Friday, October 24, 2008

Take Flight..

As I was commuting in today... I sat in the very last row in seat 37H next to a nice guy (Greg) from west FLL area. He was originally from upstate NY, then moved to Puerto Rico and was raised there... We had a great discussion about Costa Rica, VZ, and Puerto Rico.

He told me all about the customs and traditions of the Puerto Ricans. Mainly stating that they take their friendships VERY seriously. Extremely loyal to one another... but when you double cross a friend.. that anger is extreme anger. He also told me about many of the different municipalities and how each one will have a week long celebration... so every week throughout the year, there are at least 3 parties to choose from. Also 2 weeks (I think) in December about 100 people or so... will get together and go over to someone's house that isn't w/ the group... knock on the door and waking up the household. Then the owners of the house will prepare and offer food and drinks for the guests until all the amenities are gone...THEN they move on to the next house and repeat the process.

Nice guy... has wife and 8 year old son (who is going to be Obi-Wan Kenobi for Halloween). It was a nice and different way to pass the time.

We hit clear air turbulence. 2 men walking up the aisle returning to their seats literally caught air. I saw them both fly up. I grabbed the man closest to me and shoved him into the open seat across the aisle. He was shaking! The flight attendants at the back of the a/c all took their seats and yelled and held down the passengers that were in the back area. Luckily no one was seriously injured, just Shaken! The captain came over the PA a few minutes later and apologized.. stating there was no indication and nothing on the radar regarding the turbulence.

What a ride! Drinks spilling, people yelling, women AND men screaming, white knuckles... all when we took flight.

Monday, October 20, 2008

Hands Down... The U.S. has the BEST BEDS!!!!!

Well folks.... one thing I have learned from my travels internationally is that if you sleep better on a soft bed, you are just plain outta luck unless u have enough pillows and a creative mind. While flying domestically, I knew that if I was laying over at a Holiday Inn I was not going to get a good night sleep. HARD beds! If you are the type of person that loves a hard bed then go on vacation to most anywhere outside the US and you'll get a good night sleep. I swear, whether you are in Central America, South America, at swanky hotels and not so nice... 75% of the time (at least) you were not going to get a soft bed.

I know myself... if I don't get enough sleep I can become a bit grouchy... so if I just happen to have extra pillows... I make my own pillow top bed. It really works... I sleep like a baby (of course in the fetal position since the bed becomes VERY small)!

Friday, October 10, 2008

Maracaibo VZ Passengers....

I just had to get this down.... In just my 6 months of flying internationally, I would have to say that the destination I have visited the most would be Maracaibo and Caracas Venezuela. These flights used to be the most dreaded... and still are avoidable by most flight crews at all cost.

The reason isn't just the governmental instability, but the flights really are hard to work. The flights from MIA are usually under 3 hours and we do a complete beverage/meal service. The people are a bit demanding and can be a little demeaning, but my entire purpose for writing about this is my flight tonight.

We had 16 people in F and 155 in Y... this meant that w/ 6 flight attendants whom were a great crew things went smoothly. A co-worker of mine helps collect money for UNICEF. This organization collects money and helps poor children all over the world. This particular flight often doesn't have anyone collecting... due to the short flying time and most collections are completed on transatlantic flights. This evening my dear coworker was able to collect over $250.00 US and 25,000 bolivar (this didn't even include the coin)! We were amazed at how generous the VZ people were. Many donated $1, $5, a few $10 and even 3 $20.

So tonight my kudos goes out to the wonderful people of Maracaibo! May we all learn a lesson of giving from them!

Thursday, October 09, 2008

Commuting.... It just became a little crazier!!!

Well, today definitely was a first in my commuting career. In order to 'cover' myself (meaning I don't get harassed) I have to allow myself the opportunity to get to work within 2 flights. Today... I was planning on taking the middle flight of the day... leaving SJO @ 11:55am arriving into MIA @ 4:50pm. My flight didn't signin until 7:05pm. (REMEMBER.... I don't get paid until I'm on the a/c and the door is shut... MOST IMPORTANT) I thought this would be a good option....

If I couldn't make it on this flight.. then I could always take the next flight that would get me in right before signin. When I was about 1 hour from leaving home to go to the airport I decided to check the status of the inbound a/c. I was speechless at first when I saw...CXCL... meaning that my 2nd flight (backup) no longer existed AND my 1st option was delayed to just before signin.

I immediately called crew schedule to inform them that I was trying to commute in and that I would make the flight (if all went well...) but would most likely miss signin due to having to clear customs and the flight running VERY late. As I sat at the a/p waiting and watching the status of the flight... it was becoming later and later. In my mind I kept thinking... if it gets too late.. I won't even go. Why fly to MIA only to miss my 4 day trip? I really wanted to fly the trip due to it being an easy (relative.... when u hear the destinations) 20 hour 4 day.

The flight finally came in and the SJO crew turned it around pretty quick. We left SJO with an arrival around 7:20pm.... allowing me possibly just enough time to clear customs, security and run to the gate.

Well here I am in CCS... writing this... to tell you I made it with only signing in 6 minutes late... (that was after clearing customs)... it is still to be determined how much of a chore it is going to be to get the late signin removed... That adventure will come at a later date! We landed earlier than expected... at 6:55pm. I worked 1 leg into CCS...(remember don't mention...Chavez time... I'll tell you about that in another post) laying over and here is the rest of my schedule...

10th CCS-MIA-MAR (Maracaibo VZ)
11th MAR-MIA-MBJ-MIA-MBJ (Montego Bay)
12th MBJ-MIA (back in time to catch my noon flight home)