31 December 2008

De-icer fumes sicken airline passengers

This is not the incident aircraft pictured
SEATAC, Wash. – At least 25 passengers and crew on an Alaska Airlines flight were treated Wednesday after de-icer fumes filled the cabin at Sea-Tac Airport.
The accident left many passengers with irritated eyes and vomiting, but none of them wanted to get off the plane after waiting days to catch a flight to their holiday destination.At about 8:30 a.m., the fumes filled the cabin of Flight 528 bound for Burbank, Calif. The 143 passengers and six crew members started smelling strong fumes as the de-icer was being applied to the plane.

"All of a sudden, all of this billowing smoke was coming out of the vents and then we were kind of locked in there for like a half-an-hour after that. And when they finally let us out of the gate, a lot of us were nauseous,” said passenger Bob Vitti.
Airport officials say the de-icer is a standard product that's used frequently, but that it’s meant only for the outside of an airplane.

"So if somehow fumes may have come in through maybe a air system, filtration system, or another way, those fumes could've been something that was a slightly toxic or irritating to folks' eyes and throats,” said Sea-Tac Airport spokesman Perry Cooper.

The plane returned to the gate, where airport medics briefly evaluated 18 passengers, giving some eye washes. All the passengers had numbers written on their hands as they were being checked by paramedics.

Following Alaska Airlines policy, the six crew members and one non-working Alaska flight attendant were taken to nearby Highline Medical Center where they were checked out and released about an hour later.

“I think the pilot got the worst of it,” said passenger Arianna Morgan.
Many passengers, like Morgan, had been waiting for days for a flight out of Sea-Tac, delayed by unusually bad winter weather.

“They said that if they thought that I was getting sick, they wouldn’t let me on the plane. So, I went to the bathroom and I got sick in the bathroom so they wouldn’t see that,” said Morgan. “I didn’t want to go to the hospital because I knew I wouldn’t get home for Christmas.”
Despite the scare, every passenger decided to re-board a replacement flight and landed safely in California.

The FAA and Alaska Airlines are investigating what caused the fumes to get into the plane.

20 December 2008

Things flight attendants should know...

1. If the passenger says he'll never fly your airline again you'll see him on your next flight.

2. You'll always arrive to New York one day after the Madonna concert.

3. At least once a month a friend will ask you to put him in your trolley.

4. When passengers stand after landing before the seat belt sign is off you'll always wish the pilot we'll hit the breaks.

5. When the pick up time is getting closer you will always want to stay another day, when the pick up time is far you will always want to make it closer.

6. Someone will always offer you a flight in exchange for a flight you really want. When you have a flight you don't want you'll never find a swap.

7. The plane will have a mechanical problem on a round trip only when you forgot to put clothes in your trolley.

8. At least once a week you'll hear a passenger or a friend telling you he always wanted to be a flight attendant.

9. Gay flight attendants on your crew will always have a friend at the destination you are flying to.

10. (#9) If they don't have one they'll have one after this layover :-)

Most Annoying Airline Passengers Ever

Dec 19th 2008By Carol Hartsell

There's nothing like the holiday season for spreading joy and promoting goodwill. And there's nothing like holiday travel for putting a bullet in the head of that ill-conceived universal goodwill. And now it's worse than ever. Higher ticket prices, extra charges for bags, more expensive in-flight cocktails (have you no decency, Delta?), all just add more insult to injury. In fact, the only travelers seeing their luck improve are overweight Canadians, who now have the legal right to purchase two seats for the price of one. But the misery that is airline travel isn't solely the fault of the airlines themselves. Our fellow passengers do their part, too (remember "Planes, Trains, and Automobiles"?). To wit, we've compiled a list of the worst offenders in the aggravating airline passenger yearbook. Check it out, and see who you recognize. And, of course, let us know who we forgot.

I have a 34" inseam, and most of my leg length is from my hips to my knees. I try to get a seat at the front of the coach section or one at an emergency exit to prevent my knees from hitting the seat in front of me. Hoowever, such seating is unavailable. Unfortunately, I frequently sit behind someone who insists on reclining, and then complains about my knees in their back. Sowhen possible, I have to use my frequent flier miles to upgrade to business class.

