03 October 2012

Seats Coming Off Tracks On Two American Airlines Boeing 757's

Passenger seats come loose on an American Airlines flight

(AP Photo/WBZ-TV/WFXT-TV)

What is with full seat sections coming off track after an aircraft has come out of maintenance?

Well American Airlines has been having it's fair share of issues as of late. Two separate incidents of full seat sections becoming dislodged or flat out coming out of the seat tracks while the aircraft is performing a live revenue flight is not a good thing. American Airlines said that improperly installed clamps caused seats to become loose on two planes during flights. Later inspections of Boeing B-757's by American discovered that other planes had similar issues that needed to be fixed. 

"American Airlines said that improperly installed clamps caused seats to pop loose on two planes during flights and an inspection turned up four others with the same problem. The airline said Tuesday that it inspected and fixed the seats on 36 of its Boeing 757 jets and planned to check 11 other planes."
(Read Full Story Here)

American has been going through labor issues with the possibility of merger talks with US Airways looming in their rear view mirror.

Pilots have been accused of writing up more maintenance issues than normal as a form of work slow down which is not unheard of in the airline world. Everything from flying faster and burning up more fuel to knit picking mechanical problems in a station where contract maintenance is the only available support at an inflated cost. Timco Aviation Services and American crews might have installed the seats incorrectly as stated by David L. Campbell, the airline's vice president of safety. Only further investigations of their past work on the aircraft will reveal if this is a isolated incident from a particular maintenance station or is this something more sinister. (Like a work slowdown to get managements attention.)

So is contract maintenance a good or bad thing here in this case? It's a part of the industry that airlines just can't get around do to cost and practicality so it's some what of a necessary evil depending on who you talk to. During my flying days I have seen and used contract maintenance in out-stations and it was not a choice in the matter depending on the severity of the problem. Some days the problem was fixed and we blasted off but other times we cancelled and mechanics from our airline were flown to us and the problem was fixed by company mechanics. However when you have flights outside the U.S. you sometimes have to trust what and who you get if you want to get the passengers on their way.

Labor issues can be a very volatile aspect in a negotiation when the work groups have this ability to affect the operation so directly. It happens and it will continue forever but hopefully not at the cost of passenger safety. This incident definitely scared some people and it does make them (the passengers) aware of any internal issues at any given airline. No airline is exempt from this, it's just a part of doing business. Hopefully this is the last of such incident but I doubt it!

Passengers should watch the news to see what's going on with the airline they are planning to fly to see if there is anything they should be concerned with especially when it comes to labor or union issues. Not just the pilots can slow things down but flight attendants or ground agents can cause delays and or cancellations too! So don't think for one minute that the agents loading the bags or the crew members serving the drinks can't cause a stir. Pilots are just usually the ones who can have the fastest affect on flight operations that make management stand up and take notice. Now I'm not saying it's right but it can be effective in a stalled labor negotiation.

So I hope in the near future this is a thing of the past and not the precursor to what is yet to come. Good luck American Airlines!

"Be Proactive Not Reactive And Enjoy Your Flight!!!"
BlkAv8tor2003

08 September 2012

First African American Woman To Fly For The U.S. Coast Guard.

Lt. J.G. La'Shanda Holmes Getting Pinned
She is the first African American woman to ever fly helicopters for the U.S. Coast Guard.

Lt. J.G. La'Shanda Holmes is the pride of Fayetteville, North Carolina. Holmes is a success story from the foster care system; she grew up in with more than a dozen siblings.
"I didn't grow up with a silver spoon and it wasn't perfect for me," says the young pioneer.
The 25-year-old pilot works on search and rescue missions in southern California, and inspires others through her work. 


Photo courtesy of Holmes family.


"I am the most junior pilot here, I have a lot to learn," says Holmes, indicating that she has new barriers to break and challenges to overcome. Los Angeles is Holmes' first duty station and was in fact, her first choice. Her pioneer status was highlighted in JET magazine. Out of 1,200 pilots in the Coast Guard, only 85 are female. Colleagues believe that Holmes will serve as an inspiration for other young women.


 Photo courtesy of Holmes family.
“I know I’m the first, but nothing has sunk in yet. People may have expectations, but for me, mainly, it is about taking on responsibility and knowing I have something to prove [as a pilot]. I just want to keep flying well and working hard to make my community, family and sisters proud of me.”


"If you don't put a limit in what you want out of life, and you just keep dreaming and going for things anything is possible."

(U.S. Navy photo by Ens. Ryan Trespalacios)
 
Read the full story here

06 November 2011

LOT Polish Airlines Boeing 767-300 Makes Gear Up Landing

LOT B767-300 Not the Accident Aircraft
Hello All BlkAv8tor Checkin In!!!

On Nov. 1, 2011 a LOT B767 (Flt LO-16) had to make an emergency gear up landing in Warsaw Poland (WAW) after flying from Newark, NJ. (KEWR) The landing was flawless and textbook if one could ever be.

The captain had plenty of time to prepare for the landing after noticing the problem with the center hydraulic system after leaving Newark. 

Many people have wondered why the captain chose to fly all the way to Warsaw with a known problem instead of turning around and returning to Newark. Well there are many more factors that come into play when planning for an air return to the departure airport and this captain I'm sure with some consultation with his company and FAA officials here in the U.S. they all detrmined coming back to Newark would not be a wise move and here is why.

