Friday, June 29, 2007

Airport Alert?!!

I can't believe after everything that happened this week, between my bad hair cut and another car accident (no worries, no one was injured) I have airport alert tomorrow at 1400. Airport alert. I better be getting something good. Last time my roommate sat airport alert, they sent her to Delhi. I'm not saying I want to go to Delhi, I just would like to fly something other than the couch. I swear scheduling just passes them out to everyone at least once a month. I was on minimum fly too - and I already broke my guarantee. Oh well, more dollars for me to spend on my weekend in LA and week in London. That's right, I'm taking two vacations next month.

My airline is accepting applications online ;)

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Google Me!

For those of you who know my full name, Google it. Click images. Yes, that's me, and yes, it's sort of creepy. No, you won't find pictures of yours truly gone wild spring break '06 nor will you find anything remotely compromising. Boring? Perhaps. But what comes up when you Google yourself? My point exactly.

Monday, June 25, 2007

Hell? Four Letters = Four Days

I just finished up the four day trip from hell. Well, I mean, it wasn't that bad. But not that good either. The captain was okay, FO was sort of boring. Aft galley flight attendant was awesome; she was Japanese and this was her dream job. When people are living their dreams, they're a bit more pleasant to work with. Now, the first class flight attendant was an ice queen. I kept wondering if I did something to offend her, or if that was her general disposition; yet to be determined.

Our first day was a Tampa turn, and a Raleigh leg. Our load was okay, slightly cat lady-ish and kept talking about her sweetheart. I thought that was cute. On our way back from Tampa, I had one of the Brothers on my flight! For those of you unfamiliar with Catholicism, brothers are the male equivalent of nuns or sisters. At Rutgers, we had a sect called the Brotherhood of Hope that was a part of our campus ministry and some other school in Florida (University of? FL State? I have no idea). I had Brother Ted sitting in an aisle seat on his way to Rutgers to see all my cool Brother friends. I was honored to serve him.

Day two was to Minneapolis/St. Paul. I was in neither of those cities; we stay in Bloomington across from the Mall of America. Now, I like malls and enjoy shopping but this was too much. Too big to actually enjoy, or to find whatever store you're looking for. I also found the indoor water park creepy and dirty. It didn't smell like pool in the mall, but the thought of water rides inside makes my stomach crawl.

Day three to LAX. I was excited. Our load going out there was awesome. I love people who come to work to do their job the right way. It was an easy crowd since we left out of Houston, and flight time was only 2 hr 57 min. I also had my first celebrity! Only I didn't know who she was, so I'm not 100% sure it counts. Apparently, she's married to one of the members of Bone Thugs and Harmony (Bone Thugs 'N' Harmony? Am I too white for this?) and is in the process of recording and releasing an album due out later this summer. Her name is Felicia, and she gave the two flight attendants who knew who she was back stage passes to her concert Saturday night in Anaheim. This was the first time I saw the first class f/a crack a smile and laugh out loud on the plane. I'm not sure if it was the excitement of someone famous, or the load f/a that was her classmate. Pleasant change, that's for sure!

Our hotel has the new sleep number beds, and I would not recommend it. I think Sheratons/Westins and Marriotts have nicer beds (Marriotts are my favorite thus far). I did, however, think it was creative advertising. I hope the memory foam people hop on this particular band wagon because I would like to try their product, risk free, and get paid to do so.

The return flight was not good. Our load brought her personal baggage with her, and was acting like she'd never done transcon service before. I think if you're going to come to work, then be ready and know what you're responsible for. I've been flying for three months, and I do my homework before hand, so when I show up on the plane I'm ready. I ask questions when I'm not sure and I get the job done the right way. At times, its hard when you are new because I don't want to tell people who've been flying longer than I've been alive what to do; moreover, they should know. Definitely one of my flight attendant pet peeves. That, and when people hand me their random trash when I'm not holding a bag to put it in. Or when they hand me diapers when I do have a trash bag. Do you throw away your baby's diapers in your kitchen at home? Didn't think so.

Yesterday was an interesting day in aviation because there were two bomb scares: both LAX and EWR (of course where I came from and was going to). Sort of scary, simply because you just don't know. Personally, I think to go the aviation route again is just plain unimaginative. But now its just nice to be home, and to be off (hopefully) for the rest of the week. Gonna go down the shore, to Philly for lunch with Hil, see my friends and sleep in my own (not sleep number) bed!

