January 13, 2013 |
Flight attendants, required to work long hours with little rest and to battle unruly passengers with oversize carry-on bags, must now deal with another midair hazard: exploding coffee filters. The Federal Aviation Administration has issued a safety alert to all airlines warning that packages of coffee grounds enclosed in filters have burst while coffee was being brewed in commercial planes. The FAA has recorded about a dozen coffee explosions in the last 10 years, causing first- and second-degree burns to flight attendants and passengers.
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 23, 2012 |
If you get frustrated when flight attendants make you shut down your electronic tablet or digital reading device during takeoff and landing, George Takei has got your back. The actor who portrayed Sulu in the original "Star Trek" television series and in films is so fed up with having to turn off his gadgets on airplanes that he launched a petition earlier this month on the website Change.org, calling on federal officials to reconsider the policy. “I suspect I'm not alone in feeling put off,” Takei said in his petition letter.
December 18, 2012 |
Over the last four years, airlines have been charging for extras that were previously included in the price of a plane ticket, such as checked bags, food, drinks and pillows. The trend may be reversing, with airlines starting to bundle those extras back together again. American Airlines announced last week that passengers who search for flights at AA.com will get several choices, ranging from a basic fare to a package that includes a ticket plus a free checked bag, early boarding, an onboard drink and the option to change flights without paying a penalty.
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 2, 2012 |
In the Nov. 25 On the Spot ("High Alert When Children Fly Solo"), a parent of a 9-year-old who flew alone from LAX to Boise, Idaho, pondered what the airline fee was for because no services were rendered. Readers responded with several takes on the issue, including whether any child should fly alone. Here are some of their thoughts. Rebecca Keenan of San Diego notes that at one time in her life she flew more than 100,000 miles a year. "I would fly on red-eyes, the last flight of the day and flights in between," she said.
November 19, 2012 |
A Southwest Airlines flight from Kansas City to Dallas on Saturday lost cabin pressure, forcing passengers and crew to wear oxygen masks for about 20 minutes until the plane had descended to a safe altitude. No injuries were reported on Flight 3201, which landed safely at Love Field in Dallas, spokeswoman Whitney Eichinger told the Associated Press. The flight, carrying 124 passengers and a crew of five, lost pressure at 35,000 feet. The masks deployed and about 20 minutes later, the craft descended below 10,000 feet.
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 19, 2012 |
Amid labor strife, ongoing bankruptcy proceedings and layoffs, American Airlines has canceled hundreds of flights through October. The airline, whose parent company AMR filed for bankruptcy last year, said Wednesday it is reducing its flight schedule for the rest of September and October by 1% to 2%. Between Monday and Wednesday, the Fort Worth-based airline had already canceled 271 flights, according to the website Flightaware.com. Travel experts suggest American Airline passengers check the status of their flight with the airline and sign up for online flight updates . The airline is forced to nix hundreds of flights because of an increasing number of calls for maintenance work filed by flight crews and a surge in pilots calling in sick, according to an airline spokeswoman.
September 16, 2012 |
Question: On a recent flight from Los Angeles to Shanghai, an older woman passenger collapsed on my lap and then on my feet. The flight crew had to bring an oxygen tank to her. It was terrifying, and I didn't know what to do. If this ever happens again, what should I do? Kevin Orbach Nantong, China Answer: The quick answer is to summon help, stay calm and do what you can, which sounds simple but isn't. What you are required to do, what you can do and what you should do are different questions, so we'll start with the easiest one first.