Saturday, April 28, 2007

I take it back!!!

Okay, so in reality I was excited to go to MCO because I'm still new and love it, and I was working with the same girl from yesterday who's a new reserve like me. Very cool and way fun.

However, you are not allowed to fly when you forget a required duty item such as your ID. The only reason why I didn't get a missed trip was I made it passed security with a gate pass and my drivers licence. Technically I wasn't supposed to be in the crew room without my ID, but I went down anyway where I was told that I would be removed from duty for the day. At least it wasn't a missed trip; those are very bad - it's when you just don't show up at all. So I have the rest of the day off, and I'm still good for four.

SMH - I would fall over if scheduling sent me to LA, and if they ever do you will most definitely be the first to know.

Friday, April 27, 2007





well... atleast I might break my guarentee...

Bird Strike In IAH

Yesterday was an interesting day at work. I had just finished a New Orleans turn and was on my way to Seattle. Shortly after take off, one of the engines started making this horrible noise - kinda like what you would imagine a blender would sound like if you dropped a rodent in it. Well, that's exactly what had happened only it was an eagle or vulture or some other large bird that had flown into our right engine around 600 feet . We were completely loaded down with passengers who now all of a sudden were peering over the backs of their seats at me then looking out the window then back to me then back out the window. All the while I just sat there with my pleasant calm look on my face and silently wondered what the hell was going on. One passenger asked me if the engine always made that noise. I just smiled and shrugged and said 'sometimes'. Then she asked me if I was concerned about it and I smiled and said 'no, not really'. We gave the flight deck a few moments before I called up to them to find out what was happening. The captain finally announced to the passengers what was going on. We were full of fuel since we'd just taken off for the 5 hour flight and had to burn a little of it off before we could land so we circled for about half an hour then landed back at IAH with a huge applause and a welcoming committee of fire trucks and a host of other emergency vehicles. Inflight managers met us at the jetway as we opened the aircraft door. They were concerned - wanting to know if we were 'ok', did we need to speak to anyone (for counseling), were we ok to continue flying, etc? I was thinking maybe it had been more serious than we had known but at any rate, all was well. We unloaded passengers and luggage and quickly boarded another plane which, upon startup, had a fuel leak. Not to worry - that was fixed - and after a 3 hr delay, we were on our way to Seattle. Amazingly, all of our passengers were in a good mood and were real troopers. But of course, the liquor drawer was nearly empty by the end of the trip. Alas, just another day at work in the life of a flight attendant.

Unfortunately (or fortunately...), this was not my day as a flight attendant. I stole this from my good friend from training, and thought it was better and more exciting than my MCO turn from hell. DisneyWorld may be the happiest place on earth, but getting there surely is not.

I hate Florida. And peanut butter.

Thursday, April 26, 2007

Meet Me for Lunch?

Had lunch in Boston. It was amazing. Next time you're in Quincy Market, you simply must have the big barker hot dog at the end near the Starbucks. That was by far the best hot dog I've ever had in my life. I stopped by Boston Commons, and there were hotties everywhere playing frisbee. All the business men in suits were young and charming, and everyone was happy because it was a beautiful day. I highly recommend taking a day trip on such a day as this; I think next time I'll go to DC. Care to join? :)

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

All I want is to find my peace of mind.

Today, like so many other flight attendants on reserve, I waited patiently for crew scheduling to call. I was only good for today, on the request to fly list, with a day off tomorrow. Needless to say, scheduling did not fulfill my request to fly (not even a turn!) and I've been sitting on the couch reading, watching TV, surfing the net, and eating all day. Fortunately, my middle-aged roommate from Africa is here so we've been conversing all day. She has great stories, an awesome point of view, and a long list of places to visit. Once I realized that I'd be stuck here again tomorrow, I decided to take a day trip. Therefore, tomorrow I'll be in Quincy Market enjoying fresh clam chowder and wondering around Harvard's campus as opposed to sitting here, collecting dust in Jersey.

