Just for future reference, aircraft can take off in fog; depends on what, where and what with, company rules etc. Having a diversion to go to is important.
I was taught zero visibilty take-offs in the early 1960s, using an old-fashioned instrument called a Directional Gyro to maintain the heading before and after lift-off. As soon as the wheels were off, the pilot went into normal instrument flight mode to climb to cruise height, navigate etc.
This was taught in something called Link Trainer, a crude and simple form of early simulator, and practised in a real aircraft with a "hood" that prevented the pilot looking outside the aircraft. There was an instructor/safety pilot with the student.
As far as I am aware public transport aircraft are permitted to execute zero visibility takeoffs, subject to a number of conditions.
So your passenger was not so thick. And pboyall has pointed that in WWII there was an effective way to disperse fog over and around a runway. My Dad used it in his bomber. He said it focused his mind on keeping straight on the roll out between the two lines of raging petrol flares.
I try to treat people as if they are as capable, professional, and as wonderful as I like to think I am.
Going offtopic - it always amazes me, when dining out, how snotty some people are to waiting staff.
I have a food intolerance, so am aware I can be a pain to cater for. I am always utlra nice to waiting staff, and despite being a tougher customer to accomodate, often seem to get preferential service to those who are cold or rude to staff.
Min for us is 125m only if meeting several strict criteria. Zero visibility takeoffs are not allowed (200-strong Airbus fleet European airline) depsite how visibile we might be in bright Orange paintwork
VCtenderness raised a good point re toilet signage.
Just back from a SLF to far east, both Business and Baggage class.
You dont need class to travel Business or First just CASH.
Many passengers see what looks like a door handle, feels like a handle, thus is a handle. The push here to open door is not intuative.
Also my pet bitch is the basin flush........unless you know that the unlabeled panel behind the red/blue is the drain then you will never find it...also the rate of drain is so slow that when activated it is possible to assume NON functioning.
As SLF I'd just like to say these are great! I've worked in customer service before and received some abuse during my time doing various customer facing jobs at a major UK visitor attraction.
A few from me:
On a flight last year, one of the pilots pops out to use the lav. My friend looks at me, and in a concerned voice, says, "Erm, who's flying if here's out here?" This was after a PA introducing both pilots...
Not so much a thick comment, but circa 2006 flying to NYC, I had major issues with those visa waiver forms. Took me about 5 attempts to write everything in the right place.
And now, some from my work, just to prove it's not a phenomenon only experienced in the air. I should point out, all "responses" I post below were strictly in my head.
"After we've paid you here, are the rides free inside?" For £35 admission, I should hope so!
"Is the monorail a ride?" Yes, a ride straight back to the carpark you've just come from...
Different job, same company:
"You've changed the date of my booking, you've ruined my 21st birthday". Actually madam, we're not allowed to change bookings without customer approval, you booked the wrong date...
"Are you very strict with your height restrictions? My son is 5cm too short but will they let him on anyway?" Words failed me with this one...
"What will the weather be like on the weekend of X and Y 2015?" I don't know, let me consult my crystal ball...
To all CC, you have my utmost respect! I'd probably end up beating someone with a teapot or something...
.. reading this brings back memories from [coughs] decades ago - LGW and fog: covering on the 'enquiries desk' for PHU staff:
Thick fog - nothing's leaving and i/bs circling, pending diversions to MAN, CDG ..anywhere but LGW.
The slightly scary situation of being alone behind a desk besieged by several hundred increasingly angry people - and calculating the time delay before Security can feasibly cut through the crowd to stop them lynching you.... as emotions start to run high after 3 hours of the same answer ... one emboldened young man becomes 'pack leader' ...
"This is ridiculous - it's just fog! Why can't it land?"
"... (basically) visibility is too low for safety"
"... can't see the runway? That is ABSOLUTE RUBBISH ... I should be up there, it's easy, I could land the plane because I CAN SEE the runway"
(Crowd starts muttering in agreement and lurching en masse towards desk)
"You can see the runway?"
"Yes, IT'S RIGHT THERE!"
(points past through window to darkened landscape outside and the orange sodium traffic lights of the northbound A23 stretching away for a distance of 100 yards"
"Erm, that's a road..."
"NO it is not! It's the runway and you're trying to bullsh*t that aircraft can't land on it? I could land a plane on that!"
"Well, happily for your passengers, you are not up there - and they are in the capable hands of an experienced Captain who lands on runways, not the A23 London to Brighton road! .... Next!"
