Thursday, October 29, 2009

Sean Penn - I am Sam

One of the great perks about being a flight attendant is meeting the different celebrities. It's hard to not get overwhelmed when you have them on-board, but you learn quickly that they are just regular people too.

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.

Even though this was at the end of the flight before landing, he was extremely nice and polite. It was amazing to watch him portray the late Harvey Milk in the movie Milk.

Anyone that can transform themselves from character to character and actually make you believe that who they are on screen is true, is an extremely great actor/actress in my opinion. The transformations that he has made over the years as a bad ass  punk, to bad ass cop, to recently playing a mentally challenged individual and an openly gay politician. He has been amazing.

One thing to think if you encounter a celebrity is if they don't want to give you their autograph or have their picture with you, then it's not worth having.

Paranormal Activity

After I finished watching Saw VI tonight, I then bought another ticket and watched Paranormal Activity. I got in about 15 minutes after the show started, but here is a quick synopsis.

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 just ends, as shall I.

Saw VI

Tonight I watched the latest in the Saw series, Saw VI.  I must say that it did NOT let me down.  With great flashbacks to previous movies, and the possibility of another movie for the future, I highly enjoyed the movie.

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

APFA - It's Our Turn

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.

New uniforms for cabin crews

Flight attendants at Air Tahiti Nui donned new uniforms recently. The updated outfits, created by Balenciaga Uniforms, were commissioned to celebrate the airline's 10th anniversary. (but was it a mixup?  According to this website, it may not be his.)

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

NW pilots likely to be terminated

According to a statement from Delta, looks like the pilots of NWA Flt 188 will be terminated.

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. 

 As another news source suggested, the pilots became aware of their situation after a flight attendant called up to ask when they would be starting their descent into the MSP airport.

What do Mileage Runners do? has a great article on mileage runners.  This one was written back in 2007, but it still holds true for today. Mileage runners, people who game the system by finding the cheapest possible flight with the maximum number of connections in order to gain the maximum number of miles for the least amount of money.  For most of the hardcore mileage runners, the fun is simply gaming the system, it's like a very elaborate problem-solving puzzle with hints from the forums over at FlyerTalk.

FAA questions Flight Attendants on NWA Flight

So I'm reading lots of info about the NWA flight that passed the MSP airport which lost radio contact after DEN and regained contact again near EAU.  As a flight attendant, there really wouldn't be much that we would know if anything was wrong or not in flight.

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

What's going on with NW/DL?

Just a little curious on what's going on with our friends at Northwest and Delta.  Last week, a DL 767 Flight 60 landed on the taxi-way at Atlanta Hartsfield International Airport instead of the Runway. I'm not sure how seasoned pilots can miss the two, white lights are highlighting the runway, when blue lights outline the taxi-way.  Just bizarre.

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

Seatbelt Enforcement Campaign in MN

So, a few of us sitting in the back seat of a car going into downtown Minneapolis on Saturday night.  We pull up to a stop light, which we all noticed a utility van parked just a few yards away with a guy in an orange suit.  He comes up next to the car and shines a light into the back seat, then proceeds to the front drivers window and taps on the glass.

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

Sitting in the sleep room right now at LGA. have my ORD turn later this afternoon but I have a feeling there are going to be some delays today.

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

It's Snowing

So on Friday night, I flew home from work and hopped in my car. On the drive home, I noticed that it was flurrying a little bit (it was cold out) and didn't think much of it.  I woke up around noon on Saturday to find that it snowed a lot more than just a few flurry's the night before.

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,