PS - If you are interested in reading more about the crazy personal lives of flight attendants, pick up a copy of "Confessions from the Jumpseat" by T. Wendy Williams. I'm in the middle of it now, and not only is the plot line absurd, its true. Far more interesting that my measly day trip to BOS, that's for sure!

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Racial Profiling: Not Just for Jersey Cops

Backround info: Prior to take-off and landing, flight attendants lock the lavatories to discourage passengers from using them while taxing or before reaching cruising altitude. And passengers going to and fro FL are a pain in the ass.

Scene: We've just reached cruising altitude, the captain has turned off the fasten seat belt sign, I'm at the top of the main cabin aisle with the bar cart and the another flight attendant is on the other side. This particular aircraft has a lav just after first class, the door is locked and a man is waiting to go it. In other words, he's standing right behind me.

Passenger, in a huffy tone: Excuse me, why is that man just standing there staring at everyone?

Flight Attendant (not me, the other one) in a normal, unconcerned way: Well, he's probably just waiting to use the bathroom.

Passenger: No.

F/A: Um... I can go talk to him and find out.

Passenger: You better. I think he's up to something, he looks suspicious. What's his name? Find out his name.

Me: Sir, are you headed back to your seat?

HIM: No.

Me: Are you waiting to go in?

HIM: Yeah, I've been waiting like 15 minutes.

Me, to the other F/A: Did you lock the lav before take-off and forget to unlock it?

F/A: Oh yeah...

I knock, no reply, unlock the door, HIM goes in. (He does say thank you). Complete non-issue.

F/A: He was just waiting to use the lavatory. Federal regulations require us to lock them for take-off and landing, and I forgot to unlock it.

Passenger: No. That's not it.

F/A: I assure you, he was just waiting to go to the bathroom.

HIM was darker skinned, I'm not sure if he was Indian dark or African. Nicely dressed in khakis and a yellow button down shirt, well-mannered and polite. Passenger was your classic Italian Jersey older woman, complete with dye job, fake nails, and a crucifix. Also, I'm not quoting exactly here... maybe you had to be there? Just remember stuff that happens in the movies doesn't happen everyday. And if you don't believe W when he tells you that we're winning the war on terror, then vote for someone you believe will kick some terrorist ass!

Thursday, April 19, 2007

Keys Keys Keys If You Please

Once upon a time, a long long time ago, we used to live Monmouth County. I distinctly remember coming home on the bus one day to be greeted by my mother, requesting that I climb though the kitchen window to open the locked door. As it would turn out, she locked her keys in her trunk at the local Pathmark and a friendly fellow shopper gave her and my toddler sister a ride home. I think it was that moment I decided that locking myself out of my dwelling was a good idea.

I've locked myself out of the laundry room in Silvers at Rutgers; I've locked myself out of Barr on multiple occasions. This past holiday season, I locked my mother and I out of the house and had to wait a half hour for my father to come home. But I think today is one for the books.

This morning, when I ran to get a bagel from the local bagel shop, I only grabbed my keys and not my purse because I had dollars in the car. So when I left again to come meet up with my mom, I only grabbed my purse failing to realize that my keys were in the kitchen. I skipped merrily down the driveway, got into my car (door was open, surprisingly enough) and then realized that a) I cannot start my vehicle and b) keys are in the locked house. As always, my first instinct was to call my father. Daddys always take care of their little girls in need. Except this one. He had just started a meeting and couldn't be home for another hour and a half. Not gonna cut it. I asked him if there were any open windows; low and behold, the garage window was open. Now, picture this. First off, my house is up on a huge hill so not only does the window come up as high as an empire waist on me, but there's about 8 inches between said window and a ginormous bush. I went around to the back patio and grabbed our fine plastic outdoor lounge furniture to assist my climb into the winow. If you recall, my car was open; so I used my ice scraper to cut the screen in the window, and wedged the chair between the outer wall of the house and aforementioned bush. Please, keep in mind that there are cars driving past as I'm trying to launch myself into the window, which faces the street. Its not like I'm around on the side of the house, or in the back of the house - but whatever.

