Monday, July 8, 2013

Twinkle, Twinkle... Little Star...

Up above the world so high, like a tea toy in the sky.....

It was my first flight of the day, of course our plane was late inbound.  On top of that, Nashville flights are usually full, and that fact alone makes it even more challenging to keep on schedule.  It was now ten minutes past our departure time, of 6:15 pm, and everything was on par for being an uneventful flight.  My pre-departure duties had been completed, which had included reseating a woman who suddenly didn't speak English, who had attempted to give herself a five fingered upgrade from coach to first class.  What she hadn't anticipated was my fluency in French.

Just as boarding seemed to be winding down, a whirlwind of not one but two "service" dogs attached to a maxi dress wearing a floppy summer hat came waltzing into the aircraft.

"Whew, I thought the departure time was at 6:50, I'm glad I was able to make it!!!"  The one and only Ashley Judd blurted out to me. 

"6:15..... 6:50.... Same difference right?" I replied. "Our plane was late inbound, so we are a tad behind schedule." 

She smirked back at me, as she and her "service" animals made their way to her seat.

Unlike most celebrities I have the pleasure of encountering during my career, Ms. Judd was definitely camera ready.   I can say that she is as stunning in person she is in photographs.  Though my awe was replaced by fear and dread almost instantly.  I began to recall the horror stories that have circulated about this woman's less than stellar airplane behavior, as told by my fellow colleagues.  B----y, mean, rude and hateful were some of the many adjectives that have been used to describe the infamous Ashley Judd.  In stark contrast quite the opposite has been said about her mother and sister.

It was now twenty minutes past our scheduled departure time, with every seat filled, it was finally time to head to Nashville.  As our plane lifted off the runway, I mumbled a small prayer to myself for an easy flight.  I wasn't in the mood to fill out paperwork, or write reports today.  Please just let her be nice to me...  PLEASE!

I got lucky.  While not friendly, she wasn't rude. She made direct eye contact during every interaction.  Ashley Judd's eyes can only be compared to gazing at the darkest of storms, filled with an intensity of anger, curiosity and a whirlwind of other emotions all rolled into one.  I got the impression that I was being tolerated only because I was lucky enough to have everything she kept asking me for.  By asking, I mean, waltzing into my galley, looking me right in the eye and telling me exactly what she wanted, then standing there while I fumbled around to find what was needed.  I can imagine the extra minute for me to walk to her seat was just too long of a wait. 

It's obvious Ashley Judd, relishes the attention and adoration that her celebrity status brings.  Before she made her trip back to the LAV, she made sure to touch up her makeup.  Tossing aside her big floppy hat, she slowly pranced through coach, so that everyone knew that they were lucky enough to be on the same flight as she.  She must have heard all the ooohs and aaaahs, as she strutted back, because she had a triumphant grin from ear to ear upon her return.

At last our 56 minute flight had finally came to an end.  I was surprised to hear a "thank you" from Ms. Judd, as she and her "service" dogs strutted off of the plane first. 

My interaction with Ashley Judd, how ever brief, has left an impression.  She is a woman whom one would think has it all.  Yet under the surface I doubt she really has nothing more in her life than her two dogs.  Does she have anything in her life that brings her any real joy, besides her waining stardom?  What will she have once plastic surgery can no longer stop the clock for her face?  It's made me appreciate just how full and rich my life really is.  There are some things in life that no amount of money can buy.

Saturday, June 5, 2010

First class induced cases of claustrophobia...

If you would have told me 10 years ago when I started flying that someday I would be serving first class, for my airline I wouldn't have believed you.  Times have changed, mainline legacy carriers have been shrinking. Routes that were once served by MD80s and 737s are now flown by 50 to 90 seat regional jets.  Our CRJ700s have now been retrofitted with a new first class cabin to compete with other regional airlines.  With one difference, our first class product mirrors our mainline carrier down to real china.

With this new class of service comes with a new type of drama, passengers thinking that they can score an upgrade from us for free.  With our first class trials only a week into it infancy, it seems people will lie, cheat and steal just to get a slightly bigger seat and a free cocktail.  I have read stories from mainline flight attendants about this phenomenon, but I have never witnessed it myself until now.

Last week a guy we will call "Loverboy" tried to flirt his way into first class.  When his "charms" didn't work on either myself or the other flight attendant, he spouted off, "You two just don't want me to be comfortable!!"  This was after we had offered him the exit row instead.

Without missing a breath I responded back to Loverboy, "It's not that at all sir, I just want to make sure you get exactly what you have paid for, and you are welcome to sit in the exit row to stretch out."

The other staple that we have been encountering is passengers who suddenly have a bad case of claustrophobia that can only be cured by being seated as close to the front of the airplane as possible, IE first class.  I was lucky enough to fly with a good friend when this happened and he was quick to point out that with the extra space in row 5 is just as able to cure claustrophobia as a first class seat.  Then the passenger proceeded to give me dirty looks during my first class service. 

