Vesta's Corner
Vesta Stevenson
Seven Canadians and two Czechs have launched a $1.3 million lawsuit against an Atlanta lawyer for his "reckless" behavior in boarding a flight knowing he had tuberculosis. "He deliberately got on this plane, endangered our lives and this is very selfish and reckless behavior that deserves to be punished," Nassim Tabri, a 26-year-old graduate student who was sitting one row ahead of Andrew Speaker, told the Atlanta Constitution Journal. Tabri and the eight others, seven fellow passengers and the roommate of one of them, are represented by Montreal lawyer Anlac Nguyen, who filed the suit in Quebec Superior Court. Speaker, a 31-year-old personal injury lawyer, is now being treated in isolation in Denver and said he would never knowingly put anyone at risk. He did, however, ignore Czech health officials recommendations that he not travel after he found out, while in the Czech Republic for his wedding, that he was infected with an extremely drug-resistant strain of the disease. He took a Czech Airlines flight from Prague to Montreal and, on arrival in the U.S., was put in federally enforced isolation in Denver. It's since been determined that he has a less drug resistant form of the disease than previously thought. Speaker said officials in the U.S. told him before his trip that he wasn't contagious. He believes the suit is being undertaken in the mistaken belief that he's rich. "I don't have anything for them to go after." Nguyen said his clients are living with the knowledge they might, in the future, contract the disease. "They do not have tuberculosis, but nobody can say that they won't have tuberculosis either," Nguyen said of his clients. "And that will not be known, not now, not next year, but for many years in the future."
This weeks postcard - spent three months here in Alvor Portugal my first winter after retirement and I would love to return to here some day soon.

Air Canada News

Air CanadaAir Canada advertises frequent flyer "Aeroplan miles" for booking with Tango on-line, but the number depends upon your class of travel. Executive class  and Latitude class earn one mile per dollar, but with "Tango" fares you earn one mile for every two dollars spent, and with "Tango Plus" you earn one mile for every three dollars spent. That makes the cheap seats expensive.

Need to know
Single employees can take their nominated partner on their C1/J10 pass.   Effective Saturday, July 14, single employees and retirees will be able to take their registered nominated partner on the C1/J10 travel pass.   The employee/retiree must input their nominated partner's name in the 'Travel Companion' field on the Passenger Screen during the flight registration process and must travel with their registered nominated partner on all legs of the journey.  A new C1/J10 pricing grid may be found on the policy section of the employee travel web-site (ETS).  All C1/J10 pass rules and regulations as well as nominated partner travel rules and regulations apply.   Please review all important pertinent policies in the News & Policy section. This program is launched on a trial basis and all Employee Travel programs and policies are subject to change.

Update on POS space blackouts on domestic flights: Effective Saturday, July 14, 2007, the positive space blackouts announced in Monday's Daily will be in place.  Due to technical difficulties, we were not able to implement them earlier, and apologize for the delay.  The restrictions, effective July 14, apply year round to all Positive Space travel, such as business and consultant travel as well as incentive and Awards passes.  The list of blackouts can be found on the Employee Travel Site, under 'News & Policies', Click 'Policies' then 'News'.  Standby travel will not be affected
Our 70 Years

70 year Anniversary

1948 - May 1st North Star service non stop to Bermuda from YUL and YYZ

Bermuda 1948 Timetable

  • Apr 1st North America's first turbo prop service began with Vickers Viscount equipment Montreal to Winnipeg via Toronto and Fort William.
  • Apr 4th Viscount service commenced Toronto - New York.
  • May 2nd Freighter service started utilizing 5 North Star aircraft converted to freighters. Montreal to Vancouver via Toronto, Winnipeg, Edmonton and Calgary.
  • Aug 8th Viscount operation started Montreal to New York.
  • Nov 1st in exchange for the Toronto-Mexico route with CPA, TCA received the exotic routes of Quebec-Seven Islands/Val d'Or/Noranda//Earlton and Quebec and the Maritimes. Viscount service Montreal to Vancouver commenced.
  • The Viscount services to 14 cities had load factors exceeding 80%.
  • The 10 millionth passenger since inception was carried by year's end of 1955.

1956 - May 8th an order was placed for DC-8 Jetliners.

