Welcome On Board!

“Ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls, a very warm welcome on board this international flight shortly departing for glitz, glamour and a peek behind that galley curtain; as we reveal what life is really like for your international trolley dollies at 35,000 feet.

We now ask that you give us a few moments of your time, while we take you through the safety features of this state-of-the-art jet.

A safety card is in your seat pocket. What use a piece of laminated card will be if our aircraft ploughs into a mountain is a mystery to me, but please take a quick look at the pretty pictures.

Confessions Safety Card

The exits are located here, here and here. They’re still open, so if you don’t like what you’ve seen so far I suggest you leave now.

Your seat-belt is used as demonstrated. If you don’t know how to fasten a seat-belt you probably shouldn’t be allowed out on your own.

If there is a drop in cabin pressure, masks will drop from above you. Grab a mask and pull it towards you. Then insert your credit card into the slot provided. This will start the oxygen supply. Place your own mask on before helping others. If you are travelling with two or more children, decide now which one you love most.

All passengers are provided with a complimentary life-jacket, should our flight become a cruise. Simply pop it over your head, pass the straps around your waist and tie in a double bow. It is also fitted with a light to attract the attention of passing sailors. We will pass through the cabin, handing out babies for the lifecots.

Please now ensure that your seat-belt is securely fastened. Your tray table stowed. Seat back up-right and that your luggage is safely stowed away. Smoking is only permitted in the smoking section which can be located on each wing. If you can light it, you can smoke it.

Please be advised that we operate a very strict NO policy onboard all of our flights.

Finally, ladies and gentleman, the cabin lights will shortly be dimmed for our departure, this is to improve the appearance of your cabin crew.

Thank you for listening to our safety briefing. For those of you that didn’t……good luck!

We would like to wish you a very pleasant flight today with confessionsofatrolleydolly.com”

© confessionsofatrolleydolly.com by Dan Air

#CoaTDNews – Airports Commission backs third Heathrow Runway

After decades of dithering about extra aviation capacity in South-east England, a third runway is needed at Heathrow: that is the conclusion of the Airports Commission set up by the Prime Minister.

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But with fierce opposition to the scheme both inside and outside the Government, the door has been left open for a second runway at Gatwick instead.

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#CoaTDNews Alitalia unveils new livery and impressive upgrade to its cabin products.

This week, Italian national carrier Alitalia revealed its new livery and onboard cabin products at an event at Rome Fiumicino airport, in front of a large audience including Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi.

Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi speaks at the launch event

Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi speaks at the launch event

The livery has initially been painted on one of the airlines Airbus A330 aircraft, named Artemisia Gentileschi after the 17th century Italian artist, regarded as one of the most progressive and talented artists of her generation, and the embodiment of courage and human dignity.

The new livery will operate its first flight from Rome to Abu Dhabi on Friday, June 5, before returning to Milan.

In a statement the carrier said, “After 46 years, the green band will disappear from the fuselage for the first time. At the core of the new livery is a larger tricolour ‘A’ tailfin, which serves as a powerful representation of the Italian flag across the world. A more modern typeface and non-Italic style conveys the confidence and assertiveness of the new Alitalia. A warm ivory fuselage adds an element of Italian style and elegance to the scheme, and a sense of speed is created by a refined series of bands progressively leading towards the rear of the aircraft. The vibrant and contemporary new branding will also feature in the cabin décor of Alitalia’s modern fleet of Airbus, Boeing and Embraer aircraft, allowing for fresher, more stylish, and uniquely Italian interiors which now feature the type of fine detailing and design associated with luxury sports cars”.

The livery remains similar to its previous iconic design, which has remained relatively unchanged for many years, the most noticeable difference being a bolder tailfin and the green band being removed from the fuselage.

The livery remains similar to its previous iconic design, which has remained relatively unchanged for many years, the most noticeable difference being a bolder tailfin and the green band being removed from the fuselage.

The airline has seen a change in its fortunes since Abu Dhabi based Etihad purchased a 49 per cent stake in the ailing carrier in 2014. Since then, Etihad has invested significantly in Alitalia and this latest 1.76billion Euro investment isn’t just in brand, product or service offering. Alitalia will now focus on delivering new routes with increased frequencies and really putting the customer first. They will also benefit from Etihad Airways links to the established SkyTeam network. The Etihad group of airlines covers 620 destinations with 720 aircraft and carries 116 million passengers.

