The NetLetter #912
The NetLetter
Since Oct/95 January 21, 2006


Number 912

About us!

A Day in the Life

Air Canada News

Star Alliance News

737 Becomes Reef

Reader Feedback

Terrys Travel Tips


NetLetter Archives

About us!

Since October 1995, Vesta Stevenson and Terry Baker have been issuing an email newsletter for those ex Air Canada types who have provided us with their email addresses. The Newsletter was created by Vesta, who gave the name 'NetLetter' and added 'Between Ourselves' - a TCA periodical with which you are probably familiar with from the 50's and 60's. It was then changed to "Between Yourselves" to avoid confusion when "Horizons" resurrected the name. Then finally simplified to just "The NetLetter".

We believe that our NetLetter, which originates from Vancouver Island, was the FIRST to use this medium to disperse information for retirees of Air Canada.

The NetLetter contains airline related information such as anecdotes or stories supplied by some of the recipients, Internet tips, travel news, cheap... excuse me, "inexpensive" accommodations, tours, interline travel, and, in some small way, we help keep our Air Canada family together and in touch.

Our 'NetLetter' is NOT sponsored by any Pionair group, nor are we seeking any financial support, only the Internet email addresses of those who would like to receive our 'NetLetter'. Please forward this to other retirees who can then subscribe right from the forwarded link at the bottom of this email.

Dear NetLetter,

We now estimate that the NetLetter is read by over 2705 retirees when counting our email distribution and those that print the NetLetter and give them out to their friends.

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Thank you

Alan Rust - ACFamily Administrator

  • A Day in the Life
  • Vesta

    Ann Blakeley This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. sent us this interesting article -
    A day inj the life of a flight attendant -
    Skies are unfriendlier, but the smiles remain

    When Laura Brandle dropped out of Oklahoma State University to fly with United Airlines in 1967, the job of stewardess was the carefree, glamorous career that girls dreamed about. In a blue hat and white gloves, she glided through the cabin on required 3-inch heels, encased in a mandatory girdle, serving martinis to cigar-puffing men in suits and dispensing the "miles of smiles" taught in training.
    On a September morning 38 years later, that smile is still as lustrous as the pearls around her neck as she greets casually dressed passengers boarding Flight 851 from Dulles International Airport to Chicago's O'Hare.
    Though seeming just to be saying pleasant hellos, she's really scanning each passenger's face for signs of trouble.
    As the three undercover sky marshals positioned around the cabin attest, the skies have become a lot less friendly since the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001. And the job of flight attendants is far grimmer in these days of security checks, airline budget cuts, bankruptcies and packed cattle-car economy cabins. "There's a lot on flight attendants' minds today," Brandle says. "There have been pay cuts. Our duties are more. We are struggling to hold on to what we've worked for so many years to attain. And we are the watchdogs: We must suspect everybody and everything and keep our antennae up."
    The image of flight attendants also is less glamorous in an era when some passengers regard them as flying waitresses and waiters, dowdier and grumpier than the old-time "stews." Even movie depictions aren't flattering: Flight attendants' unions have called for a boycott of the hit Jodie Foster film "Flightplan", saying it inaccurately portrays cabin crews as uncaring, even malevolent.
    This year marks the 75th anniversary of the first stewardess taking to the skies for the airline that eventually became United. Yes, the job has changed, Brandle says. But with flight crews' role in deterring terrorism now a priority, "We've gotten a little more respect."
    To show the realities of a modern-day flight attendant's life, Brandle has agreed to be shadowed on a workday. It will take her from her home airport, Dulles, outside Washington, D.C., to Chicago, then on to San Francisco for a layover.
    Here's how her 16-hour day takes off:
    8:25 a.m. After passing through a separate crew security checkpoint, Brandle checks into a United office under Concourse D and gets her mail. There's an update on grooming standards: "Many flight attendants have identified the need for a more careful attention to appearance." No more than two earrings an ear, it says, and no clogs.
    Brandle, who started her career in the days of weigh- ins and girdle checks her measurements were taken during the job interview needs no advice on polish. Her navy dress is pressed (she can wear pants but prefers skirts). Her frosted coif, discreet eye makeup, pink lipstick and French manicure are as perfect as her posture.
    (More in another NetLetter -)

