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!!!


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!!!"

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.

03 April 2010

Distracted Flight Crew Belly Lands CRJ200

Hello All BlkAv8tor2003 Checking In!!!

As a pilot you get very busy right before landing, usually the last 20 minutes before landing and many things are going on before you even touchdown at your destination. So missing critical parts of the checklist can happen along with different warning sounds, warning light to warn the flight crew that something isn't correct for the flight at that time.

Well here is a prime example of where the crew gets fixated on one problem and doesn't stick to the number 1 rule in flying...."Fly The Plane!" So hopefully other pilots will always remember to always fly the plane because there are two pilots up front in a commercial airline operation and one pilot can fly the plane and the other one can work the problem. CRM (Crew resource management) was developed to help among other things to delegate tasks, fly the plane and be able to discussion some solutions to a particular problem.

Read this article and understand where the pilots failed at doing what they have worked so hard to get the privilege to do. Flying planes as a pilot is the biggest rush you can get that is legal and it only gets more fun the more experienced you become. If you have questions about it, hit me up and I would love to discuss it with you!!!

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


Spanish investigators believe that the crew involved in a gear-up landing at Barcelona forgot to lower the undercarriage after becoming distracted by a problem with the jet's flaps.

As the Air Nostrum aircraft approached runway 25R, following a flight from Valladolid, the flaps failed to deploy to the 8° setting selected.

This failure was traced to actuator icing - a known problem on the type in cold weather - and on both previous sectors, with different crews, the jet had experienced flap problems.

The crew opted to conduct a flapless approach, requiring higher landing speeds, in crosswind conditions; a preceding aircraft had warned of the possibility of windshear.

Radio traffic was heavy and the crew was "focused" on the demanding approach, says Spanish investigation authority CIAIAC. It states that, crucially, there was "no indication" that the 'before landing' checklists were completed.

In the moments before touchdown several alarms in the cockpit sounded as a result of the aircraft's configuration, alerting the crew to minimums, terrain, and sink rate.

CIAIAC adds that these alarms included a 'too low, gear' warning which sounded 15 times. But it states that the crew "probably confused" this alert with the 'too low, flap' warning - even though this had been inhibited.

"It is obvious that, either from excessive concentration or from believing they were not relevant, the crew did not manage to identify the aircraft configuration properly," says the final report into the 24 January 2007 incident.

With its gear still retracted, the jet landed on its lower fuselage at 168kt. This high initial speed, and subsequent ground effect, resulted in the aircraft's skidding for 1,900m before coming to rest just 250m from the runway's far end.

None of the 44 passengers and crew received serious injuries during the incident.

Original story posted at link below