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Long Haulier
27th Dec 2005, 13:26
The following has been issued to all FR Captains.


Is this legal?

What right does a Captain or the state have to prevent a passenger leaving an aircraft which is on the ramp??


MEMO

TO: All Captains
FROM: Chief Pilot
DATE: 22nd December 2005

SUBJECT: Diversion P A

Ladies and Gentlemen,

This PA shall be made by the Captain when a [FR] aircraft has diverted to an alternate and it is intended to continue with the passengers to the original destination. Some passengers could reasonably expect to disembark at this alternate e.g. LTN/STN, FCO/CIA etc.

It is prohibited for any passengers to disembark at these alternates in these circumstances by law for security reasons.

“Ladies and Gentlemen, this is your Captain speaking. We have diverted to xyz airport because of __________________. The circumstances causing this diversion have now changed and we will be departing xyz in ___ minutes and routing to our original destination. It is prohibited by law for security reasons to allow any passengers to disembark at this airport, despite its proximity to your original destination. This situation is completely outside my control. Please be patient and we will have you safely at your original destination approximately ___ hrs. The cabin crew and I thank you for your patience”


Is this legal?

Carnage Matey!
27th Dec 2005, 13:35
Sounds like a load of cobblers to me. BA regularly have diversions into LTN and STN when there's disruption at LHR and sometimes the company decides to offload the pax there and coach them to LHR. My guess is that this stems from a desire to keep the pax on so you don't have to open the holds and get their bags out (departing with the bags on board would obviously be unacceptable). Barring some local peculiarities with customs I can't think of any reason why the pax couldn't get off.

Bumz_Rush
27th Dec 2005, 14:14
I assume that if for some reason FR are unable / unwilling to take passengers to their designated destination, that the company shouldtransport them, regardless.....an unfair contrract is not enforcable under english law, but then Irish is a different ball game....it takes two to tango.

I would call it a hijack, what would you call it....????



Bumz

Rainboe
27th Dec 2005, 14:57
I'm afraid there are times when, to protect the integrity of the whole operation, it is necessary to detain passengers on board. It is also illegal to detain passengers onboard. If Ryanair says it is for legal and security reasons, then that has to be accepted unless proven wrong. I'm afraid these days, there are additional security considerations that were not needed a few years ago- nowadays passenger lists are sent on ahead, and it may very well be that it is true it is a security requirement that all passengers are transported to the original destination airport. But it is also illegal to detain people unwillingly! Sort that one out. But once people start leaving, and having to get their baggage from the hold, you then have to cancel any further progress on the flight for several hours- it is not fair to the other passengers.

Years ago, we had to weather divert into FIU with a load of non-English speaking Italian passengers who were going to transit LHR for FIU. They were overjoyed- this was their real destination! Italian immigration said 'Non!- not allowed to enter- take them away!', probably as 'punishment' for not flying Alitalia- we didn't have traffic rights from Africa to FIU. We had to physically bar the door to stop them getting off- they couldn't understand, we couldn't release them. You can imagine the shouting.

Hamrah
27th Dec 2005, 14:58
I could be wrong, but I suspect this is more to do with SOME passengers wanting to disembark, and having checked-in baggage. It would be a nightmare to identify and remove the bags of a small number of passengers who " elected" to get off at the diversion airport.

H

Bealzebub
27th Dec 2005, 15:20
Is it legal ?

Yes why wouldn't it be ?

Passengers enter into a contract with the carrier. The contract is either the ticket and the terms contained therein or in the case of electronic bookings the terms you placed an applicable tick against, to show your acceptance. Most contracts are written by, and to protect the vendor, and hence it is very unlikely to be even handed or provide for reciprocity. Lack of balance, reciprocity or perceived fairness does not make a contract "unfair" in a legal sense. Contracts must be governed by the overriding law in the applicable jurisdiction or they may not protect the client (in this case the airline).

In this case the vendor is a point to point airline whose contract of carriage (read section 9 of their conditions of carriage ) makes it clear what their contractual position is in the event of a diversion. For the avoidance of ambiguity, read carefully the sentence in that section that starts with the word "unless".

I do not work for this particular company, but that would appear to be the part of the contract applicable to this question.

I cannot quite see the fuss about this issue. If an airline diverts and then without deplaning the passengers intends to carry them on to their contractual destination what right would the passenger have to vary that contract without possibly being liable for the repercussions ? The contract makes clear the airlines responsibilities but it does not allow for an individual to disembark en-route at that individuals whim. It does however allow a Captain to disembark an individual or to make a variance for the purpose of safety, flight regularity or the compliance with any applicable law or regulation.

The diversion may in reality be a more convenient destination for a passenger, but that is irrelevant. The contract (in this case) does not necessarily allow for it. The airline might as a result incur delays and additional charges for such a variance (damages), and the applicable route licence may not permit such action outside of an overriding "emergency" such as passenger illness or disruptive behaviour etc.

To the question, "What right does a Captain or the state have to prevent a passenger leaving an aircraft which is on the ramp?? " I would think the Captain and the State have many rights in this regard. Those that are applicable would presumably depend upon the situation and the jurisdiction. A couple that sping to mind are the UK air navigation order , The aviation and maritime security act (UK).

