Archive for XNA

I Buy Gold

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , on 23 November, 2009 by Thomas

Now that most major carriers charge to check a bag, passengers are carrying on a lot more than they have in the past, and on mainline this is causing all sorts of problems, from delaying boarding to running out of overhead space for all the flying passengers.  One problem that we at the regional level have is people who try to bring bags on that don’t fit who then soil themselves when we tell them they can’t carry it on.

Since we fly RJs our overhead space is smaller, and bags that will fit on a B737 will not fit on our planes.  Gate agents make an announcement detailing as much, but people don’t listen, and when I tell someone his rollaboard cannot come on he comes up with all sorts of excuses, the most common being, “It fit on my last plane,” not realizing that this is a different plane flown by a different airline with different policies.  Leave it in the jetbridge, Tex.

A lot of people play the I’m-kind-of-a-big-deal card and tell me they have important papers, a computer, and expensive who-gives-a-craps in their bags like theirs are more important, but in my and the company’s eyes, all bags are of the same importance regardless of the contents.  If you’re worried about your stuff, take it out; I don’t care if you have to repack.  I said leave it, Tex.

One of the last two guys to give me trouble about his bag was going to XNA.  I stopped him before he stepped on the plane and asked him to leave his rollaboard in the jetbridge.  He said he would have to repack it, and it would take so long, and he was a gold buyer carrying $100,000 in cash.  He then asked me what I would do if I were carrying that much money, and I told him I wouldn’t be because I’m not stupid.  Already having a bad day and not wanting to get into it with a pompous blowhard, I let him try his bag in the overhead; unfortunately it fit.  My flying partner gave me a hard time because I let him walk over me and get his way when I should have just stood up to him and told him how it was going to be.  She was bang on the money, and I vowed that the next time I faced this predicament I would not bend.

Well that day has come and gone.  I was in PHL, and the guy comes on with his big ol’ bag.  I tell him it won’t fit, to leave it in the jetbridge, and he says he’ll have to repack.  I say OK that’s fine, and he keeps walking down the aisle.  I grab the handle and tell him again that it can’t come on, and he tries to tell me that he’s going to repack on the plane, probably sticking his old, wrinkly hind parts in the aisle completely stopping the boarding process.  No, sir, you aren’t going to repack on here.  What you’re going to do is take it off the plane and repack outside so we can board and leave on time. I’m not trying to be a jerk to the guy; I’m honestly trying to keep the boarding process moving so we can leave on time.  We were running a little behind, and if someone is standing in the aisle trying to repack his bag, then we’re not going anywhere.  If we had departed late, then I would have gotten a call from a manager asking why, and I would have had to tell them because a guy was holding up boarding trying to repack a bag.  I would have then had to explain why he was repacking and then why I let him on with it.  It rolls downhill, y’all.

He gets back on sans bag, and I apologize for making him feel like I’ve purposely caused him undue stress.  Apparently, though, he didn’t “want to hear it.”  Too bad, Scooter; you heard every word I just said, so get over yourself.  You may be a big deal at your local Elks Lodge, but not on my plane.

p.s. Dear Reader, please know that I’m really not a jerk.  I try my hardest to make my flights a pleasant experience for the passengers…just don’t cop an attitude with me.

New Service

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on 10 November, 2009 by Thomas

Hip, hip, hooray!  We’re picking up new service to two new destinations early next year.  Yesterday the Check Flight Attendant group (of which I am a part because I’m a big deal) received an email that on 11 January we’ll start back service to FPO.  My airline has performed this service in the past but discontinued it before I started.  We were told a few weeks ago that “we may have an opportunity to perform  international operations beginning first quarter 2010,” and obviously there was speculation as to where we’d go.  We all figured it was either Canada or the Bahamas.  Personally, I was hoping for Canada because we would overnight there while Bahamas would just be a turn, and we all know I’m here for the stamps in my passport, not to end up in XNA.  Either way, I’m pretty pumped about the once daily service, even if CLT crews get to work the flights.  Anyway, at least we’ll be doing the turn on the 700 (CRJ-700) so if I do get to do it I won’t be stuck all by my lonesome.  Perhaps in the coming months we will start back service to Canada.  A boy can hope, right?

Also, while waiting out a flow control program into CLT I got on my fancy iPhone and saw that we’ll also be starting service to Florida’s Space Coast on 11 February, going to MLB after a 12-year hiatus.  This we’ll be doing three times a day, seven days a week on the 700 as well.  This is an overnight so maybe I can score this one and hit up the Space Center; I’ve always wanted to be an astronaut.  In fact, should NASA contact me today about going to the moon I’d leave my job and be there most Rikki-Tik.

So we’re getting new service, but here’s the rub: just because we serve new destinations doesn’t mean we’re growing.  It doesn’t mean we’re not, though.  A lot of times when one carrier starts service to a new city, they also lose service to an existing destination to another affiliate carrier.  My hope is that, at the very least, a non-wholly owned carrier doesn’t pick up some service that we gave up; we are a small airline after all and I’d rather grow than shrink to some jabroneys with an SA5P boarding priority.  I guess we’ll see what happens in the coming months.