Monday, December 31, 2007

Happy New Year!

Guess who got another MCO turn today?

Wild guess.

I like going to work. What I don't like going to bed at 12:45, getting the call at 1:11, and a 7:15 show time all for a turn worth 5 hours. I had a great crew and the crowd wasn't too bad either. Things are getting better around these parts and I'm looking forward to the new year and all it holds for me!

Friday, December 28, 2007


MCO turn tomorrow.

Oh how illusive that magical land of holding a line seems at moments like this.

Mean People DO Suck

Three days ago, I was assigned airport alert at 5:30 am in what I like to call terminal delay. I got the chance to preboard a flight straight away, and then just as I was beginning to fall asleep nice and cozy in the crew room, the phone rang and I got a three day trip. The nice part of the trip was that I kept running into boyfriend, and its cute in a quarterback/cheerleader kind of way. The horrible part of the trip was the nasty, nasty, mean people on all the flights. Not one please, barely any thank yous, and a lot of outrageously demanding passengers. As a polite person, who uses her words, I have a difficult time dealing with those in the human race who think that the word "please" is just a severe mispronunciation of the word peas. I have developed a list of things the modern traveler should keep in mind:

1) The flight attendant call button is for emergency use only. The fact that you need a coke, or a water, blanket, pillow, your back scratched, etc, is not an emergency. Profusely bleeding from one of your appendages? Now that's an emergency.

2) Five year olds should not travel alone. At five, small children have only been potty trained for two to three years; how do you expect them to keep themselves amused for more than 10 minutes?

3) If you have dietary needs, you need to provide for yourself. For example, if you suffer from chronic dehydration, you should probably bring your own water as opposed to randomly screaming out to the flight attendant the word "WATER!!".

4) If you wouldn't change your child's diaper on your living room couch and then throw it away in the kitchen, then I suggest you use the lavatory instead of your seat and trying to hand me some crappy diaper. No dice.

5) Being nice to the flight attendants will get you places nicely and comfortably. If you're rude, mean and condescending, stop being so surprised when others are rude, mean, and condescending back.

I'm sure that there are a lot of other things to include on this list, but that's all I got thus far.

Saturday, December 22, 2007

Sometimes, Its Just Work

I just finished a five day trip. I liked day two (which technically was day one because it was the first flight I actually worked) because I got eat pancakes. From IHOP. With butter pecan syrup. I'm pretty sure that was the highlight of the trip. Then I spent two nights in RSW and one in TPA. Our hotel in TPA is amazing, especially compared to the one in RSW. It was nice going in and out of Florida because its sunny and warm there. This, however, was not a nice trip because I had packed sweaters as opposed to shorts. Shorts would have been nice. Rather uneventful trip... made a new f/a friend... I mean, how can you not make friends with someone you've just spent five days with? On our last leg, we had a really really new hire and she amused me greatly. New flight attendants usually do. Now I'm off to enjoy my Christmas with the fam. Merry Christmas!

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Oh That Crew Scheduling!

You will never believe this one... They're deadheading me and four other flight attendants to IAH to sit reserve. When I arrive from my deadheading flight, I might have an assignment. I might not. I might get to sit in IAH for days - six of them to be exact. AND, if I sit for six, they'll have to roll my day off and I'll get all of Christmas off, eve and day. Moreover, guess who's in IAH? That's right. For the first time in quite a long while, I'd like to say thank you Crew Scheduling. Today, I don't mind that you own my ass.

Now I have to go pack for six days and all eight climates: bathing suit, sweater, gym clothes, heels... anything is possible when you're a flight attendant for one of the best airlines in the world. This is what the job is all about - a sense of adventure and spontaneity that just doesn't exist in the same way in Corporate America. So give me a call in the next few days, and I'll tell you all about my adventure or just stay tuned til Christmas when I will definitely get back.

God's speed.

Monday, December 17, 2007

The Big iPhone Surprise

The new iPhone is totally way cool. I've had the opportunity to play with one; I've been driving and had my co-pilot (for lack of a better term) give me directions from said Mac product. I think that was after we were watching (I was listening) various videos on YouTube.

And then the infamous commercial came out.

You know which one, its the United pilot - IN HIS SWEATER! oh how I love the sweater! - trying to go from EWR to ORD and he uses his iPhone to tell ATC that the weather had cleared. The following is a story I found online, as told by a first officer. We (as in people in the industry) totally saw this coming.