The last flight we took I had a similar issue... The guy in front of me was particularly large, and kept throwing his back against the chair which inevitably made the tray in front of me unlatch and slap me in the knees. Every time. Good flight.Erinhttp://www.thenakedhippie.com/Organic T-shirts

We forgot several major annoyances.1) The idiot with the headphones who plays his music so loud that he might as well have a boom box.2) The obese person who thinks it is his right to take his seat and half of yours as well.3) The moron who walks on the plane with a bag of McDonalds burgers and fries and smells up the entire plane while feeding his face.4) The moron who has so much junk that he stows his crap in the space above your seat so you have no place to put your coat or carry on.

I agree with you on this - the airlines should adjust coach seats so that they don't recline. There's no reason for someone to get on the plane, sit down and immediately recline the seat...so inconsiderate of others.

I am confused about something. If people aren't suppose to recline their seats, then why do the seats recline? I recline my seat and if the guy behind me doesn't like it, then maybe he shouldn't be flying coach.

The problem with the reclining seats is the person in front of me puts their seat back, then I have to put mine back to get more room, probably forcing the person behind me to put theirs back. Its like dominos.

Get over the reclining seat back. It was made to recline by the manufacturer so as to be more comfortable in flight. You better hope your legs are not pushed into my seatback. Recline your seat back and you will be more comfortable. Your space is from the back edge of the seat in front of you to the back edge of your seat.

I am a retired Flight Attendant with AA, and I can give you even more annoying things that passengers did and still do I sure! The one thing that bugged me the most are people who seat in the Bulk head seats and put their dirty shoes, bare feet or even put their feet on the carpeted walls. Do you put your feet on your walls at home or work? This is/was my work space and you need to respect that! Also those of you who do this, let me tell you that on one of my legs ORD to LAX I had a guy put his bare feet the whole trip on the wall, he had sores on his feet, then my return flight back to ORD a young woman put her bare feet on the same wall, I finally told her during the flight about the guy with sores on his feet that did that, (and we dont clean that wall in between flights) she put them down right away and said that she never thought about that, by the end of our flight she told me that each foot was getting ichy . Daaaaaaaaaaaa.

Airline seats recline for a reason, for us to use. If it bothers you fly first class

I agree with you Lin. I just recently traveled to Hawaii and I was lucky going there since I had a seat in the front of the plane and was able to strech my legs and rest. On the way back; however, is a different story. I got a seat in the middle of the plane and it was a horrible trip coming home (I took a red eye flight too!). I thought I could sleep on the way home since I had to be at work the next morning. NOT! A very large man sat in the seat in front of me and insisted in reclining the seat as far back as it could go. I had to keep pushing the seat with my knees to let him know, he's hurting my legs. I didn't even have enough leg room to strech and had to put my laptop on my lap while we were in the air just so I could put my feet on the ground. The people next to me were anoying since they decided to bring chips and snacks on board and kept eating the chips with their mouth's open. I don't like to hear people eat and they did the entire 6 hours of the flight. Needless to say, I stopped by my office on the way home to get ready for work and let my boss know that I had no sleep, he told me to stay home, but, I went to work anyway just so that I could sleep that night because I wouldn't have if I slept all day.

9. Everyone in First Class. They won't even deign to look at you when you board.That's the truth! I wonder why.


Because people in first class understand how horrible it is to fly coach and are thankful that the are in first class, either because they or their company paid for it or they got an upgrade by using miles or airline status.

I think, it has more to do with business traveling.They travel so much that, some how they need to tune every thing out.I know it is not personal.

The reason the people in first class don't even look at you is because they have too much other shit to do. Like respond to emails from their blackberry. Sorry your life is unimportant.

My mom always told me it was impolite to stare. I tend to mind my own business.

