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Who Here Flew Valujet Airlines  
User currently offlineCritter592 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Posted (15 years 1 month 3 weeks 4 days 18 hours ago) and read 2741 times:

Who in this Forum has flown on Valujet Airlines. How was the service... Can you give me a description of the service... Did you feel at all un-safe? How was the flight?

19 replies: All unread, jump to last
User currently offlineCody From United States of America, joined May 1999, 1963 posts, RR: 8
Reply 1, posted (15 years 1 month 3 weeks 4 days 17 hours ago) and read 2679 times:

Yes many times. No, I never felt unsafe. As for the service it was not bad at all. Actually it was a pretty good airline. Lots of happy employees, always smiling, and full of jokes. They used to have inflight contests all the time. I was lucky enough to get hired by them in 1995 as an agent at Washington Dulles.

User currently offlineL1011 From United States of America, joined May 1999, 1727 posts, RR: 8
Reply 2, posted (15 years 1 month 3 weeks 3 days 20 hours ago) and read 2662 times:

I loved flying ValuJet. On a flight from Chicago Midway to Washington Dulles, before takeoff the captain actually came into the cabin, picked up the mike, and faced the passengers to make his welcome announcement. I've never seen such personal attention from any other pilot. I've never felt unsafe on ValuJet. They really seemed to care. I also remember on an MD-80 flight, a flight attendant blocked off some middle rows for weight balance. After all other seats were taken, he opened up those seats. This was on a flight from IAD to ATL.

Bob Bradley
Richmond, VA

Fly Eastern's Golden Falcon DC-7B
User currently offlineKALB From United States of America, joined Mar 2000, 573 posts, RR: 0
Reply 3, posted (15 years 1 month 3 weeks 3 days 20 hours ago) and read 2658 times:

I flew them 10 times, and I always felt safe in flying with them. I liked their informality, their e-ticket system, and their boarding process. I frankly think they got a raw deal over the Everglades crash. It was not Valujet's fault, but it sure took a beating fom the media.

User currently offlineVirginA340 From United States of America, joined Jul 2005, 15 posts, RR: 0
Reply 4, posted (15 years 1 month 3 weeks 3 days 20 hours ago) and read 2653 times:

I don't think valujet was to blame; But Sabre Tech was entirely at fault for the improper storage of the oxygen canisters. There was no fault of the plane at all. From what I've hear the plane was well maintained. But Sabretech was quite questionable. I'm quite surprised that the two stupid Sabretech employees who improperly labeled and stored the containers did not get jail time. They should have been found guilty of Neglegent homicide or voluntary manslaughter. If this had happened in the Middle East you can bet that they would be beheaded or spent the rest of their lives in prison for what they've done.

User currently offlineWilcharl From United States of America, joined Jun 2000, 1183 posts, RR: 3
Reply 5, posted (15 years 1 month 3 weeks 3 days 20 hours ago) and read 2646 times:

As a high school student, I flew them many of times, and told my teachers in high school my dream was a career with Valujet. The teachers laughed, the students joked, I flew them a week before the voluntary shut down and continued on to paris with a school group. When i got there, everyone laughed at me for flying them, and sadley someone thought it would be a joke to stick the USA-Today with Valujet sezizes opperaitons as headlines under my door in the Hotel in paris. I went on to go to embry riddle and 3 years later I was hired @ Airtran, living out my high school dream.

User currently offlineCritter592 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 6, posted (15 years 1 month 3 weeks 3 days 19 hours ago) and read 2691 times:

I agree with all of you...Valujet was not bad. I never got the chance to fly them, but I have done some research, I was reading a Magazine Article where
it was May 11, 1996 and Lewis Jordan was just beginning to tack in some insulation for this Project that represented Valujet. Then the pager on his assistant rang and when she called back, she turned white. Lewis Jordan knew that something bad happened. It is not really his fault about 592... some other incidents were his fault...But 592 was NOT Lewis Jordan's Fault. I really do wish that Valujet was still flying today, I know that if the FAA would have just given them another chance, they would have straightened up, and got with the program. But Nooooo The FAA Scrutinized them, Insulted them, and did everything to make it look like the FAA did not do a thing. Well, if the FAA would have installed smoke detection and/or fire suppression in Class D Cargo like they should have in 1988, then Candy Kubeck and 592 probably would have never left the ground. and everyone would have lived. So who are the 2 real crooks here? FAA, SABRETECH

