Just an Observation….


Remember when going to Best Buy meant having a ton of options and some knowledgeable sales staff to assist you? When the store was always busy with crowds of people and a little excitement and energy  in the air?

Those days seem to be gone, at least with the ones in my neighborhood. I was recently in several Best Buys in the LA area and one in Vancouver, Canada. All seemed very low on merchandise, as well as the variety they used to stock. I looked everywhere for some assistance and when I finally tracked down someone he had no idea of what I was talking about or where it would be in the store. What? The? Heck? I was looking for the Amazon Echo dot and other options, like the new Google voice activated machine. He had to go find another staff member, then came back 10 minutes later (by that time I found it myself) to tell me where it was ~ I was already standing in front of it. I asked him if he knew anything about the product or how it worked and he said “not really”.  I turned around and left. This happened to at several locations, same thing…not much merchandise or options, no visible sales staff and not very knowledgeable people working there these days. Sad really but I’m done. Not going back to another Best Buy.

I’m old-school and I like to shop for things in person because I’m visual and need to touch things and try them on.  I don’t necessarily buy stuff online but I understand more and more why everyone seems to be shopping online. It’s convenient, its super easy and its delivered straight to your door! No hassles! You can sit in the comfort of your own home, in your pj’s drinking a glass of wine~ Awesome! My conversion to online ordering came recently when I really needed a certain item and I had driven around to many stores trying to find it and I shared my frustration with a friend who simply said “did you look online?” Viola!

I’ve now started to jump on the “order stuff online” bandwagon along with millions of others…hence the demise of big retailers like Radio Shack, Sports Chalet and many others in recent years.

I believe Best Buy will be the next big retailer to close its doors, followed shortly thereafter by Pier One Imports. This is just my opinion, I don’t have any insider info- just an observation.

Jet Setting Flight Attendant ~ traveling the world!

Talk about the saying: “have bags, will travel!” The Christmas/New Year’s holiday is always a busy time for all private jet flight flight attendants, pilots and other crew members. Within in the past two months I’ve been to the following cities and countries:

Paris, France

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Johannesburg, south africa

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Barcelona, Spain

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Hamilton, Bermuda

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Erfurt, Germany

Puerto Plata, Dominican Republic

London, U.K.


The Maldives

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Brussels, Belgium

Miami & Ft. Lauderdale, Florida



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Rome, Italy

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New York, New York

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I was recently contacted by Max from Rebound Tag about the article I wrote on their product, the Rebound ID baggage tag.  Max answered my questions regarding what happens if tag was lost or stolen. Here’s his reply “FYI if a tag ever got damaged or stolen we would always be happy to replace it for free (including postage).”

Regarding the pricing here’s his reply “Re: the price it really reflects the cost of incorporating every technology and service available from airlines and baggage handling systems right now…some of these can be expensive from our end, but we have designed a product and service that essentially has everything rolled in to one for our members.”

Max and the good people of Rebound Tag have offered me a free Rebound Tag product to try out. I still have to pay for the service but they are giving me the tag. I will write another update after I try out the tag for a few months. Considering I’ve been to 10 countries in the past month, traveling both commercially and working on private jets, this will be a true test of how reliable the product is.  Stay Tuned for updates!

Check out their website http://www.reboundtag.com

Markus Brucks; Director of Operations @ Landmark Aviation in Toronto, Canada

EVERYONE in private aviation who’s ever been to Montreal or Toronto, Canada knows Markus Brucks. He is the definitive go-to guy in FBO services. His outgoing personality and knowledge of how to utilize every inch of cargo space has earned him an excellent reputation with professional sports teams and other operators carrying heavy cargo loads.

I met Markus 15 years ago when I starting flying with the NHL Carolina Hurricanes hockey team, back then he was working in Montreal, Canada at St. Hubert airport (CYHU). He was truly a one-man show at that tiny airport. He’s professional yet fun-loving and truly enjoys his job.  He has worked with every major NHL and MLB sports team over the years. He’s the best at it and his passion shines through in his work! Besides working with sports teams, he’s responsible for interacting with all foreign dignitaries, including the royal families of Saudi Arabia.