  • Air Canada News
  • Popular simplified fare product expands to / from the UK.
    Air Canada is taking its simplified fares concept onto the transatlantic this year, beginning with service to London Heathrow and Manchester.The international pricing structure contains just four fare categories: Tourist, Leisure, Latitude Plus and Executive First. Other international destinations will follow "in the near future." AC has been transitioning to a simpler fare structure over the past few years beginning with its domestic network and in 2005 with its transborder services.

    Tourist is a deep discount "special promotional fare" for economy class travel. Advance purchase is not required but tickets are priced on a roundtrip basis and are nonrefundable. Seat selection takes place at the airport, no changes or stopovers are permitted and a Saturday night stay is required. There is no Aeroplan mileage accumulation but travelers who book on earn a bonus of 500 mi.

    Leisure is an "everyday discounted roundtrip fare." Advance purchase is not required but tickets are nonrefundable and a Saturday stay is required. Complimentary advance seat selection is offered. Itinerary changes are possible for a fee of C$200 ($172) plus additional fare difference if applicable. Same day changes made at the airport cost C$100 with no additional charges for fare difference. Aeroplan Status Miles are accrued and there is a bonus of 1,000 mi. for booking on the website.

    Latitude Plus, which appears to be the equivalent of a standard Y fare, "offers fully flexible one-way fares with complimentary unlimited changes any time." Tickets are fully refundable and there is no change fee. Customers enjoy complimentary advance seat selection and unlimited stopovers. Latitude Plus fares are eligible for Aeroplan upgrade to Executive First. Travelers earn Aeroplan miles and receive a bonus of 2,000 mi. for booking on AC's website.

    Executive First, AC's award-winning business/first product, also offers fully flexible one- way pricing and all the other services available to Latitude Plus, as well as access to airport lounges, priority check-in, priority baggage handling and priority boarding. Executive First fliers earn 150% of applicable Aeroplan status miles and a bonus of 3,000 mi. for booking on the website.

    New IFE system for Embraer fleet set to be launched. We will begin launching the new state-of- the-art Thales i4500 in-flight entertainment system on our fleet of Embraer 175 and 190 aircraft. This in- seat entertainment system, which is being introduced fleet-wide, features 8.9-inch wide digital in-seat monitors and touch-screen controls offering audio and video on demand programming at every seat. The units will be installed on a progressive basis.
  • Star Alliance News
  • Star Alliance

    Lufthansa passengers can enjoy live TV shows -
    The New Year opens with new advantages for the customer: as of 23rd January, Lufthansa passengers will be able to receive four live television channels on board directly on their laptops. Depending on the region of the world, BBC World, CNBC, euro news or MSNBC can be picked up via satellite.

  • 737 Becomes Reef
  • After almost 30 years of flying passengers across North American skies, a Boeing 737 sunk off the coast of Vancouver Island in British Columbia, Canada Saturday, to the cheers of hundreds of onlookers. The retired Air Canada jet became British Columbia's seventh artificial reef and, long after it carried millions of winter-weary Canadian tourists to Florida, it will become a tourist attraction itself. The 100-foot airframe was winched from a barge and lowered into Stuart Channel, near Chemainus. Within minutes divers reported a level landing on the ocean floor 88.5 feet below and the jet's four-year journey from wreck to reef was complete. The aircraft, built in 1975, was originally acquired by Pacific Western Airlines in 1983. PWA was taken over by Canadian Airlines in the mid-80s before it, too, was taken over by Air Canada in 1999. Air Canada continued to use the plane until 2001 when, with 73,522 hours on it, it was retired. The plane was stripped of all useable parts by Qwest Air Parts, of Memphis, which then donated the shell to the Artificial Reef Society of British Columbia in 2002. As the long search for a suitable reef site began, volunteers from the society stripped the plane back to its shell, scrubbed it clean and cut 10-inch holes in the wings to encourage marine life to start colonization. The jet, now known as Xihuw Reef in honor of the red sea urchin that used to be common in the area, is believed to be the first passenger plane to be sunk for the purpose of creating an artificial reef and it is expected to become a popular attraction for divers.

