Monday, February 26, 2007

FlyGlobespan recruiting cabin crew in the UK

Low cost carrier FlyGlobespan is actively recruiting cabin crew candidates in the U.K., and particularly in the Stansted area.

"We always try to recruit cabin crew from the area close to their main operating airport," said Flyglobespan's cabin crew manager Joanna Dooley.

"We are looking for around 30 new staff for our Stansted programme to fly a mixture of long- and short-haul flights."

Currently the airline flies to Toronto and Tenerife from Stansted. Later this year they will begin service from Stansted to Cyprus.

In addition to Stansted, FlyGlobespan also has cabin crew bases at Aberdeen, Durham Tees, Edinburgh, Gatwick, Glasgow, and Manchester/Liverpool.

For more information about requirements and how to apply, visit the Careers Page on the FlyGlobespan website.

[Photo Source]

Saturday, February 24, 2007

The age of the glamorous stewardess

If the photo at left catches your eye, you might want to have a look at The Glamour of Flight, a post in blog called Dark Roasted Blend. Blogger Avi Abrams has put together a collection of old photos of cabin crew from the days when everyone everywhere called them 'stewardesses.'

Most of the photos are familiar promotional photos from the likes of PSA and Braniff: mini-skirted and Pucci-clad women posing on or near the aircraft they worked on. A few were new to me. All are a significant part of commercial aviation history -- for better or worse!

Avi says, "There was something in the air in the early years of commercial aviation. Perhaps more excitement, perhaps more glamorous stewardesses... in any case, it's worth savoring once again."

Click here to view The Glamour of Flight.

[Photo Source]

Friday, February 23, 2007

Pakistani Supreme Court backs older cabin crew


Earlier this week, the Pakistani Supreme Court told Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) to recall 73 women cabin crew who had been suspended "on the grounds that they needed to lose weight and improve their English language skills."

According to an article in the Pakistani publication The Daily Times, six women cabin crew had asked the Court to intervene after PIA management forced them to retire because of their “dull and poor appearance, scars on the face, gap in front teeth and the age factor affecting their looks.” The women asked the chief justice to direct the airlines to renounce the “insulting remarks” and recall them to their duties.

Apparently Supreme Court Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry agreed with the women that their dismissal constituted discrimination. He said that their services should not be terminated for the reasons mentioned in the notices. Chief Justice Chaudhry directed PIA Chairman Tariq Kirmani to explain the “derogatory and insulting” treatment of the women staff by the corporation.

This case exemplifies the kind of age discrimination faced by cabin crew in many places, when airline managements seek to actively recruit younger (and thinner) flight attendants while looking for ways to nudge out older crew. But let's not forget that age and appearance are not the only reasons why this happens. There also is an important economic factor for the airlines. Simply put, the younger, less experienced crew can be paid less.

This surely was an underlying factor in the PIA case. The women's suit noted that PIA was hiring women from Japan, Thailand, Kenya, Russia and Greece in their place, and paying them a fraction of the salary the older crew earned before they were forced to retire.

Lesson: One way or another, it's always about money!

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

AFA files new motion against Northwest

Earlier this month, I posted the sad and frustrating news that Northwest Airlines had rejected a new contract proposed by its flight attendants. Now the Association of Flight Attendants (AFA), the union representing Northwest cabin crew, has filed a new motion in court, asking for relief from the concessions the airline's management imposed on them through the bankruptcy process.

AFA contends that the court authorized Northwest management to reject the flight attendants' collective bargaining agreement and extract $195 million in annual concessions based on a business plan that was flawed.

With the total labor concessions in place only five months of last year, Northwest posted a $301 million pre-tax profit for 2006. This profit exceeds what management anticipated even if the total labor concessions had been in place all of last year. Clearly, management overreached and the employees of Northwest deserve to get back more than just the profit sharing. Management should not be rewarded because it used the bankruptcy process to extract more from the employees than was necessary for a successful reorganization.

