Sunday, 19 May 2013

Air Emirates Cabin Crew Roster, Dec 2012 to March 2013........Off Sick.

The December 2012 rota looked good, but it was not to be. A day out at the new Wadi Adventure water park in Al Ain saw to that! . There was a small accident on the man made white water rafting course, a black eye was acquired...not a good look and a hand sprained. However one week later the black eye had gone but the hand remained swollen and very sore. X-rays were taken,  revelling a badly broken finger.

The finger required specialist surgery, thankfully the hospital had a really good 'finger specialist' and she operated on it. It needed lots of metal plates and was an intense operation.

I wonder now if the airport security scanners will bleep each time they are used! time will tell.
When you work for Emirates Airline being 'off sick' is quite complicated and time consuming. There are weekly visits to the Emirates Occupational health team at the EK clinic.  But the main issue with long term sick, is the pay!

Your salary during sickness is calculated from January – December :

·         15 days of sickness = full basic + utilities (no fly pay)

·         30 days of sickness = half basic salary + utilities (no fly pay)

Any sickness further to the 45 days = nil salary

Then there is the issue of Travel:

Travelling whilst on sickness is not permitted unless authorised by Attendance management specialist after liaison with your Cabin Crew Manager and Vice President of Medical Services or a designated doctor at the Emirates Clinic. The good news is that any booked leave that overlaps with the time you are off sick will remain. ''
and worse is the fact that :
''You will be required to undergo your SEP training / refresher should your sickness exceed 90 days''.
So there was a very real prospect of being ill over the festive period, unable to come home, no money and if it doesn't heal fast SEP to do ....again!
The operation was complicated and the healing process slow, with a lot of Physio Appointments and it was early March 2013 before she was declared 'fit to fly' again.



Monday, 6 May 2013

November 2012 Emirates Cabin Crew roster, its all A380!

31-WED XX Day Off
01-THU LV Leave
02-FRI LV Leave
03-SAT LV Leave
04-SUN LV Leave
05-MON LV Leave
06-TUE XX Day Off
08-THU 6322 02:00 EK 322 DXB 03:30 ICN 16:30 388 17:00 10:00 08:00
09-FRI 23:10 EK 323 ICN 23:55 DXB 05:05(+) 388 05:35 11:25 10:10
11-SUN XX Day Off
12-MON XX Day Off
14-WED 6318 01:25 EK 318 DXB 02:55 NRT 17:20 388 17:50 11:25 09:25
15-THU 21:15 EK 319 NRT 22:00 DXB 05:00(+) 388 05:30 13:15 12:00
18-SUN 6346 02:35 EK 346 DXB 04:05 KUL 14:55 388 15:25 08:50 06:50
19-MON 18:45 EK 347 KUL 19:30 DXB 22:30 388 23:00 08:15 07:00
20-TUE XX Day Off
22-THU 6007 01:40 EK 007 DXB 03:10 LHR 07:10 388 07:40 10:00 08:00
23-FRI 08:25 EK 008 LHR 09:10 DXB 20:00 388 20:30 08:05 06:50
24-SAT XX Day Off
25-SUN XX Day Off
27-TUE 6346 02:35 EK 346 DXB 04:05 KUL 14:55 388 15:25 08:50 06:50
28-WED 18:45 EK 347 KUL 19:30 DXB 22:30 388 23:00 08:15 07:00
29-THU XX Day Off
30-FRI 6005 15:00 EK 005 DXB 16:30 LHR 20:15 388 20:45 09:45 07:45
01-SAT 21:15 EK 006 LHR 22:00 DXB 08:45(+) 388 09:15 (08:00) (06:45)

Selous Game Reserve, Zanzibar, Tanzania October 2012.

Its late October 2012 and I am on the move again, today I am getting EK 18 from Manchester to Dubai.
and as it is this lady's last shift prior to a short spell of leave, we will decide the next destination tomorrow. In the meantime I was lucky to be allowed to the bar up stairs for a few moments, to see how the other half fly, then it was back down to Economy for me to enjoy a few drinks with my meal.
In the Bar!
Back downstairs in the Economy Cabin. A380
Emirates economy treats.

After a lot of looking at aircraft loads, the loads to Dar es Salam looked promising, so Tanzania it was. As I have been to Tanzania before and stayed at the Serena Lodge, I looked up their web page, and hidden away I found a special offer. 3 nights at a camp in the Selous Game reseve and 2 nights in Zanzibar, with flights, It was called The Selous Dream Safari, it sounded good, it got booked!
EK 725 was a 3 class Airbus 330 (its a 777 now) that took us to Dar, we arrived at 15.15 and a lot of people had connecting flights to camps, we were staying in Dar for the night, and just as well. It took over 2 hours to get our Visas. There was a system in place, but it was very slow. so, if you have a connecting flight I would suggest you get your Visa before you arrive, some people were very stressed!
At Dar es Salam Airport waiting for the Visa
Do not go to this desk for your Visa, join the Q.
 We stayed overnight in the Serena Hotel in Dar, it was comfortable, clean and did the job for us. next day we were back at the airport to check in for a FlightLink flight, that turned out to be on Coastal Aviation. Costal Aviation small planes fly all over Tanzania, there a lots of them and they are good value for money, you can charter your own to Zanzibar for 100US $, it seats 6 so works out better than the ferry.

