Friday, September 30, 2011

Could the standards of Pan Am survive today

After finally watching the series premiere of ABC's new hit Pan Am, it got me thinking of what the standards were like back in the 60s, if some of those same issues were still around today.  It was truly a different time-frame in the 60s, not only with the economy, but how people acted towards one another.

Put aside the fact that passengers didn't bring their 5 million bags on the aircraft (as they do today), the overhead racks were used primarily for hat boxes, coats, pillows & blankets. Fine China was actually used to serve passengers, gloves were used in flight by the Attendants, kids (and some adults) were able to actually visit the cockpit during cruise altitude.

Imperial Airways of the United Kingdom had "cabin boys" or "stewards"; in the 1920s. In the USA, Stout Airways was the first to employ stewards in 1926, working on Ford Trimotor planes between Detroit and Grand Rapids, Michigan. Western Airlines (1928) and Pan American World Airways (Pan Am) (1929) were the first US carriers to employ stewards to serve food. Ten-passenger Fokker aircraft used in the Caribbean had stewards in the era of gambling trips to Havana, Cuba from Key West, Florida. Lead flight attendants would in many instances also perform the role of purser, steward, or chief steward in modern aviation terminology.

The first female flight attendant was a 25-year-old registered nurse named Ellen Church. Hired by United Airlines in 1930,she also first envisioned nurses on aircraft. Other airlines followed suit, hiring nurses to serve as flight attendants, then called "stewardesses" or "air hostesses", on most of their flights. In the United States, the job was one of only a few in the 1930s to permit women, which led to large numbers of applicants for the few positions available. Two thousand women applied for just 43 positions offered by Transcontinental and Western Airlines in December 1935.

Female flight attendants rapidly replaced male ones, and by 1936, they had all but taken over the role. They were selected not only for their knowledge but also for their characteristics. A 1936 New York Times article described the requirements:

"The girls who qualify for hostesses must be petite; weight 100 to 118 pounds; height 5 feet to 5 feet 4 inches; age 20 to 26 years. Add to that the rigid physical examination each must undergo four times every year, and you are assured of the bloom that goes with perfect health."

Originally, female flight attendants were required to be single upon hiring, and were fired if they got married, exceeded weight regulations, or reached age 32 or 35 depending on the airline. In the 1970s the group Stewardesses for Women's Rights protested sexist advertising and company discrimination, and brought many cases to court. The age restriction was eliminated in 1970. The no-marriage rule was eliminated throughout the US airline industry by the 1980s. The last such broad categorical discrimination, the weight restrictions, were eliminated in the 1990s through litigation and negotiations. By the end of the 1970s, the term stewardess had generally been replaced by the gender-neutral alternative flight attendant. More recently the term cabin crew or cabin staff has begun to replace 'flight attendants' in some parts of the world, because of the term's recognition of their role as members of the crew.

It was an easier job then....for the most part. Passengers didn't have to worry about  getting to the airport 2-4hours prior to scheduled departure to wait through security checkpoints. However that did change and metal detectors were installed when talks of highjacking started to come around, and then of course the events after 9/11 which changed the history of aviation as it once was.

The majority of a flight attendant's duties are safety related. Prior to each flight, flight attendants attend a safety briefing with the pilots and lead flight attendant. During this briefing they go over safety and emergency checklists, the locations and amounts of emergency equipment and other features specific to that aircraft type. Boarding particulars are verified, such as special needs passengers, small children travelling as unaccompanied or VIPs. Weather conditions are discussed including anticipated turbulence. Prior to each flight a safety check is conducted to ensure all equipment such as lifevests, torches and firefighting equipment are on board, in the right quantity, and in proper condition. Any unserviceable or missing items must be reported and rectified prior to takeoff. They must monitor the cabin for any unusual smells or situations. They assist with the loading of carry-on baggage, checking for weight, size and dangerous goods. They make sure those sitting in emergency exit rows are willing and able to assist in an evacuation and move those who are not willing or able out of the row into another seat. They then must do a safety demonstration or monitor passengers as they watch a safety video. They then must "secure the cabin" ensuring tray tables are stowed, seats are in their upright positions, armrests down and carry ons stowed correctly and seat belts fastened prior to takeoff. All the service between boarding and take-off is called Pre 

Take off Service.
Once up in the air, flight attendants will usually serve drinks and/or food to passengers. When not performing customer service duties, flight attendants must periodically conduct cabin checks and listen for any unusual noises or situations. Checks must also be done on the lavatory to ensure the smoke detector hasn't been deactivated and to restock supplies as needed. Regular cockpit checks must be done to ensure the pilot's health and safety. They must also respond to call lights dealing with special requests. During turbulence, flight attendants must ensure the cabin is secure. Prior to landing all loose items, trays and rubbish must be collected and secured along with service and galley equipment. All hot liquids must be disposed of. A final cabin check must then be completed prior to landing. It is vital that flight attendants remain aware as the majority of emergencies occur during takeoff and landing. Upon landing, flight attendants must remain stationed at exits and monitor the airplane and cabin as passengers disembark the plane. They also assist any special needs passengers and small children off the airplane and escort children, while following the proper paperwork and ID process to escort them to the designated person picking them up.

