Blog Search

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Man, it doesn't show signs of stopping!

December 2009

5 hours delay at Milan (Malpensa Airport) due to heavy snowfall!

Beautiful scenario although passengers were not that happy...

A319-111 CS-TTR 'Soares dos Reis'


An Air France A320-100 which was already due for departure 

Wings covered with snow:



The cargo door is opened, also covered with snow

And... more snow... all over the windows!



And finally some kind of artistic shot...


Obviously we had to go through a complete de-icing procedure before departure which took some 15 to 20 minutes more.

The weather outside was really frightful and I had a cinema to go with some friends. But since there's nothing we can do... let is snow, let it snow! As I arrived at 1:40am at Lisbon I had my cinema plans ruined that night and my LHR flight cancelled today.

Now I will enjoy a couple of days off! (No! damn it! I have to study for my college exams...)

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Warsaw & Frankfurt

December 2009

These are photos of this week.

First from Warsaw. The weather there was cold although bearable. What really bothers me is the rain. Nevertheless, staying at the hotel room is not an option!

nice Christmas tree!

This one was taken inside the Mall near our hotel 

And finally one photo taken today at Frankfurt International Airport...

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Milano & CS-TNT

November 2009

The weather forecast was not that good: rain and low temperatures. And I would only have one afternoon to visit the city. I also knew Milan was not an impressive city but anything would be better than staying at the hotel's room, so I put a warm (and heavy...) coat in my luggage.

While arriving to the hotel, I noticed the weather was really dull and every single store seemed to be closed as it was Sunday.

I thought I would be alone with the idea of getting out of the hotel and see some spots of Milan but, for my surprise, the girls of the crew decided all to come with me!

We took the subway from our hotel (which is near to the Central Station) to Duomo. The Square with the Gothic Cathedral is a really nice site.




And finally, the devil (not me!) wears...

... Prada!

Yep... this is definitely a city where people really care about fashion! Rome is so much nicer and historical...

We took some kind of lunch near the Duomo and then saw some clothes stores (some of which seemed to be like real discos by the type and volume of music one could ear). Then, with no more daylight, we returned to the hotel to take a rest for the next day of work.

We would fly the most recent aircraft delivered to the airline, CS-TNT, which (then) entered in service just a couple of days ago. Although we arrived the day before at Malpensa Airport we would now depart from Linate which was also a first for me.

Some data about this new aircraft:

Matrícula: CS-TNT
Modelo: A320-214
MSN/CN: 4095
Nome: "Rafael Bordalo Pinheiro"

A cabin shot...


Some signs that this aircraft entered in service a few days before


And finally... arrival at Lisbon!


With the arrival of "Rafael Bordalo Pinheiro" it's time to say goodbye to CS-TNA "Grão Vasco"...

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Helsinki 2009 - LIS-HEL

September 2009

LIS-HEL, departure @ 22:35LT
Aircraft: Airbus A320-214

It was a smooth and an uneventful flight. I was designated to work at economy class although I generally prefer to work in business.
Passengers were served a dinner, a service very similar to those of other TAP 4-hour flights, except for the fact that they have a medium tray (2/3) instead of a small one (1/2). Medium trays are much more easier for us (cabin crew) to handle and to store back in the trolleys.
At 5:05LT (UTC+3) we landed at Helsinki in the middle of dense fog.




Then we arrived to the hotel which fortunately is in the city centre and had breakfast before having a rest after this night flight.

Our hotel marked with an 'A'

Saturday, September 5, 2009

Going to HELsinki: pre-departure post!

September 2009

Until today I never made a bid to go anywhere so I've earned many points to spend. The original plan was a stay at Moscow together with my friend Avelar, but burocratic issues with visas lead us to Helsinki instead.