Our Check in Desk for FlightLink

Costal Aviation fly's all over Tanzania
Our flight to the Selous Game Reserve and the airstrip of Stieglers Gorge took 45 mins, it was a bumpy ride and that was quite long enough for me. I was pleased to get my feet on the sandy airstrip. 
The Arrivals hall at Stieglers Gorge

As we get off it moves on to the next camp
The landing strip

the bathroom!
The beds in the tent at the Serena run camp.
Selous Luxury Camp, Selous Game Reserve.
Room (tent) key

At the airstrip we were greeted by our guide and taken to the camp. It was wonderful, there was only us in it, but we were treated like queens. You stay in 'Tents', but this is not camping! the service, food and staff were all outstanding and the danger was the camp was so good that you wanted to stay in it rather than get out into the Selous game Reserve. I had not heard of this reserve, its the largest in Southern Africa, the Rufiji River runs through it and we spent a peaceful afternoon fishing on the river, catching odd white catfish that live in the orange water of the river. Just as I pulled one out of the water, a Fish eagle swooped down and helped himself. The guide was very worried when we got to close to the edge of the water as it was full of massive crocodiles, and he said they would see your shadow and jump out of the water, it was a magical day.
The next day we drove into the Northern Section of the Selous, and despite a bleek, dry landscape, saw Impala, Kudu, Elephants, loads of Buffaloe and Wilderbeast, birds, and Lions, one Lioness on a Kill, and a pile of 5 young males, with their short manes that are peculiar to the Lions of this region!
Fishing with the Crocks

A light lunch

Afternoon tea with the lions

We were served a magnificent picnic and afternoon tea, then back at the camp it was more five star gourmet cooking. On Trip Advisor The Selous Luxury Camp is listed a 3 Star, as far as I am concerned it was 10 Star fantastic in every way, and at the price we paid, not to be missed.
It was time to move on and we were taken back to the Stieglers Gorge airstrip to fly the 45 mins back to Dar, then swap planes and flown to Zanzibar, a very nice South African pilot took us on this short  20 min flight.
Stone Town Door
Stone Town

Stone Town

Serena Hotel Stone Town

Room 3, Serena Hotel Stone Town

 In Zanzibar we stayed 2 nights at the Zanzibar Serena Inn, it was nice but our room, room 3 on the ground floor was very noisy so we moved the next day, to a room on the first floor. We explored Stone Town, getting lost in the narrow cobbled, winding streets, visiting the Slave Monument and Anglican Cathedral, the Old Fort and house of Wonder. It was an interesting and thought provoking place.
We moved on, over to the coast and the town of Pongwe, the beach here was windy and busy with Kite surfers. The beach itself can not be recommended, as apart from the wind, the tide goes out very far and there is a lot of seaweed, I liked it as local women collected the seaweed and the beach was good to walk on, but if you are a beach person. looking to chill out on your lounger, I don't think you would do it here!
'Photo! Photo!'

Beach at Hukuna Matata Hotel
 All to soon, it was time to fly back to Dar, same plane and driver!

From Zanzibar to Dar with Costal Aviation or Flight Link.
 At Zanzibar Airport, a far larger place than I had imagined, you could get flight to many places with a multitude of airlines. Including TUI to Amsterdam!
Zanzibar Airport
Zanzibar Airport
Zanzibar Airport
Zanzibar Airport

Dar Airport
For us, it was a quick hop back to Dar, than a walk from terminal to terminal to check in for the flight back to Dubai. It was a great week and we packed a lot in, we also discovered another wonderful part of the country and its people, thanks Tanzania, I don't thinks its goodbye ?

Sunday, 5 May 2013

October 2012 Roster; On the A380.
30-SUN CU Can Use (Available Day)
01-MON XX Day Off
02-TUE XX Day Off
04-THU 6318 01:20 EK 318 DXB 02:50 NRT 17:35 388 18:05 11:45 09:45
05-FRI 21:15 EK 319 NRT 22:00 DXB 04:15(+) 388 04:45 12:30 11:15
07-SUN XX Day Off
08-MON LV Leave
09-TUE LV Leave
10-WED LV Leave
11-THU LV Leave
12-FRI LV Leave
13-SAT LV Leave
14-SUN XX Day Off
15-MON XX Day Off
16-TUE XX Day Off
17-WED 6201 07:00 EK 201 DXB 08:30 JFK 14:15 388 14:45 15:45 13:45
18-THU 22:15 EK 202 JFK 23:00 DXB 19:45(+) 388 20:15 14:00 12:45
20-SAT XX Day Off
21-SUN XX Day Off
22-MON 6803 14:45 EK 803 DXB 16:15 JED 18:00 388 02:45
22-MON EK 804 JED 20:30 DXB 00:10(+) 388 00:40 09:55 02:40
24-WED 6322 02:00 EK 322 DXB 03:30 ICN 16:35 388 17:05 10:05 08:05
25-THU 23:10 EK 323 ICN 23:55 DXB 04:25(+) 388 04:55 10:45 09:30
27-SAT XX Day Off
28-SUN 6017 06:25 EK 017 DXB 07:55 MAN 11:45 388 12:15 09:50 07:50
29-MON 12:45 EK 018 MAN 13:30 DXB 00:30(+) 388 01:00 08:15 07:00
31-WED XX Day Off

