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Northwest Airlines Pilots using Laptops while flying get lost

It turns out that the Northwest Airlines pilots who overshot their destination by 150 miles were using laptops.

The incident involving a Northwest Airlines Airbus A320, raised fears of a possible hijacking and there were 2 fighters ready to take off as all ATC (Air Traffic Control) attempts failed.

The 2 pilots, both of which have now been suspended, whose Northwest Airlines plane went 150 miles further than it should have on Wednesday, said they were using their laptop computers. The federal agency (FAA) investigating the incident quoted the pilots as saying they had “accessed their personal computers during the flight” and “had lost track of time” as they discussed staff rostering. The was no ATC contact with the Northwest Airlines for more than an hour before it landed in Minneapolis.

The initial speculation was that they had fallen asleep, but the initial rumour was that they got into a heated discussion and lost track of where they were.

They admitted that during their discussion, they did not monitor or respond to calls from air traffic control via voice and to messages relayed to the in-flight systems via text.

My Thoughts…
What I can’t understand is how 2 trained pilots could disregard ATC. If you start ignoring this, then you might ignore or be slow to respond to onboard alerts from other systems such as TCAS (Traffic Collision Avoidance System).

Could they have been asleep but covered it up with this – a less alarming story?

Rant: Why do people clap when a plane lands?

Why do passengers always clap when you land at your destination?

This may be just an Irish thing or it may just be on Summer flights to popular holiday destinations such as the Canaries… Either way it’s pretty strange when you think about it!

The pilots job is to land the plane. Therefore why is he clapped? If an 84 year old granny landed the Boeing 737-800 in a stiff 30 knot crosswind – I would certainly applaud that !!!

If you are on a local bus between your house and the shopping centre … Do you clap the driver?

Do you get clapped in work? I don’t get applauded for every advert I design, every script or app I write.

The Next time you are dealing with the service industry – in the bank, at the library, or in the restaurant – and you get good service ; give them a rousing round of applause to thank them and tell them you learned about it on your last flight.

Ryan Air – Why all the fuss?

There has been a lot of media press given to the queues at Dublin airport, people missing flights and also about Ryan Airs’ service in general.

I travel Ryan Air about 2 to 3 times a year, I have no personal or professional affiliation to the airline, I just think they give a good value flight.

As I compose this blog entry, late on Wednesday evening, I am actually sitting on board flight FR1127 from Gatwick to Dublin (using WordPress app for iPhone) and we are pushing back for takeoff 1 minute early. (eventually landed on time too!)

I admit that some people have been very unlucky and had problems with flights being delayed by many hours but what do you expect when your flight costs €30 return. I flew from Dublin to Gatwick return for €20 … yet a train from Waterford to Dublin is €32!
Maybe busses and trains in Ireland should use the Ryan Air business model and have cheap journeys very early in the morning or if you book a long time in advance.

At Dublin airport, security queues have been reported as the cause of people missing flights. I think this is due to people showing up a bare minimum before their flight time. Personally I find Dublin Airport good and most recently I got from Naas to the departure gate in Dublin in 65 minutes, including time taken to park in the Red Car Park (I did cheat somewhat in that I left Naas at 6am for an 8am flight) … But still, if you know you are to travel at peak times then you should add on 30 mins If you need to check in luggage and 30 mins for the security queues!

Maybe I have just been lucky that these things haven’t affected my travels, but either way my opinion of Dublin Airport and Ryan Air remains unaffected and positive overall. Dublin Airport is currently undergoing an extension and the impressive new terminal should bring welcome new facilities to a complex which is busy.

Ryan Air, Free Flights, Fat Tax, Pay per toilet use

I have a sneaking suspicion that Ryan Air’s Fat Tax, Fly for Free, and pay to use the toilet are not 100% real.

These may be very clever marketing tools guaranteed to keep Ryan Air in the spotlight for a few months. One good quirky idea , a few press releases and hey presto News and Internet coverage worth more than any advertising…. And Free too!

I have no problem with Ryan Air. Every time I have flown with the, they were on time and the tickets cost less than €70 to the UK from Dublin. Last time in fact, Michael O’Leary himself was taking the tickets at the gate, as he was on the same flight to Gatwick. A Good Manager… Getting stuck in!

Once I was in Stansted and it was snowing. Other budget airlines were stating that “these flights are now cancelled please rebook online” , Ryan Air did not cancel and I flew home only 55 mins late.

Most Recently I found that classical music was being played while boarding. Quite a change for Ryan Air.

Overall the run a good service, some people have had bad experiences but what do you expect when your trip only cost a few quid.  They even have a mobile phone system which allows you to make and receive texts and phone calls in the air – however I could not make use of this, as the mobile in-flight system did not work for me, I tried it a few times and it just doesn’t work.

I fly again with Ryan Air in late September as I travel over to AdTech London. I expect my trip will be event free and on time…. If not, you will hear about it here.

Ryan Air to fly standing passengers for Free

Ryan Air Standing Passengers – yes you read that right . Ryan Air boss Michael O’Leary has said he is looking into the possibility of letting passengers who stand up during flights, to fly for free. Apparently the flights targeted will be those of 30 minutes and less.

The plan would need to be approved by the Irish Aviation Authority but the setup would see passengers with seats similar to trams or buffet cars on trains.

Ryan Air are now the worlds biggest international carrier and reported an increase in recent passenger numbers.

I don’t understand why Ryan Air are thinking of doing this for free, I would have thought it would have been something like a 70% discount.

I simply cannot see the play by Ryan Air standing passengers working. What about;
1) Seat belts – will there be any
2) That unbalancing jolt you get when you land
3) Emergency landings – Brace position?
4) Your life jacket is under your …. Seat?

I think some of the recent Ryan Air suggestions, such as the Fat Tax, charge for toilets etc. may have been a few very clever publicity stunts. Either that or they are very Interesting business models for the future of the airline … Let’s see!

Ryan Air - Will Standing Passengers Work?

Ryan Air Standing Passengers – will it Work?