There’s something to be said for an small airline that was once the best in it’s class, bringing sleek new aircraft into a world of loud and slow prop planes. They offered the world at your feet in half the time and double the distance covering from the east coast to the west, north up to Canada and as far south as Mexico City. I for one, remember flights where announcements were spoken in French and English and today, meals served in a first class cabin.
Then in 1999, Delta Airlines saw the potential in this small but profitable airline that really, really could and offered then owner, David Mueller, $2,000,000. I can’t actually blame him and yet I wonder if he knew that the baby that he, his father and friends nurtured into something great would be torn apart a little at a time.
Slashing their fleet and thus the company that once employed around 7000 employees, claims were made that the once popular 50 seat CRJ’s that pioneered the speed and comfort of small passenger aircraft, were just too expensive to operate. With fuel charges and a declining economy, this is not at all disputed. The issues that some of the employees have is that while Delta told the regional pilots and flight attendant that they were costing too much, they agreed to pay their own pilots even more to fly the 117-seat Boeing 717s that Delta is leasing from Southwest Airlines. The question is, Could the 717s have as easily gone to Comair crews to fly instead?
With TSA back in the news and not in a favorable light, I have to admit that I found the latest story of a South Florida woman giving it right back to TSA a bit humorous. I understand that with the post 9/11 life that was personally handed to us without our consent, there has to be some extra measures to keep us safe. What I refuse to believe is that the method of some TSA agents is absolutely necessary and that this woman’s response to her experience was not completely unasked for. Continue reading
Located in the E concourse of the O’hare airport in Chicago, Illinois, is a small shop names Argo Tea Cafe. They claim “healthy tea”, which is very true for those who know teas benefits. I have looked forward to having time to order a beverage although I never knew that food was also offered. Today, I saw meals with quinoa and lentils, frittatas and sandwiches.
With so many choices, it took some time to finally decide on just one beverage. Continue reading
With all of today’s social media sites, it’s apparent that consumers like to reach out to others to find friendship that they may not have time for in there everyday lives. Perhaps it’s a way for long distance friends to keep in touch or stay at home Mom’s to find other Mom’s to share with. How far are you willing to go using social media sites like Facebook?
I have tweeted many times just how ridiculous the internet is in the Salt Lake City airport. One seat, usually by the window in certain areas of certain concourses, such as gate C5 and D8. so, I wrote to the airport to ask what is going on with it and here’s the response that I received:
I remember the days when I actually worked flights to Las Vegas from Cincinnati, OH. At just over 3 hours and possibly closer to 4, it was a bit of a stretch on that Regional Jet with narrow seats and only 1 bathroom for 50 passengers. The only good thing, for the passengers at least, was the fact that everyone was sleeping. Since I was the only flight attendant and the cabin was dark, I was always a little paranoid about falling asleep.
Jump forward to today, when I find myself sitting in the first class cabin of an Airbus A320 aircraft.
I walked through Times Square in awe as the bright lights shined casting a glimmer of hope to everyone walking through. The people just seemed happier and more alive. Offers to take your picture, a friendly smile, the hello from a stranger. There’s Elmo standing on the corner and squeals from a young child knowing that he would soon see Spiderman on stage. Lines waiting for tickets to a show and windows filled with beautiful clothing and shoes painted gold fashioned into a Christmas wreath. Glitter and sequins everywhere.
I have always loved the electricity of Manhattan since the first time I laid eyes on her. It makes me think of the saying in “Pretty Woman”, “What’s your dream?”, because anything feels possible.
Then, it’s time to leave and the dreams are crushed single handedly by the first few employees that I encounter at the La Guardia airport. I have to wonder, “Why?” I know that people, especially around the holidays can be less than easy to deal with. It’s their first time going through security since the attacks and they have no idea how to follow the procedures. I get it. I see the bins filled with water bottles and face lotion, peanut butter and jars of treats that was planned to be someones Christmas gift. This however, is not new for this airport in particular and hopefully other passengers visiting New York City know that it’s no reflection on the residents.
I am ignored by security and left in the penalty box waited my turn to be checked as the metal in my knee sets off the alarms at least a couple times a week. Then, while standing in line for coffee, I have to get the woman’s attention and ask if she would like to take the orders of the five of us waiting. At least I know that it’s not just me. And again I ask, “Why?” At least the gate agent is as sweet as can possibly be at 0600.
For such a lovely city filled with brilliant lights and people, how could an airport so close to the action be so cold and distant?
Delta flights ‘terrific news’
This is what I read when I picked up the Cincinnati Enquirer yesterday. Really? The ironic part is that the ‘news’ comes the same day that Chiquita Brands International reported that they will be leaving Cincinnati for Charlotte, N.C., “in part due to the decline in flights at CVG as Delta has scaled back its hub there”, despite Delta’s claims that they are “focused on their business customers”.
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“As much as people want destinations, they also want convenience, they want frequency: ‘Get me there today. Get me there so I can do business and then get back,’ ” said Steve Stevens, president of the Northern Kentucky Chamber of Commerce.
So, why is it that the airline has insisted on making the business passengers travel through cities like Detroit to get to even the closest places like Buffalo, NY, causing them more time and trouble. The more flights that you add to an already busy airport just leaves more room for error. Do I think that Detroit is a nice airport? Yes, it’s great. If you’re stuck there with a flight cancellation or delay, there is plenty of shopping and restaurants to keep you busy. Does this make it a good idea? That depends. I would rather have a smaller airport that I can get in and out of quickly than one where I might actually get stuck with too many flights at one time.
I told a co-worker that they will probably just add more flights to Detroit and Atlanta, which does not help the problem. One such flight planned is a flight to Oregon from Cincinnati. Through Salt Lake City! How does that help the business traveler save time when they still have to stop? At least there’s wifi on the plane, right?
What flights would you like to see leaving NON-stop from the CVG airport?
“Are you ready to board?”
“Well, perhaps we should let the other passengers actually get off of the plane first. Good idea, yeah?”
I am not kidding even slightly when I say that I have had gate agents asking me if I am ready to board before the arriving passengers have even picked up their pink tagged bags! They expect us to deplane, clean and board before we even have a chance to go to the bathroom. Okay, boo hoo, right!
Starting December 1st, Comair’s new policy will be that boarding will begin at 25 minutes versus 20 minutes. Really, who cares? It’s only 5 minutes. Personally, I wish that they would board my First Class cabin at 25 minutes and then send the rest of the passengers 5-10 minutes after that. If gives me a chance to hang their coats and offer a beverage.
The problem is that when we are running late to begin with or have been going all day and could really use that lousy 5 minutes, the gate agents may use the new policy against us. How much time do you really need to board an aircraft that holds anywhere fro 50 to 78 people? I can have that plane filled in 10 minutes unless I get one of those that cannot figure how to put away the 23 things that they just had to have on an hour flight.
What amount of time do you feel is reasonable to load a regional jet?