Istanbul City Tour. September 2012

The Hotel Neorion. Istanbul 10 star service!
 I cannot even begin to tell you all just how good this 5 days in Istanbul was! It has to be the best City Tour ever.
The reason for the trip was Air Miles, acquired through the credit card. The tour to NZ all paid for by plastic (!) meant that a spending target was hit and that equated to one free air ticket and a free ticket
for a 'companion'. it had to be booked with the dreaded BA, but its free so who's complaining? Me that's who. And,  this is why what ever you do you need to avoid BA.
The journey was MAN-LHR-IST. we arrive at the BA terminal 3 at MAN, on time. 07.00 to be precise. The queue for check in was long and slow, the check in desk as unhelpful and rude as always! And guess what? the plane broke down. An electrical fault, so we sat and sat and sat with absolutely NO information from the BA counter. Some passengers who had very tight connections to the USA were very stressed at the lack of information. They went to the BA staff to request help, but the staff are skilled in rudeness and sent people away with no information.Eventually after a 4 hour wait we departed to LHR, as we were so late we parked on a remote stand and were then herded to the 'transfer' desk. This was another very long wait of over 3 hours to sort out all the connecting flights for the delayed passengers. The passengers sorted themselves into priority, letting the people who may have a chance of getting on a flight go to the frount of the Q. One couple heading to Texas was being routed through Nigeria with Air say they were not happy is an understatement. For us, we knew we had missed our connecting morning flight, (booked especially as it was a Boeing) and flight stats told me when the next BA flight to Istanbu wasl, so I had worked out that we would wait till 19.00 for the Airbus, I was correct. BA gave us a £20.00 voucher to use during our day a terminal 5, after I asked for it! We used it on a salmon & champers snack to keep our spirits up.
The flight was full and uneventful, and the visa process at IST was easy. Our hotel was sending a taxi for us, we had let them know about the delay. The taxi was waiting for us and it was in the early hours of the morning that we checked into the fabulous Hotel Neorion, this small, independent hotel is No 1 on Trip Advisor and the service we received is the reason why. the staff at this establishment were outstanding, to say they went the extra mile is a cliché, but they arranged a taxi to pick up a non guest at very short notice, let her sleep in our room for the morning she arrived, gave her breakfast and snacks all day(no charge) and even gave her a gift when we left.  Apart from the outstanding service, the hotel is well situated, just a short walk from all the attractions.
Up early the next day we headed for the ferry to take us up the Bosphorus. We got the ferry at the main Ferry terminal of Eminonu, very easy to find just opposite the 'New Mosque' with its fascinating Spice Bazaar, it is this Bazaar that is used in the filming of James Bond Skyfall and Taken 2. The boarding point is by the Galata bridge. The ferry stops at 13 stops as it makes its way up the Bosphorus, so gives you plenty of time to look at the houses and palaces that line the river. we stayed on until the ferry reached the 'fishing village' of Anadolu Kavagr on the Asian side of the river. Here we walked up to the ruined 14th centaury fort  to take in the views of the straights where the river meets the Black Sea. Following the short but very steep climb, we sat at one of the many small restaurants and enjoyed a freshly cooked fish lunch.

View from the Fort of the Black Sea.

Late in the afternoon we got the last ferry back to Istanbul, arriving in time to have our complimentary sun downers on the roof of our hotel.

The next day we were joined by our lovely daughter, fresh from Dubai. And set off exploring the Spice Bazaar and streets next to the Galata bridge, I was fascinated by the Leaches for sale in the Pet Market part of the spice bazaar!We then walked up to the Blue Mosque got the open top bus and drove round Istanbul seeing the whole city and its walls. Istanbul is so easy to get around, I think the bus is not needed and would not recommend it in this city. 


This advertising was seen from the bus.

Over the next 4 days we explored much of Istanbul going to Topkapi Palace with its Harem. The Blue Mosque, The Hipperdrome, The Basilica Cistern, that was my personal Favourite DO NOT MISS IT! The Haghia Sophia with the splendid byzantine mosaics. I experienced a Turkish Bath at the Cagaloglu Baths, if this is 'touristy' then I don't know what the genuine one is like as this was wonderful, almost brought a diamond necklace at a bargain price in the Grand Bazaar! Climbed up the Galata Tower in the Beyoglu district, went to a folk evening of Turkish dancing and this was not just belly dancing, a lot of the music and dance resembled Bulgarian / Slavic Dance. All in all Istanbul was a fantastic 'city break' destination, in the very short time I was in the city I learned much about history that I did not understand before, totally changed my opinion on Turkey. So now ask me if Turkey should be in the EU, its a very loud yes as its a European city with an exotic slant, and a city that should be visited & experienced by everyone before they die.