Wednesday, November 25, 2009

The Holidays have officially started

Ok, I know I'm jumping the gun by a day before Thanksgiving, but I wanted to get on the ball and show a shot of Chicago O'Hare International airport Terminal 3 - American Airlines decorations they always set up in the H/K concourse. Usually this hall is filled with International flags, but for the holidays, they take down all the flags and decorate the atrium with large lit wreaths and flying doves.  I took this a couple of years ago commuting home to Minneapolis, through Chicago. (hence barely any passengers in the terminal)

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.

Snow? Sure, there will be upcoming delays due to snow, but stop and remember how you got to the airport.  Did you drive fast or slow because of the visibility? What were the road conditions, was it slippery? Icy? Were cars going quicker or slower around you? Were there any vehicles in the ditch because of the road conditions?

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.

So, remember next time there are severe delays due to the snow outside, stop to remember that rushing the departure will lead to steps not being taken or missed. That is something NONE of us want to happen. 

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

Stowage of Items in Seat Backs

Items that belong in airline seat back pockets have been a debate on several blogs and forums for some time now. One blogger received some great information from the FAA on what is suggested for the seat back pocket, but there was no hard regulation on the info.

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
InFO 09018
DATE: 11/12/09

Flight Standards Service
Washington, DC
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

2010 Drum Corps International Tour Schedule

It's hard to believe that many drum and bugle corps are holding their first audition and/or instructional camps this weekend. Ever since October 15th, top directors of the top 12 corps, DCI staff and other corps representatives gathered in Chicago for an annual meeting to firm up a working schedule for the 2010 Drum Corps International Tour.

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.

Saturday, July 17 will feature a first-time DCI Premier Event in Minneapolis, MN, at the new TCF Bank Stadium which is home to the University of Minnesota’s Golden Gophers. Showcasing the performances of 24 All-Age, Open and World Class corps, this new Minnesota event will coincide with the educational System Blue Marching Band Skills Camp which will give students and educators the opportunity to learn from the members and staff of the Blue Devils and Santa Clara Vanguard.

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!

Passenger Airport Security Experience by: Flying with Fish

The following was posted by a great long-time blogger: Flying With Fish. It highlights his experience by other bloggers on getting through Airport security quickly and efficiently.

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.

Fish writes:

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.
Happy Flying!
 This, and other great information, can be found on Fish's website: The Passenger Airport Screening Experience. Flying with Fish

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Why don't airlines allow cell phone use when aircraft door is closed?

If you really want to see a friendly flight attendant go from nice to crabby, just keep your cell phone on  and ignore them when the "Please turn off all electronic devices" public announcement is made.  This will ensure a different creature comes out, but why?

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:
(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"
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? 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 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.

What about the use of internet on board? 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 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

"Excuse me, will you lift my bag for me"

This is a question that Flight Attendants often get when passengers board the airplane. The only problem is, flight attendants don't know how heavy your bag is because we didn't pack it. There have been many times that I would see an elderly woman with a bag and would offer to put it into the overhead bin. The only problem is the few times I offered to help, it's heavier than expected, and heavier than my own carry-on bag.

Now, the majority of flight attendants will be more than glad to assist you with your bag. Just don't expect them to actually lift it for you. I was in the back of an airplane one time and this woman asked me to assist her, so I was glad to offer my assistance. The only problem is that once we were lifting it, she completely let go and I almost dropped the bag on the passenger below. It took all my might to not drop it, and luckily it didn't fall. The only problem, I had a very sore shoulder the rest of the day because of it.

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. 

A torn rotator cuff is not something that many airlines will cover with insurance, hence why many crew members will not actually lift your bag. Many will be more than happy help you find a spot for your bag, but please don't expect any of them to actually lift it because a torn rotator cuff hurts. Thankfully, I haven't had to undergo this surgery yet, but I'm sure at some time/point, I might.

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.

I know it may be difficult to actually find a space for your roll-aboard, especially now that winter is on it's way. Many people will throw their coats, jackets, and everything in-between into the bin not thinking that there may be someone else needing to put their bag into the bin too.

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!

I know that everyone brings on different size bags, but as you can see in the photo on the left, bags can fit neatly into the bin. Sure, you will have some of those new bags that can be pushed in every-which direction, often times their wheels will not allow the bag to be placed length-wise. Even some of the new garment bags are too big to be placed into the bins and take up more than they actually should.

Speaking of garment bags, it would be nice if you brought your hook with your bag and placed it into the closet that most planes have. This will help those passengers with the roll-aboards find places for their bags and fit them length-wise into the bins.

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

Vino Volo anyone?

If you love wine, like I do, and you are a traveler through one of these 10 airports, I highly suggest you find the time to visit Vino Volo.

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)

Vino Volo has a great warm woody tone and comfortable leather lounge chairs that welcomes travelers into a sophisticated yet approachable post-security retreat in the airport terminal. Every Vino Volo location has an integrated retail area showcasing the wines being poured and offers elegant small plates to pair with the wines. You can enjoy items such as locally-produced artisan cheeses, dry cured meats, and smoked salmon and crab meat crostini(my favorite). All of Vino Volo's dishes are available for customers to enjoy in the store or packaged to carry with them onto their flight.

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!

Carry-ons could clog holiday travel...Ya think?!?!

 I'm glad that Jim Kavanagh of CNN posted this on the CNN website, it will give travelers a 'heads-up' on what to expect on the plane. However, it's not going to alleviate the problem.

I find that many travelers will find their seat, put all bags into the bin, put their coat/jacket into the bin, then close it, not thinking about anyone else. Their thought "My stuff is stowed, I don't have to worry now".  Well, this is wrong.  Do think about everyone else because if you would just put your small bag under the seat (where your feet go) then that could create an extra space for another bag!

I will see the most frequent business traveler with only a laptop stop traffic, put his laptop in the bin, take off his coat, and place it next to his laptop and sit down, not thinking that the space he just took, could be for a large roll-aboard bag.  It's this mentality "But I followed the rules" is what really creates havoc during boarding, especially when it's time to close the aircraft door when we still have 15 people trying to find room for their carry-ons.

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.

If you are seated in row 31 and you pass an open bin at row 5, do NOT put your bag there because now the person seated in that area won't have a place for their bag! Besides, would you want your carry-on so far away from you that you can't keep an eye on it?  You would be surprised at how often people walk off planes with someone else's bag. I even saw someone take my crew bag out of the bin and start rummaging through it in flight!  I asked them if I could help them, they said "no". I then informed them that they were looking in MY bag and then they got all mad and huffy at ME!  ME! because I caught them rummaging through my bag!

Here are some tips from CNNs website to consider when traveling this winter:
• Obey the government's and airline's rules on size and number of items; use the sizer at the gate.
• 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.

Following these simple and easy guidelines will ensure that you will have a happy boarding. If your airline has 'group' boarding, then only go up to the line when your group is called, don't be gate lice and hover around blocking the passage to those who are called first.  Believe it or not, group boarding is done from the back of the airplane to the front.  (those people who are already in various seats when you board are Elites who just had to have their bags in the bins first and sit down)

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Wow, has it truly been over 2wks since my last blog?

Sorry ladies and gentlemen, I have taken a little vacation without knowing it and got a little more involved with that darn Twitter account. I tell you, it's a full time job keeping up with all the airline folk out there twit-twit-twittering away about my love of aviation.

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.