Around the World

Miles flown for stories
2014: 258,704
2013: 330,818

Southwest’s Social Care Team Gets a New Home

The Wall Mounted Screens of the new Southwest Airlines Listening Center

Wall-mounted screens in the new Southwest Airlines Listening Center

Airlines in the modern world seem to use social media one of two ways.  Either as an effective marketing tool with no ability to handle any customer service functions, or as a customer service tool with little-to-no ability to market effectively.  There are a rare few airlines that can do both of these things and one of them is Southwest.  Recently, they began operations in their new Listening Center, a kind of “social media command center” and I had a chance to see how it works.

A better look at the set up in the Listening Center

A better look at the set up in the Listening Center

Social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram have become so ingrained into many of our lives.  We have access to them on our phones, tablets, and computers – even on watches – that it becomes so overwhelming.

In some forms it is a great way of sharing things with others, like what you are doing or where you are going.  However, it is also a great tool in getting a message across or being able to get some things fixed.  As social media has grown over the years, it has become more and more apparent that businesses need to address these platforms as a separate communication tool and start to use them effectively.  The Listening Center at Southwest is the first of its kind and is staffed by up to nine people at a time. Continue reading Southwest’s Social Care Team Gets a New Home

Visiting the World’s Largest Airline-Owned Museum – the TAM Museum in Brazil

The TAM Museum has quite the impressive collection. You can go into the TAM Fokker 100.

The TAM Museum has quite the impressive collection. You can go into the TAM Fokker 100.

When I was invited to check out the Museu TAM (aka the TAM Museum, Museu Asas de um Sonho, or the Wings of a Dream Museum), of course I was excited. I was expecting to check out a facility that told the history of TAM Airlines and was mostly focused only the airline. I was surprised to find out that there were parts of the museum that focused on TAM, but really there was also a broader look at Brazilian aviation and aviation in general.

You can see the TAM MRO behind the museum

You can see the TAM MRO behind the museum

If you are a fan of airlines, military aircraft, or old war birds, you will find something of interest. Of course, if you like all those different things, then this is the place for you. The best part — it is open to the public to check out!

Continue reading Visiting the World’s Largest Airline-Owned Museum – the TAM Museum in Brazil

Inside Look: Crew Rest Areas on Different Airliners

The pilot's rest area inside an Air Canada Boeing 787 Dreamliner - Photo: Howard Slutsken | Airways News

The pilot’s rest area inside an Air Canada Boeing 787 Dreamliner – Photo: Howard Slutsken | Airways News

Often passengers on long-haul flights do not stop and think about the need for the flight crew to rest. Pilots and flight attendants only have a certain number of hours that they can work, and then they need their time to rest.

Some airlines opt for crew rest areas either above or below the passenger cabin of the aircraft, while others will have crew just use your standard passenger seat.

A crew rest sign means business

A crew rest sign means business – Photo: David Parker Brown | AirlineReporter

We have had a chance to visit quite a few different rest areas and I have to say that one thing that most of them have in common is they are small. They probably wouldn’t be a good fit for those who are claustrophobic.

It is not always easy to get to the rest areas (normally, steep stairs or a ladder), and once you are in, there isn’t always too much room to maneuver. However, what they do offer is a private space, away from passengers, to get some rest.

We wanted to share the number of different crew rest areas that we have visited. Enjoy the photo tour:

Continue reading Inside Look: Crew Rest Areas on Different Airliners

Flight Review: Checking Out Condor Airlines’ Business Class to Frankfurt

My Condor Boeing 767-300ER on the ground at Frankfurt

My Condor Boeing 767-300ER on the ground at Frankfurt

CONDOR AIRLINES BUSINESS CLASS REVIEW BASICS

Airline: Condor Airlines
Aircraft: Boeing 767-300ER (Version 3 SEA-FRA and Version 1 FRA-SEA)
Departed: Seattle-Tacoma International Airport (SEA)
Arrived: Frankfurt Airport (FRA)
Stops: Non-stop flight
Class: Business class
Seat: SEA-FRA 1D then 4A | FRA-SEA 3K
Length: About 10 hours

The Business Class product on Condor's 767s

Business Class product on Condor’s 767s

Cheers: Nicely upgraded product, food that is tasty and fun to eat!
Jeers: Service on my flights was not consistent. Ground operations in Frankfurt were disappointing.
Overall: What an amazing value.

Continue reading Flight Review: Checking Out Condor Airlines’ Business Class to Frankfurt

The Disaster That Wasn’t: Saving Eastern Air Lines Flight 902

An Eastern Air Lines L1011 - Photo:

An Eastern Air Lines L1011 – Photo: Wiki Commons

This story was written by David J Williams on NYCAviation.com

Student pilots are taught very early on to recognize that when an airplane approaches its minimum flying speed, the airflow over the wing will begin to separate or break down, creating turbulence over the tail. The degradation of lift and the associated turbulence over the tail causes the airplane to buffet and alert the pilot to a deteriorating and dangerous situation. The recovery is rather basic – lower the nose some, apply full power to the engine and let the airplane fly out of it. As it accelerates, the buffeting will end and the aircraft will safely regain both flight and controllability.

In the 1930’s, military and large civilian airplanes were being equipped with supercharged and turbocharged engines. These engines enabled to the planes to fly higher and faster than airplanes with normal engines. However, these “boosted” engines required a pilot with a delicate hand on the throttles. Whereas a normally aspirated engine could run at full throttle continuously without much more than some added wear, the supercharged and turbocharged engines would run beyond the normal power limits creating excessive heat which, in minutes, would damage the engine. Only when the situation was critical could a competent pilot consider “firewalling” the throttles by pushing them to the stops and exceeding the manufacturers’ limits.

When the turbojet airliners appeared in the late 1950’s, engine heat became an even more critical issue. Firewalling these engines would result in immediate engine damage from the heat, while only providing a small gain from accelerating the engine past takeoff power. This is because the supersonic exhaust stream beyond the takeoff limit “chokes” in the tailpipe and the additional thrust is lost, becoming marginal at best.

Continue reading The Disaster That Wasn’t: Saving Eastern Air Lines Flight 902 on NYCAviation.com