Saturday, April 22, 2006

A Day at the Beach!

What a great life I lead, I know it's a tendency of airline pilots to complain a lot, as a matter of fact, that reminds me of a joke:

Q: What's the difference between a jet pilot and a jet engine?

A: A jet engine stops whining when it gets to the gate.

I just have a hard time complaining when not only do I enjoy my job immensely, but I get to travel for free, which obviously comes with the territory of being a pilot, but I still get a kick out of it.

This weekend I went to Miami, FL for a career fair. I had to go down a day early (because of flight schedules) and originally I was going to stay at a Holiday Inn Express by the airport but on the way down there I asked the flight attendant what the crew hotel was. She told me that there was a hotel called the Sherry Fronetnac in Miami Beach which is right on the water and limited to crew members only.

After I arrived in Miami, I called the Sherry Frontenac to see if I could stay that night and what the rates were. As it turns out, the rates were $40.00 LESS per night than the crappy hotel at the airport! So, I rented a car for $30.00 and came out $10.00 ahead.

The hotel was AWESOME!!!! I had an ocean view room and when I walked in to my room the blinds were pulled closed, I went over to open them and I realized how close we were to the beach! It was right on the beach, and when I say right on the beach I don't mean it was across the street from the beach, or the beach was a block away, it was literally on the beach. The moment you stepped out of the huge pool area, you were on the sand, and twenty feet later you were in the pond (pilot's term for the Atlantic Ocean).

In addition to being close to the ocean, the entire hotel is catered to flight crew members which means there's no kids running around, they have cleaning staff on all the time so when you need to check out at 6:00 PM, they can clean the room and check someone in at 8:00 PM to the same room (whereas at most hotels, they have to burn that room for the night because housekeeping has gone home already). They don't use powered vacuums, they use push vacuums so as not to disturb crew members who have just flown all night long. That along with a huge gym, salon/spa, pool tables, shuffleboard, etc., makes for a great hotel.

I didn't put on any sunscreen when I went out to lay by the pool, and thinking I was only going to be out there for 30 minutes or so, I didn't think it would be a problem. That was until, I dozed off laying on my stomach and now my back is a little crisp. Oh well, the joys of being "stuck" in Miami Beach.

After a laying at the pool and a cold shower, I had a great dinner at a bar down the street from the hotel followed by chatting with some other crew members at the hotel bar.

I got up the next morning, had a great breakfast and headed to the career fair. I saw who I needed to see and made my way home. All of this took place in just under 24 hours! Stay tuned for my next little adventure!

Sunday, April 16, 2006

What if Airlines were Ala Carte??

I'm trying to update my blog more often and I saw this and thought it was funny! Have a Happy Easter everybody!!!

Attendant: Welcome aboard Ala Carte Air, sir. May I see your ticket?
Passenger: Sure.

Attendant: You're in seat 12B. That will be $5, please!
Passenger: What for?

Attendant: For telling you where to sit.
Passenger: But I already knew where to sit.

Attendant: Nevertheless, we are now charging a seat-locator fee of $5. It's the airline's new policy.
Passenger: That's the craziest thing I ever heard. I won't pay it.

Attendant: Sir, do you want a seat on this flight, or not?
Passenger: Yes, yes. All right, I'll pay. But the airline is going to hear about this.

Attendant: Thank you. My goodness, your carry-on bag looks heavy. Would you like me to stow it in the overhead compartment for you?
Passenger: That would be swell, thanks.

Attendant: No problem (grunts). Up we go, and done! That will be $10, please. Passenger: What?

Attendant: The airline now charges a $10 carry-on assistance fee.
Passenger: This is extortion. I won't stand for it.

Attendant: Actually, you're right - you can't stand. You need to sit, and fasten your seat belt. We're about to push back from the gate. But first I need that $10. Passenger: No way.

Attendant: Sir, if! you don 't comply, I will be forced to call the air marshal. And you really don't want me to do that.
Passenger: Why not? Is he going to shoot me?

Attendant: No, but there's a $50 air-marshal hailing fee.
Passenger: Oh, all right, here - take the $10. I can't believe this.

Attendant: Thank you for your cooperation, sir. Is there anything else I can do for you?
Passenger: Yes. It's stuffy in here, and my overhead fan doesn't seem to work. Can you fix it?

Attendant: Your overhead fan is not broken, sir. Just insert two quarters into the overhead coin slot for the first five minutes.
Passenger: The airline is charging me for cabin air?

Attendant: Of course not, sir. Stagnant cabin air is provided free of charge. It's the circulating air that costs 50 cents.
Passenger: I don't have any quarters. Can you make change for a dollar?

Attendant: Certainly, sir! Here you go!
Passenger: But you've given me only three quarters for my dollar.

Attendant: Yes, there's a change-making fee of 25 cents.
Passenger: For cryin' out loud. All I have left is a lousy quarter? What ever will I do with it?

Attendant: Hang onto it. You'll need it later for the lavatory!

Tuesday, April 11, 2006

Summer is Here!

Finally some nice days have come and I've deemed summer officially started. I don't really know when the official start of summer is but I deem it summer whenever it's nice enough to bring the motorcycle out and not have to put on a parka to ride it. The bike is in the shop getting a pre-season inspection (because I'm not mechanically inclined enough to know what to look for) and I should have it back tonight!

Along with motorcycle season is mountain bike season. Towards the end of last summer my friend Kevin and I worked on tuning up my 13 year old mountain bike. I would like to go get a new one but I'm too cheap and mine works just great for what I use it for. I finally brought it out the other day and put a few miles on it, as you know, I've been going to the gym, although it seems you can do cardio all day long at the gym and then when it comes time to do something different, you're out of shape for it. Of course, I'm probably out of shape for the gym too. Well, I'm working on getting into the best shape of my life....Unfortunately, I think the "best shape of my life" has already happened but I'm going to try it again.

My friend Gary is in phenomenal shape so I'm trying to take after him especially with my eating habits. Anytime Gary and I go out to eat he always makes me look bad by not getting the ice cream, or not eating the chips that come with the meal. I'm sure you've heard of WWJD (What Would Jesus Do) but I made up my new slogan, WWGE which stands for What Would Gary Eat! Hopefully this'll help me get into better shape!

I'm looking forward to a fun summer of mountain biking, motorcycling, a Dave Matthews Concert, some frisbee golf, tennis, and maybe a few vacations!