Thursday, April 5, 2012

ChoppyAirSnippets 2012

ChoppyAir Snippets 2012 In this series of blog posts, I provide a running commentary of my experiences that do not justify posting a full story.

Humbled - 22 March 2012 - Washington, DC: Over 10 Congressional Medal of Honor heroes and their family members walked right by me at DCA/Reagan airport and I shook most of their hands. The heroes were so humble - regular guys. I reflected and thought about some of the people I have met in professional circles and compared them to the heroes I greeted that day. The former group bragged about what is really not that important and not worth bragging about, and the latter group of heroes did not brag about what is truly important and is worth bragging about.

Senators are Regular Joes - 19 March 2012 - Washington, DC: I slept on the plane from Dallas (DFW) to Reagan (DCA) airport. Shortly before landing, I woke up and saw a man writing hand written notes in response to some business letters. I saw the U.S. Seal, his name, and his state engraved at the top of the note cards. I thanked him for his service and we started talking. I remarked how nice it was to see someone writing notes the old fashioned way rather than sending an email. He told me he does alot of that too. He flies out to DC every week so he can be with his family on the weekends. I did not want to talk too much because I knew he was busy and we were landing soon anyway. To think he was sitting in coach! Later that week, my shipmate told me that he flew out of DC with a very famous senator, also sitting in coach. We hold our politicians in high esteem because of their position, but at the end of the day they have to commute for work and earn their upgrades like the rest of us.

If you have comments or questions, please do not hesitate to contact me (Jennifer Mellone) at

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

ChoppyAirSnippets 2008-2010

ChoppyAir Snippets 2008-2010 In this series of blog posts, I provide a running commentary of my experiences that do not justify posting a full story.

Pilot Mentor - 20 April 2010 - Albuquerque, NM: As I was sitting at the gate waiting to board, a female pilot and a teenage girl walked out of the jetway. I overheard the pilot asking the girl about her pilot's license and flying experiences and a warm feeling came over me. I smiled because I enjoyed the fact that the pilot was taking the time to mentor a young lady who was looking up to her as a role model. I also enjoyed seeing two generations of women pursuing a male-dominated career.

Met Shipmate - 21 February 2010 - San Diego, CA: I was on my way back home and found that a former "shipmate" of mine was on the same plane. We sat next to each other on the plane; he shared some hairy sea stories and I shared some hairy war stories. I gave him a drink coupon and we enjoyed one glass of wine each. How wonderful it was to have the flight go by so fast, as we looked forward to having dinner with our respective spouses upon our return!

Orange County Area Tips - 15 December 2009 - Santa Ana, CA: I flew down to Orange County one evening so I could be in the area for an early meeting the next day. I wanted to explore South Coast Plaza with all the Christmas lights so I got all the local information about the mall's whereabouts from the passenger sitting next to me who lived in the area. Talking to passengers about your destination can lead to great tips on restaurants, traffic flow, and area attractions.

Met a Coworker - 30 November 2009 - San Jose, CA: I had a very early morning flight on a Monday morning, and I arrived in plenty of time because I was afraid the security line would be long. I bumped into a coworker who was also there for an early flight to another city, and we passed the time away before our respective flights. Travel is so much more pleasant when I am not alone, and it's nice to have someone watch my bags while I use the restroom.

Different Backgrounds - 19 November 2009 - San Jose, CA: I met a woman on the plane who told me that she was a pharmacist. I had a great time listening to her point of view on health care, as she brought up some different points of view that I had not considered. Somehow we ended up talking about Afghanistan and I shared some views that were foreign to her. Flying brings together people from different backgrounds who may not necessarily meet and spend time with one another.

Extra Duties - 6 November 2009 - Norfolk, VA: I felt sorry for a person in a wheelchair who was physically ill beside the conveyor belt at the security checkpoint. Airport workers dutifully put on masks and took care of the situation in a caring and professional manner, and I really admired them for that.

Passenger Cleaning - 1 November 2009 - Houston, TX: I was amazed when a young man at the gate spilled his trail mix. He spent 20 minutes picking up every single peanut, raisin, and seed and returning it to his bag which he later discarded.

Joke Played on Me - 8 November 2008 - Santa Ana, CA: After a grueling week in a class with some coworkers, followed by a six hour test on a Saturday, we were waiting at the gate to fly home. I slipped into the restroom while they watched my belongings. I heard an announcement regarding a blue jacket that was left at the security checkpoint. I wondered if I had mine, and when I went back to my seat, I noticed it was not there. I started complaining to my coworkers that I must have left my jacket behind, and that I would have to run back to the checkpoint. We were due to board in 10 minutes so I was getting nervous. Just as I was about to run, one coworker reached behind a snack bar area and retrieved my blue jacket, where he had hidden it. That was a great airport joke.

If you have comments or questions, please do not hesitate to contact me (Jennifer Mellone) at