Sunday, 21 March 2010

Sorry Folks!

The Jet Driver is snowed under with work at the moment, but will blog back soon.
In the meantime, a couple of folks have asked me to link the following videos to the blog.

They are a tribute to some very good friends of mine who work for that bastion of PR and "everything is just fine" operation that is Emirates Airlines.

Some of the one liners you won't get, I suppose, because you don't work there - but for sheer entertainment purposes, they are well worth a look.

They are in widescreen so I cannot embed them here, but just click to link to the first one and then follow the episodes from there.

Have fun!

(More space program-type blogs coming soon, just as soon as I get back again)


Sunday, 14 March 2010

Goodbye Gulf Air!

Somebody has gone and fucked what is left of Gulf Air.

The Jet Driver usually travels First Class and has a tendency to use Gulf Air, not for the fact that I like the retro design on their planes, but, because for me, their level of cabin service in First is exemplary - and kicks the ass out of what the rest of the GCC has to offer.

I get my own Sky Chef - and I say "my own" because usually I am in the First Class Cabin alone because due to the global recession, my usual Gulf Air travel buddies have had their purse strings tightened and so are now traveling with the other peasants in Economy.

The Business Class section is always at around fifty per cent capacity, therefore, no upgrades from the wannabes in there, so invariably - Jet Driver gets First Class to himself - until now.

Welcome to the wonderful new fuck-up marketing policy from Gulf Air that is "Golden Falcon."
They've combined Business with First - however only some seats have Sleeper Seats while the rest of the cabin have the usual business-level "almost" lie-flat system.
Gulf Air claim that if you buy a Golden Falcon ticket that, depending on the ticket type code, you will be allowed to use one of the premium seats but if you do not have that J, K or whatever, then you are doomed to a "normal" Business Class seat.

"So what?" I hear you ask.'s what.
Hiding behind this so-called revolutionary new Golden Falcon service is the rather dark fact that Gulf Air are using this as a tactic to reduce staff numbers on board their aircraft.

Traditionally, there were 24 seats in Business and only 8 in First - normally occupied by just one person.......Jet Driver! - who is always going to be booking himself on First Class anyway - so the whole "you could be a winner with Golden Falcon" doesn't mean shit to me.

What does mean shit to me however, is the fact that MY two cabin crew members and Sky Chef are now dealing with both the First AND Business Class cabins with NO ADDITIONAL SUPPORT!

They now have to serve a potential 32 people instead of a previous potential maximum of 8.
So I now get 80% less service! - I was appalled!

No proper setting up of my dinner service.
No "Some more port before bed, Mr. Jet Driver?"
No more tender loving care from gorgeous, uniformed babes!
No turn-down service. - (which was about the only time that JD ever gets "turned down")

Gulf Air - you have fucked it! Literally!
I'll give you a year before you have to either change it or close down!
You are supposed to be a LEGACY CARRIER!

First and Business! You cannot combine them - we are different types of passenger.
Business Class is "Nigel" from management at HSBC.
First Class is, as was the other day, Alain Prost and Jet Driver! (He was also appalled!)

What this says is....."We are the only airline in the Middle East who have to make cut-backs because we cannot attract as many "high net worth" passengers, so we will just slowly die as the RyanAir or EasyJet of the Middle East.

Well - not with my money you won't! I'm off to NetJets!

Saturday, 6 March 2010

Muscat Confidential Blocked By Omantel

Have tried to access The Dragon's blog all morning but all I get is the "Blocked by popular demand" message from Omantel.

Are they just updating their system or has someone finally lost their mind at Omantel?

Guys.....come on! The implications of blocking this are massive.


Thursday, 4 March 2010

Kiddies Controlling Airplanes In New York

I had to be peeled off the ceiling when I heard about this one!
Two controllers allowed a child to issue commands to pilots from the ground and tower controllers positions.

Pilots were heard to express amusement when answering the young boy, with some even going as far as having general chit-chat over the airwaves with him.

In one exchange, the boy is heard to say "JetBlue 171 contact Departure" to which the pilot replied "Over to Departure, JetBlue 171, awesome job kid!"

It turns out that the boy was the son of a JFK Tower Controller who was with him to have a look around while on his school holidays.
The guy has now been suspended, pending an FAA investigation which will probably result in him losing his job.

The National Air Traffic Controllers Association have launched a scathing attack on the controller stating that he was unprofessional and put the lives of hundreds of people at risk at Kennedy Airport.

As far as I am concerned, they can shove that opinion up their collective asses!
There was nothing wrong with what was done by the controller. All was perfectly monitored and supervised and I sincerely doubt that the kid was left alone on position. Just a case of "Hey son. I am going to say this and then you say this ok? Here....I wrote it down for you."

My guess is that whoever sanctioned the investigation is one of those management dickheads who has never given a takeoff clearance in his life.

All the fun is slowly being squeezed out of this industry by jobsworths and morons who have no idea how or where aviation came about, and have no idea of the types of people involved in both flying planes and controlling them.

If there are any more pilots or controllers reading this.....get writing and let the FAA and NATCA know just what we all think......that no harm was or could have been done - at least not outside of some ass-covering safety manual written by an insurance company.

We are aviators. Professional, flexible and don't mind the odd joke or dream come true for a kid on the radio.
This sits right up there with the ban on cockpit visits. Nonsense, insurance company ass-covering again.
Beancounters and non-flying management types are slowly destroying our industry from the inside out.

I'm fuming. Really, I am!