The statement, "I assume that if for some reason FR are unable / unwilling to take passengers to their designated destination, that the company shouldtransport them, regardless.....an unfair contrract is not enforcable under english law, but then Irish is a different ball game....it takes two to tango.

I would call it a hijack, what would you call it....????"

is from a common sense viewpoint, a little tortured, but again read the contract on their website. It is clearly not a "Hijack" as the captain is de facto "in charge" and has not seized control nor taken the passengers as hostages. He is complying with applicable regulations and the terms of carriage enshrined in the contract between the company and the passenger. I am not sure why this contract is unenforcable or unfair. Has it been judged as such ? Once again reciprocity is not a legal requirement unless it is a requirement of an applicable statute.

FlyingIrishman
27th Dec 2005, 15:23
That's precisely how I understood it. I presume that when it is clear that the flight can continue to the original destination, a situation where 5 passengers might want to get off at the alternate will cause havoc in terms of handling issues such as baggage, etc.

By the looks of it, this memo is NOT aimed at situations where the flight has diverted and passengers are provided with alternative transport to their destination. As it says clearly, the circumstances of the diversion have changed.

Empty Cruise
27th Dec 2005, 16:37
Had similar situation recently - a small no. of pax wanting to get off aircraft after diversion. Fair & square...

So we used some of the time waiting for coaches to explain to the passengers that it was an "all in one go" operation. We told them that we could not stop them from leaving the aircraft once the coaches were there - but that for the sake of their fellow passengers, it would be advisable to remain on the aircraft until a fresh crew arrived to take them to their original destination where the wx had now improved.

Amazingly, the punters sorted it out amongst themselves (a 6 ft. 4 in bricklayer in the "stay on board"-camp did help :p ) - so despite a few who insisted to take it out on the cabin crew (there always seem to be a few :rolleyes: ), the pax got to their destination with about 3 hours delay.

However, before the coaches arrived, a few threathends to walk off the aircraft. A few of the Greater Manchesters finest on stand-by saw to that not happening - a big thank you goes out to them. But that was the only part of the incident where we detained some of the passengers against their will - and quite legally so. So the period where you can legally detain passengers onboard the aircraf starts when the first door opens and ends when transportation arrives. Beyound that point, sounds like you're in a lot of trouble if you forcefully detain people on board. The immigration case is resolved at the IO desk - not at the doors.

Empty

PaperTiger
27th Dec 2005, 17:04
It is prohibited by law for security reasons to allow any passengers to disembark at this airport.The legality or otherwise of forcible detention notwithstanding, it seems to me the wording is the standard post-9/11 party line. Tell the punters it's because of "security" and most will blindly go along.
BS or not.

stagger
27th Dec 2005, 17:12
The wording suggests not simply that it is legal to detain the passengers - but that it would be illegal not too.

Now while the former may be true (it may be legal) that latter is almost certainly not.

NigelOnDraft
27th Dec 2005, 17:19
The "legality" is possibly dubious. It is likely to be illegal to "hold" anybody on an aircraft, or anywhere against their will.

However, it is somewhat semantics. On a diversion to LTN (dest LHR) and Operator's plan was to take all to LHR ASAP i.e. not disembark anyone, no facilities were made available at LTN for passengers to disembark. One passenger tried the "imprisoned" trick on me, and I stated I was not holding him on the aircraft. The steps were there, and if he wished to walk down them, then fine. However, I would be calling the police to say he was wandering around the apron, sans ID etc., and he would no doubt get a night in the cells... and that continuing to LHR might be preferable. He chose to stay... And FR's security line probably corresponds to this.

On other diversions, it has been possible to disembark some passengers, especially if it can be established that they have no hold baggage. Bear in mind that disembarking the few can really scr*w up life for the rest in baggage, loadsheets etc.

Seat1APlease
27th Dec 2005, 18:20
I suspect this one will have to go to court and probably to appeal to get a definitive answer. A civil contract is not valid nor enforceable if it involves a criminal act. If a dying man enter into a contract for someone to help him to die then an offence would still take place and the contract would be held invalid.

If a person contracts themselves or others into what is effectively slavery, then that would also be held invalid.

Just because you have a contract term which says that you can be detained does not make it right to unlawfully detain someone, and therein lies the problem.

Are they acting reasonably under the circumstances and within the law, or are you being illegally held against your will without due cause. The court's interpetation of what is reasonable or not is open to question, I suspect they might accept the security aspects of the situation or immigration's refusal to permit entry but saving on baggage handling cost is another matter.

Max Angle
27th Dec 2005, 19:25
What right does a Captain or the state have to prevent a passenger leaving an aircraft which is on the ramp??None whatsoever would be me answer.

(I guess a state could in theory order a person to remain onboard on the basis that they are being refused entry to the country.)

unwiseowl
27th Dec 2005, 19:55
You don't have to bar the door. You just explain that they'll be walking airside, unaurthorised, no ID, no yellow jacket, no customs. The authorities will see them as potential terrorists. Then see how many get off! And Hamrah is right about the bags.

