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.