View Full Version : Pilot refused to fly shoeless children

1st Sep 2004, 22:19
The boot is on the other foot for passengers on an Air New Zealand flight delayed by barefoot children, with National Party MP Gerry Brownlee criticising the airline for being family unfriendly.

It emerged yesterday that two MPs - Mr Brownlee and Labour's Lianne Dalziel - were among the 104 passengers delayed for nearly an hour on Monday when the pilot refused to take off because two children did not have shoes on.

After checking with the pilot, the airline confirmed today that the shoeless children, believed to be aged about two and four years, was the safety reason the flight was delayed.

Ground crew unloaded part of the plane's luggage hold to find the family's bags, a spokesman said.

"The bag with the shoes was not readily found in the hold, so the captain finally made the decision that he could not hold the flight up any longer and departed."

Mr Brownlee, a father of three, criticised the pilot's "stupid" decision.

"Air NZ has made a complete pig's ear of this," he said.

"I don't think it's offensive that three and four-year-old kids don't have their shoes on, it's not like they're allowed to run around the plane.

"If the plane hits the deck then shoes aren't going to save you."

A frequent flier, Mr Brownlee said he had never seen any evidence of a dress standard on flights, and if there was, passengers should be told.

Claims barefoot passengers were a safety risk were ridiculous, as long-haul travellers were advised to remove their shoes to prevent swollen ankles - and were given slippers by the airline.

Air New Zealand had rebranded itself as a cheap, family-friendly national carrier but had demonstrated precious little regard for children, he said.

2nd Sep 2004, 00:04
I wonder if the gent complaining had thought of the benefit of wearing shoes when departing a broken aircraft following a catastrophic reject. Barefoot through the fuel and debris IMO is not smart.

Personally I never remove my shoes until a reject or quick return are out of the question. I am appalled at the number of deadhead crews I see ignoring this simple safety concept, removing their shoes before takeoff.

But then walking barefoot on hot coals is supposed to be a beneficial, mind focussing, experience.

2nd Sep 2004, 00:26
Clearly there ain't any, considering some of the slobs traveling on todays' airliners.

If they ain't dressed properly, kick 'em off I say...and this includes' no shoes'.:(

2nd Sep 2004, 00:42
TAC on - Exactly mate.

I wonder how the parents of the little darlings would have reacted to their kids injured feet having had to get out in a hurry.

I`m only a lowly PPL student but it seems amazing, given how every missed approach / burst tyre makes the news, that the public only want safety to be considered when it doesn`t inconvenience them. I get the feeling that part of the problem is that any safety briefings / requirements force people to think about "the unlikely event" and they don`t want to pull their head out of the sand..

Ah well. Poor ANZ - damned if you do, damned if you don`t.



Flight Detent
2nd Sep 2004, 02:33
Hi all,
And as is usual, what would a couple of MPs know anyway, about anything, let alone something as complicated as an emergency requiring an evacuation.

One wonders why these sorts of people don't try and fathom the reasons for the decisions of ultimately more qualified people before they 'put their foot in it!'

By the way, I have also been involved in a decision to refuse boarding to a passenger without shoes, for those exact reasons! (A few years ago now though!)

Those MPs should be very aware that any sort of mumblings that they make would be quoted - another reason to sort out the reason why before the foot is placed in the mouth!

Good decision, ANZ. (At least initially!)


Plastic Bug
2nd Sep 2004, 05:01
Folks, isn't this whole thing just a LITTLE bizarre?

We are talking about a 2 year old and a 4 year old. Little kids for crying out loud! Noone is asking the little tyros to get out and fix the plane, so safety shoes are not required. What's the point of the shoes? To protect their little feet? From what?

So they have their shoes on for takeoff. Then they kick them off during flight while sleeping. Now what? Divert because there are shoeless children discovered onboard?

OK, suppose the worst case happens and the pax have to exit via the chutes.

What's the first thing prior to making that leap?


So, why the fuss over a couple of little kids with no shoes?

Ya got me, unless the flight was to Antartica or something and someone was worried about frostbite on arrival. This whole thing reeks of absolute silliness. I'd say I have now heard it all, but I am sure somebody, somewhere will top this one.