Bealzebub
27th Dec 2005, 20:25
This subject seems to be a confusion of issues. If a passenger insists on getting off an aircraft whilst it is on the ground then it is difficult to imagine a scenario where such a demand would not be agreed to by the aircraft commander. Nobody wants a disruptive or non compliant person on board.

The passenger would then be handed over to the appropriate agencies at that airport to be dealt with accordingly. The passenger would normally, in the absence of any overriding safety concerns, be in breach of their contract of carriage, and the airline would be within its right to seek recovery of any damages incurred as a result of that breach. In addition there may be other concerns with regard to security, immigration, or legal matters that might warrant the attention of that countries police or other security agencies.

However where a passenger wishes to disembark purely as a matter of convenience it is incumbent on the commander to point out that this is not permitted for whatever reasons may apply. The passenger is carried in accordance with the general conditions of carriage and has contractually agreed to those terms. The Captain is empowered to give instructions that ensure that the "efficiency and regularity of air navigation" is maintained, and passengers are required to obey all lawful commands given in this regard. Anyone who wishes to disembark an aircraft in contravention of those instructions would in all probability be permitted to do so, however they would likely find themselves in difficulty on a number of points.

Article 77 of the ANO 2005 states:


Authority of commander of an aircraft

Every person in an aircraft shall obey all lawful commands which the commander of that aircraft may give for the purpose of securing the safety of the aircraft and of persons or property carried therein, or the safety, efficiency or regularity of air navigation.

Daysleeper
27th Dec 2005, 21:13
I was paxing on a flight in the United States when we had a very rough approach on the fringes of a tornado to Birmingham (Alabama) we diverted from minima all the way to Florida. A quick fuel stop and away we went minus 6 of the 45 other passengers who refused on grounds they felt it unsafe to fly in such conditions.

I dont see how you can force people to continue on the aircraft in such circumstances.


Of course a panic attack, sudden onset of fear of flying or similar should do the trick nicely if ever detained against your will.

standbyils
27th Dec 2005, 21:21
I suspect that this might be something to do with some of the 'alternates' used by FR. The airline may well have been told by a particular airfield (deliberately not using word airport) that Pax handling ain't possible.

Detaining pax is not legal - generally - but FR don't mind playing with fire!

Bealzebub
27th Dec 2005, 21:47
I still think of some of you are missing the point.

Nobody is "forcing" passengers to be detained against their will. This is a case of contracts, efficiency and regularity of air navigation. Flying is not usually analogous to jumping off a number 7 bus. That is you can disembark at some point other than your original destination because it suits you to do so. If you are contracted to fly from A to B and the aircraft has to make a stopover in point C, you cannot elect to disembark at that point simply because it suits you to do so. There are many examples of routes particularly in the United States, but in other countries as well where a scheduled stopover is made, however passengers are paying a cheaper fare to fly beyond that stopover than they would if they had contracted to it in the first place. In such circumstances anyone disembarking to avoid the higher fare would be in breach of their contract and likely charged accordingly.

In this example the airline has carriage rights between the origin and destination and has diverted for extraordinary considerations. To allow a passenger to disembark for anything other than accepted "emergency" considerations might place the carrier in violation of its traffic rights. It would almost certainly involve the carrier in additional delays and extra costs. The passenger has no right to place the carrier in such a position and failing any extraneous reasons, would be in breach of contract and possibly be liable for any damages that may result.

This might not be an obvious consideration to some people and the Captain has a duty to point this out as he sees fit or in this case is advised. That is not an illegal detention.

A.viator I think you glossed over this sentence . unless the aircraft continues to the original destination. You might also care to have a read through this (http://www.ifalpa.org/Interpilot/04INT01_AuthorityofPIC.pdf) as it provides in conjunction with the Tokyo convention on these matters even more "food for thought".

el @
27th Dec 2005, 22:03
Interesting discussion.

On the matter of an Italian citizen willing to desenbark at FCO (i it was menat?) or otherwise enter the country, I can assure you that he/she has that right at any time and circumstance, as long you have a valid ID (passport mainly).
Immigration police can say whatever, fill the guy with a lecture about regolamention that exist only in their minds, but because natural law, once he is firm on ground in italy he has the right to enter it, only subjet to custom obligations of course. There isn't even any fine they can possibly impose, the right for a national citizen to go back on is natural law.
I think this is the same for any country of the world.

woodpecker
27th Dec 2005, 22:04
Forget restraining passengers from leaving the plane, recently we were herded OFF the plane at Bournemouth to join three hundred queuing for immigration in the rain.

The local airport manager had approached the Captain to ask that we were kept onboard until the queue's end was inside the building but he refused.