I don't understand why people care if the people in 1st class look at you when you board. I frequently fly 1st class with my family because my dad has frequent flyer miles from business travel and I try not to look at people who are boarding because I feel uncomfortable staring at people as they walk down the aisles. So get over hating the people who sit in 1st ,the majority of the people there are business travelers who spend most of their time away from home and their families.

HERE'S A GREAT ONE: THE B-----d who shuves HIS suitcase into your overhead, THEN WALKS DOWN THE ISLE SO HE CAN LEAVE FASTER ....HE ONLY gets his bag as he walks OUT THE DOOR and leaves YOU to have no room to store YOUR BAG. Nice guy!or how about this one, AN IDIOT GIRL who says to the flight attendant, "Would you put that up there for me?".............oh NICE.....like the flight attendant is strong as a man? Its not her job to be able to life a 50lb bag into the air girlies.She has a delicate spine too!......STOP making female flight attendants into men!

19 December 2008

Airline Service: This Time It’s Continental

Hello All, BlkAv8tor2003 Checking In!!!

Well this is a good story for me since I worked for continental Airlines for 10 years and loved every mintue of it. I know bad things happen to many people and not everyone loves the airline industry like I do but hey this is real life! This story was posted on another blog and I figured I could add a couple of notes here and there but not to defend or praise Continental in anyway!

December 19, 2008 / 2:13 pm • By Dr. Melissa Clouthier 

Airline service is a non-sequitor. I sit here listening to my daughter sing in the shower, in the Hilton LAX where I’ve been residing since 1:30 a.m. I should be nearly to Sydney, Australia by now. But no.

Airplane travel sucks. As if you don’t know this. Continental, the current baddie, is usually better than this. Although, I’ve battled a bad attitude ever since they started charged $15 a bag. That was for high gas prices and extra weight. Yeah, gas prices have dropped. No, the fees didn’t go away. But still, at least they would give you a drink and throw you some pretzels. On U.S. Air recently, they wanted to charge me $2 for a cup of water–not even a bottle of water. I opted for dehydration.

Yesterday though, was irritating. We had a 7 p.m. flight to LA. At 11:45 p.m. California time, we were to board a plane to Sydney. Three hours should be plenty of time to layover, right? Um, no. When I boarded the plane to CA, after waiting with no sold information for 2 1/2 hours in Houston, I told the main Stewardess, “It’s going to be close, can you call Qantas and tell them?” I could tell by her reaction that she didn’t care. And she didn’t. When we ran to the Qantas counter at 11:45 p.m., the flight to Sydney was delayed, but they had closed up shop. There was no getting through. It was also the first they’d heard of our late flight.

Wow! 2 1/2 hour delay with nothing to do? Did these passengers even know they were going somewhere on a plane that could be delayed. (not to split hairs) She didn't mention if they had items to pass the time away ie. laptop, book, magazine, Ipod but who knows. Also international departures don't let you run up to the podium late and let you expect to get on, it's not the norm for non-American carriers to wait but at least in this situation the airline was delayed. Flight attendants (not stewardess) cannot call other carriers in other cities to have flights held. Now maybe advise a carrier to be on the lookout for runners but like in this case....don't hold your breath thinking it will happen. (Calling a flight attendant "stewardess" today is like calling her a "sky b*tch") so getting anything other than attitude is the card this passenger chose. 

We were at the airport until 1 a.m. sorting out luggage. The line for Continental was at least 250 people deep. The misery index high. Three planes had missed connections by less than 10 minutes. How is it economical for the airlines to fly half-full? I’d really like to know how that’s a good business model.

Sometimes going half full is better than canceling the flight due to flow control in and out of cities. Airlines have set times to leave and windows of time to fly through and if they don't meet them the can pick up excessive delays that will travel with that airplane all day and maybe into the next day. Passengers don't know this or understand this but all the airlines follow it and it's run by the FAA so if your moaning to the airline your barking up the wrong tree. The airline should be telling the passengers something though and many of them are bad at this. When I was flying we were required to make announcements on the plane or in the boarding area every 15 minutes even if there was no new information in a delay situation. The baggage situation you really can't beat but she could have brought personal walkie-talkies and everyone in her travel party could have done shifts (say every 30 mins) in the baggage line that way everyone is not standing in line getting more tired. 