During the livery unveiling, Alitalia also announced new cabin products and services across its fleet, including Poltrona Frau leather business class seats and Frette bedding, Richard Ginori tableware and Ferragamo amenity kits.

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The new Poltrona Frau leather design on Alitalia’s Business Class seats.

In a similar move to Etihad, Alitalia will offer the ‘Dine Anytime’ service, a relatively unique product in the business class market. The new menu features Italian meals served course by course and delivered by hand, removing the need for an aisle trolley and providing a bespoke dining experience. Another new culinary feature in Business Class is the Spuntino menu, which features a selection of delicious snacks that can be enjoyed throughout the flight.

A turndown service will be offered on all A330 and Boeing 777 flights featuring Alitalia’s lie-flat business seats, while a bedtime drink will be available, as will pre-arranged wake-up and breakfast times.

Premium economy passengers will receive a welcome aperitif, hot towel, increased meal and drinks choices, fine bone china tableware and Frette blankets and pillows.

Economy passengers have a wider choice of Italian and international meal options, Caffè service on long-haul flights and Frette fleece blankets.

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New Economy seating.

Wifi connectivity and a revamped in-flight entertainment system will progressively be rolled out on all long-haul aircraft.

Alitalia chairman Luca Cordero di Montezemolo said, “The new livery presented today marks a major milestone in the history of one of the most iconic Italian brands in the world. We have also unveiled the results of the outstanding work to create more comfortable interiors and to introduce a strong, innovative service culture. Alitalia’s livery is universally associated with Italy and viewed as iconic and highly-recognised. However, it was clear that it needed to evolve to bring Alitalia into the 21st century”.

Meanwhile Etihad CEO James Hogan continued, “The old Alitalia was a great brand but a challenged business. Now we are well on the way to seeing the rebirth of this iconic airline, in a new era of commercial success. The steps taken by Alitalia’s senior management team over the last five months are to be applauded. What we see here today is a business growing in confidence. The future is bright for the new Alitalia”.

© confessionsofatrolleydolly.com by Dan Air #COATDNews

 

Style In The Aisles – Aegean Airlines New Sophia Kokosalaki Uniforms

AEGEAN, a Star Alliance member, renewing its image and evolving the presence of its staff members, recently presented its new uniforms designed by the renowned London-based Greek fashion designer Sophia Kokosalaki.

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In choosing Sophia Kokosalaki to design the company’s new uniforms, AEGEAN reaffirms its commitment to promote the work of Greeks around the world, hence highlighting the Greek nature of its operations.

Throughout all aspects of its operation, AEGEAN is inspired by Greece and the characteristics of its people.  A prime example is the selection of a Greek fashion designer excelling in the international fashion industry.

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‘Living The Dream’ by Emma Franieczek Book Review

A few months ago I was sent a manuscript for a new fictional ‘tell-all’ cabin crew book, written by one of my lovely followers Emma Franieczek.

At first I thought ‘here we go again’, another fictional story of us cart-tarts and our sordid affairs, endless parties and drunken antics. True, the sordid affairs, endless parties and drunken antics are all part of being crew. But did we really need another book about it?

Well after reading ‘Living The Dream’ I am pleased to say that it wasn’t just another kiss and tell story. Before turning her hand to writing, Emma used to be crew herself and knows only too well the trails and tribulations of being a trolley dolly.

Living_the_Dream_Cover_for_Kindle Continue reading

#CoaTDNews Delta teaming up with Zac Posen to bring modern American glamour to flying.

Delta Airlines have announced they will be partnering with New York-based designer Zac Posen, bringing high fashion and function as part of Delta’s new uniform collection, due in 2018.

“Through the partnership, Zac Posen will design a uniform collection for Delta’s flight attendants and airport customer service agents” said Delta. The airline also put out a statement from Mr. Posen, who said “I’m thrilled to partner with this classic American brand and look forward to creating a timeless, fashionable and functional new collection”.

Zac Posen lands a deal with Delta to design uniforms for 20,000 flight attendants and 10,000 other staffers. Continue reading

#CoaTDNews The end of the Jumbo Jet? 

Are we seeing the end of the era for the ‘super-jumbo’? Could the iconic 747 soon be a thing of the past?

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-32384435

Last year not a single airline placed an order for the world’s two biggest commercial jets, the Boeing 747-8 and the double-decker Airbus A380.

In 1997, following BA's decision to remove the union flag from its aircraft, Virgin introduced a Union flag design on its winglets and changed the red dress on their 'Scarlet Lady' to a union flag with the tag line 'Britain's Flag Carrier', a blatant challenge to BA's traditional role as the UK's flag carrier.

