Short Trip to Ottawa and Winnipeg

Last Friday was a holiday for the province of Quebec. Yay, a three day weekend! Friday morning, I from Montreal to Ottawa to visit the Canada Aviation and Space Museum.

IMG_8013

Canada Aviation and Space Museum in Ottawa, Ontario.

The museum had many artifacts and aircraft on display from WWI and WWII. It was amazing to see how aviation has evolved over time. It started from human-powered aircraft to state-of-the-art commercial airplanes such as the Boeing 787 Dreamliner, the Airbus A350, and the CSeries. If you are a prospective student interested in anything related to aviation, Embry-Riddle is your #1 choice. We offer many degrees and programs such as aeronautical science (pilot), computer and technology, engineering, aviation business, and space. You can consult the complete list of what ERAU has to offer here.

Screen Shot 2016-06-26 at 20.53.55

My flight itinerary generated by The Great Circle Mapper.

After the museum, I headed to the Ottawa MacDonald-Cartier International Airport. I was flying to Winnipeg, MB, then to Toronto-Pearson (Canada’s busiest airport), and finally back to Ottawa on that same day. Unfortunately things did not go as planned as my flight from Ottawa to Toronto got cancelled. A WestJet guest service ambassador told me that the flight cancellation was due to the fact that the crew that was supposed to take us to Toronto was delayed in New York-LaGuardia and had exceeded their duty time. There were no other crew available at that time of the day. The airline gave me a hotel voucher and three food vouchers worth $45 total. I finally arrived home the next day in the afternoon.

Sunset over Ontario on my flight between Winnipeg and Toronto.

Sunset over Ontario on my flight between Winnipeg and Toronto.

You think that was a crazy trip? I did a trip back in February with my friend where we flew nearly to the four corners of the continental United States.

Read it here: Flying All Over America – Part 1 / Part 2

Other than working, eating, and sleeping, I do homework for the online class I am taking this summer. I am taking Leadership as an elective class. We are almost halfway through this 9-week course. I will post a blog soon comparing online classes versus regular classes. They both have their pros and cons.

This week will also be short since it is Canada Day on Friday. Another three day weekend! Americans, you will also get your three day weekend for Independence Day, which is next Monday.

Until next time!

Nicolas


Contact the author at berniern@my.erau.edu

Life in Network Planning

In my last blog, I talked about my summer internship in Network Planning. In this post, I will describe important terms that we use in our department. These terms are  also commonly used in the world of aviation!

Boeing 787-9 (Photo Credits: Air Canada)

Boeing 787-9 (Photo Credits: Air Canada)

Maintenance
Each of the 380 aircraft if our fleet has to undergo different types of maintenance that needs to be performed in order to be airworthy. It can range from simple line maintenance to complex heavy maintenance where the airplane is almost taken completely apart. Air Canada does the overnight maintenance in-house but the other larger maintenance checks are outsourced in other countries around the world. In Network Planning, we have to make sure that we pull out the necessary number of aircraft out of the fleet so it can go to maintenance.

Turnaround Times
Turnaround time is the period of time from when an aircraft arrives at the gate of a station (airport) to the time the aircraft is ready to depart from the gate for another flight. The turnaround time usually depends on the type of aircraft that is being handled on the ground. Fueling, catering, baggage and passengers loading/unloading is done during this time. Our smallest aircraft, the Beechcraft 1900D needs 20 minutes to turnaround. On the other side, our Boeing 777-300ER needs more than 120 minutes of minimum ground time. For airlines, it is important for their aircraft to be on the ground for the shortest amount of time possible. The more the aircraft is the air, the more they can generate revenue.

Connectivity
Most airlines have one or more hubs where they operate most of their flights. Air Canada’s largest hub is Toronto-Pearson. Our job in Network Planning is to ensure that most passenger will be able to go to the destination of their choice in our route network. For example, if you are flying out of Daytona Beach International Airport, your only options is to either fly to Atlanta, Charlotte, or New York-JFK. At these airports, the flights are timed to allow passengers to connect to another flight to eventually bring them to their final destination.