Continental failed at communication, empathy, efficiency and humanity. They knew we’d miss our connections and didn’t inform us so we could plan ahead. They made it seem like we still could get where we needed to go, so we tried to find a solution when they knew there was none, but it deflected immediate pressure. They alternately told us that the problem was one of the engines and the weather. So, we weren’t sure if we should be worried about the plane’s safety.

Passengers kill me with talking about "the planes safety!" Come on people if you think the flight crew (pilots) is going to take a plane flying that is broke to the point that flying could or would cause a crash do you really think that's going to happen??? Be for real!!! They want to live to see tomorrow too, don't you think? Do you get in your car and drive 100 mph knowing that you have 1 lug nut holding the tire on the hub? Well it's the same for airplanes and pilots....don't get it twisted! 

Here’s how bad the service was on the plane: Another Continental pilot was connecting to a flight he was going to be captaining to Hong Kong. His new plane was 2 minutes from lift-off. (Of course it couldn’t go anywhere without him.) The stewardess didn’t arrange for him to get off the plane first. The workers on the plane were absolutely rude to him and the rest of the frantic passengers. They didn’t care.

Good flight attendant that "are commuters" and are aware consciously of other crew members "deadheading" (traveling on company business to or from a trip) will make it so that crew member gets out fast to make his or her trip. Flight attendants can be moody like anyone else and when some people don't care other people feel the after effects. I don't see a pilot quitting his job he has worked so hard to get and maintain just because he has a bad travel experience with a fellow crew member. He can always speak to an inflight manager about the attitude of a flight attendant and how he was treated but most pilots will eat that one or just freeze the flight attendants out and they will remember that!

You know it’s bad when the flight crew disrespects one of its own. What is wrong with these people? The pilot said, “I don’t know how much longer I can work for this company.”

And I don’t know how long these lame ass companies can stay in business. A year from now, they’ll be barking about wanting another bailout and wondering why no one flies. And if all goes the way it usually does, they’ll be bailed out by the very tax payers they defecate on every day.

This is one of those wierd flying stories where many things could have been done differently and the crew didn't help things with the bad attitudes and not taking care of one of their own! This is not how I did things when I was flying and if a flight attendant disrespected a pilot or other crew member like that there better have a very good reason for treating them that way...especially one of our own!

These stories seem to come up more nowadays with the internet and blog sites everywhere and it's nothing new but more people are reading and learning to be proactive! 

Be Proactive Not Reactive!!!

Have a good flight!!!

Air Travellers To Be RFID Tagged?

Hello all, BlkAv8tor2003 Checking In!!!!

As you can see the interesting stuff with TSA and the airlines is starting to rise to the surface! RFID tags for passengers....we all new it was coming! First your dog then your child and now you! I don't know if I have to like it or not but it seems like it might be ok depending on if the government (Big Brother) puts the correct info in the chip...not your personal info of sorts. You can plan on possibly seeing it in the near future so just be prepared and don't plan on the TSA or airlines really telling you upfront that you have it either if things stay the same as we know our government agencies! Now that being said it may be beneficial if there is a way to help you (the passenger) in a delay situation to help get you on your way if they could find you or contact you while your in the airport. 

Who knows but it could be a good thing but let's just wait and see!!!

Keep The Blue Side Up!!!

Plans to track them around the airport...

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By Gemma Simpson

Published: 13 October 2006 17:30 GMT

A new RFID tag has been designed and its inventors claim it could improve airport security by tracking passengers as they mingle in the departure lounge.

The plan is to issue every passenger with an RFID tag at check-in so human traffic can be monitored around the airport.

Dr Paul Brennan, electrical engineer at University College London, heads up the 'Optag' project. He told silicon.com a prototype RFID tag will be tested in an airport in Hungary next month.

The exact date of an airport rollout of the technology is still unknown but Brennan said if the Hungarian trials are a success and someone takes on the tech, it could arrive in airports within two years.

