Thursday, October 11, 2007


Hi my friends!! I passed TK!!!!

You have no idea what a relief that is! There has been dread about TK since I first got here. I got a 100 on the closed and the open book tests! We lost one person after the open book test (there are no re-takes) so that was pretty sad. Then we did scenarios in the 767 mock up and it is one that actually rocks and rolls and simulates crashing. It was the whole class. Fun! Then we all had to jump down the 767 slide (we all look like we are in parish prison - see the pics with the jumpsuits!!!). After lunch we had our oxygen pc (where we were tested on administering oxygen). Then we had our three doors. I had to open the 737, the 767, and the 747. The 737 door is the only manual door there is, I knew I'd end up with it. Anyhow, we have to sit in the jump seat while they crash us and we have to do an emergency evac. Anyhow, the process is (while you are saying specific commands) to alert the cockpit then assess the conditions out the door then open the door and protect yourself by hanging on to either a handle or your straps on the jumpseat and then pull the manual inflation handle. OK, so for this stupid door you have to push it all the way out until it latches against the plane and while it's opening you have to grab the handle to protect yourself from getting pushed out of the plane by passengers. Well... the damn door is freaking heavy, I opened the door with both hands and pushed with both hands, as it opened I moved my left hand to the jumpseat straps and then the door came flying back at me. So, since my had was protecting me already, I couldn't move it or I'd fail the door so I had to open the door with one hand and shove it all the way open. It smashed my hand, but I did it. My instructor was impressed, but I was freaked out. You get 1 retake for a door, but I wasn't going to go through that! Other than that it was an adrenaline rush and a half. We lost one more class member at the doors. That really sucked. When we got back to the training center all of our supervisors and the JFK class (that actually graduated today-Thurs) were lined up cheering for us. It was pretty cool. Then we had to change into uniforms for appearance checks. From now on we are in uniform.

Today I had my second training flight. Richard and I went to Charlotte, NC. It was quick and fun. We had a great crew! We did the demo and the service. I am exhausted but that's ok. Tomorrow we have class from 7 to 4:30 and then we are off Saturday and have class starting Sunday through Tues because on Wed I leave for Narita!! Yes, my international flight! Wish me luck. Enjoy the pictures!!

Sunday, October 7, 2007

Okay, I am tired and ready to graduate! We have been in TK since last Monday and we have today (Sunday) and tomorrow off. We go back to TK Tues & Wed. Wed is emergency procedures testing day. I am pretty confident about my emergency door opening PC and I am still studying my immediate actions (they are emerg procedures that have to be memorized). We actually have 6 tests on Wednesday. Class is from 6:30 am 'til 3pm. We have to leave the training center at 6am.... It's rough. I know, poor me!

On Thursday I have my second domestic training flight. I am going to Charlotte, NC. So exciting.... and I am going to Narita, Japan for my international flight. I leave Wed, 10/17, it's a 12 hour flight, we cross the international date line (going backwards, weird) and we have a 22 hour layover there and 12 hours back. I'm not much into Oriental stuff, so I guess this is cool since I probably won't be going back (at least not by choice). What the heck do I get as a souvenir?

I start week 5 tomorrow (even though I am off) and I have about 2 1/2 weeks left!! They are really going by pretty fast. John came in yesterday (after TK, of course) and it was such as nice change. It took a little while to change hats from studious student to fiance', and now I am homesick and I see the dreariness in my home away from home. Not that I didn't see it before it'sI just feel it like it's new dreary. Oh, well.

Hey y'all (ya like that??) I graduate on 10/25. Put it on your calandars! I am coming home in 18 days!!!!!! Talk to you again soon!

Tuesday, October 2, 2007

Saturday, September 29, 2007

Three down!