User currently offlineVirginA340 From United States of America, joined Jul 2005, 15 posts, RR: 0
Reply 7, posted (15 years 1 month 3 weeks 3 days 17 hours ago) and read 2621 times:

THe FAA's excuse was that it was too expensive for the airlines because they complained about the cost since they would have to raise fares. Since the Valujet Crash I've heard of DL and Air Tran installing smoke detector/fire supression equipment. The FAA screwed up on the PA 103 crash. The knew that PA security was shoddy and those guard dogs at JFK were show dogs bought cheap from a local kennel. They had known since 1986. They even helped out further since an FAA official named Daniel Salazar authorized waivers for PAN AM to skip hand searches on unaccompainied bags on flights originating from Europe including PA 103. On a Telex a Top PA security exec named Dan Sonenson said "If a passenger's luggage is on the plane and he/she does not show up for the flight; Then we go!!!" The FAA knew about the Helsinki warning and on how shoddy security at FRA was but did nothing to save those people. But however the US Government was pulling their people off the plane since the warnings were plastered at US Embassies in Europe. But yet no effort was made to let the general public know about the threat.

As a result of their stupity and arrogance on the FAA's part as well as the airline 270 innocent pax and crew were needlessly murdered including my best friend and his family who we're also killed aboard the plane. The Valujet crashed enraged me further when the valujet plane crashed.

The only reason why the general public knew about it now is because Russian government warned passengers travelling PA out of Moscow to the US and had warned them. Among the ones saved were reporters.

I wish that the NTSB gets more power so that they can fight the FAA and their bearocracy since the FAA has bent backwards for the airline bottomline one too many times. The day that happens I'll break out a nice bottle of red whine. We've already lost more than enough men, women, children to fill a major city due to their incompetance.

User currently offlineRoberson From United States of America, joined Dec 2000, 156 posts, RR: 0
Reply 8, posted (15 years 1 month 3 weeks 3 days 14 hours ago) and read 2600 times:

You said it, VirginA340. It's about time for a major overhaul of the relationship between NTSB and FAA. It should be the NTSB having the upper hand focusing on safety improvements while the FAA presents merely proposals for consideration to the NTSB on effects regarding economics and politics. Safety should always be placed before profits. We need a system that sides with the passenger instead of a multi-billion dollar industry.

User currently offlineAirnewzealand From New Zealand, joined Oct 2000, 2549 posts, RR: 6
Reply 9, posted (15 years 1 month 3 weeks 2 days 22 hours ago) and read 2583 times:

I am sorry to hear about your best friend VirginA340. I just want to say one thing to you, and that is...

User currently offlineTravatl From United States of America, joined Mar 2001, 2177 posts, RR: 6
Reply 10, posted (15 years 1 month 3 weeks 2 days 15 hours ago) and read 2566 times:

I was hired as ValuJet F/A in December 1995 (six months before the crash) at the age of 23 for the Boston base. Now, at 28, and a F/A for AirTran (Atlanta base), I make three times what I made when I started, but I'll tell ya, I've never had as much fun in my life as I did those first six months I flew for ValuJet.


User currently offlineVirginA340 From United States of America, joined Jul 2005, 15 posts, RR: 0
Reply 11, posted (15 years 1 month 3 weeks 2 days 15 hours ago) and read 2559 times:

Thanks for the support guys. Worst of all when PA 103 family members had questioned Marty Shugrue(former PA captain) and CEO Thomas Plaskett about the waivers. They claimed that it was a verbal agreement. It was all BS; to get such waivers the request had to be in writing. Right to the very end in late 1991 they still refused to provide documents on the waiver request and that both Plaskett and Shugrue knew about the problems at FRA because of a security reveiew done by a a man who once headed security for EL AL named Issac Yeffet who was commissioned by PA to prepare a report on their security procedures. In his report noted that PA's secuirty was a mess and that the cargo compartment was venerable to bombs placed there. He also stated "The fact that no major disaster has not occured to this date is merely provedential" This was filed in Sept of 1986 but again; nothing was done. The airline just filed the report and that was it.

I know that valujet according to travelers and employees were great. Even though that they weren't paid alot and that employees had to pay for uniforms they still had fun. But the two thing I hated about Lewis Jordan is that once said in a newspaper "There is no gun big enough to make us give our flight attendents a higher base pay" and two pilots would get paid if they completed their destination which means if pilots had diverted flights for any reason then they would not be able to get paid their bonuses.