For me it's a great opportunity to have a break in so many flights and hours I've been doing latelly. It will be a week without airplanes: yeah, I agreed with António not even to think about planespotting at Vantaa ahaha!
I also have some kind of fascination for nordic countries and I'm really hoping to have a good time knowing Helsinki and its people. We already did some homework and we now have some ideas on what we should visit there.
Maybe we will also pay a visit to Tallin in Estonia.

We will be departing this evening and we will keep you updated during our stay! Now I'm going to pack my things :)

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Long time, no post

September 2009

Hey guys :)

Sorry for not giving too much attention to this blog in the last months but time has been lacking!

Time goes by so fast for those who work! I just cannot believe that I started working more than 2 years ago. It seems like it was yesterday and my life changed so much since then. I think I grew up as a person.

For many friends and relatives it was really weird to see a future engineer becoming a Flight Attendant. I did things my way and I don't regret it at all.

But planes are not everything in life. I still love what I do but these days I've been feeling less enthusiastic about airplanes. And of course the good old Ten Eleven was really THE plane and not a banal Airbus. On the other I'm enjoying the other good side of my job which are the people we know everyday.

So many stories are yet to be narrated and many of them from the time I worked for Luzair. It's so sad for me to realise that they stopped flying almost a year ago. I've got so fond memories from the time I spent there and I'm really hoping they will soon regain their wings, now with a 2nd hand Boeing 767.

Last months I've been flying a lot and time to write here has been nil. Also, soon I will try to finish some old projects of mine which were halted when I started working and I'm also in the process of getting my PPL license! It's just crazy to be involved in so many things at the same time but I really need new challenges and I'm confident I will succeed :)

Nevertheless that does not mean the blog will end. Just pay a visit to it at least once a month and a new post may show up.

Finally, I would like to suggest you to pay a visit to the blog of one of my best friends which will spend a time enjoying Florida skies and beaches! Maybe I will join them in my holidays!

Cya! :-)

(yes, I think I will be writing in english from now on!)

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Operação 'Air Finland'

Flying for Air Finland

Março | March 2008

O plano de voo inicial sugeria uma aterragem em Abu Dhabi, após um voo-posição com a duração de 6h55, a partir de Lisboa.
Complicações à chegada, supostamente com autorizações de aterragem, desviaram-nos para a cidade de Al Ain no Emirado de Abu Dhabi, onde acabaríamos por ficar baseados. Afinal, em termos de operação era irrelevante um ou outro local: serviria apenas de escala técnica para reabastecimento de combustível e troca de tripulações para os voos que seriam realizados entre a Suécia, Finlândia, Cambodja e Tailândia.
The original flight plan determined that we were supposed to land in Abu Dhabi after a position flight with a duration of 6h55, originating from Lisbon. However, problems with landing permits diverted our flight to Al Ain, the Garden City in the Emirate of Abu Dhabi - where we would be based after all. For our operation it was absolutely irrelevant because it was only a technical stop for refueling and change of crews. We would fly passengers between Europe (Sweden and Finland) and the Far East (Thailand and Cambodia).

Assim que nos aproximamos do Dubai (na altura, ainda a caminho de Abu Dhabi) e com a cabine vazia de passageiros, alguém alertava os restantes colegas, com muito entusiasmo à mistura, para as seguintes vistas magníficas que podíamos apreciar a partir do nosso veterano Lockheed.
As soon as we got close to Dubai (still on our way to Abu Dhabi) someone alerted that we could see the Dubai's coast and its artificial islands from our flying Lockheed.

The World

Ainda se consegue ver o impressionante Burj Dubai
Also visible the Burj Dubai


Depois de algum tempo de sobrevoo a baixa altitude, estávamos finalmente em direcção a Al Ain. A aproximação a este aeroporto é verdadeiramente impressionante pois mais parece que vamos aterrar no deserto, no meio do nada!
After some low altitude flying, we were finally heading to Al Ain. The approach is very impressive because it seems we are about to land in the middle of the desert, in the middle of nowhere!






