Monday, November 26, 2007

Aloha Airlines No. 1 F/A retires after 50 years

Patti Smart, Aloha Airlines No. 1 Flight AttendantPatti Smart, the Number One flight attendant at Aloha Airlines, is retiring -- reluctantly -- after more than 50 years of service. The woman nicknamed the 'Queen of Aloha' will retire this coming Friday, but she says, "There will be sparks flying from my feet as they drag me down the runway."

Ms. Smart, whose hire date was Jan. 28, 1957, reminisced about her early flying days in an article in the Honolulu Star-Bulletin:

A lot has changed since the old days, when people dressed up in hats and bow ties to fly on propeller-powered planes across the Pacific.

"You're supposed to have the same niceness, the same warmth, the same caring. But it's faster now," Smart said. "In the older days, the flights were longer so you had more time to be intimate with passengers and you got to be very good friends with them."
While she must have a million good stories to tell from those 50-plus years of flying, she did share this funny one with the newspaper reporter.
As she was serving pineapple juice to passengers, she spilled it all over her uniform. She changed into a pair of pants and washed out her skirt in the lavatory. When she tried to air-dry the skirt by letting it flap out the window in the cockpit, one of the two pilots snatched it and let it fly out the window.

"I wanted to kill those two. I wanted to get their two heads together and whack them. They were laughing and laughing," she said.

The joke didn't stop there. Another pilot on the next flight out radioed her plane and said he had caught the skirt as it went flying by.
Perhaps that incident happened while she was working on a DC-3 early in her career. She certainly has seen a lot of changes to the airline industry since then -- including the introduction of jet aircraft.

Congratulations and aloha to Patti Smart as her long career in the air comes to a close.

Click here to watch a KITV News Video about Patti Smart's final flight on Aloha Airlines.

Click here for many more photos of Patti Smart, the Queen of Aloha

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Friday, November 16, 2007

Disruptive passenger day at PDX?

Portland International Airport (PDX)Yesterday, November 15, must have been disruptive passenger day at Portland International Airport (PDX). Police at PDX had to meet two separate flights due to disruptive passenger incidents.

US Airways Flight 1473 had been en route to Las Vegas from Seattle when a couple of passengers reportedly attempted to join the 'mile high club' in a lavatory. The A320 aircraft diverted to Portland after the passengers argued with crew over the incident.

From a KPTV news report:

"The people across the aisle from us were fooling around in their seats and they decided to go to the bathroom and fool around and they threatened the flight attendant," said passenger Jessica Smith.

US Airways avoided confirming that the couple was fooling around, but did say they were arguing with the crew.

A PDX spokesperson said the passengers were neither cited nor arrested, but they were left in Portland, Ore.

The plane continued on to Vegas, where it was scheduled for a 7:39 p.m. landing.
The second incident took place on United Airlines Flight 371 while it was en route from Chicago to Portland. News reports say that a passenger named James Terry was arrested by FBI agents and Port of Portland officers when the flight arrived at PDX.

A news story on KPTV says:
Agents said Terry was en route from Chicago to Portland on United Airlines flight 371 when flight attendants, believing he was intoxicated, denied him alcohol about an hour and a half into the flight.

The flight attendants told officials that Terry became agitated and they moved him to the rear of the plane, where he tried to open the rear door and touch a female flight attendant.

Agents said the flight crew used handcuffs to restrain Terry for the duration of the flight.
Following his arrest at the airport, Mr. Terry was taken to Multnomah County Detention Center.

Monday, November 5, 2007

US Airways No. 1 F/A celebrates 50 years service

US Airways No. 1 Flight Attendant Bette NashYesterday was a special day for the Number One flight attendant at US Airways: Bette Nash celebrated 50 years of service. Ms. Nash began her flight attendant career on November 4, 1957.

Here is an excerpt from a news release issued by the Association of Flight Attendants (AFA) about Ms. Nash and her golden anniversary:

"Bette Nash is a walking, talking history of the evolution of our industry, and we are so fortunate to benefit from her experience each day," said Alin Boswell, fellow US Airways flight attendant and Washington, DC Local Council President for the Association of Flight Attendants-CWA (AFA-CWA). "Not only is she a great flight attendant and mentor, but she is a wonderful person who brings much joy to everyone she encounters."

Ms. Nash began her career the same year Sputnik was launched, and when air travel was an expensive luxury full of amenities. As air travel evolved into what it is today, so has the role of flight attendant. Fifty years ago, flight attendants were forced out of their job after a few short years and the average career span was less than 18 months.

In 1964, seven years after Ms. Nash began her career, the Civil Rights Act passed and with the strength and determine of AFA-CWA, for the first time flight attendants were able to challenge the discriminatory policies based on gender, age, race, weight, marital status, and pregnancy that had become commonplace in the airline industry.

"Bette's accomplishment today is the fully realized goal that AFA-CWA set out to achieve over sixty years ago," said Patricia Friend, AFA-CWA International President. "When AFA-CWA began representing flight attendants in 1945, it was the goal of our founders to turn this 'job' into a full-blown career - a career that would provide for, and support flight attendants and their families. It is a humbling moment to reflect upon Bette Nash's accomplishment and realize how far we have come as a profession. AFA-CWA congratulates and thanks Bette for her years of devoted service. We look forward to celebrating many more milestones with her in the future."
Congratulations to Bette Nash!

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