SJC to ORD
757. Hour into the flight the pilot announced over the cabin PA interested passengers could tune to channel 9 for a brief overview on Life as a Pilot. Talked for approximately 30 minutes describing flying for United, history and performance of the 757, bidding for routes, working the extra board and a brief history of his journey from the military to airline pilot. Superb presentation, great voice command and interesting topics. A rare treat.
FYI, on a recent trip from AUS
(A319) I was seated in 2A, plugged in my headphones and channel 9 was not on. I asked the FA
if he would request the captain activate channel 9. Moments later the FA
returned and said the pilot had refused. A few minutes later with plane loaded and the cockpit door open I walked forward and asked through the door if I could talk with the pilot, he nodded yes. After explaining I booked the flight with UA
specifically to listen to channel 9 and rarely had an opportunity to fly in the past few years the pilot agreed to turn on ATC while explaining many pilots viewed channel 9 as a passenger perk benefitting UA
management and some pilots were electing to disable channel 9 as a gesture of dissatistfaction with UA
mangement. Trip included 6 flights, all others flights had channel 9. I should note the pilot was polite and honored my request however alienating passengers appears to be a poor negotiating tactic.
Also, departing LAX
flying home an Airbus 380 was inbound returning from a PR
flight. ATC referred to the 380 as a "super" rather than a 'heavy." Another piece of information tucked away for future reference.