Finalmente, alguma vegetação já na final curta
At last, some signs of life on our short final

Aterragem...
Landing, spoilers up!

Airbus A300 de um operador desconhecido
Airbus A300 from an unknown operator

Aparato militar
Military stuff

Terminal de passageiros de Al Ain
Passenger Terminal Al Ain


G-OBYB da Thomsonfly, aparentemente avariado
It seems this Thomsonfly B767 went tech

Ficámos a descansar no Hotel Hilton de Al Ain que tem uma torre com os habituais quartos de hotel e umas tantas 'vivendas' junto à piscina. Por confusão ou falta de atenção por parte dos responsáveis do check-in do hotel, eu e outro colega de cabine acabámos por ficar naqueles que seriam as melhores habitações individuais com dois andares, o que deixaria o nosso Cmdte surpreendido quando soube de tal sorte!
We stayed at Hilton Al Ain which has standard rooms and duplex villas with separate kitchen and dining areas nearby the pool. Me and another flight attendant colleague were lucky enough to stay, each one, in those villas. Our Captain was really surprised when he was aware of that because he had a standard room in the main tower of the hotel!

Não costumo ligar muito a hotéis. Desde que os quartos sejam limpos, tenham um ar condicionado que funcione e condições razoáveis de isolamento acústico e solar, por mim até um quarto exíguo como aquele em que fiquei no hotel Ibis em Charles de Gaulle, serve perfeitamente. Mas de facto, não posso negar que as condições com que me presentearam foram as melhores que tive até hoje!
I don't care much about the hotels. As long as they are clean, have a working air conditioning system and reasonable acoustic insulation, I'm happy with that. Even that exiguous room that I stayed in Charles de Gaulle Ibis hotel works for me. But I cannot deny these were the best hotel accommodations I have ever experienced!

Os meus aposentos
My accommodations

Uma cozinha própria!
A kitchen just for me!


Mas como nem só de boa vida vivem os tripulantes do segmento ACMI, havia que trabalhar e, no dia seguinte, iniciámos a operação para a Air Finland fazendo AAN-BKK-AAN-HEL, tendo a minha tripulação ficado com a parte oriental da rota. A primeira perna entre Al Ain e Bangkok seria novamente um voo-posição, desta vez com a duração de 5h18.
Mostro, de seguida, algumas fotos desse voo.
But this is not only about good lazy life! Next day we would initiate our operation for Air Finland doing the following sequence: AAN-BKK-AAN. The first leg was still a position flight of 5h18 and only in Bangkok we would receive the passengers on board that had Helsinki as their final destination. I was part of the crew flying between Middle East and the Far East.

O B767 ainda empandeirado
The same B767 still grounded

Pouco após a descolagem do aeroporto de Al Ain
After take-off from Al Ain airport



Um imenso deserto...
An immense desert...



Oportunidade também para mais umas fotos à cabine do CS-TMP...
It was also an opportunity to take more photos to our CS-TMP cabin...


... tendo uma delas entrado no Airliners.net.
... one of them was successfully uploaded to Airliners.net.


A magnífica asa do L-1011 com uma flecha acentuada de 35º medida a partir de 1/4 da corda e que lhe permite um voo de cruzeiro a 90% da velocidade do som, apesar de actualmente estar limitado a M.86 (este sim, um valor de utilização mais frequente) por imposições do espaço RVSM.
The wonderful wing of the L-1011 has a sweep angle of 35º that enables it to reach speeds of 90% of the speed of sound, although it is limited do Mach .86 when flying in RVSM airspace.

Aqui provavelmente já a sobrevoar a Índia
Probably at this time we were overflying India

Com o pôr do Sol iniciámos a nossa descida para Bangkok envoltos num cenário de cores, nuvens e relâmpagos verdadeiramente assombroso.
We started our descent at sunset which provided a colorful scenario as we got surrounded by an amazing cloud formation with a terrific lightning show.





