Airline Flying This Summer

Discussion in 'Hangar Talk' started by Palmpilot, Jun 22, 2022.

  1. Palmpilot

    Palmpilot Touchdown! Greaser!

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    Saw this on Facebook:

    Flying this summer is ROUGH!!! I feel like as a Flight Attendant I should attempt to share some tips to get you through airline travel for the foreseeable future.

    1. Things are not good..... if its less than 7 hours - DRIVE! I'm not kidding. There is nothing enjoyable about flying right now. On any airline. If you must fly, keep reading.

    2. Download and use the app of the airline you are flying. You can do everything on it - get your boarding pass, track your bags, see your incoming plane, and change a flight. It sure beats waiting in the long line to talk to an agent! Trust me - Usually these apps will tell you a flight is cancelled before the crew even knows!

    3. Fly MUCH earlier than you need to - a whole day early if its important!! This week I saw many people miss important things like weddings, funerals, cruises, international connections, and graduations. The tears were very real, for very real reasons, and there was nothing I could do! If you have to be somewhere, spend the extra money, go a day early. Have a glass of wine and stay in a hotel, enjoy your night not being stressed while everyone else misses their events.

    4. ALWAYS fly the first flight in the morning so you have all day to be rebooked if the **** hits the fan. Yes, that means it might be a 3:00 alarm, but morning flights don't cancel nearly as often.

    5. This is not unique to this year, but keep in mind summer is thunderstorm season. A single storm can shut down a whole airport. We can't fly through them. Storms usually build as the day gets later. Book early flights! [​IMG]

    6. Schedule long layovers - Your 1 hour layover is NOT enough anymore. 30 minutes, not a chance. 3 hours minimum.

    7. What you see on the news is an understatement. We are short staffed and overworked. Not just pilots and flight attendants, but also ground crews. Without ground crews there is no one to park the planes, drive jetways, get your bags on/off planes, or scan boarding passes. This causes many delays that snowball throughout the day. Sometimes HOURS.(Another reason morning flights are best!)

    8. When flight crews get delayed we time out. We can NOT fly longer than 16 hours. Its illegal. So it doesn't matter if you have a wedding to get to, when we are done we are done. The way things are now, there are no back up crews, so when this happens your flight cancels. (Now you are starting to see why those morning flights are best!)

    9. Avoid connecting in Newark (Or any New York airport for that matter). It is literal hell. You have a 50/50 chance your flight will cancel or missing your connection. They have been cancelling flights at their starting points just to keep the planes out, because there just aren't enough people to manage the planes, so the gates stay full. Also the restaurants are expensive, it is not a great place to be stuck.

    10. Be nice. As stated above, we are overworked and tired. We will not help you if you are mean. No one cares that you are going to miss your cruise if you are an *******. So even if we can help, we will save our help for someone nice. Tensions are high. Our patience is gone. If you make us mad - you will not be flying on our planes. We will leave you behind without a second thought, and laugh about you later.

    11. Being drunk on an airplane is a federal offense, so don't overdo it. If you drink too much at the bar waiting for your delayed flight you risk not being allowed to fly at all. We are too tired to deal with your drunk *** when we have legitimate issues to deal with.

    12. Get trip insurance if you have a lot of money invested. I hate the whole idea of this, but I also hate the idea of losing money. Example: I was working a flight yesterday that waited over an hour for a gate. A family of 8 missed their flight to Rome. The only flight of the day. They were going to a cruise which they would now miss. They were all crying, there was nothing I could do. (Also a reason to fly a day early!)

    13. Flights are FULL. If you buy the cheap seats you will not be able to sit with your family. It says so when you purchase your ticket!! Flight Attendants aren't there to rearrange the whole plane just so you can sit with your family because you tried to save $100 on a third party website.

    14. Speaking of third party websites and saving money..... Like I said flights are FULL. If a flight is oversold, and no one volunteers to give up their seats, who do you think is the first to be bumped? You guessed it, the family that saved a few $$ by using sites like Expedia, Kayak, Hotwire etc.