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Continental Connection 3407

The following was taken from the Colgan Air website....

MANASSAS, Va., Feb. 13, 2009 -- Continental Connection flight number 3407, operated by Colgan Air, Inc., was involved in an accident at about 10:20 p.m. EST today while the aircraft, a Bombardier Dash 8 Q400, was operating between Newark Liberty International Airport and Buffalo Niagara International Airport.

The accident occurred in the vicinity of Buffalo Niagara International Airport.
Preliminary information indicates that the aircraft carried 44 passengers and a crew of four, although this is subject to confirmation.

At this time, the full resources of Colgan Air’s accident response team are being mobilized and will be devoted to cooperating with all authorities responding to the accident and to contacting family members and providing assistance to them.

Airline personnel and local authorities have already begun working to confirm the number of people on board and their identities.

Relatives and friends of those traveling on flight 3407 who want to give or receive information about those on board may telephone the family assistance number at 1-800-621-3263.
Colgan Air will continue to release additional information as it is confirmed .

And now for my 5 cents worth.....

As a flight attendant, who has flown for 9 years without incident, my heart goes out to the family and friends of the passengers and crew of Continental Connection 3407.

Flight Attendant Donna Prisco
Flight Attendant Matilda Quintero
Captain Marvin Renslow
First Officer Rebecca Shaw
Captain Joseph Zuffoletto (off-duty)

Monday, December 1, 2008

Conversations With Pilots

I didn't realise how many of my coworkers I had introduced my ex to, until I have spent the last two weeks telling them that I am no longer dating the ATC guy. The conversations go a little like this:

"Hey Heather, I haven't seen you in awhile, how have you been? How's that tower guy that you're dating?" Pilot asks.

"Oh, um we are um, well he dumped me two weeks ago. We are no longer together!" I mutter.

"What do you mean, YOU guys are no longer together? I thought that you... You two seemed... BUT WHY?" Asked pilot.

"Nope, not anymore... Something about not wanting to waste my time." I reply.

"HUH?" he asks as he scratched his head. "What kind of reason... I just don't get it. I saw the two of you together, and you guys always seemed so in sync! I mean how long were the two of you together?"

"Eleven months." I answer.

"It took him that long to realise that he was "wasting your time" so he says?" Pilot demanded.

"Yep, pretty much that's about it." I respond flatly.

"So i guess your flights don't get any priority handling anymore do they? And we won't be getting anymore of those cute little messages from him for you will we?" Pilot asks.

"I wouldn't think so, as I chose to not leave on speaking terms and he no longer knows what my schedule is." I answer.

"Then why would I want to fly with you now?" Pilot jokes.

"Gee thanks, maybe my sparkling personality and good looks?" I rebuff.

"I guess I can let the no connections in the tower thing slide this time... Didn't you give up your weekends to spend time with him? Weren't you always in the 'burbs too?" Pilot asks.

"You have a good memory, yea it seemed like a good idea at the time." I answer. "The cruel twist is that he broke it off the first weekend that he actually had a weekend off for real."

"Did he leave you for someone else?" Pilot asked.

"He says no, and I can only take his word on it." I answer. "And even if he did, does it really matter now? I mean what's done is done, and now I am cleaning up the aftermath."

"I just don't understand, the two of you always seemed so happy!" Pilot says.

"It's obvious that one of us wasn't, because it's over now." I say. "I wish that he would have been more honest instead of pretending that everything was fine for so long when it wasn't."

"I hope the he or the tower doesn't expect any more favors from Eagle pilots anymore!" Pilot proclaims. "That was lame, and you are too cute to be sad. You're looking great by the way, love the hair, and you've lost some more... weight haven't you?"

"Yea, been hitting the cardio hard time lately. They say that break-ups are the best weight loss incentive." I say as I wave my hands in the air. "You know, Ohmigod I am single NOW!"

"Have you been keeping busy?" Pilot asks.

"Yea I have been spending time with my friends and meeting new people." I say.

"Good for you, what happened to you was totally lame, and I hope that you find someone better." Pilot says as he gives me a bear hug. "What are you going to do when he decides some day down the road that he made a mistake and wants you back?"

"That's not going to happen, when he makes up his mind about something, that's it. He's stubborn." I say. "And my friendship isn't a concillation prize."

"You're positive he won't come crawling back?" Pilot asks.

"For his sake I hope not, my claws are sharp and full of venom. Well anyways its time for me to go, I have to go see about an airplane to somewhere and 50 people who want to go some place in it!" I say as I wave good bye.

Saturday, April 12, 2008

For those of you who are interested in more Gold Wing Diva shenanigans...

I have two other blogs that I update frequently...

