Worst Airline Ad Ever

Okay, so I saw this ad on TheFlyingPinto blog and I had to post it myself. Maybe they should have reversed the position of the airline logo and make the plane point upwards? ha!

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Blue Skies Ahead

I always find that after being away from flying for a while its hard to go back. I’ve been on vacation for 17 days, and tomorrow is my last day off. 18 total.

Being on vacation as a flight attendant is like going to a sanctuary. For the first few days I don’t want to talk to anyone, answer a question, the phone, the door, or see an airplane. I want to be sealed away from the world. Vacation for a flight attendant is heaven. There’s no call buttons, delays, cancellations, crying babies (unless you have one yourself) or rude passengers telling you off. Vacation is solace.

It’s over, and I’m dreading it. Wednesday I start a 4 day trip and it starts with a flight to New York straight away. That’ll jolt me back into the work mentality. It’s funny though, I sit here dreading going to back to work but once I get there and we push back from the gate (because who likes boarding anyway?) I fall in love with the thought of flying again. I can’t wait to do it again and think “why did I not want to come back?”

Flying is something that gets in your blood when you do it for work. Its all you can seem to talk about and think about. You almost have to train yourself to talk about other topics with friends for fear of boring the hell out of them, unless they are flight attendants themselves, then you’ve got yourself your own version of The Crew Lounge. Also, doing what I do fuels content for my blog, so going to work now has a dual purpose!

This trip on Wednesday will be my first time in the skies for 2010. I’m looking forward to another year of fun, layovers, new people, contacts and friends. Thats why I do this job. Its something new everyday, no day is like the last. As things in life change and evolve it is always good to remember that I’m doing a job I love and that I’m doing a job that makes me happy. In what other career can you say “its always a nice day everytime I go to work?” Just this one, because it always is a nice day at 35,000ft. You’re above the rain and clouds and you find yourself rising above it all.

As my mother said the other day “its a new year, a new start, a new you.” I intend to live up to that this year and I fully believe that 2010 will be a defining year for myself. There’s just blue skies ahead.

Look for reports from my first trip back “live from the line” in a few days!

I’m going on vacation, and you are too!

I’m going on vacation! Maybe. One of the perks of being a flight attendant is the ability to fly free, and have those related to you fly free or for a reduced fare. The downfall of course is that you’re on standby.

I’m supposed to flying from Phoenix to my destination city with Sebastian, but it seems we might not be going anywhere. All of a sudden, all the flights to our vacation city filled up, as well as all of its surrounding cities, leaving us.. well.. stuck. We’re getting a little crafty, which is almost a requirement when you nonrev now a days (nonrev = non revenue travel, that’s what they call employee travel). We could be flying to a city 3 hours away and driving, connecting in two airports, maybe even three!

Stay tuned to the photo stream on the right hand side for still photo updates on where I am, where I’m trying to go, and if I ever get there! Also, in an effort to document my life as a blogger or jouranlist, below you’ll find my LIVE qikVideo stream. This stream is updated with video via my cell phone camera (crazy, right?) This stream will update with whatever video I’m recording at the moment you’re viewing this blog (yes, LIVE, it will show you in the upper right hand corner and on the bottom tool bar when the stream is live) or display the most recent video I’ve recorded. So please feel free to watch them or click the links and see what I’ve already uploaded.

Also, if you happen to see that I’m “live” anything you type on the chat screen, accessible from the tool bar, I can see on my phone.. so feel free to chat me up!

[qik user="upupandagay" width="425" height="319"]

I hope you enjoy my vacation, if I get to go on one! Wish me luck!

The Crew Lounge Podcast

Happy New Year!

Just a quick post to let you all know that The Crew Lounge Podcast that Sara and myself have been working so hard on, is actually a reality!

Thanks to Mike at UPGRD.com, the first podcast has been posted at upgrd.com/TheCrewLounge so please head over there and check it out!

In this episode we talk about Ivana Trump getting removed from a flight, crew rest, eBags, and so much more. I promise you its worth the listen.

Remember you can follow The Crew Lounge on Twitter by clicking here, and on Facebook by clicking here.

If you’re interested in being on the show, please send us an email at FA@upgrd.com! Enjoy!

Happy New Year, from The Queer!

On June 25, 2009 I clicked the word “publish” and made the first post on to Up Up And A Gay. For me, that feeling was amazing. I graduated the Pennsylvania College of Technology in 2005 with a degree in Mass Media Communication and I hadn’t used it until that moment. Sure, writing a blog post isn’t exactly applying the journalistic skills I learned in news writing class or editing skills that I learned in my film-making class, but making that first post opened the doors for me to re-embrace my true passion. Communication.

This blog started after having a long discussion with my friend, Sebastian. It was one of those conversations which included the phrases “its time for a change,” “I need a new job,” “what am I doing with my life,” and, lastly, “where do I go from here?” It was his suggestion that I bring myself back to writing and communications in general and let things fall into place. After I made him promise that he’d push me and not let me procrastinate, I came here to WordPress.com and started “Plane&Simple.” Yep, that’s right, I started a blog before this. However, I wasn’t feeling it.

The name of a blog has to be fun, catchy, witty, something to bring people back — and Plane&Simple wasn’t doing it. Though, in the brief week that I had P&S I gained my first trusty follower, Sara Keagle of TheFlyingPinto.com. She had been blogging for quite a while before myself and took me under her wing (pun intended!) while I got myself started. However, the name of my blog was such a downer on my enthusiasm to write, that I stopped writing all together. Until one trusty day at Target when Sebastian once again came to the rescue and blurted out “Up Up and A Gay!” – and there it was. The new name, for my new blog,  and my new beginning.