Flight attendants are highly trained to deal with a wide variety of emergencies,and are trained in First Aid. More frequent situations may include a bleeding nose, illness, small injuries, intoxicated passengers, aggressive and anxiety stricken passengers. Emergency training includes rejected takeoffs, emergency landings, cardiac and in-flight medical situations, smoke in the cabin, fires, depressurization, on-board births and deaths, dangerous goods and spills in the cabin, emergency evacuations, hijackings, water landings, and sea, jungle, arctic, and desert survival skills
Sure, the climate has changed, the clientele has changed, the demand for travel has changed. I would LOVE for things to go back to the glory days from yesteryear. Seats have changed, technology has changed, and of course, in some cases, the role of the Flight Attendant has changed too.

Flight Attendants not only have to watch out for safety, but we have to keep a close eye on potential dangers to the flight itself. On top of that, service must be at an all time high, as well as simple knowledge of complicated new seats that airlines try to compete with for the business traveler.

With the weight standards, marriage restrictions, and other changes over the years, you will now find many flight attendants to be larger in size, married, and sometimes not dressed to the high standards that the airline set back in the day.

Friday, September 23, 2011

Why is it getting worse, and not better

While away from Minneapolis for work as well as going back to Virginia for my 20th High School Class reunion, I heard a horrible thing on the news.  Another young teenager, 14-year-old Jamey Rodemeyer, committed suicide from being bullied at school. This was after he made a "It gets better" video.

About the It Gets Better Project

Growing up isn’t easy. Many young people face daily tormenting and bullying, leading them to feel like they have nowhere to turn. This is especially true for LGBT kids and teens, who often hide their sexuality for fear of bullying. Without other openly gay adults and mentors in their lives, they can't imagine what their future may hold. In many instances, gay and lesbian adolescents are taunted — even tortured — simply for being themselves.
Justin Aaberg. Billy Lucas. Cody Barker. Asher Brown. Seth Walsh. Raymond Chase. Tyler Clementi. They were tragic examples of youth who could not believe that it does actually get better.
While many of these teens couldn’t see a positive future for themselves, we can. The It Gets Better Project was created to show young LGBT people the levels of happiness, potential, and positivity their lives will reach – if they can just get through their teen years. The It Gets Better Project wants to remind teenagers in the LGBT community that they are not alone — and it WILL get better.
I'm amazed in this day and age, kids are still being bullied for being 'different'. I can only imagine what it was like to have been a black kid from the 50s-60s, or Asian in the 40s because many of the hatred that was geared toward them is the same that is being geared to kids who are gay, or possibly transgendered.

Last night, I watched a great show on HBO that my roommate recorded for me. It was about the repeal of the "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" in the military. The HBO special, "The Strange History of Don't Ask", is a timely historical look at gays and lesbians in the military.

I was in the Air Force, and was very fortunate that I worked in an office environment where high ranking officials didn't really care who, or what I was.....just as long as I did my work. I was appalled during the show that Senator John McCain tried to refute that there were never any Gays or Lesbians in the military when 'he' served. does he know that? Did he personally ask every single soldier during his time of service if they were a Homosexual or not? Did it even cross his mine if the person fighting next to him was gay? I highly doubt it.

When serving your country, that is exactly what you are doing, to defend and protect your country from enemies of the United States. Not to bully those who may be different than you are.

The website acquired a letter that was sent to Dr. Laura that I found very interesting. It highlighted other things in the Bible that people seem to turn their eyes to.

