Recently in 100 Greatest Category
Continuing the saga of things flight attendants can do to get fired, meet Kersaundra Smith, who earlier this month lost her law suit against AirTran Airways.
Smith was a flight attendant for AirTran and on 28 May 2008 booked a staff travel ticket for herself and accompanying infant Sophie Smith, according to court documents. Infant travel for staff was free, but in February AirTran ended free travel for staff pets; Smith would have had to pay $414 to travel with a pet.
As Smith neared the gate, she was pushing a covered stroller. AirTran employee Geoffrey Wilson approached her intending to tag her stroller for storage in the belly of the plane. As he drew closer, he saw that the "infant" in the stroller was a fluffy dog.That's how Florida District Judge Tomothy J. Corrigan in his ruling described the event, which does not end here. Wilson told Smith she would have to pay to travel with aforementioned "fluffy dog", but Smith rebutted the fee was rescinded.
Smith boarded her flight while Wilson investigated and found there was no rescission of the policy. After a supervisor told Smith this, Smith said the infant-cum-dog was her "Emotional Support Animal", which are allowed to travel for free.
Yet in all of her flying Smith never flew with an ESA and did not have any documentation she required an ESA. Smith did, however, identify a purpose for her infant-cum-dog-cum-emotional-support-animal. Judge Corrigan writes:
Smith admitted during deposition that the decision to buy the dog was a self-diagnosis and self-prescription after reading on the internet and that the dog's chief function was to wake her up after she mixed wine with Xanax and Ambien.The supervisor gave Smith the ultimatum to board or deplane, and Smith deplaned. In a meeting with AirTran, Smith claimed she received a company memo instructing staff not to call the reservation centre to list the pet. AirTran fired her but deserves commendation for not sacking her earlier. The list of grievances against Smith includes her telling boarding passengers to sit in vomit-covered seats or get off, not showing up for work due to not receiving enough sleep in an ostensibly noisy hotel room, and threatening fellow employees.
Smith sued AirTran for a "racially motivated or retaliatory" dismissal and because she was "subjected to a hostile work environment". Judge Corrigan dismissed her case on 12 October this year.
There are many tips to give to Smith that come to mind, the first of which is this: Next time, put the pooch on Pet Airways.
Hat tip to Martha Stewardess.
As the Concorde prototype celebrates its 40th anniversary of its first flight here are some of Concorde's best moments.
Flight has covered Concorde, the supersonic aircraft, from its embryonic stage (between 1956-1962) to the last flight in November 2003 and even the Concorde model on the roundabout being taken down at Heathrow Airport last year.
Flight reported on the independent studies into supersonic transports by French and UK companies between 1956 and 1962. See Flight's artist impression of what the aircraft, then called the BAC-Sud Mach 2.2 supersonic transport project, might look like compared with Super Caravelle model exhibited by Sud at the 1961 Paris Air Show.
In June 1963 Flight printed a general arrangement of the aircraft which was to be known from January as Concorde. Read about Concorde's conception published in the same year which includes a cutaway and graphs showing aerodynamic efficiency.
Britain's Minister for Aerospace, Mr Michael Heseltine, made on May 7 1972, his first public speech since his appointment, and chose Concorde as his subject. His speech to Rotary International at Long Eaton, Derbyshire, was reproduced in its entirety in Flight at the time.
In the speech he said: "Concorde is not being developed to demonstrate our technological prowess, or to show the way into Europe, important and significant though it may be in both these respects. It is being developed in order to sell a new form of travel to the world's airlines. And here again the implications of Concorde are tremendously exciting."
In 1976 Flight reported how both houses of the New York State legislature moved to block proposed Concorde operations into New York Kennedy airport. See the Flight entry: "Concorde USA: Decision awaited".
On the same page in the magazine Flight reported that the "total number of passengers carried has been 1,137, of whom 612 flew from Paris to Rio. Air France tells Flight that under the present fare arrangement break-even load factor is 55 per cent."
In 1986,as Concorde celebrated its 10th anniversary Flight reported that "British Airways and Air France are reaping the benefits of a fast-developing charter market for the type of service which only Concorde can offer." Nobody, wrote Flight, is complaining that this is scarcely what the aircraft's backers had in mind at its conception.
Concorde's nose was chopped off on the Flight magazine page but it did at least capture the :flypast in 1969 at the Paris Air Show.
And here is a Concorde mockup shown from an aerial photograph of the static display at the Paris Air Show in 1967.
This is how Flight reported the event at the time.
Flightglobal users voted the Boeing 747 to be their favourite civil aircraft in its 100 Greatest campaign last year to celebrate its centenary in publishing, which neatly coincided with 100 years of powered flight.
Picture credit Boeing (note - this is a 747-400ER and it flew for the first time on July 31, 2002.)
Aircraft profile: Boeing 747 including news, images, a cutaway, blogs, videos, forum discussions and Boeing 747 results from Flight's PDF archive.
Boeing charts the 747 milestones
AirSpace discussion on the 747 roll-out (40th anniversary last September)
There are only 8 Days left now in Flight's 100 Greatest vote and it is fair to say that each category is going to be an extremely close run thing. Although the obvious nominations are popular (Moon Landing, Wright Brothers etc), there is still ample opportunity for some surprises when the final list is revealed during the Farnborough Air Show.
Now here at Flight we like to think we are a fair crowd (well apart from when arguments on who makes the next cup of tea turns physical) but even we were shocked when this top ten aircraft list by Air & Space Magazine was highlighted to us (first seen by us on the Airline Biz blog), a list that doesn't include the Boeing 707, Concorde, P-51 Mustang,the DC-3, the Comet, or Airbus A380, among many more.
What has intrigued me in this list (and in our 100 Greatest survey), is the sheer range of aircraft nominated and the odd or extremely subjective choices that people have made.There has been plenty of debate about this list in the office, but i like taking the obvious figures out of the equation, and let's not forget that most of the aircraft picked in the Air & Space Magazine feature were exceptional engineering feats.
So i say (and this is by no means endorsed - by anybody in fact!!!) lets go off-piste (so to speak) and lets vote for the smaller, the oddly shaped or the less popular. Let's let the geek win the girl for once.
We have 8 days left, who's with me...