I started UpUp&AGay, and quickly Sara found her way to my new location. She added me on Twitter and before I knew it, flight attendants and passengers alike were adding me and I officially threw the blog into the “social media” world. I’m still in awe of the outcome.

In just six months, UpUp&AGay has grown from one post with a new ambition to 62 posts with 328 comments in 14 categories containing 175 tags, and — the most impressive of them all, UpUp&AGay has been viewed 23,741 times as I write this post. I can’t believe it.

I can’t believe that something I’ve written, worked on, lived through and published has been viewed by over 20,000 people. These people, you, my readers, are some of smartest, most opinionated, funny, caring, friendly, pink boa wearing, airline loving, unique and motivating people I’ve ever met. I am honored that you all choose to read my blog and choose to come back time and time again to do so.

Not only did this blog open the door for me to write again, but it also opened the realm of possibilities within my Mass Media Communication degree. I’ve made, edited and produced (though only 3!) UPtv eposides and just completed the taping of the premiere episode of The Crew Lounge podcast with a GREAT group of people (Sara, Brad, Patti and Edith). None of this would be possible without this blog, and you.

Because of your readership and support, I’ve begun to spread my wings and try to pursue a career in journalism. Not to worry, I don’t plan on grounding myself just yet; breaking into that field isn’t easy and I’m not going to give up on everything I worked for to pursue a dream. But, I do know it takes time, I do know it’s possible, and I do know I have a full year ahead to strive toward my ambitions and goals.

So, as 2009 comes to a close, thank you. Thank you for reading this blog, thank you for following me on Twitter, and thank you for your comments, suggestions and your complaints. They’ve helped me grow and helped me to prepare for the year ahead.

Happy New Year!
Bobby Laurie

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Can’t we all just get along up in the air?

I came across this blog post on Gadling, via Twitter. The author, George Hobica, founder of Airfarewatchdog, writes about passengers and crewmembers being polite to one another up in the air. He writes about the famed orange juice incident on American Airlines and a few personal situations he’s found himself in. He also comments:

When asked, “Can I get you something to drink sir (or ma’am)” by a flight attendant (or by a waiter for that matter), it is not acceptable to bark out “Coke” without looking up from your Sudoku. It’s not acceptable in the air, and frankly, it’s not acceptable on the ground, either. But especially not in the air. Flight attendants are trained to save your life if there’s an incident.

He goes on to say,

and it is not acceptable when handed your beverage to skip the “thank you.”

I agree! A lot of travelers have been complaining about delays, cancellations and missing/timed out flight attendants on Twitter after this past weekends snow storm on the East coast. We take a lot of heat and disrespect from the traveling public but I still manage to be polite, and as nice I can be under the circumstances.

As I mentioned on the UPGRD.com podcast, I reward passengers who are polite. On my flights, if you’re the first person to say “please” and/or “thank you” – I’m going to offer you a free drink. You would be VERY surprised to learn that sometimes I go 4 hours into a flight or days into my trip before someone actually says it.

One of the comments on Geroge’s post particularly infuriated me

SpadesHead: Let me get this straight, you want me to thank her, after being treated rudely by every single employee of her airline until now? After her airline is adding fee after hidden fee? I’ll tell you what, I’ll start saying “thank you” after they do. Listen after you conversation at the ticket counter, do they say “thank you”, no, usually not. How about security? “Thank you.” No.

To you, Mr. SpadesHead, I want you to keep one thing in mind. We are all different people and our own person. Just because the company I work for implemented additional fees for checked bags, food, etc.,  and the agent at the ticket counter didn’t say “please” or “thank you” doesn’t mean I’m not going to or I agree with what they did. I deserve the same amount of respect you would pay to any stranger you meet on the street. I just so happen to be your flight attendant today, and could, potentially, save your life.

Would you say “thank you” to that?

George, thank you for writing you did. Flight Attendants across the world, I’m sure, thank you as well.

I don’t know why flying has to be a battle of negativity. Flying used to be a luxury and something everyone dreamed to do, now, it’s dreaded because of the supposed lack of customer service and humanity.

I for one like my job, enjoy what I do, and that shows in my work and my interactions with my passengers.

Being polite will get you everywhere.

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Holiday Airline/Airport Travel Tips

For those of you who might be traveling by air this holiday season, I thought I’d put together a quick guide to help you ensure that your travel plans go as smoothly as possible. I’ve been reading some tweets on twitter that a lot of you aren’t having a lot of luck because of the storm that hit the east coast this weekend, maybe this will help:

  • Check your flight status: find out if your flight is running late. The snow storm on the East coast messed up the air travel system nationwide. Though it might be sunny in your departure city, realize that your aircraft MIGHT be coming from a city which is experiencing some weather issues. Remember, delays can change in an instant.
  • Pack your carry-on according to Government regulations: remember you still cannot carry liquids or gels over 3.4 fluid ounces through the security check point. Double check the TSA’s website for information on how to pack your carry-on luggage so that you won’t encounter any issues going through security.
  • Know your airlines luggage rules: a lot of airlines now charge for checked bags, know what to expect before you get there. Don’t be caught by surprise when the agents tell you that you have to pay $50 extra to check two bags. Double check your airlines website to find fees associated with checked luggage.
  • Check in online: checking in for your flight online can save you time at the airport. Avoid the lines at curbside check-in and at the counters by printing your boarding pass from your home computer. Remember, if you’re checking a bag you still have to go to a check-in counter or a designated “luggage check only” counter to ensure your bags travel with you.

Continue reading the tip sheet by clicking here.

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