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

I'm Still Standing

There simply must be something amazing about this job for me not to have quit after this horrific four day. I think a lot of how a trip goes, and the mind set for it originates as an inflight crew member, occurs while getting ready. For this particular trip, I was quick called (which is when scheduling gives you two hours to get to the airport). My check-in was at 2:20; I found out about the trip at 12:15, giving me 45 minutes to shower, do my sexy flight attendant hair and makeup, while packing for four days. I prefer to allot myself an hour and a half for this process - needless to say I was less than pleased to be rushed. Luckily I had just finished breakfast and my morning joe (as in coffee, not you... whatever you're thinking, stop that JoeCo). I didn't bother to do my makeup, I knew I'd be in the terminal with an hour to spare. Normally, when I'm getting ready to fly I like to drink a lot of water before I even set foot on the plane. Since I didn't have a chance to, I got a bottle at the airport and paid enough to feed starving children in the third world for a week.

The first day of the trip was to Boston, back, and to Boston again for the downtown layover. In the magical land of holding a line, line holders can drop a turn if it is the first or last part of the trip. So the person who's trip it was dropped the first to Boston and back part, and we got the luck of the Irish. I was supposed to work first class, but as soon as we got on this Irish maiden announced that she was serving in first. Being the junior, reserve, non-line holder attendant, I kept my mouth shut and went with it. Regardless of our working position, we were still going to have to share the jumpseat. For those who are unfamiliar with northeast traffic as well as geothermal processes, Boston turns are not fun. Not only had hot air been rising all day creating turbulence and thunderstorms, the air traffic is comparable to the morning commute in Houston, LA, NYC metro, etc. It's just bad. We lucked out with only a 20 minute delay, waiting in line to take off. The Irish Mob Boss and I chowed down on some honey roasted peanuts and discussed growing up and children these days. The turbulence wasn't anything I hadn't already experienced, but it was hot on the aircraft. Due to the short duration of the flight, we opted to do a juice and water serve as opposed to pulling out the bar cart. This meant I was in the back pouring drinks the whole time. I called the pit to have them turn on the air but I was not feeling well at all. Once we began our initial decent, the pit called to tell us it was going to be bumpy and to be seated. I had left extra trash bags on the other jumpseat, and boy was I glad I did. As we were coming in for final, I could feel it coming. I pulled my hair into a ponytail, grabbed a bag, turned to the Irish senior mama, said "this is so embarrassing" and proceeded to hurl til we touched down. Once we were on the ground, I went to into the bathroom and stayed there until the passengers were off. I was so thankful that we had a two hour ground stop in Boston. I got to step outside of the jetway for a few minutes to catch some fresh air, which was hot and humid, and took an hour nap. I was miserable.

On our return leg, after we finished the service, Irish McBossy announced that if we didn't open the door by 8:30 she was going to be illegal for her trip tomorrow. This began a conversation about FARs (federal aviation regulations) and our contract. She was annoyed by the fact that I was not carrying my contract (um... hello? I do believe that you have your own copy that you can carry with you at all times if it is of such importance). The lead didn't really care, and wouldn't find anything to really care about until day two of our trek across country. We landed at 8:19, and when we got to the gate, we were missing the jet way driver. Red Head called to the lead and asked him to crack the door open so she wouldn't go illegal. He said okay and did nothing (she didn't know that - I was highly amused when I found out later). Once inside the terminal building, we came to learn that our next flight back to Boston was indeed delayed. We were waiting on aircraft coming from Denver, that had an unscheduled fuel stop in Cleveland. That's bad. Once those passengers did disembark, I've never seen a more pissed off looking crowd. Our third leg was NOT a repeat of the first, and rather uneventful. And I got to be in first class.

Layover was uneventful. Went jogging in Boston Common, which is small but beautiful. Ate the most amazing cookie ever - it was a key lime sugar cookie from Au Bon Pain, and is totally my new favorite cookie in the world. Anyway, our van was scheduled to leave at 3:30 and we knew we were delayed 1 hr 50 minutes before we even left the hotel. I hate being at an out station and having to hide from angry passengers who can't comprehend the fact that just because the sun is shining in Boston doesn't mean that there aren't thunderstorms in Houston. At first, we didn't mind the delay because we were scheduled to have sit time before our next flight to Salt Lake City. After this, we thought that we would just board and get going on the next one. Boy were we wrong.