Escureceu muito rapidamente e quando aterrámos no aeroporto Internacional Suvarnabhumi - um dos mais impressionantes em que já estive até hoje - já era completamente de noite.
It got dark really fast and when we landed at Suvarnabhumi Airport - the most impressive one I ever saw until that day - it was already night.

Lembro-me de ter visto durante a final curta, o L-1011 cargueiro da SkyEyes Airlines lá estacionado!
I remember seeing during the final approach one freighter L-1011 belonging to SkyEyes Airlines which was parked at the airport!

Durante a rotação, abastecemos o catering para receber os nossos passageiros e alguns tripulantes da Air Finland que foram incansáveis em agradecer-nos o facto de os termos ido lá buscar, pois estavam 'presos' em Bangkok devido a uma greve interna que afectava a Air Finland.
During our turnaround time, we got the catering onboard for our passengers and we got in touch with some Air Finland's cabin crew members which were stranded in Bangkok together with the passengers for a long time and that were very thankful to us for helping them to get back to their homes. The flights disruption was due to an internal strike that affected Air Finland.

Durante o carregamento das refeições entra um tailandês eufórico e a dizer em boa voz "Portuguese airplane!", respondendo eu "yeah" seguido da justificação do local "I saw the flag on the nose of the plane... Ronaldo!!!"
Before boarding and while the meals were being loaded we had a visit of a Thai airport/airline employee saying in a very euphoric way "Portuguese airplane!". I answered "Yes, it is!" and he replied "I saw the flag on the nose of the plane... Ronaldo!!!"

E lá vão os jogadores de futebol como o Ronaldo e o Figo construindo a popularidade do nosso país lá fora, enquanto eu tentava disfarçar as dores fortes e agudas de não poder desembarcar naquele aeroporto e visitar aquela terra!
In fact, it's because of football players like Ronaldo and Figo that our country is still known far away. That employee was happy by that connection between a Portuguese airplane and one of its idols. In contrast, I was angry and not so happy because I could not disembark and visit his city - Bangkok!

Já com os passageiros embarcados, descolámos para um voo tranquilo novamente em direcção a Al Ain. Contráriamente aos meus receios iniciais, os finlandeses revelaram-se passageiros muito ordeiros e civilizados e sem grande apetência para o álcool.
Em Al Ain, outra tripulação da LUZair rendeu-nos para fazer a perna "europeia" enquanto o avião reabastecia para mais umas 4/5 horas de voo.
With our passengers already on board we departed in direction to Al Ain again. Against what I feared, the Finnish didn't give us many problems, particularly in what concerns excessive alcohol consumption. After all, I learned that they don't drink that much when returning home.
At Al Ain airport, another Luzair crew took the airplane for the European leg, while the aircraft was refueled for another 4 or 5 hour flight time.

De volta ao Hilton, mudança de quarto, desta vez para a torre do Hotel - só se pode ser Xeque por um dia... Algumas vistas do meu novo quarto.
Back to Hilton and this time I got a regular room in the hotel tower - you can only be Sheikh for one day... Some of the views from my room's window.




Curiosa a iluminação do caminho no monte...
Curious path illumination on the mount...

Ao pequeno almoço, o Sr. encarregue de fazer as omoletes a pedido, com aspecto indiano, topou que comunicávamos entre nós - tripulação - em português, e qual não foi a sua alegria em poder falar português connosco! Era um indiano de Goa a trabalhar nos Emirados Árabes!
At breakfast, we caught the attention of the employee preparing the eggs requests. We were speaking Portuguese between us and he was an Indian guy from Goa, a territory that was under Portuguese rule for many years. He was very happy to find someone that also spoke Portuguese!