Dear Dr. Laura:
Thank you for doing so much to educate people regarding God's Law. I have learned a great deal from your show, and try to share that knowledge with as many people as I can. When someone tries to defend the homosexual lifestyle, for example, I simply remind them that Leviticus 18:22 clearly states it to be an abomination... End of debate.
I do need some advice from you, however, regarding some other elements of God's Laws and how to follow them...
1. Leviticus 25:44 states that I may possess slaves, both male and female, provided they are purchased from neighbouring nations. A friend of mine claims that this applies to Mexicans, but not Canadians. Can you clarify? Why can't I own Canadians?
2. I would like to sell my daughter into slavery, as sanctioned in Exodus 21:7. In this day and age, what do you think would be a fair price for her?
3. I know that I am allowed no contact with a woman while she is in her period of Menstrual uncleanliness - Lev.15: 19-24. The problem is how do I tell? I have tried asking, but most women take offense.
4. When I burn a bull on the altar as a sacrifice, I know it creates a pleasing odor for the Lord - Lev.1:9. The problem is, my neighbours. They claim the odor is not pleasing to them. Should I smite them?
5. I have a neighbour who insists on working on the Sabbath.Exodus 35:2. Clearly states he should be put to death. Am I morally obligated to kill him myself, or should I ask the police to do it?
6. A friend of mine feels that even though eating shellfish is an abomination - Lev. 11:10, it is a lesser abomination than homosexuality. I don't agree. Can you settle this? Are there 'degrees' of abomination?
7. Lev. 21:20 states that I may not approach the altar of God if I have a defect in my sight. I have to admit that I wear reading glasses. Does my vision have to be 20/20, or is there some wiggle- room here?
8. Most of my male friends get their hair trimmed, including the hair around their temples, even though this is expressly forbidden by Lev. 19:27. How should they die?
9. I know from Lev. 11:6-8 that touching the skin of a dead pig makes me unclean, but may I still play football if I wear gloves?
10. My uncle has a farm. He violates Lev.19:19 by planting two different crops in the same field, as does his wife by wearing garments made of two different kinds of thread (cotton/polyester blend). He also tends to curse and blaspheme a lot. Is it really necessary that we go to all the trouble of getting the whole town together to stone them? Lev.24:10-16.Couldn't we just burn them to death at a private family affair, like we do with people who sleep with their in-laws? (Lev. 20:14)
I know you have studied these things extensively and thus enjoy considerable expertise in such matters, so I am confident you can help.
Thank you again for reminding us that God's word is eternal and unchanging.
Your adoring fan.
We can also claim that in 1 Corinthians 11:14, it states "Does not the very nature of things teach you that if a man has long hair, it is a disgrace to him". Also in 1 Corinthians 11:5,6 says, 
 “But every woman that prayeth or prophesieth with her head uncovered dishonoureth her head: for that is even all one as if she were shaven. For if the woman be not covered, let her also be shorn: but if it be a shame for a woman to be shorn or shaven, let her be covered.” 
 There are many other passages in the bible that says we are NOT to do, however it seems the only passage that every takes literally is "homosexuality is an abomination. WHY? 

Adultery punishment in the Bible's Old and New Testaments:
The following Verses are from the NIV Bible:
Exodus 20:14 "You shall not commit adultery."
Deuteronomy 22:22 "If a man is found sleeping with another man's wife, both the man who slept with her and the woman must die."
Leviticus 20:10 "If a man commits adultery with another man's wife--with the wife of his neighbor--both the adulterer and the adulteress must be put to death."
Proverbs 6:32 "But a man who commits adultery lacks judgment; whoever does so destroys himself."    He destroys himself by being put to death as shown above.
Leviticus 21:9 "And the daughter of any priest, if she profane herself by playing the whore, she profaneth her father: she shall be burnt with fire.Why should only a daughter of a priest gets burnt to death if she profanes herself?  Why can't this law apply to all daughters?
Deuteronomy 25:11-12 "If two men are fighting and the wife of one of them comes to rescue her husband from his assailant, and she reaches out and seizes him by his private parts, you shall cut off her hand. Show her no pity.This doesn't make any sense what so ever!  Why should the woman get her hands cut off for defending her husband?  It's not like she was cheating on him or anything like that!

We clearly see that adultery causes death from the Verses above.  Let us see what Jesus peace be upon him said about adultery:
The following Verses are from the NIV Bible:
Matthew 19:9 "I tell you that anyone who divorces his wife, except for marital unfaithfulness, and marries another woman commits adultery."  Wouldn't this cause the man to be put to death?
Mark 10:11 "Anyone who divorces his wife and marries another woman commits adultery against her."    Again, wouldn't he then be put to death since he would have committed adultery?
Mark 10:12 "And if she divorces her husband and marries another man, she commits adultery."    Same question I ask about the women who are considered have committed adultery.   Wouldn't they be put to death also?
Luke 16:18 "Anyone who divorces his wife and marries another woman commits adultery, and the man who marries a divorced woman commits adultery.
My question here is: Would an adulterer in the New Testament be put to death?
Keep in mind that when Jesus gave the above laws, he gave them during the time when he spoke highly of the Old Testament's Law:
Jesus orders Christians to follow the Old Testament's laws:  "Do not think that I [Jesus] have come to abolish the Law (the Old Testament) or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them.  I tell you the truth, until heaven and earth disappear, not the smallest letter, not the least stroke or a pen, will by any means disappear from the Law (the Old Testament) until everything is accomplished.  (Matthew 5:17-18)It is quite clear from these verses from the New Testament that Jesus peace be upon him did honor the Old Testament and did say that every single "letter" of it has to be honored, followed and fulfilled.
"Then Jesus said to the crowds and to his disciples: 'The teachers of the law and the Pharisees sit in Moses' seat.  So you must obey them and do everything they tell you. But do not do what they do, for they do not practice what they preach.'  (Matthew 23:1-3)We clearly see in these verses that Jesus peace be upon him did not prohibit for the Old Testament to be followed, but only warned his followers to not follow it the way the current religious leaders of the Law (the Jewish Rabies) were following it.
So according to Jesus peace be upon him, the adulterer in the New Testament must be put to death.