Departure Times
Some of our flights have an optimal departure time for local traffic while other flights are timed for connectivity. Air Canada flies between Montreal and Toronto at every hour during weekdays and even at every 30 minutes during peak hours. When we operate more than one daily flight per day to a city, we usually spread the flights throughout the day. Business travelers usually enjoy taking a flight early in the morning and return at the end of the day after their meetings.

Aircraft Types
Aircraft limitations are taken into account when we assign a plane to a route. For example a 70-seater regional jet cannot fly from North America to Europe because it simply does not have the range to do such missions. We fly the Airbus A319 to Mexico City (7,300 ft. of elevation) because this aircraft performs well at high temperatures and high altitudes.

Passenger Load Factor
The passenger load factor (PLF) can be described as “how full is the plane in terms of seats occupied.” The load factor can be calculated by dividing the RPMs by the ASMs on a particular route or for the whole network. You can also calculate the PLF by dividing the number of revenue passengers onboard by the number of available seats on the aircraft.

You are now an aviation expert! If you are interested in Network Planning, you should definitely take the Airline Management (BA 315) class on campus. This course is very interesting if you are an aviation passionate like me.

If you have any questions or comments regarding my internship, you can reach me at the email address listed below. I will be happy and glad to answer your questions!

Until next time!

Nicolas


Contact the author at berniern@my.erau.edu

Summer Internship: What is Network Planning?

Hello everyone!

I hope you guys are enjoying your summer. It has now been three weeks since I have been working Air Canada in Network Planning as a summer intern. I will take this time to explain a bit more on what I do at work. I am part of the team that plans the flight schedule about a year before departure. We are currently planning the schedule for 2017. Below is an overview of how the schedule is handled from the time it is built to the time the flights occur for real.

IMG_7918

  1. Network Planning (9 months and more)
  2. Intermediate Scheduling (9 months to 3 months)
  3. Current Scheduling (3 months to 48 hours)
  4. System Operations Control (48 hours to time of departure)

Network Planning makes the schedule about a year before the flight. The schedule will then be handed off to Intermediate Scheduling where they will make the flight schedule more operational. They take more components into account such as airport slots, gate availability, and much more. The schedule is then given to current scheduling around 3 months before the flight will takeoff. SOC or System Operations Control manages the schedule in real time. For example, if your flight is delayed because of a maintenance issue that cannot be fixed in a reasonable amount of time, they will be the one who will try to find an aircraft in the fleet as a replacement so the passengers can get to their final destination.

I work in Network Planning and my main job is to build the schedule for North America. We have three groups in Network Planning: North America, International, and Profitability. We closely work with other groups like Intermediate Scheduling, Aircraft Programs, and Revenue Management. When we schedule a flight, our team needs to take into consideration aircraft maintenance, aircraft turnaround time, flight connectivity at major hubs, ideal departure times, flight crew duty time, aircraft types, passenger load factor, yields, etc. These will be described in my next blog!

Route Map from Air Canada's largest hub, Toronto-Pearson.

Route Map from Air Canada’s largest hub, Toronto-Pearson.

We fly to 205 destinations including 64 in Canada, 55 in the United States, and 86 in Europe, Africa, the Middle-East, Asia, Australia, the Caribbean, Mexico, Central America, and South America. Air Canada and its regional partners fly an average of 1,500 daily flights and operate a fleet of more than 380 mainline and regional aircraft.

Our Boeing 777-300ER seats 450 seats.

Our largest aircraft, the Boeing 777-300ER (77W) has up to 450 seats. (Photo Credits: Jen Schulz)

Our smallest aircraft, the Beechcraft 1900D seats a maximum of 18 guests. (Photo Credits: Author)

Our smallest aircraft, the Beechcraft 1900D (BEH) seats a maximum of 18 guests. (Photo Credits: Author)

There is a lot of complexity in trying to build the best schedule we can for 1,500 daily departures. Flights do not have the same pattern for a whole year. We operate flights that are daily and some that we only fly a few times a week. Some flights operate year-round while others are only winter or summer seasonal.