Readers Feedback

From: Philip Helms <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Subject: Update
Cheesecake PhotoRe Netletter 982  the names of the Flight Attendants showing off their "Nylons" are from left to right Monica Gillis, Eileen Howard,Helen Saisbury and Betty Hemingson.. By the way , I  was at YAW and moved with them to Kelly Lake in 1960. Thanks  for the Net Letter always   enjoy it .
Phil Helms.

Jim Griffith sends us this request.
Recently mentioned in your columns the, "Dawn to Dusk", survey flight from St. Hubert to Vancouver of a Lockheed 12 in 1937. The a/c belonged to the Department of Transport, I believe, and was meant to show the viability of operating coast to coast in Canada with one airline. My facts may be skewed because I haven't had time to research it. If either of you or your readers have any information or photos of the event  that may or may not have been published, I'd like to pass the information to a local St. Catharine's man who is planning to duplicate the flight next summer in a Lockheed 12 he  bought and is restoring here at the Niagara District Airport. The original a/c is in the museum in Ottawa but the one in St Catharine's may be a sister ship as it was originally owned by the DOT in Canada and may have been operating in the Winnipeg area. On one of the photos just above the cockpit  where the after the original paint was stripped off you can see the peculiar, orangey red!
colour, of the paint used by the DOT on its a/c circa 1937.
"james griffith" This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Lockheed 12
Lockheed 12
The NetLetter found this information which was passed on to Jim -
According to "Wings across time" by David Collins, On July 30th 1937 a Lockheed Electra belonging to the Department of Transport CF-CCT was delayed at St. Hubert by bad weather, but finally departed at 05:18 local time. The pax were C.D.Howe, C.P.Edwards and H.J.Symington captained by J.H.Tudhope with co-pilot John Hunter. and engineer Lou Parmenter. The first leg 2,500 miles was to have been Kapuskasing but bad weather made for a stop at Gilles ONT. Then on to Winnipeg, Regina Sas, Lethbridge Alb, Trial BC. and eventually Vancouver at 18:29 PST . 17 hours 11 minutes.The survey flight was completed without any serious mishaps.
There is a photo of CDHowe talking to the press at YVR..
The Globe and Mail July 31st has the headline "Howe completes Dawn-Dusk Flight".

Bill Norberg in Winnipeg sends us this -
There seems to be some discussion re early fam flights to the south. I had an experience related to one of these flights in 1948 and have attached a brief summary.
My memories of a flight by a North Star aircraft to Caribbean and South America
In the fall of 1948 I was advised I would be a technician covering radio, electrical and electronic systems on a North Star familiarization flight to the Caribbean and as I remember it on to Trinidad. I was a shift foreman at the time and covering the midnight shift so I had to report to the medical clinic in early morning to get the various immunization shots required for the areas where we would visit. I remember very clearly trying to sleep with my arms swollen from the injections and the attendant high fevers. It was however all for a good cause and I was very excited about the flight. I do not remember the exact date of this flight but it was in the late fall of 1948.The dates of my immunization shots are from Oct 15th. to Nov.8th so the date of the flight was later in November
There was a rather amusing aspect at having to take all those shots. There were a number of people requiring the shots and I was fascinated to observe what was happening when the shots were being given to the person ahead of me in line. On several occasions when the nurse would withdraw the hypodermic, the needle would stay in the arm separated from the syringe. I suggested to the nurse that the needles must be quite dull and I offered to take them away and sharpen them for her. Surprisingly enough she agreed. When I examined them under a magnifier, the tips were not dull....the tips were bent in a shape like a fish hook. They were actually catching in the flesh of the persons receiving the shots as they were being withdrawn. I re-profiled the tips and gave them back to her for sterilization and re-use. These were the days before separate needles were required for each shot.

However my enthusiasm was short lived as I was later advised that another individual named Tammy Johnson would be going in my place. I was a bit disappointed but I realized that Tammy was the right person to take on this task.

