Saturday, December 08, 2007

Guilty until innocent

My wonderful employer has implimented a new eligibility verification process. Translation = You must prove that the people flying on your passes and entitled to your benefits are actually who you say they are, ie; parents, children, spouses, domestic partners, bedmates. So, In remaining consistent with the red tape propaganda, we are all (ALL 60,000 + employees) to send in a ridiculous collection of proof. I recently sent in a copy of my birth certificate and my mother's marriage certificate, to verify my Stepfathers right to fly, and no surprise, received a response that this documentation was "insufficient". Listed (and this is no joke) on the letter of requested additional docs states "copy of employee's birth certificate, final adoption papers if adopted before 18, baptismal certificate (Highly Christian-centric), or an affadavit verifying the relationship from a physician, estate planner or clergyman.

Considering that I have walked the line on discipline and have a less than spotless work history, I am trying to resist the temptation to send them in the provided envelope a baby tooth, Q-tip with my DNA, a crayoned picture from Kindergarten, and a poloroid of my mom and I from 1982, just to reinforce the fact that she is eligible for my passes. What makes this even sillier is that she has been on my eligible benefits list since I began with this Scairline 8 years ago. There. Now I feel better!

Tuesday, June 05, 2007

My trial retirement

I can't believe how many months it has been since I have posted.. I had a total burn out last year from too much work and pleasure travel, and went into a power save of sorts! I took all of my 2007 vacation at once followed by a special leave.. I was really planning on doing a quiet sneak out, and had even taken a new job at a medical spa, and started my masters program, but alas, the masochist in me must have spoken, as I am flying again... perhaps just until my program gets going in full swing, but who is to say.. I seem to cry wolf a lot about quitting..

So here it is June! I just finished a month of Munich and Frankfurts, language position. Yes, my kitchen is well stocked with beer and chocolate. Both are very much needed after dealing with the German and Eastern European passengers. I have been frequently abandoning the carts in the aisle to run into the galley or nearest lav for a few "serenity nows". This summer is supposed to be total mutiny with the system collapsing under strained aircraft and crew scheduling. Perhaps I should just be nannying, walking dogs or selling ice cream on the beach? I would likely earn more money with a Mr Tubesteak cart :(

Friday, December 01, 2006

Melbourne Cup

The day after the wedding I was thinking about flying back to Sydney for a few days, and then home, but was convinced by everyone to use my Sunshine Coast- Melbourne ticket instead, and attend the cup. So,... I am in Australia anyway, what's a few hundred more miles?

My flight is at 6pm, but check out is at noon. My alarm went off at 11:50 am... "who am I? Where am I? Oh no, 10 minutes til check out". I called down to the front desk inquiring about a reasonable check out considering it's low season, and staff did realize we all attended the Cleary/ McDowell wedding the night before. No such luck. Apparently no extensions were being given. So, 8 miutes later I have thrown the contents of my mobile home (travelpro) back into my suitcase, and I relocated to my temporary homeless shelter, a lounge chair by the pool. Could be worse I guess. I slathered myself in sunscreen as I did not want to wake up 3 hours later with 3rd degree burns, put on my sunglasses and earplugs, in case God forbid, screaming, splashing children should decide to enjoy the pool, set my alarm and went to sleep.

I am not ashamed, this is just part of being a skilled road warrior... use of resources, scouting of beds/ slash loungers and constant supply of pills, earplugs, and i pod accesories are just what you learn in Professional Gypsy 101.

Two of the Canadian guys woke me before my alarm went off and we went to the airport together. We were all quite silent on the flight, as we tried to recharge for what would be more debachery at the cup.

I stayed at my friend Jane's house (she works for Virgin Blue). She was like a child on Christmas morning, and had a pre-cup dinner, and cup breakfast planned, and her house was covered with "Cup dress options and accesories". Even though I was not a horse racing enthusiast (this has changed since the morning of the cup).. the excitment was contagious. The city seemed to shut down.. Surgeons putting down their scalpels, and plumbers their plungers in order to place bets and find fancy dress hats.

I quickly got into it, and danced around excitedly while drinking Belinis with my breakfast. Before we knew it, we were off to the races. Jane had a hook-up to the members only bar, which was wonderful, as it was surprisingly cold and nasty outside. Despite there being 120,000 spectators that day, we quickly found the wedding tour guests, and we drank Moet and placed bets together. My psychic tendancies failed me, and my horse didn't place. Jane's did, but we didn't realize this until the next day (too much excitment and too many cute boys around). It was too late as Jane's winning ticket was in a garbage bin we believe somewhere.

Anyway, all in all a great day, and a good end to my Australian vacation. I flew back to Sydney and on to LAX the next day, and began what was a 3 day jetlag/ travel recovery period.

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Big Day

I woke up the day of the wedding slightly hurting.. I could only imagine how bad the others were feeling as I had retired to bed, as they were pulling out a karaoke machine. Outside my window I saw people from the wedding I vaguely recognized, but they were moving slightly more slowly and wearing shades. I found one of Sally's friends (Jane) and joined her on a walk down to the beach. Nothing like jumping in the ocean and being knocked around by monster waves to wake you up. After the swim and an eggs benedict, I felt confident I could get myself together.