Chuffer Chadley
2nd Sep 2004, 05:36
OK, suppose the worst case happens and the pax have to exit via the chutes.
What's the first thing prior to making that leap?

..erm, well actually not quite. From my memory of the safety cards, only sharp, pointy shoes need to be removed before goind down the slide.

Unless the kiddies are wearing stilletoes, that shouldn't be an issue. :ok:

Ciao for now

2nd Sep 2004, 05:36

Instructions for emergency landing :
Put the backrest in an upright position, take of shoes , spectacles ....

It is really silly to instruct passengers to leave the airplane barefoot in an emergency situation, but prevent them from entering it barefoot in normal operation.

Plastic Bug
2nd Sep 2004, 06:19
If you jump down the slide wearing pointy or any other shoes , there is a STRONG possibilty that said shoes will snag on the slide and you will tumble to the bottom.

You will suffer greater injuries than scraped feet when everyone else exiting the airplane lands on top of you in your bundled heap at the base of the slide.

The slide is rubber (or similar) with a talc coating, but shoes are brakes and they work swell.

You DO NOT want brakes when exiting an aircraft.

Thanks Volume for the safety card.

Somebody didn't just "think up" the "shoes off down the slide concept". It was proven in practice.


2nd Sep 2004, 06:59
This whole thing is rediculous. Have you see how many passengers particularly in Club and First who kick their shoes off as soon as they sit down? They don't get stopped. I for one keep mine on till airborne as I don't want to loose them in an abandoned takeoff and have to go out into a dark wet windy sh***y night in my socks!

Evening Star
2nd Sep 2004, 07:13
Using the safety card from a TU154 might be a bit disingenuous. TU154's I have travelled in the safety card (see, some pax do actually read the things! :cool: ) shows two people holding the bottom of the slide, suggesting it is not inflated. Furthermore, my last flight in a TU154 I was sat next to the before wing exit, and the slide was a lift box and throw out job. While the instructions about shoes might be valid, it makes me wonder if they are a throwback to older types of slide.

Must echo Mode 7's comments. Would not like to mill around in my socks, and removal of my spectacles will impede me even finding the escape. On the other hand, that is all fine and good writing this sat safely at my computer, it might be a different matter if there is a Manchester 1985 type fire licking my arse. Except in those circumstances my first thought would not be to remove my shoes and spectacles. Guess the saying about rules and guidance applies, which does make me wonder if there is more to this incident than simply shoes.

2nd Sep 2004, 07:45
Well, as SLF I am now exceptionally confused as I was under the impression that shoes had to be removed before evacuation.

What's the missing part of this story I wonder?

Desert Dingo
2nd Sep 2004, 07:53
The FAA believes that the proper procedures regarding shoes during an aircraft evacuation is to leave them on.
Complete document here (www.faa.gov/avr/afs/fsat/fsat9707.doc)



According to the NTSB report accompanying this recommendation, during a recent aircraft evacuation, passengers were instructed to remove their shoes. Therefore, the NTSB issued recommendation A-96-140, asking the FAA to develop a uniform policy regarding the wearing or not wearing of shoes during an aircraft evacuation. Many safety experts believe that shoes provide protection from debris and fuel following an accident and shoes should be worn during an aircraft evacuation. The only problem with shoes appears to be the wearing of high heeled shoes down the slide. It is unlikely they could damage a slide; however, that possibility does exist. There is the more likely possibility that high heels could hit another person or could become wedged in various places, thus resulting in injury.


The FAA believes that the proper procedures regarding shoes during an aircraft evacuation is to leave them on. In the case of a forewarned evacuation it is desirable to remove high heeled shoes and stow them in a approved stowage area such as an overhead bin. They should not be placed in the seat pocket.

2nd Sep 2004, 07:54
Surely couldn't have been a native Kiwi Captain? My wife's nephews and nieces went to school barefoot until they were teenagers and they could walk on anything..

2nd Sep 2004, 08:33
Shoes on, shoes off, I can't get excited about it. I just sit at the back of the aircraft and follow the safety instructions from the crew. If you think I'm better off wearing my shoes, I'll wear 'em. But, and this is the sticky point, we need clear and unambiguous directions so we know exactly what it is we are supposed to do/not do/wear.