We also look at past performance of the schedule to see if we should increase frequencies on certain routes or even pull back completely. We identify new markets where we could potentially grow in the future. Some of the new routes we are currently looking at are… You will have to wait until we announce new destinations!

I am proud and honored to be part of a family of 28,000 men and women who work together to bring our guests safely and on-time to their final destination.

Until next time!

Nicolas


Contact the author at berniern@my.erau.edu

Events in Seattle: Concert and Sounders Game

Over the past few weeks I have spent a lot of time watching Netflix, as well as reading. I started to run daily, again, which has been really nice. I have also had the pleasure of sleeping in everyday, while the rest of my family wakes up early to go to work and school. I must say, it has been relaxing, but it started to get boring. Once and awhile, though, I was able to get out of the house to go have some fun.

The first event I went to was the Beyonce concert at CenturyLink Field in Seattle. She is on her Formation World Tour. It was my first Beyonce concert, and I was excited to see such a talented performer. All day leading up to the concert I was worried that it may be pouring rain, which would be unfortunate, since the stadium does not have a roof. Thankfully, my sister and I had seats that were high enough up so that there was a cover over us. Those who were seated on the field did end up getting a bit wet towards the end of the show. DJ Khaled opened the show, which was an experience in itself. Many know him because of his Snapchat stories, which are a bit ridiculous.

After he was on stage for about half an hour, it was time for Beyonce. She came out and wowed the audience, of course. Although I did not know quite a few of the songs she performed, it was still fun to watch the performance and all of the theatrics that go along with it. The show ended at about 11PM, then we had to walk a few blocks to our car. Once we finally got to the car, it took us 1 hour to get onto the freeway, which was only a few blocks away (you’ve got to love Seattle traffic).

The next event I went to was the week following the concert. The Seattle Sounders FC was playing at CenturyLink Field on Saturday night. My dad and I used our friend’s tickets, which turned out to be really great seats! We were only 10 rows up from the field! I have always loved going to Sounders games, since I played soccer throughout my childhood, and the atmosphere is unreal! I really believe the Sounders have the best fans in the MLS… The Sounders dominated the game, but gave up an unlucky goal just before the half. The second half was filled with great chances for the Sounders, but they weren’t able to get a goal on the Colorado Rapids. It was a very disappointing loss, but everyone is hopeful that they will get back to winning ways during their next game.

At the Seattle Sounders vs. Colorado Rapids game

It was so nice to get out of the house for a few exciting events! I’m looking forward to the next concert I will see in CenturyLink Field, which will be Kenny Chesney in July!

Until next time,

Lindsey

Summer Plans: Alaska Airlines

Summer is upon us, although it doesn’t feel like it in Seattle. I have been home in Seattle for about two weeks and I still have not gotten used to the chilly weather! So far, my summer has consisted of watching a lot of Netflix and reading. It’s been nice to have a few weeks off from the hustle and bustle of school. However, I’m ready to get started with my summer internship (and not-so-ready to start my online, ERAU Worldwide International Business class)!

As I have mentioned before, I will be the Schedule Planning Intern at Alaska Airlines this summer. Being from Seattle, I have flown on Alaska all my life, since Seattle is their main hub. I have always loved the customer service that Alaska provides, as well as their company culture (and the signature cheese platters they offer in-flight)! Needless to say, I feel very blessed to be able to work as an intern for my hometown airline for the summer.