This brings me to my father. I love the man to death, but sometimes, he makes me wonder. Attached to this particular window sill is a 'cat perch' which is covered in blankets that every now and then he flips so that I can't even recognize where the comforter came from, it has so much fur on it. Also, the man's building a tree house in the back yard; therefore, all his raw materials such as wood, metal beams, nails, and various other construction materials are scattered about. I know - why couldn't I just leave my keys in the tree house? Atleast that I have access to. Anyway, I'm lying on my stomach with my legs dangling from the window despereately trying to negotiate a way to get my lower half in the garage. I begin to get my legs inside (how, I don't even know) when one side of the cat perch gives way. Apparently it wasn't made for 125 lb flight attendants, rather for 15 lb cats... design flaw if you ask me. Now I have one leg in, half a perch, and I'm staring down at a series of metal rods that if I fall on, I'm screwed because the five people who have passed me in their cars seem not to notice that someone is breaking into my house in the middle of the day. Miraculously, I get one leg down on the ground, swing the other one around horse-back style, tiptoe through tree house supplies, open the door to the house, get my keys, and GO! It was quite an adventure.

On my way home, I'm having a copy of the key made and I'm getting one of those fake rocks to put it in. Slightly less exciting, I'm aware. But I can't go swimming with a cast on, now can I?

Wednesday, April 18, 2007


As the plane is boarding:

Flight Attendant: Welcome aboard!

Cranky Customer: I just want to let you know that this is my world and you just fly in it.

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Talk About Manic Monday...

I'm sure the rest of you would like to know what happened to the girl that passed out on my flight as meantioned below. She went out cold for a few minutes, and came to and was completely coherent again. She said her name was Whitney, and that this has happened to her before; Whitney was 24, a med student, and asked all sorts of questions like how long was she out for. She then came and laid down on the galley floor, went out again and just like that was back. Apparently, sometime during all the in and out of consciousness, she urinated on the spare jumpseat which I unknowingly put my apron on (ew!!). The doctor, who just happened to be seated next to her, said that this type of passing out was not normal, and that she should see her doctor. This went on for about 45 minutes, while I was in the flight deck sucking on the gaseous (as opposed to chemical) oxygen. At the end of the flight, the passengers clapped upon hearing the "welcome to MSY" announcement; the paramedics met the plane and she was the first one off. All I have to say about the whole thing is thank God I have a few days off to regroup!!!

Today, I deadheaded in which was nice. I met with my supervisor and passed all my tests and quizzes and orals. One thing that he stressed in conversation about the job and adjusting is how lonely of a lifestyle this is, and he's right. I spend a lot of time on the road, and don't always have time to go home between trips (someday I'll have a car... someday). In a way I appreciate it because it makes me cherish the few moments that I do get with my friends and fam. Tonight, I had dinner in the city with my best friend and her man of over 3 years and it was so much fun! I love spending time with them - the conversation is always good, and they're artsy so I get a fresh perspective on things I hadn't thought about before. But at the same time, I must admit I was jealous of their nine to five togetherness lifestyle. I just keep the hope that someday, instead of coming back to my crashpad with five other people that I did not choose, I'll get to go to my home with a big, strong, hot man to call my own! Of my own choosing too!

Perhaps I shall find him en route to swim practice, you know, on that MIA turn ;)

Monday, April 16, 2007

O2 Is Where Its At!!!

Today, I learned something very important about myself.

I do not handle well in medical emergencies.

