Video: How JAL flight attendants would respond in an emergency, circa 1985ish

It probably takes a special person to appreciate this, but someone sent me the video above this week. I’m told it’s a video of Japan Airlines flight attendants engaging in an air crash drill. If you watch it, you’ll notice a couple of things. First, the flight attendants are professionals. And second, they are very courteous in that way they bark orders. (At least in the English translations.)

UPDATE: One of my readers tells me this is fictional, from a Japanese  television show called “Attention Please” Has anyone seen the show?

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Aviation jobs: How Hawaiian Airlines schedules its flight attendants and pilots

How does Hawaiian Airline schedule its flight attendants and pilots? Photo: Wikimedia commons/Dylan Ashe.

How does Hawaiian Airline schedule its flight attendants and pilots? Photo: Wikimedia commons/Dylan Ashe.

How do airlines schedule which flight attendants and pilots work on what flights?

If you think a computer might handle the bulk of this work, you might be right — at least at most airlines. But at Hawaiian Airlines, this process is mostly done by humans. And with so many employees living in so many places, as well as federal regulations governing how much flight crews can work, it’s a complicated process.



Luckily we have Brad O’Handley, senior director of crew planning and scheduling for Hawaiian, who was kind enough to explain to L.A. Airspace how it all works. Below is our interview, which we conducted via email. ( If you’d like to read my other chats with airline employees, check out earlier Q&As with Southwest Airlines flight dispatcher Mark Johnson and low-cost carrier flight attendant Kara Mulder.)

Brian Sumers: How might you explain your job to someone who does not know much about the airline industry?

Brad O’Handley: Crew schedulers are responsible for staffing all flights in accordance with the Federal Air Regulations (FARs), applicable collective bargaining agreements and company policy.  In general, these rules limit the amount of time a crewmember can remain on duty and set minimum requirements for rest to ensure that crew members are not fatigued when operating their flights. We are also responsible for confirming that hotels and ground transportation to and from the hotels have been secured for crewmembers who will be laying over at an out-of-state destination.

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What airline has the best uniforms? And other interesting stories of the past week.

Among my favorite stories was Sassy Stew's ranking of the top 15 flight attendant uniforms. Here are the dudes sported on Air Canada's "Rouge" brand.

Among my favorite stories was Sassy Stew’s ranking of the top 15 flight attendant uniforms. Here are the duds sported on Air Canada’s “Rouge” brand.

What’s news in the world of aviation? Read on to see some of the stories I’ve found interesting the past week or so.

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What’s it like to be a flight attendant? One answers our questions.

What is your flight attendant really thinking about you?Kara

Kara Mulder is a flight attendant at a major low cost carrier, and the brains behind The Flight Attendant Life website. Popular posts include “Best Outfit To Wear On An Airplane” and “Dating And The Flight Attendant Life.”  I asked her to answer some questions about her job. She was kind enough to oblige.

What’s your job? Where are you based? How long have you had the job?

I am flight attendant, based in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida. I’ve been flying for 4.5 years.

2. What’s your least favorite part of your job?

My least favorite part of going to work is encountering the aircraft lavatory. It doesn’t matter if it’s at the beginning of a flight, or five hours into flight time, airplane lavs are disgustingly fowl! They just smell terrible! I hate smelling like airplane when I get back from working a trip.

What’s your favorite part of your job?

There are multiple reasons why I like being a flight attendant, but the main reasons are that I love the people that I work with, every day is different, and I have tons of days off to do fun things like travel to foreign countries, and learn to kite board.

What’s one thing people think they know about your job that’s actually incorrect?

I don’t get a lot of dates because I’m a flight attendant, and when a flight is delayed, I’m not getting paid for sitting around the airport.

What personality traits does one need to be a flight attendant?

I think the main personality trait that makes a happy flight attendant is learning to accept unexpected inconveniences, and enjoying the surprises that the job brings. Also, professionalism, punctuality, assertiveness, and a friendly attitude go a long way in the airline industry.

From the looks of your website, you try to have fun on layovers. What’s your favorite layover pastime?

Honestly, not a lot of fun happens on overnights, because layovers are built at minimum rest, which barely gives the crew enough time to get grab a bite to eat, and then go to sleep. But, the most fun that I have had on a layover was once, when my flight cancelled in Maui, I had a whole day to do whatever I wanted. So, I went kite boarding.

What’s the most common question you get from passengers?

Is this your normal route? What do you have? Do these seats recline? Where are we? (To this one I always wonder, ‘Why does it matter?’)

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What’s it like to go through flight attendant emergency evacuation training?

As my loyal Twitter followers know, a couple of weeks ago, I participated in flight attendant emergency evacuation training. This week, that story finally ran in the newspaper.

Here’s a little teaser to the story. (Photos by staff Photographer Stephen Carr.)


Long Beach >> The shouts came frantically and repeatedly.

“Leg, body, leg!”

Then more commands. Stern and unyielding, barked by Kaitlyn Doyle, a slender 24-year-old woman with long blond hair.

“Get in the raft,” she said. “Get in the raft!”

One by one, they came, jumping gingerly into the giant orange flotation device. “You can fit 18 people in here,” someone shouted. “There are only 12 here. Move over.”

The group moved closer together, shoulders touching shoulders. Everyone leaned against the back of the raft, moving 12 pairs of legs to the middle.

All wore life jackets, those flimsy yellow models you see during an aircraft safety demonstration — the ones most passengers ignore. But on this day, all participants were calm. Occasionally, they even laugh.

That’s because this was training, part of a three-day course for flight attendants and pilots assigned to private jets. The goal of the program, put on by a Washington-based company called Aircare Solutions Group and mostly held in a hangar at Long Beach Airport, is to prepare flight crews for any emergency — including a “water landing,” a term that is probably a bit of a euphemism. (Crash might be more accurate.)

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