    15. Pack smart. Don't be "That guy" Don't hold up boarding because you have your extenders open till they are busting and you can't figure out how to make it fit in the overhead. (Passengers are stressed too, they can be aggressive when boarding a delayed flight)

    16. Take showers, brush your teeth, leave the perfume off, don't eat stinky food (caesar salad and tuna fish I'm talking to you!), and bring headphones. Trust me. These things sound basic, but add to stress on crowded planes. If you are stuck on the tarmac for 3 hours after a 4 hour flight, you will thank me for this.

    17. Bring a sweater if you tend to be cold. So tired of half naked girls asking me to turn the heat up. NO. Wear clothes!! Side note: If you dress like this and ask for heat, there's a chance I will turn the AC up.

    18. Thats not water on the bathroom floor. For the love of God wear shoes to the bathroom!!!

    19. Don't tell a Flight Attendant they look tired. We are and we know. You may cause us to ugly cry right there in galley.

    20. Happy Travels!

    https://www.facebook.com/kristie.ko...qHkfCHuXEYTSF3D8HNzC9KyEztgnoEJv5tueeU72zhpQl
     
  2. jordane93

    jordane93 Touchdown! Greaser!

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    It’s embarrassing. I don’t remember a holiday that we DIDNT screw anyone up.
     
  3. fasteddie

    fasteddie Pre-takeoff checklist

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    None of those tips are really unique to this summer. They're good tips for airline flying in general, regardless of season, or what's going on in the larger airline industry.

    Also, going on the first flight of the day has to be one of the best airline tips I've ever come across. If you want to minimize chances of things going haywire, the first flight of the day is the best bet.

    Also, do not under any circumstances book on Expedia/Travelocity/Priceline, etc. The minimal savings are almost never worth it.
     
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  4. Whitney

    Whitney Ejection Handle Pulled

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    Early flights are most often canceled around a lot of BC, due to fog, snow, and such.
    Mid afternoon is usually best, so depends on location.
    Book that 2pm flight, not the 7am.
    Have the video camera on your phone recording, those flight aggressives, ummm attendants, tend to be less grumpy if they know the footage could be on the internet.

    If its under 25 hours drive, drive and save yourself being subjected to all their stupid ****, save money, and enjoy the scenery.
    Also if you can afford to buy a plane ticket, the food at a New York airport will seem cheap in comparison, so don't sweat it, the burgers aren't $1,300.
     
  5. Palmpilot

    Palmpilot Touchdown! Greaser!

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    I think she was saying that it has gotten worse.
     
    Last edited: Jun 22, 2022
  6. Sifossifoco

    Sifossifoco Pre-takeoff checklist

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    Or buy a cheap, slow and small plane and fly your way around. After delays and cancellations, It took me 36 hours to fly from Grand Cayman to New York two weeks ago. I could have done that faster in a kitfox.
     
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  7. martym

    martym Pre-takeoff checklist

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    Airline flying this summer:
    Rule #1 : Don't take travel advice from an FA.
     
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  8. Palmpilot

    Palmpilot Touchdown! Greaser!

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    Interesting variety of opinions.
     
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  9. 86Aviator

    86Aviator Pre-takeoff checklist

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    I started traveling for work again in mid-2020 and something I've noticed is that a lot of the flying public is just a little rusty on the whole routine when compared to the before times. That's obviously not the entire issue, but perhaps an aggravating factor. It is what it is - bring some patience, build some fluff into your schedule and play nice in the sandbox. That's been working for me.
     
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  10. Warlock

    Warlock Pattern Altitude

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    Being married to an FA and I travel a lot…this is spot on advice…my only addition is if you have an option to book a regional carrier or a heavy metal going into the same destination…pick the heavy. Regional carriers flying under the big guys livery are really stressed and seems to be the majority of cancellations.
     
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  11. SFDukie

    SFDukie Pre-Flight

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    Seem like good ideas-thanks.
    I know everyone is sick of hearing about it-but BA2.12.1 is circulating. If you're over 65 or have significant comorbidities, get your booster. Wear an N95, consider bringing an extra mask to supply if your seatmate is sneezing/coughing etc.
     