Airport layout must have come into play as well as how busy the airport of choice is normally. Newark, like JFK is very busy day and night and an emergency with a possibility of a gear up landing would cripple the Northeast airport and connecting flight as well. Newark is a major connecting and originating city for the major U.S. airlines and if it goes down or has a runway closed due to a disabled aircraft, that would shock the system here in the U.S. Going on to Warsaw was a good move in the sense that the traffic there is not as heavy but busy none the less. 

LOT B767-300 Belly Landing
Emergency services wise both airports could handle the emergency if it went wrong and there were injuries but Warsaw could deal with a runway out of service for at the most one day better than Newark. That being said Warsaw was the best option and it gave the airport and emergency services time to prepare. With excellent airmanship this accident is compared to the US Airways flight that landed in the Hudson for a flawless "planned" ditching which was the first of it's kind in U.S. history.

Captain Tadeusz Wrona
Captain Tadeusz Wrona and First Officer Jerzy Szwarc, an experienced crew with the captain having more than 20 years of experience on the Boeings are in an elite fraternity that all us pilots hope to never join but if we do then we all hope for the same outcome! As updates become available I will post them here.

Bravo gentlemen for a job well done!!!

As always Be Proactive Not Reactive and Enjoy Your Flight!!!

Blkav8tor2003 
 

Below is an excerpt from avherald with some video from youtube of the landing. the full technical report can be read there as well.

LOT Polish Airlines Boeing 767-300, performing flight LO-16 from Newark,NJ (USA) (KEWR) to Warsaw (Poland) (WAW) with 220 passengers and 11 crew, was on approach to Warsaw's runway 33 when the crew aborted the approach at 3000 feet reporting an unsafe gear indication for all three gear struts at about 13:10L (12:10Z) and entered a holding to troubleshoot the problem for about 80 minutes.

The airline reported the aircraft was piloted by Captain Tadeusz Wrona and First Officer Jerzy Szwarc, an experienced crew with the captain having more than 20 years of experience on the Boeings. About 30 minutes after departure from Newark the crew reported the failure of the center hydraulic system. It is unclear why the gear could not be lowered, this is being investigated.

05 November 2011

BlkAv8tor Returns to The Blogging World After A Lengthy Hiatus

Hello All Blkav8tor Checking In!!!

Hello all, I am back from a bloggers break since work and family come first! So I think I have a little bit of time here and there to share some of the news events and my knowledge as things take place with the world.

So I figured I would jump in feet first with a few things that happened recently in the aviation world close to home and also a far.


My first story happened in my neck of the woods right here in Phoenix with the death of a US Airways flight attendant. For those of you that may not know what happened click here and I also want to pay my condolences to a fellow flight attendant that I never new or flew with. His friends and family here in Phoenix and throughout the world have commented on a monumental loss to the airline world and aviation community!

His name was Nick Aaronson, I feel a loss for a fellow flier and I would have been honored to have made his acquaintance! Nick enjoy you final flight, you touched so many and you will be missed by all!!!
Nick Aaronson

Here is a brief video of the send off from his fellow employees at US Airways from 
Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport!


27 July 2010

United Agents Forget About Unaccompanied Minor In Chicago

Hello All BlkAv8tor2003 Checking In!!!

Here goes another blunder by the airline and it's irresponsible employees that just sends chills down the spine of anyone who is a parent that may fly by themselves!
Kids fly all over the airlines and you would think that the airline employees would pay a little more attention to them because they are children, well that doesn't always seem to be the case and it's starting to happen more often than not. Airlines are losing kids left and right, sending them to the wrong destination or just leaving them behind. I bet they don't have a problem letting you know that you owe extra money for baggage, sodas or food when your on the plane.

Here is the latest incident to add in the "UM Woes" from United Airlines in Chicago (United's Corporate HQ). Agents failed to get a UM to his flight and fed him the wrong food and I'm sure the best thing that United will do is say "were sorry" and here is a future travel certificate for next time in the future!!! So read along and I have inserted my comments in Italics and hopefully United will evaluate their procedure when handling UM's and make some changes pretty quick!!!

Original Story Below

A nine-year-old boy was forgotten in a Chicago airport waiting room Saturday for nearly eight hours after an airline representative failed to put him on a connecting flight, the Ottawa Citizen reported.
Julien Reid was headed home to Ottawa on a United flight after visiting his dad in San Francisco, a trip he makes about six times a year.

The agent slipped up on this one for sure! How do you forget a child in the process of working flights especially when they are usually logged into a waiting room for unaccompanied minors and flight info is tracked so that they can be taken to their flight for pre-boarding.

He left San Francisco at 6 a.m. and arrived at Chicago's O'Hare International Airport at 11 a.m. He was supposed to catch a connecting flight from Chicago to Ottawa at 1:50 p.m., which would have put him in Ottawa at about 4:45 p.m.

The agents working the minors flight to Ottawa didn't check their Special Services list to see if they had any special customers to be on the lookout for ie UM's, wheelchairs, blind passengers etc. The agents working the flight failed to stay ahead of their flight and all important items which is unacceptable. The agent working where the minor was being held between flights also failed to call or message the departure flight agents to advise them to be on the lookout for a UM before they started their boarding process. The ball was dropped here in several areas which are designed to prevent such a thing from happening.

His mother, Genevieve Harte, checked online and saw that Julien's flight was delayed until 5:35 p.m. When she arrived at the airport to pick him up, she noticed other passengers had disembarked but that her son was nowhere to be found.

