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Latest High Life Issue

Latest HL 293 published Jun 24, 2018. Not all sections of Blog are on first page. Click OLDER POSTS to view additional newsletter sections. For PDF version and all archived list CLICK HERE. Look for next issue in 2 weeks!

Airlines news

Sunday, June 24, 2018

Mark's Remarks - HL 293 (4)

High Life 293  |   PCN Home  |  Post to PCN   | G-Group   |  Calendar   |  PCN Ads  |  Sign Up  |  FAQs   


Important: If viewing in Google Drive, PDF hyperlinks are hot after you highlight them. If you have trouble navigating to a hyperlink then visit the blog where all links are hot - http://pcnhighlife.blogspot.com/

Dear PCN (of over 2600 subscribers),


Sztanyo family outing Jun 19th at the ballpark (all 19 of us):
            Reds beat Tigers 9-5.  Grand Slam and loads of fun!!!!





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Korea

Ok, it has been a few days since the summit but the world has been on edge about an imminent threat of a nuclear attack.  Maybe with some luck this threat will subside as the world potentially builds new relationships with NOKO.  Above is a picture of Osan AB that I flew into a number of times to serve the troops there.

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Delta 7 CDRO’s – Should there be 8?

The Community of Delta Retiree Organizations (CDRO) is a group of seven officially recognized organizations for retirees.  They are all listed and plugged on the front page of the DeltaNet for Retirees.   Should they make 8 and include our PCN?  Now, it is not like I want more work but quite honestly I think we have served our Retired Delta Pilot group well since 1996 when David Roberts started and then since 2009 when I merged his group with mine to create the current PCN, the largest Delta online retired pilot community.   If you think the PCN should be recognized as a CDRO, and plugged on the DeltaNet then please help with a little email campaign to make our case. 

Now for a Favor:   I am requesting of you (PCN subscribers) to send an email on behalf of the PCN to Roger Nix. Here is Roger’s response to me when I solicited consideration for our PCN:

Mr. Sztanyo:

Good morning sir.  The Community of Delta Retiree Organizations is made up of seven long standing incorporated non-profit organizations and is closed to additional members.  All the organizations operate independently from Delta; however, Delta does recognize the organizations as legitimate and operating for the benefit of members of the individual organizations.

With kindest regards,
Roger Nix
DALRC Retiree Assistance Program, Inc.

The next time you login in to the DeltaNet you will see a real paired down web page version designed for us retirees.  Smack dab in the middle of the front page is a listing of 7 retiree organizations that serve the retired Delta community. (The Community of Delta Retiree Organizations (CDRO) is a group of seven officially recognized organizations for retirees).  Conspicuously absent from this list is our group, the Pilot Communication Net.  Please send a message something like the following to the Roger requesting us to be added to that list:

Send message like below to Roger Nix at: roger.nix@dalrc.org

“I am a member, along with a few thousand retired Delta Pilots, of the Pilot Communication Net (PCN) which serves our retired pilot community.  Membership is free and services are very much appreciated keeping our community connected, informed, and entertained.  Please include the PCN in your list of helpful online retiree communities.  For info contact the PCN Dir at mark.pcndir@gmail.com Thank you,” 


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Limited Access on the DeltaNet + FAVOR Request:
Because retirees have been limited as to our access on the DeltaNet there were a couple of items that I thought might be of interest to our group so I downloaded them before we were cutoff.  Look below in this issue for the latest:

1.   Hotels that crew use on layover often offering discounts
2.   The Travelnet Changes
3.   The latest Pilot seniority list

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Thanks for using OUR updated emails addresses:

We NO LONGER MONITOR any of the PCN’s OUR OLD EMAIL ADDRESSES, PLEASE USE OUR updated gmail ADDRESSES!



PCN specific emails:           pcn.calendar@gmail.com
                                                signup.pcn@gmail.com
                                                misc.pcn@gmail.com
                                                death.flwnwst@gmail.com
                                                mark.pcndir@gmail.com




PCN Ads!                 Indefinitely shut down and – UNDER Construction!