The orginal post said:

"A frequent flier, Mr Brownlee said he had never seen any evidence of a dress standard on flights, and if there was, passengers should be told. "

He's dead right. If airlines want to insist on any dress code (and they certainly have the right to do so) they have to warn the punters before they come to board the plane.

I'm all in favour of airlines imposing any rules that make my life safer and more comfortable. If they want to ban barefoot kids, that's fine by me but the parents of said kids need to be warned in advance, not at the boarding gate.

That being said, some folks will never heed any warnings you give them - but then it's their responsibility and not the airlines.

Kaptin M
2nd Sep 2004, 08:46
"The bag with the shoes was not readily found in the hold, so the captain finally made the decision that he could not hold the flight up any longer and departed."

.....presumably with the shoe-less children still onboard!

Slightly compromising one's position, isn't it??:ugh:

2nd Sep 2004, 09:02
I think they didnt want to hurt the slide......................
BTW in case of an emergency evacuation,are people supposed to remove shoes and socks too?

Cap 56
2nd Sep 2004, 09:22
This case is an extremely simple one.

1. There was no urgency nor emergency caused by these children, the captain should have been very careful in getting involved into this scenario and delegate his decision to the company security officer.
2. If there would have been an evacuation and those children came of the plane alive they would have been very happy.Foot injury or not.
3. If after an evacuation this issue came ever to court it would take years of discussions amongst experts that very likely would never find an end.

To take the decision to delay the flight looks a bit silly to me and a clear overreaction. There are certain things you keep away from your corner unless you are the real macho type.

Decision making is often a case of probability assessment, once you corner yourself in a case of very low probability you loose credibility and you get sucked into something unreal.

What about banning Muslim woman to wear a veil in case….

Company policy makers do not think of every scenario, it is not human to expect them to do so. Therefore it is unreal to conclude that; since it is not clearly on paper that it is not allowed to assume that if the problem would arise, a decision by the airline would be made on the spot.

If a dubious case like this does arise, there is nothing wrong with getting advice from higher up and cover your ass.

White Knight
2nd Sep 2004, 10:17
The captain in question sounds like a complete ass:\ :\

As cap 56 - for once making sense - points out, just how many scenarios do we try to cover.

I take my shoes off if sitting in the pax cabin - usually long before the aeroplane even leaves the gate. Some of you people have lost the plot a little methinks:{

Kaptin M
2nd Sep 2004, 11:14
If a dubious case like this does arise, there is nothing wrong with getting advice from higher up and cover your ass. There is NO-ONE "higher up" than the Captain/commander, where the responsibility for the control and safety of the aircraft and its occupants are concerned!

2nd Sep 2004, 11:49
Just wondering how he had the time to walk up and down the cabin examining everyone’s feet:)

2nd Sep 2004, 12:06
No shoes a problem in an emergency???....

ok then will the 25 stone lard ass in row 34 please get off..and you granny, (sheesh she's 84 for cryin out loud)...oh and you sir..you're blind..off you go..

2nd Sep 2004, 12:14
If it is so important to keep your shoes on, why do most airlines hand out a little kit including a pair of socks before you even get airborne? :confused:

2nd Sep 2004, 12:36
why do most airlines hand out a little kit including a pair of socks before you even get airborne?
Seems to me because nobody actually has a clue what is going on, what the rules are etc.


2nd Sep 2004, 16:02
I was taken to task some years ago when operating out of JFK because, as the aircraft commander, I questioned why we were permitting the carriage of a "quadraplegic" passenger. In the event of an emergency, reject/fire on the ground for example, this pax was totally immobile. It would be completely unfair to the rest of the pax for the cabin crew to be dedicated to moving this one person, even if it was a possibility when it was considered the pax was a large male and the cabin crew were slightly built ladies.

I was quite impolitely informed that the company would be in deep trouble if we refused to carry this person because of his disability. My reply was that I was not suggesting we not carry this pax because of his disability but for his own safety and the safety of the rest of the pax in case of emergency.

In the event, Captain or not, I lost the arguement and he travelled. We made Binghamtom from JFK and he was eventually lifted off the aircraft by the fire service about 20 minutes after we had arrived.

Anyone else been in this sort of situation??