For cursing or blaspheming
And he that blasphemeth the name of the LORD, he shall surely be put to death, and all the congregation shall certainly stone him. Leviticus 24:16
For adultery (including urban rape victims who fail to scream loud enough)
If a damsel that is a virgin be betrothed unto an husband, and a man find her in the city, and lie with her; Then ye shall bring them both out unto the gate of that city, and ye shall stone them with stones that they die; the damsel, because she cried not, being in the city. Deuteronomy 22:23-24
For animals (like an ox that gores a human)
If an ox gore a man or a woman, that they die: then the ox shall be surely stoned. Exodus 21:28
For a woman who is not a virgin on her wedding night
If any man take a wife, and go in unto her, and hate her ... and say, I took this woman, and when I came to her, I found her not a maid: Then shall the father of the damsel, and her mother, take and bring forth the tokens of the damsel's virginity unto the elders of the city in the gate: And the damsel's father shall say ... these are the tokens of my daughter's virginity. And they shall spread the cloth before the elders of the city. ... But if this thing be true, and the tokens of virginity be not found for the damsel: Then they shall bring out the damsel to the door of her father's house, and the men of her city shall stone her with stones that she die. Deuteronomy 22:13-21
For worshipping other gods
If there be found among you ... that ... hath gone and served other gods, and worshipped them ... Then shalt thou ... tone them with stones, till they die. Deuteronomy 17:2-5
If thy brother, the son of thy mother, or thy son, or thy daughter, or the wife of thy bosom, or thy friend, which is as thine own soul, entice thee secretly, saying, Let us go and serve other gods, which thou hast not known, thou, nor thy fathers ... thou shalt stone him with stones, that he die. Deuteronomy 13:5-10
For disobeying parents
If a man have a stubborn and rebellious son, which will not obey the voice of his father, or the voice of his mother ... Then shall his father and his mother lay hold on him, and bring him out unto the elders of his city ... And they shall say unto the elders of his city, This our son is stubborn and rebellious, he will not obey our voice; he is a glutton, and a drunkard. And all the men of his city shall stone him with stones, that he die. Deuteronomy 21:18-21
For witches and wizards
A man also or woman that hath a familiar spirit, or that is a wizard, shall surely be put to death: they shall stone them with stones: their blood shall be upon them. Leviticus 20:27
For giving your children to Molech
Whosoever ... giveth any of his seed unto Molech; he shall surely be put to death: the people of the land shall stone him with stones. Leviticus 20:2
For breaking the Sabbath
They found a man that gathered sticks upon the sabbath day. ... And the LORD said unto Moses, The man shall be surely put to death: all the congregation shall stone him with stones.... And all the congregation brought him without the camp, and stoned him with stones, and he died; as the LORD commanded Moses. Numbers 15:32-56
For cursing the king
Thou didst blaspheme God and the king. And then carry him out, and stone him, that he may die. 1 Kings 21:10

Just amazes me that we over look some things, but when it comes to Homosexuality, it's a true, down-right sin....

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

"Don't Ask, Don't Tell" is GONE

"Don't Ask, Don't Tell" is gone
By Chris Johnson on September 20, 2011

The anti-gay law that for 18 years has prevented openly gay people from serving in the U.S. military is today finally lifted from the books and cast in the dustbin of history.

Under the law, which came to be known as “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell,” an estimated 14,346 service members were discharged from the armed forces because of their sexual orientation. The gay ban was officially removed from the books at 12:01 am.

“Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” has been lifted thanks to repeal legislation President Obama signed in December. But before repeal could take effect, the law required Obama and Pentagon leaders send certification to Congress.

On July 22, Obama, Defense Secretary Leon Panetta and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Adm. Mike Mullen certified the U.S. military was ready for repeal, starting the 60-day period leading to today when the ban has finally come to an end.