Since July 31, 2006, Northwest flight attendants have been operating under imposed pay, benefit and work rule changes that result in a 40% reduction in pay and benefits after the U.S. Bankruptcy Court authorized Northwest management to abrogate their collective bargaining agreement. Northwest management obtained an injunction to prevent the flight attendants from striking after dissolving the flight attendant agreement. This injunction is under appeal by AFA-CWA.
"Our flight attendants are standing strong against Northwest's outrageous tactics to eliminate more than 50 years of collective bargaining. If management will not recognize the need to rethink its demands, we have no choice but to seek relief from the courts," said Jay Hong, President of the Northwest Master Executive Council.

A hearing on the new motion is set for March 8, 2007. Click here to view the Motion and related documents.

Saturday, February 17, 2007

Gold Star for Mike Gallagher


Every once in awhile, I award a Gold Star to someone outside the aviation industry who spontaneously demonstrates an appreciation for flight attendants and their work. Today I'm giving a Gold Star to radio talk-show host and Fox News Channel contributor Mike Gallagher for something he wrote in his blog a couple of days ago.

In a piece called Stuck on another airplane... Mr. Gallagher wrote:

Thanks to modern technology and gadgetry, I'm sitting here in my seat on an airplane waiting to take off for the New York City area. Literally as I type these words, an irate woman is yelling at a flight attendant because we've been sitting on the runway here for over an hour.

It's a pretty amazing scene: the flight attendants are huddled together up in the front, trying to figure out what to do with the angry woman. Since we're being held due to weather conditions in the New York area, we're sitting out on the Dallas/Ft Worth tarmac somewhere and I don't really know what they can do about her. I suppose if she REALLY gets out of control, we'll have to be delayed even longer while they put shackles and handcuffs on her and haul her away to airport jail.

I don't mean to make light of someone carrying on like the village idiot on an airplane. It sure isn't the flight attendants' fault, nor is it any of us. I don't think we can blame the pilot since they're being told what to do by the control tower.
Thanks for writing that, Mr. Gallagher. In appreciation for your understanding, you get a Gold Star.

Friday, February 16, 2007

Omni Air International seeking flight attendants

Omni Air International, a charter company that operates DC10-30 and B757-200ER aircraft, will be holding Flight Attendant Open House sessions later this month in Jacksonville and Atlanta, and in March at Las Vegas, Minneapolis and Atlanta.

Omni Air has flight attendant bases at Baltimore, Minneapolis, Las Vegas and Atlanta.

For more information, visit the Omni Air Flight Attendant job listing on Monster.com.

Monday, February 12, 2007

Delta trans-con diverted to SLC - pax arrested

A first class passenger caused a disruption aboard a Delta Airlines nonstop San Francisco to New York flight several days ago. The flight was diverted to Salt Lake City where law enforcement officials arrested the man. He was charged with interference with a flight crew.

Here's the story, according to the Salt Lake Tribune:

Thomas J. McSherry, 42, of Hampton Bay, N.Y., appeared to be "under some kind of influence" when he boarded Flight 1671 on Monday and was seated in seat 3A, according to an FBI affidavit. It says McSherry was upset about his first-class accommodations and refused to buckle his seatbelt or follow other safety rules.

In addition, McSherry allegedly made offensive remarks about the Russian nationality of a flight attendant and threatened to "kick his ass."

...

Police and FBI agents who questioned McSherry noted that he was agitated and smelled of alcohol, the affidavit says. McSherry denied using foul language or making threats, but acknowledged he had complained about the level of service.

While being transported to jail, McSherry used profane language and accused the flight attendant of having a "hissy fit," the affidavit alleges.
Another Utah newspaper, the Deseret News, added that "U.S. Magistrate Judge David Nuffer ordered McSherry released but ordered no air travel without permission and ordered the man to surrender his passport."

Friday, February 9, 2007

Being a flight attendant is sexy

Just in time for Valentine's Day: The Business Review, reporting on the results of a survey carried out by the online job search website Propelity.com, says that 'flight attendant' is one of the 10 sexiest jobs in the U.S. The survey was sent to 1,500 job seekers, employees and employers, with 1,075 responding. "Flight attendant' came out as the fifth-sexiest job on the list.

Here's the whole list:

  1. fireman
  2. chief executive
  3. interior designer
  4. doctor
  5. flight attendant
  6. police officer
  7. nurse
  8. teacher
  9. lawyer
  10. bartender & lawyer (tie)
What? Pilots didn't make the top ten list? What could it mean?