2nd Sep 2004, 16:40
Mercenary Ali,

I suspect that the reason you were taken to task over your concerns is because This Might Happen (http://www.pprune.org/forums/showthread.php?s=&threadid=141181)

Although I personally agree with your concerns, Lawyers dont care.......

Regards, SD...

Ranger One
2nd Sep 2004, 16:50

AFAIK, disabled pax travel on the understanding that it's at their own risk, and they'll always be last off the plane - and that includes an evac situation. They'll be seated near an exit (but not of course on an exit row, for obvious reasons) and the FAs last task, before they exit themselves, will be to unceremoniously throw the disabled pax down the slide.

WRT shoeless kids, in the present case we're talking about 2 and 4 year olds; in the worst case of getting out of a severely broken aircraft they're going to have to be carried, shoes or no shoes. I don't see what the Captain in question had a problem with.


2nd Sep 2004, 17:03
Referring to the post from Kaptin M,

When you're on Terra Firma ( the more the firma, the less the terra) I think you'll find that there are all manner of persons who have sway over an aircraft and it's Capt.

Senior Company Personnel
Airport Authorities

In this day and age, and some of you may not like it, but this is the reality. The old days of an infallible Capt, whose word was not to be questioned are long gone. And the industry is, in my humble opinion, safer for it.

I remember one long serving colleague, with many thousands of hours, who used the adage , "when the door closes it's mine"

I fear the Capt in this case was making something out of nothing, and perhaps should have been focussed on His imminent departure instead.

Chin Chin

Max Angle
2nd Sep 2004, 17:06
It would be completely unfair to the rest of the pax for the cabin crew to be dedicated to moving this one person, I don't think anybody (disabled passenger included) is expecting the cabin crew to concentrate on one passenger. The unpalatable, though rarely discussed truth, is that a passenger who is of "reduced mobility" is going to be left on the aircraft until everyone else has got out and will then be helped by the cabin crew if it is still safe. The cabin crews job is to ensure that the maximum number of people get out of that aircraft and I'm afraid that means ignoring the needs of the one or two disabled pax. until everyone else is off. The cabin crew manual is quite specific about this and goes on to say that the fire service are far better equipped to get these people off the aircraft and don't want to have to rescue the cabin crew as well!.

2nd Sep 2004, 17:57
In the event of fire, nylons are very bad news for the ladies wearing them.

Any explanations for why nylons are not banned:E

2nd Sep 2004, 18:19
In this "compensation culture" of a world we find ourselves in, perhaps the captain was just covering his own back and that of his company's. If little johnny was to cut his foot on a plastic fork that had dropped on the floor, then mummy and daddy wouldn't have been too happy I'm guessing....probably could've got a few grand from it.....:ugh:

Tony Flynn
2nd Sep 2004, 18:42
I have a feeling that pheeel's answer is probably closest to the truth here

2nd Sep 2004, 19:27
Totally Agree with "pheeel"

lead zeppelin
2nd Sep 2004, 22:34
Let's not forget the hilarious scene in "Planes, Trains, and Automobiles" where John Candy (Del Griffith, Shower Curtain Ring Salesman) takes his shoes off much to the aromatic discomfort of Steve Martin!!! Maybe good reason some should keep the shoes on..........

Time for some 'sole' searching:=

2nd Sep 2004, 22:55
Anyone know if there is anything in the AirNZ SOP's regarding shoes?
All these comments regarding the captain being an ass, but if it is covered in the SOPs what can he do?

Mercenary Ali,
I work with a lot of people that do commercial escorts on airliners. (Not as dirty as it sounds) Their job is to look after someone that is not medically fit. This can range from cardiac patients to quadrapegics. Their duties include an evacuation if need be, thus freeing up the flight attendents for the rest of the passengers. I hear that nowadays the escort service is required by the airlines for anyone that may not be able to evacuate by themselves.

2nd Sep 2004, 23:20
I had to check up on the net to make sure this was genuine!

If the captain was acting by himself, then for that complete lack of common sense he shouldn’t be in charge of a PA system, let alone a passenger aircraft. ANZ should really be assessing whether he is mentally fit to fly.

Should the aircraft require an evacuation, as has already been said, you’d tuck a kid under each arm and run. Regardless of shoes, you wouldn’t let 2 & 4 year old kids saunter away from a burning plane!