In 2003,  while being recruited by several companies,  Landmark Aviation (back then it was Piedmont Aviation) in Toronto offered him a management position as Director of Operations and he’s been there ever since. Markus is considered the “go-to guy” because he can assist you with anything in Toronto, not just aviation related.

As with all of us in private aviation, we have some stories we can tell so I asked Markus if he had a favorite client or story he could share. This was his reply.

“That’s a good one. I have so many but one that sticks out is when I was able to meet Tina Turner. A number of years back she was in Toronto to promote a new album and the night she was flying out I found out she and her passengers had to get screened before boarding the aircraft. She was the last to get screened and because the ramp was a bit slippery I asked if I could assist her. She said yes and I gave her my arm and she wrapped her arm around mine. I walked with her for about 300 feet to the aircraft and I felt…I can’t even describe it. Except. WOW. I had Tina Turner on my arm.” ~ Markus Brucks

I have to say that in all my years of being in aviation, Markus is hands-down one of the nicest people I’ve ever had the pleasure of meeting and working with.

In recent years Markus has finally met the woman of his dreams, gotten married and started working on growing his own family. He tells me he’s 2 kids short of a hockey team. How apropo.

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An interesting new product for avid travelers; The Rebound Tag

I recently read about this new product called the Rebound Tag, which is a microchip baggage tag.  Here’s what the website http://www.reboundtag.com had to say about it.

“ReboundTAG is integrated with global baggage handling systems so that when your bags has been found you receive updates by phone and email. It is designed to incorporate every available technology that is authorised by airlines.

The ReboundTAG has two RFID (radio frequency identification) microchips inside, one of them has a permanent identifier while the other is programmed to take flight details whenever you travel through an airport using microchips; airports using a standard IATA microchip system will automatically encode the flight details onto the ReboundTAG (you do not need to do anything). ReboundTAGs also have a barcode and number printed on them so that they work where there are no microchip readers, but currently 80% of hub airports, where most bags are lost, use microchips.

When your bag gets lost, an airline can identify it using either the microchip, barcode or number. You then get updates by SMS to your phone and also by email as ReboundTAG is integrated with baggage handling companies. They can also see your flight details encoded on the tag if you have been through a microchip enabled airport.

You can choose to keep your details anonymous so that no airlines can see who you are, but you will still get automatic updates through our secure web system.

In addition to this, you can go to your ReboundTAG Member’s Area and enter your lost bag unique number, given to you by your airline, which we will then forward to our baggage handling company partners. They will then look through the global lost luggage databases to find your bag and keep you updated by phone and email when the bag is found. Airlines often enter lost bag data incorrectly (colour of the bag etc); our partners will look through the databases to find your lost bag in places where automated computer systems would not find it if it has been entered incorrectly by an airline.”

Here is my question. What happens if your tag is removed from your bag, such as being lost or stolen? Then what? If its stolen can that person then turn around and use my tag for themselves or is it like an Iphone that you can disable it from working all together? That is not being explained as far as I can tell by the website. Many of us, including myself have experienced losing the tag from our suitcase.  Since this tag roughly costs $48.00 (I say roughly because the website sells it in Euro’s and that fluctuates regularly) I would be highly upset if it went missing.  Also, each year you’re required to pay a membership fee of roughly $14.00.

I think its a cool concept but would want my questions answered and the price more affordable before I bought it.


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Congratulations to Heather Holt; CEO & Founder of Just Soles… an online shoe emporium!

Shoe Lovers rejoice!!! A new online company called Just Soles allows ALL women to have the shoes of our dreams! You can rent, sell and/or buy designer shoes at a fraction of their retail price.  www.justsoles.com

I am a shoe fanatic! …Anyone that knows me and my shoe closet can vouch for my obsession with shoes. So this concept is amazing, plus I’m blessed to be able to call Heather a friend.  Heather has so many wonderful qualities, she’s intelligent, sweet, giving, beautiful and stylish. I’m so proud of her for creating this endeavor and becoming an entrepreneur. Mark my words, her Just Soles shoe concept will revolutionize the industry!

