runway, THAT would create more of a catastrophe than a wayward plane.
Saturday, October 24, 2009
Now, this week, a NW Airlines flight 188 overshot the entire airport by at least 150 miles. This one is probably being looked at a little more because there was complete radio silence for over 70 minutes. This is not good. Pilots are to remain alert and listen to their call signs from Air Traffic Control for descending information and prepare for landing.
I can't imagine what the ATC controllers were thinking when there was no radio contact. That is why they were given a series of maneuvers to do to ensure that the pilots were in command of the aircraft and not someone else.
It's way too late for any type of pilot action for the merger talks because they are already a merged airline. In fact, this weekend NW Flight numbers are going away and we'll only be seeing DL flight numbers. Thankfully, nothing went wrong with either of these incidents, but both could have been worse than what they were.
Monday, October 19, 2009
At first, my friend wasn't going to pull down the window for this crazy freak, but then he unzipped his orange suit and showed his MN State Trooper uniform/badge and informed the driver to pull up to the squadron of cars up ahead that were already pulled over. Of course, we asked why, and he said that "none of your back seat passengers are wearing seatbelts".
So, we pulled ahead and saw a line of cars that were pulled over, including a limo, that were being cited for one of MN states new laws that was put into effect back in June. The primary law requires passengers in all seating positions — including the back seat — to be buckled up.
Only those of us in the back seat were asked for our IDs, and were given citations for not wearing our seat belts. Both the driver and front passenger were not asked for their IDs, yet, the driver was given a stiff warning about making sure everyone was wearing their belts.
It was a total sting operation, especially when the first guy was posing as a utility worker at a stop light. The tickets can run anywhere from $25 to $115 depending on your record. I was just curious if people who ride in buses are required to wear seat belts since it's a moving vehicle as well. What about the light rail train that is transporting passengers from one point to another, yet, there are no seat belts in the seats.
It sucks, but I can understand the point. During 2006–2008, the Minnesota Department of Public Safety reports 1,097 motorists were killed in crashes — 539 were unbelted — and another 1,152 unbelted motorists were seriously injured. In Hennepin County (where we were cited), 102 motorists were killed — 40 were not belted — and another 114 unbelted motorists were seriously injured.
I don't remember seeing this law in the news that it was going into effect, or even remember voting for it on last years ballot. I guess now, anytime that I ride in a moving vehicle, I'm going to click it!
Thursday, October 15, 2009
Just checked FAAdelays and there already is a 60grnd dly for LGA due to low cielings. A tweet from a friend shows a N'oreaster going to Boston.
Last night I switched my flight with another FA hoping to get cancelled on the return, but no luck. Got back on time. Wonder if he did, I'll have to look.
Well, I should get up and get ready for the day. Wish me luck for no delays!!
Monday, October 12, 2009
Saturday I spent the day with a great friend driving up to St. Cloud to visit one of his friends he hasn't seen in a few years, and ended up going out to a bar, then spending the night. We spent Sunday driving back and doing nothing.
Well, this morning, I woke up to the white stuff all over the place...and I'm not talking about dandruff. It's been snowing non-stop since around 9:30, and doesn't look like it's going to let up anytime soon. I think I saw on a news cast that this is the first time in over 24years that it has snowed this early.
Does this mean that Global Warming is over? lol
Let it snow, let it snow, let is snow!
Until next time,
Tuesday, September 29, 2009
Be sure to check it out sometime soon before it goes wacko again from the old 'farts'.
State of the art sound system, lighting, new bar, new door to outside 'smoking' area, removal of the back bar and a VIP area for the weekends that you can order bottles of stuff just for you.
Loads of fun, can't wait to go again!
Saturday, September 26, 2009
I would go with school and nothing to post about. This month I was on Availability. I could have spent every waking moment on the computer waiting for someone to drop their trip into the 'Open Time' and picked it up, but I wasn't going to waste my time with that.
