Sunday, December 31, 2006

Out with the Old

Time to sit down and write those resolutions tonight.

Before heading out for New Years Eve celebrating, that is.

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Look at that Pink Plane

Check out Delta's Pink Plane -- in honor of Breast Cancer Awareness Month.

Sunday, September 17, 2006

Charges to Charge

I came across this information a couple months ago, and forgot to post about it.

It seems that some of the international carriers intend to add on a service charge for passengers who choose to purchase tickets by using a credit card. Air France and KLM are apparently leading the way with this idea, and others are likely to follow right behind them.

So just how in the hell are you supposed to pay for your ticket?

You pay more if you need to actually talk to a person, so people are making travel plans online. If you're making travel plans online, you're going to need to use a credit card and pay more for that. Here's a happy note to all of this: no additional charge if you're doing a wire transfer. Whoopppeee!

Next concept is that the fees will only be added on to the rock bottom priced economy fares. OK, I guess those prices aren't so rock bottom after all.

Yes, I realize that credit card companies charge fees to the airlines for using that service. But when virtually every way a passenger has to pay for tickets comes with an extra charge, it seems like there's a very simple answer ----

Raise the price of the ticket to fairly reflect the cost! That let's everyone know right up front what travel is going to cost. Aren't you sick of finding a great price, only to have it become not so great after all the add-on fees are included?

But hey -- that's just me!


Monday, September 11, 2006

September 11th

Let today be a day to remember, grieve, and heal.

Sunday, September 10, 2006

What is There to Envy

People have told me that they envy me my job, my sense of adventure, my willingness to try something new.

This little quiz sums it up quite nicely, what they really envy is my confidence. Being a Flight Attendant, and taking in stride the ups and downs of travel, really does take confidence.

What do people envy about you?

People Envy Your Confidence

You have the attitude and self esteem to take on anything. Failure is beyond not an option for you - it doesn't even cross your mind.
People envy your ability to take on any challenge ... and they're secretly afraid you think you're better than them. You don't. You're just sure of yourself.

Saturday, September 09, 2006

Bathroom Help When the Seatbelt Sign is On

I don't know how I could have missed this report out of the Sidney Morning Herald last month.

A physiotherapist suggests that all women need to do to control their need to got to the lavatory is to vigorously scratch their leg:

"If you scratch or rub the back of your calf for a few moments, really
vigorously, you may interrupt the message from your bladder to your brain just
long enough for you to make it to the toilet."

This is something to keep in mind when the seatbelt sign is turned on.

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

Seen on Board

T-shirt seen onboard (worn by a voluptuous young woman):

"Mature Audiences Only"

Monday, August 28, 2006

Honoring Comair

Our job is always a little bit harder after a crash. Well, actually we don't call them crashes -- we call them incidents -- but you know what I mean.

Even though it may not be our airline, or even a city that we fly into, flight attendants have a sense of community with all those who do our job. What affects one, affects us all. It's a very tough day to be a flight attendant.

My tears, prayers, and good wishes go out to all the flight attendants at employees of Comair, as well as the family of those who perished in the crash.

Saturday, August 19, 2006

Snakes on the Plane

I've been hearing about this movie for what seems like forever, and it finally opened yesterday.

I haven't decided if I'm going to see it yet, so if you have, please post a comment about why I should or shouldn't go see it.

Tuesday, August 08, 2006

You Gotta Park Somewhere

When I go to work, I have employer paid parking that I get to use. It cuts down on an otherwise HUGE expense.

Not everyone is that fortunate, so check out the new airport parking service. All the information you want in one location.

Saturday, July 29, 2006

Butts on the Plane

There are butts on my plane!

Not a commentary on the passengers, but on what they’re doing – smoking! Smint Air is stepping into the breach and offering smokers an option when it comes to travel.

Boy, I’d hate to work in that environment!

Monday, July 10, 2006

Air Gumbo

Here's word of a new airline -- Air Gumbo.

Guess where they're flying out of? That's right -- New Orleans.


Saturday, July 01, 2006

It's Normal to Take a Break

I've had to take a bit of time away from the blog to take care of some personal business. I've missed you all, and want to thank all of you who took the time to drop me an email just to make sure that I'm okay.


I understand that it's normal for people to take the occasional break from blogging. Good to know that I'm normal -- I guess. And just in case there was any doubt:

You Are 65% Normal

Otherwise known as the normal amount of normal
You're like most people most of the time
But you've got those quirks that make you endearing
You're unique, yes... but not frighteningly so!

Monday, June 05, 2006

Affluent Flyers

I'm struggling to make sense of a recent article that said inflight magazines are some of the best advertising buys to reach households with over $100,000 in annual income.

Only a handful of other publications can boast this income from their readers (Barron's, Wall Street Journal and The Economist).

It still continues to surprise me that people who have this kind of income can still have some of the poorest manners.

Once again Money does not equal Class!

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Affluent Flyers

I'm struggling to make sense of a recent article that said inflight magazines are some of the best advertising buys to reach households with over $100,000 in annual income.

Only a handful of other publications can boast this income from their readers (Barron's, Wall Street Journal and The Economist).

It still continues to surprise me that people who have this kind of income can still have some of the poorest manners.

Once again Money does not equal Class!

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Monday, May 29, 2006

Clean, Crisp & Pressed

Sometimes when I get home from a trip, I look at my crispy starched, formerly white shirts, and wonder just what happened.

