Occupation? Cat-herder, fire-fighter, problem-solver, go-fetch boy and diplomat; Business Development
Miles flown this year? 26,044
Last flight? SAN to JFK
Check it or Carry on? Carry-on whenever possible, but it is necessary to check-it during the winter (due to the winter coat). I stopped using rolling-bags about a year ago. Instead, I use a LeSportsac duffel bag when I carry-on because I can move faster through the parking lot and airport than when I drag a rolling bag.
Window or Aisle? Aisle (I will take a longer route or different flight to get an aisle seat)
Something to Drink? Mostly Jack Daniels (on the rocks) and Coffee (black) because they help me stay awake. Eastbound flights tends to be O-dark-thirty flights, and I’m often pooped headed home westbound. Once in awhile, a Bloody Mary (if I’m hungry). Water, no thank you (I carry my own bottle on the plane)
Beef or Chicken? Beef
What exactly is in your carry on bag? In alphabetical order, alarm clock, Bayer Back & Body pills, business cards, condoms, Crackberry (cell phone), Crackberry headset, dip (I decline to elaborate for your audience if they do not happen to know already), Dummy Device (laptop), Dummy Device spare battery (in case my seat does not have a power source), DVD movie (I never seem to have the time to watch it), earphones, exercise bands, eye-drops, handkerchief, highlighter, memory stick (for the files you’re not supposed to view at work; just kidding), meal (I would rather buy a salad or sandwich in the airport than on the plane), mouthwash, newspaper, pen, power adaptor (it plugs into cars and airplane seats), power cord (Dummy Device), shoe horn (it spares me from untying my shoes when going through airport secuirity), sunglasses, trail mix (from Trader Joe’s), umbrella (a mini-one), USB cable (it will power my Crackberry and Crackberry headset and is lighter to carry than the actual adaptors for both devices), water bottle, wireless modem card (I use this for Internet access at home and on the road; I am convinced hotels have a way of blocking the signal to impel me to pay the $13 for Internet access because the only place the card doesn’t seem to work is in hotels) and work papers. Yup, a lot fits in my computer bag. Some conspicuous omissions are a novel (I don’t do much leisure reading lately, which is especially sad because I was an English major) and iPod (I do not own one but do listen to iTunes on my Dummy Device on the plane)
Any packing tips/tricks? Pack heavier, larger items on the bottom. Sometimes, you can maximize space by rolling some clothing items (e.g., boxers, undershirts) and packing them on the sides of your bag. The TSA may be less likely to inspect a well-packed bag than one in which items are just jammed in. Pack an extra zip-lock bag in case the one you are currently using for TSA-screening breaks or becomes misplaced during the course of your travels. When you get to the hotel, hang your clothes on hangers in the bathroom, turn on the shower at the highest temperature and close the door for ~15-30 minutes. This process will remove many of the wrinkles in your clothing. You do not need to stay in the bathroom during this process
Describe your traveling outfit. When checking a bag: comfy dress shoes, socks, slacks, boxers, belt, undershirt, dress shirt and fleece wind-breaker. Why? If my checked-bag is delayed (knocking on wood as I type), I could go into a work meeting in this attire. Why the fleece wind-breaker? It allows me to keep my suit jacket folded in the bag. Flight attendants have enough crap to do before take-off and landing than to hang your jacket. Also, I’m not putting a piece of clothing in the over-head bin (have you ever seen some of the nasty stuff people stow up there?). When I carry-on my bag, I’ll often wear khakis and a golf shirt instead of the work garb
Best or worst shoes to wear through airport security: Any shoes that are broken in are good (nothing is worse than travelling in brand new shoes). Unless you’re going to a warm island on holiday, no flip-flops (would you really want to run for your life in flip-flops?)
Any airport routines? Obtain my boarding pass, get through security, go to my gate (I learned from experience not presume that gate 34 is close by because I happen to be staring at gate 33; I walk until I can actually see where it is), then walk around the airport to the best available food vendor to get my in-flight food (the best vendor might be in BFE, but this also kills time, too), get my bottle of water and newspaper, use the restroom and then plop down at a bar or coffee place to wait for my flight. More generally, avoid connecting through JFK or ORD. JFK and ORD are great origin or ending destinations, but there are often delays at those airports.