  • Reader Feedback
  • From: "Ian Jackson" This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. - My daughter and I are planning a trip to Cancun, and the ruins at Tulum, & Chitzen Itza. Does anyone have suggestions on accommodation?
    Thanks. A. Jackson

    Dear Folks ~
    I need help locating correspondence (or information) between Gander residents and the passengers off the 9/11 flights who landed there. Of particular interest is the scholarship fund set up by those on one of the US flights.
    Any help would be appreciated.
    Ruth Stratton (retired YVRTRAC)
    This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

  • Terrys Travel Tips
  • Regarding our note on Australian travel visas in NetLetter nr 911 -:
    George Young advises us -
    1. The Air Canada site at 1 800 413 1113 does not offer an option for obtaining a visa.
    2. The Australian High Commission says that a valid passport covering the length of stay is all that is required.

    Chris Arbique of sends these deals -
    29' / 27' / 24' / 22' motor homes. All accommodate up to 5 persons. Includes Preparation Fees, All Kits and 160 km per day. $899.00 per week.
    20' / VC / TC10' / TC8' motor homes and campers. All accommodate up to 4 persons. Includes Preparation Fees, All Kits and 160 km per day. $599.00 per week.
    APRIL 12th to the 17th ONLY
    22' motor homes. Accommodates up to 5 persons. Includes Preparation Fees, All Kits, and 1200 km. $99.00 for 5 days!
    Banff Lake Louise Ski Week 2006
    " Spring Fling"
    March 26-31 (5 nights)
    Location: Fairmont Chateau Lake Louise.
    Inclusions: All transfers from YYC to the Fairmont Chateau Lake Louise.
    5 nights accommodation at the Chateau.
    3 days skiing at your choice of Lake Louise, Sunshine Village or Banff Mount Norquay Après Ski Party, Torch Light Dinner and more.
    Package prices start at just: $849.00 CAD for the Downhill Program. $778.00 CAD for the Non Downhill Program.
    Hop onto www.RumRabbit.c om to book these specials!

    Aero-Marine Interline
    This is an amazing package. Don't miss the opportunity to see several cities in Italy all in one trip. We do all the work booking all the hotels and tours. All you have to do is pack and enjoy! Our package includes: 1 night in Milan, 2 nts in Venice with a Venice by foot tour and a Gondola Serenade, 2 nts in Florence with a tour of Pisa and a tour of Florence and 2 nts in Rome with a Monumental Rome tour and an Antique tour. Also included is the trains 2nd class between the cities. Our Price from: $879 pp dbl

    Usually the prices during January through March are high, but not this time. Prices for a week cruise start at $399 per person and include port charges. Don't waste anymore time. Book your cabin and get away from the cold weather. Remember Spring Break will be here before you know it!
    Carnival Cruise Line The Conquest sails roundtrip from Galveston to the Western Caribbean for 8 days and 7 nights. Prices start at $399 pp dbl inside, $499 pp dbl outside and $599 pp dbl balcony.
    This really does include the port charges. The Victor sails roundtrip from Miami to the Eastern or Western Caribbean for 8 days 7 nights. Prices start at $419 pp dbl inside, $519 pp dbl outside and $669 pp dbl balcony. Again port charges included.Our Price: $399 pp dbl
    voice: 800-255-2376 (ALL-AERO)
    Prices include port charges. There is an additional cost for the government tax.
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