One of which is on myspace:

I also have a blog on livejournal:


Please check those out, and feel free to leave some comments on those blogs as well.  My livejournal and myspace I tend to update rather frequently.  So stop on by and tell me what you think!

Saturday, April 5, 2008

Gold wing diva goes to Paris!

Yea its true. I am finally going to Paris for more than 7 hours. Got myself a hotel in the 14th district from the 7th of April to the 11th of April and the flights actually look good! For those of you who may not know, its been my dream to go to Paris since I was 15. It was one of the driving forces behind me wanting to be a flight attendant in the first place after my mom have me the idea to persue.

The eiffel tower and the Louvre are two of the main things I am focusing on for this trip with a trip up to sacre coeur too. I am going alone for several reasons. I had a bad expearience with overseas travel when I went with some coworkers last September to Dublin. I am fluent in french and I don't want to spend my entire vacation playing translator. I also want to challenge myself not to speak English the entire time I am in Paris.

Selfish? Maybe. But Paris is my dream and I want to fulfil that dream on my own terms. Sent via BlackBerry from T-Mobile

Sunday, January 20, 2008

I can handle my own....

Wednesday evening, I had the pleasure to accompany my cute boyfriend to a party that was being given by one of his coworkers. (Really he just wanted to show me off to everyone so that they could see that he is dating a flight attendant)  For those of you who don't know, Paul is an air traffic controller at O'Hare. (Yea, my boyfriend is THAT cool!)  To make a long story short, he pushes the tin that flies me all over the US. 

Anyway, the get together was for a guy who had just passed all of his tests and was now certified to work at the tower O'hare.  Paul had warned a few people at his work that I have the tendency to be a spitfire when provoked, but I guess noone took his warning seriously.  I had even worn a pair of stilleto boots for the occasion, just in case I needed to stomp anyone a new asshole! 

I went into the evening expecting to be treated like a bimbo by this bunch of type-A personalities, and was not disappointed.  After all, controllers are alot like pilots, and lean more on the side of arrogant, anal retentive, dismissive to anyone who isn't one of them.  Luckily for me, Paul seemed to have absent on the day when that was taught in class...  LOL

So most of the interactions that I had with Paul's coworkers went a little something like this:

I got the standard, "Ohhhhh, you poor thing...  You have to hang out with us.  Did Paulie, drag you kicking and screaming out tonight?"

To that I replied, "No actually he didn't.  I find this whole event rather amusing.  Seeing a bunch of type-a egomaniacs in one room, reminds me of work."

Then there was the standard question,"So what is it that you do?"

I then said, "Oh, I am a flight attendant for Brand-X airlines at O'hare."

That's when I got the "oh you're JUST a flight attendant look" right before they walked off to talk to someone else. 

Paul just stood back and watched with amazement.  He knows me, and he knows that I can handle my own.  I think that's one of the thingsthat he likes about me...  Though he didn't expect that most of his coworkers would have treated me in the manner that they did.  I have gotten used to being treated like I have an IQ of 12, when I mention what I do for a living.  He hasn't gotten used to the way that people still act towards flight attendants.

There were a few who tried to one up me. You can't one up a flight attendant who is able to go anywhere in the world, pretty much anytime she choses.  I don't care how much tin you can push, I have the ability to fly on anyone of them at anytime.  Ever hear of the word, jumpseat and ZED fares?  Ohhhhh wait, controllers haven't been able to jumpseat since 9-11-01 for security reasons, and they have to BUY plane tickets.....  OOOps, my bad!

There were a FEW that actually talked to me like a person, and those were the ones who liked Paul alot as well.  They also knew him well enough to know that he wouldn't waste his time with a stupid bimbo.  That's not his style.  It's fun to be arm candy once in awhile, but I need to be challenged mentally or else I get stir crazy.  Though it was entertaining to watch this group of people be full of themselves and act like it was okay to treat their coworkers girlfriend like an idiot, I was happy to leave and spend some alone time with my man.

When Paul went back to work on Friday he got a few comments about me, in particular from one guy whom I stomped on the most.  I refuse to stand there and be treated like I am mentally retarded, so I didn't.  He didn't have the guts to just come out and call me a bitch to Paul.  He had to be subversive and passive agressive about it, by saying how "nice" I was, and what a "sweet" girl I was.  Read those words in quotes in a very sarcastic manner.  Paul knew exactly what this douche canoe was trying to say, and just played along and didn't give him the time of day.  Paul doesn't like this clown anyway, so me stomping him a new asshole didn't hurt his feelings in the least.  The ones whom actually talked to me, said how nice it was to meet me, and all of that stuff to Paul when they saw him at work.

The moral of this story is, don't judge a book by it's cover, or in my case it's profession.  If you do, watch out, I keep my claws sharp, really sharp, and I am not afraid to use them.