This is according to what I had heard on NBC as well as CNN. Can anyone within the airline confirm if this is true? To all the valujet now Air Tran employees; Is the work experience better now or back then when you were under the VJ name?

User currently offlineTravatl From United States of America, joined Mar 2001, 2177 posts, RR: 6
Reply 12, posted (15 years 1 month 3 weeks 2 days 13 hours ago) and read 2560 times:

Flight deviations, in no way affected bonuses. Pilots and flight attendants were not paid, however, for any cancellations, whether they be weather or maintenance related. We were low paid, but we got fairly good profit sharing checks every 90 days (averaged $1500USD for F/A).

As for comparing the two work experiences....very difficult to do so, as ValuJet and the current AirTran have two VERY DIFFERENT approaches to the industry. Plus the ValuJet BEFORE the crash and the ValuJet AFTER the crash were almost two different airlines. The old ValuJet was a laugh a minute....the new ValuJet was constantly holding your breath, hoping nobody would speak of "the unmentionable".

Because of unionization, we obviously have much better salaries and work rules now. However, there was something to be said for working for ValuJet. Untiil May 11, 1996 (the day 592 was lost), it was a blast. It was exciting and exhiliarating, almost like being part of the wildest frat house on campus. After all, the airline was being called "the most successful in history": we were adding a plane every month, and a new city almost every two months, and our senority was going up up up. Of course, Southwest was still fairly scarce on the east coast, so most people had never seen flight attendants and gate agents running around in khaki shorts and polo shirts. It was quirky and fun, and we all knew we were going to be a part of something really great. When I was in training in 1995, our instructors speculated the airline would have 300 aircraft by 2000 - and we were all getting in on the ground floor.

Plus, we were all young (at the Boston base, the United Flight Attendants used to call us the "after school airline"). Get a bunch of twenty somethings together, put them in shorts, and tell them to go run an airline, how could they possibly not have fun?

That of course, all changed practically over night. After the crash, we barely had time to grieve, when we were attacked by the media. While the rest of the country was pointing fingers at "mislabled cargo" transported by an airline "unauthorized to transport hazardous materials", we were repeatedly listening to and watching reenactments of the horrific final moments of our colleagues.

Not to mention being hounded incessantly by the media. I remember being on layovers, and having to change out of my uniform on the aircraft because news crews were waiting for us in the terminal...we had to take our crew tags off, and separate, then meet back up at the hotel van. It sucked.

And of course, the public themselves could be SO cruel. God forbid an employee walked into the supermarket or rode the subway in their uniform, the stares and subsequent comments proved too much for many. We lost a lot of good people.

Even now, we get the occasional half-wit on board who makes "jokes" about the accident. Does it ever cross their minds, that four of the five crewmembers on that flight were my friends? That sick jokes about their tragic deaths are indeed painful? Obviously not, but I remind them.

AirTran is an airline that looks, and for most part, acts like all the other carriers. Gone are the khakis and tennis shoes (we now where dark navy blue blazers, slacks, and ties), no games or jokes of any kind (safety is not a laughing matter), and no free-for-all seating (advance seat assignments). Instead of a sea of bright orange and pink coach seats, a modern blue and gray business class cabin greets people when they board.

Do I wish we'd go back to the casual atmosphere...no. It's time has come and gone in this industry....with one exception...Southwest. It is, and probably always will be, the only US airline that it will be acceptable. Plus, honestly, people take you more seriously when your wearing a tie, than when you're padding down the aisle in sneakers and camp-counselor shorts.

Now things are like they are every where else....an airline fighting mediocrity. Keeping a high on-time performance (never a strong ValuJet trait), getting repeat business through fares, service, and frequent flyer programs, and reaching a happy medium with unionized work forces (Pilot, Inflight, Maintenance, Dispatch, and probably before too long, Customer Service and Reservations).

So yes, I enjoy AirTran Airways - we offer a good product and a good rate. I make an industry standard wage, and this airline is one of the very few that will post a profit this year - I finally quit worrying a couple of years ago "if we're gonna make it". If any airline can survive a crash, a shutdown, financial problems, restart costs, labor organization, a merger, a total rebranding (all the while doing so under the VERY watchful eye of the federal government), return to solid profits in the face of high fuel costs, while still being a "low fare airline", and do so in under four years, I think they're gonna be around for awhile.

But I'll never forget those first few months I worked for ValuJet. They were truly some of the best times of my life.