Then she got a call from Julien, using his own pre-paid cell phone. He said he was still at the Chicago airport in a "tiny, little room cramped with kids," where they played the same video on a loop all day, the Ottawa Citizen reported. The only food he'd been given was McDonald's, but Julian is a vegetarian. He said the other children were yelled at to "stop being kids."

He was in the UM room which most if not all airlines have at least in their Hub cities. The little boy was able to call his mom and let her know that he was still in Chicago from his personal cell phone. Why didn't the agents keep up with this minor? He was in a room playing video games and he was obviously being watched...sort of anyway and he was fed.

Now why was a child that is vegetarian fed McDonald's and I'm sure if he is 9 and smart enough to call his mom and tell her he was still in Chicago he probably told someone that he didn't eat meat. If he was Muslim, Jewish or just didn't eat pork would they have listened to him or would they have dismissed his dietary request? This is a little slip up on the parents part because they depended on the airline to feed their child while he was enroute.
He has special dietary restrictions so the parent should have made sure he had carried his own food so that this would not be a problem. That being said I would be highly upset that someone gave my child food that he could not eat! How much does the airline employees really care about your child when they are in the airlines care???

Harte, 36, asked Julien to put her on the phone with the United attendant who was watching the children. That's when the attendant let it slip that no one had come to fetch Julien to put him on his connecting flight, she told the Ottawa Citizen.

Fetch Julian??? Is he a dog??? No, the agent should have called the departure flight agents and told them she had a UM for their flight like I said above. She should have called for a supervisor if there was not someone who could take him to his connecting flight ie "UM Runner", extra agent or something. Checking for Special service request before a flight boards is required for an agent to do every flight. It's like going to the bathroom, it must be done or the consequences can be bad on so many levels!

This is why I always say that airline employees need to care more about what they do and take a personal stake in what they do when at work otherwise find another job where you don't have to care about anything and you can still get the job done!

We have already seen where an airline has put Um's on the wrong flights to the wrong destinations and to be as irresponsible as to forget the child all together is flat out wrong! if the airlines don't have people in position that care about what they do especially when it comes to someone else's child then they need to get rid of them and find somebody that really does care.

I'm a parent and a 23 year airline profession working on the ground and in the air and this is something I would not allow if this is what I need to expect out of airline employees. They need to be doing it better because they are dealing directly with someones child and I only hope that Julian's parents blast United for this mistake and make it a big deal and not let United just give them a free ticket for the trouble!!!

Remember To Be Proactive Not Reactive and Enjoy Your Flight!!!

BlkAv8tor2003

26 July 2010

United Flight Kicks Off Passengers Who Paid Least for Tickets

Hello All BlkAv8tor2003 Checking In!!!

So now you can get bumped for being cheap with your money??? What is up with that??? A weight restricted flight causes a denied boarding situation and a situation that could scare many passengers into not flying or at least being extremely selective when and who they fly. 

Here is what happened in the words of one of the passengers and i added a few comments and they are in Italics.

What happens when a small United Airlines flight from Burlington to Washington DC oversells its cargo capacity and ends up with a weight problem? Well, when this exact thing happened today for @brucepoontip's flight, the gate agents announce that the passengers who paid the least for the flight will be removed.

How unfair! But even more—how embarrassing, to be punished for scoring a deal perhaps months in advance when someone who paid top dollar the day before gets to remain on the plane. Then you're stuck back in the terminal, without a guaranteed flight for another two days and no hotel allowance from the airline.

So if you shop the airlines for a low priced fair you give yourself the open chance to be bumped from a flight because you were penny pinching! Is this the next wave of new things on the horizon coming from the airlines? I hope not but anything is possible these days!

This is why Twitter sometimes becomes a priceless tool for customer service. Bruce, Founder of Gap Adventures, began tweeting the drama:

United Airlines Service. Just announced they have a weight problem and have to remove 20 ppl in order of how much you paid for your ticket!

...and continued to relate the ridiculous actions of the United crew:

So uncomfortable with United Airlines removing families and older couples who bought cheap tickets. Sad frankly.

I've now missed my connection in Washington but they said they can only guarantee me a flight out in two days! I can't stay here two days!

[Gate agent] said if we don't get two more [volunteers to get off the flight]... I am going to get a list of the last people that checked in! All passengers sitting nervously!

We managed to reach Bruce via Twitter during the drama to ask about the mood of the kicked-off passengers, and he responded:

It's funny, there is no anger really. People are embarrassed. [The gate agent] has announced that you will be thrown off based on how much u paid. "Thrown off the flight!" What kind of customer service is that considering that is not how you handle a denied boarding situation!

To see the entire series of tweets about this drama, check out @brucepoontip. We can happily report that United is now reviewing the mess, as their @UnitedAirlines customer service finally noticed and responded to the situation. It will be very interesting to see if anything comes of this. Nightly news?

This is a black eye for United even though this was an express carrier and not main line United. It sounds like inexperience played a major roll in this even and lack of tact if nothing else. This is definitely not the norm and even though I haven't seen any follow up info I hope at least that the denied passengers were compensated. When I talked to Bruce just after it had happened via Twitter he said that they were not compensated at all but just put onto a later flight. Hopefully united makes a mends with the little incident!!!

Remember to Be Proactive Not Reactive and enjoy your Flight!!!

BlkAv8tor2003

Original Link:

http://www.jaunted.com/story/2010/7/13/12710/3098/travel/United+Flight+Kicks+Off+Passengers+Who+Paid+Least+for+Tickets


25 July 2010

Southwest: A Mechanical Is An Act of God and It Always Has Been


"If there's a God who controls floods and earthquakes, does the deity also have a hand in an airline's mechanical problems?"

