Aviation Safety InfoShare 2017

Hello everyone!

I got to attend the Aviation Safety Infoshare at Pittsburg, Pennsylvania from April 18th– April 20th. Aviation Safety InfoShare is a semi‑annual confidential industry-sponsored meeting attended by government and industry safety professionals who share their safety concerns and best practices in a protected environment. InfoShare offers a unique opportunity to advance aviation safety outside of individual air carriers and bring about improvements for the industry by sharing these experiences.Participants at Aviation Safety InfoShare include representatives from—

  • International, major, regional, and corporate operators
  • Pilot, mechanic, dispatch, cabin, ground operations, and air traffic labor groups
  • Aircraft manufacturers
  • Maintenance repair and overhaul organizations
  • Trade associations
  • University aviation departments
  • Government agencies
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Grand Ballroom

Id Badge to enter the InfoShare

Id Badge to enter the InfoShare

The host hotel was Wyndham Grand Pittsburg Downtown. I got to attend it with Delta Air Lines. I traveled on company business, and I had my own room at the hotel with a fantastic river view.

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View outside my room

View outside my room

The InfoShare was a great opportunity, and I got to talk to a lot of the other airlines. Attendees can only enter the infoshare if they work for an airline and proved it by showing their respective company ID badge. There were even guards at the door making sure no one who didn’t work for an airline entered! I am so thankful that I got to attend the InfoShare and talk to so many aviation professionals!

Until next time,

Maryam

Some Tips to be a Great Intern

Hello everyone!

Exactly one month from now, I will conclude my current internship with Delta Air Lines, so I wanted to share some tips that I’ve learned. I know many of you will be off for internships during the summer, so it will be great to keep some of the following in mind.

1. Learn about the company: 

Being offered an internship is a great boost to your resume, but it’s always great to learn more about the company before hand. Always do you homework- conduct some additional  research of the history of the company you are going to intern with and learn about their culture. This will help boost your knowledge and maybe impress your boss! I mean you could even end up scoring a letter of recommendation from your manager in the future!

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2. Mentor: 

It is important that you find a mentor while working in the company. It doesn’t necessarily have to be your manager, but someone whom you could talk to and will give you continuous support. This will also help develop relationships and connect with the employees on a personal level. At my current internship, my manager and I have set up an “intern status meeting” every Wednesday, so I would highly recommend doing something similar. It has helped me connect with my manager on a personal level, and I always learn new things about her!

3. Commitment:

Never show up late to work, unless you have an emergency . Be sure to communicate with your manager in case you know you might be late or need a day off (car trouble, stuck in traffic, sick leave, etc). It’s better that your manager knows where you are instead of wondering whether you will show up to work or not. Communication is an important key to developing your relationship with the manager. Always keep them in the loop. Don’t be afraid to talk to them in case you’re facing any problems. If necessary, stay back later in the evening as well. This will show your manager that you are committed to do your job. Prove to them that you are someone who stands out and goes the extra mile. Your internship is your time to shine. Standing out in your company could even open up job offers after your internship is over.

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4. Social Media:

AVOID AVOID AVOID! Do not be on social media unless your job requires you to be on it. The internship is your time to learn more about the industry and gain valuable experience. If you need to, you can use social media preferably on lunch break. I still avoid it, even during lunch break, since I treat my break as a bonding experience with my fellow coworkers and try to learn more about them. Always be polite and friendly when you’re talking to your employees/ employers and beware of gossiping.

5. Feedback:

Always ask for feedback when you’re working on projects assigned to you. This will shine light on your strengths, and you can always learn from your weaknesses before you leave. Everyone makes mistakes so do not be afraid to correct them. Do whatever it takes to show your employer that you are eager to do your job! Talk to your employer if you need more projects to work on or need to lessen the load.

There are definitely many other factors involved, but I just wanted to give a brief insight of some of the factors I considered while working on my current internship. I wish you the very best in all your endeavors. Be yourself, be amazing!

Until next time,

Maryam

 

My 2016 Travel Map

In 2016, I traveled more than 108,000 kilometers and spent more than 148 hours in the skies! Here are some of the best trips I had over the past 12 months. The ranking is not in order of best flight experience but is rather based on chronology.