The Washington Blade obtained statements that reflect on the end to “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” from Obama, LGBT advocates and lawmakers who were involved in the repeal process:

“Today, the discriminatory law known as ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’ is finally and formally repealed. As of today, patriotic Americans in uniform will no longer have to lie about who they are in order to serve the country they love. As of today, our armed forces will no longer lose the extraordinary skills and combat experience of so many gay and lesbian service members. And today, as Commander in Chief, I want those who were discharged under this law to know that your country deeply values your service.”

“I was proud to sign the Repeal Act into law last December because I knew that it would enhance our national security, increase our military readiness, and bring us closer to the principles of equality and fairness that define us as Americans. Today’s achievement is a tribute to all the patriots who fought and marched for change; to Members of Congress, from both parties, who voted for repeal; to our civilian and military leaders who ensured a smooth transition; and to the professionalism of our men and women in uniform who showed that they were ready to move forward together, as one team, to meet the missions we ask of them.”

“For more than two centuries, we have worked to extend America’s promise to all our citizens. Our armed forces have been both a mirror and a catalyst of that progress, and our troops, including gays and lesbians, have given their lives to defend the freedoms and liberties that we cherish as Americans. Today, every American can be proud that we have taken another great step toward keeping our military the finest in the world and toward fulfilling our nation’s founding ideals.”


Joe Solmonese, president of the Human Rights Campaign:
“[Today] is a historic day for gay and lesbian service members and our nation as a whole. ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’ was a stain on our nation — not only did it damage our military readiness and national security, but it sent a message that discrimination based upon sexual orientation was acceptable. We know that not to be the case — discrimination accomplishes nothing and tears at the fabric of our country’s strength.”

“Beginning [today], gay and lesbian service members previously discharged under ['Don't Ask, Don't Tell'] will have the opportunity to re-enlist. Gay and lesbian Americans eager to serve the country but not willing to compromise who they are as individuals will, for the first time ever, be able to openly join. And brave men and women currently serving will have the freedom to come out and be honest with their comrades about who they are and who they love.”

“Despite this progress, much work remains to ensure full equality in the military. The so-called Defense of Marriage Act will prohibit gay and lesbian service members and their spouses from receiving many of the benefits their straight counterparts receive. Limiting regulations also impact areas like military family housing, access to legal services, and spousal relocation support. We also are continuing to deal with an infrastructure ill-prepared to handle incidents of discrimination and harassment against gay and lesbian service members. It is incumbent upon fair-minded legislators to continue pushing equality forward by standing up to discriminatory legislative tactics, pushing for repeal of DOMA, examining barriers to service for qualified and dedicated transgender Americans, and ensuring gay and lesbian military families get the same access to benefits as everyone else.”

“This was a hard-fought victory, and supporters of equality should feel proud. But we cannot lose sight of the challenges that remain — from passing the Employment Non-Discrimination Act to bar employment discrimination in every workplace, to bringing an end to DOMA through the Respect for Marriage Act, and to combatting anti-gay activities and rhetoric from political leaders and hate groups. This is indeed a historic moment, but we remain focused on the work ahead.”

Aubrey Sarvis, executive director of the Servicemembers Legal Defense Network:
“Today marks the official end of ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’ and is an historic milestone along the journey to achieving full LGBT equality in America’s military. Thanks to you — the veterans, active duty, leaders, allies and supporters who have fought so long and hard — this is a monumental day for our service members and our nation. Indeed, we have taken a tremendous leap forward for LGBT equality in the military.

“Our work is far from done, but today we pay tribute to the service and sacrifice of our patriots as we look forward to a new era of military service — one that honors the contributions of all qualified Americans who have served and wish to serve.”

Alex Nicholson, executive director of Servicemembers United:
“On March 15, 1778 the first American servicemember was drummed out of the military for being gay. Since then, tens of thousands more have had their careers ruined and their lives turned upside down by a succession of anti-gay polices and regulations, culminating in the codification of an anti-gay statute in 1993 with the passage of the ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’ law. In all, 14,346 men and women were discharged pursuant ‘Don’t Ask Don’t Tell.’ But thanks to the persistent hard work of unwavering advocates, especially those who have been directly impacted by this issue, and some courageous politicians over the past six years, ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’ is now history. As a result, those who continue to serve can sleep easier tonight knowing that they can no longer be arbitrarily fired because of their sexual orientation. Justice has prevailed and ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’ is dead. God bless America.”