Hey, everyone!!!! I can’t believe it is the end of week three. Over half way there. So much has happened this past week. My training flight was wonderful. There were three of us on my flight (trainees) and we all got to work. It was really cool. Our team went to Denver (which is cool since that will be my domicile). My class was all over the country that day!! At the Chicago airport we got to use our United employee privileges and go thru employee security, we were able to go down to the domicile at the airport and on the way to the plane for our pre-flight briefing, we got stuck in the elevator!!!! It was kind of crazy. The inside doors opened but the outside ones wouldn’t. We weren’t able to go anywhere for a few minutes. Needless to say, when we finally got back downstairs to the domicile we took the escalator! Working the flight was interesting, there was an FAA agent on board (of all things to have on our first flight, but we were in compliance so there were no worries – yeah, right!!) and the flight attendants were kind of lazy. In the pre-flight safety checks I was following a particular F/A and she looked a little awkward with her FAOM (F/A Operations Manual) and she said she doesn’t usually use it, but of course had to with the FAA on board. Wow! That’s reassuring! Don’t worry, I will perform all of my safety checks by the book – you’ll be very safe. We had a delay in Denver because of mechanical problems on the plane arriving in Denver from LaGuardia that we would be taking back to Chicago. Fortunately they stopped in Chicago and picked up a new plane before coming to Denver. On the return flight, the pilot got real involved with us and had us in the cockpit and he showed us a lot of emergency stuff. He told us to visit during the flight. Well, we were waiting for someone to tell us when to go and we didn’t get it, so we figured it didn’t work out, but when we were walking off the plane the pilot said he thought we were going to come visit the cockpit during the flight, I told him we were waiting for an invitation and he said we had had it. Damn! That’d been cool! I’ll have many opportunities, because there is a two person rule for the cockpit meaning there always has to be two people in it, so when the pilot or First Officer has to go to the bathroom, a F/A has to sit in there! I’ll take my turn.
Okay, other than the trip it has been lecture after lecture although we did have our wide body fams at the hangar on Thursday. We went on a 777, Airbus A320, and the 747 again, but this time it was thorough. We took more pics, so I will post some when I get some. We had fun. When we got back, though, our instructors told us they were going to meet with us for a few minutes in the classroom; however, it was at the request of one of our other instructors, Reuben. He wanted to address our class. Our class is down to 36 people and we’re split into 2 groups, 1-22 and 23-36. The 23-36 class is very vocal and like to sing and joke and laugh and party. Our side seems to be much quieter and laid back. Anyhow, the day before (Wed), all of us had had Reuben for our widebody classroom and no one ended up happy. In the other class I think they were asking unrelated questions and being their exuberant selves and our half was trying to learn and had a problem with his teaching technique… Not only did he call everyone the weakest link if we gave a wrong answer, but he wouldn’t help us find the answer to a question in our packet that may or may not have been in our FAOM. Anyhow, more to the point, he was apparently unhappy with our reaction to him and with the other half of the class and reported several people to Chad, our supervisor. The meeting he had with us was to tell us as a group that he had never done this before and that he thought we were an excellent group and there were several of us he wished he could pin our wings on us and put us on the line right away, and yet it only takes one bad apple to make the whole group look bad. Anyhow, it went on and on. Today, we had our practical exam for PA & Demo and our suprv. called a few people aside that Reuben had named (4 from my class) and gathered the info. Apparently, he was unaware of the ‘meeting’ that was called by Reuben and the fact that he called people the weakest links. Chad called a team meeting this evening after class and we discussed everything. Who said drama was for soap opera’s only????
I don’t know the point of telling you all that, but I guess I just wanted to share how my life is here at United’s training facility. I do what I am supposed to do and I try to avoid confrontation, because as a F/A we are going to ‘meet difficult customers’ and may not always like our co-workers, but we will have to be able to deal with it. Catch 22.
On a good note, Quiz 2 was Thursday morning and I got a 100%!! And I passed the PA & Demo with flying colors!!!
TK (Emergency training) starts Monday (we have to be waiting for the bus at 5:45) and will go into the middle of the next week. This is going to be fun, but stressfull. Wish me luck!

Friday, September 21, 2007

Week 2 is done!!

OK, I've made it through week 2, it feels like week 6 though!! Wonder what week 6 will feel like. This was a long week, but then today I thought it went fast. Who knows. Since there is no time for TV and school all day and we do stuff on Saturday, you never know the day of week!

Well, tomorrow I am going on my first training flight!! There are three per flight and my group is going to Denver!! We're going on a 757 and we have trainee aprons and will get to help, but only with service. I'm excited. This is the only training flight where we will be out of uniform, we do our fitting Monday! I'm excited. Then we get our uniforms on the following Thursday (week 4) and will start wearing them daily beginning week 5.

It's been hectic and I feel like I am rambling, but, yesterday my roomate & I went to the mall to get our in-flight shoes before tomorrow. Well, as we walked in to the mall (supposedly the 6th largest in the US - it's called Woodfield Mall) there was this line of people outside this sports memorabilia store 'Field of Dreams' and there was security at the door. I asked a girl what was going on. Anyhow, long story short is that William "the refrigerator" Perry was there and was going to be signing autographs. We had just missed him.

On the way out of the mall, we called a cab and by the time we got outside this other guy had gotten in our cab (van). The driver asked if it was ok if he rode with us up front. Anyhow, on the way back to the training center we were talking to this guy (the back of his head) and he said he was in Chicago on business and that he had a store in the mall and had gone there tonight. Turns out this guy is William somebody (only remember what my 42 yr old mind will let me) and he owns "Field of Dreams' and was the one who brought the fridge to the mall. He took our email addresses and is going to send us some memorabilia (hopefully NASCAR and not the Refrigerator's autograph!!).