I had some issue at first with this semester of school. I had some severe anxiety about doing math, but it has finally gone away. I'm more comfortable doing the homework now, but still don't like doing it.
I really miss Cody the dog. I'll get to see him tonight finally. I'm really excited. It's been several weeks, and I just feel bad I haven't seen him sooner. But he's with his daddy, and that's all that matters.
Last weekend I was home in Winchester, VA for my high school band reunion. It was a lot of fun to not only see people from my class, but make friends from classes ahead of me. It was a little awkward when I was stuck between two girls that I had dated and they were both like, "I dated Gordon"...."So did I". Kinda fun though.
Well, not much else to report. I'm on a line next month for work. Not what I wanted, but I could've had worse. I'm doing LGA-ORD turns. They are the late departures, so I'm sure there will be many weather delays. Well, maybe I can finally get a decent pay check!!!
Until next time,
Friday, September 11, 2009
Despite many delayed flights to the NYC area today due to weather, I was able to get here on-time!
Sure, the earlier flights were having those creeping delays due to low visibility, but fortunately, the flight I chose only had a 25minute delay, but we made up that time in the air.
I was nervous listening to the older gentlemen describing how he can't remember where he parked the car, how he hates driving in rain, and driving at night. Best of luck to their journey home!
I get to start my 3-day Super 80 trip tomorrow. Sad to see one friend couldn't make the flight, but happy to see another was able to pick it up. Should be a fun 3-day!
Wednesday, September 9, 2009
Thankfully, this issue has been addressed on Gadling.com and I again don't have to go into detail thanks to someone else's hard work! I'm sure the FAA and the FCC will continually look into this issue. Until then, the FCC has upheld it's decision on the current ban of cell phone use on planes.
I would suggest that when the flight attendants ask to turn off all electronic devices when that entry door closes...please just do it.
Boarding continues and finally the announcement comes. "Ladies and Gentlemen, the forward aircraft door is now closed. All electronic devices need to be turned off and put away at this time. Laptop computers may not be placed in seatback pockets, nor any other personal items including books, personal magazines, or even a boarding pass'...did I hear right, not even a boarding pass?
So several of us Flight Attendant 'twitterers' started asking each other about the issue, until The Flying Pinto wrote to the FAA and asked about their policy and/or regulation about this issue. I mean, it's not just us that were talking about it...Budget Travel.com, the NYTs, and even Smarter Travel. EVERYONE was talking about putting items into seat-back pockets. She actually got an answer! I'm not going to go into detail here about it here, but you can read The Truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth on Seat-back Pocket items.
Basically what she found out was there is:
"currently only FAA "guidance," not a regulation . The agency is recommending airline companies consider the guidance as a way of developing their own set of company policies"
So, if a Flight Attendant asks you to remove something from the seat-back pocket, then it is part of that airlines' policy, and you should go ahead and remove the item and not argue with them about it. As silly as it may be, you can get in trouble for not complying with crew member instructions because it is part of that airlines' guidelines that have been set by the FAA.
For the most part, the only item that seems to be the biggest culprit are laptop computers. It doesn't matter what airline I commute on, they all say that "Laptop computers are not allowed in seat-back pockets".
Tuesday, September 8, 2009
Right now, I am in my 3rd week of my 2nd year of school. I've gone back to school with the University of Phoenix online. I must say, the last year has flown by so fast, it's hard to believe I'm already in my 2nd (sophomore) year!
I'm working on a Business Degree. However, the 1st two years are working on your Associates, then if you choose to continue, then it's on to your Bachelor's Degree. The only problem that I'm having right now is my math. I really dislike math with a passion, especially when I don't understand the rules of doing math....specifically fractions.
I have had many offers on help with my work, but I must do this on my own...besides, the next door neighbor is a math teacher and has offered his assistance if I ever get stuck. So far though, I've maintained a B, but it is only 2wks into the class! lol
Well, that's it for now. Check back later and see what kind of things I'm getting myself in trouble for.