joemac547
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Longest Serving UA FA Retiring

Mon Aug 27, 2012 4:24 pm

Ron Akana, who has been a United Flight Attendant 63 years worked his last flight on Sunday. News reports state that he flew out to to HNL as crew chief and will be flying back with his family as a passenger. I just wanted to say Thank You for all the years of hard work and to wish him a long and enjoyable retirement!
 
trex8
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RE: Longest Serving UA FA Retiring

Mon Aug 27, 2012 5:09 pm

UA is my "regular' carrier and I also salute Ron for his service and I don't want to sound ageist but isn't there a safety issue with having someone who must be in their early 80s trying to evacuate pax off a plane?
 
jetblast
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RE: Longest Serving UA FA Retiring

Mon Aug 27, 2012 10:12 pm

Quoting trex8 (Reply 1):
UA is my "regular' carrier and I also salute Ron for his service and I don't want to sound ageist but isn't there a safety issue with having someone who must be in their early 80s trying to evacuate pax off a plane?

If they continue to pass their recurrent checks and safety qualifications, I don't see a problem.
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RyanairGuru
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RE: Longest Serving UA FA Retiring

Mon Aug 27, 2012 10:29 pm

There was a video tribute to him a few months back: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Wki_xOZtKxQ

How many years has seniority #2 on the sUA side worked? I ask because Norma Heape (#1 at sCO) has 55 years seniority and I was wondering if she would drop down the scale slightly when the flight attendants are integrated
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Italianflyer
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RE: Longest Serving UA FA Retiring

Mon Aug 27, 2012 11:24 pm

I had the pleasure of working with him in two different, Onboard related, capacities. Ron is a true gentleman and class act, I wish him well in his retirement
 
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lightsaber
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RE: Longest Serving UA FA Retiring

Mon Aug 27, 2012 11:25 pm

Quoting jetblast (Reply 2):
If they continue to pass their recurrent checks and safety qualifications, I don't see a problem.

   But the pension would have been maxed out...

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gman3
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RE: Longest Serving UA FA Retiring

Mon Aug 27, 2012 11:33 pm

The Top 10 has changed a bit over the last 5 years or so...So # 2 has not been at 2 long. When seniority is merged, # 1 on the CO side will probably be between # 5 and # 10.
 
CONTACREW
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RE: Longest Serving UA FA Retiring

Mon Aug 27, 2012 11:34 pm

Ron took the early out package on the sUA side of the operation. I believe 100 some odd FA's took the early out packages. Anyway Ron was the most senior FA to retire, while a 1997 hire I believe was the most junior FA to take the early out. Also 3 FA's on a recent SYD - SFO flight retired as well.
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milesrich
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RE: Longest Serving UA FA Retiring

Tue Aug 28, 2012 7:02 am

Congrats to Ron Akana, a true gentleman, who lived the American Dream, on United Air Lines. He probably flew the HNL trips his entire career as the stewards were first hired to work the Stratocruisers (B-377) that United only operated on its Hawaii routes. The Strats were replaced by the DC-7's in 1954. If he only flew the Hawaii flights, then he probably only flew these aircraft: B-377, DC-6, DC-6B, DC-7, DC-8, DC-8-61, DC-8-62, 747-122, 747-222, 747-21SP, L-1011-500, 747-422, 777-222, 767-322, 757-222. Did I miss any? Did UA ever operate the DC-4 to HNL?
 
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DarkSnowyNight
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RE: Longest Serving UA FA Retiring

Tue Aug 28, 2012 8:17 am

Quoting milesrich (Reply 8):
If he only flew the Hawaii flights, then he probably only flew these aircraft: B-377, DC-6, DC-6B, DC-7, DC-8, DC-8-61, DC-8-62, 747-122, 747-222, 747-21SP, L-1011-500, 747-422, 777-222, 767-322, 757-222. Did I miss any? Did UA ever operate the DC-4 to HNL?

DC-10-30
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quiet1
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RE: Longest Serving UA FA Retiring

Tue Aug 28, 2012 12:03 pm

Quoting CONTACREW (Reply 7):
I believe 100 some odd FA's took the early out packages. Anyway Ron was the most senior FA to retire, while a 1997 hire I believe was the most junior FA to take the early out. Also 3 FA's on a recent SYD - SFO flight retired as well.

Over 1,000 took the Early Out package. FYI, only F/A's with 15+ years service were eligible to bid for the Early Out, so 1997 seniority was the most junior that *could* take it.
 
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longhauler
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RE: Longest Serving UA FA Retiring

Tue Aug 28, 2012 1:41 pm

Wow, what an amazing career. My heartiest congratulations to him.