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  12. Morgan3820

    Morgan3820 En-Route

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    Do you still wear your face mask while alone in the car?
     
    Last edited: Jun 23, 2022
  13. Sluggo63

    Sluggo63 Pattern Altitude

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    What’s wrong with what he said? That’s probably the best advice there is. IF you are elderly and/or have significant comorbidities, get a booster shot and wear a mask.
    He wasn’t advocating that for everyone, just for people who are susceptible.
     
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  14. Morgan3820

    Morgan3820 En-Route

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    If you have significant comorbidities and are over 65, I’m guessing you already understand and have been given this advice many times before. Sounded preachy
     
  15. bflynn

    bflynn Final Approach

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    You missed the most important rule - avoid the airlines and fly yourself. Nobody care more about bflynn than Flynn Airways.
     
  16. MauleSkinner

    MauleSkinner Touchdown! Greaser!

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    I think the first flight of the day recommendation depends on where you are. The last flight of the day into Wichita gets canceled fairly regularly, and since that airplane is the first flight out in the morning, it gets canceled fairly regularly, too. Unless you’re planning on getting reshuffled onto other connecting flights that are already full, I might avoid the first flight out of an outlying airport.
     
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  17. MooneyDriver78

    MooneyDriver78 En-Route

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    20 items?! TL;DR

    Thankfully I have my own plane.
     
  18. Mason

    Mason En-Route

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    It is good to be retired.
     
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  19. Palmpilot

    Palmpilot Touchdown! Greaser!

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    Considering what we've been through, I don't mind reminders to avoid getting complacent.
     
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  20. Larry in TN

    Larry in TN En-Route

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    Nobody flies the airlines anymore, they're too crowded.
     
  21. MauleSkinner

    MauleSkinner Touchdown! Greaser!

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    That’s a lot of nobodies.
     
  22. ateamer

    ateamer Cleared for Takeoff

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    Yogi Berra Air Service, Inc.?
     
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  23. Larry in TN

    Larry in TN En-Route

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    "Cut my pizza into four slices. I'm not hungry enough to eat six."
     
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  24. Warlock

    Warlock Pattern Altitude

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    I flew back with my wife working a flight from Mexico …tagged along as it was one of my favorite cities in the world. Anyway Mexico still has masks in airports so boarding everyone had masks on…once the door closed she made an quick intercom call saying this is an American aircraft and you have a choice…a cheer and removal for most of the passengers.
     
    Last edited: Jun 23, 2022
  25. jordane93

    jordane93 Touchdown! Greaser!

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    Which city? I know Mexico City is more strict about masks in airports than other cities. Went to Mexico City, Cancun and Cabo recently and only Mexico City was a stickler for the masks. Cancun and Cabo couldn’t care less.
     
  26. EdFred

    EdFred Taxi to Parking

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    Mexico is a city like Africa is a country.
     
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  27. Warlock

    Warlock Pattern Altitude

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    I never mentioned the city…
     
  28. EdFred

    EdFred Taxi to Parking

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    The way it was written it sounded like you were calling Mexico a city.
     
  29. Warlock

    Warlock Pattern Altitude

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    Merida…along with some other places where American tourists are not the primary traveler still are very tight on masks.
     
  30. geezer

    geezer Line Up and Wait

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    First flight, last flight, cancelations, and over booked. Before covid.

    Last flight from JAX to FND. I asked if they were overbooked, she said "Maybe, would you like to be on the list?" Yes, and my wife too, all or none.

    10 minutes before departure, she called me over, they had more than the seats available who had shown up, we were off. My son heard that, and asked if there were more sold tickets that had not arrived yet, and Yes, there were, he added himself and his wife to the list. At departure time, we were all given tickets for the first flight the next day, accommodations at a hotel, and breakfast. Shuttle transportation to the hotel, too.

    The next morning, I again asked if they were booked full, similar response, and my wife and I went on the list. She commented that many travelers missed the very early flights, so over booking did not cause trouble. That was Monday morning, and my son had to be at work, near the airport.