If the pilot was acting in accordance with Air New Zealand procedures, then ANZ are run by idiots, and my apologies to the captain concerned.

2nd Sep 2004, 23:51
Please Please Tell me this is not for real!!

3rd Sep 2004, 05:49
that's right...during an emergency landing shoes (high heeeled-shoes, so expecially for women) must be left on aircraft (better if also nylon-stockings) in order not to damage slides and in order not to burn legs during the evacuation. baby's shoes (expecially gymnastic shoes can be kept on.

But what about a ditching or a crash landing with survivors in cold zones....they must be a repair waiting for rescue or feet will soon freeze.

As a normal boarding I think that everyone must wear suitable shoes also for hygenic reasons.....

I've seen in the last 14 years people boarding planes in horrific mises...not only clothes but also exxagerate piercing on face and nose and mouth.....what about if they have to wear emergency masks for an unplanned descent??? maybe they could tear them....hope in this case it is their fault!!!! as long as during an emergency descent cabin attendant brief people to remove necklace, ties,dentures, make up (it burns with oxygen), loosen belts and try to use cushions, jackets and everithing quite smooth to reduce injuries all stuffs to remain on board in an evacuation....

But boarding without shoes is unhealthy and also mean!!!!
people often board planes in indecorous suit!


Pool Boy
3rd Sep 2004, 06:17
So who learnt to fly with bare feet? nope, didnt think so. Its a saftey issue and a line had to be drawn in the sand with the public, who in general really are not aware of the ramifications of being barefoot in an emergency. good on the crew :D

3rd Sep 2004, 08:20
Here's a fun little exercise for you. Read the posts above, then guess which of the writers know absolutely nothing about aviation. Shouldn't be too hard, as there is a lot of ignorance on display here.

As the lunatics took over the asylum, it appears that pax/wannabes are taking over PPRuNe.

Leaving aside the question of kids boarding an aircraft, in the middle of winter, with no shoes on - mind-boggling in itself - it is a simple safety issue. A child without shoes runs the risk of injury, if not from getting their toes trodden on or run over, then from getting toes jammed in any number of potential traps (mainly in the seat structure).

The issue of what happens in a crash is secondary (but still important). However in there was to be an accident, the kids are plainly better off with shoes on.

I'm guessing that this is a company policy thing, and if so I applaud them for upholding the standard.

3rd Sep 2004, 09:38
As the lunatics took over the asylum, it appears that pax/wannabes are taking over PPRuNe.
Alternatively, they are highlighting an issue that there seems to be no clear guidance on and needs clarification. I always check the safety card when I fly as lowly, despicable SLF and I would make the immediate assumption that you take shoes off before an evacuation via slides. Now it seems that isn't the case and there is understandable confusion, but in the true nature of the aviation industry, the know-it-alls prefer to slag off those that provide reason for their employment (Freight dogs excepted naturally), rather than actually suggesting some constructive fact.

So could someone please answer this: Should passenger's feet remain encased? Please include in your answer, as appropriate, quotations from a) airline SOPs, b) relevant extracts from current safety cards, c) quotations from airline websites/documentation provided to the passenger that advises shoes to be kept on.

Then we might a) get somewhere and b) work out who the real "lunatics" are.

In a crash situation which is more important? Having a pair of shoes or getting the :mad: out and living?

I know what my first choice would be.

3rd Sep 2004, 11:43
God preserve us from the Heath & Safety fanatics!

I’ve read the above posts MOR, and it would appear that it is you that knows nothing about aviation in this case!

3rd Sep 2004, 11:43
Any safety brief or card I've ever seen says to take off 'high heeled' shoes. It's not a universal directive.

3rd Sep 2004, 14:05
... their toenails were a threat, their tonailclippers already been confiscated in the USA on a previous flight. Small barefooted children may pose a serious hazard when used as weapons by their parents........

3rd Sep 2004, 15:52
Its not uncommon here in Queensland to see whole families walking around the supermarket doing the weekly shopping without a shoe in sight. Children here must be born with tougher feet as they seem to walk everywhere barefoot with no problem. very strange to see at first, even after a year I still look twice at blokes with no footwear, pushing shopping trolleys. :confused:

Jellied Eels
3rd Sep 2004, 16:36
Stupid but genuine question from a pax: how often have lives have been saved by evacuation? Have always assumed that it's an exceptionally rare event that you get out a plane alive once something goes seriously wrong.