If that is not the statement of the decade and maybe the history of the airlines as we know it!

Southwest comes out and says "mechanicals are an act of God" and with that statement they are re-writing the history of airline delays as we all know it. Passengers usually don't have a clue about their flying rights and they usually never read the back of their boarding envelope to find out what the "contract of carriage" to find out either.

Southwest has always been know for their leaps and bounds in the airline world by not totally following the "norm" and kind of trend setting or creating their own flavor within the airline world. Well this is a pretty extreme step as far as being different is concerned but I'm not sure if making such a bold statement as this is a power move. Now it will create publicity and a buzz amongst the passengers that fly Southwest Airlines with a cult like following but when it comes to Southwest i think they can experiment with just about anything and it would become a hit.

On page 11 of 32 pages of fine print called a "contract of carriage," which many passengers don't read, but which spells out their recourse in mishaps such as flight interruptions or baggage loss.

Mechanical difficulties - what type is not defined - now appears on a list of events such as wars, riots, storms, earthquakes and other acts of God that are "outside of (Southwest's) control." Now that being said Southwest has now changed the bar possibly and it may grab new passengers to fly their flights but it's still too early to tell. 

Robert Mann, an airline industry analyst based in Port Washington, N.Y., called it "surprising" that Southwest, which has a reputation for stellar customer service, would make a change that puts passengers at a legal disadvantage if an aircraft breakdown delays their travel. This makes Southwest have the upper hand in many different situations and they can hide behind mechanical problems because they didn't list the problems protected under their newest policy announcement. 

"I can see (carriers) saying, 'It wasn't our fault the airplane broke down,' and I also can see customers saying, 'I bought a ticket from you and I have reasonable expectation that the airplane is going to work,' " Mann said." The passengers are going to jump at this everytime there is a delay to get the real story on the delay.

Well everyone knows that the airlines play "Monkey See, Monkey Do" and now we all need to watch and see who will be the next airline to follow suit. I think they will wait a bit to see if Southwest catches any backlash from the rule but if they don't you could expect some of the airline to get on board and adopt some type of equal ruling or facsimile.

Now let's just wait and see what happens next!

Remember Be Proactive Not Reactive and Enjoy Your Flight!!!

BlkAv8tor2003

20 July 2010

Japan Airlines Tries To Keep Uniforms Out Of Japanese Sex Clubs


Hello All BlkAv8tor2003 checking In!!!

In January, Japan Airlines went through a humiliating bankruptcy , with layoffs, pissed off customers and the poor view in the eyes of the Japanese public. Now they have a bigger problem to deal with and that is because of layoffs that include flight attendants there is a big surge for their flight attendants uniforms as a costume to be bought, sold and worn in Japanese sex clubs.

A new market has risen in fetish clubs and sex clubs not to mention just having a uniform fall into the wrong hands for potentially dangerous activities and a strong security problem around the world.

JAL fears the security issues that may rise if the uniforms hit the open market and someone may be able to pass into secure areas while wearing a uniform. They also don't want someone to further tarnish the image of the airline in some bad fashion.

Scott Mayerowitz of ABC News reports that "in Japan plenty of people are willing to pay top dollar for an experience with a club entertainer clad in an authentic Japan Airlines flight attendant uniform." He adds "people have been known to pay thousands of dollars for the outfits of JAL and rival airline All Nippon Airways, or ANA."





JAL has warned its staff not to sell their uniforms, and that laid-off air crew could try to auction their old uniforms on the Internet for profit. On the Internet such as Yahoo Japan, uniforms for sale could fetch as much as $3000.00 USD for a complete set.


JAL is planning on sewing tracking computer chips or RFID's into its uniforms so that they can be tracked but I'm not sure how this will work since flight attendants have already been layed off. All Nippon Airways (ANA) is also caught in the same type of problems minus the lay-offs and financial troubles that JAL has undergone and they currently track their uniforms before and after a member of their crew departs the companies employment.


JAL says they have ways of making sure it's impossible for a former crew member to hold onto their uniform after departing the company even though a few years ago a business class uniform hit the Black Market and was reportedly sold and the airline went out and bought the uniform back for a reportedly $2000 dollars to ensure they go it back.


Japanese flight attendants have always been viewed by the traveling world as very"uniform" and classy yet sexy and I could see how the look of the uniform could create a frenzy in the adult sex world.

As a former flight attendant and having flown many times out of Tokyo (NRT) and the South Pacific I can say there is a certain flair that the flight crews have for JAL, ANA and the other Asian carriers have that is noticeable from how their flight crews all look somewhat alike to how they really care for their appearance individually and as a crew when the move through the airport. I hope this doesn't hurt the JAL brand name and hopefully it is only a passing fad that won't produce any serious consequences.

Even though these flight attendants are seen as excellent in the service world, they are very well equipped to handle an emergency situation just like other flight attendants around the world and hopefully JAL will recover and be able to bring back all of their layed-off flight attendants to continue the western experience that so many are use to and accustomed to enjoying when they fly to the Pacific Rim!

Remember to Be Proactive and Not Reactive And Enjoy Your Flight!!!
Blkav8tor2003

13 July 2010

Japan Express Crowns First Female Captain

Hello All BlkAv8tor2003 Checking In!!!