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Full post disclaimer in left column. PCN Home Page is located at: http://pcn.homestead.com/home01.html

Finance - HL 293 (1)

Helpful miscellaneous articles regarding our retirement plan and planning.  Like you, I review my retirement nestegg and plan from time to time.  Recently, I went though some continued education for some credentials I maintain and it occurred to me that we all could use a review about these issues.  So with your help, we will share and post articles and info that may be helpful and of interest to many of you in this section.

 Conducting a Midyear Checkup? Avoid These 4 Mistakes

Christine Benz
When it comes to checking up on your portfolio, a policy of benign neglect invariably beats too much monitoring. Investors who pay attention to their portfolios' daily values may find themselves berating themselves during the market's periodic downdrafts or congratulating themselves too much when their balances are fat. Worse, too-frequent portfolio monitoring can lead investors to tinker with their portfolios' positioning and holdings more than is desirable or necessary. They might be inclined to adjust their stock/bond/cash mixes based on short-term macroeconomic events, for example, or give a fund the heave-ho after just a short period of underperformance. Taking a long view is usually more helpful. For most investors, a quarterly, semiannual, or even annual portfolio checkup is plenty.
If a midyear portfolio review is on your to-do list, here are four additional mistakes--in addition to checking up too frequently--to avoid.

Mistake 1: Basking in the Glow of the Wealth Effect
If you have a sizable stock position and you haven't checked your portfolio's value for a while, it's a good bet that you'll be pleasantly surprised when you look at your balance. Even though stocks have encountered some turbulence in the past month--and interest-rate-sensitive bonds have performed even worse--the past several years have been tremendously placid for both stock and bond investors. But with enlarged portfolio balances comes the potential for behavioral errors. Accumulators may think they can pull back on their savings rates, while retirees may feel they can safely take higher payouts. In reality, however, higher market valuations mean they should be bumping up their savings rates and reducing spending. After all, future portfolio growth is apt to come more from investors' own contributions and less from market appreciation.
Smooth sailing for both stocks and bonds can also stoke investors' appetite for risk-taking with their portfolios; equity-market volatility, as measured by the CBOE Market Volatility Index, has been quite low. The S&P 500 hasn't had a losing quarter since the fourth quarter of 2012, and even then its loss was minor. Not only does that make it tempting to let winners run--and leave an ever-growing equity stake unchecked--but investors might also be inclined to build new positions in outperforming but higher-risk market sectors, thereby bumping up their portfolios' volatility potential at an inopportune time. On the short list of investment types to think twice about adding this late in the cycle are small- and mid-growth stocks (and funds), as well as biotechnology names. In the bond space, investors mulling additions to high-yield bonds should consider whether currently meager yields are adequate compensation for the risks of the sector.

Mistake 2: Underappreciating Defensive Players
In a similar vein, very strong returns from high-risk asset types tend to undermine the case for defensive portfolio constituents, whether stock or bond. It's easy to forget the market downdraft of 2008, when many such defensive players more than earned their keep. High-quality bonds, with their meager yields and low-single-digit five-year returns, are the ultimate "what have you done for me lately?" investment; it's easy to overlook their merits as shock absorbers in an equity-market sell-off. Many defensively minded equity funds--stalwarts like  Jensen Quality Growth (JENSX) and  AMG Yacktman (YACKX), for example--have also generally disappointed during the rally but would likely hold up well during a stock market shock. 

Mistake 3: Getting Lost in the Forest
Morningstar.com's Portfolio Manager is a terrific resource when checking up on a portfolio, but it's easy to get distracted or overwhelmed by all the data. You might get caught up comparing one holding's year-to-date return with that of another, for example, or spend an inordinate amount of time hunting for the reason why your cash weighting went from 4% to 7%. Things can get even more unwieldy if you have multiple portfolios saved on the site--one for your 401(k), one for your spouse's rollover IRA, and so forth. Before you know it, a few hours have gone by, and you've barely made any headway in your portfolio-review process.

