Monday, September 29, 2008

When You know Your Airline is Short on Cash $$$

Imagine being on a flight where you have just landed and this is the announcement you hear over the PA (public announcement) system... "Ladies and gentlemen... welcome to Zhengzhou. We have lost power and therefore are unable to taxi to the gate. Due to man power of only 7, we therefore will be requesting your assistance to push the aircraft off the runway". I promise I did not make this up... read below for a laugh (only because we get to read about it and not experience it ourselves).


Passengers Forced to Get Out and Push Broken Airplane Off Runway
Friday, September 26, 2008

A budget Chinese airline took flying pains to a new level Thursday after it
made passengers get out and help push their broken plane to the gate, the
Daily Mail reported.

The CRJ7 plane, with 69 passengers and seven crew members on board, had just
flown from Guilin in the south of China, to Zhengzhou, the capital of Henan
province. The plane landed safely but then died before it could taxi to the
arrivals terminal.

The staff could not push the airplane on its own, so the passengers were
asked to pitch in. Even with the added muscle power, it took the group
nearly two hours to get the plane off the runway.

³Thank God it was only a 20-ton medium-sized airplane,² one of the airport
workers told the Daily Mail. ³If it were a big plane, it would have knocked
us out.²

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Delays... delays... we don't just make up excuses!!

I finally got a trip yesterday. After almost walking out the door to go furniture shopping with my girlfriend... I got the phone call from the 817 area code. Those 3 numbers... equal, WORK.
When I got to the plane... we weren't allowed to board due to maintenance working on an issue. After meeting the rest of my crew (finding out we were all just called out) a friend of mine wanted to switch positions, so I ended up working #5 b/c galley on the Airbus. Now if you fly this a/c you know that it is notoriously known for its mechanical problems. After 'waiting around' 20 minutes or so we got onboard.

After completing our pre-flight checks, maintenance informed us that the issue they were working on was serious! So we stopped what we were doing and relaxed. While talking for about 10 minutes... we were informed that the fix and test they had just completed failed so that the a/c was being taken out of service. (the l/h cockpit window needed replaced)

We gathered out things together... taking our time since we knew from history that nothing happens quickly at MIA we moseyed on over to the other gate.

After everyone boarded the 'new a/c' and after the request to 'arm' our doors occurred... we found out that we were missing the 'flag' that is attached to the pin that alerts one when the door is armed or disarmed. Yes, ladies and gentleman... it is a NO GO ITEM! What that means is that the FAA has certain requirements, equipment that we MUST have in order to fly and that flag just happened to be one of them.

So for our passengers... whom were originally suppose to depart MIA to SJU at 4pm we had to wait over 40 minutes to find another pin. Of course... this helped pass the time waiting for hurricane Ike's bands to pass by.

We made it to SJU and back arriving just after 2am Talk about a LONG turn! I'm still feeling the after effects of the late night!!! Meanwhile... still looking for the Glamour!!

Tuesday, September 09, 2008

On Call... Only this is the 1st Month in Years...

From the past 6 years, ever since 2003 while I have been on call it has been a FULL, BUSY month of flying! Again I'm on call this month and thinking to make life a little easier... I would fly a trip of my choice bringing time into the month. I picked up a SJO trip (so of course I could sleep in my bed one more night w/ my honey and see my cute dogs 1 last time...) which was commutable. I had a great crew in which 4 of us were thinking the same thing, bringing time into the month.

I have had MANY days, hours, minutes of Miami productivity! After working my last SJO trip... we flew SJO-MIA-JFK-MIA which equalled 10 hours in 1 day of flight time.... Talk about a LONG day! I sat around the following 2 days spending time visiting my awesome girlfriends! Never getting the 'dreaded' phone call. Then... just as luck would have it... while having dinner at my friends house I found out that for the 1st time EVER I was released for the following day! Now, had I thought that I might have been released the day before....I just might have been able to catch the last flight home. At least I was able to spend some time w/ great friends eating an amazing dinner! I have to add that my friends are amazing cooking the best meals!!

I had an extra day at home, the 3rd. I ended up having the 3 through the 6th off. I flew back to MIA on the 6th... to be 'around' for my following 5 days on call. Many of my commuter friends will kind of 'wing it'. Meaning they will try to stay at home as long as possible, hoping they don't receive an assignment that signs in before they are able to commute in.

My commute doesn't quite allow for that. See, the earliest I can get into MIA is by noon, IF the flight gets in on time... and then I still have to clear customs. So I came in the night before. Crew schedule was actually quite nice to me... on the 7th I had standby... (which is the exciting opportunity to sit at the airport in our crew lounge for 6 hours (getting paid for 5, which we only used to get paid for 3 hours) sleeping, reading, playing on the computer, listening to music, watching TV, catching up with friends, etc, etc) from 12:30pm to 6:30pm. I used my productivity time wisely... completing all of the above activities! I was back at my friends place by 7pm.

I relaxed all day yesterday... sleeping late, working on the computer, working out, shopping, window shopping and wishing at least perhaps I would get the phone call that I was needed to go somewhere! A few coworkers were called out for work... which brought my 'relative position' (meaning supposedly the lower the number the likely hood that you would be called next) down to 4. When I called for today... I was AGAIN #4. This made me think that perhaps I would get the dreaded (though after sitting so many days... ALMOST welcomed) phone call at 2 or 3am. Nope... it is almost noon and I'm still here!

I'm good to work the next 2 days... then I'm off the 12-29th. So far I ONLY have 15 hours (5 from sitting at the airport). This is the LEAST amount of time I have EVER flown in over 10 years! Totally crazy! I am almost hoping to get called out! *Note I said ALMOST!!!*

Monday, September 01, 2008

GIG- Rio.... Productivity Time and some FUN!

After working the 1 1/2 hour flight from GRU to GIG we had a 6 hour layover. During this time our gang went to the cafeteria for employees and went back to my room for lunch. This airport hotel is notoriously known for being similar to a prison. No windows...only a few hallways...not a real open space feel if you get what I mean!

After lunch we decided to see what was behind the curtains and boy we were surprised! We felt like we were at the beach! Ok, not really, but we aren't one to let an opportunity pass by so we had some fun. Enjoy the video... Perhaps one day you can win a vacation just like Tee did!

GRU & GIG Brasil

This was a fantastic 5 day trip MIA-GRU-GIG-GRU-MIA! In the photo's are none other than the best in Brasil of course for our first time! Denise, Tee, Mike, Jeffrey, Larry, and Steph.... What a trip! We ate, walked all over the city, shopped, ate, walked some more & oh ya...slept a little!

The funny little things...

I was on my 2nd of 3 flights and a man in his mid 20's rang his call light during boarding.  When I got up to his seat... he very nicely asked if I had any earrings.  Which caused his girlfriend sitting next to him... to starting laughing.  I of course had to 'play along'!  I told him that I did, but I couldn't let him borrow them.  

It was fun to see him get flustered and remember the name 'Ear buds'.  He was wanting the earbuds to listen to the audio and music.  It is the funny little things that make travel enjoyable!  All three of us shared a big smile today!