In this experience we recognize incredible crew and in-flight experiences we've had.
We start the news articles. Since the situation is still not too good these days, we get the bad news out of the way first.
South China Morning Post article "Cathay axes record 5,300 Hong Kong jobs and closes regional airline in HK$2.2 billion survival plan"
Dallas Morning News article (via Omaha World-Herald) "Southwest Airlines' flight attendants could soon be selling credit cards on flights to stem pandemic losses"
CBC article "Hundreds of protesting airline workers aim anger at transport minister" (20 October 2020)
We know that a lot of crew members are doing what they can these days to get by – and the day that the layoff comes to an end is a long way off.
Sometimes it's not one crew member, but rather the entire team – and you as a passenger know that the entire team is just in the zone.
On some flights the crew doesn't work that well together - it may a case of staff being thrown together to cover a flight, or in some cases is might be that there were two different airline cultures merged together and the remnants of various seniority. Sometimes the crew doesn’t mesh well with third-party ground handlers, but usually they try to work together.
As a third-party ground handler, Vinod had particularly good interactions with British Airways crews. The favour was returned, in spades, when he was on a flight from London to Nairobi.
When Vinod first became an airline staff member, he learned about airline cooperative agreements and booking staff standby flights. His colleagues reiterated that he needed to bring a care package for the crew of the flight he was flying on. On a Vancouver to Amsterdam flight he had an incredible KLM flight deck experience on takeoff and landing, while also enjoying business class. During the same trip on a separate Air France flight from Paris to Casablanca, he was offered top quality wine from the front of the plane while in the very last row of economy.
Geoff has had great crew experiences. His neighbouring passengers on an ANA flight from Narita to Singapore had extremely sweet post honeymoon best wishes from the crew. His flight from Oslo to JFK was one where the crew was just in the zone and seamless. He also has had a few Lufthansa transatlantic flights where the crew kept passengers consistently hydrated – always in the aisle with juice and water.
Speaking of food and water, Vinod had the most awkward airplane meal of his life on a LAN flight from Cuzco to Lima.
A late Cathay Pacific overnight flight from Vancouver to Hong Kong ended up with a seat change in the dark for Vinod...now what's behind the business class curtain?
Vinod had a tiny business class experience from Paris to Dublin on an Air France BAe 146 mini jumbo.
We share Vinod's previously shared experience with his Emirates flight from Beijing to Dubai that had almost too much crew love.
Sometimes it was informal like on a Lufthansa flight from Frankfurt to St. Petersburg – Vinod take your pick of alcohol.
Vinod had tried to fly from JFK to Paris with Air France in his airline uniform. That wasn't successful - however he wound up with an early morning fight deck landing surprise in a 380.
Seat 1A tip – take the time to say thank you to your crew. We realize these days how many incredible crew experiences we've had.
In our next experience, we've got a special guest joining us – we look forward to you joining us.
If you have a story about amazing crew experiences, or other stories that you would like to share, please email us at stories(at)seat1a.org or find us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Patreon. Show notes are available online at http://podcast.seat1a.org/