29 April 2009

VIDEO: Virgin Blue aircraft has near-miss with remote-controlled toy plane

A remote-controlled toy aircraft got a little too close for comfort with the real thing last Friday, as it flew close to a Virgin Blue aircraft near Perth airport.

The toy airplane, which if ingested would have presumably caused engine damage, had a video camera attached to the nose, meaning the whole remarkable incident was filmed and placed on YouTube, with Top Gun accompaniment.

For reference, look at 36 seconds in for the incident to occur:

I think its a fake but interesting to look at!!! A little humor to lighten your day!!!

24 April 2009

Southwest's rapping flight attendant

A few recent news stories have highlighted David Holmes, the Southwest Airlines flight attendant who makes the pre-flight safety announcement a bit more entertaining by rapping it.

First pet-only airline launches service for “pawsengers”

It’s not every day you hear about a new airline starting up. But here’s definitely a unique idea for one — an airline just for pets. No owners allowed.
Called Pet Airways, the airline, based in Delray Beach, Fla., will use Beech 1900s for service to and from New York, Washington, Chicago, Denver and Los Angeles.

Owners drop off the pets — dubbed “pawsengers” by the airline — at a “Pet Lounge.” They’re given potty breaks before boarding and after landing. And pet attendants take care of them during the flight, according to the airline’s Web site. No more putting them in cargo.

Fares are charged according to the size of the pet and the distance traveled. You can track your pet along the way with the airline’s online “Pet Tracker.” Introductory fares are $149 each way. Service starts in July.

The Planes

For the safety and comfort or our pawsengers, pets fly in turbo-prop airplanes. The plane we have chosen to use is the Beech 1900. (Seen Up Top) The Beech 1900 has been and continues to be flown by many of the major airlines throughout the world and is recognized as safe and reliable. It is a 19 passenger plane that has had the “human” furnishings removed; like the seats and overhead bins. Pets are placed in their private pet carriers which are secured using our proprietary restraint system especially designed and created by Pet Airways.

How Pet Airways Flies Your Pet

Drop your pet off at our Pet Lounge

1. Drop your pet off at our Pet Lounge, located at the airport. You must check in your pet no later than 2 hours before take off. If you choose, you may check in your pet up to 72 hours before the flight. We’ll be happy to board your pet at our PAWS Lodge until the flight.

Potty Break less than 2 hours before flight

2. Potty Breaks are very important to your pet. With the human airlines, your pet could be made to hold themselves for a very very long time. Pet Airways monitors the last time your pet had a potty break, and makes sure that they get regular potty breaks along the way. This means that it may take us longer to get to where we are going, but the care of our pawsengers is our first priority.

Pets Board The Plane

3. Pets board the plane and our Pet Attendants make sure they’re all comfortable and that they, and their pet carrier, are secure.

Pet Attendant looks after the pets during the flight

4. A Pet Attendant monitors and checks the comfort of all pawsengers every 15 minutes during the flight. After landing, pets will be disembarked, given a potty break, and will be available for pickup at the Pet Lounge.

Pick up your pet and enjoy your family vacation

5. Pick up your pet up at the Pet Lounge at your destination, knowing he or she has traveled comfortably and safely in the main cabin of our plane. If you cannot pick up your pet that day, we will be happy to board your pet overnight at the PAWS Lodge.

Our goal is to make flying your pet as affordable as possible. Naturally the fare depends on how big your pet is, (actually the size of the pet carrier), and the distance your pet will travel.
We also want to keep it simple, so our fares will be based upon blocks of distances, with pet air fares as low as $149.

Pet Air Travel Price Comparison - Airlines vs Pet Airways (link below)

The airline website says: "When your pet checks in as a pawsenger on one of our flights, there will be a right-sized pet carrier awaiting him to be tucked inside before take off."
The Pet Airways site gives pet owners tips on safe transporting of animals and prepping their pet for a trip with tips such as ensuring their pet carrier is the right size and offers the right canine amenities.

The site advises that pets need:
Comfy blanket to provide warmth and cushioning on his joints
Travel water bowl
Identification on your dog and in the carrier healthy treats, a favorite toy, spare leash and collar, travel bowls, any necessary medications and spare poop bags
Flights are operated by Suburban Air Freight, Inc which operates a fleet of Beech 1900, Beech 99, and Cessna Caravan aircraft and maintains Pratt & Whitney PT6-A engines, so you know your pooch will be in safe hands.
This airline is ideal for the pet owner willing to go the extra (aeronautical) mile.

