January 18, 2013 |
NEW YORK -- United Airlines passengers may have been puzzled last week to watch a pre-flight video touting the company's new fleet of Boeing 787 Dreamliners even as doubts emerged about their safety. "This is the future of aviation," Jeff Smisek, United's chairman, president and chief executive, declares in the video, with a shiny new Dreamliner as his backdrop. "We're very proud to have a new aircraft joining the fleet," a flight attendant says in the video. Now that the Federal Aviation Administration and other airline regulators have grounded the aircraft because of concerns with the Dreamliners' lithium-ion batteries, United has stopped showing the video -- at least for now. "I confirm that we are not showing the videos onboard at the moment," United spokeswoman Mary Ryan said in an e-mail.
January 6, 2013 |
Ever wonder what flight attendants really think of you? What they'd tell you if they had the nerve? Or weren't afraid of being fired? What secrets would they reveal about their jobs? Several of my friends work as flight attendants. One of them recently retired after 20 years flying for a storied name in commercial aviation. Others work for less glamorous domestic U.S. airlines. I asked them what they would say to their passengers if they could or what bits of wisdom they would reveal if granted anonymity.
December 29, 2012
Re “ Jack Klugman, 1922-2012 ,” Obituary, Dec. 25 Jack Klugman was on my flight years ago when I was a flight attendant. I told him: “I've never asked for an autograph, but I couldn't go home without asking for my nephew, who idolizes you.” He signed the autograph and arranged tickets to a taping of his show for my two nephews and me. Afterward, he came over and shook hands with both boys. Needless to say, he had three fans for the rest of his life. B.J. Peterson Big Bear Lake, Calif.
December 16, 2012 |
Labor strife is common among airline workers, but flight attendants for Hong Kong-based Cathay Pacific voted last week to try unusual tactics to push stalled salary negotiations. The flight attendants, who demanded a 5% pay increase but instead were offered a 2% raise, were considering performing only their basic, safety-first responsibilities. That means they could refrain from serving food and drinks, according to the union's general secretary, Tsang Kwok-fung. Not only that, he said, they may also abstain from smiling at work.
December 14, 2012 |
James Badge Dale has that familiar, handsome face that many a solid actor or high school sweetheart might have when you pass him at the coffee shop or traffic light. What you don't know is that you already love Dale -- or "Badge," as he's affectionately referred to. Soldiering on in HBO's "The Pacific," or his scene-stealing turn as Michael Fassbender's adulterous boss in "Shame," or the gaunt and haunting turn in Denzel Washington's "Flight," Badge is a chameleon who by this time next year will likely be a household name.
December 9, 2012 |
Question: My husband and I fly regularly on American Airlines to visit ailing parents in Austin, Texas. Most of our flights have been positive experiences, but a recent one was not. In short, the man in Seat 29D had horrendous body odor. Unfortunately, we were in 29E and 29F. For the next three hours, my husband diverted the air vent back to the cause. After the flight landed, the flight attendant looked me in the eye (everyone else was gone) and asked how we had endured the terrible odor.
October 21, 2012 |
The chicken or the fish. Only a few years ago that was the only choice of reheated meals available when you flew first-class. But now airlines are tapping celebrity chefs such as Suzanne Goin at Singapore Airlines, Michelle Bernstein at Delta Airlines and Sam Choy at American Airlines to cook up the kind of meals you don't expect at 30,000 feet. And last week American announced that it was going a step further by letting first- and business-class passengers review and reserve their in-flight meal via the airline's website.
October 19, 2012 |
American Airlines says it will post job openings for 1,500 flight attendants next month, to replace the 2,205 attendants who accepted a $40,000 buyout. It will start hiring in December and put the new staff in training beginning in January. It's the first time the company has hired flight attendants in 11 years . . . . Disney will use Twitter, blogs, websites and other social media to let park visitors know what's happening in a new program featuring weekly surprise themes and events.
September 24, 2012 |
In a case of how not to do your job, a flight attendant forgot she had a loaded gun in her handbag when she passed through security at Philadelphia International Airport, and a police officer then accidentally fired the weapon while trying to unload it. Nobody was injured in Sunday's incident, at least not physically, but chances are some reputations were a bit bruised. Neither the flight attendant nor the officer has been identified. The Philadelphia Inquirer said the flight attendant, who works for Republic Airlines, has a permit to carry the weapon and that she was cited only for taking the .38-caliber revolver through security.
July 23, 2012 |
Flight attendants will soon be allowed to join pilots in using faster security checkpoints at airports across the country, the Transportation Security Administration announced Monday. Since last year, pilots of commercial airlines have been allowed to bypass the extensive security checkpoints used by passengers to instead use faster screening points under a program known as the Known Crewmember initiative. In an effort to speed screening for low-risk travelers, the TSA said Monday that it will expand the program to include flight attendants at 31 airports across the country by the end of the year.