Robin McGehee, director of GetEQUAL, which is organizing a “Day of Discontent” of rallies pushing for further LGBT rights in more than a dozen cities on the day “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” is lifted:
“It has taken 17 years of hard work to remove this discriminatory policy, and still our community faces discrimination and intolerance on a daily basis that this one important victory won’t fix. [Today's] collaborative effort by LGBT organizers across this nation will show lawmakers that we will not be content until we have full federal equality in all matters governed by civil law. We cannot and will not accept anything less — for ourselves, our families and our communities.”

Josh Seefried, an active duty Air Force officer and co-director of OutServe, an organization of actively serving LGBT military personnel (under “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell,” Seefried went by J.D. Smith to avoid being outed under the law):
“I feel privileged and honored to serve during this time in our nation’s history. This change in policy has not only made our military stronger, but America stronger. I’m proud to serve in the United States Air Force and proud of the fact gay service members can now do their job with their integrity intact.”

Rea Carey, executive director of the National Gay & Lesbian Task Force:
“Today marks the end of an ugly era in American history. After nearly two decades, lesbian, gay and bisexual service members will finally be able to serve their country openly and honestly. Those who fight for freedom will now themselves be able to live more freely. We celebrate this historic moment, which could not come fast enough. Thousands of exemplary and courageous service members have lost their careers and livelihoods to this unjust policy, once again proving there are very personal and costly consequences of discrimination.

“While we observe this tremendous, hard-fought victory for lesbian, gay and bisexual service members, we recognize the journey is not over. Transgender service members are still being forced to serve in silence. This is unacceptable. All qualified, patriotic Americans willing to risk their lives for this country should be able to do so free from discrimination. In addition, the military still lacks explicit nondiscrimination protections, equal benefits and an inclusive equal opportunity policy for LGBT people. We will continue to work toward the day when full inclusion is a reality in the military.”


House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.)
“With the long-overdue end of the discriminatory ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’ policy, our nation will finally close the door on a fundamental unfairness for gays and lesbians, and indeed affirm equality for all Americans. When the Democratic majorities in the House and Senate took action last year to end this wrongheaded policy, we reaffirmed the core American principle that anyone who wishes to serve, secure, and defend this country must be judged by their abilities and honored for their dedication and sacrifice.”

“For those gays and lesbians discharged unfairly, including those who seek re-accession, we must correct their paperwork so that it properly reflects their service. We must continue efforts to repeal the discriminatory Defense of Marriage Act, but in the meantime, I urge the Obama Administration to investigate opportunities to extend the same support and benefits to all our troops and their families. We cannot allow there to be two classes of service members in our military — those who receive benefits for their families and those who do not.

“This landmark progress comes after the President, the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, and the Secretary of Defense have all certified that repeal will not hurt military readiness or unit cohesion.”
“America is the land of the free and the home of the brave because of our men and women in uniform. And [today], we honor their service by recommitting to the values that they fight for on the battlefield.”

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.)
“Today marks the end of a shameful and counterproductive policy that needlessly destroyed careers and harmed our military readiness. Thousands of qualified men and women who want to serve our country will now be able to do so without fearing their careers could end due to their sexual orientation. Our armed forces will be stronger because now our military commanders and our nation can be sure we will have the best and brightest service members on the job, regardless of ethnicity, creed or sexual orientation.”

Senate Armed Services Committee Chair Carl Levin (D-Mich.):
“Beginning Tuesday, thousands of brave American service members will be able to serve the country they love without concealing part of their identity. They will no longer have to lie in order to help protect us. The end of ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’ is an important victory not just for equality, but integrity. And this victory will come without harming our military’s readiness or effectiveness. I applaud the military and civilian leaders throughout the Department of Defense who have helped us to adopt this historic change.”

Sen. Susan Collins (R-Maine), original co-sponsor of the Senate repeal legislation:
“Today represents an historic change for our military and our country. Today, for the first time in our history, we welcome the service of any qualified individual who is willing and capable of serving our country. Today, we will no longer dismiss brave, dedicated, and skilled service men and women simply because they are gay. The repeal of ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’ is a victory for our national security, and our values, and it strengthens the ranks of our military.”

Sen. Mark Udall (D-Colo.)
“Today is a great day for our national security. Repealing ['Don't Ask, Don't Tell'] will strengthen our military by allowing it to attract our nation’s best talent, regardless of whom they love. The service members who will come out today are the same soldiers, sailors, airmen and Marines they were yesterday — the only thing that has changed is that they can now be honest and open about who they are.”

“Countless young men and women in uniform — gay and straight — have told me that in combat, sexual orientation, race, religion and gender simply don’t matter.  Our military leaders were given the time and flexibility to study and implement repeal — they say they’re ready, our troops are ready, and I’m incredibly proud that we’re finally closing the book on ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’ and putting it where it belongs — the dustbin of history.”