"We push back, get advised of a ground stop in MEM due to storms in the area. Go to the penalty box and wait. My Captain does the lecture over the PA... not one minute later, we get dinged from the f/a: "Some guy with an iPhone says the weather is good, and wants to know what the real reason is for the delay. Is something wrong with the plane?" I want to tell this clown what he can do with his IdiotPhone - but the Captain does it even better. He gets on the PA and makes the following announcement: "If the passenger with the iPhone would be kind enough to use it to check the weather at our alternate, calculate our fuel burn due to being rerouted around the storms, call the dispatcher to arrange our release, and then make a phone call to the nearest Air Traffic Control center to arrange our timely departure amongst the other aircraft carrying passengers with iPhones, then we will be more than happy to depart. Please ring your call button to advise the Flight Attendant and your fellow passengers when you deem it ready and responsible for this multi-million dollar aircraft and its passengers to safely leave." Needless to say, the passenger was pretty embarrassed. The f/a later told us the rest of the plane was outright laughing at this dude. What a clown."

*a big thanks to JNH, from whom I stole this story*

Saturday, December 15, 2007

Old Ladies in the Bulkhead

Usually, I hate high time turns (turns that are worth 8 flight hours or longer). After having done so many of them, they're beginning to grow on me. I think today was the turning point.

My airline, unlike most others, serves real meals at meal time ('real' and 'meal time' is completely subjective). In the back of bus, there are over 100 people to be served by usually 2, and on rare occasion, 3 flight attendants. Our service isn't always the fastest, especially with me who's fairly new. The only real issue with this is that passengers expect the same timely service as they would get at their neighborhood Applebee's... next time you're in a restaurant, check out the server to customer ratio. I'm pretty sure that it's not 30 tables to one server. I get that people are impatient, but when flight time is four and a half hours... we're holding you hostage and you're paying for it. My point? There's no need to put your trash on the floor and expect me to pick it up.

So there were these two old ladies seated in the bulkhead, which is the first row behind first class. Its a pretty sweet place to sit because you have the extra leg room and you get served first. I gave these two lovely ladies (and that's being AWFULLY generous) their drinks, followed by their cheese pizzas; and what a production that was.

"Ladies, something to drink?"

"Oh! A drink! What do you have that's diet?"

"Diet coke and sprite"

"Oh! Hm... Diet coke. I mean sprite!"

I pass a Sprite Zero; they named it that because it has ZERO calories, hence diet.

"This isn't diet."

"Yes, yes it is."

I start to ask the ladies in the other half of the row if they would care for a beverage when the original "this isn't diet" lady taps me on the arm.

"Are we getting some sort of snack?"

"You're getting dinner."

"Oh! Hear that Miriam, we're getting dinner!"

If they were listening to my announcements, which I know they weren't, their questions would have been answered. I proceed to pass out pizzas to the first two rows, and drinks to the rest of the cabin. Once everyone has been served, I went out with the trash cart. Now, keep in mind that I handed you your meal and out of respect, I expect you to hand it back to me; otherwise, I keep going with my little cart and when you're ready to hand it to me, then you may throw it away. I get to the top of the cabin and my two ladies' trays are put away and they aren't holding any trash. Miriam's pal says to me, "oh, we put our trash on the floor." My response was if you hand it to me, I would love to throw away your trash for you, as it has been since the first day I started flying. This commenced a rather intense conversation between the two about how I was not going to pick up their trash from the floor and they pretty much started to guilt trip me into it. "Oh, you're just going to leave it there?" And being that I'm new and nice, not jaded and cranky, I had nothing to say to her. There is no way IN HELL I was going to pick up this fat lady's trash from the floor. Is that where she puts the trash in her house? Please, invite me over to your house so I can not only ask you for a coffee regular, a water, and a tomato juice, but to PUT MY TRASH ON THE FLOOR SO YOU CAN PICK IT UP. I think not, so I walked away.

The other flight attendant went through the cabin with a trash bag after we finished our second bar cart. They tried to get her to pick up the trash from the floor, and she laid it out on the line! She told them that it makes flight attendants very mad to be asked to pick up trash from the floor because we did not serve it from there. Miriam herself bent down, even though apparently she just had kidney (liver?) surgery, and picked up her own trash and threw it away like a big girl. Congrats, you're 65 years old and you just figured out the basic principles of respect and the proper way to dispose of your garbage. But oh, it gets better.

Upon our final approach into EWR, the pilots forgot to tell us. The cabin was a mess; tray tables were down, seat backs were in their semi comfortable position, and everyone was watching their own movies. I looked out the window to see the gas tanks of exit 12 on the turnpike... the airport is at exit 13A. I quickly made the final announcement, stressing that we would be on the ground momentarily, and guess, just guess, who decided that she had to go to the bathroom. By the time she waddled, and I literally mean waddled, into the first class lav (heaven forbid she should use the lav in her own cabin) the landing gear dropped. So the attendant that told her off was banging on the door, telling her to hurry it up. I don't know if she actually got to go but when we landed she was sitting in the very first row in first class. I think the kickers were the lazy ass first class f/a who yelled at the original f/a for telling her she could go to the bathroom, followed by the kid sitting three rows behind Miriam that was throwing up. Amazingly enough, she addressed the small child situation (and we all know how I feel about bodily fluids), and I backed her up on telling the customer to use the lav because as she so wisely pointed out, old people pee their pants.