Piltdown Man
27th Dec 2005, 22:13
The facts are that you have flown, landed, the doors are open and now, as a passenger, you are waiting for something to happen. The flight is legally over so now the Capatin is just a mere human being. No memo any Gob****e in O'Leary's caravan does anything to enhance the former captain's status. If you want to get off, you get off. Finish! Nobody has any rights to detain you against your will (in Europe). Your job as Captain is now to try to get what's left back to wherever your company want it, when they want it. So if Pax want to get off, let them. Just remember who has got off and if they had any checked in bags. When the next flight starts, you are Captain again and have all sorts of wierd and wonderful powers!

sarah737
27th Dec 2005, 22:31
P man,

Strange that you care about checked in bags, the disembarking pax might have left whatever he wants inside the cabin... So if you let one pax go you need to do a security search in the cabin, so MOLE's note might be legal after all...

el @
27th Dec 2005, 22:39
I also wanted to comment about Bealzebub saying that one can be 'charged accordingly' because breach of contract. That is simply not possible. The Airline/Capt can surely warn the pax he that will be sued for recovery of damages, but not more than than. If the airline has passenger's credit card details, any further charge would be clearly be illegal. Only a court of civil justice can decide on the matter, and a litigation has to be started first. I wonder how many legal departments in an Airline would go for this.

I can agree, however, that the Airline can refuse to unload any baggage to accomodate the pax. Here they can enforce the contract as it is about objects and not persons, claim security/operational issues and just send baggage to the destination.

Bealzebub
27th Dec 2005, 22:54
Excuse me el @ but where did I say that ? I said "dealt with accordingly" which is something entirely different. I don't mind you quoting me, but please make the effort to do it correctly if you are going to do so. As such what you go on to say is meaningless since it wasn't suggested.

The last paragraph is simply not possible in many jurisdictions as a matter of statute, and in fact only reinforces the arguement about disrupting the regularity of air navigation in accordance with article 77 of the ANO (in the UK ).

Actually I have found the point where I said "charged accordingly" , this was referring to a charge ( monetary) levied for a situation where a passenger had utilized a through fare in order to obtain a pecuniary advantage and as such could be charged the difference by the airline. I think you have taken this out of context.

derekl
27th Dec 2005, 22:55
sarah:

The disembarking pax had to get whatever he/she wanted onto the aircraft in the first place, then rely on an unscheduled diversion to depart the aircraft and leave whatever in the cabin.

Sorry, but that's a bit of a complicated and unlikely terrorist plot, don't you think?

DISCOKID
27th Dec 2005, 22:55
Doesn't the fact that the ANO now has a section saying that "every person in an aircraft shall obey all lawful commands which the commander may give for the purpose of securing.. ..................... safety, efficiency or regularity of air navigation" mean that they could use this as a basis to ask you to remain on the plane. The efficiency and regularity would be affected if a passenger left and caused a subsequent delay

This clause seems to be completely separate to the section that states that the commander is responsible for the operation when doors are closed therefore implying it would also apply on the ground.

I imagine in ryanairs case they would probably just not put the steps down thus ensuring noone gets the idea of leaving.

PPRuNe Pop
27th Dec 2005, 23:09
I think you will find that the Captain may detain passengers on board until and if the position is blatantly clear.

1) That he will be departing to original destination within a short period of time after diversion.

2) That he may NOT detain them if a 'period of time' passes whereby it is necessary and desirable to disembark ALL passengers under the auspices of the company's handling agents.

It is also clear that any single passenger leaving the aircraft would put in jeopardy the security and safety of ALL passengers.

Yes, and the bag situation would be a nightmare. Probably making the other passengers flaming mad!!!!

And..........you can dress it up all you like. The Captain MUST take control of the situation - something he is legally entitled to do.

Bealzebub
27th Dec 2005, 23:29
If it is the pasengers will to disembark then as I have already said it is hard to imagine a situation where they would be prevented from doing so, since nobody wants an uncooperative or disruptive person on board. If as you now suggest it is the passengers wish to disembark then it is incumbent upon the Captain or his representative to point out the reasons why this may not be permitted. Those reasons may not be clear to some of the passengers in the absence of such direction.

The companies likelyhood of success in any subsequent potential application for recovery is beyond the scope of this thread and better dealt with in another forum at another time, but I suspect it might not be as difficult as you alude to, depending on the circumstances.

A Captain would not normally take any "action" other than to report the matter to the relevant authorities as approriate to the situation. Punitive action is not normally within a Captains remit save as to defined circumstances that are not within the narrower margins of this threads scope.

However article 77 of the ANO and the Tokyo convention are likely relevant. (Hence the reference to the discussion on its shortcomings and interpretations contained within the article I referred you to.) It might be worth your while to also look at section 94 of the Civil Aviation Act particularly the words "for the purpose of disembarkation" which in the case of this example clearly wouldn't apply.

Fly3
28th Dec 2005, 01:09
I have had an experience of this situation in the middle east. Having diverted from Dubia to Muscat due to fog, none of the Omani passengers were allowed to disembark, although we were on the ground for over four hours and could have off loaded their luggage. The authorities insisted that they must stay onboard and return to Dubia and fly to Muscat from there.

Flap 5
28th Dec 2005, 11:45
So how about the situation with the Air Phuket flight that stops in the middle east. The passengers see fuel leaking from the wings and demand to be let off the aircraft as they fear for their safety. The company can insist that they stay on board as per their 'contract with the air carrier'?

It may be a different situation but the principle is the same. The passengers are wanting to leave the aircraft of their own volition.

Lasiorhinus
28th Dec 2005, 12:06
I see nothing wrong with letting pax disembark after an unscheduled diversion, especially if we will be on the ground for a while.
However I will make no attempt whatsoever to offload their baggage until the final destination, and shall make this clear to the pax, whereupon it becomes their choice. Leave now, or follow your bags to where you thought you were going when we left the ground before.

