Daily Archives: November 25, 2010

Happy Thanksgiving & Safe Travels (originally posted 10/24/10)

The airline guys just want to say HAPPY THANKSGIVING to you all. May you enjoy the holiday spent with friend, family and loved ones. Safe travels to all!

We want to hear about your Thanksgiving travel adventures, pat-downs at security, airline customer service, whatever you’d like to tell us that’s interesting, fun or funny! Tell it!

Remember to keep it low and tight, low and tight…(especially on a full stomach!)

Roadtrip! (originally posted 10/23/10)

Okay. Let me preface this post by saying a visit to Unclaimed Baggage Center is NOT on my ‘bucket list.’ However, I’ve always wanted to go there! So, today we did!

It was in 1988 when I started working for the airlines that I heard about ‘this place in Alabama’ that many airlines send unclaimed items for resale. I was like ‘really?!’ Fast forward to 2010. Today I finally took the opportunity to go.

Unclaimed Baggage Center is located in Scottsboro, AL and is about a 2.5 hour drive from Atlanta. We took the scenic route which takes you through NW Georgia. On the drive you pass Lookout Mountain, beautiful lakes and wide open spaces. The leaves were starting to change color too. This made for a perfect roadtrip.

The website claims: “The vast majority of items are from unclaimed baggage which, after at least 90 days of intensive tracking by the airlines, are declared unclaimed. However, unclaimed cargo is also available throughout the store.” Even with this description of the store, we didn’t quite know what to expect once we arrived. They claim over 1 million customers pass through their doors every year. The idea of “Lost Treasures from Around the World” really piqued our interests. Let me say I’m not one who likes shopping. However, by the time we arrived we were pretty excited.

The front of the store is pretty unassuming; it looks like many buildings in strip malls located throughout the US. When we walked in we were greeted by the ‘concierge’ (who knew?). She was pleasant and asked if we needed any assistance. We were a little overwhelmed but started in the DVD/CD section; there were hundreds and hundreds of new and old ones! We moved on to electronics. There were Bose noise canceling headsets, earbuds (was looking for Beats by Dr. Dre), Bluetooth earpieces, cameras, iPods, iPhones, Blackberry’s, flip phones (I know, right? Who still uses those?!) and get this…Texas Instruments scientific calculators!

In sporting goods we observed a couple using the infamous “Shake Weight” (that thing is just wrong!), camouflage hunting outfits, sleeping bags, crossbows and even an ab machine.

Books, books, books! It was like a mini library. Paperback, hardcover, memoirs, fiction, children’s books, tons of travel books.

We ended in the men’s section. There was SO MUCH to choose from. My favorite was a decorative green blazer 🙂 I mean really? I can see why this was left on the plane! There were racks and racks of coats, blazers, shirts, slacks and sportswear.

There’s even an Annex that has tools, appliances and anything else that doesn’t fit into the shopping categories of the main store.

The salesperson we checked out with was very helpful and friendly. She told us the store receives items everyday from most of the major airlines. She was not allowed to let us know which ones but assured us all the majors send stuff there. I left with 4 business shirts (including Faconnable, Kenneth Cole), 4 books (includingFreakonomicsDrive) and 2 fleece pullovers all for less than $50. All in all a pretty good day of shopping.

So, if you should decide to go…and we strongly encourage you all to go…let us know. We’ll answer any questions you may have and give you a shopping list of things to pick up for us!

It’s funny, we really, really prefer to fly; it’s just more fun than driving. However, this roadtrip was a good one. Even though we drove it was still related to aviation. So, go and let us know what you get.

We’re already planning our return visit!

I feel the need…the need for SPEED! (originally posted 10/20/10)

When I saw Top Gun for the first time back in 1986 I was thrilled and mesmerized with all the action scenes. When “Maverick” said “I feel the need…the need for speed!” I had not a clue. Then in 2007 we met Paco Chierici the producer for the film “Speed & Angels.” It’s the story of real Top Gun pilots. Paco just happens to be a Delta Air Lines pilot. When we previewed an advance copy of the film we were blown away by what it takes to be a fighter pilot for the US military. Lots of training, dedication and stamina. This is not for the faint of heart…or those who can’t handle the G forces placed on the body. In other words it’s not for wimps! If you haven’t seen it put it in your Netflix queue, stat!

Believe it or not this past weekend was my FIRST airshow. I know, pick yourselves up off the floor. However, it’s true. You may ask, “how’d an airplane geek like you not attend an airshow?!” Go ahead mock me! To be honest I’ve never been a big military aviation fan. Something about the dull green/grey of the aircraft I suppose. Anyway, a few friends and I went to Dobbins Air Reserve Base for Wings Over Atlanta. It’s a massive airshow over a 2 day period attended by over 100K people each day! Parking was a challenge. However, the Base did an excellent job shuttling folks back and forth from designated parking to the air base.

We were able to walk thru a C-5 transport plane. Talk about massive! And just so you know this is how the Presidential motorcade follows the President wherever he may go…via the C-5.

The C-17 is just a cool looking plane. Sleek. I wonder how it would look painted in a commercial airline livery. The official name of this aircraft is the Boeing C-17 Globemaster III. How’s that for trivia?

Unlike the 80s group that hails from Athens GA, the B-52 (Stratofortress) on display was in fine order. Did you know…that the Stratofortress name is rarely used outside of official contexts? However it has been referred to by Air Force personnel as the BUFF (Big Ugly Fat Fucker/Fellow).

Also on display was the KC-10. The KC-10 is an air-to-air tanker aircraft in service with the Air Force and is based on the DC-10-30 airliner.
And guess who we bumped into at the Airshow? Go ahead, guess. Non other than Katherine Lee. Aka “Deltalina”. She gave us the VIP treatment allowing us to watch the Blue Angels from the Delta 757 that was also on display. Those Delta people really know how to show you a good time.
All in all it was a really, really good day. One of the friends that was there with me commented that I was like a kid in a candy store! He probably got this from how excited I was watching the F-18s and F-16s buzz over our heads.
Can’t wait to attend my next airshow!
Question of the day: How many airshows have you attended? And what was your favorite part of the show?

Remember to keep it low and tight, low and tight…