Is it really possible for me to have that many cans of soda explode down the front of me?  Did I spill that much stuff?  Am I really that much of a slob?

Unfortunately, at 40,000 feet, spills are inevitable.  It just goes with the job.

Fortunately, there are fabrics that are stain resistant, and treatments that can help repel stains.

Unfortunately, none of those have been incorporated into a uniform shirt or blouse.

Why is that?

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Friday, May 26, 2006

Holiday Weekend

What are your plans for this weekend? 
Traveling?  Parties?  Staying home?
I'm glad that I'm not flying, and can avoid all the craziness of the airport.  I'll be busy at home with lots of invites for weekend parties.
How about you?
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Thursday, May 25, 2006

Are Air Marshals Really Anonymous? Do You Care?

Apparently the air marshals out there are not as anonymous as people would like to think.
A report by the House Judiciary Committee cited several policies and practices which work at odds with the stated policy of the air marshals being undercover.
As a Flight Attendant, I see air marshals on a near daily basis, and, like many of my regular passengers, there are some I recognize by sight.  But 9 times out of 10, even when I don't know them, I can pick them out in the boarding area.  Perhaps this is what the Judiciary Committee is critical of.  And they should be.
Some of the practices under critical review include:
Dress code:  It is believed that the fairly strict and conservative dress code actually draws attention to the air marshals, rather than allowing them to blend in with other passengers. I'd say this one is probably an obvious issue -- after all, who dresses up to travel any more?!
Hotel:  Evidently the marshals are required to stay at designated hotel, probably much in the same way that flight crews do, and are required to show their credentials at the front desk.  I know how obvious we are in checking in, so I would imagine it is for the marshals as well.  Nothing screams out "here I am" more than flashing credentials.  (Well, maybe flashing a gun.)  It's reported that one hotel (Sheraton Fort Lauderdale - Airport) even designated the air marshal service as the "company of the month" at their hotel.  Oh yeah, that will guarantee anonymity.
Boarding:  It's believed that the boarding process gives away the identify of the marshals.  While I'm not in the boarding area to pay attention to this process, I'll grant that it may have validity.
I'm not entirely convinced that the success of the air marshal program depends on the marshals eing anonymous.  But, if that's the stated policy, it's a good idea to have practices that support, rather than work against, it. 
It will be interesting to see what Congress does with the report, and if any changes are made to the program.
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Wednesday, May 24, 2006

Theme Song

There was some catchy music being played during the boarding process yesterday, and I can't seem to get it out of my mind. It's not even that interesting of a tune; it's just stuck on a continuous loop in my head.

I came across this fun little quiz while looking for something to replace the annoying song that I am unable to shake.

Your Theme Song is Beautiful Day by U2

"Sky falls, you feel like
It's a beautiful day
Don't let it get away"

You see the beauty in life, especially in ordinary everyday moments.
And if you're feeling down, even that seems a little beautiful too.

Monday, May 22, 2006

Kaleidoscope World

When I was a kid, I loved my kaleidoscope.

When I had to be quiet, or stay indoors, the colorful patterns would keep me entertained for hours. It was always by my side when I was sick, my mom knowing that it would give both of us a little relief.

I came across this website, where you can make your own online kaleidoscope. You can see my before picture and my kaleidoscope photo above.

Warning: It's a little addictive!

Sunday, May 21, 2006

Jet Blue's Inflight Spa

What's not to like about flying red-eyes when you're treated like this?

Jet Blue has started giving out red-eye flyer kits that contain spa items from Bliss Spa.  Stuff in the kit includes, eye masks, earplugs, moisturizer, and lip balm, along with a promotional offer at the Bliss spas, located in New York City, London, and various W Hotels.

Also on the red-eye filghts, is Jet Blue's "Shut-Eye" service which features passenger access to a self-serve pantry filled with snacks and hot towels.  Of course, I'm wondering what the Flight Attendants' responsibility is during these flights.

I can't wait to check this out!

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Laptop Battery

I rarely travel without my laptop.

It keeps me connected with my work, my friends, and my family.  It allows me to check on flights, trade my schedule around, and, of course, write for YuHu Stewardess.

I understand that some computer applications are a heavier drain on laptop batteries, so I try to minimize those when I can't get plugged in.  But it still seems that I'm jumping from battery use to A/C adapter and back to battery use with no rhyme or reason.  Now it seems that my battery just doesn't hold the juice like it used to.

I know that I should buy another battery, but so far, I've just not been able to justify the expense.  So I was happy to read about how you can extend the life of your laptop battery by running it through a full discharge/charge cycle.

The way to do this is to let the battery run completely down until the laptop goes to sleep.  Then plug it in and let it recharge completely.  It is recommended that this be done once a month.

I ran it through the cycle this afternoon, and now I'll see how long it lasts.  If you've tried this, I'd like to know if it really does extend the battery life.


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Friday, May 19, 2006

Mandatory Retirement at Age 60

One of the often debated issues in the airline business, is the mandatory retirement age (60) for pilots.
There are a variety of arguments on both sides, some more convincing than others.
Here's a nice discussion of the issue, written by a pilot, and also infused with a little bit of humor.
Where do I weigh in on this issue?  When the mandatory medical exams are truly thorough exams, certifying the health of the captain, I'll discuss the subject further.  Right now, there are too many ways around the medical certification for me to consider raising the age.
Let me know what you think.