Here is a new bit of aviation history! Japan, which is very much a male dominated society has just made their first female pilot a captain of a Boeing 737 at Japan Express (JEX). This is ground breaking that she has qualified for the position and achieved the left seat. Being a pilot I know that is the dream of all aviators and to do it in their society is monumental.

They would not give her this position I think just because they didn't have one, Japan is world class when it comes to pilot training and procedures and being in a position of authority. Capt. Ari Fuji, 42, will make her first flight next week and she said she was nervous but excited and wanted to do a good job and command a safe flight. I think any pilot is a little nervous when the get the command position and that starts when you first solo an airplane or when you take a family member or friend flying once you have received your private pilots license. It never seems to go away and it happens at all experience levels.

Good luck Ari, from one pilot to another and remember to "Keep the Blue Side Up!"

BlkAv8tor2003

Remember to be Proactive and Not Reactive and enjoy your flight!!!

Below is the original story with a few pics I found and a translation in Japanese from the website and I left it intact with no editing so that it is translated correctly. I don't speak that much Japanese...lol and it's in Japanese script!!!

(Kyodo News International) -- A co-pilot of Japan Express Co. became Japan's first female airliner captain Friday after passing the government's qualification screening.
Ari Fuji, 42, is scheduled to make her maiden flight as a captain next Monday, from Osaka to Sendai, according to the airline, which is wholly owned by Japan Airlines (OOTC:JALFQ) International Co.

She was given a letter of appointment at the company's Osaka head office.
Fuji joined JAL Express in 1999 with pilot's licenses both for private and commercial aircraft and started flying as a co-pilot the following year, the company said.



She passed the screening by the Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism Ministry earlier the month after promotion training with a license of airline transport pilot, which she obtained in February 2008, it said.
It usually takes 10 years or so for co-pilots to be promoted to captain.

Japan has had female passenger plane pilots since around a decade ago but had no female captain so far.
According to the ministry, there were 6,137 pilots working for major domestic airlines as of January, including 289 at JAL Express. Of the total, only three were female -- Fuji and two others.


Ari Fuji, the first female flight captain in a major airline group in Japan, holds up her appointment notice, in Ikeda, Osaka Prefecture, on July 9, 2010. (Mainichi)

http://mdn.mainichi.jp/mdnnews/news/20100709p2a00m0na042000c.html

ジャルエクスプレス:国内大手初の女性機長

日本航空(JAL)のグループ会社、ジャルエクスプレス(JEX、東京都品川区)の藤明里(ふじあり)さん(42)が国の機長審査に合格し、国内の大手航空会社で初めて女性機長が誕生した。
 9日に大阪府池田市の大阪本社で行われた辞令交付式で藤さんは「この道を目指してから、何万回とくじけそうなことがあったが、負けずにやっていれば実現できる。皆さんの支えをいただき、安全運航を求めていきたい」と決意表明。12日の大阪(伊丹)発仙台行きが機長としての初フライトとなる。
 藤さんは大学卒業後、パイロットを目指して渡米。養成学校で操縦士免許を取得して帰国し、大手航空会社として初めてパイロットの公募を始めたJEXに99年に入社した。
 国内航空会社には約4000人の機長がいるが、全員が男性。12日は副操縦士も女性が務める予定で、藤さんは「女性が働きやすい職場になるように頑張りたい」と話した。

26 June 2010

Arrest Threatened If Pilot Of International Flight Lets Passengers Off Aircraft

HARTFORD, Conn. — The pilot on a Virgin Atlantic flight that spent several hours on the tarmac after being diverted to Connecticut had asked for permission to unload the stranded passengers, but a customs official threatened to have them arrested if they did, the airline said Thursday.

FYI! International flights are not included in the latest "3 hr delay" program that passed earlier this year. Also anytime an international flight that has not pre-cleared customs cannot let any passengers or crew members off of the aircraft for any reason with clearing customs and immigration. In the event of an emergency then Customs will clear passengers after they have been sequestered and cleared in a controlled area.

Customs officials denied the airline's allegation.

The trans-Atlantic flight's captain was told by a customs official at Bradley International Airport in Windsor Locks that passengers couldn't get off the plane until more immigration officials arrived, Greg Dawson, an airline spokesman in London, said in an e-mail to The Associated Press. It took more than two hours for the officials to arrive, he said.

The London-to-Newark, N.J., was diverted because of storms. Passengers sat on the tarmac in Connecticut for four hours late Tuesday and early Wednesday in rising heat and darkness. Travelers said they were offered water but no food; some fainted.

A federal rule limiting tarmac time to three hours does not apply to international flights.

U.S. Customs and Border Protection did not receive a call from the pilot, and no one from the agency refused a request to allow passengers off the plane, said Theodore Woo, an agency spokesman in Boston.

Customs officers headed for the airport "as soon as we got the call at 11 p.m.," Woo said. At that point, customs had enough officers to "escort passengers to a safe area," he said.

Airport officials have said there was only one customs official at the airport Tuesday night when the flight arrived in Connecticut.

The airport called for customs inspectors around 11 p.m. when it learned the Virgin flight was canceled, said John Wallace, a Bradley spokesman. Passengers were allowed off the plane about an hour and 15 minutes later, when customs officials arrived, he said.

Bradley's only regular international passenger flights are to Canada and it does not house many customs agents, Wallace said.

