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Tuesday, October 4, 2016

Castle Shopping with Daniela the Flight Girl

Okay, so where am I?

There's no truth that I am in Romania looking at the Bran Castle looking at a way to make Dracula's home a summer retreat if I am ever allowed back into the former Communist state. In 1897, Bram Stoker’s described a dream vacation house—a historic castle that offers 360-degree views as it “sits on the very edge of a terrific precipice.” This nature lover’s paradise offers plenty of privacy because “as far as the eye can reach is a sea of green tree tops,” and “here and there are silver threads where the rivers wind in deep gorges through the forests.” them famous to accompany their riches and somehow wipe away a few of their abuses aimed as journalists and (gulp) media people. However you slice it, it will cost you in the neighborhood of $60 million Euro.

And, I may or may not be in San Francisco waving goodbye to the sport's most beloved voice. Yes, the poetic golden voice of Vin Scully is officially retired from baseball (see his tour de force in the 1988 World Series below.).

One of my biggest thrills in the photography world was the ceremony renaming Stadium Way to Vin Scully Avenue, on the official address where where Dodger Stadium sits overlooking Los Angeles. Now, after 67 years poetically reporting baseball games, he turned his microphone off. He will be missed. I could try to sum up his career, but the New York Times, sums it up the best...
"Vin Scully’s final game on Sunday was something close to a miracle in sportscasting — an 88-year-old man performing a solo act, conversing with us for more than three hours, keeping track of the game while telling stories, invoking memories and reminding us that he did this single job for 67 consecutive seasons. 
"How many men or women his age have ever performed so ably, so publicly, with no safety net? Think of two announcers often thought of as baseball’s greatest before Vincent Edward Scully succeeded them. 
"Red Barber, Scully’s mentor, was 58 when he was fired by the Yankees. Mel Allen was 51 when the Yankees broke his heart by dismissing him. Imagine if they had worked for 30 more years — would they have maintained their abilities as Scully has? Would they have been as fortunate as Ernie Harwell, who retired at 84 but would have been able to work as long as Scully has? 
"Scully’s working alone was a gift to all of us. He could carry games by himself, as he proved every day. 
"And oh, that voice, so melodic and with a pace ideally suited for baseball."
Okay, so where am I?, you ask again...what I can tell you is that the flight attendants on Air Berlin are delightful...especially in business class and they make a mean vodka tonic. My non-stop flight from LAX to Düsseldorf literally flew by and my private pod give me a nice rest after only sleeping one hour the night before I flew to Germany and prior to waking 30,000 steps a day inside the history-laden country. (More on Air Berlin and Germany itself later this month...)

When I was wine tasting in the Rheingau, it occurred to me that it's been over a year since we caught up with Daniela, our favorite flight girl (again that's want she likes to be called - don't shoot the messenger fellow Fempire builders), with an update on the latest in air travel...

Daniela says kisses from the cockpit.
FLIGHT GIRL DANIELA: I know you are all exciting about the business class seat on your Air Berlin flight. But what you probably didn't know was that airplane seat have come a long way. The early ones were made of wicker and yet people forget and complain constantly about their seat. Sheesh, they should be sitting on straight wicker -- spoiled brats!

MEDIA GUY: Are there better seats than others? How can non-Media Guy nab those spots for themselves?

FGD: I get bribed on nearly every flight with chocolates or homemade baked goods: “I’d love it if you could find me a better seat,” they say with a wink-wink. So where are the best seats? If you’re lucky, you may get an economy seat that allows for a slight recline feature of a few inches or legroom in bulkhead seat or emergency exit row. Yes, we can upgrade you to business class or first class after the airplane’s doors close. No, we don’t do it very often, partly because on some airlines we have to file a report explaining why we did it, partly because there has to be a meal for you, and partly because the forward cabins are often full. Who do we upgrade? Not the slob who’s dressed in a dirty tank top. It helps if you’re extremely nice, well dressed, pregnant, very tall, good looking, one of our friends, or all of the above.

MG: Doesn't the blue and glue-green tones of the plan interiors soothe the savage airline traveller?

FGD: Every detail in a commercial aircraft cabin is intentional. The typical hues you speak of are chosen with color psychology in mind as these tones are universally reputed for being universally liked and calming. It doesn’t always work on cranky passengers, though.

MG: If I'm stuck in economy, how can I get served sooner?

Don't act like you've never seen a therapy turkey going through airport security. 
FGD: Jiggling you’re your glass of ice at me won’t make me dash to the galley for a refill. In fact, it makes me want to scream. Service usually starts at the front of the cabin,. Some airlines vary the service depending on whether the flight is flying east versus west or north versus south. For premium cabins, some airlines actually let you pre-order meals on their website. The front-to-back service can add to the disadvantage of sitting in the rear. When I ask you what you’d like to drink and you ask me “Well, what do you have?” I want to answer “Not a lot of time.” But you wouldn’t like that.

MG: I've been hearing a lot lately about what not to wear on a plane. What's your thought?

FGD: I realize some of you have been in Europe for two weeks, you've only packed so much, and you've run out of clean pants and shirts. It may be tempting to throw on something that more or less passes the sniff test and head off to the airport. But remember: Odors are intensified on a plane, where passengers are cramped in close quarters and stale air is recycled throughout the cabin. The perfect seatmate is one who doesn't smell like anything. To
Have a single drink and keep those shoes on!
achieve a zen-like lack of scent, be sure to reserve a clean outfit for the plane ride home. And go easy on the cologne. Better yet, don't wear any. Scent is subjective. You may adore the delicate bouquet of Armani, but your seatmate could find its aroma noxious. Me too!

Speaking odors, your feet should be as unobtrusive as possible to everyone else (so don't prop them on top of a seatback, or wriggle them into the gap between the wall of the plane and the poor person in the seat in front of you who just wants to lean against the window without getting a faceful of your bare toes). Put your shoes back on before you go to the lavatory (because ew). And finally, if you know you're prone to smelly feet, be considerate and leave your shoes on.

More from the Media Guy and Flight Girl Daniela:
Nicki Minaj took my seat in business class, plus a visit with Flight Girl Daniela!
Flying the Friendly Skies

Vin Scully's call of Kirk Gibson's 1988 World Series historic home run: