Tag Archives: PaxEx

518 Betty in the Sky

Betty in the Sky with a Suitcase podcast host and author Betty Thesky tells us about the life and experiences of a flight attendant. We look at airline seating, airline fees, and pay for flight attendants. Also, a “new” indigenous fighter jet from Iran and an Across the Pond segment on the Light Aircraft Association and general aviation in the UK.

Guest

Betty in the Sky with a SuitcaseBetty Thesky is a flight attendant with a major U.S. airline, and she produces the Betty in the Sky with a Suitcase podcast, a collection of funny airline and travel stories reminiscent of an old-fashioned radio show. Her job as a flight attendant allows her to indulge in her passion for travel and has taken her all over the world. The popular show launched in 2005 and it is one of the first aviation-related podcasts. Betty in the Sky also spawned several books and Betty has branched off into writing fiction.

Betty tells us how the podcast got started and how her theme song was created. We talk about the life of a flight attendant, how that has changed over the years, and what type of person makes a good FA. Betty also has some tips for travelers that would improve their experience.

As a child, when someone asked Betty what she wanted to do when she grew up, her answer was, “I want to travel!” and that’s exactly what she went on to do. She earned her BA in Communications with a minor in Psychology and was then hired by People Express as a flight attendant. Later she applied at one of the major airlines and has been there for more than 20 years.

Visit the Betty in the Sky website, follow @skybetty on Twitter, and find Betty Thesky on Facebook.

Aviation News

US big three airlines consolidate business class changes, slowly

When American Airlines installs premium economy on its Boeing 787-8 Dreamliner aircraft, it will cut the number of business class seats to 20 from 28. The seats will be the Zodiac Aerospace Concept D product in a staggered forwards-backward herringbone configuration, rather than the outward-facing B/E Aerospace Super Diamond seat on other American 787s in the American fleet. Delta is replacing the Zodiac inward-facing herringbone seats on the Boeing 777-200ER and -LR fleet with the Thompson Vantage XL staggered doored product. United continues to roll out it’s Polaris retrofits, but at a slow rate.

Do airline tickets need warning labels?

The Senate version of the FAA Reauthorization Act mandates that airlines disclose their baggage fees, cancellation fees, change fees, ticketing fees, and seat selection fees “in a standardized format.” Christopher Elliott asks, “Why is it so hard to figure out what you’ll have to pay for a plane ticket — and what you’re paying for?”

United Airlines will charge an extra fee for economy seats near the front of the plane

United Airlines plans to start charging more for an economy class seat near the front of the plane than it does for the seats in the back. At the International Aviation Forecast Summit, United Airlines President Scott Kirby said, “We’ve got ‘Economy Plus’ today, which has more legroom, but there are also rows that don’t have more legroom but they are at the front of the airplane. We are now going to let those people select those seats as well for a fee.”

Military experts say Iran’s new fighter jet is actually a US plane from the 1970s

Iran says that it has domestically produced a new fighter jet, the “Kowsar.” but some military experts say the fighter is really a U.S.-made F-5F from the early 1970s. Iran purchased F-5s in 1974, before the Iranian Revolution of 1978–79. Also, Iranian F-5 fighter jet crashes at air base, killing one pilot.

How Much Do Flight Attendants Make?

The Bureau of Labor Statistics says the median wage was $50,500 in 2017, with the lowest 10% earning less than $26,860, and the highest 10% earning more than $79,520. PayScale says the average flight attendant salary is $39,022. Glassdoor says the average reported salary is $52,217, with some as low as $18,000.

Across the Pond

In this month’s Across The Pond segment, Pieter talks to Neil Wilson from the Light Aircraft Association about their role supporting general aviation in the UK and he gets a preview of the upcoming LAA Sywell Rally, the UK’s biggest fly-in.

Copyright Light Aircraft Association

Copyright Light Aircraft Association

Neil mentioned the Flying Across Britain with Arthur Williams TV programme by Arthur Williams which was covered in episode 84 of Xtended.

Arthur Williams with his treasured Piper Cub (Copyright Arthur Williams)

Arthur Williams with his treasured Piper Cub (Copyright Arthur Williams)

Airplane of the Week

David's Lego drone.

David’s Lego drone.

Mentioned

craftplicator

Was the Navy’s F-111 Really That Bad?

Germerican Pilots – About flying in the USA.