As many of you are aware, the northeast is currently battling what meteorologists call a "nor'easter." This is a particular type of storm that targets the northeast, usually during the winter months, and can bring rain or snow. Regardless of the precipitation, it is categorized by its severe winds. Translation: flying is a bitch! The first half hour of my flight this evening wasn't fun roller coaster bumps, it was full on severe turbulence. Not one person moved. I was beginning to feel a bit queasy, as I am new to the whole 'I fly for a living' gig. Once things started to calm down, I began to move about the cabin and the next thing I know, there's a 24 yr old girl passed out - like passed the fuck out - in the aisle! You know those movie scenes, where they show the dead bodies littered about the streets to indicate some sort of unspoken tragedy? She looked like one of them; she was literally colorless. And that just sent me over the edge. She made her way to the back galley, and was lying on the floor; there was an EMT, a nurse, and doctor aboard the flight (THANK GOD!!). They tended to her while I stayed on the phone with the captain and MedLink, which is a hospital in Phoenix that we connect to for emergencies such as this. While I was on the phone relaying info, I felt it coming. Just that feeling - its coming! So I'm holding the phone, half listening, half staring at the toilet (which isn't nearly as inviting as the pearly white one at home) and the lead flight attendant told me to go up to the flight deck. I held it together, made it to the front where the first class flight attendant had no idea what was going on. I tried to convey as much info as I could, but she called the boys and I went in ASAP. My stomach began to settle, and I definitely got to try the oxygen and let me tell you. Its amazing. For those of you with elderly or sickly family members, if you can get your hands on some O2 you simply must try it. It was fantastic. It got rid of my headache, made my tummy feel better, and forget the previously described image of customers passed out in my galley. I don't know if I would have been able to handle just the turbulence - I might have done just fine, and I have in the past. So now when I meet new flight attendants and go on future trips, I have to forewarn them that I do not handle well in medical emergencies.

Perhaps I'll be a better fire fighter.

And for all you meteorological fans out there (special thanks to Wikipedia):
A nor'easter is a macro-scale storm whose winds come from the northeast, especially in the coastal areas of the Northeastern United States and Atlantic Canada. More specifically, it describes a low pressure area whose center of rotation is just off the coast and whose leading winds in the left forward quadrant rotate onto land from the northeast. The precipitation pattern is similar to other extra tropical storms. They also can cause coastal flooding, coastal erosion and gale force winds. An example of a famous nor'easter is the Blizzard of January 1996.

Saturday, April 14, 2007


My new passion in life is men's Olympic swimming. Beijing 2008 here I come! You can come too, but we're not going for the gymnastics.

IAH Doesn't Always Suck

Today was an amazing day that I hope each and every one of you experience.

I received a standing ovation at the gate for showing up. People on their feet, clapping and cheering me on. It was glorious.

If only they'd clap every day...

Friday, April 13, 2007

Uncle Sam Provides Not

Yesterday, I went up to my Alma mater on the banks of the old Raritan where the Imus fiasco continues to dominate conversation. All my cool collegiate friends were so excited to hear about my new career and what its like to fly all day. I must admit, I love the attention of an audience that wants to hear all about me. My friend AJ wanted to know how much I make, so please follow along with the math:

Alyssa is a brand new flight attendant for a legacy airline; she began flying in March. With her union contract, she is guaranteed to fly 83 hours in a month, at $18 an hour. How much will she make in one month? How much will she make this year? And is she eligible for food stamps?

one month: $1,494
2007: $14,940
food stamps: NO

I repeat, I am not eligible for food stamps. Now that I've just laid out exactly how much I make, I will be accepting donations to the "Feed The Lysser Fund." All jokes aside, in the Garden State, our minimum wage at the moment is approx. $7.50, and even those (literally) poor people make too much to qualify. Minimum wage workers make too much to qualify for food stamps. Then who's getting them? What's the point in having a safety net that's set just low enough so more people than not hit the ground? The most twisted part of this whole thing, is that I was actually looking forward to having them...

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Who You Gonna Call?

As if I haven't said it enough, I love my job.

I got to do three new things this past trip:
1) deal with vomit - its awesome when its a little kid and mom takes care of everything; she only needed a plastic bag. I was fearful that the smell would make me sick, but I held it together.
2) the long Providence layover - 30 hours in the capital city of RI, where everyone is a fan of Family Guy and the bartender at the Irish pub is Italian and quite the McSteamy...
3) my first TWO security breaches!!! - Next time you fly in and out of our nation's capital, please remember that you are NOT permitted to move about the cabin an hour before landing or after take-off. Yes, that means you. There are also air marshalls on flights with higher security risks, like DC or NY airports. You mess with me, you mess with the feds.