Thursday, February 8, 2007

Alaska Airlines hiring flight attendants

Just today, Alaska Airlines posted a recruiting notice for flight attendants on its website. The notice indicates that the new flight attendants will be assigned to various bases.

For more information on requirements and how to apply for this job, visit the current flight attendant job listing on the Alaska Airlines website.

Wednesday, February 7, 2007

NW rejects new F/A contract proposal

An article from the Star Tribune, republished on the Airport Business website, says that Northwest Airlines' flight attendant union made a new contract proposal to the airline, offering $156 million in annual labor savings. It was immediately rejected by Northwest management. The airline insists it needs $195 million in annual savings from its F/As.

Northwest flight attendants have been working under an imposed contract for the past six months. The news article says:

The union argued Friday that Northwest's longstanding concessionary demand is based on financial "miscalculations" and that attendants should not have to endure deep cuts over five years because the airline's financial performance has dramatically improved since Northwest first asked for lower labor costs.

AFA spokesman Ricky Thornton said that Northwest's revenue projections were too pessimistic.

Unless Northwest negotiates a "fair and equitable agreement," the union said in a prepared statement, it will have "no choice but to file a motion" to ask [bankruptcy court Judge] Gropper to reverse his decision allowing Northwest to abrogate its contract with the attendants.

In June, Gropper ruled that Northwest had shown it was a financial "necessity" for the carrier's reorganization that it obtain $195 million a year in savings from the attendants. Negotiators for the attendants reached two tentative agreements with Northwest that met the $195 million goal, but both of those proposals were rejected last year by the rank and file.

Northwest imposed work terms July 31, and a U.S. district judge issued an injunction that blocked the attendants from striking. The union is attempting to secure the right to strike through the appeals process. The 2nd Circuit Court of Appeals heard the case in late November but has not issued a ruling.

In a statement late Friday rejecting the AFA offer of $156 million, Northwest said it still needs $1.4 billion in total labor cuts from its workforce to successfully restructure in bankruptcy.
Read the whole article HERE.

Tuesday, February 6, 2007

Pax fail to don oxygen masks in cabin emergency

You do your pre-flight safety briefing, and you see a number of passengers chatting, reading their newspapers, dozing -- just generally not paying attention. You have to wonder if they'd know what to do if an emergency arose -- and if they'd do it.

A crew on a B737 fight over New South Wales in Australia found out this past November that more than half the passengers on their airplane did nothing when their oxygen masks deployed mid-flight, after a potentially dangerous drop in cabin pressure. According to an article in the Australian publication, The Age, fewer than half the passengers donned their masks right away. The rest only did so when instructed through an announcement over the aircraft public address system.

Here's what the article said about the incident:

The report, released today by the Australian Transport Safety Bureau (ATSB), blamed the problem on a pair of incorrectly adjusted valves which control cabin air pressure.

There was no immediate reason why they were wrongly adjusted.

The ATSB concluded the emergency response of flight and cabin crew was reasonable, considering there was no obvious cause of the problem.

But the response of passengers - all of whom had sat through the safety briefing not much than an hour earlier - fell short of expectations.

"This occurrence highlights the need for all passengers, regardless of how familiar they are with air travel, or how often they travel, to be attentive during the pre-takeoff safety briefing," ATSB said.

"For over half of the passengers to be prompted to put their masks on following the depressurisation, indicated that they may have been unprepared to deal with the emergency.

"A pre-takeoff safety briefing was mandated and served to prepare passengers for situations such as the one experienced in this occurrence."

ATSB policy is not to identify the particular airline.

The incident occurred on November 9 as the aircraft, a Boeing 737 aircraft, flew from Sydney to Melbourne.

Flying at an altitude of 12,000 metres above Jindabyne, instruments alerted the crew to reduced cabin air pressure. The pilot immediately disengaged the autopilot and conducted an emergency descent to 3,000 metres.
Fortunately, there were no reported injuries to passengers or crew during this incident.

Monday, February 5, 2007

Were BA cabin crew 'sold out' by their union?

For the past month or so, I've been posting regularly about the unfolding drama surrounding the dispute between British Airways and its cabin crew.

