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When it comes to this topic, perhaps more than any other, I must stress that I can only speak for myself. But people are asking me how I feel about Malaysian Airlines flight 370, so I will tell you.
Generally I approach accidents like a surgeon to her patients. Cool detachment. “Minor” incidents are a piece of cake – evacuations, sliding off the runway, aborted landings, mechanical diversions, etc. – don’t even register on my emotional radar. They are proof of our procedures working, every day. That’s all. I keep moving.
The major incidents are like old relationships – you feel differently about each one. (Read more…)
So this is what happens when you have a nine-hour commute: you get on the plane, you write a column/post about a particular effect of The Shutdown…and when you get off the plane, news is long broken that the end has been announced. So, I better publish this fast! So here goes…
It’s probably a safe bet to say that most of you are sick of hearing about the government shutdown. I know I am. There are lots of things that this political drama is affecting, but I didn’t know that every passenger’s dream was among them.
You see, there’s been a lot of chatter this year about the FAA finally taking a fresh look at the effects of personal electronic devices (PEDs) on airplanes. Finally! That chatter was building – and scheduled for a crescendo – as the results of those studies were due for release. Rumors were zooming around that crews were about to lose our most favorite way to irritate passengers – denying you entertainment during taxi, takeoff and landing. Continue Reading
Last week Crewed Talk focused on a recent flight I took from Spain to London. I was a “real” passenger, and this gist is that we missed our flight by 12 hours because…(are you ready for this?!)…I misread the flight information. It left at 1:30am. Not pm. Doh! Not my proudest moment.
(Scroll to bottom for update.)
While admitting that, the actual flight profile was (in my personal experience) unheard of. A short-haul, 3am, international arrival operated by a traditional carrier? Doesn’t happen, I would’ve said. And I thought I had enough experience to know. (16 years? Anyone?) At that hour of arrival, the transport limitations alone means a plane ticket-sized taxi bill.
But of course it did happen! And, although many travel industry people have shared my surprise, my readers did not at all. Fair enough. But there is a bit more to our story. Continue Reading
There’s a new travel site in town that I’m pretty excited about. One that I think has been a long-time needed. It’s called Routehappy, and it doesn’t just find you the lowest priced airline ticket – it finds you the best value flight.
Each flight is given a “happiness score” that reflects things like legroom and availability of WiFi and ports to charge your gear. I’ve long thought that a way for customers to be informed on value – instead of just price – is the way to get airlines to compete on more than just stripping things away. But creating something like that myself was too herculean a task. Finally, someone’s done it! (Assuming it works well, of course.) On the other hand, it’s also one way to test out the statements of those who claim they’re willing to pay a little more for better treatment. What do you think? Is this an flight-buying method for you?
A recent video by YouTube comedy team Broken People has gone viral – and I can see why. Personally, I think they just might have put a finger on a condition suffered by many a perfectly nice fight attendant. That condition? Bitchy Resting Face (BRF):
*Note: salty language, so if you don’t like that sort of thing…
*Another note: I’m kind of serious. As I’ve said before, I think many flight attendants don’t realize how intimidating one suddenly becomes when standing over someone. To seem friendly, a little over-compensation is required. I’ve had perfectly nice flight attendant friends come off as oddly gruff when just asking people to put their seat backs up. Hence, our BRF.
Would you think that most flight attendants want to work First Class? That’s a common assumption, but you’d be surprised how untrue it is.
You also might think the “best” flight attendants would be placed in First Class by the airlines. This is true at some foreign carriers (where working the Premium Cabins is a “promotion” that comes with higher pay), but at American carriers all cabins pay the same amount. We base our preferences on the work environment. As always, these are awarded on seniority. So, in which cabin do those preferences most often lead us? …Read more
I really don’t like working to islands. The Caribbean (etc.) just isn’t my thing. I don’t care about lying in the sun, buying cheap booze, scuba diving or golf, especially for the exchange rate: drama like DDS (Dramatic Dominican Syndrome), ancient planes with broken…everything (only 1 of 3 bathrooms was in working order last night!), three legs a day, 5am hotel pick-ups and 11:30pm finishes. Yuck. That being said…it’s pretty hard to pout from here. I admit it.