Imagine, get a couple beers into him around the campfire ... the stories would be incredible!
Just because I stopped arguing, doesn't mean I think you are right. It just means I gave up!
 
CONTACREW
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RE: Longest Serving UA FA Retiring

Tue Aug 28, 2012 1:43 pm

Quoting quiet1 (Reply 10):
Over 1,000 took the Early Out package. FYI, only F/A's with 15+ years service were eligible to bid for the Early Out, so 1997 seniority was the most junior that *could* take it.

Thanks for correcting me. I had no idea why I thought it was 100, I knew it was alot more then that.
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PHLapproach
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RE: Longest Serving UA FA Retiring

Tue Aug 28, 2012 1:59 pm

A buddies Mom who has 50 years as a UA FA is doing her last trip right now to KWI. Unsure if she took the Early Out. From the sounds of it based on the timing from what you guys are posting. I believe she did take the Early Out.
 
CONTACREW
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RE: Longest Serving UA FA Retiring

Tue Aug 28, 2012 2:06 pm

3 FAs that recently did IAD - PEK took the early out as well.
Flight Attendants prepare doors for departure, cross check verify straps standby for all call
 
falkerker
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RE: Longest Serving UA FA Retiring

Tue Aug 28, 2012 2:59 pm

Quoting milesrich (Reply 8):
The Strats were replaced by the DC-7's in 1954. If he only flew the Hawaii flights, then he probably only flew these aircraft: B-377, DC-6, DC-6B, DC-7, DC-8, DC-8-61, DC-8-62, 747-122, 747-222, 747-21SP, L-1011-500, 747-422, 777-222, 767-322, 757-222.

I bet many of us would kill (so to speak) to have flown most of these beauties.

Quoting longhauler (Reply 11):
Imagine, get a couple beers into him around the campfire ... the stories would be incredible!

I hope his grandchildren hear everything he has to tell! I would be delighted to hear a couple of anecdotes from such an experienced flyer.
 
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United_fan
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RE: Longest Serving UA FA Retiring

Tue Aug 28, 2012 7:12 pm

Quoting milesrich (Reply 8):
747-21SP

I'm not sure if the -SP was ever on the Hawaii routes. And add the DC-10-10 to that list.

[Edited 2012-08-28 12:18:28]
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VC10er
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RE: Longest Serving UA FA Retiring

Tue Aug 28, 2012 7:23 pm

He is a member of the greatest generation. I envy his drive, willpower and grace. He is a true gentleman. I would want Mr Akana as my FA over a Singapore girl anyday. He made First...First. I only recall having him as my FA once, but that was all it took.

Thanks Mr Akana, I hope Mr Smisek gives you the proper send off!
The world is missing love, let's use our flights to spread it!
 
jetblast
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RE: Longest Serving UA FA Retiring

Tue Aug 28, 2012 9:12 pm

Does anyone know if he exclusively rostered himself on the Hawaii trips or did he have other routes he frequented as well? Just curious what kind of roster an airline's most senior F/A might go for 
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RyanairGuru
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RE: Longest Serving UA FA Retiring

Tue Aug 28, 2012 10:32 pm

Quoting jetblast (Reply 18):
Does anyone know if he exclusively rostered himself on the Hawaii trips or did he have other routes he frequented as well?

Per the clip I posted in Reply 3 he exclusively flew DEN-HNL
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gman3
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RE: Longest Serving UA FA Retiring

Wed Aug 29, 2012 1:30 am

Quoting jetblast (Reply 18):
Does anyone know if he exclusively rostered himself on the Hawaii trips or did he have other routes he frequented as well? Just curious what kind of roster an airline's most senior F/A might go for

It varies... but in a general sense, I beleive Ron only did Hawaii while based in DEN as he is from Hawaii and its one of the only "International" trips out of DEN... The most senior FAs are mostly in ORD and Asia seems to be the destination of choice... Different bases have different choices for the upper ranks. In NY, Rome an Istanbul are now the most senior
 
Max Q
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RE: Longest Serving UA FA Retiring

Wed Aug 29, 2012 1:32 am

Quoting joemac547 (Thread starter):
News reports state that he flew out to to HNL as crew chief

Don't think he was ever a crew chief !



Good for him though
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CONTACREW
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RE: Longest Serving UA FA Retiring

Wed Aug 29, 2012 1:40 am

Quoting Max Q (Reply 21):
Don't think he was ever a crew chief !