In my conversation with Heather Holt, CEO & Founder of Just Soles, she told me the epiphany for her company began because she was hit by a taxi in Manhattan on Valentine’s Day! As with any traumatic event, it made her take stock in her life and what was important to her.  She had already made her life-long dream of living in Manhattan a reality just a couple years prior, now she wanted more than just her cushy six figure bar job. Working in high-end hospitality becomes more like a lifestyle than a job, with excellent pay for part time hours. But it can also become addictive and may make it hard for some to move on to other ventures. Heather calls it “soul-sucking”.  I agree completely.

Heather is also shoe fanatic like myself but to the maximum degree possible. I just like to buy them, she knows everything about them!!

She said she became shoe obsessed and would memorize every new line, from the names of the shoes to knowing every trend before they were out in stores.  Her obsession lead her to research the market for shoes, and how the online market was changing the way people were shopping. She discovered the online market for shoes was exploding.

Just Soles is a user driven platform where shoe loving ladies can go to buy, sell and rent shoes.  Think of it as a combination of user driven platforms (eBay/Poshmark) and higher end rental platforms (Bag, Borrow & Steal/Rent The Runway). ” ~ Heather Holt

Heather admits it was a long process in creating the website because she wanted it to be an easy, fun and approachable  experience for shoe lovers, while also making it user driven.  She says “There is nothing like a shoe lover” and I whole-heartedly agree, being a woman who collects shoes as a hobby.  🙂

Her Just Soles company is the first of its kind. There is nothing else in the current marketplace similar to her concept.

Since her initial opening stylists, designers, bloggers and everyday women are going crazy over her revolutionary shoe concept.

Heather said many of her clients are stylists that are now able to pull shoes for their clients, like Louboutins for $100. And everyday women are now renting shoes for weddings and events that they would otherwise not have access to.

Just Soles was utilized by stylists and designers during New York’s Fashion Week 2013 and has already been prominently featured in several articles.  Check out her user-friendly website at http://www.justsoles.com.


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For the man who has everything: A bullet proof suitcase!

I want one!!! This suitcase is lightweight, stylish and can stop a speeding bullet!! James Bond kinda stuff. It also comes in some cool colors and costs between $500 – $700. I think  this product is a MUST-HAVE for the refined affluent traveler on private jets. Check out Tumi’s website @ http://www.tumi.com for more info.

Here’s what Tumi says about this new product:

Tegra-Lite® is a breakthrough travel collection that combines the highest levels of durability and impact resistance with the ultimate in lightweight ease and maneuverability. Tegra-Lite® is made from Tegris®, a revolutionary polypropylene thermoplastic composite material created by Milliken® for use in lifesaving armor, NASCAR race cars and protective gear for NFL players; it is exclusive to Tumi for travel and accessory products around the world.

This lightweight, hardside carry-on is our most compact wheeled carry-on design for those who travel domestically and internationally. It has four 360° swivel wheels for effortless maneuverability. Among the many technological and functional advancements of Tegra-Lite® is Tumi’s patented X-Brace 45® handle system that adds structural rigidity to the case and prevents damage to the handle. The cases are lined and feature interior accessory pockets and tie-down straps, TSA integrated locks, bottom grab handle and exterior bumpers for added protection.

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A Memorable Holiday: Thanksgiving with Sting & Trudie

People are always asking me about  celebrities and any stories I may have about them. Questions like, who is your favorite celebrity passenger? who was your worst celebrity passenger? etc…

All of us in private aviation sign non-disclosure agreements, so talking about what happens onboard a private jet is a no-no…just like what happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas..same motto. What happens in the air, stays in the air. 🙂  Many of us crew members may share our stories with each other but not with the general public.  If we did we wouldn’t have a job for too long.  In fact, we as crew members go out of our way to protect the privacy of our clients.

I can tell this story because it was many years ago and NOT onboard the plane. Plus, it’s a great story!