Seat1APlease
28th Dec 2005, 12:10
Thinking further perhaps it is significant that it is Ryanair who see this as a problem.

Normally when a passenger books a seat from A to B it is because he wants to go to B. If through bad weather they have to divert to some fleapit 50 miles down the road with no infrastructure or transport links then most passengers would rather stay onboard for 20 minutes, refuel and continue to their destination.

If in the case of Ryanair you have been diverted from Frankfurt (Hahn) to Frankfrut international because of it's cat3 capabilites, then the thought of staying on board for half an hour then flying back to Hahn, in the middle of nowhere, arriving when the last connecting bus will have left, to be entrusted to the care of Ryanair's legendary ground customer support staff is less appealing than getting off the aircraft at FRA and taking the fast train into town.

The list is endless Luebeck, Skavsta, Charleroi, Orio, Gerona etc all places where no-one actually wants to go to.

Golf Charlie Charlie
28th Dec 2005, 12:18
Several years ago (before 9/11, for what it's worth), I was diverted to Manchester from Heathrow on an inbound Qantas flight due to fog. I elected to travel to London by train, which they allowed me to do with no problem at all, but they made it clear I would not get my bag and that it would fly down to Heathrow later, with its collection my responsibility. In the event, for other reasons, this was no problem for me. I guess Seat1a's point is very valid - it depends on where you end up, and ending up at a large airport presents many decent alternatives.

oliver2002
28th Dec 2005, 12:49
The memo makes perfect sense from FRs view. If a pax wishes to deplane and stop his journey, FR will have to make arrangements to unload all the luggage from the aircraft spread it around for the pax to inspect (the 737s they use don't have luggage containers), reload all baggage into the aircraft, checkin all the tags if there is no pice left behind by the pax, redo the load sheets etc etc. As FR is most likely not to have any ground service/staff contracted in that location this will all cost a nice packet. Plus the aircraft is even further delayed throwing the shedule into chaos and the crew may go overtime. Considering that most FR pax are the frugal 'I'm not paying one extra pence for service' type, I guess FR will get away with it.

No chance of this type of policy being enforced on a american carrier or a full service airline with perhaps F pax on board an intercont airliner.

One question: is there a way carriers can insure themselves to cover the costs of such thing happening?

QDMQDMQDM
28th Dec 2005, 12:54
Interesting question. I sat as a passenger on a Northwest 747 a few years ago at Washington Dulles in December in freezing rain. We were still at the gate and I watched the port wing be deiced. As the truck moved to the other wing, I could actually watch the ice reaccumulating. At that very moment, the FO came on and said we would be pushing back as soon as the truck had finished the other wing. I was up and walking to the front with my carry-on bag and thankfully just as I was about to tell the steward I wanted to get off, the FO came back on and said we'd all be disembarking because the ice was reaccumulating too fast.

I imagine most readers of this board would have done what I did and I don't think there is any way one can be stopped, or is there? The door was already closed.

QDM

atse
28th Dec 2005, 13:34
It is prohibited by law for security reasons to allow any passengers to disembark at this airport, despite its proximity to your original destination. I would be amazed if this emphatic sentence taken from the Ryanair memo was true in the global sense that is implied. This is all so very Ryanair and it undoubtedly has less to do with the law than other considerations. May I suggest an interpretation ...

1. As a first line of defence against our having a delay while people get off the aircraft this is a really good way to start, since most people will accept such an emphatic statement.

2. If we tell our pilots that it's the law, then they will toe the line rather than do anything else and they might even sound sincere! (Also a great way to get your story spread and believed).

3. If anyone challenges us, we will throw the book at them and certainly make sure they run up significant legal costs if they take us to court. (We know that this works a treat with troublemakers, especially when they start up anti-Ryanair "I was kidnapped by Ryanair" websites, or the like).

4. The problem will then go away and the legality or otherwise of our memo will not be an issue.

As oliver2002 says: The memo makes perfect sense from FRs view.Would this memo be applied in circumstances where FR wanted the aircraft brought straight back to base from the diversion airfield? I kinda think not!

Globaliser
28th Dec 2005, 18:29
A.Viator: This is one argument………….

Human Rights Act 1998 Chapter 42 ARTICLE 5

RIGHT TO LIBERTY AND SECURITY

...

The victim of arrest or detention in contravention of the provisions of Article 5 of the Human Rights Act shall have an enforceable right to compensation, in this case, against the Captain. As far as I am aware, there are currently no commercial UK airlines who owe any obligations to anyone under the Human Rights Act, and therefore none of their passengers have any right to compensation under that Act.Golf Charlie Charlie: Several years ago (before 9/11, for what it's worth), I was diverted to Manchester from Heathrow on an inbound Qantas flight due to fog. I elected to travel to London by train, which they allowed me to do with no problem at all, but they made it clear I would not get my bag and that it would fly down to Heathrow later, with its collection my responsibility. In the event, for other reasons, this was no problem for me.QF won't do this any more. (I also remember other airlines allowing this at MAN in the past after diversions from LON.)