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My 2016 Travel Map

1. Flying All Over America in One Day
In February, I flew for fun with my friend touching the East Coast, the West Coast and the North of the United States in less than one day. We flew from Orlando to Orlando via Atlanta, San Francisco and Minneapolis.

My ride from Atlanta to Los Angeles.

Flew this type of bird (Boeing 767) between Atlanta and San Francisco and between Minneapolis and Orlando.

2. First Business Trip
In May, I flew on my first business trip just a few days after my first day as an Aircraft Programs Intern at Air Canada. I travelled from Montreal to Seattle for a week.

I got upgraded in Business Class from Toronto-Pearson to Seattle-Tacoma.

I got upgraded in Business Class from Toronto-Pearson to Seattle-Tacoma.

3. Customer Delivery Test Flight
While I was at the Boeing Everett Factory with Air Canada, I had the opportunity to fly on their brand new Boeing 777-300ER (C-FKAU) that was going to be delivered a few days later. We were only between 10 and 15 people on the plane for the flight that lasted a bit more than 2 hours.

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View from the jump seat while climbing out of Paine Field.

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The Boeing 777-300ER has a wingspan of more than 212 feet.

4. Flying on the Bombardier CSeries Before Commercial Entry Into Service
At the end of June in Montreal, I had the chance to fly on a Bombardier CS100 aircraft during a 45 minute flight for the media. The state-of the-art aircraft is very silent and offers a wide body feeling in the cabin.

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FTV5 (Flight Test Vehicle Number 5) with the SWISS livery.

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View of the CSeries wing after touchdown.

5. Flying Across the Atlantic to Ireland
After my internship was done, my family and I flew to Ireland for a week vacation.

Starter: smoked trout Niçoise said with roasted garlic aïoli.

Appetizer on the flight to Europe.

6. Weekend in California
During Labor Day weekend, I traveled to Los Angeles for a few days.

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The famous Hollywood sign.

Plane spotters love to take pictures at Los Angeles International Airport.

Plane spotters love to take pictures at Los Angeles International Airport.

7. First Time in South America
I flew to Argentina for my first time during Thanksgiving break. This trip from Florida to the Southern tip of the world required many flights.

Boeing 737-800 of Aerolineas Argentinas at Ushuaia airport, the world's southernmost airport.

Boeing 737-800 of Aerolineas Argentinas at Ushuaia airport, the world’s southernmost airport.

What were your best flying memories of 2016? Share them with us below!

Happy Flying!

Nicolas

It’s Almost Summer!

Last Thursday was the final day of classes of the Spring 2016 semester. Friday is a study day before the first day of exams starts. The Hunt Library is providing donuts and other snacks to students in the evening in an event called “Cram With Cookies.” I have no idea why “cookies” is mentioned because they mainly serve donuts…strange.

Finals will begin on Saturday and continue from Monday to Wednesday evening. I was lucky this semester to be exempted from a few final exams. In my Airport Management class (BA 310), we did not have any quizzes nor exams throughout the semester which was fun. Instead, the professor gave us four assignments related to the airport industry, such as airport security. At the end of the semester we were assigned a large group project and a take home final exam consisting of four short essays which were quite similar to the assignments.

In my Airline-Operations class, we had a total of two exams during the semester, excluding the final. The professor would drop the lowest grade of the three exams so you didn’t have to take the final if you were satisfied with your current grade in the course.

This semester I have to take three finals: International Aviation Management (BA 426), Corporate Finance I (BA 332), and Managerial Accounting (BA 312). Like my colleague Jack mentioned in his latest story, most of the finals in the College of Business are just a regular test and are not cumulative. My only cumulative exam is in my Finance class where I will have to refresh my mind with the material we studied back in January.

This weekend, I plan to study for finals obviously and enjoy my last days in the beautiful sunny and warm weather of Florida before heading back home for the summer. On Monday, I am taking a study break as I will be flying to Atlanta to be onboard’s Delta’s inaugural passenger flight of the Airbus A321 that was just delivered over a month ago. The airline has ordered a total of 82 airframes. The first flight is scheduled to depart Atlanta (ATL) at 8:55AM and arrive at 10:19AM in Orlando (MCO). Stay tuned for a summary of the flight and some pictures!