Never a dull moment.

I so desperately need these next two days off to regroup.

Thursday, December 13, 2007

It Could Be Worse (Con't)

Right now, as I write this, I am sitting on an empty 757-200 trying to deadhead to MCO in order to work the flight back. This is the wondrous assignment I got from airport alert... special, isn't it? Last I heard, the airport has indeed been closed for the next four hours and heaps of flights have been cancelled. Except this particular one to MCO. And - this is the kicker - our return flight is on time! HA! To all of you normal people that travel, your only expectation in the aviation industry should always be to expect nothing. Especially if you live someplace or are traveling somewhere with weather. Any kind of weather. Or traffic.

In a way, its kind of like dating. If you expect nothing, then you will be pleasantly surprised at all the good things... like when he meets you at the gate, or when your flight goes off without a hitch.

Living the dream, bitches. Living the dream.

(ATC update in an hour!)

It Could Be Worse

As I write, I'm sitting in the crew room for some quality airport alert. Woo. The phone has rung three times since I've been sitting; twice since I came on duty (all for turns... my favorite!). I have had enough time to paint my nails and bid for next month, even though I can't enter it until tomorrow (which makes no sense to me). I'm trying to keep a positive attitude, but I feel my patience growing thin. Its frustrating when you want to work but can't, when you want to go home or out but are chained within an hour radius of the airport. I mean, sure there are a lot of exciting places an hour away from EWR, but with traffic they all might as well be on the west coast. Oh to control one's fate and destiny on line with a real schedule, picking my destinations! Someday...

All I want for Christmas is a move up line.

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Non Rev Like Whoa

As opposed to working flights, these past few weeks I've been non reving (traveling as a non revenue passenger) a bit and I have found some new pet peeves (surprise surprise):

1) Overly loud flight attendants. Imagine being squished between two ginormous people in the middle seat, desperately trying to sleep because you were up at the ass crack of dawn, only to have the flight attendant walking through the cabin every hour screaming "WATER? WATER?".

It was not okay.

2) Our flight time is scheduled to be ______. Excuse me, but what is our flight time? This is important to those of us trying to catch the shuttle home. Or if we would like to know for ourselves how much longer as opposed to having to hassle the flight crew with petty problems like "what do you mean four more hours?". When I'm the boss, I always make sure to announce flight time at least twice and if I have to guesstimate, then I do (no worries, I'm never ridiculously off, I just can't remember if its 38 or 48 minutes... or was it 28 minutes?).

3) The Flight Attendant Rumor Mill. Yesterday, I was hanging out with CP and all day long my phone was blowing up with this text: "new hire f/a (insert his real name here with employee number) wrote up his whole crew! watch out for this one!". Childish, considering I got a bunch of those, followed by one: "I was just at the training center with his classmates and it's not true. Careful not to crucify the innocent." Fun, right? A while ago there was a mass text going around that they fired a super senior mama for taking water and coffee off the plane. Not true. Also not true, a rumor about how supervisors can search your bags at any time. Fun right? Perhaps you can pass me a note between history and study hall...

Friday, December 7, 2007

The List

Yesterday, I was number 5 on the list all day and as soon as I made plans to meet up with Maureen, scheduling called and assigned me some airport abuse. I mean alert. Right now I'm on the top of page two and like everyone else before me, good for three days, which means I'm pretty sure we're having a repeat performance of yesterday. So can someone call to make plans with me, then scheduling can call and I'll have to break them? Because if I don't make plans, then scheduling won't call. Its one of those Murphy's law things.

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

Missing In Action

Whenever I'm scheduled to work, my mom always tells me "call me and let me know where you're going." I'm pretty good about letting her know where they're sending me and what I'm up to. Sometimes I forget. That elicits conversations that are along the lines of:

"Hey I just got back!"

"Got back from where?"

"Oh, I was in San Antonio. We left really Newark really early so I didn't want to call and then I forgot to when we got there. Now I'm going to Boston."

... or...

"Guess where I am?"

"Alyss, I have no idea."

~insert some random city here, you know, like Buffalo, Boston, Boise, Baton Rouge, Baltimore, Beijing, Belfast, Brussels, Bristol, Birmingham~

I know, you dig the alliteration. You're also jealous that I can go all those places on a whim, especially next week when the loads are light.

Sunday, December 2, 2007


The following clip provides evidence for a) why I love USMA and b) what happends when you go to school in Highland Falls, NY.

I found it amusing.
This too is enjoyable, and along the same lines.

And someday, Alison is going to teach me how to just post the video clip from YouTube instead of making you do the work and clicking the link.