Thursday, May 18, 2006

Breaking Wind

I've been seeing the Flat D Chair Pad all over this morning.
It's a charcoal activated chair pad that's designed to absorb the odors of. . . well, there is no real polite way to say this. . . flatulence.
There are some flights where Flight Attendant's should have this to hand out to some passengers.
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Monday, May 15, 2006


Here are the poll results from the question:  Will you see the movie United 93. 
Seen it already:  5%
Going to see it:  22%
No:  50%
Don't see any movies:  3%
Undecided:  20%
The "NO" vote overwhelmingly has it!
I'm still in the undecided category, although leaning toward a yes.  Most likely, though, I'll wait to see it on DVD.

Sunday, May 14, 2006

I'm Back!

I've had a busy week or so, and have not been able to post.  I'm back now, and have returned to the land of steady computer access.
Lots going on in the airline biz these days, so come back soon to catch up on everything!

Tuesday, May 09, 2006

Pilot Job Outsourced to U.S.

Apparently someone is hiring pilots --- overseas airlines.

Foreign carriers are outsourcing flying jobs to U.S. pilots:  China, India, and the Emirates have long been options.  Emerging options include:  Bolivia, Qatr, and Vietnam.

Compensation packages include salary, health care, housing alloance, retirement plans, and vacation.  Many of the packages are more than what pilots have been making here at home.

In other parts of the world flight crews are still treated with respect. 

Via Today in the Sky

Monday, May 08, 2006

Movie Review: United 93

Here's a nice review of the movie United 93 written by a pilotat Blogging at FL250.
After reading it, I'm getting a little closer to making up my mind about whether I want to see the movie or not.
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TSA Jokes replace Post Office Joke

Did you hear the one about the TSA guy who. . . .

Apparently everone has a TSA airport story, and whether deserved or not, they have now become the new post office joke.

Do you have a favorite TSA joke?


Via Today in the Sky

Friday, May 05, 2006

Jet Blue Baggage Handlers Want to Unionize

It looks like everything may not be rosy at Jet Blue, as word filters out that the baggage handles have filed a petition with the National Mediation Board to stage a union election.  The certification process, which is the prelude to an election, will likely take at least a month.

The International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers union said that it was approach by the Jet Blue baggage handlers, in essence pointing out that this was an inside campaign and not an external organizing one.

Complaints seem to include:  no paid sick leave, no paid vacation, no pension plan.

Jet Blue denies the claims, saying that all Jet Blue employees receive paid time off based on the numbers of years of employment.  Since the company is fairly young, I think that it's safe to say, there's no one around with lots of time on the books.  The company also claims that there is a company matching 401(k) and profit sharing plan.

As always, in these situations both sides are spinning the story to best suit their needs.  The truth lies somewhere middle. 

What this does indicate, however, is that Jet Blue will have to face the same labor issues that other carriers have been facing for years.

Stand by.  I think these issues are just beginning.

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Happy Cinco de Mayo

You Are a Strawberry Margarita

You're so sweet it's a little overwhelming, and people are a little afraid of corrupting you...
It's a little difficult to imagine you with a margarita. And you're truly a different person after you've kicked back a couple!

Wednesday, May 03, 2006

How's About This Ticket Pricing Decision?

Anyone who is a regular reader here knows that I continue to shake my head over the lack of fiscal accountability in setting fares, and instead nickeling and diming passengers to death.
Many carriers have added a fuel surcharge fee, supposedly a temporary fee to help offset the high price of oil.  Well excuse me!  But haven't we had high oil prices for awhile now?  (And yes, I realized what was once considered "high" is probably now seen as a bargain.)  Do airline executives really think this is temporary?
Just raise the damn price folks!  Let me know what it's really going to cost right up front.  Don't tease me with those bargain fares, and then jack up the price with add-on fees.
Call me crazy, if you must, but is there anyone who thinks this is a good business decision:
According to Terry Trippler of Cheapseats, it now costs $103,400 to fuel up a Boeing 747-400 for a flight to Asia.  That costs represents an increase in over $48,000 from two years ago.  If you factor that out for a FULL aircraft (408 seats typically, depending on precise configuration), the fuel alone averages out to $253 per person, one-way. 
Then, of course, there are other costs:  labor, gate charges, executive and administrative costs for running the company, and oh yeah, the aircraft costs itself.
Mr. Trlippler had recently paid $227, one-way, not including taxes, for a Northwest flight from Detroit to Tokyo.  Not even enough to pay for the fuel!!!
Is it any wonder Northwewst is in Bankruptcy? 
Is it any wonder why the entire industry is generally in the toilet? 
PUHLEEZE -- when are people going to get realistic about what it costs to fly?
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Tuesday, May 02, 2006

Advertising on Airplane

Always looking for a way to make a buck, Brazilian airline TAM has started selling advertising on the tray tables.  In Europe, it's reported that carriers sell a variety of onboard advertising as well.

I guess if it works in subways, on buses, taxi cabs, etc., it could work on an airplane.

I just shudder to think where it could lead, though.


Via Jaunted




Monday, May 01, 2006

Snoop Dogg & British Airways

People try to sneak into first class all the time.  There are a few different approaches: 

The "do you know who I am approach" in which the individual tries to impress the flight attendant with how important they are in the hopes of getting into first class.  Success rating:  1.