Thankfully the chances of something going seriously wrong are very low. So we're talking about a rare exception to the outcome of a low probability event, aren't we?

3rd Sep 2004, 20:39
Without wishing to express any comment on this case, my only knowledge of which is as detailed on this thread, it does raise a number of points that require some clarification. There may be some regional variations in the specific rules and regulations but the general points ought to have some universal element.

1) Infants are usually children under the age of 2 in so far as they are defined for the purposes of carriage by air.

2) The Captain has the final authority for who is and isn't carried on board a flight.

3) Passengers are required to comply with the lawful instructions of the Captain (those instructions may be given by other crew) at all times whilst on board an aircraft. This is part of the general conditions of carriage that forms part of the contract between the passenger and the air carrier ( the ticket or accepted conditions)

4) The Captain has a statutory authority to refuse entry to the aircraft to anyone whose presence in flight could represent a hazard to the safety of the aircraft or its occupants.

5) A Captain has discretion to take such action as he/she sees fit to ensure the safety/health of any person on board provided such action would not adversely affect the safety of the aircraft operations for which they are responsible.

It is expected that a Captain by virtue of their position and experience would apply the necessary common sense in interpretation of the above rules. However the scope for such interpretation may well be limited by the requirements of national statutes and company regulations. They may be influenced by the Captains own experience in such matters and by other external influences.

It is relatively unusual on a day to day basis for the Captain to be asked to arbitrate on matters of Passengers dress, but it does sometimes arise. When it does arise it is normally because the senior Cabin crew member has been unsuccessful in resolving the matter. In such circumstances they quite rightly pass the matter on to the Captain.

Last week I had a situation with a male passenger who had boarded with no shirt and was informed that his bare torso was not acceptable for carriage. It was brought to my attention beacuse he argued that he had no shirt. I agreed with the Cabin crew and we arrived at a compromise whereby he could if necessary wear a blanket. In fact he then produced a T-shirt but there you go!

Common sense dictates the dress standard, and this is rarely an issue. However passengers cannot be allowed to board an aircraft if their dress (or lack of it ) is likely to cause offense or distress to others, nor if it is likely to affect their safety or the safety of others.

It is my opinion that Children aged 2 and 4 are not infants. They are seated passengers. They ought to have some form of footwear as they board the aircraft unless there are overriding reasons for not doing. On the other hand (or foot) they are children and much of the responsibility is devolved to their parents. The same rationale that applies to an adult can be very difficult if not impossible to impart to a child. I think therefore that I and many other Captains would in fact not expect such matters to normally be brought to our attention. However if they were, it would certainly be within the remit of the Commander to refuse carriage.

Gertrude the Wombat
3rd Sep 2004, 20:43
Leaving aside the question of kids boarding an aircraft, in the middle of winter, with no shoes on - mind-boggling in itself Here's a fun little exercise for you - guess which of the above posts have been made by people who aren't parents?

Have a look about you next time you are out on the streets in the middle of winter. You will see small children without shoes. With some kids it's physically impossible to keep them on, short of sewing them to their feet.

Random Electron
3rd Sep 2004, 20:52
Jellied Eels.

Have you studied, for example, the Sioux City incident?

If you have, you might want to reconsider your question.

Load Toad
4th Sep 2004, 13:18
I'm not the sharpest cookie in the airing cupboard so please bear with me....

- How did the pilot come to know about two children being shoeless down the back; are the wearing of shoes prior to take off (re. small children) a big deal?

- What's the difference with a pax who chooses to remove his shoes during the flight?

Call me thick but I think all the pertinant details neccessary to dabate this aren't available.

I think you can see where I'm going here.

Before the flight, for some reason that the C.Crew couldn't handle - the pilot was called upon to make a decision...about two kids with no shoes.


4th Sep 2004, 14:18
What's the difference with a pax who chooses to remove his shoes during the flight?

From a cabin crew point of view, the difference is that person had shoes on in the first place, and can be requested to put them on again for landing... as we all know, take off & landing are the two most critical phases of flight...

Congratulations to the Captain involved for having the guts to make the decision he felt was necessary at the time - after all, that is why he wears the 4 stripes.