AA flight attendant helps deliver baby in 737

American Airlines flight attendant Patricia Sund holding the newborn boy she helped deliver minutes earlier in the back row of a 737 as it flew from Haiti to Florida.

by JASON WHITELY

Original Story: http://www.wfaa.com/news/AA-flight-attendant-helps-deliver-baby-in-737-96702679.html

FORT LAUDERDALE - "My new slogan is going to be, "Coffee? Tea? Deliver your baby?," quipped Patricia Sund, an American Airlines flight attendant.

Patricia Sund helped two doctors deliver a baby boy in the last row of seats, on Friday, June 11, as they flew from Port-au-Prince, Haiti to Fort Lauderdale, Fla.

A Boeing 737 is the stage for this performance yet being very much lacking for space to deliver a baby but anything is possible when the flight attendants are put to the test of their training and cool heads during a situation.

"It took quite a bit of improvisation to figure out a way to position the mother, the medical kit, two doctors, the equipment needed and a way to pass what was needed in-between and over the seats to the attending physicians in order to make this delivery a successful one," Sund said.

Flight 2288 was about 35 minutes from landing in (KFLL) Fort Lauderdale when an extra passenger was announced on the flight and added to the passenger manifest according to American Airlines.

"Watching that baby being born and having him placed in my arms 30 seconds after he was born was an incredibly raw and emotional moment for me," Sund reflected. "It will remain one of the highlights of my Flight Service career. It also most likely makes this crew the newest members of a very small club of flight attendants who have assisted with the birth of a child inflight."

American Airlines said the baby boy was born healthy.

This is a fine example of what flight attendants are trained to do and what so many passengers take for granted. So the next time a passenger thinks that flight attendants are "glorified sky waitresses" hopefully they will remember hearing about this beautiful incident over the skies of the Atlantic and know that the flight attendants are there for more important things than passing out peanuts and opening cans of Coke!

08 May 2010

Delta Airlines Loses Dog In Mexico City And Tries To Compensate Passenger $200.00!




Hi, my name is Josiah and I recently traveled to Puerto Vallarta, Mexico with Delta Airlines, and I am so appalled by them I can't stand it. I booked my flights online, and that part went smoothly, but that's the only good part of my traveling with them. I flew out of Detroit Metro in the early morning of April 24th 2010, and flew to Atlanta to catch a transfer which would take me to Puerto Vallarta. After arriving about an hour late and having to run to catch my plane, they said that they weren't boarding any more passengers, but were taking an extra fifteen minutes to load all the baggage on the plane. When we arrived in Puerto Vallarta I was informed that, along with most people who were on the original flight from Detroit, my baggage never left the Atlanta airport, and I had to wait until the next day to receive all of my clothes and necessities for traveling.

Now, while I know that this isn't too out of the ordinary, and that airlines have baggage delayed quite commonly, the next issue is one that is completely unacceptable and should never happen regardless of circumstances. When in Mexico, my girlfriend and I rescued a stray dog which our hosts said had been seen all over the town. We took him to the vet's, got him all of his shots, an eye infection treated, two baths to clean him from hundreds of dog ticks that were covering his whole body, and gave him the name Paco. After this treatment at the vet clinic, we had to spend multiple additional hours picking more ticks from his body. We soon discovered that this dog was a very lucky find, and that it would be loyal and friendly to my girlfriend and I. It would walk by my side along the beach and along the sidewalks, went to the washroom outside, didn't bark at cars or other dogs, and would sleep on the bed next to us curled up in a ball quite contently. My girlfriend and I were both very excited to take him back home to Canada with us, and we quite readily paid for an airline approved pet carrier and the costs associated with checking a pet on an airplane to travel as baggage, as he was too big to be taken as carry-on.

Everything went smoothly traveling with AeroMéxico from Puerto Vallarta to Mexico City, where we had a five hour layover. We took the dog out so he could go to the bathroom and stretch his legs in-between our flights, and two hours before we departed from Mexico City to Detroit Metro we checked him with Delta for the flight. It took us a whole hour to check the dog because Delta said that the pet carrier we purchased was not big enough, despite the vet who treated the dog saying it was large enough, and it meeting all the criteria such as the dog being able to turn around and stand up. We spent the hour trying to convince the Delta employee that the carrier was large enough, and after seeing two separate supervisors, we had to sign a waiver saying that if my dog Paco received any injuries as a result of the size of the carrier, that Delta Airlines was not responsible.

After the fiasco of the size of the carrier being an issue, they assured us that Paco would be alright and transported safely to Detroit. However, when we arrived in Detroit and waited for twenty minutes at the pet claim, we began to suspect that something was wrong. We spent two hours in the Detroit Metro Airport trying to sort out what had happened to our dog, and we were told that it was never loaded on the plane in the first place, and that it was forgotten in Mexico City but would be cared for by Delta employees and walked, fed, watered, and would be sent on the next flight to Detroit, and then get delivered to my house in Ontario, Canada. When I called Delta the following day to ask if Paco had been flown to Detroit yet, no one seemed to have any answers or have any idea about the location of my dog. I was shocked. I had been told explicitly that my dog was being cared for in Mexico City by Delta until he could be flown and delivered to me, and now they were telling me that they didn't know where my dog was. I had my host in Mexico call the Mexico City Airport to get some answers, and she spent hours being transferred from person to person, each one having no idea what happened to my dog, she was finally told that my dog had somehow escaped from the carrier and disappeared. I do not believe for a second that Paco escaped from his carrier. It was a very secure hard plastic pet carrier with two locks and a metal wire door, and there is no way a small dog (he looked like a mix of a wiener dog and a Jack Russell) could scratch or break his way out of it.