The "special needs" approach in which the passenger asserts some special needs (whether real, or imaginary) and needs a little extra room or space.  Success rating:  4.

The "bribery" approach where the passenger brings goodies to the flight attendants.  Dven if there is no room in first class, this technique will likely get you a free drink.  Success rating:  10.

And now, from London, we have a new technique:  storming the VIP Lounge.  This technique just isn't going to meet with much success, as evidenced by the Snoop Dogg/British Airways debacle. 

Three of the traveling group had first class tickets, but apparently felt that the remaining members of the group should join them in the VIP lounge.  While we must always be a little leery of celebrity gossip details, it appears that this much is known: 

  • Snoop Dogg and his entourage have been banned for life from British Airways.
  • Seven police officers were injured in the fray.
  • Snoop Dogg, along with five others, were arrested.
  • There was alcohol involved.

Say no more.

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Sunday, April 30, 2006

Baking Cookies

Today's been a lazy, relaxing Sunday.

After checking out this little quiz, I got the sudden urge bake cookies. Not fortune cookies, though. I went with some shortbread cookies.

You Are a Fortune Cookie

You're a rather normal person, except that you have extraordinary luck in life.
People want to be around you (even when they're a little sick of you), in hopes of being lucky too!

Saturday, April 29, 2006

Judge Rules That Comair Did Not Bargain in Good Faith

Get your ass back to the bargaining table!

Well, that's not exactly how the bankruptcy court judge put it, but that's certainly what he meant in rejecting a motion by regional airline Comair, a Delta commuter, to void its contract with its flight attendants union.  Both sides were ordered back to the table to resume negotiations.

In his ruling, Judge Hardin rules that Comair did not bargain in good faith as required by law.  The Company had made a demand for concessions from the flight attendants and said that the amount was "non-negotiable."  Negotiations require give and take on both sides.

Comair's President, Fred Buttrell, was quick to put the company propaganda machine into work, blaming the failure of the flight attendants to accept the demanded concessions, and claiming that the company's restructuring plan was now likely to fail. 

Yes, let's blame the flight attendants for the potential demise of the company.  Because otherwise, they'd have to look inward and managements and their own decisions.

I don't think we've heard the end of this yet, so stand by.


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New Poll: Will You Go to See United 93

Opinions seems to be all over the board on this question, so now it's time to find out what you think.

Take the poll at left.

Thursday, April 27, 2006

100 Top Hotel Restaurants

USA Today brings us this fabulous list of the Top 100 Hotel Restaurants
Let me assure you, these are not any of my layover hotels!
I'd love to hear from anyone who has sampled any of these.
Via:  Flyaway Cafe

Monday, April 24, 2006

Mumps Outbreak From Sick Travelers

The other day when I was flying, a passenger was denied boarding because they were ill. 
I don't know all the specifics of the passenger's symptoms, as it happened on the ground, all I know is that there were lots of people grumbling that an airline shouldn't be able to decide someone is too sick to travel.  After all, the passenger just wanted to get home.
Flying a bunch of people around in a long metal tube involves some issues of public health. 
And if you don't think so, consider that passengers infected with the mumps caused the disease to spread to epidemic proportions in seven miswestern states.  People were exposed in the airport as well as on the plane.
To date, over 600 suspected cases of mumps have been reported in Iowa , Nebraska, Kansas, Illinois, Missouri, Wisconsin, and Minnesota. 
The incubation period for months is two to three weeks, so it's entirely possible we will see more cases of the disease appearing in the next week.
Remember -- if you're sick, do yourself and everyone, else a favor -- don't fly!
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You're Hexed!

In keeping with the continuing theme of bad passenger behavior, The Rocky Mountain News reports that a passenger recently put a hex on a Delta flight between Las Vegas and New York.

The 50 year old woman was allegedly observed drinking from a personal bottle of wine while the aircraft was taxiing for take off in Las Vegas.  The Flight Attendant took away the bottle, and the woman's behavior proceeded to escalate in inappropriatenes.  It's reported that she sang, chanted, and proceeded to put a hex on all of the passengers at the plane saying that the plane was going to crash, and everyone was going to die,

When Flight Attendants tried to approach her to calm down, she slapped one of them, and continued with her erratic behavior.

The flight made an unschedule landing in Denver, where the passenger was removed and arrested.  She was charged with interfering with a crew member, a federal offense.  No information is available as to whether she hexed the arresting officers.

This stuff really happens, people.  We couldn't make this up.

Via The Travel Bloggers

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Saturday, April 22, 2006

Supermodel vs. Flight Attendant

Say it isn't so!
A Supermodel assaulting a Flight Attendant?  Sounds like something out of a very bad "B" movie, but that is among the charges levied against former Sports Illustrated swimsuit model, May Anderson.
Ms May was on a Martinair flight from Amsterdam to Miami this past week, and it is alleged that she was disruptive throughout the flight, eventually assaulting a Flight Attendant.  It is reported that her unruly behavior did not stop when she was met by police in Miami.
She was arrested for battery, resisting arrest, and disorderly intoxication. 
Anyone surprised about that last one?
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Earth Day

In honor of Earth Day ---

You Are a Yellow Flower

A yellow flower tends to represent joy, friendship, and playfulness.