To help avoid that trap, start your portfolio review by asking the basic question, "Am I on track?" If you have multiple portfolios saved on the site, the "Combine" feature (under the "Create" tab in Portfolio Manager) can help you collapse them into a single portfolio that you can use for ongoing monitoring. (If you do so, you can also retain your subportfolios to review separately.) Armed with information about your total balance and savings/withdrawal rate, you can then turn to a basic calculator such as Morningstar's Savings Calculator--or a more refined one such as T. Rowe Price's Retirement Income Calculator--to see whether your current portfolio's value gives you a good shot at reaching your financial goals. If you're off track on this front, portfolio tweaks might not move the needle; you may need to adjust your savings rate (or your withdrawal rate, if you're retired) to improve the viability of your plan.
When it comes to your portfolio, it's also valuable to think big picture. Morningstar's X-Ray tool provides you with many details on your portfolio's positioning, but the most important determinant of its performance will be your total portfolio's asset allocation, expressed as a pie chart in the top left-hand corner of the X-Ray view. Compare your current weightings with those of your targets; if you lack targets, use Morningstar's Lifetime Allocation Indexes or a good target-date series, such as the ones from Vanguard or T. Rowe Price, to check up on your portfolio's reasonableness. Also, take notes of any major unwanted sector or style bets.

Mistake 4: Not Focusing on Tax-Sheltered Accounts for Changes
If it turns out that you need to tweak your portfolio--and today, many investors are apt to find their portfolios heavy on stocks relative to their target allocations--be careful not to trigger any unwanted tax consequences along the way. That's particularly important these days, as many investors have substantial gains in their equity holdings; selling highly appreciated positions from their taxable accounts is apt to trigger a capital gains bill. That means that if you need to reduce the importance of a given asset class, sector, or investment style in your portfolio, you're better off doing so by trimming positions in your tax-deferred or Roth IRA accounts. There, you won't face any tax consequences as you reduce the value of your most winning holdings.

 (As with any of these informative articles, anyone who needs someone to talk to about

this very subject contact me and I can direct you to a knowledgeable advisor).

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Full post disclaimer in left column. PCN Home Page is located at: http://pcn.homestead.com/home01.html

Insurance - HL 293 (1)

Date: 5/30/2018 5:55:46 PM
Subject: RE: HCTC and Medicare Programs

Mark – I am chairman of the Voluntary Benefit Trust for Airline Retirees (VBTAR). Cathy Cone is a Delta retiree who sent you the below message (though I’m not sure that her email address used is monitored by you).  If you do not know Cathy, she has developed with DP3 in 2010 the HCTC program that has benefited hundreds of retired airline (mostly Delta) retirees, and continues to this day. The VBTAR was separated from DP3 for legal reasons and has as its 5 board members all Delta retired Delta Pilots and DP3 members. We also offer hundreds of retired airline personnel of Medicare age several health plans, not associated with the HCTC.
Any consideration you can give to Cathy’s requests would be appreciated,
George Leatherbury
DP3 Trustee
Chairman VBTAR
404-358-5678