While en route, we found out that our new departure time was 1:35 am. As in the morning. Meaning almost a 5 hour delay. The captain said he would call ops and all these people to see what he could finagle. As it would turn out, he got reassigned to go to Phoenix; we sat in the airport until 1 am at the gate. Thankfully, the Salt Lake crowd was nice and understanding; perhaps they were all Mormon? Whatever, it was nice. So now we're sitting in the terminal, captain-less when the nosy gate agent comes over and wants to verify the information before he makes an announcement. So I go with him to the secret gate agent office, and one of the many scheduling/ops gods and I began to discuss our situation: would we be legal? yes. Do you have a captain for us? no. He had no idea that our captain had been reassigned. Had he not have been, there was an aircraft sitting at the gate next door we could have taken and left at 11. The lead was on the phone with scheduling and ops trying to get us a hotel room for the delay (we only get one if it is scheduled to be at least 5 hours, not weather related). Moreover, the captain who was assigned to us was on the Boston flight that left after ours. AND he refused the trip! I suppose he claimed fatigue; we started to get a little excited. Alas, there was a non-reving captain trying to get on our flight. Not because he lived in Salt Lake, he lived in Vegas and had been released from flight training due to lack of legal rest. He volunteered his services. We spit in his coffee. The passengers appreciated it. We had been up since 9 or 10 am EST. Once everyone was boarded, they called scheduling again just to verify that we weren't going to go illegal. Could you imagine? As a passenger, sitting in the terminal, listening to the crew discuss if they were going to be legal or not, determine they were, board, and then come to find out they were not? Mutiny. Worse than having snakes on a plane.

Begrudgingly, we left Houston at 1:30 and promptly arrived in Salt Lake at 4:15 local time. I was in my hotel room by 4:55, and asleep by 5. That's 7 am EST. Woke up, went to Denny's, walked around the city. It was interesting to see the lack of historical stuff; downtown reminded me a lot of LA in the sense that it was designed with the car in mind and not what I would consider pedestrian friendly. While I was on my way back, I was accosted by two homeless men. Not your normal sitting quiet with a sign or asking politely if you have spare change; it was more like 'hey, do you have money so I can eat? no? I just wanted a burger and fries' to the point where you almost don't want to be nice or helpful because you feel so harassed. I just made my way back to the hotel and sat out by the pool. And got major sunburn on my chest, arms and legs; I was only out for 90 minutes. Went back to my room, took a four hour nap, and headed to Wendys. While I was enjoying my #5 some drugged out homeless man came in and started cursing out everyone in the place, begging someone to go out and fight him. Rather disturbing, I mean it's not exactly how things go down in the Twp's Wendys. I had to wait a few minutes for him to leave, and then I left taking a different route back to the hotel. While I was at the street corner, waiting to cross, this weirdo comes riding his bike down the sidewalk telling me to watch out (nicely, not harshly). Then he strikes up a conversation about how mean the drug dealers are here, and how they rip you off. I just said that drug dealers are mean people, and I am not involved in that. Then the light changed, and the next thing I knew, he was riding his two wheeler into the lobby of the hotel I was staying out - since he was riding he made it in there before me. He was at the front desk, and I made a mad dash into the elevator and felt like I barely made it out of there alive.

By the time I got back to my room, I had two hours to get ready before buns on the van time. So I showered, started to go about my routine when it hit me. I then spent multiple intervals of time fighting N. Lichtenberg epic battles between trying to put make up on and get all my stuff back into my suitcase. It was not pretty. I had two Imodium in my bag, thanks to me mammy. She never leaves home without it and always has a box of it in her purse. I only had the two, and had to get more from the gift shop. And had to take it at the airport. Did I mention that our plane was delayed about an hour? So now I'm sitting in the terminal hopped up on Imodium, wanting to rip off my uniform because my skin is burning. Pure misery. The only good part was the fact that we were working a red eye, and all the little peoples went to sleep. Except for the guy who drank six minis worth of Jack. The thing that amazed me the most was after all that, I was standing at the back of plane before we landed home, looking down the aisle thinking "damn, I have the best job in the world and there's no where else I'd rather be." Then again, it may have been the dehydration, Imodium, or exhaustion speaking...

Saturday, June 16, 2007

In Case You Thought It Was Just Me...

Once again, the following is a post from one of my flight attendant friends. I just need the satisfaction of knowing that I am not alone in the land of fancy drinkers and unruly children. Please read with a light, pleasant southern accent; she's from TN.