Brennan said Optag has been designed to improve airport security, with the ability to track the movement of suspicious passengers and bar them from entering restricted areas.

The ability to locate individuals could also aid airports in an evacuation situation, he said, and in finding lost children and passengers who are late to the departure gate.

Optag is unique from its RFID predecessors - standard RFID devices only have a range of a few centimetres but Optag has a range of 10 to 20 metres and can be located within a radius of one metre, Brennan said.

The Optag project is now nearing completion but there are still some sizeable hurdles to real-world implementation, including working out how to get the tags working in an airport and how to ensure people wear them, as well as allaying concerns over civil liberty infringements, said Brennan.

He added the device is "not intended to know who's doing what, although it might be that security needs to pinpoint certain individuals".

The design of the object set to carry the Optag is still not finalised. Brennan said RFID-tagged wristbands could be used but these can be taken off and swapped between individuals.

A possible option is to use cameras to scan the tag-wearer's face, to check it matches the person given the device, but these could only be used in certain areas of an airport, according to Brennan.

Brennan said the installation of the systems required to run Optag would also be very disruptive to existing airports - but with a new airport, or, for example, Heathrow's T5, installation could occur during construction.

The current tag does not store any data but might incorporate biometric data in the future, Brennan added.

Optag is primarily aimed at improving airport security but Brennan said "anywhere where a large number of people are, this has applications".

15 December 2008

Airline Adapter Get One and Enjoy It

Hello All BlkAv8tor2003 Checking In!!!!

As we all travel during this holiday season I came across the bits of convience when flying on the airlines to make your trip a little more pleasent. I saw this on another blog: http://blogs.saojosesl.com.br/fochtblog9836/2008/12/14/airline-adapter-get-one-and-enjoy-it/
and I thought how appropriate! The comment down below are from the original writer.

Now my 2 cents is "Be Proactive, Not Reactive When You Travel!" Remember the airlines are charging you for every little thing that they can during these economic times and why should you have to pay out more to enjoy yourself? So get a movie or two for yourself, family, friends to watch while flying and/or your laptop with programs you have NSWF (Not Safe While Flying) and enjoy it because you know when you watch the movie in one direction depend on the direction you may see it on the way back in the future! So pick your poison...but overall be ready for anything like delays, cancellations and diversions. It's alot easier to have to sit watching something funny while delayed and everyone around you is mad about the situation and your sitting back having a good time! Time does fly when your having fun!!! (No Pun Intended)

Be safe, prepared and relaxed and enjoy your holiday season!!!

Keep The Blue Side Up!!!


December 14, 2008

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12 December 2008

US Airways workers profit from airline's on-time rating


What’s being on-time worth to US Airways workers? So far this year, it's been worth $450. That's because the airline pays a $50 to all 34,000 of its employees each month the carrier ranks among the top three big airlines in the federal Air Travel Consumer Report. And in October, the month covered in the latest report, US Airways placed in the top three for the ninth time this year, according to The Arizona Republic. The paper writes the airline had an "on-time percentage of 87.5 in October, its best since the 2005 America West/US Airways merger. That put it third among the nation's 10 major airlines, behind Northwest at 90% and Southwest at 89.6% ... ."

The Republic adds US Airways workers are eligible for the bonus in other categories, "but all but one of this year's bonuses have been for on-time performance. The airline still lags its peers in baggage handling and customer complaints," though workers also get $50 bonuses if US Airways finishes among the top three big airlines in those categories.
On a down note, however, the Pittsburgh Business Times writes "US Airways ranked worst among the top domestic airlines for consumer complaints in October. US Airways had 1.57 complaints for every 100,000 passenger trips, placing it last among 19 major airlines, the U.S. Department of Transportation says.

The industry average was 0.82 complaints." The Republic says US Airways COO Robert Isom "put a positive spin on the complaint numbers." In a newsletter to employees, Isom says the airline saw "remarkable improvement" in the rate of complaints during October. The Republic adds the airline's complaint level reach its lowest level since January 2007