Friday, February 26, 2010

"Not Big Brother," NTSB says

The hapless duo piloting NWA Flight 188 last fall . . . you remember, the flight that overshot MSP by 100 miles, can't seem to catch a break. Now the NTSB says it wants to monitor all cockpit conversation on all flights, citing this event as one of the reasons.
The pilots union is fighting it, as may be expected. Wonder how far they would have flown if a cabin attendant hadn't come knocking on the flight deck door, wondering when they were going to land?
It would be fun to get NWA Captain Deke DeLong's take on all of this. Check out the next NWA History Centre newsletter, Reflections, coming in March, telling of the day Deke overflew Fargo, N.D. more than 60 years ago.
Deke was a NWA pioneer and a real character. He learned to fly in France in WWI, barnstormed in the USA, started with NWA in 1928 and was Sr. Pilot for many years before retiring in 1959. Cap't DeLong died in 1964.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Scanned to the Skin

KSTP TV - Minneapolis and St. Paul - Full-body scanners coming to MSP
Y'know, I'm not so worried about how each individual feels about being "scanned" to the "skin."
I'm more worried about the TSA people who have to look at each and every body. YUK! I think they should get hazard pay!
Yesterday I mentioned American Airlines new $8 fee for a blanket in flight (provided, of course, your flight is over two hours in duration) for coach passengers. Today American surpassed itself in the extra charges domain by announcing a $50 charge for flying "standby" (again, for coach passengers only.) Soon a first-class ticket will seem like a bargain compared to a coach ticket plus all the extra charges.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010


No, this has nothing to do with airlines, past or present.
It started this morning. After my usual coffee stop, I ran into the credit union next door to hit the ATM for $60 cash. When the receipt came out, it showed a balance of $200 + change in my checking account.
I haven't had a checking account balance that low since I was a NWA stewardess in my twenties, when my monthly salary was $212.50.
I scurried back home to look at the bank statement I remembered receiving a few days ago.
Disclosure: I have been derelict in checking my bank statements every month. Until now, that is!!!
I found numerous charges previously unknown to me and vendors I've never heard of. After spending almost two hours on the phone to one vendor, who was unable to verify the charges, I decided my time would be better spent if I went directly to the credit union and talked with a real live person. Angie, short for Angela, (but I think it is really short for Angel,) patiently helped me go through all the debits to my account and highlight all the bogus ones. Turns out every one was an online charge using my credit union debit card! She then put me in touch with their fraud division, where I learned that more charges were occurring as we spoke. My checking account balance was now down to about 38 cents. My debit card number was promptly rendered kaput. The fraud division will proceed from here. I learned that I may be reimbursed for some, if not all, of the bogus charges (roughly $2500) once they have completed their investigation.
In the meantime, I have car insurance due in a week. Yikes! So I had to drain some cash from a C.D. to cover my checking account balance. And I needed spending money, too, as my debit card has been shredded and my new debit card won't arrive for a week to 10 days. That rules out the ATM!
Ladies and Gentlemen, hear my words! Check your checking account balance frequently! Don't wait for the monthly statement to come by mail. You can do it online or by phone, too!
You're going to need all the cash you can muster. Especially if you travel by air. American Airlines announced today that is is charging $8 for a pillow on all domestic coach flights over 2 hours plus all flights to Hawaii, Mexico, the Caribbean, Central America and Canada. Under 2 hours? No pillows, period.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

I love an airline with a sense of humor!

Since Northwest Airlines has disappeared, I'm casting about for a new one to adopt. Kulula has my vote!

Note: Double-click on each photo to enlarge.

This is Kulula, a domestic airline in South Africa. Don't you love the "big cheese" and the "loo?" Check out their company website for more fun.
Note: Be sure to double-click on the photos so you can read the paint job!

Tuesday, February 2, 2010


Well, it is over.
The last regularly scheduled NWA flight, No. 2470, departed Los Angeles International Airport for Las Vegas at 8:45 p.m. Saturday.
At 3 A.M Sunday, Northwest's web site began redirecting customers to Delta.
For 84 years, it was a great ride!