++++

From: Cathy Cone
Date: 5/30/2018 4:52:55 PM
Subject: HCTC and Medicare Programs

I noticed on the PCN website that you are providing information on the HCTC program and on Retiree Healthcare.  I would appreciate it if you could include the information we have and the website we provide to eligible HCTC Participants that offers them a monthly program at a 27.5% cost for their healthcare each month.  That monthly payment of 27.5% is not available except through the programs we offer.  There is only one State Qualified plan available allowing you to pay the 27.5% each month instead of paying 100% and getting it back on your taxes at the end of the year.  It is also important to point out that there are only 2 State Qualified Plans that I am aware of, they are the State of Iowa and the State of Michigan.  Cone Retiree Healthcare Group manages the State Qualified Plan for the HCTC program in Michigan and the Iowa plan does not offer the benefits HCTC participants could receive if they had a State Qualified plan similar to the plan offered to the plans we have created. 
Cone Retiree Healthcare Group is the only group in the nation providing support for the HCTC program.  We created the first plan specifically for the eligible HCTC plan participants in 2009 to the Delphi Retirees and established an HCTC program for Delta pilots through the DP3 group in 2010, as well as Medicare plans once they become Medicare eligible.   The 46 State Qualified plans that were available in 2013, are no longer available and were terminated due to the ACA.  Therefore, they are no longer an option for Retirees eligible for the HCTC program as they must be enrolled in a “HCTC Qualified” plan in order to receive the 72.5% subsidy. 
I also think it is important to point out that on the website you provide an 800 number 1-866-628-4282 for people to call to get information on the HCTC program.  Not sure if you have dialed that number but it is basically an add selling things and not really helpful to the HCTC plan participants or anyone else for that matter.  I think it would probably be more beneficial for people needing help, whether they are enrolled in plans we offer or not, to contact us to help them with their questions, as the IRS does not have people that have the knowledge of the HCTC program to provide them with even the basic information in most instances.  We have always been happy to help answer questions for people if they need help regardless of their enrollment in our plans. 
Thanks for your consideration of this request.  If you would like to discuss this please let me know.  If possible, I would also like to see if we can put an ad on the website.  Not sure if you do allow adds but would be glad to if you do. 
Cathy Cone
832-541-8841
cathy@mymedplans.com

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Full post disclaimer in left column. PCN Home Page is located at: http://pcn.homestead.com/home01.html

Pension - HL 293 (1)

 By now most of those in the DP3 claims have heard the disappointing news.  I encourage all who are on the DP3 email list to check the latest offering.  You may also log in to the DP3.org and get the latest news on the court proceedings.  

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Full post disclaimer in left column. PCN Home Page is located at: http://pcn.homestead.com/home01.html

Travel / Non Revving - HL 293 (1)

Note:  Bob, see the following for your request.  About layover hotels (New List as of April 2018) Lists are no longer accessable on the DeltaNet.  The page is password protected for our PCN group ONLY.  Please use the password of pcnpilot
To access the last listing of layover hotels click here:  http://pcn.homestead.com/Seniority.html

  In addition on this page you will see listings of some seniority list including the latest one.  

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Full post disclaimer in left column. PCN Home Page is located at: http://pcn.homestead.com/home01.html

Misc - HL 293 (3)

In April the DeltaNet has now been segregated so that retirees no longer have unfettered access.  If you log in to use TravelNet, it will all still be available.  But if you login to use other areas of DeltaNet you will likely not be able to.   Some of the helpful list f particular interest to our group, that were available, will no longer be easily accessible to non-active employees.  

Latest Seniority List:  Note about seniority lists (New List as of April 2018) Lists are no longer accessable on the DeltaNet.  The page is password protected for our PCN group ONLY.  Please use the password of pcnpilot
To also access the last listing of layover hotels click here:  http://pcn.homestead.com/Seniority.html
  In addition on this page you will see listings of some seniority list including the latest one.

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Subject: News from ORD and The DALRC
Something new from the DALRC.
DALRC, Inc.

