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"We are the protagonists of our stories called life, and there is no limit to how high we can fly."

PHD. MBA. MHS. Type rated on A350, A330, B777, B747-400, B747-200, B757, B767, B737, B727. International Airline Pilot / Author / Speaker. Dedicated to giving the gift of wings to anyone following their dreams. Supporting Aviation Safety through training, writing, and inspiration. Fighting for Aviation Safety and Airline Employee Advocacy. Safety Culture and SMS change agent.

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

It's All About the Passengers!

I once said, "It's all about the crew" and I wasn't lying. I'm having a great trip thanks to the wonderful crews I've been flying with, both in the flight deck and in the back. Our flight attendants have been great! First class service on the entire plane. Everyone is working together for the success of the journey. Sometimes we forget the reason we're here. But the first two legs of my journey reminded me... It is really all about the passengers.

Lauren Pilat
"I am the captain! Life is good!"

"Oh... this captaining stuff is exhausting."

Lauren Pilat, (Yes, Pilat, not to be confused with Pilot... but I'm thinking she looks good in that captain's seat) is spending a fun filled four days in Amsterdam, she tells me in celebration to her 6th grade graduation from Lakeview grade school, Kirkland WA. Happy graduation!

Lauren and Michell

Michell, Lauren's mom, (Yes, mom. Despite the fact we all know she could be nothing more than the big sister) is making her daughter's dreams come true and opening the door to new experiences. Way to go mom!

But the real instigator of the trip is Yvone Link.

Yvonne Link

Yvonne was on her way to Amsterdam and invited her friends to join her. Yvonne tells me that her mother, Mila, started working at Northwest Airlines when she was just eighteen years old in reservations, and continued on to do a variety of jobs throughout the company for many years to come. Mila may now be retired but she lived a legacy with NWA and inspired her daughter by giving her the love of aviation and zest for travel. Yvonne is sharing these loves with her friend Michell, and Michell is sharing them with her daughter Lauren.

Way to go ladies!

And then the journey continued back to the states. 

Annabelle and Juliette

Annabelle Tiscier and Juliette Danielson joined us on our journey back to the U.S. And just in time to celebrate the 4th of July. But the real celebration was meeting these two lovely young ladies.

Annabelle is joining her friend in the United States for two weeks. Juliette, however, will be staying for two months. Juliette also told me she is not only a frequent flyer, but now that she's 16 she's going to start flying lessons.

Yeah! We have another pilot in the making. 

Whichever side of the ocean you're on, there is reason to celebrate. When you fly, take the time to visit the flight deck. Hug a pilot. Pick up your wings. Share your journey.

Have a beautiful vacation Lauren, Michell, Yvonne, Annabelle and Juliette! I hope to see you again real soon.

Enjoy the journey!


P.S. YES my friends, this is an A330-300!


  1. That is fabulous! I had no idea people were still allowed to visit the cockpit (I just assumed it was all off-limits now). I have some very fond memories of pilots and cockpits on overseas trips as a kid. Though I have to confess, it would have been even more special for me if some of those pilots had been women! You are an inspiration :)

  2. Great moment.I am going to board Delta Airline on 31th July from Bangkok to Narita.I am really looking forward to using Delta Airline and meeting pilots,flight attendants,and grand staffs.I hope you will be the one of pilots!!
    Have a safe flight,Karlene san.

  3. Beautiful! Fly it forward, every day! :) Also... you got an upgrade to the 330? Don'T remember if you were on the 310 or 330!

  4. I think this is really great. I always really enjoy having anyone stop by the cockpit and make every effort to make them feel welcome. I can't emphasize enough how much I enjoyed this when I was younger and I still enjoy stopping by the cockpit on airplanes I've never been on before. Thank you for sharing the joy of aviation with others! As a side note, what does the -300 designation mean?

  5. Sounds like an excellent group of ladies that are reaching for the skies!

  6. Wow, people still get to visit cockpits? That's wonderful. Great story, great people. Thanks.

  7. Yup! It is about the PAX and the fun stuff comes from the kids and younger adults. (At 60, I'm still one of them.) Making it a fun experience for these young women is the "Fun" part of your job and I'm so glad that you enjoy it. I enjoy reading the details and seeing those happy smiles. It is almost as much fun as the joy that I experienced in 1957 when Captain Bob let me push a Red Button on his DC-7 (it honked the horn!!) Thanks and keep it coming. -Craig (Cedarglen)

  8. Piglet, Wow! What a fabulous comment. Thank you! Yes, we can have visitors on the ground... at the end of the flight is usually better. But we love to share the experience. Thank you so much!

  9. Jun, I wish I were one of the pilots, too. Stop up in the flight deck and say hello! Safe and happy journeys! Oh...and remember to take pictures.

  10. Thanks Jean! Love to fly it forward every day! I'm on the A330. Hope to see you there one day, too.

  11. Thanks Daniel, There is so much power in kids visiting the cockpit. It makes such and impression. The -200: We have two models A330-200 and A330-300. We're typed on both with minimal differences between them. They really fly the same.

  12. Thanks Brian! I'll see if we can find some more tomorrow back to Amsterdam.

  13. Thanks Linda and Heather! Yes... they are reaching for the skies. You, too, could visit the cockpit. Just drop by and say hello.

  14. Thank you Craig! I love the big kids at 60 too! Memories of horn honking in the cockpit stay with kids forever. Hopefully we'll never stop sharing the love.

  15. I just wanted to say, THANK YOU, Karlene, for making our trip to Amsterdam all the more memorable! You're a credit to the profession, and gave us all (and many others, from the looks of your blog) lasting, wonderful memories. :)
    I wish all the best to you in your life and career with Delta. Who knows, we could likely see you again on another AMS trip soon. Thanks, again!

    Michelle Link
    (dark-haired girl). My mother is Yvonne Link(retired NWA). Mila is the blond mother of Lauren. With so many chatty, excited women around, though, no one could've have gotten it straight. ;)

  16. Michelle, YOU are so welcome! And Thank you so very much for the wonderful comment. I'm so glad we were able to make your trip just a little bit brighter. I too hope to see you on a flight again soon. May all your travels be safe and continue to smile bright.


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