At times, you are childlike, as a buttercup is.

And at other times, you are fickle, like a dahlia.

And more than you wish, you tend to feel bittersweet, like a marigold.

Friday, April 21, 2006

NWA Airlines Re-Thought the $15 Premium Seat Fee

Here's a shocker!
Northwest Airlines has reconsidered its policy to charge an additional $15 to reserve an exit row or aisle seat.
Turns out that this policy angered NWA frequent flyers who were incensed over this most recent attempt to nickel and dime the most loyal customers. 
The "modified" policy now allow elite members to reserve a premium seat, at no extra charge, 24 hours prior to scheduled departure.  That's the same time they go on sale to everyone else, so it doesn't really sound like much of advantage to me.
Elite members can reserve a seat in the first few rows of the coach cabin up to 90 days prior to scheduled departure.  Evidently these are seen as "desirable" seats, but not "premium" ones.
Whew -- glad we got that straight!.
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Thursday, April 20, 2006

More on Ice Cream

Lately, I've been a big cookie dough ice cream fan. 
But here -- brought to you by Ben & Jerry's is an opportunity to design your very own flavor of ice cream.
You can even enter your flavor in a contest there.
My creation:  Blackberry Honey Nut.  Vanilla and Sweet Cream ice cream, with Cashews and Fudge Chunks and Blackberry and Honey Swirls.
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We All Scream for Ice Cream

In a delayed celebration of Earth Day, and as a 28 year anniversary gift to its customers, Ben & Jerry's will be giving away free ice cream cones.
Not all loations will be participating, so check it out here.
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Wednesday, April 19, 2006

Taps is playing for Hooters Air

Taps is playing for Hooters Air.

Yes, the tacky airlines is done, flying its last regularly scheduled commercial flight on Monday.

There go all the opportunity for cheap Hooter jokes.


Via USA Today in the Sky

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Monday, April 17, 2006

Sick & Tired

Sometimes I feel like I am just sick and tired of my job. Turns out there may be some basis in fact, not just in my mind, for feeling this way.

According to an article in the Sidney Morning Herald, Flight Attendants are just one of several occupations cited for being at risk of seriously harming their health by a forced on-the-job friendliness and politeness.

Frankfurt (Germany) University researchers say that Flight Attendants, along with sales personnel, call center operators, wait staff, and others who have contact with the public for extended period of times, are at risk of seriously harming their health. Potential problems stemming from this faux friendliness is depression, stress, lowering of the immune system, and susceptibility to more serious ailments.

Professor Zapf of the university says:

"We are all able to rein in our emotions," he said. "It becomes difficult when you have to do this over a protracted period as cabin attendants are forced to on long-haul flights. "These people need space away from the passengers where they can be on their own and let their feelings run free. We have to get away from the 'customer is king' attitude and show more respect to those working in the service industries,"

I wonder when we’ll see this study cited as a defense in Flight Attendant discipline cases.

Sunday, April 16, 2006

Easter Candy

Cadbury Creme Egg

You're the type that stole little brother's easter basket so that you could have MORE CANDY!

Saturday, April 15, 2006

Window or Aisle?

Q:  I know that middle seat is the worst, but which is the best – window or aisle?

This is one of those questions that everyone answers differently.  It’s all about personal preference.

I prefer an aisle.  It’s hard for me to sit still for any length of time, and an aisle seat allows me to easily get up without disturbing anyone.  Some people choose a window seat specifically to avoid people like me who have the need to get up frequently.  

If you are seated by the window, you will not be disturbed by anyone getting up during the flight.  This means that you can sleep without interruption, or work without the constant demand to pick up your laptop to let someone out into the aisle.  Of course, if you get up, you will need to disturb those next to you to do so.

Another reason you may want to choose a window seat is if you’d like to sleep.  It’s much easier to lean against the side of the plane to catch a few minutes of shut-eye than it is to sleep upright, or run the risk of leaning against the person seated next to you.

If you are traveling with a child in a car seat, the car seat is going to need to be in a window seat.  Plan accordingly.

Friday, April 14, 2006

Wake Up Call

One of the worst things that can happen on a layover is a problem with your wake-up call.

It happens to everyone, at one time or another, but a really early wake-up makes me put into place a system of backups without rival:

  • Step 1:  I leave a wakeup request with the hotel.

  • Step 2:  I set the alarm on the alarm clock in the room, or on the television if it has an alarm system.

  • Step 3:  I set the alarm on my personal travel clock.

  • Step 4:  I set a wakeup alarm on my cell phone, with the ring tone volume turned to high.

And if, after all of that, I still oversleep, my appearance standards at work that day will just not be up to the usual.  Oh well!

ALPA & Delta Reach Tentative Agreement

Watching the news this morning and caught a breaking bulletin that the pilots union (ALPA) and Delta Airlines have reached a tentative agreement.

The agreement is subject to the ratification process, and details are not being released at this time.

Once the ratification process is underway, details will be released to union members, and I would expect some details to lead their way into the media.

For now, a strike has been averted.

Thursday, April 13, 2006

Airline Humor

The Old Man is Snoring

I had a difficult request from a passenger the other day.

It was an early morning flight, and the man seated behind her had fallen back to sleep.  How did she know he was asleep?  Because his snores could be heard throughout the entire cabin!