    Yes, we bumped again.

    The next flight, two hours later, was not full, and we arrived 16 hours late, but with no disruption to our lives.

    In addition to the rebooking and hotel, we received the price of the flights we had booked, and that morning, first flight out, was a "Last minute, full fare" ticket". That was not cash, it was credits toward our future flights. Later that year, we flew from FND to Portland, Oregon, round trip. We took a bump on the leg from Salt lake City, and arrived just 4 hours later than planned, and before dinner time. Net airline cost of that trip was zero, as the bump money exceeded the fare we had paid.

    Next spring, we flew round trip to St. Louis with the bump money.

    So first flights and last flights had overbooked at JAX, mid day at SLC. Bumps can come at any time of day, but rebooking is best on morning flights, more flights to be rebooked on.

    I am in agreement with all of the rules posted by the original poster, and we generally follow them on all of our travels, train or air. Short times between flights at large airports can be particularly bad news.

    The toughest one of those was at Atlanta, we did not buy the tickets ourselves. We exited the first plane, and asked the lady with gate information where our gate was, she looked at our ticket, and said "You cannot make that plane, stay right here". We did, and when the last passenger had deplaned, she took us to a locked door that said employees only, down several flights of stairs, and out to a station wagon. She drove to the furthest gate, took us in a locked door, and up to the boarding area. We went straight into the plane, and boarding ended a few minutes later.

    We prefer to have 2 to 3 hour layovers, and over night for Transocean flights.
     
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  31. Pinecone

    Pinecone Cleared for Takeoff

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    And due to low fares from the slowdown, it seems that a lot of people are flying that have never flown before and have NO idea how to do anything.
     
  32. Pinecone

    Pinecone Cleared for Takeoff

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    Only if you wear an appropriate mask. A face covering/surgical type mask does almost nothing to protect the person wearing it. A KN/N95, IF it is properly fitted and worn does provide protection to the person wearing it.
     
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  33. Pinecone

    Pinecone Cleared for Takeoff

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    As for protocols, unless you flew today, things have probably changed.

    My international trip in early May, on Air France, had to wear masks on the plane, but not in the terminals going out. 2 weeks later, no masks.

    In June, coworker came home on the 10th, had to have a negative COVID test. 3 days later, no COVD test required
     
  34. masloki

    masloki Pattern Altitude

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    Definitely plus one on the 3 hour minimum connection times especially if you have to clear customs. A late inbound flight and a long border control line hosed up quite a few colleagues from the last trade show. Half of them got Covid too, so a little souvenir to remember the trip by.
     
  35. Warlock

    Warlock Pattern Altitude

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    Today I am heading to Charleston SC to pick up a boat and take it to Newport, RI, my SWA flight I paid for canceled out this morning out of Hobby, so I went to IAH to non rev on the one flight available and got the last seat. Pushed back and number 1 won’t start…we’re in the middle of an equipment change and we will see…everyone I have talked to has similar stories it seems…SWA has rebooked me for tomorrow night through Chicago and 30 hrs after original flight. Crazy.
     
  36. 455 Bravo Uniform

    455 Bravo Uniform En-Route

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    This is no longer true...have you seen ticket prices recently? Crazy!

    Makes GA with passengers actually cost effective.
     
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  37. SFDukie

    SFDukie Pre-Flight

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    Things every pilot should "already understand and have been given this advice many times before" applies to a good portion of what folks post here. Density altitude, carb heat, flow checks, weight and balance...

    Do you still try to antagonize folks for no good reason?
     
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  38. Pinecone

    Pinecone Cleared for Takeoff

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    Easy. Global Entry.
     
  39. Albany Tom

    Albany Tom Pattern Altitude

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    The only think I'd add to the above is that if you're going to rent a car rather than fly, consider picking it up the day before. Because rental places have always been kinda miserable, and they are not any better now.
     
  40. masloki

    masloki Pattern Altitude

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    Not so effective outside of the US which was the issue at Heathrow and Frankfurt. Munich and Zurich didn’t have issues.