Could the end soon be in sight for the iconic Boeing 747 which has graced the skies since the 1960’s?

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An Open Letter From a Flight Attendant: ‘Germanwings – What is going on in Aviation?’

Germanwings – What’s going on in Aviation?

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The Germanwings (4U9525) tragedy has hit our industry hard. Flight attendants everywhere started to question the age-old truth: pilots are part of the same team that we are part of. You can bring any concerns to them and they will listen. Because, they are there for your safety.

From the crew reaction on social media – indeed everyone’s reaction – I can say that it blew our minds that someone could do something like that.

It appears the man had many issues.

Yet here I am writing this and the investigation isn’t final. As I read a few days ago, the pilot’s mental health is a starting point for the investigation, but not the end point. There is more to be found.

The ex-girlfriend claimed Lubitz got angry and stressed when talking about work:
“He became upset about the conditions we worked under: too little money, fear of losing the contract, too much pressure”.

In case you were wondering: Pilots and cabin crew don’t have a glamorous life.

They have a stressful life.

Increasing pressure from the travelling public and our airline management for cheap fares, the cost of fuel, stagnant or falling wages, and longer hours with fewer crew to complete services or fly planes, means staff are on the edge.

In very simple terms, human beings need a few things to function optimally:

– Regular sleep
– Fresh air
– Good food and adequate hydration
– Relationships and social connections
– A sense of purpose and fulfilment

Flying severely compromises all of these.

Regular sleep? Enough sleep? Forget about it.
Fresh air? If you count the stench from crop-dusting, non-flushed loos and sock pong, sure!
Good food? Enough has been said about airline food for this point to be self-evident.              Adequate hydration? Less than 20% air humidity sucks all the H2O out of you.
Relationships and social connections? Saying hello repeatedly to passengers who ignore you… I’m not feeling the love.
Purpose and fulfilment? I don’t think that making sure the man in 10A has enough ice for his Coke, cuts it. Does his propositioning me qualify as a ‘relationship’?

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Pilots have similar and different stressors. Less of the ‘face-to-face-with passengers pressure’ and more of the ‘sit me in this seat for 12 hours per day of flying with on time pressures and ground crew/head office who never have paperwork ready on time’ etc . I could go on but I won’t.

Because the general public don’t give a flying fig.

The pressure to maintain professional smiles is starting to show. And behind the façade people are cracking. The way they are being worked is approaching their limits. Their mental health is suffering.

I know of an airline where there were five crew who committed suicide within ten years. More than a few are on anti-depressants. Yet rosters don’t ease up. And at the end of the day we stick them in a hotel room. Alone. With mini-bars. Like ticking time bombs.

Because if they don’t, there will be someone else ready to put their hand up for the chance to wear a shiny new set of wings.

Does this mean everyone is about to take down a plane? No, of course not. Is everyone losing it? No. But why do we have to wait for that to happen before we take action? Have Stephen Slater and Clayton Osbon taught us nothing? We blame the ‘crazy’ individuals but don’t question how the system they work within impacted them.

Like many others around the world, Australian airlines have now moved to employ the ‘two in the cockpit at all times’ rule. While I understand why, it’s not without its problems. As a flight attendant I wonder what the hell I could possibly do in the flight deck if corralled with a pilot intent on doing harm (however unlikely that is). Heather Poole said I could open the door. Perhaps. That my presence there might make someone ‘think twice’. Perhaps.

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Will this make the travelling public feel more secure? Hopefully. Unfortunately, crew think it’s a band-aid solution to a more widespread issue.

Give the human beings more support/resources/sleep/work-life balance. Passengers, use your considerable clout with operators to demand that they treat their pilots and crew well. Pay the extra $10 (or whatever) per ticket to ensure that they can afford to do so. And hold them to it.

I bet you’d feel a lot safer.

In the mean time we remember those who died on Germanwings Flight 4U9525, our newest Angels of the Sky and we pray that a tragedy like this never strikes our industry again.

© ‘Happy Healthy Trolley Dolley’ for confessionsofatrolleydolly.com 2015

Happy Healthy Trolley Dolley has been flying long and short-haul for ten years and has (mostly) managed to stay in a good mood while doing so! She’s currently compiling all her travel health and wellbeing tips into an online resource for cabin crew and frequent fliers. Stop by her Facebook page when in need of tips, news and a short-black dose of sanity.