I have to get up early again tomorrow (Sat) so we can get to the airport for the crew briefing on time. I'm looking forward to it more than you can imagine. I am going to try and post a picture that we took when we did the FAM's last Saturday at the airport. It's my half of the class (we've since lost 2 more of those, though). Anyhow, if I can do it, it's (obviously) a 747 and we went through it that evening. Wish I'd have brought a camera, I'll try to do better next time!

I miss you all! I'll be home October 25th (the day I graduate) and I leave for Denver Tuesday the 30th. Make time for me that weekend on your calandars!!

Sunday, September 16, 2007

Whooo hooo!!! Week One is done!

Well, I did it! I made it through week 1!!! 5 1/2 to go!!! It sure has been interesting. Before I fell asleep last night I said I the one week felt like 7.

Since last I wrote, I have been going to class, studying and doing my e learning. I have learned more than I imagined I needed to know about United and airplanes. I also now know what the inside of a 747 looks like inside !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Oh My Goodness... I don't know what to even say. Yesterday was narrowbody class at the United hangar at O'Hare, we went inside of a 737 (those are the oldest planes we have) and were supposed to go through an Airbus (that is the A319 and A320), which are very cool planes. It's what I came back from Seattle on. Anyhow, there was no Airbus that was going to be there, but guess what was?? There were actually two. One was in the hangar and one was parked outside. Our class was split in 1/2 (as usual) and 1-22 is my group. We went in the 747 in the hangar. OK, not to mention the height, or that when we walked to the plane and around it that the wing is larger than the roof of my house, it is AWESOME! We walked all over it, learned about it. Went into the cockpit, saw the pilot sleeping quarters, sat in the 1st class seats and pushed the buttons so they completely reclined into their own little bed. Went up the stairs into the business class and sat in their seats (Wonderful on their own), went through all the galleys, went to the complete back of the plane and two of a time went up these narrow claustraphobic steps into the crew sleeping quarters - man, I think it'd be hard to handle that. It has 6 bunks with curtains, and 2 airplane chairs that recline quite a bit. It's SMALL. This guy Jason was going back down the stpes before me, you have to turn around and go down these steps you see, I said, "I guess we can't wear our skirts or dresses on our International flights on this plane!!!"

We were gone 2-8 and then one of the instructors did a review class until 10 because our 1st quiz is Monday. Long Saturday!!

Today many of us are going to the mall. We all have to get our regulation shoes and other reg's. I also need some warmer stuff than I have and a pillow, and maybe an egg crate mattress. Maybe I'll get a Tempurpedic bed, who knows????

So this next week will hopefully not be as overwhelming as this past one has been. I think it will probably be the same and by the end of week 3 they say we should be able to stop twirling (for those of us who are) and things will start to fit together.

I am still blessed with two great roomates! That makes life much easier being away from my friends and family! I miss you guys!!!

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Day 3

Wow, how slow the days go when you are sitting in class all day and the rest of the time you are either in your room studying or in the LRC doing E-Learning in the basement where you need your Artic outerwear!!

I am 1/2 way through my first week. I'm still not used to the ghost of a pillow, the bed is hard (not terrible), the bathrooms are still gross (I just am trying not to look up - the ceiling looks like it has rust stains on it???? and I don't touch ANYTHING in the shower!). Last night I was up very late trying to get some e-learning done, this is computer based homework that is assigned weekly and has to be done by the end of the week) and then we realized we had additional work that needed to be done before a class today. Anyhow, it was a late night and then an early morning. Today was a long school day. We started at 7am and ended at 6pm. Yes they gave us an hour for lunch!

We have 40 people in our class, they assigned us schedule numbers (I'm #3 - well, I think I'm #1, but you know...) and most of our classes are divided in 1/2, 1-21 or 1-11 in our class and the others are attending different classes (I'm sure for the ratio). Anyhow, the point is that we have gotten to know 1/2 of our class pretty good. The other 1/2 we know, but it will take longer. We have had fun with eachother in class. We've had to do skits (to understand about communication) and played Guesstures (to understand about body language) and create airline companies and marketing plans etc. I never knew how involved this would be. At least there is some fun in it.

Tomorrow we have our 1st uniform fitting. Mine is 9:30-10 and then we don't have another class until 1pm (preflight responsibilities). You'd be surprised to know all that goes on before a flight. This Sat we go to O'Hare and go to a hangar and go over narrowbody aircraft. How fun.

I heard today that a class that is 3 weeks ahead of us had 13 people sent home because of internal disputes (i.e. roommates). WOW!

OK, I've rambled and probably haven't been cohesive, but please remember I am functioning on little sleep and little food!

I can't wait to hear from you guys!