Credit

Outtro by Bruno Misonne from The Sound of Flaps.

 

462 Runway Girl Network and the Passenger Experience

Aviation journalist Mary Kirby talks about the airline passenger experience. Also, ATC privatization, drones and wildfires, a new Air France airline targeted at Millennials, congressional action to address airline seat size and pitch, and airline revenue from fees and frequent flyer programs.

Guest

Mary Kirby lives the passenger experience

Mary Kirby

Mary Kirby has covered the aviation industry for almost 20 years as both a journalist and an editor. After working many years for Flightglobal, she launched Runway Girl Network, which delivers news and intelligence about the airline passenger experience industry, and also highlights the work and accomplishments of women in aviation. Runway Girl Network is a go-to site that encompasses a B2B2C model.

Mary describes the objectives of Runway Girl Network and gives us the benefit of her knowledge concerning current airline passenger experience issues. Seat space, both width and pitch, continues to grow as a concern in the eyes of the flying public.

We also talk about the job of aviation journalists today, and the role of the vocal passenger. Mary considers lessons learned from the Network and the need for increased diversity of gender and color among those writing about the passenger experience. We also look at the gap in coverage of the passenger experience from the perspective of those with disabilities or reduced mobility.

Be sure to visit the Runway Girl Network website, follow the Network on Facebook and on Twitter at @RunwayGirl.

News

Sully mobilizes pilots against ATC privatization

In a 31-second ad available at ATCnotforsale.com, “Sully” Sullenberger says that privatizing ATC would hand “control to the largest airlines, giving them the keys to the kingdom.”

Drones continue to cause problems for wildfire crews

Unauthorized drones have continued to fly into wildfire areas, sometimes halting aerial firefighting activities.

Drones can help, hinder fighting wildfires

The article explores some ways that drones could assist with fighting wildfires.

Meet ‘Joon,’ Air France’s new airline for Millennials

In its press release [PDF] Air France describes Joon as a Millennial-focused carrier “aimed at a young working clientele whose lifestyles revolve around digital technology.” Air France plans to start operating medium-haul flights from Paris-Charles de Gaulle later this year, with long-haul flights in mid-2018.

‘SEAT Act’: Congress set to finally push back against shrinking airline seats

Rep. Steve Cohen (D-TN) introduced H.R.1467, the Safe Egress in Air Travel (SEAT) Act into the FAA reauthorization bill as an amendment. The amendment would ask the FAA to study evacuations and issue regulations for minimum safe-seat sizes.

Which airlines earn most from fees, frequent flyer programs?

The annual study of airline ancillary revenues from IdeaWorks Company and Cartrawler, is out. For 2016, the big U.S. legacy airlines are the ones hauling in the most ancillary revenues.

Listener Recording

Nicki and her flight instructor.

Nicki and her flight instructor.

In May, we received an email from listener Nicki. She was asking our advice about starting flying lessons in her late 30s and making a possible career change into flying. Nicki enjoys flying and in college, her friends used to take her up and let her fly the plane. At the time, Nicki couldn’t afford flying lessons and even now it would be a stretch for her.

Well, Nicki has started to take some steps and sent us a recording describing her progress so far.

Mentioned

Oppose Air Traffic Control Privatization

The Consultants Have Won: Air France’s New Airline is Named Joon

The Wings Over New Zealand Show Aviation Podcast

Credit

Intro music courtesy Brother Love from his Album Of The Year CD. Outtro by Bruno Misonne from The Sound of Flaps.

AirplaneGeeks 320 The Passenger Experience

Weeks and Howard's S-43_400

The passenger experience: social media, in-flight connectivity, wearable technology, seat pitch.

Guest

Aviation journalist Mary Kirby is founder and editor of the Runway Girl Network, a B2B2C source for intelligence about the passenger experience. The Network covers the industry from nose to tail, in the air, and on the ground. Be sure to follow the #PaxEx hashtag.

Topics

Tweeting While Flying, Part II: Another Passenger Booted From Flight After Tweeting

A JetBlue passenger tweeted that the pilot was or might have been intoxicated. Another passenger in turn Tweeted about this but was denied re-boarding after the pilot was cleared.

Airline passengers are increasingly using social media to make comments about the airline or the flight. Just what does it take for a passenger to be considered “disruptive”? Airlines need a protocol for how a they respond to the new level of social media activity and scrutiny.