Good for him though

They probably meant chief purser.
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hereandthere41
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RE: Longest Serving UA FA Retiring

Wed Aug 29, 2012 9:05 am

Quoting RyanairGuru (Reply 3):

If I'm not mistaken, Norma Heape will now be No. 1 on the integrated seniority list. Pre-integration and pre-buyout, I believe she stands at No. 4 behind 3 s-UA flight attendants. Then again, who knows if she will stick around long enough until integration. It could be a number of years before that happens. She may also decide to retire...who knows?
I flew with Mr. Akana a few years ago on a SFO-OGG 3 day trip. DEN has very little "international (incl. Hawaii) flying. The 3 DEN crew deadheaded DEN-SFO, joined 4 SFO crew on SFO-OGG. 30 hour layover, then the same in reverse. He was our Purser on a 2-class 767-300. Always the consummate professional, I was very honored to work under his leadership. Being almost half his age, I did NOT have do any more than my fair share of work. Ron was a fantastic Purser.
 
milesrich
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RE: Longest Serving UA FA Retiring

Wed Aug 29, 2012 1:34 pm

Quoting United_fan (Reply 16):
I'm not sure if the -SP was ever on the Hawaii routes. And add the DC-10-10 to that list.

I thought that I had included the DC-10, but although I included it in my thoughts, I didn't type it out, Thanks for the correction. I believe that UA operated both DC-10-10 and DC-10-30 aircraft into HNL.
 
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United_fan
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RE: Longest Serving UA FA Retiring

Wed Aug 29, 2012 2:06 pm

Quoting milesrich (Reply 24):
I believe that UA operated both DC-10-10 and DC-10-30 aircraft into HNL

Yes,the -10-10 was the first (obviously) from the West Coast,and the -30 was the last from ORD til they ended in 2001.
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Eagleboy
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RE: Longest Serving UA FA Retiring

Wed Aug 29, 2012 2:37 pm

Quoting Gman3 (Reply 20):
It varies... but in a general sense, I beleive Ron only did Hawaii while based in DEN as he is from Hawaii and its one of the only "International" trips out of DEN... The most senior FAs are mostly in ORD and Asia seems to be the destination of choice... Different bases have different choices for the upper ranks.

Long Asian dests are probably mean less monthly trips........I read a report a year or 2 ago about DL from Atlanta. The Dubai was the chosen by the top seniority flight attendants.......15 hours each way meant 3 trips a month was all they could do.
 
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longhauler
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RE: Longest Serving UA FA Retiring

Wed Aug 29, 2012 2:41 pm

Quoting EagleBoy (Reply 26):
The Dubai was the chosen by the top seniority flight attendants.......15 hours each way meant 3 trips a month was all they could do.

The most senior F/A flying at AC are the long single day trips. YYZ-SFO-YYZ, YYZ-BGI-YYZ, YYZ-UVF-YYZ, etc. Then they are often only working 7 days a month. But to achieve such a schedule, they have to have worked more than 30 years!
Just because I stopped arguing, doesn't mean I think you are right. It just means I gave up!
 
Viscount724
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RE: Longest Serving UA FA Retiring

Wed Aug 29, 2012 4:50 pm

Quoting hereandthere41 (Reply 23):
Quoting RyanairGuru (Reply 3):

If I'm not mistaken, Norma Heape will now be No. 1 on the integrated seniority list. Pre-integration and pre-buyout, I believe she stands at No. 4 behind 3 s-UA flight attendants. Then again, who knows if she will stick around long enough until integration. It could be a number of years before that happens. She may also decide to retire...who knows?

Norma Heape video from 2010. Age 74 then with 53 years CO service, so she must be 76 now.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SuaJSKZ7EeM
 
gigneil
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RE: Longest Serving UA FA Retiring

Wed Aug 29, 2012 5:40 pm

Quoting jetblast (Reply 2):
If they continue to pass their recurrent checks and safety qualifications, I don't see a problem.

I hear tell that Donna, at least, was sorta dragged through RET. She couldn't even close her fingers around a beverage glass or move the cart on her own.

This is an awfully serious allegation, and one I clearly cannot prove, so chalk it up to hearsay because its nothing more than that.

NS
 
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DarkSnowyNight
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RE: Longest Serving UA FA Retiring

Wed Aug 29, 2012 7:51 pm

Quoting milesrich (Reply 24):
I believe that UA operated both DC-10-10 and DC-10-30 aircraft into HNL.
Quoting United_fan (Reply 25):

Yes,the -10-10 was the first (obviously) from the West Coast,and the -30 was the last from ORD til they ended in 2001.

Can't believe I forgot that that one. But then I guess I never did work any of those trips. I'd always thought that the -30s were pretty much just for HNL services (given that there were only about a dozen or so of the 30s & close to 50 of the -10s at UA's DC-10 peak...). Guess it makes sense to use -10s ex LAX & SFO along those routings. I did know about ORD though.
Be A Perfectionst, You're Nothing If You're Just Another; Something Material, This Isn't Personal...