Washington Blade

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Change for Good

Change for Good®

Change for Good is an innovative partnership between UNICEF and the international airline industry. Established in 1987, it is one of UNICEF's best-known and longest-running partnerships. Currently nine international airlines support the Change for Good program. Thanks to the generous support of customers and participating airlines, the global Change for Good program has generated over $103 million that UNICEF has used to provide a healthier, happier future for millions of children.

In the United States, American Airlines has been the participating airline of the program since 1994. Travelers on select international American Airlines flights can donate unused U.S. and foreign currencies to flight attendants onboard the aircraft to help UNICEF in its mission to reduce the number of preventable childhood deaths from 22,000 per day to zero, or make donations in Admirals Clubs and Flagship Lounges worldwide.



Send us your unused foreign currency today


If you are unable to donate your foreign currency on an American Airlines flight or at an Admirals Club or Flagship Lounge, you can still support Change for Good by sending your gift to the following address:
U.S. Fund for UNICEF
ATTN: Change for Good Program
125 Maiden Lane
New York, NY 10038
As donations of foreign coins are processed in bulk by a third party vendor, please note that the acknowledgment you receive for your donation will not specify the amount of your gift.

Volunteer as a "Champion for Children": Special opportunity for American Airlines employees


American Airlines and the U.S. Fund for UNICEF are working together to save children's lives by creating an opportunity for employees of American Airlines to get involved in UNICEF's Change for Good program. "Champions for Children" is a volunteer program designed to empower flight attendants, Admirals Club staff, and other American Airlines employees to take action for children as they perform everyday work duties.

Change for Good on American Airlines is proudly supported by Airline Ambassadors International, the humanitarian organization that leads the effort to recruit the flight attendant volunteers called "Champions for Children" who encourage customers to get involved.  The program is also supported by the Association of Professional Flight Attendants (APFA). Change for Good on American Airlines could not exist without the incredible volunteer support of Champions for Children. 

Registered Champions for Children can click here to access a special website created exclusively for Champions for Children. (Please note that the Champions for Children program is only open to American Airlines employees.) To learn more or to become a Champion for Children visit "Employee Programs" on Jetnet, American Airlines' corporate intranet.



Record-breaking fundraising results announced for UNICEF’s Change for Good Program on American Airlines in 2010


Last year, American Airlines customers and employee volunteers “Champions for Children” raised a record-breaking $1.6+ million dollars through Change for Good on American Airlines.  Pound by pound, peso by peso, these collections were raised to support UNICEF’s:  relief, rebuilding and recovery programs for children and families affected by the 2010 Haiti earthquake; programs to support children and families affected by HIV/AIDS in Latin America; and general programs to support children worldwide. 
Learn more about the program’s outstanding success—read the blog post and press release
On behalf of all of the children who will benefit as a result of AA customers’ and Champions for Children’s outstanding support, “Thanks a million+!”

Change for Good on American Airlines "Trick-or-Treated for UNICEF" in 2010


American Airlines’ customers and employees made a difference in the lives of the world’s most vulnerable children this past Halloween by participating in the 60th anniversary of Trick-or-Treat for UNICEF.  This iconic program is the U.S. Fund for UNICEF’s longest-running volunteer movement and has engaged generations of grassroots supporters of UNICEF’s mission to reduce the number of preventable childhood deaths to zero.  Trick-or-Treat for UNICEF remains an inspiration to the young (and the young at heart) to further the cause of children everywhere.
For the second year in a row, American Airlines employees and customers had the opportunity to support Trick-or-Treat for UNICEF through Change for Good on American Airlines through a variety of ways between October 25 and October 31:
  • Volunteer flight attendants known as "Champions for Children" collected donations of foreign and domestic currency from American Airlines customers on select international flights and showed a brand new Trick-or-Treat for UNICEF video on-board flights.
  • American Airlines Admirals Club members participated by donating spare domestic and foreign currency in Trick-or-Treat for UNICEF-themed donation collection boxes located in Admirals Clubs and Flagship Lounges nationwide.
  • As part of American Airlines’ "Season of Giving" campaign, employees had the opportunity to Trick-or-Treat for UNICEF through Change for Good by participating in a variety of workplace fundraising activities.

Earthquake in Haiti


Following the devastating earthquake that hit Haiti on January 12, 2010, Champions for Children immediately rallied and expressed their strong desire to help.  In response, all donations collected during the months of January and February of 2010 were directed to support UNICEF’s emergency long-term rebuilding programs for children in Haiti.