“I Have Ebola”: Passenger Causes Scare on Flight That Departed From Philly

On a flight from PHL to the Dominican Republic, a 54-year-old man had reportedly said “I have Ebola, you are all screwed.” The plane was met by a team in full hazmat suits at the destination.

Screenings have been stepped up at JFK for passengers arriving from high risk countries.

Passengers can make bad jokes or inappropriate comments that can affect flight safety. What should the consequences be?

Airline Passengers Ready for Wearable Tech

A recent SITA survey shows technology improves the passenger experience. Almost 77% of surveyed passengers said they would be comfortable with the use of wearable tech to help them on their journey.

Airlines who seek to differentiate themselves on service are looking at wearables like Google Glass.

We also examine in-flight connectivity, who the providers are, and opportunities in an environment where penetration outside the US is only estimated to be 6%

The Gogo Text & Talk product lets you use your mobile phone in flight, and is rolling out to business aviation.

Could major US airline create an “economy minus” cabin?

A US legacy airline is shopping around the idea that it’s planning to create a dedicated “economy minus” cabin. This could be a trial balloon, but maybe not.

Low Cost Carriers (LCC) and Ultra Low Cost Carriers (ULCC) are putting a lot of pressure on the US majors. Who will go below the 28” seat pitch?

Aircraft of the Week

Jamie Dodson tells us about the Sikorsky S-43 Amphibian.

The Australia News Desk

Grant has been flying a balloon again, and he’s taken Evan Schoo and Albert up with him. They take a moment from the flight to record an intro, then Grant slots in these news items:

  • Changes have started at CASA but the official response to the Aviation Safety Regulatory Review (aka, The Forsyth Report) haven’t come out yet. That response is due by the end of 2014.
  • The Qantas Founders Museum have purchased a Lockheed Super Constellation to join the aircraft on display at Longreach in outback Queensland.

The Aviation Minute

Rob looks at how personal electronic devices impair the pre-flight safety briefing.

Across the Pond

Pieter visits Tim Robinson at the Royal Aeronautical Society’s London HQ, 4 Hamilton Place. Hallowed ground for any aviation and aerospace geek.

Mentioned

617 Squadron and the Dams Raid

Seaplane in Tasmania 3 Sir John Falls

Wright Brothers National Memorial

National Historical Park, Ohio

Carillon Historical Park

Hawthorn Hill

Henry Ford Museum’s Greenfield Village

Credit

Opening and closing music courtesy Brother Love from the Album Of The Year CD. You can find his great music at brotherloverocks.com.

AirplaneGeeks 287 – Mary Kirby and the Runway Girl Network

Runway Girl Network

Mary Kirby’s new Runway Girl Network is an online framework “where air transport intelligence meets the passenger experience.”

We talk with Mary about aircraft interiors, inflight connectivity driving operational benefits, airline seat size from a safety standpoint, and other topics that impact the passenger experience.

You’ll find content at the Runway Girl Network in four categories: passenger safety,  passenger comfort, passenger connectivity, and passenger services.

“Lean into Aviation” highlights women in the industry and their accomplishments. The “#PaxEx Forum” presents articles written by industry thought leaders. The weekly “#PaxEx Podcast” is a thirty minute program where experts join in on a conversation about current passenger experience topics.

The Network features a hybrid model with both advertising-supported free content, and subscription-based premium content. You can follow Mary on Twitter as @RunwayGirl.

The week’s aviation news:

The 247D and DC-3 at NASM

David Vanderhoof’s Aircraft of the Week: The Boeing Airplane that Created the DC-3: the B-247.

In this week’s Australia Desk:

Steve and Grant chat with Mike Yeo from The Base Leg blog about his trip to the Singapore Air Show. Topics include the A350, the 787, military display teams, China’s trade show presence but lack of airframes and general buzz from the show.

Find more from Grant and Steve at the Plane Crazy Down Under podcast, and follow the show on Twitter at @pcdu. Steve’s at @stevevisscher and Grant at @falcon124.

Rob Mark’s The Aviation Minute: The pilot shortage.

Monino by Paul Filmer

Monino by Paul Filmer

Mentioned:

  • Paul Filmer aviation photography. (Two photos above from Monino.)
Mitsubishi Mu-2

Mitsubishi Mu-2

Opening and closing music courtesy Brother Love from the Album Of The Year CD. You can find his great music at www.brotherloverocks.com.