If my memory serves me correctly, the flight had a rather interesting side to it when it returned to Canada. I believe F.M.MacGregor was in charge of the flight and Canadian Customs were determined to give it special attention when it landed. The initial plan was to land in Montreal and they were ready to meet it there. At the last moment the flight was diverted to Toronto where it cleared Customs and Immigration. It then continued on to Montreal and after landing  proceeded directly to hangar # 5. Advice had been received from the flight that the hangar doors on the hangar should be open as the aircraft would taxi directly into the hangar and the doors closed behind it.  The offices of F.M.MacGregor were on the second floor of the annex attached to the west side of the hangar. The contents of the cabin were then removed and taken to these offices. Those were fascinating times!
Regards John Norberg (Bill)

Ross Smyth sends us this story of his early days -
Subject: Remembering TCA  1940
My first day with the airline was November 11, 1940. Not then knowing due to military secrecy, seven Lockheed Hudson's arrived in UK from Gander that morning,  the start of the ferry command that would  deliver 10,000 aircraft. I was hired as the airline's first cargo clerk, soon to be called dispatch clerk.
Toronto station manager Billy Wells who had been the pilot hired me
for Trans-Canada Air Lines, TCA`s first scheduled flight from Vancouver to Seattle in late 1937. A week previously he had hired me.  As there was only a dirt road to the airport, my taxi had a flat tire, and I hitch-hiked the rest of the way. He  paid me $60 a month but I would have worked for
nothing as I was living at home with my mother.
We had a wonderful new instrument called a librascope. It calculated the
aircraft's center of gravity and gross weight.  I was quickly trained by
passenger agent Jack Goddard who had done the work part time. When flights not in, I would be upstairs at the nerve centre with the dispatcher and radio operator, the pilots` chief aids.  I was so proud, I would soon wear the same uniform as the pilots, minus the wings.
As there were no flights due to bad weather on my first day, Jack Goddard
trained me well. He received a teletype message from headquarters,
then in Winnipeg from  the company's first employee, war ace Don McLaren, asking for delay reports for the previous months` flights.  Making up reasons from his head, Jack trained me how to complete them.  I thought I could do better and even fill out the section how to avoid a recurrence!
I spent most of my time upstairs with dispatchers like Al Brown and Webb
Heenan, and radio operators Fred Wright and Al Webster who would later
become pilots. Thirteen years later I would become president of the
Canadian Airline Dispatchers Association. after serving in the first group
of transatlantic flight dispatchers - another story.
My diary for the second day shows the wind up to 74 mph but some flights
still operated. I would like to hear from any of your readers with memories
of the early war years!
Sincerely, Ross Smyth (age 86)  This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
TCA/AC People Gallery

Following pictures from Special edition Horizons 1987

Navigator at work on a North Star April 1948

Shannon Inaugural
Passenger Agent Margaret Gallagher and Stewardess Theresa Mulligan carry the youngest passenger on the Shannon inaugural Oct 1st 1947.

Pat Eccleston
Pat Eccleston, TCA's second stewardess, 1938

G B KerrG.B.Kerr, Purser-Steward in the galley of a Lancastrian, 1948
Hercules Canada Reunion

Hercules Canada Reunion Association

Hercules Reunion 2007
Where: Ramada Edmonton Inn  Edmonton, Alberta
When: Fri 14 Sep 2007 - 1700/2100 - Hospitality Room
Sat 15 Sep -------- 0700/1000 - Breakfast Buffet
Sat 15 Sep -------- 1200/1600 - Hospitality Room
Sat 15 Sep -------- 1700/0100 - Dinner and Dance
Sun 16 Sep ------- 0800/1100 - Breakfast Buffet
Price: for $120.00 per person you get:
1 Fersten Form Fit Reunion 2007 ball cap
1 Reunion lapel pin.
2 Breakfast buffets
2 Open house sessions for slides, photos & beer talk.
1 Dinner and dance with all wine supplied
a number of really cool door prizes
and ....................
a chance to spend time with your fellow Herc Rats.
Details: Stu Russell 403-241-9105 This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Stu Russell Calgary, Alberta 11/02/07

In 1967 Pacific Western Airlines became the first commercial air carrier in Canada licensed to operate the civilian L-100 version of the Hercules C130 military cargo lifter.

Pacific Western crews flew a total of six Hercules freighters into more than 108 countries around the world. The aircraft flew over 90,000 air hours and 26 million miles and carried more than 800,000 tons of outsized cargo and bulk fuel shipments world wide.