My pilots and I were flying around the amazingly talented music artist Sting and his band, for his Brand New Day Tour. It was many years ago now and we ended up being in Manhattan, New York for Thanksgiving. Sting asked me what the crew members were doing for Thanksgiving and I said “…its Manhattan, we’ll find plenty of places to eat”.  I  was actually so excited to be in NYC, as I LOVE that city!! The lights, the people, the energy!

Anyway, he then invited us to his home and said Trudie was cooking. I’m pretty sure my mouth dropped open at his invitation. This was Sting inviting us to his home for Thanksgiving, pretty awesome, right?!  That’s just the generous, caring person Sting is. He truly cared about his flight crew having a place to go for the holiday since we were away from our own families.

My pilots and I were like giggly little school kids as we made our way up Central Park to their home.  Once there, Sting & Trudie greeted us at the door and invited us in like we were old friends. They were extremely gracious, kind and giving as they showed us around their home and made us feel welcomed.

There were other celebrities in attendance and the whole experience was so surreal. We were just an ordinary flight crew surrounded by famous people in a beautiful home for Thanksgiving.

So I have to say, Sting is definitely one of my most favorite people that I’ve ever had the privilege of flying.  Not to mention, he invited us to his concerts; after parties and dinners while on the road. It was an absolute blast!!!

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Don’t vacation in North Korea!

ATTENTION ALL READERS!  If you’ve been watching the news lately you know that the fat, extremely ugly, pig-faced kid that is Kim Jun-Un, the supreme dictator of North Korea just had is uncle executed for treason! How preposterous! His uncle was a blood relative, if he could so easily condemn him to death…do you honestly think he cares about anyone other than himself?!  Beware adventure travelers!

Kim Jun-Un’s upbringing is the epitome of the recently coined “Affluenza” defense. The son of a ruthless dictator, the grandson of a ruthless dictator, educated OUTSIDE of North Korea for the obvious reason of there being NO real education in that country, only propaganda and rhetoric.

Anyone thinking about taking a vacation to North Korea, I say…Why?!  It’s a true waste of money. You’d have better luck of winning the lottery than you would of seeing the REAL North Korea.  I know some people are saying it would be “cool”  to see or its a “trendy” place to visit but you’d be (potentially) dead wrong.  Again, beware adventure travelers or vacation thrill seekers.

No tourist will EVER see the real North Korea or the plight of the people!!!

No tourist will ever see the detention/slave camps. No tourist will ever see the masses dying of starvation. No tourist will ever see the brutality being lashed upon its citizens. No tourist will ever meet anyone who has free speech. No tourist will ever meet anyone with free will or civil liberties.

I just bought a great book entitled “Escape from Camp 14”. Its about a north korean man who escaped the slave camp that he was born and raised in. He knew no other world existed. His story is gut-wrenching and heartbreaking and should be a must read for anyone wanting a better understanding of life in North Korea. It should be mandatory for anyone thinking about traveling to North Korea as a “destination vacation” spot.

How could anyone consider North Korea a vacation spot knowing this information?  If by chance you, the tourist, did happen to see something the North Korean pig-faced dictator did not want you to see, then you may be held captive for some random, made-up bullshit charge and imprisoned. Then and only then, would you truly see the REAL North Korea.


My exciting encounter with Mr. Jon Voight! …I’m a huge fan!!

I recently had the privilege and pleasure of flying around the charismatic  and compassionate, Mr. Jon Voight! I adore and respect this amazing man and actor immensely. I’ve probably seen every movie he’s ever been in from Midnight Cowboy (one of my favorite classic movies) to his most recent project Showtime’s Ray Donovan…and everything in between! What a great actor!

We are not allowed to ask for pictures with celebrities but sometimes the universe smiles upon us and we are asked to take pictures with them. That is the case with this photo. The person who took it was kind enough to send it to me, therefore I can share it with everyone. Mr. Voight was so gracious and caring of everyone onboard, making certain others were taken care of before himself.  I only have praise for him and could ramble on way longer than I’m going to but I will say… this man is a true gentleman and a class act!