This ramp area may look messy, but it is like controlled chaos... kind of.  Photo:

This ramp area may look messy, but it is like controlled chaos… kind of – Photo: AirlineReporter

Out in the aviation world, there are a few different people who always take the blame for anything airline-related. If you are inside the terminal, the customer service staff always take the brunt of any little problem. If it’s onboard the aircraft, the blame is given to the flight attendants. But if something happens to your checked baggage, then all the blame is placed squarely on the ramp agent (more commonly known as a “ramper”).

I was a ramp agent, and I can tell you right now that sometimes that blame should not come to me.  Sure, there are times that they should take the blame, but not always. Working the ramp is not an easy job, and I am going to debunk a couple of myths that surround life under the wing.

- Photo: Lord of the Wings | FlickrCC

SATA Airbus A310 – Photo: Lord of the Wings | FlickrCC

As part of a recent business trip, I had to make a trip to the Azores. There are a limited number of options for getting out to the island chain in the central Atlantic. As I was coming from Lisbon, I had the option of either taking the low-cost route of Ryanair/easyJet, or full-service options of TAP or SATA (Sociedade Açoriana de Transportes Aéreos).

What sealed the deal to take SATA over TAP was the fact that my desired flight was to be operated by an Airbus A310 aircraft, (affectionally known as “the football”), a classic airliner that is disappearing from active commercial service. I had never flown on an A310, nor on SATA, so I was looking forward to this trip.

Sometimes it's fun to board by a bus Photo: Jacob Pfleger | AirlineReporter

Sometimes it’s fun to board by bus on an A310 (reg: CS-TKN) – Photo: Jacob Pfleger | AirlineReporter

Departure in Lisbon was from Terminal 1. Online check-in is possible with SATA, however as I had a bag to drop off and I wanted a “souvenir” paper boarding pass (something harder to come by these days), I used the classic counter check-in. As my flight was was continuing on to Boston, from Ponta Delgada, the departure was from the non-schengen area of the terminal. This necessitated passing through passport control, and was hassle-free as my boarding pass clearly stated I was disembarking in the Azores and I only needed my ID card.

When ready to board, we boarded a bus and headed out on the ramp. No complaints from me, since I enjoyed the experience of the A310 up-close-and-personal.

Microsoft Paint is how I do all my graphic design. It's clearly good enough for this new airline. Image - Avatar Airlines

Microsoft Paint is how I do all my graphic design. It’s clearly good enough for this new airline – Image: Avatar Airlines

Have you ever wanted to invest in an airline, but get nothing in return? I sure have.

Ever wanted to pay for a job interview to be a captain, first officer, or flight attendant? Oh, of course; you had me at the complete lack of employment guarantee!

Well, then I have an opportunity for you: Avatar Airlines. And if you act fast (like serious, because who knows how much longer they will be allowed to exist), you can buy your way into getting way over-priced trinkets at!

Baltia Air Lines' Boeing 747-200. Image: Baltia.

At least they have a real plane… sort of – Photo: Baltia

You heard it here folks. Remember Family Airlines? Remember Baltia? Complete fixtures in the aviation landscape of America. Why?  Because they’re both in the 12thofnever alliance. I often fly Family Airlines to New York before flying the “golden cock” Baltia across the Atlantic. Truly amazing. Oh wait, no I don’t. Because neither of those airlines will ever exist (well, Baltia sort of — for now), except in our hearts.

But maybe Avatar Airlines will be different? At least if you invest in this airline, you are likely to get something in return (like a t-shirt). But let’s take a look at how Avatar differs from its past and non-existent competition.


There are a number of aircraft to meet your AvGeek needs

What better way to spend Father’s Day weekend than saluting our veterans at the picturesque Teterboro Airport, as The Aviation Hall of Fame & Museum of New Jersey hosts its annual vintage aircraft and car show. This charming family event features WWII Airplanes, helicopters, and other unique aircraft. In past years, classic cars such as an original Corvette – and even a Batmobile – have been on display for the enjoyment of adults and children alike.