Flight plan

My flight plan....

This blog is to inspire and motivate those pining for the skies. I will also virtually open the flight deck door and allow a peek behind the scenes.

If for any reason you have an issue found within, send an email and I will ratify it!

Again, this blog is for aviation enthusiasts so welcome aboard....

And please help make this blog interactive by sending in comments. Don't be shy! :)))))

Monday, January 4, 2010

From Sand to Snow

We left the glistening sand, swaying palm trees and turquoise hued ocean to cold snowy Canada. Back to reality. But why is reality always so cold?

We land in YUL (Montreal) in a fair size snowstorm. Now we have to catch a Rapidair to YYZ. It too is experiencing frigid temperatures and snow. We watch the 4:00 p.m flight push back full, but we get the last five seats on the 5:00 p.m flight. Funny, Air Canada claims they are losing money on these Rapidair flights to Porter Airlines. Well every time I fly the route, or sit as passenger, the flights are hammered. Having said that it's more than just putting "bums" in the seats.

Again we are in the midst of snowfall implying it will be off to "Aeromag" for deicing. But we must ratify a "mechanical situation" as mentioned by the captain. The captain made three announcements each time stalling the delay 5 minutes, but these are "airline minutes" One either doubles or triples the estimate. We push back 30 minutes late.

Flying on passes are becoming less and less enjoyable. Actually they were never enjoyable, but seats at one time were more abundant.

Santa Claus gave me Captain Sullenberger's (Sully) book, Highest Duty. What a great read! My wife says she can see many similarities between his take on aviation and mine. Here's his view on airline passes. Incidentally, Capt. Sully commuted across the U.S (SFO to Charlotte, N.C) for years.

"Mostly, we buy regular tickets for flights now, because the hassles and uncertainties of trying to use my employee travel benefits just aren't worth it."

I still have a week and a half vacation left. This month I'm due for an annual line check. That's when I fly with a pilot supervisor for a few days to see if I "stick to the script" and shine my shoes. Just noticed they have me slated for my check the first day I get back from vacation. After being away for three weeks, someone wants to critique my flying. Cruel.

Capt. Doug


Jack said...

Hi Doug,

Welcome back and thanks for sharing your stories. I was enjoying your posts over the holidays and was thinking about the shock of your return to our cold and snowy city as I shoveled yesterday.

I had read Sully's book back in November and had asked you at the time if you read it. Glad you enjoyed it (as I did, too). I remember him writing about dragging his family through Orlando airport looking for a return flight home and the daughters saying "can't we just buy a ticket like normal people!".

Good luck with the line check - I'll be waiting to hear about it. Think about how fresh you'll be after the break - ha, ha...


From the Flight Deck said...

Jack. Good memory regarding Capt. Sully's book. Your quote is found on page 198, "Why don't we buy tickets like everyone else."

I'll be including Capt. Sully's book on my blog. Even though it was co-authored he did a great job!

As far as my line check, I may volunteer to go on "make up" prior to my line check to reduce the "what's this switch for again" questions. :)
It's just like a house painter climbing a 40 foot ladder first thing Monday morning. Absence breeds hesitation.


Al Bennett said...

Doug, Glad to hear you are back with us Polar Bears. I managed a week in Sarasota but the temp had a tough time getting above 18C. I was wondering how you found (or what you are hearing about) security lines / waits for flights within Canada. I am "carry on" guy and have 3 trips to the west this month. I am dreading what I may find. Any suggestions?


From the Flight Deck said...

Al. Seems like all the mess is to and from the U.S. There were no hiccups departing Barbados but I noticed the American carriers were backed up at check in.While going through Montreal I got my first "pat down." One of my daughters got one as well. So far, the mess seems to be state side. We checked baggage on one flight and did the "carry on" thing with the Rapidair on the second flight home. Not a problem.

At work we are getting memos almost every day because things are changing regularly. It reminds me of the adage, "now that the horse is gone, it's time to close the barn doors."

Hopefully all you trips are north of the 49th parallel.