We also had a situation with a drunk guy who was sitting in coach and wet himself, which according to him, meant he could use the first class lav. Boy was he wrong! Right before he closed the door, the captain called to say he needed to be let out of his cage to use the litter box. I told him someone was in there, and I'd call him back. 10 minutes later Drunky McDrunk is still in there, captain's dinging me "gotta go gotta go gotta go right now." The other flight attendant, who doesn't take crap from no one, knocked on the door to see if he was okay, and as soon as she knocked, he opened the door with a "Hello?" kind of attitude and proceeded to explain how he should be allowed to use the facilities otherwise he'd wet himself (again) and how dare she interrupt him. In the meanwhile, the captain thought the knocking was on his door so he came out, forcing her to make McDrunky move back into first class where she literally held him til the captain went in and out of the lav. That was the fastest I've ever seen a captain go. Usually once we let him out, he's gone for like 20 minutes; however, we were also on initial descent. The captain went back in the flight deck, and the Drunk is still causing a ruckus all the way back to his seat. So we pulled out the paper work to file a report, found three witnesses, one of which was a cop, and had a complaint officer meet the plane. He got a stern talking to by the complaint officer, and my airline has the option of banning him from future flights. I was slightly disappointed that we didn't need the Port Authority Police.

I normally would end that with a "maybe next time" but in all honesty, I don't enjoy dealing with adults who don't know how to behave at 35,000 ft. I've had better behaved unaccompanied minors than grown ups, which is rather disturbing. Please, remember this when you fly:
1) You are not driving the plane, the captain is. He's in charge and you are not.
2) Order one drink. Either diet coke OR water; not diet coke, water, and tomato juice.
2) The call button is for emergencies only. Ring it if you have lost a limb, not if you are thirsty or in need of a blanket.
3) Those blankets are DISGUSTING. Do not touch it. BYOB - blanket, that is ;)

Friday, April 6, 2007

Yes, this really happened.

Ding! the EMERGENCY call button rings.

Customer: Is stowed a real word?

Mildly annoyed flight attendant: Yes.

Sunday, April 1, 2007

Where in the world is Alyssa San Diego?

I picked up a trip for yesterday because it was a long turn (10 hrs!) but I had no idea where I was going. Therefore, this is your first geographic quiz:

Q: Where is the island of Curacao and who owns it?

A: the arcipelago of Japan/Japan
B: US Virgin Islands/United States
C: off the coast of Venezula/Netherlands
D: Polynesian Islands/France

If you guessed (I know you guessed because you've never even HEARD of Curacao) the answer C then you are correct!

It was my first international flight, and let me tell you. People on their way to or from vacation are very, very needy! "Can I have a coke, a water and a tomato juice?" "I'll have a bloody mary, a water, and a coffee" I literally had one row of three seats that wanted FIVE WATERS. I don't mind the overly thirsty people so much as the impatient people with trash. Please wait for the flight attendant to reach your row, and if they're not holding a trash bag then don't hand them your empty cup. What am I supposed to do with it? I know you're getting up to go to the bathroom in like 3.2 seconds anyway because you had four waters, so take it with you when you go. Thank you.

I like working the long turns with the senior mamas. They're part-crazy, part-easy going and don't take any shit from customers. There was some yelling on the flight back, and I had no idea what to do. Senior mama totally took control and made everyone sit down and shut it. Skills I am lacking for sure, but I think that will come with time and experience.

I love my job. I can't say that enough. I'm planning a trip to SFO and I'm going - free airfare! Right now I'm waiting for the day to pass - I have "airport abuse" at 7pm. That means I 'fly the couch' waiting for them to call me and send me on a trip. Pray for people to be late and miss their commuter flights, otherwise I'll be back here in the crash pad tonight. And I'm still good for another four days! So where in the world am I? Jersey, as always.