Best airline/experience? American Airlines. JetBlue is decent (but surprisingly expensive sometimes). Delta was ok in the day. I have never liked and will never like United Airlines. Alaska Airlines is good, too, but they only fly to a limited number of places. I respect what Southwest does (because they will sit your ass on the plane one way or the other to help ensure an on-time departure), but I don’t like their planes or seating system. When I was a kid going back and forth from boarding school, TWA was my favorite airline.
Nicest Airport? SFO or SNA (but I don’t like changing planes, LGA or EWR, so it’s tough to fly out of SNA unless it’s to ORD or closer)
Favorite Airport restaurant? DFW, AA terminals. Good sit-down and fast-food options. Great variety.
Hotel away from home? Starwood. Westin. Sheraton is the back-up. No on W. I don’t mind hanging at bars at Ws, but the rooms are a little kitchy for my liking
Favorite in-flight announcement? Any ones pilots do not make. When I first started flying, pilots were honorable, respectable people who were polished professionals. Pilots’ messages now are boring, often poorly articulated and inevitably condescending. The increase in flying jobs for pilots (e.g., corporate pilots, private pilots) may play a role. The better pilots (with more polished people skills and attitudes) may now in fact take jobs outside of the major airlines, which might lead to a diminished talent pool for the commercial airlines. It may also be the case that fewer pilots today have military backgrounds, which might make the problem worse. I feel very strongly about this pilot-talent issue with the major airlines. I do not like sitting next to off-duty pilots on my flights and would rather not hear on-duty pilots speak on the microphone until they remember what pilots used to embody: real leaders earn the respect of people and do not rely on authority to be complacent.
Book last read on a flight? I don’t often read on planes. I’d rather have a conversation with someone.
NOW FILL IN THE BLANK
I can’t fly without my… pleasant disposition, which enables me to travel stress-free (travel seems to be stressful for some passengers)
On my last flight… I met a compelling, insightful soul who I hope will always find health, happiness and prosperity in her life. I think she might have a blog, too
This passenger I sat next to… on my last flight is an American lady who has been teaching fourth graders in Bahrain for the past 13 years. Earlier this year, I sat next to a gentleman who grows and sells organic avocados, lived in Biosphere II and also takes people on guided tours on an 80′ sailboat for a few months each year. There were some other noteworthy people lately, but I will not elaborate so as to maintain deniability.
I had this one flight… where I spent a couple of hours having fun in the galley below the main cabin (this was pre-9/11)
If I could be anywhere in the world, I’d … be in the company of a compelling woman. Beyond that, absorbing Paris from the top of l’arc de Triomphe, staying up all night in Barcelona, sitting at a card table in Sin City, making love in Carmel, walking through the sand on Maui, having breakfast at Mama’s on North Beach in San Francisco, eating Maine lobster in New England and catching a game at Fenway Park (in no particular order) or catching a matinee. A bi-coastal life is a theme, too. I was born and raised in California, which makes it easiest for me to live in California. However, if I don’t get to travel out of the state consistently, especially to larger U.S. cities, I go bonkers.
When it comes to traveling, I wish… on each trip that I meet someone interesting, experience new places, have fun and there are no significant travel delays. Also, I wish passengers would raise and lower their seat-backs slowly (so they don’t slam into my computer) and could get themselves out of their seats without grabbing the back of my seat.
Why do flight attendants… choose the monthly bids that they choose. The individual preferences intrigue me, where for any given route, one flight attendant may prefer/loathe it for a completely different set of reasons than another flight attendant.
Next flight? SAN>PHL or SAN>JFK. I’ll know more details in a week or so.
Geno’s picture: (Coming soon!)
ALSO COMING SOON – FLIGHT ATTENDANT OF THE MONTH INTERVIEW!