A couple of years ago, I was diverted from SYD to MEL because of fog. Nobody with checked bags on board was allowed off at MEL, because there was no baggage handling capacity there for diverted aircraft. IIRC, there was one person allowed off because he only had cabin baggage, and after a substantial amount of negotiation three out of a family of four were allowed off on the condition that the father remained on board, flew to SYD with the bags and then flew all the bags back to MEL on a domestic. Me, I wanted to get off and get on the MEL-WLG flight that was at the next gate instead of going on to SYD and taking my chances with the SYD-WLG flight I was booked on, or subsequent flights - no go. But I made my booked SYD-WLG flight because it too had been delayed sufficiently.

DistantRumble
28th Dec 2005, 23:04
Let's try a different tack. As a passenger if I stood up and said [ politely ] - Thanks, but I no longer wish to remain on the aircraft and I'd like to get off now. We're on the ground with engines off.

If the captain says no, then just ask for the Police to be called [ if in UK or Ireland ] Alternatively call them yourself. When they arrive ask for an escort to the terminal.

This of course assumes you REALLY don't want to fly onwards and your hold luggage is of little concern. Also the perhaps unwanted police attention.

atakacs
28th Dec 2005, 23:23
Just to add some salt into the discussion…

What if the diversion actually happens to be you final destination ?!

It happened to me a few years ago on a Swissair flight that diverted to GVA (supposed to land in ZHR and the take a connection to GVA). That being said I was able to disembark and the bag simply made the GVA ZHR GVA roundtrip
:ok:

unwiseowl
29th Dec 2005, 01:00
Regarding "false imprisonment" what about when your train stops between staions due to snow/leaves/breakdown - would it be legal to climb off and walk home?

DISCOKID
29th Dec 2005, 12:55
you could then be arrested and prosecuted for trespassing on the railway which is a criminal offence!

el @
29th Dec 2005, 14:18
Discokid, not so fast.
There are provisions in the body of laws, and orientations into the judicial system, for which one that commits misdemeanors (or lesser crimes) under special circumstances, emergency or self-protection, will not be charged, or even if so, most likey be acquitted in court. Again, I think this is true no matter the specific country.

The example about leaving a train is different altogether. In Italy, (and a lot of other countries for sure), if you put yourself or others into a position of danger by foolish and reckless acts, you can be charged for something like 'procuring alarm'.
On which I can agree if for example a train passenger wants to go walking in a snow blizzard. Or trying to find his way to apron on tarmac leaving an airplane.

So DistantRumble is correct, one that wants to leave to airplane should just ask for that firmly and be willing to summon police if necessary - Again you can do that in any country, much better if your own.

And, globalizer, I think that your observation about a body of UK law not applicable to UK airplanes standing on UK ground, is frankly risible - as mentioned before, Capt's magic powers end with the flight. Ask any friend with legal knowledge or search the Internet - you will learn that things like "Human Rights Act" are of universal value and applicability.

unwiseowl
30th Dec 2005, 00:06
you could then be arrested and prosecuted for trespassing on the railway which is a criminal offence!

Quite so and anyone wondering aroung the apron, uninvited, unescorted, can expect the same. It's just that we can't deny them the right to go outside and get arrested!

CAPTAINNIC
30th Dec 2005, 07:28
with other companys it is possible to disembark. so it is most probably just for FR convenience (==>MONEY) reason, that FR is doing this and arguing with safety.
like george w. bush does whatever he wants and argues with "war against terror blabla.. "

Bus429
30th Dec 2005, 07:43
Is it me? Maybe it's because I'm a mid-life crisis ridden, pedantic, crusty whinger but am I the only one that thinks the whole air travel experience is now something to be endured rather than enjoyed?
Flag carriers charging normal fares but providing low-cost service (if any), new "rules" citing "health and safety regulations", having to walk through security virtually naked, "look at the small print, it's all in there" etc, etc. Don't even mention over-the-top political correctness (whatever that is).
:{

radeng
30th Dec 2005, 08:42
Bus 429,

>I'm a mid-life crisis ridden, pedantic, crusty whinger but am I the only one that thinks the whole air travel experience is now something to be endured rather than enjoyed?<

That makes two of us.

But the one that would be hard to disprove is the passenger who says he's ill - complaining about severe chest pains for instance. So he ends up in his local hospital and then they decide he's OK and can go home.

Hard to say how anybody (even FR) could hope to get away with refusing to let such a pax off the aircraft into an ambulance. Of course, if 6 or 10 did it, there could be an interesting situation, especially if one of them subsequently proved to be genuine.....

NigelOnDraft
30th Dec 2005, 09:17
You are (nearly) all missing the main point.

On a diversion, the aircraft will often be parked remotely, and/or without designated Handling Agent / Staff. It is not the crew/Captain holding you illegally, but pointing out that it would illegal for the PAX to disembark the aircraft.

In the UK, and no doubt similar laws elsewhere, wandering around an airport without the required passes, permissions and requirement to be there on duty, you are breaking the law - something like the "Aviation and Maritime Act of 200x" blah blah...