She asked me if I could make him stop.  

I tired a few of the old stand by tricks:  walking by and gently bumping into him, asking if anyone in his row wanted anything, suggesting that she recline her seat back, and I even tried leaning across him.  Nothing worked.  So I put my hand on him arm, and spoke directly to him, “ Sir?  Sir?”  Still nothing.

The passenger grew more and more agitated.  She wanted him to stop.  Hell, the whole cabin did.  But nothing seemed to work, and she just huffed at me, turned away, and yelled at me for not doing my job.

I would never shake someone who was asleep for fear that they could wake up startled, and potentially aggressive.  I’m guessing that on a few occasions someone has rolled over in bed and kicked him to get him to stop.

But short of that, what more could I do?  

Monday, April 10, 2006

Getting the Point -- 600,000 of Them

You gotta love it when there are ways to get some "points" for your frequent flyer/guest program without flying/spending the night.

Well, Starwood Preferred Guest program is tempting you to fill out a brief survey with the possibility of winning 600,000 points. 

That's one helluva lot of points.  You might fill it out.  I did.

Via The Lobby

Isl Jet Blue Singing the Blues?

One of the best things about the airline industry is that everyone has an opinion.  From airline management and employees, to industry analysts, to venture capitalists and other money people, to passengers and even to strangers.  Everyone has an opinion about what needs to be done to fix the current state of the industry.
For the last couple of years, Jet Blue has been touted as the "model" for how an airline should be run.  Before that, it was Southwest Airlines.  And for those who've been around the industry for awhile, you can probably remember when the airline darling was People's Express.
The problem with being at the top of the heap, is that everyone is gunning for you.  It reminds me of the old rental car campaign that Avis had where it talked about being in direct competition with Hertz (who bills itself as Number #1):  "We're number two, so we try harder."
No doubt about it -- 2005 was a pretty good year for Jet Blue.  Good numbers (except for being last in on-time ratings), happy employees, good customer service, low prices, and great press.  All that, and making money, too.  Things that the rest of the airlines didn't quite seem able to master.
Now, however, it appears that investment analysts are predicting that Jet Blue will just be one of the rest of 'em for 2006.  Citing an aggressive expansion plan that worked well in the early years, but now is running into the same issues as all the other carriers -- high fuel prices and fierce competition -- coupled with some poor choices about choosing new markets (17 of 20 new markets have been unprofitable).
How the company weathers the turbulent times remains to be seen, but even Jet Blue executives acknowledge that 2006 will likely be an unprofitable year for them.  The company posted the first quarterly loss in last year's 4th quarter, fuel costs and increased maintenance costs were two reasons cited for the loss, and this year is not off to a banner start either.
All this gloom and doom talk may not seem significant to Jet Blue customers, although ticket prices have risen, but it has had greater impact on Wall Street and investors. 
I'm sure the company will make some course corrections, and, in fact, some have already been made.  It will be fun to look back a year from now and see if Jet Blue is the same company as we know it today.
And, because everyone has a prediction, here's mine:  Jet Blue will be around a year from now, and they will have expanded their route structure -- although not without some missteps along the way.  They will not be showing a profit in 2006, ticket prices will rise, employee satisfaction will drop, and they will be cursing the same fates as the rest of the industry.  Whether the company is around two years from now will depend on how they step up to the plate to meet these challenges. 


Sunday, April 09, 2006

All Work and No Play

It's the end of a weekend, and one thing has become obvious to meet -- I spent most of it working.

Since all work. and no play, makes YuHu a dull girl, I have plans to have less work and more play this coming week.

This evening I've playing with the Personal Tartan Generator. I've spent quite a few hours trying out different colors, thread counts and pattern combinations. Here's my latest masterpiece, and one that I've made into my computer wallpaper:

Thursday, April 06, 2006

Airline Ratings

The new airline ratings are out.  Previous year rating is in parenthesis.

1. JetBlue (1)
2. AirTran (2)
3. Independence Air
4. Southwest (3)
5. United (4)
6. America West (6)
7. Northwest (7)
8. Continental (9)
9. Alaska Air (5)
10. American (8)
11. ATA (10)
12. Delta (11)
13. SkyWest (14)
14. American Eagle (13)
15. US Airways (12)
16. Comair (15)
17. Atlantic Southeast (16)


Via:  Flyaway Cafe

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Tuesday, April 04, 2006

Travel Lighter With Disposal Underwear

I consider myself relatively expert at packing. 
Even experts stay on the lookout for ways to improve, however, so when I read about disposal underwear on Her Accessories, it was worth a second look.
Once I got past the eeeeeeeew factor, I realized how Tagalongs might make sense for the traveler.  It's a way to guarantee that you will be taking home less than you started out with, making room for those purchases along the way.
Tagalongs come in two styles, bikini and thong, and have an assortment of colors.  They come in 2-packs and 5-packs, with each panty individually wrapped, and are priced moderately enough to make it a realistic option.  The only retail location that I could find was at Wal-Mart in Canada, so if anyone else has seen them elsewhere, give a shout out.
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Sunday, April 02, 2006

Link Update

I've done some updating on my favorite links in the sidebar. Please take a look and see if there's something that catching your eye, and visit some of my blogging friends.

I Belong in Amsterdam

But I'm not. I'm at home.

Where do you belong?