Alaska Airlines 737 at Sea-Tac Intl. Airport last summer

Of course, people have asked me what I am doing over the summer. When I told them I will be a Schedule Planning Intern for an airline, I discovered that many people who are unfamiliar with airlines’ corporate operations are not quite sure what schedule planning is…

A basic overview: schedule planning consists of creating the schedule that the airline will operate each day, over a few month’s time. For example, this summer the schedule planning group may be working on creating the schedule for the winter months. When creating the schedule, many different aspects of the operation are taken into consideration. Crew, maintenance, aircraft turnaround times, passenger loads, gate space, and optimal departure/arrival times are just some of the pieces that are factored into a schedule. Another major component of the schedule is which aircraft will be flying each route. Alaska Airlines’ mainline fleet is comprised of Boeing 737s. However, Horizon Air, the regional/sister airline for Alaska, operates Q400s. SkyWest also operates E175s for Alaska Airlines. The interesting part about schedule planning is that it is one big puzzle. In order to operate a profitable flight schedule, all of these factors need to be carefully considered.

What is especially exciting about working at Alaska Airlines this summer, is the recent news about Alaska Airlines and Virgin America coming together. I am excited to see how the two west coast airlines will begin to merge, and create the dominant airline of the west coast.

Alaska Airlines refreshed livery-last summer at Boeing Field before the delivery flight of this aircraft

Of course, an awesome feature of being an intern for an airline is the flight benefits. Alaska Airlines, like many other airlines, provides flight benefits to interns. I have not received the details yet, but I am excited to be able to start using those benefits once I start working. I have already looked at the destinations I am hoping to travel to this summer, so let’s hope some of them work out!

As you can tell, I am stoked to get started with this internship! I’ll be starting on May 31st, and will be sure to update you on how my first day goes.

Until next time,

Lindsey

Blasting off into Space Operations

Calvin Baker was one of 750 Embry-Riddle students to earn his diploma this May, and one of the first to earn the Commercial Space Operations bachelor’s. Now he’s off to Virgin Galactic to start his career in Quality and Regulatory Compliance for the organization. He’ll be working with SpaceShipTwo and potentially LauncherOne, his dream job with his dream company in his dream location.

Calvin's graduation cap included his two tassels, one for each degree, and was painted with a silhouette of SpaceShipTwo and his iris (in the style of the Virgin Galactic logo).

Calvin’s graduation cap included his two tassels, one for each degree, and was painted with a silhouette of SpaceShipTwo and his iris (in the style of the Virgin Galactic logo).

How did Calvin land his dream job? Hard work, dedication, making adjustments to meet his goals and participating in internships that provide valuable experience. And he landed not just one, but two internships while a student. We asked Calvin to tell us more about his experiences.

Can you provide some highlights about your internships?
I worked hard to acquire two internships during my time at Embry-Riddle. My first internship took place at the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) Office of Commercial Space Transportation (AST) in Washington, D.C. Interning at AST was by far the best job I have ever had. When I went into work, I was treated as a full-time employee, not an intern. That meant I wasn’t getting coffee; I was helping to evaluate licenses, experimental permits, and safety approvals. I attended weekly meetings about Virgin Galactic and Scaled Composites and was even able to attend a quarterly meeting for SpaceX. I would greatly enjoy working at AST after graduation.

My second internship was also in Washington, D.C., this time at the Commercial Spaceflight Federation (CSF). CSF is a trade organization, lobbying for the commercial space industry on Capitol Hill. I spent my summer writing congressional hearing reports and newsletters, graphic design for logos and promotional materials, and analyzing the NTSB findings of the October 2014 Virgin Galactic accident in regards to human factors and zero-fault tolerant systems.

Both internships taught me a lot about the space industry and the Washington, D.C., space culture.

Where are you from originally?
I am originally from Delton, Michigan.

What attracted you to Embry-Riddle?
I visited the Daytona Beach campus twice before beginning my freshman year in August 2010. The first time, I fell in love with the campus. The second time, I just had to see the campus again before attending.