If the captain says no, then just ask for the Police to be called [ if in UK or Ireland ] Alternatively call them yourself. When they arrive ask for an escort to the terminal. This is a legally correct avenue... if the police prove to be happy to act as a bus service. When PC Plod is also asked to open the baggage hold and get your bag out, he may decide a cup of tea with the crew, and leave you on board is easiest... :)

crusty whinger but am I the only one that thinks the whole air travel experience is now something to be endured rather than enjoyed? Not surprised, it's hardly much more fun trying to work within it :(

These rules / statements on disembarking are not specifically designed to cause the passenger(s) inconvieience. All those who advocate demanding your rights / getting off, reverse the situation. Aircraft diverts e.g. due weather, and you still want / need to get to your destination. The alternatives are either a 1-2 hour delay in getting there whilst refuelling and weather improvement comes, or a potentially 12+ hour delay while Pax A walks off, leaves his bag on board, no designated handling agent to remove it, crew go out of hours etc.

Profit Max
30th Dec 2005, 12:30
Spiegel.de reports that BA kept passengers onboard at Berlin-Tegel for 7 hours, as the departure was delayed due to bad weather. 8 passengers left the plane after five hours of waiting after having called the police.

Article in German:
http://www.spiegel.de/panorama/0,1518,392786,00.html


FLUGHAFEN TEGEL

Kapitän hält Fluggäste stundenlang fest

Schlechtes Wetters und ein störrischer Pilot haben die Passagiere eines British-Airways-Jets auf eine harte Geduldsprobe gestellt: Sieben Stunden lang mussten sie in ihrer Maschine ausharren. Erst als einige Fluggäste die Polizei riefen, öffnete der Kapitän wieder die Türen.

Berlin - Das Flugzeug, das planmäßig um 7.35 Uhr in Richtung London starten sollte, hob erst um 14.38 Uhr ab, wie Flughafen-Sprecher Ralf Kunkel sagte. Ursache der Verzögerung sei das schlechte Wetter gewesen.

Während der langen Wartezeit kam es an Bord zu einem Streit. Mehrere Passagiere hätten den Wunsch geäußert auszusteigen, sagte der Sprecher der Bundespolizei, Jörg Kunzendorf. Das sei ihnen jedoch vom Flugkapitän verweigert worden. Daraufhin hätten einige Fluggäste nach vier Stunden den Polizei-Notruf 110 gewählt und mitgeteilt, dass sie gegen ihren Willen festgehalten würden.

Die Information ging bei der Bundespolizei Angaben des Sprechers zufolge gegen zwölf Uhr ein. Zwei Beamte begaben sich daraufhin nach Tegel und sprachen mit dem Piloten. Erst dann gestattete dieser acht Reisenden, die Maschine zu verlassen. Sie traten anschließend vom Flug zurück.

Nach Angaben des Sprechers befand sich die Maschine bereits auf dem Vorfeld zwischen Warteposition und Enteisungsanlage. Deshalb konnten die Passagiere nicht aussteigen. Warum das Flugzeug nicht zum Terminal zurückkehrte, konnte er nicht sagen. Eine Sprecherin von British Airways in London bestätigte heute den Vorfall. Details konnte sie zunächst noch nicht nennen.

Long Haulier
30th Dec 2005, 14:50
urh? Say again over!

k3k3
30th Dec 2005, 15:15
The aircraft was on the aircraft manouvering area between the gate and the de-icing spot. It is not known why the aircraft did not return to the terminal.

Faire d'income
30th Dec 2005, 15:47
If you are in the air and consider that someone is acting illegally the Captain can take any reasonable action to protect the pax, crew and aircraft.

If you are on the ground and think a passenger disembarking may be illegal, you must call the local police as any action by you could be seen to deny the individual of their rights and you could be personally liable.

The bottom line of course of the original memo ( if accurate ) is cost not security or any other issue.

DFC
30th Dec 2005, 22:19
Perhaps people should remember;

1. Ryanair aircraft are not UK aircraft, they are Ryanair Aircraft. Currently registered in Ireland. Ireland is not part of the UK.

2. For security reasons, at airports, all persons including crew wo do not hold a local security pass / apron pass are required to be escorted from the aircraft to the appropriate part of the Terminal.

If a British Airways aircraft diverts to East Midlands enroute to Birmingham, the crew as well as the passengers for reasons of security are not allowed to pass unescorted between the aircraft and the terminal building. That is a fact of life.

As for ringing the police, thanks, we will be sure to remind passengers that mobile telephones must not be used until passengers have left the aircraft after the flight. When the police arrive, we will have the person who used the mobile phone illegally arrested for that offence.

Go ahead punk, make my day! :D :D :D

Regards,

DFC

Pilot Pete
30th Dec 2005, 22:58
DFC
For security reasons, at airports, all persons including crew wo do not hold a local security pass / apron pass are required to be escorted from the aircraft to the appropriate part of the Terminal.

Not so DFC. How come I and my crew can walk to and from aircraft across the apron on a daily basis when operating away from base? There is no such requirement.

PP

bjcc
30th Dec 2005, 23:16
There are matters that have been mentioned, but missed.

1. Ryanair aircraft are registered in the ROI. However the ROI is covered by the European Convention on Human Rights, and is in Irish law.