You Belong in Amsterdam

A little old fashioned, a little modern - you're the best of both worlds. And so is Amsterdam.
Whether you want to be a squatter graffiti artist or a great novelist, Amsterdam has all that you want in Europe (in one small city).

Wednesday, March 29, 2006

"Bull Durham"

Sometimes things catch my eye that have very little, if anything, to do with travel.  The Internet Movie Script Database is one of them.
I thought I'd browse around the site looking for some of my favorite travel movies, but then I got sidetracked looking up some of the all-time great movie lines and scenes.
Like the monologue of Crash Davis (played by actor Kevin Costner) in the movie, "Bull Durham."
Crash:  After 12 years in the minor leagues, I don't tryout.  Besides -- I don't believe in Quantum Physics when it comes to matters of the heart. . . or loins.
Annie (played by Susan Sarandon):  (challenging him) What do you believe in?
Crash:  (with passion)  I believe in the soul, the cock, the pussy, the small of a woman's back, the hanging curve ball, high fiber, good scotch, long foreplay, show tunes, and that the Novels of Thomas Pynchon are self-indulgent, overrated crap.
Crash: (continuing)  I believe that Lee Harvey Oswald acted alone, I believe that there oughtta be a constitutional amendment outlawing astro-turf and the designated hitter, I believe in the "sweet spot," voting every election, soft core pornography, chocolate chip cookies, opening your presents on Christmas morning rather than Christmas Eve, and I believe in long, slow, deep, soft, wet kisses that last for 7 days.
Annie (And every other woman in the theater, I might add):  Oh my. . . .
Nothing to do with travel --- except that there is an airport in Raleigh Durham.  Next time I'll keep looking for travel movies.
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Tuesday, March 28, 2006

Paper Dolls

Some days you just want to find something to waste your time.  Er, I mean, something that will tax the creative side of your mind.
I was thrilled to find Paper Doll Heaven, a site that allows you to choose among a variety of celebrities and then dress them up.  Just like playing with paper dolls when I was a kid.  Except with celebrities.  And except for the cooler clothes.
Hey Tray.  see how long you can spend here.

Hotels Join Airlines in Adding on Fees

As if the add-on fees to airfares aren't bad enough, now it appears that hotels are trying to get a piece of the action.
KSL Newsradio reports that hotels are increasingly adding on fees that were once provided at no-charge to hotel guests.  These include fees for the fitness room, hospitality fees, maid service fees, early arrival fees, and increased fees for room service. 
The fees are frequently disguised under the benign sounding "resort fee," with no break down provided.  Guests have been complaining that these mandatory fees are not quoted, or even mentioned, at the time of booking. 
The Marriott Hotel seems to be fighting the add-on trend, and has gone to an all-inclusive pricing structure.  The fees may still be there, be sure to ask, but you at least know what the total price is right up front.  No surprises at checkout.
The moral of story is: ask, ask, ask.  And if you feel that you have not been adequately informed of the price of your room, ask for an adjustment on your bill.  If the front desk personnel cannot waive the fees, ask to speak to the manager on duty.  If that doesn't solve the problem, write to the general manager upon your return home.

Monday, March 27, 2006

Poll Results: Cell Phone Use

The numbers were overwhelmingly against cell phone use on the phone.
No:  68%
Maybe (with restrictions): 17%
Yes:  10%
I Don't Care:  5%

Sunday, March 26, 2006

Seen Onboard

I saw the following t-shirt onboard the other day:
"I see dumb people."
I thought about having a bunch made for my crew members ---
"I serve dumb people."
You just gotta keep your sense of humor about this job.
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Airlines are Hiring

Despite some pretty economically troubled times, it appears that employment prospects for airline workers are the best they've been in post 9-11 era. 
It's a little too soon for a full scale celebration, as there are still plenty out-of-work former airlines employees, and the increase in jobs will certainly not pick up all the slack.  Additionally, the salary scales have been slashed and burned, meaning the jobs that are available will be at greatly reduced salaries.
You need a score card to keep track of which airlines are hiring and which are laying off workers.  Although it's hard to get an accurate assessment, if you're looking to join the airline industry, this may be a good time to do so. 

To Retire or Not to Retire

In the U.S., pilots have mandatory retirement at age 60.  There is no mandatory retirement age for Flight Attendants.
Although there has much discussion about changing the retirement age, so far it remains.  When the topic comes up, the debate focuses on safety issues, and how the age of pilots factors into that equation.  More and more pilots are supporting extending the retirement age, in large part to recent decimation of their pension funds.  Simply put, many pilots now find themselves financially unable to retire at age 60, and are looking for another few years of flying and earning to get there.
Last week, British Airways announced it's intention to increase the retirement age for its pilots and Flight Attendants.  B.A. crews have reacted dramatically at this news, and have announced that will take industrial action in retaliation to the company's unilateral decision.  Seems they have a different view of extending the retirement age than their U.S. counterparts.
Regardless of where you stand on this issue, caution would be advised if you are planning on flying British Airways.

Thursday, March 23, 2006

Who is Your Twin?

Everyone has a twin somewhere.  I've never seen mine, but I know she's out there. 
A friend forwarded this website that does a face recognition scan.  You upload a photo and then the site analyzes your face.  After this analysis, it compares your facial structure to a celebrity data bank of about 3,200 people.  While it seems to analyze just your facial structure, there does seem to be some emphasis on how your hair frames your face and whether or not you are wearing glasses.
I put a recent head shot through the process, and I match with Debra Winger (76%) and Holly Hunter (72%).