Helpful Telephone Numbers & Websites

Employee Service Center – Delta Help Line                                        1-800-693-3582
Ø  Employment & pension verification
Ø  Earnings verification for home loans
Ø  Change of bank accounts for direct deposit
Ø  Retirement and pension benefits
Ø  Survivor benefits

Health Insurance through Delta - under 65 years of age                                1-877-912-1820
Health Insurance 65 years of age & over – Insurance Trust                        1-877-325-7265, Option 2
Medicare                                                                                                                            1-800-633-4227
Social Security                                                                                                               1-800-772-1213
Internal Revenue Service
Ø  Help for individuals                                                                                         1-800-829-1040
Ø  Refund hot line                                                                                              1-800-829-1954
                                                                                               
Delta Life Insurance  - MetLife                                                                  1-866-939-7409
Ø  Basic life                                                                                                                                              
Ø  Optional life                                                      
Ø  Spouse life
Ø  Free will preparation service through MetLife                                 1-800-821-6400
                                                                               
Group Accident Ins. – Administration Concepts, Inc. (ACI)                        1-855-672-1273
Delta Community Credit Union                                                                 1-800-544-3328
Delta Travel Line                                                                                                              1-800-325-7123                
Delta Perks                                                                                                                         1-800-884-4217
Ø  May also be found on the Deltanet home page under TOOLS.

  The following items can be found on Deltanet home page under RESOURCES:
Ø  DALRC Retiree Assistance Program, Inc.
Ø  Retiree Death Checklist & Survivor Benefits Process
Ø  Retiree ID Badge
Ø  Delta Employee & Retiree Care Fund
Ø  Retiree Pass Travel

To access paycheck receipts (stubs), W-2’s, and 1099’s go to the Deltanet home page and click “HR” on the white menu bar.  Then click on the following items in sequence: “Self-Service” then “My Money”.  You will then see a menu down the left side of the screen.  You can now select the item(s) you need.
Published by DALRC, Inc. and revised May 2018.

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Date: 5/28/2018 5:06:33 PM
Subject: DeltaNet

Mark, I did send a note to the webmaster as you requested. Thanks for all your efforts putting out the PCN newsletter. I knew about the roth conversion advantage, but I learned more about other measures that are available to us.
Travis Foster

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Date: 6/20/2018 11:42:21 AM
Subject: FW: Changed a light bulb today. . . .

Wife: "So, what did you do today ?"
Husband: "I changed a light bulb"
Wife: "That's all ?"
Husband: "Yea, but I filmed it."

How would you like to be the DRONE PILOT...???


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Airlines have an alcohol problem—and some are blaming it on airports

Rosie Spinks
 


One of the few remaining pleasures of commercial air travel is a cold pint post-security or a Bloody Mary to quell in-flight nerves. But for flight attendants and the airlines they work for, the grand tradition of drinking while traveling causes a host of problems that some are intent on cracking down on.

Leading the charge is European low cost carrier Ryanair. After an incident last weekend—when a flight from Dublin to Ibiza had to be diverted to Paris to de-plane three disruptive (and drunk) passengers—the airline announced that it will be lobbying for new restrictions on drinking in airports.
The proposed measures include a ban on serving alcohol before 10am (which is common in European airports) and a two drink maximum in airport bars. Similar measures have been called for by fellow low cost carrier Jet2, and this week Aer Lingus followed suit saying they would turn away visibly inebriated passengers at the gate.

In a statement, Ryanair said that “It’s completely unfair that airports can profit from the unlimited sale of alcohol to passengers and leave the airlines to deal with the safety consequences.” They added that, because their flights are so short, it is rarely the case that passengers become problematically drunk on the plane; rather, intoxication usually begins before boarding. The airline had already previously banned the consumption of duty-free liquor on their flights, a practice which is banned in many countries anyway, including the US.

But it’s not just a European problem. Wall Street Journal contributor Satish Jindel recently wrote about a May incident when an American Airlines flight attendant was on the receiving end of a vicious tirade after refusing to serve a passenger another beer. In an opinion piece calling for the banning of alcohol in the cabin, he noted that “When I’ve asked flight attendants, they’ve overwhelmingly supported a ban on in-flight alcohol.”