We went back to the resort just in time to escape a massive rainstorm. I have never seen rain like this, and I could only imagine the panick and downing of drinks that must have been occuring in the bridal/ bridesmaids unit. It continued to rain the whole day, and we all looked like drowned rats while filing off the bus into the church.... frizzy hair and streaky mascara, and a good 12 hours to go before the walks of shame were to begin!

We forgot about our rain filled shoes when Sally walked into the chapel. She looked beautiful. I tried my best to follow along with the Catholic wedding traditions. I was about 3 seconds behind in all the stand up- sit down- and automatic praying and crossings.

Leaving the chapel we saw to our delight that the rain had let up, and we were free to take the uncovered boat out on the river... YAY! what a relief. the bride and groom showed up, it stopped raining, and the champage was flowing. The reception dinner was great, ad the dancefloor was packed. I seem to remember Ucle Lenny moon walking at one point. by the end of the night I was demanding Jessie's girl from a confused Aussie DJ. Another friend gone to the smug marrieds!

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Canadian themed drinks night

The night before Sally's wedding, her parents threw a party in their apartment on the beach. Because "team Canada" had just won the Canada/ Australia olympics, (I missed this pre wedding event, as I was too busy missing my flight at SYD airport, probably a good thing as I would have no doubt been a jet lagged liability, uncoordinated at the best of times)... Anyway, the night's theme was Canada, especially for the Canadian guests and winning olympians... It was a bit connfusing, as it was organized by Aussies, based on their perceptions of Canadian themes. There was, in their defence, Molson, and The Tragically Hip on the play list. I spent the night running away from Sally's uncle Lenny, who with a twinkle in his eye was chasing me around keeping my drink full to the top, and telling off color jokes. I don't think I made it much passed 10pm, and did a sneak off back to my room, as all I could think about was bed.. I needed my beauty sleep before Sally's big day..

Saturday, November 11, 2006

Oi Oi Oi

My prayer and Ambien chaser worked, and I landed in Sydney. What happened next was just plain sad and avoidable... a comedy of errors... I was planning on catching a domestic flight up to the sunshine coast.. and had over 2 hours to make the connection. Sounded easy enough. No. Had to line up at the overzealus custom and immigration quaranteen section due to macadamia nuts I had won on the "halfway to Hawaii" game. Thanks alot beagle with a job. Tic toc. Out of customs, I follow the wrong signs, get a bit turned around.. (remnants of the Ambien cocktail to blame? perhaps?) By the time I get the information that I need to take an inter-terminal bus, I realize I am going to have to move it..

So I get to the bus. $5 AUS charge. Excuse me? I thought these things were universaly free! In my wallet I have $7 USD, and about 13 receipts from Starbucks around the world.. so, blood pressure rising, I look for an ATM machine. "OUT OF ORDER". Of course, why not... off to currency exchange booth to exchange my $7.

The next bus came 15 minutes later, and long story short, I get to the check in desk at jet star with 28 minutes before the flight. 30 minute cut off for checked bags. Too tired to cry. I would be missing the Canada/ Aussie Olympics planned by my friend's dad that day. So off to Sydney for lunch with a friend on layover there, and back to the airport 4 hours later. By the time I got to Noosa I had been traveling for about 24 hours. I had 45 minutes to get ready for the bachelorette party. I was the perfect attendee... drunk on one champagne, and speaking a strange dialect.. but I had made it...

To be continued...

Friday, November 10, 2006


Oh... Bliss.. vacation. The only time I love my job. With the exception of 2 days in the middle of my 30 days off.. where I will be scrambling around looking for my uniform.

I just got back from a pretty crazy travel blitz.... a few days in Maui, with my parents, back to San Fransisco for 2 days with friends, and then to Australia.. It was a total whirlwind, and not necessairly very well planned. 10 flights in all... bumped from one, and one missed, (that was my fault)...

MAUI - This was actually quite enjoyable, considering I am a bit old for family vacations! The weather was great, but lots of early bedtimes due to lack of trouble to find on the island of Newlyweds and Nearly-deads.... The weather was great though, and I snorkeled alot.. had a brief romance with a 300lb sea turtle who came up to the surface right in front of my face for air. He was beautiful.. barnicle covered head and all.

After Hawaii, I spent 2 days in San Fran, went for my favorite martinis, (lemongrass) and got bumped from my flight to Sydney. They had weight restricted the flight, but wouldn't believe that jumpseaters are immune to this policy.. They refused to call operations, and just stalled and acted all busy closing up the flight while myself and the other F/A fumed with anger. As they pulled the jet bridge. I was in a state of panic, knowing there were open business class seats, with my bum not in it. My last attempt was to jump up and down waving my ID badge frantically at the cockpit while pointing at my bottom... too late.. they had been told to push.

The next day I decided our agents are not only ignorant, but evil, and was afraid to try my luck on us again.. so I flew to Honalulu.. first class, thank God, bought a concession ticket on Air Canada to Sydney. Mistake. 10 hours on a LEMON. I actually paid attention to where my life vest was, as I thought there was about a 50/50 chance of ditching, by the looks of the aircraft interior. I was also not impressed with the pile of cold cuts, small pickle, stale vacuum packed roll, and cold hard pat of butter that was dinner. It was a sleeping pill with a wine chaser, and a quick prayer, before trying to sleep the majority of the flight..

to be continued