Did you start off as a dual degree student?
As with many students, I started off as an Aerospace Engineer. I came to realize it wasn’t what I wanted to do, so I became a Communication major due to my experiences in comms-related courses. In my senior year, fall 2013, I added Commercial Space Operations (CSO) and extended my stay at Embry-Riddle.

Can you tell us a bit about your choices of Communication and CSO?
I chose the Embry-Riddle Communication degree program specifically because of a single faculty member: Professor M.B. McLatchey in the Humanities & Communication Department. I was a notoriously poor writer in high school, with one instance of me rewriting a paper four or five times to ultimately receive a C. However, after taking a couple courses with Professor McLatchey, something just clicked with me and I became a much better writer and communicator. I went on to take nearly every course she offered. This new found skill was compounded by many other great faculty members in that department such as Steve Master, Dr. Stephen Zeigler, Dr. Rachel Friedman, and Stephen Kampa. If you ever want to truly enjoy your coursework, get a degree in Communication from Embry-Riddle. The faculty is remarkable.

I was drawn to the CSO program because it meant a different way to get involved with space after leaving the Aerospace Engineering program. I was no longer chained to a career of marketing and public relations; I could use the skills gained through CSO, in addition to my communication skills, and enter into the space industry performing launch licensing and operations. I was attracted to CSO because it meant I didn’t have to merely talk about people doing great things in the space industry; I could be one of those people doing great things in the space industry.

Your capstone project Mapping Mars’ Moons (M3) addresses many advantages of resource extraction in space. What do you see as the greatest potential and what may be the greatest risk?

The greatest potential is finding resources with enough monetary value to eclipse the GDP (gross domestic product) of an entire country or even the entire world. In our project, we estimated that just one of the moons of Mars could house resources valued at over $10 quintillion, which is 10 with 18 zeroes behind it. This number was calculated based on the cost to launch the resources from Earth and get them to Martian orbit.

The greatest risk is finding out there are no resources at all or that it will cost infinitely more money to extract, refine, and make use of the resources.

We won’t know for sure until we take the risk to send a mission, manned or unmanned, to find out if all of our estimations are accurate.

What do you see as some of the more important careers that will be in demand in the commercial space industry?

Because the industry is just starting out, still designing all of their satellites/vehicles/etc., everyone wants engineers. However, I believe that will change as the commercial space industry matures. I believe it will reach a point when the commercial space industry mirrors the commercial aviation industry. Imagine when you can go online and reserve your ticket to go to space, set up a payload delivery to the Moon, or order some resources for your spacecraft after takeoff. As the commercial space industry matures, you need people to know how to operate in that environment. You won’t need engineers, you’ll need people who understand all aspects of the space industry, which is where I believe CSO will fit quite nicely.

Who are the most important companies and organizations in the commercial space industry?
There are companies taking part in many different areas of the industry: suborbital-trajectory tourism, reusable orbital launches, telecommunications, and so on. In my opinion, I love what Blue Origin and SpaceX are doing in regards to reusability; however, they are not competitors (yet) because Blue Origin is perfecting reusability for a suborbital vehicle and SpaceX is focusing on orbital launch reusability. In terms of tourism, Virgin Galactic just announced their new vehicle, dubbed Unity. Hopefully they’ll be flying paying customers by 2017. That would be a huge step forward for space tourism.

In other words, there are so many companies trying to make their impact in the commercial space industry, that it’s best to say who the leaders are in each area. I only touched on a few above, but it’s safe to say that I’m rooting for anyone who has a business model that includes space activity.

During your studies at Embry-Riddle, what types of extra-curricular activities did you participate in?
Nearly all of my extra-curricular activities included jobs I had, which I made sure would some how assist my professional career. My jobs included being a technical writer at the Florida NextGen Test Bed, the Communications Manager for the Embry-Riddle EcoCAR team, and now the Student Success Coordinator in the Applied Aviation Sciences Department in the College of Aviation. All of these jobs were related to the University and also taught me an enormous amount of valuable skills that complemented my coursework.