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Photo Credits: Delta

In the meantime, I wish all of the students from our Daytona Beach, Prescott, and Worldwide campus good luck on their finals. Go Eagles!

Until next time!

Nicolas


Contact the author at berniern@my.erau.edu

Does your home airport use a common or exclusive use gate system?

Last Thursday in my Airline-Airport Operations class, we had an interesting debate in whether or not we should favor common-use gates over exclusive leased space gates. There are many advantages and drawbacks in both cases that I will explain briefly below.

Exclusive Leased Space

In an exclusive leased space agreement, an airline will have the right to use the gate and ticket counters space in exchange it has agreed to pay a rent on the area used. For an airline that has only one scheduled flight to that airport, it might not be a plus because it will have to pay for the gate while it only uses it maybe an hour per day.

Large airlines in the United States such has Delta Air Lines might prefer the exclusive leased space even though it is more expensive. They can operate their own gates and not bother about another competitor using their gate. Airlines can also show their brand at the ticket counters, gate area, and inside the jet bridge since they basically “own” the space.

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Common Use Space

At a common-use airport, airlines do not have to pay rent on the space. The airport’s gate schedule coordinator will assign each gate to the airlines. It will collect a per-use fee from the air carriers using the space. Common use airports usually have TV monitors at check-in counters and at the boarding area instead of painted walls with the airline’s brand. They can change the image of an airline in a matter of a second.

Common-use airports can generate more revenue by negotiating contracts with companies who want to show their branding around the airport. The HSBC bank branding is present in various airports worldwide.

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Picture taken at around 5:30AM.

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Picture taken at about 6:45AM.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The picture above on the left was taken in the morning one day last summer when I worked as an intern at the Montreal Airport in Canada. The picture on the right was taken at the same place about an hour after the first one was taken. We can see that the airport operates with common-use space.

There were four United Express’ regional jets at the gates getting ready for their morning flights back to the airline’s hub. About an hour later on that same day, we can see that those planes are gone and replaced with new Air Canada jets.

For airline ground operations, airlines usually have to move their ground vehicles around the airport to the new assigned gate for the next flight. Airports often try assign the gates to the airlines next to each other so it makes it easier for airline operations.

That’s it for this week! In my next story, I will close the 2015-16 school year and share my summer plans.

Nicolas


Contact the author at berniern@my.erau.edu

Let the Final Stretch Begin

In less than three weeks all of my finals will be over, and I’ll have another semester under my belt. I am very excited for the summer to begin to take some time off and for my internship.

This summer, I will be working as an intern in Network Planning at Delta Air Lines in Atlanta, Georgia! I am very excited for this opportunity, and it has been a long time coming as I have been interviewing since the 2014 Industry/Career Expo.

In the meantime, school has been keeping me busy with lots of projects and papers, and things are starting to slow down. I just have to finish my technical report, study for one last test for the semester, and begin studying for final exams. Thankfully, I just have three this semester!

Earlier this month, I had the opportunity to attend the Student Employee of the Year Nominee Dinner as the Career Services Department nominated me. It was very cool attending it and learning about what all of the other 22 student Assistants who attended the dinner did for their departments. Plus, it was crazy to learn that there are more than 1,000 student assistants who work on the Daytona Beach Campus!

SEOTY Nominees gather for a dinner to announce Embry-Riddle's Student Employee of the year

SEOTY Nominees gather for a dinner to announce Embry-Riddle’s Student Employee of the year

Flying All Over America – Part 2

I hope you guys enjoyed Part 1 of my long trip across the United States. In the second part, I will cover the rest of the trip from San Francisco to Orlando with a connecting stop in Minneapolis.