21 April 2009

Airline Hijacking In Jamaica By 20 Year Old

Troops in Jamaica captured an armed man Monday who had barged onto a Canadian airliner, firing a bullet that grazed the co-pilot's face and demanding to be flown off the island, robbed passengers and held six crew members hostage, Jamaica Information Minister Daryl Vaz said.
The hostage crisis that began around 10:20 p.m. Sunday and ended near 6:40 a.m., when members of the Jamaica Defence Force Counter Terrorism Operations Group stormed the aircraft's cabin.

A hostage-taker commandeered a CanJet flight at Sangster International Airport in Montego Bay, Jamaica. The crew members were not harmed, Vaz said.

The hijacking suspect, described as a "mentally challenged" man in his 20s, identified as Stephen Fray was in custody. Vaz said he is a "mentally challenged" 20-year-old man from the northwestern resort city of Montego Bay. He did not detail the man's mental condition but said he was apparently upset over a failed relationship. He (Fray) demanded that the Boeing 737 be flown to Cuba. The military captured him around 6:40 a.m. local time.

The FBI helped Jamaican authorities handle the situation at the Jamaican government's request, a U.S. government source told CNN.

The CanJet flight from Halifax, Canada, had made a scheduled landing at Sangster International Airport in the Jamaican resort city of Montego Bay and was scheduled to continue to Santa Clara, Cuba.
(view here if you can't see video)

Six crew members are still being held hostage by a gunman on a plane bound for Canada at Jamaica's Montego Bay airport. The plane's other passengers have been released.

Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper, who was in Jamaica, told reporters that he planned to travel to Montego Bay to meet with Jamaican Prime Minister Bruce Golding. Harper has been following the airplane security breach and may meet with the plane's crew later today.
"The hijacking is that from a mentally challenged youngster and not anything that would be of concern in terms of an international incident," Vaz said.

The suspect gained access to the plane Sunday night through the terminal in "a breach of security" that "will be investigated," Deputy Police Commissioner Owen Ellington told CNN. Fray ran through multiple security checkpoints after brandishing a gun and with security officials in chase Fray ran down the jetway and onto the plane.
The gunman fired a shot in the boarding bridge as he entered, said CanJet Airlines Vice President Kent Woodside. No one was hit.
CanJet Flight 918, a Boeing 737-800 aircraft was carrying 174 passengers and eight crew members. All the passengers were Canadian, he said.

The suspect took an undisclosed number of passengers and crew members hostage before releasing all the passengers and two crew members, said Elizabeth Scotton, a spokeswoman for the company that manages the airport.
Two of the six crew members who remained inside the plane Monday locked themselves in the cockpit, Vaz said.

The suspect's father and Golding, who flew in by helicopter, were among those who negotiated with the gunman before his capture and after eight hours of fruitless negotiations, soldiers stormed the plane and arrested the man without further injury, but authorities were deeply embarrassed about the security breach at Montego Bay's airport, a major Caribbean tourist hub.
The country's minister of national security also was at hand. The released passengers were taken to a hotel, and the airport was shut down for a time, Vaz said.
The airport reopened shortly after the standoff, Woodside said. A CanJet airliner was on its way to Jamaica, he said, to take passengers on to Cuba or back to Canada.
Christian Gosselin, a passenger on the flight, told his father that the gunman demanded cash from the plane's occupants. Vaz confirmed the account.

"The guy wanted to have all their money," said Gosselin's father, Alphonse. "He [my son] told his girlfriend to take all the money and just take her passport and credit card and put it in her back pocket."
Christian Gosselin was part of a 25-person wedding party headed to Cuba. He and his girlfriend were released by the hostage-taker, and they spoke to his father in New Brunswick, Canada, while waiting for another flight.
"I didn't ask them too many questions; I was more concerned for their safety," the father said. "They were a bit shaken up. It was quite an experience."

Another passenger, Brenda Grenier, called her husband and said the man apparently got aboard the plane as airport workers were loading bags.
The Crew Names

The crew has been identified as Captain James Murphy from Halifax, first officer Glenn Johnson, from Montreal, flight attendants Nicole Rogers, Halifax, Heidi Tofflemire, Halifax, Anu Goswami, Toronto, Tony Bettencourt, Toronto, Carolina Santizo Arriola, Toronto, and air-care security officer Garry Knickle of Halifax.
The charter airline is owned by Halifax-based IMP Group Ltd., according to CanJet's Web site.