If indeed he did somehow manage to escape from the carrier, why would I not have been informed of this in the first place? I was told that he was accounted for and being cared for in Mexico City, then that no one had any idea where he was, and then that he had escaped from the carrier.

There is no excuse for this kind of situation to take place, and I expect that when you pay to have a live animal flown with you to take him home, that Delta Airlines would take every precaution and action needed to make sure that is what happens. My dog is likely either still in his carrier in a corner, having not eaten or drank for over 48 hours, or he is lost in the Mexico City Airport terrified and starving. The only thing Delta has tried to do to rectify this situation is offering their apology and refunding the cost for transporting a pet ($200.00USD) in a credit to be used with Delta Airlines. I think that this is completely absurd as there is no chance of me flying with Delta Airlines again.

13 April 2010

United Flight Attendant Refuses To Help Disabled Woman With Bags

Hello All BlkAv8tor2003 Checking In!!!

As if things in the airline industry seem to sound more strange everyday, here comes another incident where a passenger needed assistance and a flight attendant refused to assist the passenger. It sounds like a situation of a crew member giving a passenger a hard time and being very direct in her reasoning about it but if you read the whole story then the tables seem to turn the other way. I posted a link to the full story after the excerpt from the passengers blog. You really should read the passengers full story to get an idea of what happened.

As a former flight attendant and customer service manager, it's sad to hear such a response was given from a crew member! The airline should have had a better response to the situation than that...at least sound caring or concerned! I read the passengers story and it sounded like it was full of tiring situations!

The rest of my comments are after the passenger excerpt.

(Excerpt) I boarded the plane and made my way back to my aisle seat where I set down my special seat cushion and lumbar brace before looking around for a flight attendant to help me put my luggage in the overhead compartment. The attendant standing in the front section of economy was a blonde woman probably in her late 40s-50s and I called her over to explain that I needed her assistance because I wasn't capable of lifting my luggage due to my disability.

To my surprise, the attendant rejected my request while excusing it by saying: "If I helped everyone do that all day then MY back would be killing me by the end of the day!" I asked her how I was supposed to get my luggage stowed and her answer was: "You'll just have to wait for someone from your row to come back here and ask them to give you a hand." When I asked what would happen if no one would, her response to me was: "Well, normally a passenger is around to overhear something like this and they'll offer to help with it on their own. You'll just have to ask someone when they get back here." Then she turned back around and went up to the front seats where she waited to "assist" other passengers.

I was completely flabbergasted, but with no other option, I sat down to wait and pulled my carry-on suitcase as close as I could to try to get it out of the way of the aisle. As I'm sure you're aware, however, your aisles are considerably narrow and even my best efforts left half of even my small carry-on suitcase in the aisle. What's more, rather than help me, most of the passengers simply knocked into my suitcase and shoved past me on the way to their own seats. Every time they hit the suitcase, it in turn hit me and jarred my back more and more with each strike.

The plane wasn't even half boarded and it already felt like the pain medication I'd taken less than a half hour prior to entering the airport had worn off as though I hadn't taken it at all. Finally, it was too much and I dropped my suitcase down into the aisle to stop the flow and ask one of the men passing me for help before he went looking for his seat. As he was lifting it, he asked me if I was all right and I told him about my injury. He apologized profusely for my condition and tried to make me feel better by assuring me I would be okay eventually. I doubt either of us believed it, but at that point, it was nice to hear that, even from a total stranger. Full Story Here

("Evilpuppy", is the passenger's blog name) "Evilpuppy" was not exactly the perfect passenger.

This is the problem that passengers run into when they "assume" what the flight attendants, pilots, customer service agents or the airline can and cannot do for you. Flight attendants are truly not there to put your baggage in an overhead bin. It is up to you the passenger to load and unload your baggage in and out of the overhead bins. If you can't lift your own luggage above your head then what makes you think the airline provides someone to do that for you? This is what I mean when I say most passengers don't really know what the job or the duties of the flight attendant are.

"Evilpuppy" has a known disability or injury and you’re carrying on a roll-a-board suitcase? You knew before you left that you would not be able to lift your bag and you assumed it was the flight attendant job to put it in the overhead bin for you. Then when she refused you acted shocked! Now how she refused is wrong in all respects and is not excusable but you should have thought about your disability when packing your luggage. If your back disables you from lifting your own suitcase into the bins, then you should have checked your suitcase and not rolled it aboard and carry on a much smaller bag with your necessary essentials.

United's overall response was just crazy and unfortunately I do believe that a flight attendant and an agent would possibly respond to a passenger the way they responded to you! Your case is not singular and not the last one people will read about. I know as a flight attendant you have to be very careful when dealing with passengers regarding visual and non-visual disabilities. Passengers also must be proactive with their disabilities and give the people around them ample warning without assumptions that help will always be provided or assumed. Just because a passenger is in a wheelchair doesn't mean they want or need help to move about but the person able to offer assistance may not know that.

So I suggest that "Evilpuppy" you may need to be more proactive with your disability seeing how it's not visual. It will require you to change your thought process about the way you travel so that people that are available to help you know that you’re not exploiting their services with your disability and you actually need help. Again the experience you had was all the way wrong and it should have been handled much better.

The flight attendant was wrong to a point in her actions and what she said but you did get on the plane assuming that the flight attendant would do the lifting for you. So in the future you may want to find another way to get your baggage to your destination i.e.. Checking your baggage, ship your baggage ahead via UPS or FedEx and only carry-on your absolute necessities that you can manage without difficulty.