First a strike vote was called, and then the results of that poll were announced: A strike had been authorized. Next, January 29 was set as the date that a three-day strike would begin, but a few days later the date was pushed back to January 30 in order to give a bit more time for talks. Ultimately, in what appeared to be an 'eleventh hour' save, the strike was called off.

The Transport & General Workers Union (T&G), which represents British Airways cabin crew, announced that there had been "significant movement by the company to resolve this dispute." For BA's part, CEO Willie Walsh said, "We are pleased that our negotiations with the T&G have resulted in an agreement that removes the threat of strikes."

Case closed? Maybe not...

An article today in the British newspaper The Independent reports that "British Airways cabin crew are furious at the way they believe the union leadership 'sold out' in last week's deal to avert a strike."

Uh-oh.

The article appearing in the Business News section of The Independent says:

The head of the Transport and General Workers' Union, Tony Woodley, is to face the wrath of British Airways cabin crew furious at the way they believe the union leadership "sold out" in last week's deal to avert a strike.

Mr Woodley, the union's general secretary, had been due to appear today before a mass meeting of cabin crew at a hotel near Heathrow to defend the settlement, but it has been delayed for a week in an attempt to allow tempers to cool.

Members of the British Airways Stewards and Stewardesses Association (Bassa), a branch of the T&G, are angry at what they see as the failure of union negotiators to extract sufficient concessions from the airline's management.

Mr Woodley personally led the negotiations with BA's chief executive, Willie Walsh, although the deal was accepted only after a vote by the Bassa branch committee. The Bassa website had to be shut down for a period last week because of the level of vitriol directed at union officials and in particular its chairman Mike Conroy.
Later in the article, some details of the agreement that had been hammered out between T&G and BA are revealed:
The nine-strong Bassa branch committee voted 6-3 to accept the deal, which included a 4.6 per cent pay rise, a £3,000 increase in allowances for cabin crew who had joined the airline after 1997, and changes to the way BA's sick leave policy is applied. Two of those who voted against the deal, the convenor Nigel Stott and deputy convenor Chris Harrison, have subsequently resigned their posts.

The level of unhappiness among cabin crew may be an indicator of further industrial unrest to come. However, Mr Walsh maintains that most cabin crew were satisfied with the deal. "What we are hearing is that the vast majority of cabin crew were relieved and pleased the issue has been resolved. They really did not want to see strike action take place," he said.
A spokesman for T&G contends that ""The deal was the best that could be achieved by negotiation. If that sort of offer had been on the table after a strike, we would have accepted it."

Last Friday another British newspaper, The Guardian, reported that the cabin crew dispute cost BA £80m.

Friday, February 2, 2007

Video: Passenger safety briefing (Not!!)

This guy MUST have paid attention to the safety briefing at least a few times in order to have been able to create this.



So -- funny or annoying? What do you think??

Unruly passenger arrested on arrival at ORF

A man from Jacksonville, FL was arrested on Wednesday after he was accused of fighting aboard a Southwest Airlines flight.

Here's what happened, according to a story posted on the First Coast News website:

The FBI and Air Marshals arrested 52-year-old Roy Youngblood Wednesday, one day after he flew to Norfolk on Southwest Airlines.

Youngblood is accused of assaulting a female passenger and being physically and verbally combative with flight attendants.

A spokesperson for Southwest Airlines said Youngblood became unruly in the cabin of the Boeing 737 jet.

He was not making any terror-related threats the airline said.

A flight attendant notified the captain.

Southwest Airlines said the captain radioed ahead, and when the plane landed at Norfolk's airport, law enforcement officers were waiting.
No further details were reported on the exact nature of the man's assault on the other passenger or the flight attendants.

Thursday, February 1, 2007

SkyWest recruiting F/As again this month

If you are thinking of becoming a flight attendant for a regional carrier, you'll be interested to know that SkyWest Airlines is actively recruiting. They will be holding orientation and group interviews for prospective flight attendants at more than 40 locations around the United States this month.

A list of the locations where these recruiting events will be held during February has been posted on the SkyWest Airlines website. For information on requirements and how to apply for these positions, please visit the SkyWest Airlines Career Opportunities web page.

SkyWest Airlines operates more than 1,500 flights per day for United Express and Delta Connection. Their aircraft include the Embraer EMB-120 and the Bombardier CRJ200 and CRJ700.