Romeo Delta
4th Sep 2004, 20:10
For anyone who knows anything about Kiwi culture, shoes have often been optional. Even I have done my grocery shopping in bare feet. The Kiwis play all manner of sports, including rugby, league, and gridiron in bare feet. Most of these people could walk on broken glass and not get cut.

The other issue of whether it is policy of AirNZ is one that apparently has yet to be answered. As often as I've flown them as SLF, I've never heard of any official "shoe" policy (I've taken my substantial shoes off during flights, and never heard a peep from the C-Crew).

But this is really a non-issue, and it sounds like these MPs are using it to their political advantage (for publicity sake). Typical...


Flap 5
5th Sep 2004, 07:52
I am not sure that the wearing of shoes is the real reason for this situation. Many passengers quietly board aircraft without being completely correct in their attire. I think something about the childrens behaviour annoyed the cabin crew, probably followed by comments from protective parents, causing the cabin crew to report this to the captain out of annoyance. The captain then gets protective to his cabin crew and this decision is the result.

I have had the situation myself where there has been a disagreement between a passenger and the purser. When I have checked with the passenger I have found that the purser was just having a bad day and was oversensitive.

Too many flight and cabin crew have forgotten that we are in the business of customer service. Rules are for the blind obedience of fools and the guidance of wise men.

5th Sep 2004, 09:21
I had a similar situation out of Brisbane quite some time ago.
The check in staff refused boarding to two young surfer types that were ahead of me in the queue for wearing flip flops.
They had to get their bags out of the hold and their baggage missed the flight.
My family and I were up next and with a 3 year old son with sandals on...yep you guessed it we were instructed that if he was not wearing shoes he could not fly because of "Air Naviagation Regulations". I naturally asked which one. blank look.
I insisted that if she was going to quote fictitious regulations, she could at least tell me which one. No answer.
My questions as to why he had to wear shoes were met with the same answers given above. ie nothing sensible given that there were women in the queue with sandals on and they were not being asked to "shoe up".
Finally we were let on board and what was the first thing that was noticed on the emergency evac card...yep remove shoes. Said nothing about high heels, just remove shoes in case of an evac.
Having been less than impressed with the manner which we were treated at the gate by one of the cabin staff..I called her over and pointed this out. Totally ignored and was then treated like a leper for the rest of the flight.

Now the question to all you captains out there...are sandals and flip flops ok?
IF not, why is it not made very clear prior to arriving at the airport.
And if you think sandals are dangerous, how do you reconcile the Arabic national footwear, which everyone around the Middle East, local and expat alike wear? So are Gulf Air, Emirates, Qatar, Saudi, Etihad, Arabia, and all the big boys that fly to and from the ME operating dangerously?

If this is a true story and not a media beat up...from the passengers point of view the airlines need to lift their game.
Especially in OZ/NZ!!

rant off

Anti Skid On
5th Sep 2004, 09:37
Pheeel saidIn this "compensation culture" of a world we find ourselves in, perhaps the captain was just covering his own back and that of his company's. If little johnny was to cut his foot on a plastic fork that had dropped on the floor, then mummy and daddy wouldn't have been too happy I'm guessing....probably could've got a few grand from it.....

Not in NZ - there is a thing called ACC which means you cannot sue for accidents.

The Maori culturally correct thing to do is NOT wear shoes; where I live many don't, it begs the question was the Captain being 'selective' in his choice based on the ethnicity of the kids.

(and for the record I think his actions were appropriate)

6th Sep 2004, 02:32
This captain must have had little to do in the cockpit to become so intensely involved with pax attire. :confused:

6th Sep 2004, 07:34
Divingduck, an interesting post. I was particularly amusing by the check-in agent trying to fob you off.

Funny how the question of written airline rules concerning wearing footwear has still not been answered.

7th Sep 2004, 10:22
On the information available I'd avoid ANZ - in case my safety was in the hands of someone so evidently batty

7th Sep 2004, 12:35
Why does BA give me a pair of blue socks everytime I fly if they are not expecting me to take my shoes and socks off? :confused:

ps. taking your socks off and throwing them over the back of the seat so the person behind is looking right at them is a great way to get them to stop kicking and kneeing you in the back when sitting in coach which I don't do very often.