Here's the first round of questions for "Ask TT", hope you find it helpful!!
Q1. From Jo on 03/31/08
How many tries did you have before you got your first flying job?? I know people who go for interviews like 2/3/4 times! And was domestic flying exciting at all?
I applied to nearly every airline in my own country, and then some. I tried between 5 & 7 times for one particularly well-known world airline and stil lwas not succesful. However that turned out for the best as I got my last two airline jobs first try. It just took awhile of waiting until the offers came in. Persistence is key!!!
Domestic flying has its good and bad points, but yes, I found it fun. If long work days are not for you, domestic is probably better than international. but you may not stay places as much on Domestic. It does depend on the airline though.
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Q2. From jockowacko on 03/31/08
(a)Why do my feet swell when I take off my shoes at 38,000 feet and then I can't put them back on again so I have to walk out to the terminal in my socks?
As you know, air pressure at altitude is lower than at sea level. Everything expands, this is why you get gas if you drink too much cola or eat the spicy food on the plane. The same thing happens to your feet. Something to do with blood pooling n the lower limbs. his is why they tell you to try light exercise when flying long haul, to avoid potential problems. (Bonus tip: Plane food is not as healthyas it looks- you do NOT want to know how it is made)
(b)Do you have a policy for people whose religious beliefs include not bathing two weeks, don't believe in deodorant and decide to fly on a 747 with no vacant seats?
As with anything, we have to use tact & courtesy when dealing with this kind of thing. Unfortunately on a full flight sometimes there is nothing that can be done. Luckily, I haven't had this problem yet at my curretn airline, and we just hope the ground crew take care of it at check-in!!!
(c)Do you have special seating for them in the cargo compartment?
I wish. There are more than a few people I'd like to put in there!! ;)
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Q3. From snowgurl on 03/31/08
As per my recent blog entry question: I often experience a bit of difficulty equalising pressure in my ears. Any tips please advise...:)
A. It is best to avoid flying if you have a heavy cold; however if you can't it's helpful for some people to take a decongestant tablet prior to the flight. Over-the counter nasal sprays can also assist (Otrivin is a good one but I think a prescription is needed) - these help to widen the nasal passages and also the Eustacian tubes which connect your sinuses to your ears - these are the cause of the problem, as they can get too think to vent the pressure properly when blocked.
Chewing gum, yawning or sucking on a sweet can also help, and if your cold is severe or you usually get a little pain, carry some medication with you for this. Avoid the old 'pinching the nose' method as this can actually be harmful in some cases. Airlines often have eucalyptus inhalant sachets on board which you can ask for; use these prior to takeoff and again before descent. They work in the same way as the spray, though not as quickly or to the same extent.
If all else fails and you still experience pain after you get home, try a face cloth soaked in warm/hot water and held over the ear. If in doubt, consult your doctor!
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Q4. From Kimmywoo on 03/31/08
What's the best way to get a bulk-head seat?
A. There are several ways to do this.
Some airlines have the frequent flyer programs where you can have a 'preferred seat'put into your booking profile. The only problem is, these seats are popular and if a higher-tier member also requets these, you will miss out.
Web-check-in is increasingly popular, so this may be another option, but you have to be quick!! Bear in mind depending on the aircraft configuration, some of these seats may be classified as 'emergency exit row' seats and depending on the airline may not be selectable during online check-in. (Seat Guru may be able to help you check this & have great reviews on leg-room etc)
If all else fails, try to check in as early as possible, and ask politely whether any of those seats are still available. As they are popular you may be disappointed, ask only once! You would be surprised how far being pleasant to check-in staff will get you. Always answer questions about exit rows honestly- people sometimes 'hide' reasons they think will prevent them having the seat they want- but even if you get it, the crew responsible for that row can still move you out if they think you shouldn't be sitting there.
One last thing- bulkhead seats on flights are often also the location of baby basinettes; if you still get one after all the parents have been allocated, think to yourself do you really want to be sitting near the crying babies all flight!!! :)
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Q5. From lowandslow on 03/31/08
(a)Why don't they make the whole airplane out of the same stuff as the "black" (orange) box?
It's too heavy. And "black airplane" just doesn't have the same ring to it... :p
(b)Are airline Captains really the world's worst tippers?
Mostly, yes. Except when it comes to boobie bars ;)
(c) Do you get a big bonus if you're working a flight going east to west and you cross the International Date Line?
I want to work for that airline.
(d) Have you ever caught anyone trying to join the "Mile High Club" on one of your flights?
Yes. Both kinds- loo runners and solo flyers! Motto is: Eyes in front, keep walking if they're not too noisy and wink if they're cute... Making a PA announcement as the lucky couple exit the toilet is also always a winner. :p
(e) If you could work for any airline in the world, other than the one you work for now, which one would it be?
Ooh, tough call. Probably one where I get to stay on tropical islands, work one 4-10 hour flight a week and earn more than a captain at my old airline. Oh yes, and shopping. Also, they must pay the Inernational Date Line Bonus ;P
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Q6. From alcones1 on 04/03/08
what is the wrong day of the week to fly?
A. If the F/A is in a bad mood, all of them!!!
Obviously, holiday times are a big no-no if you can possibly avoid them Red-eye (overnight flights) are often overlooked but can be a good option if you come prepared (i.e. eye shades, ear plugs, iPod and lots of patience)
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Q7. From The-Lone-Groover on 04/04/08
Does anyone actually ever buy anything out of those catalogues that are stuffed in the seat pockets?
A. Yes. They actually do, on one occasion a crew at my airline sold $7000 on one international flight. That's a lot of souvenir keyrings!
Ok those were some great questions, hope I have answered your wonderings and feel free to ask some more!!!