Tuesday, March 21, 2006

More on Northwest's $15 Comfort Fee

A week ago, Northwest Airlines began charging a $15 premium for coach class aisle and exit row seats, trying to squeeze a little extra money from passengers who are willing to pay extra for some perceived comfort.
Although the company has not been forthcoming with any figures, it claims that sales of these seats are exceeding expectation.
Business travelers are incensed at this "comfort" fee, claiming that it merely charges more for the seats without enhancing the "comfort" value at all.  One more example of what was once free, now is not. 
Frequent flyers continue to bemoan the loss of perks that they received as a result of their loyalty to Northwest, as these seats were generally reserved for elite members of the program.  What once was free, now is not.
Northwest, still struggling in bankruptcy, had not said whether this test program will be made permanent, deferring the decision once more customer feedback is received.  According to an article in the Washington Post, Northwest should be hearing it loud and clear.  Now, they just have to listen.
How many times do I need to say it:
Just raise the ticket prices and few bucks a piece and stop these ridiculous little add-on charges!

Tall Enough

Most U.S. airlines have done away with a minimum height requirement to be hired as a Flight Attendant.  Instead, they rely on the catchall concept that you need to be tall enough to do the job, which will include opening and closing overhead bins in the cabin and storage compartments in the galley.

I’ve always wanted to be tall, but I’m just pretty average.  According to Tall or Not, I’m the same the same height (5’6”) as:  Bridget Fonda, Twiggy, Teri Hatcher, Winston Churchill, Spike Lee, and James Cagney.

Via Jack and Hill.

Monday, March 20, 2006

At Least You Can Dream

Travel is in my blood.  And so it is for lots of other people.  When we're stuck on the ground to long, we start to get a little cranky.  We long for a new adventure, a new place, new people.
But sometimes, things get in the way.  Schedules don't cooperate.  Finances won't stretch as far as we would like.  Other people and their needs and preferences must be taken into account.
When that happens, what's a travel lover to do?
Try downloading this screen saver.  Then look at your computer desktop and pretend that you are looking at the current view outside the airplane window that is whisking you away to your dream destination.  (FREE download here.)
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Update: Inflight Cell Phone Use

Today in the Sky has provided an update on the topic of potential inflight cell phone usage. 

Passengers are overwhelmingly said NO to inflight use in a USA Today poll.  So, writer Ben Mutzabaugh took the idea a step further and asked the airlines themselves what they plan to do.  His article today lists responses from most of the major airlines, including my carrier, so you can scroll through and see what your favorite plans to do.

One lesson learned from these responses is that the airlines are at least saying that they will be listening to their passengers to see what they want.  Whether they do what passengers want, or whether they go where they think the money will be, remains to be seen. 

I think it's time to start letting the airlines know what you think.


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Sunday, March 19, 2006

Poll: Inflight Cell Phone Use

The FAA, and individual airlines, are considering allowing cell phone use once the flight is air born.  Regulations would still prohibit use below 10,000 feet, the time when personal electronic devices would most likely be able to cause interference with aircraft navigation aids.
What do you think of this idea?  Would you use your cell phone in flight?  Would you want to sit next to someone who was on their phone?  Vote in the new poll, and leave your comments here.

Cross Check Secret Code

Here's a question that I'm frequently asked:
I have a question that's been bugging me for a while now. When boarding and deplaning, I always here this "secret code" the cabin crew says on the PA. Cross-check and report.  1R1R, 1L1R, etc.
Maybe your airline says different things, I just happened to remember what was said on my last flight (US Airways). I would be really grateful if you could clarify this mystery for me (or at least give me some hints if it's a professional secret) =)
This really isn't a secret code designed to keep passengers in the dark.  It's a shorthand way for crew members to advise other crew members that the door for which they have responsibility has been armed or disarmed.  What this means is that the emergency evacuation slide at their door has been engaged or disengaged and it is safe to push back for take off or open the door for deplaning.  Different airlines have different phrases for what is said, but it's all communicating the same information.
Glad I could de-mystify the "secet code."  I only wish that it was something more interesting.
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This Charge Isn't Going to Fly

FINALLY!  A fee that's not going to fly!
American Eagle Airlines, a regional carrier for American Airlines, says that it has given up on its idea to charge passengers for soft drinks on its flights.
American explained and defended its idea by pointing out that low-cost European airlines routinely charge for beverages and food onboard, and by comparing the airline industry to a movie theater that makes a goodly profit on selling food and beverages.
Neither argument appears to be flying with passengers who didn't buy into the concept.
American isn't giving up, though, and still plans to sell packages of cashews for $1 and pillow & blanket sets for $5.

Friday, March 17, 2006

Happy Saint Patrick's Day

Irish Coffee. Green Beer. Kissing the Blarney Stone. Looking for a four-leaf clover. Wearing of the green.

Everyone's a little Irish on Saint Patrick's Day.

You Are Emerald Green

Deep and mysterious, it often seems like no one truly gets you.
Inside, you are very emotional and moody - though you don't let it show.
People usually have a strong reaction to you... profound love or deep hate.
But you can even get those who hate you to come around. There's something naturally harmonious about you.