Due to our long delay back in Atlanta, we had less time to spend at San Francisco International Airport than expected. We used our time wisely to walk around the terminal/concourse. Below is a gallery of the pictures of some of the planes we saw:

After our quick tour, we boarded the plane for Minneapolis. Shortly after takeoff, we were served complimentary beverages and snacks, and I ordered the new Luvo chicken wrap the airline made available at 30,00 feet in the past few weeks. It was very good! For the remaining duration of the flight, I worked on homework while listening to music. I also took pictures of the outside sceneries over Utah and Wyoming.

Ski station over the state of Wyoming

A ski station over the state of Wyoming.

Somewhere over Wyoming!

Somewhere over Wyoming!

Arrived in MSP, I thought it felt like when I arrive in Montreal! It is cold and there is snow. Ironically, it was colder in Atlanta than in Minneapolis. Jack showed me a cool place in Concourse D. We went up in an observatory over the terminal where we can see the airline’s ramp operations. Our plane from California landed about half an hour earlier so we were fortunate to have more time to explore the airport of Minneapolis. It was my first time at MSP so my friend showed me around (close to the whole airport). It was night by the time we landed so I couldn’t take any photos due to the reflection in the windows.

Last leg of the day: MSP to MCO.

Last leg of the day: MSP to MCO.

For the last leg of the trip to the Sunshine State, we both got upgraded to First Class. The plane was quite empty where there were even 2 front seats that were unoccupied and all most of the Comfort+ seats empty. It is the first time of the day that I started to get tired after a long day. I was happy to have made through the whole day. I actually thought I would be tired after the long transcontinental flight from ATL to SFO, but I wasn’t.

Upgraded to First Class on our flight between MSP and MCO. For dinner was a tomato basil soup, followed by a salmon with basmati rice, and a toffee almond cookie for dessert.

Upgraded to First Class on our flight between MSP and MCO. For dinner was a tomato basil soup, followed by salmon with basmati rice, and a toffee almond cookie for dessert.

Since 6:00AM of that morning flight, I have kept most of the complimentary snacks the flight attendants passed around. I had quite a large collection by the last flight!

I accumulated many snacks over the day!

I accumulated many snacks over the day!

Overall, we had flown 5,500 miles while sitting around 17 hours on an aircraft during a timespan of 18 hours. That is a lot of flying! We calculated that we paid less than 30 cents per minute (~$17 per hour) to fly around the country in one day! It was definitely worth it! I hope I will fly again this year on a crazier trip than this one if possible!

On our way back to Florida after a long day of flying!

On our way back to Florida after a long day of flying!

Until next time!

Nicolas


Contact the author at berniern@my.erau.edu

Flying All Over America – Part 1

Hello!

This past Saturday, I flew over 21 states over the United States in less than 24 hours. I did this long trip with my friend Jack, who is also a student journal writer for Embry-Riddle. What was the purpose of this trip? We wanted to fly together just for fun. We would also accumulate more than 5,000 miles on this long journey.

Here was our planned itinerary: Orlando (MCO) – Atlanta (ATL) – San Francisco (SFO) – Minneapolis (MSP) – Orlando (MCO). In Part 1 of this exciting story, I will cover the flight segments until SFO. The remaining two flights until we land in MCO will be covered in Part 2.

Long flight ahead: ATL to SFO.

Long flight ahead: ATL to SFO.

Our day started very early has we had to drive to catch a 6:00AM flight in Orlando. The first flight to Atlanta was just over an hour from wheels up to touchdown. The thing I like about early morning flights is that you can see the sunrise from above.

When we arrived at the busiest airport of the world, we did not have much time to connect to for our next flight. Fortunately, our arriving flight and our departing flight were in the same concourse, so we did not have to take the Plane Train.

For the transcontinental flight to San Francisco, we were onboard a Boeing 767-300ER with one of Delta’s international configuration featuring lie-flat beds. I wished we got upgraded to the front cabin! We were seated in the first row of Comfort+ at an exit row, so we had plenty of legroom and space to walk around during the duration of the flight.

Delta has a crew base in SFO and uses this aircraft (B767-300ER) for transcontinental flights to New York-JFK and Atlanta.

Delta has a crew base in SFO and uses this aircraft (B767-300ER) for transcontinental flights to New York-JFK and Atlanta.