User currently offlineAirnewzealand From New Zealand, joined Oct 2000, 2549 posts, RR: 6
Reply 13, posted (15 years 1 month 3 weeks 2 days 12 hours ago) and read 2549 times:

Well said Travis, I admire you alot!!


User currently offlineCritter From United States of America, joined Jan 2000, 267 posts, RR: 2
Reply 14, posted (15 years 1 month 3 weeks 2 days 8 hours ago) and read 2542 times:

Bravo Travis!

I was also a very proud Valujet employee and am now a very proud Airtran employee. I fully understand what it is like to be out in public with my uniform on and be mocked and laughed at. Needless to say, I am now very hardend to some peoples naivete and stupididty. There isn't much that I haven't heard.

I, being from the Maintenance department have seen a tremendous amount of change in our style and methods. But, I will echo your sentiments, I will never have as much fun working for another airline like I did in the first eight months with Valujet. Most every employee of Valujet at the time remembers exactly where they were and what they were doing when we heard about the tragedy. I remember my heart sinking and a huge lump rise to my throght as I wondered if my Maintenance actions caused one hundred and ten lives to be lost. I didnt sleep for three days and grieved for many more.

All things considerd, I feel that Airtran is a stronger company than most due to the adversity that we endured. We gained wisdom beyond belief from the extreme working conditions. I personally had a shadow for at least two months after the accident, monitoring every move I made. I didn't resent it, I excelled from it striving to do my job better than imaginable. And setting out to prove the government and the people wrong, that we were capable of succeding in a safe, effeicient manor.

Oh! I almost forgot. For those of you blaming Lewis Jordan, BACK OFF! Mr. Jordan and the members of the board, despite what they were depicted as, made and saved this airline. That is right, had it not been for the fact that they were frugal with there money from the beginning neither Travis or myself would be able to proclaim with pride that we work for Airtran. Lewis and his partners managed to put away enough money for us to weather the storm. If he was just in it for the money he would have closed up shop the day flight 592 went down and gone home with his cash. So if it hasn't been said already, THANK YOU LEWIS JORDAN, for believing in us and giving us the opportunity to prove all of our doubtors wrong.

Long live the CRITTER

Fly AAI, Buy AAI


User currently offlineBlueJet From United States of America, joined Jan 2001, 397 posts, RR: 4
Reply 15, posted (15 years 1 month 3 weeks 2 days 8 hours ago) and read 2542 times:

I did. It was fine. I had no worries.

User currently offlineFrontierMan From United States of America, joined Oct 1999, 413 posts, RR: 0
Reply 16, posted (15 years 1 month 3 weeks 2 days 5 hours ago) and read 2528 times:

Where did Lewis Jordan go to anyway. I remember he was contemplating running for Georgia Senator, but that got shot down when the democrats were calling him "Crash Jordan".

User currently offlineVirginA340 From United States of America, joined Jul 2005, 15 posts, RR: 0
Reply 17, posted (15 years 1 month 3 weeks 2 days 5 hours ago) and read 2526 times:

To my knowledge Lewis Jordan is on the Air Tran board. I think I recalled seeing him at the inaugral of the 717 in Air Tran colors at MD's Long Beach facility.

User currently offlineWilcharl From United States of America, joined Jun 2000, 1183 posts, RR: 3
Reply 18, posted (15 years 1 month 3 weeks 2 days ago) and read 2461 times:

Unfortuantly, Mr. Jordan was not at the delivery of the 717. Mr. Leonard made comment at the pre-delivery party that he wished he could be there, afteralll it could never have happend with out him. He stated that Mr. Jordan was fighting flgiht 592 issues and that as much as he wanted to be there for the delivery, that it would be in the best interst of the crewmembers that he stand up for the company instead of going to the delivery.

User currently offlineCritter592 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 19, posted (15 years 1 month 3 weeks 1 day 21 hours ago) and read 2451 times:

Well said VirginA340, I agree with your part that the NTSB be in higher ranking than the FAA... If that were so, we would have had Fire Suppressors/and.or/ smoke detection systems in the cargo holds way before 1996
Imagine Greg Feith as the top inspector BEFORE The Valujet Crash, I am sorry about your friend, May he/she rest in peace with his/her family. Lewis Jordan was made into a Bad man when he ran a GREAT Airline.

Valujet was GREAT Except for one problem...

Old planes + Safety problems = Crashes

If only those 717s would have been ready sooner.  Crying

Good Times, Great Fares were VERY TRUE.

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