I'm not trying to bash you (the victim) but this situation can be avoided well before passengers get on the plane. Hopefully in your future travel plans you’re more proactive and the crew on your flights will be much more accommodating to you and your disability.

The airlines as a whole are having a tough time surviving in today's economy and finding good people to run the airline is easily found and also easily forgotten. The airlines need to go back to what use to work and passengers need to understand that flying on the airlines is a privilege and not a right even though they may have payed for a service. Things like this don't happen everyday and hopefully they will be few and far between but they will happen again and I hope whomever reads this will think ahead to lessen the chances of this happening to them.

As I always say: Be Proactive Not Reactive and Enjoy Your Flight!!!

BlkAv8tor2003

06 April 2010

Carry-On and Checked Baggage Spirit Air Will Cost You!!!

Hello All BlkAv8tor2003 Checking In!!!

Well the time has come and I have said it since well before the baggage fees went up, that the airlines would ultimately start charging passengers a fee to carry-on baggage! No matter how juicy the details or how many perks you may get by joining different flier clubs with any particular airline, you may end up paying to fly with more than a coat, purse or briefcase.

Does anyone fly like that these days anymore??? The days of hats, coats and purses are going by the wayside. 1960's style of flying is coming back trust me! Remember the saying "History Repeats Itself!" Well history is starting to repeat itself and it's going to cost you! So be prepared as gasoline prices go up this summer, delays will never go away and tensions of people frustrated when they fly are higher than ever!

Here is Spirit Air based out of Miramar, Florida with 40 destinations has started charging for carry-on baggage. They are the first U.S. carrier to institute this policy and it starts in August. The fees are listed in the article below. It can cost you as much as $45 at the airport to carry on a bag.
(Carry-on Baggage: anything that you would have to put into an overhead bin)

Spirit Air is expecting this to make deplaning the aircraft a faster process and boarding to be a breeze too! If you don't know already, it's time to start checking your bag to your destination with FedEx or UPS if your traveling for pleasure. If your traveling for business you may need to carry-on your bags because destinations can change with short notice and getting a bag changed between flights can create potential baggage mishandlings.

So the time to be more prepared is really here. Be ahead of the ballgame and know what fees may pop up on you when you get to the airport!

I'll keep up on this and post any changes or differences that you need to know!!!

"Be Proactive Not Reactive And Enjoy Your Flight!!!"
BlkAv8tor2003

Fees for checked and carry-on baggage: Effective for flights booked today and on for flights after August 1, passengers on Spirit Airlines must also pay to bring on a carry-on above a personal item. This is a completely new fee for them, since carry-ons used to be free.


To take on any bag aside from a personal items like purse or briefcase, you'll be paying $20 online if you're a Spirit club member, $30 online for non-members and $45 at the airport. You will get "priority boarding," however. Along with this new fee, the checked rates have gone up to $15 online for members on domestic/$20 international, $25 online for non-members on domestic/$30 international and $45 for anyone checking their bag at the airport. And that's just the first bag!

Spirit Airlines, this is getting prohibitively complicated! Now for the sale information...
Airfares from 1 penny: Perhaps we should be happy that Spirit isn't having another of their bawdily-named airfare sales, but there is just so much fine print to this one that we're tempted to dismiss it straightaway.

It's for their $9 Fare Club members only, and to join that club you have to lay down $40 annually; never mind that whenever we search for Spirit flights, we never see $9 fares listed for the $9 Club.


So if you're a member of the club, there are currently a million seats on Spirit flights available from only a penny. But that penny can quickly become $72 no matter how hard you try.


For example, a one-way, one person "Penny" fare:
"Penny Plus" sale from Detroit—Las Vegas



Ticket: 1 cent


Carry-on baggage paid at airport: $45


Fuel: $54.22


Taxes & Fees: $18.70


Total: $117.93

05 April 2010

Vince Neil? Airline CEO...Yes It's True!!!

Motley Crue rocker and hometown hero Vince Neil rolled out his new airline fleet this morning, and with its rock and roll-themed furnishings and painted flames fuselage, he’s all set to ensure that there are music flights in the friendly skies from now on. Vince showed off his first three jets: a Hawker 700, a Lear 35 and a Gulfstream.

Vince said “They are all now finished, all tricked out. We will base Vince Neil Aviation at McCarran Airport’s Signature Terminal. The Hawker will hold eight passengers and fly nonstop Las Vegas to New York. The Lear holds seven but will make one fuel stop en route to New York.

All three are perfect for short, fast hops from Las Vegas to Phoenix, Aspen, California cities, Mexico and Canada. In fact, I took the Gulfstream down to South America for our last tour, and we stopped in Aruba for a few days’ vacation on the way home to Vegas.”



Vince provides the pilots and flight attendants for the private charter trips, and although his wife Lia and best girlfriend Marley Taylor of Zowie Bowie fame appear in the brochures, they won’t be onboard as flight attendants!


Vegas DeLuxe will have the full behind-the-scenes photo shoot with Vince and his planes, cars and bikes next week during production of the new promo video and sales brochures for VinceNeilAviation.com, which will be fully operating in the next 10 days.

His new single from the upcoming album Tequilas & Tattoos hits radio stations April 6, but you can get a sample of the song and the video at VinceNeil.net.

Hackers broke into his Web site and stole the early unfinished song and video, so he’ll post the official completed versions next week.