All the passengers were settled in their seat for an on-time departure when the captain announced a delay due to a problem with the main door. The door could not close and maintenance had to replace a part. The missing part of the door took a long time to arrive at the aircraft and it lead to a delay of about an hour before we got cleared for pushback.

My friend Jack and I are discussing with the flight crew while we were waiting for maintenance to repair a part on the main door.

My friend Jack and I are discussing with the flight crew while we were waiting for maintenance to repair a part on the main door.

In the mean time, we were granted permission by one of the flight attendants to go check out the flight deck. We spent about 45 minute talking with the first officer about aviation. The time went by fast and we returned to our seats because the airplane was ready to leave the gate.

The first officer's notes before the flight.

The first officer’s notes before the flight.

During the flight, we worked on a project for our Airline-Airport Operations class. We had to select an airport or airline and write a report on it. We were actually productive on that flight and did homework! As we approached the state of California, the flight attendants made a trivia to the passengers asking four questions related to the Super Bowl. The folks who got the most right answers would win a bottle of wine (I wished the question would be related on Delta!).

The attendants on our flight to SFO made a trivia with questions related to the Super Bowl. The passengers who got the correct answers got a bottle of wine!

The flight attendants on our flight to SFO made a trivia with questions related to the Super Bowl.

When we booked the trip at the beginning of the semester, we did not know it was during the Super Bowl weekend. At first, we thought the airport in San Francisco would be crowded, but it was not! At least for the time we were there.

Story to follow in Part 2!

Nicolas


Contact the author at berniern@my.erau.edu

2015 Stories: Delta SkyMiles Medallion Benefits

Over the past year, I flew a lot on Delta Air Lines. I boarded 35 flights with the air carrier and half of those flights were to Atlanta. “How come have you been to Atlanta so many times this year?” my friends ask me. I actually never visited Atlanta in my whole life. I have only been through the airport to connect to my next flight.

I started to accumulate all my blading passes!

I started to accumulate all my boarding passes!

For those who did not know, Atlanta’s Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport is home of Delta and is the busiest airport in the world. It will welcome its 100th million passenger of the of the year, by the end of December.

Since the beginning of 2015, I have accumulated numerous flights and miles with Delta, and over Thanksgiving break, I got my first frequent flyer status! I became Silver Medallion with Delta and at the same time, SkyTeam® Elite, since the airline is in the SkyTeam® alliance.

There are many great benefits that come along with the status, but first, lets discuss how to reach the status. To become Silver (lowest status), a customer needs 25,000 Qualification Miles (MQMs) or 30 Qualification Segments (MQSs). Customers also need to spend more than $3,000 every year with Delta. Those numbers increase by a lot for the other upper level statuses.

There are many advantages of being Silver Medallion® with Delta. Here are some of them.

The first perk is to be able to be added for free to the upgrade list for a First Class seat. Who doesn’t like to fly upfront with wider seats and greater legroom?

It is often rare to get upgraded as a Silver. One time, I was 39/41 on the upgrade list and there were only four seats available. There is another option if you want to have extra legroom and sip beer, wine, or spirits and snack on premium snacks. At time of check-in, you can select a Comfort+™ seat if there is availability. These seats are located between First Class and Main Cabin. A passenger upgrading its seat to Comfort+™ will spend up to $55 on a one-way flight between Daytona Beach and Atlanta.

Passengers also benefit from 2 extra miles per dollar spent. For example, if my roundtrip ticket from Daytona Beach to Atlanta was $800, I would get 1,600 bonus miles added to the amount of base miles for the trip.

One of my favorite (favourite for my Canadian readers) perk is the waived baggage fees. You can get a checked-baggage free of charge. This saves $50 round-trip per person.

At the airport, passengers can enjoy expedited check-in using the Sky Priority lane. Customers can also benefit from priority boarding and the order depends on the seat selected:

  • PREM: First Class customers
  • SKY: Delta Comfort+™
  • Zone 1: Silver Medallion®
  • Zone 2: Main Cabin

Now you know the main benefits of having a Silver status with Delta Air Lines. If you travel a lot, flying with the same airline might lead you to a frequent flyer status!

Until next time!

Nicolas