In March 2010, U.S. Fund for UNICEF President and CEO, Caryl Stern, traveled to Haiti where she witnessed first-hand UNICEF's response on the ground and the work UNICEF is doing to help rebuild the struggling nation.  While there, she filmed a special message to thank American Airlines and all of the Champions for Children and generous AA customers who showed their care and compassion for children in Haiti through their participation in UNICEF's Change for Good program on American Airlines.

Click here to read the one-year report prepared by the U.S. Fund for UNICEF to show how January and February 2010 Change for Good on American Airlines collections and other donations are helping to ensure that all of Haiti’s children can enjoy their right to survival, health, educations and protection.

What happens when there is Civil Unrest at your layover?

Speaker graphicWhen any kind of threat exists at airline locations and the possibility that this threat will interfere with the airline's ability to provide secure, on time, and comfortable transportation services it is necessary and appropriate to conduct security analysis based on the following:

  • Obtain information on aggressive activity of extremist groups against national or US targets.

  • Ascertain the nature of political relation between the United States and the country of concern.

  • Verify the capability of local Law Enforcement and Airport Authorities

  • Evaluate the capability of contract security companies, crew hotel security and local transportation security

  • Communicate with Corporate Security Departments of other U.S. Carriers as to their knowledge or information regarding the country of concern 
Keeping informed of what is happening could save you and your crew-members from a potential threat. Keep in mind, it may be a while before your airline will get a hold of you. Always be sure when signing in to your hotel, your name is clearly readable for the hotel staff in case your airline needs to contact you about security issues. (this could also help in case your outbound flight is delayed)

Travel Safety

photo Traveler
As we come to the 10th Anniversary of the tragic events of 9/11/01, Air Travel Safety and Security are the primary concerns of the majority of air travelers. I've compiled these tips to help keep you, as well as those with you, informed of your surroundings.
Personal Safety
 ·   Don't be a victim. Be alert, be confident, be prepared by knowing a route to safety. photo Travel Safety
 ·   Avoid wearing conspicuous jewelry. Wear appropriate clothes to locale.
 ·  Use your head. Keep to well lit areas and avoid walking near questionable characters alone.
 ·  Don't be afraid to create a scene - Yell "FIRE" or "NO", then get away.
 ·  Leave valuables at home or hotel safety deposit box.
Keep documents safe. Don't be careless - make copies of pertinent papers; i.e., passport, visas, driver's license, company ID, credit cards.
 ·  Do not draw attention to yourself by displaying large amounts of cash or expensive jewelry.


 ·   Tag all luggage. Use your name and business address, but do not use your business card. photo Travel Safety
 ·   Keep your luggage locked and never leave it unattended.
 ·  Drive to the nearest open business for help, or drive to a police or fire station if being followed.
 ·  Avoid using public transportation, such as the subway or bus. If you must use this type of transportation, select a busy, well-lit stop. Travel with a companion, if possible.
 ·  If driving, travel in well-lit streets, avoid back roads.
 ·  Keep doors locked at all times.
 ·  Do not park your car on the street overnight; use a parking garage or lot. Lock your car and remove the keys. Leave nothing in the car.
 ·  Have your keys ready to unlock the car door and enter without delay.

Hotel Safety

 ·   Don't open your door to strangers. If someone claims to be an employee, call the front desk to verify their identity and their purpose for entering your room. photo Travel Safety
 ·   Don't invite strangers to your room.
 ·  Keep valuables in the hotel safe deposit box.
 ·  Be observant and look around when entering and exiting parking lots. If you're returning to your room late in the evening, use the hotel's main entrance.
 ·  Close all doors and windows securely. Use all locking devices provided. Always keep the door closed and locked when you're in the room.
 ·  Keep your room keys well protected and out of sight in public areas.
 ·  If you lose or misplace your key, notify the front desk immediately.
 ·  Don't leave luggage or any other valuables in your vehicle. They're safer in your room.
 ·  Immediately report any suspicious activity, of any kind, to the management.
 ·  Locate all the fire exits, elevators and public phones.
 ·  Leave the television or radio on when you leave the room.
 ·  Do not place the "require maid service" sign on your door. It may signal that you are out of the room.
 ·  Avoid riding alone in elevators with strangers. Ask the hotel desk for an escort or ride when there are more people on the elevator.

Bike, Walk, or Jog
 ·   Always bring along enough money and change for a taxi fare or telephone call. photo Travel Safety
 ·   Stay alert to surroundings and be watchful of possible surveillance.
 ·  Have a trusted companion join you in these activities whenever possible.
 ·  Choose a route in advance that is safe and well-traveled.
 ·  Continually plan and look for "safe havens" while in route.
 ·  Avoid these activities at night.