20 April 2009

Airline Frequent Flyer Fees

"Frequent flyer miles are getting harder to spend and there are new fees that the airlines have added on to cash them in," Hobica said. Hobica said there are fees for almost everything. Just to process your ticket can cost anywhere from $25 to $50 on US Airways. If you request a ticket on short notice, be prepared to pay as much as $150 on some airlines. If you try and change a ticket or re-bank miles, many airlines will charge you as much as $100.
If your miles expire, depending on which airline you use, some will charge you up to $400 to reactivate them."You could end up paying almost as much in extra fees with some airlines as the ticket costs you," a traveler told ABC15."It's just outrageous," Hobica said. "It's just another way for the airlines to make money."Airlines say they are adding fees to offset increased operating costs. Hobica said there are ways to avoid paying these fees. "For many people, a better alternative is to use a cash back card," he said. Hobica recommends using a credit card like the America Express Blue Cash Card.

"They give you 5% cash back on groceries, pharmacy and gas station purchases," he said. "If you have a cash back card, you get cash. There's no restriction on spending it."Hobica also said another way to avoid paying extra is to fly on an airline that doesn't require you to pay fees."That airline is really Southwest Airlines. They don't charge for last minute booking. They don't charge for to rebank your miles." Hobica said. However, Southwest Airlines does charge $50 if your miles expire."That is actually a very reasonable fee. Other airlines charge a lot more for that privilege," he said. Overall, Hobica said it pays to be loyal. "Be loyal to one airline and you'll get better treatment," he said.

Airline frequent flyer fee chart

It used to be that free frequent flyer tickets were really free. But not anymore. Not only are airlines increasing the number of miles required, but they're constantly adding new fees for issuing tickets, changing them, not using them, requesting them on short notice, and flying confirmed same day stand by.

As usual, the airline with the fewest fees in this regard is Southwest. Continental and Northwest are better than most, and, as the chart below shows, Delta among the worst.

In addition to the fees listed here, you can expect to pay taxes, passenger facility charges, and the September 11 security fee, along with other government imposed surcharges. And if you're flying internationally with a child age 2 or under, even if it's sitting in your lap, you may be hit with a charge of 10% of your fare plus even fuel surcharges, and that's even if you're traveling on a "free" ticket (on a business class ticket to Australia, that might make you think twice about flying "free").
Fees listed were accurate at time of posting but can change at any moment, and probably will. Please comment if you believe that you've found a change or inaccuracy (or just to vent) and I'll check it out.
Keep in mind, too, that depending on your frequent flyer membership level, some of these fees may not apply to you, or they may be lower than shown.

(Find your airline and take a look at the fees they are charging at the link below)

01 April 2009

Airline worker flies NY to Boston in baggage hold

Hello All blkAv8tor2003 Checking In!!!

See "what had happened was..." This does happen from time to time with ramp agents! Funny and a little unerving for the baggage handler too...when he or she wakes up! If it's cold outside, a quick nap between bags being loaded is a welcomed sight. However this is the potential outcome if your a heavy sleeper. This is a funny story, it can and does happen and usually nobody gets hurt! (I wonder if he is still considered on the clock???)

Well anyway, Remember to "Be Proactive, Not Reactive" and enjoy your trip!!!


by Copy editor Steve Robb
in News on Tuesday, March 31st, 2009 at 12:44 am

BOSTON (AP) - A JetBlue employee says he took a free flight from New York to Boston - after falling asleep in a plane’s cargo bin.

See how small the cargo bin is!

Not the actual Ramp Agent!!!
The man was discovered by baggage handlers at Logan International Airport after the plane landed there Saturday. He told police he’d been accidentally locked inside the pressurized luggage compartment while taking a nap.

I had to put this pic in because it's just a great shot!

The 21-year-old man says he called JetBlue Airways officials when he realized he was no longer on the ground.

This is not the ramp agent but it gives you an idea of the baggage compartment size

A state police spokesman says the man wasn’t charged with any crime and was returned to New York when it was determined he wasn’t dangerous.

JetBlue Airways Corp. says it’s investigating.