As far as student organizations go, I was momentarily in the surf club despite having no idea how to surf. I spent over two and a half years on the Embry-Riddle EcoCAR team, helping to promote the team to the campus, public, and industry. EcoCAR helped me hone all of my communication skills through weekly and monthly deliverables. Lastly, I enjoyed being a part of the Space Sciences, Policy, and Operations Club (SSPOC), which caters to students from the Commercial Space Operations degree program.

Calvin receiving his degrees from the Dean of the College of Aviation, Dr. Dan Macchiarella.

Calvin receiving his degrees from the Dean of the College of Aviation, Dr. Dan Macchiarella.

 

 

Pre-Delivery and Test Flight of a B777

MUKILTEO, WA – On Tuesday of this week, our Aircraft Programs team did a customer walk on the B777-300ER (C-FKAU, FIN 749) Air Canada is receiving next week. Our team consists of various managers, mechanics, and engineers. The customer walk is an important step because it is basically a final inspection of the aircraft before delivery.

Air Canada and Boeing inspected the aircraft for the day and looked for snags and other issues on the airplane. We had to put a piece of red tape when we snagged something on the plane. We tested the mechanical characteristics of the seats, such as recline, headrest, armrest, and tray table. The team also tested the flight attendant call button and reading light from every seats. Over 400 seats were inspected during the day!

(Photo Credits: Jen Schuld)

Our Boeing 777-300ER landing at Paine Field after a successful test flight on May 18. (Photo Credits: Jennifer Schuld)

Test Flight (C1)

The next morning, I was aboard the customer test flight (C1) of the aircraft. It is the second test flight of the plane since it was built. The flight lasted around 2h45 with a touch-and-go and a go-around at Moses Lake (KMWH). The aircraft headed West of the state of Washington after takeoff from Paine Field. The Boeing 777 then followed the shoreline to the South before taking a left turn towards the East. At our cruising altitude of 39,000 feet, the pilots performed several tests on the aircraft.

Screen Shot 2016-05-18 at 18.24.24

Flight path of the  aircraft via FlightRadar24.

Go-around at Moses Lake.

Go-around at Moses Lake.

Some of the tests included the extension of the flaps and the slats close to cruising altitude. The spoilers (speed brakes) were also deployed for a short period of time.

Extension of the flaps.

Extension of the flaps.

Extension of the spoilers.

Extension of the spoilers.

The landing gear was also extended during the flight. The cabin started to shake when the gear was deployed because the aircraft was flying in cruise phase at a higher speed than usual when the aircraft is about to normally land at a lower speed. The gear is the part of the aircraft that creates the most drag.

IMG_7853

Flying over the mountains in the beautiful state of Washington.

The flight crew decompressed the cabin at an altitude of 39,000 feet with a feeling for the passengers that the cabin was pressured at 11,000, 12,000, and 13,000 feet. The cabin is usually pressurized at 8,000 feet for the comfort of the passengers. At lower cabin pressure altitudes, passengers will feel better and rested after a long flight. The Boeing 787 is pressurized at 6,000 feet, which is an improvement from the current generation of aircraft.

Blue skies!

Blue skies ahead!

Flight deck of the Boeing 777-300ER (77W).

Flight deck of the Boeing 777-300ER during flight.

IMG_7875

Flight line of Boeing 787s at Boeing Everett Factory.

I am now heading back home to Eastern Canada for the long weekend (Victoria Day). I am not working on Monday since our office is closed for the Holiday! Next Tuesday, I am leaving the Aircraft Programs team and I will be joining the Network Planning group for the rest of the summer. During my trip, I had the opportunity to tour one-on-one the Boeing Everett Factory! Stay tuned for an overview of the factory tour as well as my first few days in the Network Planning department.

Nicolas


Contact the author at berniern@my.erau.edu

Aircraft Programs: Post-Delivery of a B777

Last week, I started my internship at Air Canada. I am working with the Aircraft Programs team until the end of this week. Next week, I will head to the Network Planning department for the remaining of the summer.