It's official. All the wackos have come out of the woodwork and decided to fly on the planes I am working. I have never seen so many strange and needy people that are just plain weird. Here's a conversation I had to listen to yesterday while working the beverage cart at 6 a.m. :

ME: "Would you like anything to drink?"
LADY 1: "I'll have a water."
LADY 2: "She'll give you juice too if you want it. Do you want juice? Why don't you get some juice? She'll let you have juice. Ma'am, you'll give her juice too, right?"
ME: "Yes, ma'am. What type of juice would you like?"
Lady 2: "See? I told you she'd give you juice. Go ahead and take the juice. What kind of juice do you want?"
Lady 1: "Um, what kind of juice do you have?"
Me: "Apple, orange, and tomato."
Lady 2: "Get the orange juice. Or the tomato juice if you want. Apple is good too."
Lady 1: "I'll take the orange."
Me: "Ok, so you'll have water and orange juice?"
Lady 1: "yes."
Me: "And what will you have, ma'am?"
Lady 2: I'll have a coffee and water. Oh, and I'll take a tomato juice too."
Me: "A coffee, water, and tomato juice? And a water & orange juice?"
Lady 1 & 2: "Yes."
Me: "You know, we will be back through the aisles for a second service in a moment."
Lady 2: "Oh, GOOD!"
Me: ***sighhhhh***

On top of that, I had a flight with 47, count them, FORTY FREAKIN SEVEN U.M.'s! For my non-airline friends, that means Unaccompanied Minors. They were 7th graders which means they were unbearably obnoxious...I had them yelling at me from 4 rows back 'DO YOU HAVE ANY PEANUTS? MISS!!! MISS!!! DO YOU HAVE ANY PEANUTS?' After several times, the bitch mother in me came out (or was it the Linda Blair in me) and I turned around, stuck my index finger up and snapped - 'I WILL GET TO YOU IN A MINUTE!'. I swear I went through that plane three times with freaking peanuts. It was bad. I had to tell them the beverage cart was locked up. We all hid in the galleys. And another thing, what part of 'turn off all portable electronics including cellphones, laptops, and three way pagers' do adults not understand???Are these passengers suppose to be my on board entertainment? Man, those soldiers I flew overseas were so much easier. They would take their ambiene and sleep for the 9 hour flight. There is never a dull moment on a a commercial flight.

This particular flight attendant worked for a military charter airline that transported our troops to and from Iraq and the Middle East. Apparently a better behaved crowd.

Friday, June 15, 2007

Red Eye Etiquette

I just came home from my first napover; a napover is a two day trip which you work the first flight out in the morning, take a 6 to 8 hour nap, and work the red eye back. This particular trip was to San Francisco. Flight out was a normal breakfast flight, mostly everyone slept. Landed 30 minutes early, went to In-N-Out Burger for lunch, took two simply sleep, slept til 6 pm, at the airport by 9, 10pm flight home. We were on the 757-300 and for those of you that are not airplane junkies, its a very long, single aisle airplane. Its one aisle is about as wide as me, and I am happy to say I am not that wide. In general, Boeing aircraft do not provide the customers with the ultimate sitting-in-a-metal-tube-for-six-hour experience. Translation: my ass, everyone else's knees, and the bar cart do not fit in the same limited aisle space at the same time. I apologize for hitting you with my cart, I really do. But did you really miss me dragging it your way? Its a 350 lb cart, the damn thing pushes me. I know you saw it coming. Watch your knees and elbows and put your shoes back on (gross!). This is not your living room.

On red eyes, we use our red eye voice. Keep the lights off the whole flight and do not horse play with our neighbors. Someone failed to tell that to the group of high schoolers, which have thus far been the most annoying. Not only did they annoy me, but those around them. I have a larger problem with harassing others who really paid (not mommy and daddy) to be there, as opposed to how they treated the flight attendants. At 3:30 am EST, the bell goes off. The other flight attendant answers it, and the next thing I know he's got 2 cokes and a sprite in his apron with cups of ice in his hands. Then, there were so many other drink requests that we ran out of sprite in the aft galley. At 4:30, the bell goes off again. I walk over to this pimply 16 year old boy and he hands me his empty can of coke with the cup on top and asks me all snotty, "can you throw this away?" Yes, I can. Can you? So I oh-so-graciously take his refuse and the next thing I know the whole pimple pack is handing me what looks like every piece of trash on the plane. I take one look at their dirty hands full of all sorts of things and tell them to hold their horses while I get a trash bag. Honestly - how do you think I'm going to make it to the galley with all of your cans? I'm the anti- 7-up guy: don't show me your can! I come back with a bag and it was like magic - all the trash disappeared and I had three things in the bottom of the bag. Thank God I don't work for Southwest because there was no way I was going to clean up after them. Next time you take the red eye, take some simply sleep too. And keep your knees out of the aisle!

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Don't Call Me/Jew for Jesus

There were many memorable things that happened on these 6 days off and the following are clips of my favorite.

Scene: Allie, my cousin, and I have been drinking for three hours. We meet creepy guy at the bar and give him our numbers. Creepy guy walks away.