The Hercules aircraft were flown onto fresh water and sea ice runways in the arctic, gravel, sand and unprepared surfaces in underdeveloped countries and operated in  temperatures as low as minus 68F in northern Canada and plus 134F in the African deserts

Hercules Aircraft

Where are they now
Airbus A340-313 fin 903 c/n 167  C-FYLC leased to Lan Airlines of Chile.
Boeing B747-433 fin 343 c/n 25075 C-GAGN now converted to a freighter and in service with Air China since Oct 28/06 registered B-2478


Found on the Internet
European Parliament yesterday backed a European Commission proposal requiring that carriers operating within the EU advertise fares with all taxes, nonavoidable charges, surcharges and fees known at the time of publication

BOEING says with carbon-fiber composite structure on 787, if you can't see damage from five feet away, no problem

Terry's Travel Tips

Terry Baker

Star Alliance StarTrips.com
Chris & Trish Arbique and their team have finally released the long awaited information on the new Star Alliance web site for active and retired employees -
To view all of the wonderful offerings that await Star Alliance member carrier employees and retirees simply log onto www.startrips.com
Star Alliance StarTrips.com
Chris & Trish Arbique and their team have finally released the long awaited information on the new Star Alliance web site for active and retired employees -

To view all of the wonderful offerings that await Star Alliance member carrier employees and retirees simply log onto www.startrips.com
At StarTrips the words "my vacation" just got a whole lot better.
Let's get to it.
Over the course of the past several months we have been working in creating a website that captures to essence of the vacationing needs of Star Alliance member carrier employees and retirees alike.
With the inception of the Internet Interline rates may or may not be the best available rate at the time of booking and anyone with a laptop who has endured the displeasure of being stuck in places like Hawaii trying to find accommodations can attest to this fact (I hope I'm not the only one out there).
RabbitRates Are!
Vast improvements in Internet accommodation based technologies have changed the way we as airline employees can secure Interline rates. Interline rates may or may not be the best available rate at the time of booking. RabbitRates consistently deliver the "best available rate" Interline or otherwise.
Hotels, motels, resorts, even bed and breakfast's have a vast array of inventory control mechanisms at their disposal whereby they can tweak room inventories daily, monthly, seasonally or even hourly thereby generating maximum revenues.
We have secured negotiated rates with thousands of hotel properties around the world and are pulling available RabbitRate inventory from three major hotel databases. The RabbitRate you secure through StarTrips is the best available rate at the time of booking, whether it be Interline or otherwise.
StarTrips now features one of the most advanced technologies in the Interline marketplace.
  • Price shop at over 50,000 Hotels & Resorts.
  • Reserve Securely Online In Real Time with 128-bit encryption, the highest level of protection available for Internet communications including online sessions and all credit card financial transactions.
  • Locate Rabbit Rates.
  • Locate Hot Rates.
  • View Full Hotel & Resort Descriptions.
  • View Full Hotel & Resort Image Libraries.
  • View Integrated Maps and Driving Instructions.
  • Obtain Local Information.
  • Post & View Other Travelers Reviews.
  • View, Edit & Cancel Your Reservation.
  • On The Fly Currency Converter.
  • Advanced Search Options.
  • Toll Free Toll Free Reservation Offices Open 24/365.
Here are some examples of what awaits you.
Beijing, China
"A Cool Summer in the Heart of Beijing" FOUR STAR PROPERTY.
Presidential Plaza Hotel Beijing is centrally located in Beijing; stone throw away from the Financial District and Beijing Exhibition Center. Easy access to Tiananmen Square, Forbidden City, Wangfujing Shopping Street, Beijing Railway Station and Beijing Capital International Airport. The hotel lobby is newly renovated and the staff uniform is newly designed. The hotel is under international management, 15 languages are spoken. You will be indulged with exquisite, personalized service in an inviting and unique atmosphere. Rates start at just $82.00 USD or 59.00 EUR.
Athens, Greece
The Royal Olympic is located approximately 20 miles from Athens Airport and less than one mile from the city center. The hotel offers views of the nearby Acropolis and the Temple of Jupiter. The Acropolis Subway Station is located just across the way. Rates start at just 97.00 EUR.
Rome, Italy
The Grand Hotel Palazzo Carpegna Roma is housed in a wonderful historical building, within the fascinating setting of Villa Carpegna Park, surrounded by luxuriant gardens, only a few minutes from the historical center of the Eternal City and the hustle and bustle of modern Rome. Rates from 80.00 EUR.
That's 3 of over 50,000 properties to choose from.
To view all of the wonderful offerings that await Star Alliance member carrier employees and retirees simply log onto www.startrips.com
Save Travels.

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