You don’t have to look far for proof of why that might be. The FBI revealed this week that reports of sexual assaults that take place during commercial flights have increased an “alarming” 66% between the years of 2014 and 2017. According to a CNN report, an FBI rep told reporters that a majority of offenses happen “on red-eye overnights, flights of three hours or more where cabin lights might be darkened, and/or instances where alcohol is being consumed.”
For frequent fliers who enjoy a drink, it may seem inconceivable that the future of flight might run dry. And indeed for airlines and airports—who gain a not-insignificant revenue stream from selling alcoholic beverages—removing the drinks may bear too high a cost. But it’s hard to ignore that the grand tradition of an in-flight tipple comes with a significant amount of baggage.

https://www.msn.com/en-us/travel/news/airlines-have-an-alcohol-problem%e2%80%94and-some-are-blaming-it-on-airports/ar-AAyXF81?li=BBnb4R7


~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Full post disclaimer in left column. PCN Home Page is located at: http://pcn.homestead.com/home01.html

Hangar Flying - HL 293 (2)

Date: 5/29/2018 10:57:40 PM
Subject: This Bud's for You
  
This is a remarkable video. It was shot in Arizona and these veterans
didn't know where they were going or why.


Budweiser outdid themselves with this one.
Budweiser CAMO Air Drop     https://vimeo.com/247323822

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NEXT FAPA JOB FAIR – PHILLY
(For all your kids, grandkids and friends!!!!)

·    SCHEDULE:

Saturday, August 11, 2018
9 AM - 12 PM

LOCATION:

Renaissance Philadelphia Airport Hotel
500 Stevens Drive
Philadelphia, PA 19113
Direct: 610-521-5900
Sleeping room information: $109 per night.
Click here to book. Rate guaranteed if booked by 07/20. Subject to availability.

KPHL shuttle: 24 hour complimentary shuttle. Call 610-521-5900 when ready for pickup.

Parking: Complimentary parking is available for all event attendees and overnight guests who book under the FAPA sleeping room block.

·    PROTOCOL:

·         Badge Pickup/Registration: Bring Photo ID to pickup your name badge, you don't need a confirmation email or ticket.
·         Attire: Business casual. Save your suit for interviews!
·         Résumés: Bring plenty of résumés! All recruiting companies are accepting résumés unless otherwise noted.
·         Seniority Rules: We will be admitting registrants into the Job Fair by seniority number. The order in which pilots complete registration will determine their seniority number.
·         Opt-In: If a company is listed as "Must Opt-In" below (ex. BigJet Airlines (Must Opt-In)), then you must opt-in to speak with a representative from that airline after you complete online registration. Click the MANAGE REGISTRATIONS button below, select "Airline Opt-In" from the drop-down menu, and follow the instructions on that page.
·         Premier Member Express Lines: In addition to regular lines, certain airlines may have Premier Members Express Lines. You do NOT need to be a Premier member to speak with these carriers. The Express Line simply saves you time. Considering Upgrading to our Premier Membership level today to prepare for an upcoming interview and receive all of the Premier membership benefits. You can also Upgrade on the day-of the Job Fair.
·         Refunds: We offer full refunds and free transfers for any reason (excludes membership fees). Click here to read more.

FAPA Pilot Job Fairs are members only events. 30 days after you register you will be automatically charged a recurring fee of $4.95 per month to maintain your membership which can be self-cancelled at any time after the Pilot Job Fair. You MUST KEEP YOUR MEMBERSHIP THROUGH THE DAY OF THE JOB FAIR TO BE ADMITTED (excluding $0.00 tickets, you need not keep your membership to be admitted).

PILOT REGISTRATION

·    PREMIER MEMBERS:

o    $0.00 - Fee Waived Carriers (9 AM - 12 PM)
o    Register Here

·    FAPA.AERO MEMBERS:

o    $0.00 - Fee Waived Carriers (9 AM - 12 PM)
o    Register Here

·    NON FAPA.AERO MEMBERS:

o    $0.00 - Fee Waived Carriers (9 AM - 12 PM)
o    Register Here


~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Full post disclaimer in left column. PCN Home Page is located at: http://pcn.homestead.com/home01.html