Allie: I can't believe you just gave him your real number.

Lysser: Fuck! But I don't think he'll call.

(he so totally called two days later and is so totally creepy... if you flip through the contacts in my phone, he's No.)

Scene: Jose and I are driving through Bayonne, NJ, on a busy, four lane highway at an intersection. There's a threesome of Jewish boys walking on the opposite side of our drag, complete with yarmulkes.

Lysser: Jose, look! There are your people.

Jose: *rolls down window* REPRESENT!

Saturday, June 9, 2007

My Co-workers Are Better Than Yours

Next time you're at work, peer into the cubicle next to you. Is there a Playboy Bunny sitting there?

I flew with a Bunny; she was almost 60, beautiful, and by far the most interesting flight attendant ever. She worked as a bunny in the LA club back in the day (she's been flying for 20 years). She met her Discovery Channel writer husband by writing him a letter when he was one of Cosmo's featured bachelors 15 years ago; at the time, he had received the most letters in Cosmo history. She's been on Oprah twice - for how she met her husband and to discuss his work. He specializes in tribes and is right now living in the Aleutian Islands, AK with the natives for two weeks. They've been to 28 African countries and she has stories like whoa. She had her own medical emergency; on her way to San Fran, her colon burst and they had to divert to Reno. For those of you who are Bee Gees fan, you know that's how one of them recently passed - diverticulitis. In terms of professionals, it occurs most amongst flight attendants due to the air pressure.

Now that the honeymoon period of flying is slowly becoming reality of my work place, I truly enjoy the company of flight attendants and hearing their stories. You never know who you're going to fly with, nor do you ever know who's going to be on your plane.

Wednesday, June 6, 2007

Left Coast Envy? Nah.

I just got off of an awesome four day trip with a great crew. Its fun flying the domestic pairings and getting a new load every day (a load is a fourth flight attendant on the bigger small planes). We had one crazy flight attendant who kept re-doing everything that I did. Like I would set up the cart, and she would adjust everything about it, rearranging things, etc. While we were filling out some paperwork, the first class flight attendant came back to give me something and she says to me, "he's so weird, don't you think?" and I was like "oh no! he's nice!". Then when we got off the plane, she said it was a pleasure flying with me and said nothing to the 'weirdo'. Our next load was more about the Jesus than Jews for Jesus. The third load used to teach hs history, and one of the passengers was a WWII vet who had freed people from concentration camps. She had a field day with him; I was also very honored to have served him. The final load we kept for the rest of the load-worthy planes. Her divorce was finalized while we were in Boston and we celebrated with Ben and Jerry's. I recommend the new Creme Brulee flavor - its fantastic!

As for the layover parts... if you're in the San Diego area, I would stay away from the Holiday Inn Bayside. I have one word for that: roach. Not in my room, but definitely in the hallway. I'm also mad at the USA Today for omitting the score of the Yankees/Boston game (free paper from the hotel... you get what you pay for... the 6-5 win was what we were missing). Pomegranate margarita, always a good time. Munich beer at Rock Bottom in Boston - the Lumpy Dog or something like that was also tasty. I decided I wanted to become a beer connoisseur; I think its a good skill to have once I start holding those Frankfurt and Cologne trips (ha! like I'm even internationally based). Had a hot dog from the Dog House in Quincy Market, which is my all time favorite hot dog. I also decided that I will be picking up trips based on baseball for the rest of the summer. Neither the Padres nor Astros were in town, but the SD trip was four days so I went with that. I wish we had the Philly layover in our pairings - then I'd be getting paid to sit in the box and drink free beer!

So tomorrow I'm heading to Portland, OR and then come back the next day. Very exciting. I was supposed to go to Vancouver, but I was bumped by a line holder. Someday that'll be me. This weekend I'll be out and about in my favorite city over here on the right side.

Saturday, June 2, 2007


Alison and I have been friends for a decade. That means I met her sister when she was 11; she can legally drink now. Being in the city with the two of them was a fantastic way to kick start my days off.

Hilary's graduation ceremony was beautiful. Lucky for me, our alma mater is right in the PHL flight pattern. I got to watch the planes come in for two hours! Mainly all US Air, but there was one FedEx 747 which is always cool to see in the air. There were a few of my classmates in attendance; I no longer feel the need to see the rest of them for our 5 year reunion. Though I must admit, it's pretty cool to say "went to Copenhagen" when people asked me what I've been up to. (Yup... you're still jealous. No worries, I get my buddy passes once fall comes.)

Tomorrow, I embark on a four day domestic trip.
Details upon my arrival :)