Location: Why oh why would I wanna be anywhere else?
And then there was the female CC on QF802 PER-MEL on 15 Aug 12 who went up and down the aisles in a crab like fashion because she was simply too broad in the beam (and everywhere else) to manage the aisle normally.
I thought that airlines had a policy about overweight???
Location: The Burrow, N53:48:02 W1:48:57, The Tin Tent - EGBS, EGBO
they are in the capable hands of an experienced Captain who lands on runways, not the A23 London to Brighton road!
Did he go on to fly for a certain Asian airline which had a reputation for, shall we say, getting things not quite right? A tale about the said airline from brother working at Perth airport WestOz and who saw & heard the event. An aircraft belonging to said airline was on final when ATC told the pilot to go around followed smartly, and presumably unintentionally transmitted, by "Silly fool is trying to land on Horrie Miller Drive". For those unfamiliar with Perth the control tower is located at the end of HM Drive which, although parallel with one of the runways, is MUCH shorter and has vehicles moving up and down it. You can't see HM Drive in this photo which I took a few years ago but even before I learned to fly I could tell the difference.
Various posts have mentioned pushy, impatient, know-all passengers, and this reminds me of a flight I was taking on an orange aeroplane earlier this year. There was a family travelling, the mother of which was, well let's just say the most important person around.
All the way through departures she was scolding and chiding her (actually very well behaved) kids, and husband. Tutting, huffing, puffing, looking at her watch, straining to see over the top of other people in the queue, she finally burst out, "Quickly Thomas, this way, the speedy boarding is off to the right - excuse me everybody, we need to get to the speedy boarding queue!"
A short pause, then a very small elderly lady with a lovely soft west indian accent moved to the side and said, "I guess your seat must be leaving first then love?" Cue a big grin and a wink from the harrassed husband!
Well M777LR, if you are thinking that was bad, how about an experience I had one time, though before 9/11, departing from a busy international terminal, destined for JFK. We were late arriving at the airport due local traffic conditions (overseas basing), and as I was briskly walking towards our departure lounge, I noticed that there were no pax at all waiting in our particular lounge, as there normally was, but since we were about an hour late, I figured they had been offered refreshments and had moved away to enjoy that diversion elsewhere in the terminal! As I got to the aerobridge entrance, I notice it's not locked, and go right on thru. What a shock, as I step thru the L2 (B747-200) door, I see around 300 pax onboard and ready to go - they had simply let themselves in and there were people and kids everywhere, and of course, the flight deck was unlocked and the door open, with not a company traffic guy anywhere to be seen! So, I used the 'bridge phone to call traffic, and we had all the pax deplaned, and spent the next 90 minutes searching the airplane from nose to tail, us and any company ground engineers we could find, about 8 guys all up! Then we reloaded and departed, significantly late!
On my way home from duty wearing my BA uniform I stopped at Sainsburys to shop for a few essentials.
An elderly man approached me and said "where can I find the whatever" I replied "I'm sorry but I don't work here"'he then berated me very angrily "what are you doing walking around in that outfit if you don't work here, it's very confusing".
I am not sure that Sainsburys and BA's uniforms are that alike!
I wonder if an off duty shop assistant has been asked which gate the JFK is leaving from?
I've spent this entire week reading this whole thread, have been PMSL! I really don't know how CC do it, dealing with morons who think they are entitled after paying for the cheapest possible economy fare on a budget airline but fair play to all of you!
One thing that always amuses me when I fly (not that often) are the glares I get from other pax when I get my veggie meal before anyone else. I've even been asked who I tipped (paid!) to get my meal before anyone else. Said person then gave me the hairy eyeball the whole way through my meal!!
I do miss the days when CC could have a laugh with pax and not worry about someone taking offence. My first ever long haul was DUB > SFO in 1996 with Virgin, the CC were hilarious! They had a limerick competition, winner got to go visit the cockpit and they read out tons over the PA, made a 10 hour flight pass so much the quicker
Should probably belong in an atc thread but none the less:
After being given a 10 odd minute delay into an Australia port... CREW: "min speed has us crossing ABCDE at time XX" ATC: "can you slow down to make good time XX?" CREW: "ahhhh no, we are at min speed..."
"Excuse me, there is a problem with our seat. I have 29C."
"What seems to be the issue, Sir?"
"It's becuase there's two of us"-pointing at wife. "And there's only one 29C seat."
"Then I can only assume your wife has the one next to it allocated to her."
"Let's have a look at the lady's boarding pass...29D it is."
"Oh, allright then."