IMG_7733

Economy cabin of Air Canada’s Boeing 777-300ER (77W) in a high density configuration of 450 passengers, which includes 28 Business, 21 Premium Economy, and 398 Economy class seats.

I spent most of my first days in the cabin of a Boeing 777-300ER. This aircraft was just delivered from Boeing a few weeks ago. It is now sitting outside on the tarmac at a maintenance facility in Mirabel, Canada, about 30 miles from the Montreal Airport. I was shadowing an Aircraft Program Manager while he was performing his duties of post delivery. The aircraft needs to be ready soon because it will enter fly its first revenue flight next week from Toronto to Vancouver.

Flight deck of the Boeing 777.

Flight deck of the Boeing 777.

The manager has to make sure the aircraft gets ready before entry into service (EIS). Many tests had to be completed to ensure all the systems work perfectly. All oxygen masks should drop from the overhead panel. Most of the resting was related to the inflight entertainment system (IFE). We played movies as well as the safety video. All the functions of the business class seat such as reclining were tested.

IMG_7771

My favorite features of this aircraft are the meal order and text messaging functionality. Passengers can order drinks and meals from their own seat. There is even an option to add ice and a lemon in your glass/cup. They can also buy duty-free products aboard the airplane. Customers are also able to message their friends and relatives or any other passenger on the flight.

Passengers can order refreshments, meals, and duty free items from their personal seat.

Passengers can order refreshments, meals, and duty free items from their personal seat.

I had the chance to pretty much explore the whole aircraft! I saw a crew rest for the first time. On the Boeing 777 there are two beds and two seats at the front of the cabin on the second floor. For the flight attendants, there are eight beds at the rear of the aircraft on the second floor.

IMG_7766

Door to enter the rear flight attendant rest area.

Rear flight attendant rest area.

Rear flight attendant rest area.

I am really happy and blessed to have the opportunity to do this. What can an Embry-Riddle student ask more than spending entire afternoons aboard an aircraft!?

Until next time!

Nicolas


Contact the author at berniern@my.erau.edu

Short Trip to Seattle

This week, I am in the Seattle/Tacoma area from Monday to Thursday. I will be joining the Aircraft Programs team for the inspection of our 19th and last Boeing 777 to be delivered from Everett, Washington next week. It was the first time I was flying as a non-revenue passenger.

Beautiful sunset over the SeaTac area.

Beautiful sunset over the SeaTac area.

One of the perk of working as a summer intern for an airline are the travel privileges. Some airlines allow you to fly on standby on all of their flights if seats are available. Employees only have to pay taxes and other related fees. Unfortunately, I won’t be able to discover Air Canada’s network this summer since the air carrier requires its employees to work for six months before being granted flight benefits.

My first flight was from Montreal to Toronto. I then flew from Toronto to Seattle.  I was upgraded on both of my flights! For the short 53-minute flight to Toronto, I was flying on an Airbus A330 featuring fully lie-flat beds. The aircraft was completely empty. Only 10 of the 37 upfront premium seats were occupied. On the second flight I was onboard an Embraer 190, the smallest mainline aircraft in our fleet.

Cheese plate and nuts offered in Business Class from Montreal to Toronto.

Cheese plate and nuts offered in Business Class from Montreal to Toronto.

Chicken or pasta was served as the main course on the flight to Seattle.

Chicken or pasta was served as the main course on the flight to Seattle.

Paine Field is where I will spend the next couple of days. The airport is home of Boeing where it completes the assembly of the 747s, 767s, 777s, and 787s aircraft. The Boeing 737 family of aircraft is made in Renton, WA. Our team will be inspecting the aircraft because it wants to makes sure everything works well on the aircraft before delivery. I will write a story about this exciting trip very soon.

Until next time!

Nicolas


Contact the author at berniern@my.erau.edu