Como a greve na Air Finland prolongou-se, a nossa companhia foi contratada para fazer mais um voo, desta vez até Phnom Penh no Cambodja - outra cidade em que gostaria de ter tido a oportunidade de desembarcar... A diferença relativamente ao voo anterior seria a de que teríamos passageiros nas duas pernas, aqueles que já vinham de Helsínquia/Estocolmo, e os que regressariam a casa. Voltámos a ser rendidos em Al Ain, descansando lá essa noite e ficando à espera de ordens para regressar a Lisboa, posicionados numa qualquer companhia...
Because the strike was prolonged, we would do another flight, to Phnom Penh in Cambodia - another place I wish I had the opportunity to visit... This time we would have passengers on both legs: those who came from Helsinki/Stockholm and those who were returning home. Again, our crew was replaced by another one when we got back in Al Ain and we stayed there one more night waiting for instructions to return to Lisbon, deadheading on a random airline...

Acabámos por ficar praticamente dois dias no Hilton de Al Ain, em tranquilidade absoluta, trabalhando para o bronze debaixo do sol árabe e aproveitando a piscina e o mini 'aqua-parque'. Os nossos colegas 'europeus' regressaram a LIS no próprio CS-TMP, a partir de Estocolmo.
We stayed in Al Ain for almost two days in an absolute relax mode, working on a tan under the strong Arabic sun, enjoying the pool and the mini water park. The colleagues that replaced us in Al Ain went straight to Lisbon on our own plane after disembarking passengers in Stockholm.

Havíamos de regressar num final de tarde, fazendo 2 horas de estrada até ao aeroporto de Abu Dhabi onde iríamos apanhar o voo LH623 da Lufthansa num espectacular e moderno A330-300 com matrícula D-AIKD. Ao contrário do D-AIKB em que tinha voado por alturas do Hajj, este A330 já se encontrava retrofitado com um sistema individual de entretenimento em classe económica. Em termos de amenities foi sem dúvida o melhor avião em que voei até hoje, com a cabine em mint condition.
We started our return journey in the end of an afternoon, with a two-hour trip by road to Abu Dhabi Airport where we boarded Lufthansa flight LH623 to Frankfurt. Our aircraft was a modern A330-300 registered D-AIKD already equipped with an individual IFE installed in every seat - contrary to what I found on D-AIKB when I got back from the Hajj operation. In terms of amenities and comfort, that was until that day, the best aircraft I've been on, still with its cabin in mint condition.

Durante o taxi-out, tive a oportunidade de avistar o L-1011 CS-TEB da euroAtlantic que ali estava por causa de uma C-Check efectuada na GAMCO e que se prolongou indefinidamente devido a uma reparação complexa que teve de ser levada a cabo por motivos de corrosão. Dentro de poucos dias, também ele estaria de regresso a Lisboa.
During our taxi-out, I had the opportunity to spot euroAtlantic's sole L-1011 that was performing a C-Check carried out by GAMCO that was taking too long because of a structural repair due to corrosion. A few days later, this aircraft would be back in Lisbon too.

O nosso voo até Frankfurt contemplou ainda uma paragem no Bahrain. O serviço de bordo da Lufthansa, contrariamente ao avião, deixa um bocado a desejar para um voo daquela duração. Não falo da prestação profissional dos colegas de cabine, mas sim daquilo que nos é oferecido. Este voo serviu apenas para reforçar a impressão com que já tinha ficado no JED-FRA que tinha feito também na Lufthansa, cerca de dois meses antes. No regresso a Lisboa, novamente num A321-100 (D-AIRA), foi-nos servida exactamente a mesma bandeja com queijos, fiambre e pãezinhos, incluindo também um pacote de sumo de laranja.
The flight to Frankfurt had a stop in Bahrain before proceeding to Germany. I was a little bit disappointed with the catering offered although Lufthansa crew members were always very professional doing their job. As our final destination was Lisbon we took another Lufthansa flight, this time an Airbus A321-100 (D-AIRA) during which we were served the same type of cold breakfast I experienced a couple of months before when returning from the Hajj: a tray with varieties of cheese and cold meats. Our mission for Air Finland was  finally over.