Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Preparing Your Flight For A Pleasant Airline Experience


 Picture 800                                                                                                                                     From the flight deck we have reached our cruising altitude of 35,000 feet.

Look at all those buttons!





Diamond Head Is that Diamond Head?







disco dancer While you were still dancing the night away at your graduation party, quite a few airline employees were in the process of ensuring that you will have a pleasant airline experience.

Although this process involves numerous employees and takes place at various airline departments around the country it is usually done with precision of a fine orchestra.






Moscow Ochestra The Moscow Symphony Orchestra has nothing on a well run airline operation.






To minimize mechanical delays, before your airplane takes flight, it is given a thorough interior and exterior inspection. At least once every 7 days it must be checked by a highly qualified and government (FAA) certified aircraft mechanic. If it will be flown international on certain routes then a daily check by an aircraft mechanic is required.

“Jim, I think the number 2 needs some oil”.

Pennz OilJust like taking your car to Pennzoil, the oil is changed and has to be checked regularly in an airplane engine.

Full, some airplane engines require up to 20 quarts of oil.





landfill-landscape Boy, did the passengers from the last flight leave a mess on board. Newspaper, candy wraps,food containers and even diapers are just some of the things passengers leave behind.

This must be cleaned up as I am sure you don’t want to fly in a messy airplane.



Braniff FA “Your trash, your wife’s trash, newspapers, magazines, (he's trash, just kidding)”.

Take advantage of your flight attendant collecting in-flight trash to dispose of items you will not be taking with you.






Wx Map Somewhere in a probably windowless building an airline meteorological department member has began checking out the weather conditions for your flight.





Picture 1544 Is it still snowing in Winnipeg, when is it suppose to stop?

What about those thunderstorms building in the Midwest?







Stephanie, do you think that fog is going to be lifted in San Francisco by noon?








These are just some of the questions that need to be answered in order to generate a proper flight plan for your flight. Some items included in the flight plan are the route of your flight, the distance and time it will take to complete and how much fuel will be required. These factors are based on the information just received from the meteorological department.

Archie, are you still with me? Yeah, yeah go ahead, Meat-head!


Ac Fueling Did you know that there is a legal (FAA) minimum fuel requirement for every flight?

At a weight of about 7 pounds per gallon, JET-A fuel can contribute a significant amount of weight to an airplane.

Since a heavier airplane uses more fuel than a lighter one, airlines must optimize the amount of fuel carried.

Therefore, airlines will normally fly with the minimum amount of fuel to safely complete your flight.

Interestingly, most flights do not fly full of fuel.


Unfortunately, at times passengers and cargo are left behind if weather conditions warrant carrying more fuel than normal for a particular flight. This usually happens in the winter or on international flights with longer than usual flight times combined with bad weather forecasted for your arrival destination.

Kim, looks like the fuel on board should be 24.6. That's 24,600 pounds! Airline fuel is referenced in terms of pounds (weight). At 7 pounds per gallon, 24,600 pounds is approximately 3500 gallons. Just a little less than is required to fill up your Hummer!


hummer1To Las Vegas, your flight will use approximately 12,000 lbs (1700 Gals) of fuel to Las Vegas.

Today, there are strong gusty crosswinds at LAS that effect your flight ability to land there.

The extra fuel is in case your flight has to divert to Phoenix. 



etch-a-sketch-blank “This afternoon our route will take us North of Chicago, South of Denver, West of Dallas then East of Phoenix where we'll begin our arrival into Las Vegas.”

Sometimes, I think they use an Etch A Sketch when flight planning the routes to be flown.




For weather conditions, air traffic control reasons or shortest en-route time flights are generally never flown in a straight line from Point A to B.

Although all airlines prefer the shortest en-route time, some will sacrifice this in order to give you a more comfortable ride around areas of known or forecast turbulence.


airline-food-512 Next your flight must be catered with your meals (usually only for First Class) along with beverages and snacks.





geico-american-express-deal2 On today's flight you will have the choice to purchase a limited amount of On-board Meals that are comparable in price to what you would pay inside the airport.

In most cases cash is not accepted so have your Visa, MasterCard, Discover or your Geico American Express Card ready.


15 minutes can also save you money on airline tickets with proper research and planning. So simple, even I could do it with a little help from.

All of the airport preparations may happen within the last hour before your flight. However, hours before your departure, the earlier talked about flight plan is produced by your flight dispatcher somewhere in Dallas (for American) or Phoenix (for Southwest Airlines).

This flight plan is then filed into the air traffic control system so space is reserved and coordinated for your flight.


peter_graves--300x300 Remember the pilot you introduced yourself to earlier at the boarding gate?

Well, the tons and tons of paper work that you saw him trolling over, was your flight plan.

It was sent from Atlanta to, OMG .. a dot matrix printer at your departure gate.

It contains all the information he will need to successfully and safely conduct your flight.


I hope he did not pick a bad week to quit sniffing glue!


DSCF0027 “I think that's Lake Mead, we must be getting close to landing.”

How you doing Archie? I hope I did not talk your ears off.

Yeah, yeah. Oh, by the way you ain't so bad a seat neighbor after all. What did say your name was?

I don't have a name, my user name is taken!




08R HNL Next time, who's flying the airplane and how do they do it!









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