2. Mention has been made of the various acts in the UK that cover being airside. None of these have powers of arrest attatched to them which include 'any person', nor are they arrestable offences under the Police and criminal evidence act. Therefore a police officer may be able to arrest, an aircraft captain cannot.

Speaking as a non pilot with no axe to grind, it sounds like Ryanair trying to avoid extra delay at a divertion, and has nothing whatsoever to do with security.

As to contractual reasons for a detention, that would be like saying if you go to a restraunt, you will not be permitted to leave until you have eaten the meal you ordered. While I understand air transport is not exactly the same, the principle is.

NigelOnDraft is almost right I would say, except it is for the airport managments security to provide an escort etc if there is no handling agent. A pax in these circumstances has not committed an offence until he actually leaves, and even then it is debatable.

As for PC Plod having a cup of tea with the crew, mine was always coffee with 2 sugars!

sixmilehighclub
30th Dec 2005, 23:38
we will be sure to remind passengers that mobile telephones must not be used until passengers have left the aircraft
The only law under CAA regs is that mobile phones must not be switched on (in transmitting mode) whilst the engines are running on any british registered aircraft. So the above quote does not apply to all airlines.

In a delay on ground, the captain can offer permission for passengers to use mobiles when engines are off.

There are many factors as to why passengers may not or cannot leave the aircraft........

No groundstaff in place so passenger could end up on tarmac wandering around.

No jetty or step drivers available to allow disembarkation.

Area of airport where aircraft is now parked is not compatible for disembarkation.

Transit or immigration regulations.

Lack of documentation for passengers to clear immigration.

Authorities know who is arriving and leaving their ports. Passports are checked but in many places names not noted. If therer are no handling systems in place, they wouldn't have access to these names. Deportees or criminals could wander off into another country.

Security. Either through it not being feasible to locate one bag in 600, but also to avoid any possible terrorism risk.

Time. To get all the teams together to get a handful of passengers airside could take a while, and also there's the aspect of an aircraft giving a ready message to ATC, which could mean only a short delay, retracting this in order to arrange getting pax offloaded could cause a much longer delay.

Cost. At an unknown or ad-hoc outstation, there may be additional handling costs in addition to landing fees, fuel and water uplift, etc.

and the list goes on......

It's not so much of a problem if the arrival airport changes to another in the UK due to our immigration regs.

If a Captain or airline knows for definite that the delay will be X hours, then they can make a decision. Unfortunately, even Mystic Meg couldnt predict expected exact delay times.

delwy
30th Dec 2005, 23:48
bjcc thanks for bringing a measure of common sense to the highly opinionated ramblings on this thread. The level of confidence that some posters have here in asserting the various conflicting points of view is revealing. I say this since getting it wrong might get a captain into quite a lot of trouble and I would have thought a bit more caution than certainty might be appropriate. For my part I think you have hit it on the head with your observation Speaking as a non pilot with no axe to grind, it sounds like Ryanair trying to avoid extra delay at a divertion, and has nothing whatsoever to do with security.

JJflyer
31st Dec 2005, 04:30
A LH flight from Frankfurt to San Fransisco diverts to Oakland 12 miles away on the other side of the bay. PAX kept onboard and not allowed to disembark. Why? LH has no traffic rights to OAK.

Just a week or so ago most of Persian/Arabian Gulf airports where closed for hours due to fog aircraft divert all over. Singapore Airlines SIN-DXB flight diverted to Sharjah less than 12nm away from DXB. Again PAX where kept onboard for the reasons allready mentioned such as lack of groundhandling equipment, facilities and most important: Traffic rights to SHJ.

There is a big difference between words "Keep" and "Detain". While diverting you are keeping PAX onboard, certainly not illegal, and has nothing to do with a detention as described in various laws around the world.

Furthermore captain/commander does have the right to "Detain and hold" a PAX suspected (Probable cause) or caught in criminal activity (Unruly, violent etc) onboard until such time the PAX can be handed over to the authorities.

Boy
31st Dec 2005, 08:50
The statement to be read to Ryanair passengers by the captain, apparently during all diversions, is as follows:It is prohibited by law for security reasons to allow any passengers to disembark at this airport, despite its proximity to your original destination. This situation is completely outside my control. Notwithstanding the interesting comments and speculations since the posting of the original memo at the start of this thread I am none the wiser as to whether or not this statement is correct. It does not look to me as if it is correct because it makes a blunt statement about "control of the captain" and "legality" (and not about lack of ground services, immigration, customs, space in the terminal building, the rights of the captain in particular circumstances, etc.).

It looks as though it may really mean "It is inconvenient to Ryanair if you try to disembark at the alternate airport ..." Can anyone with some legal training comment on the general claim about "illegality" contained in the Ryanair instruction to pilots? Could it be legal for a captain on another airline's diverted aircraft to let people off at the same alternate? Also, it seems rather unlikely that only Ryanair would suffers from such a general legal impediment.

easyprison
1st Jan 2006, 13:42
BERLIN - Six German airline passengers who said they were being held against their will on an aircraft stuck on the runway for hours during a snowstorm have filed "false imprisonment" charges, German police said Saturday.

See website for more;
http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/10627204/

Interested to read this and see the outcome. Hopefully the case will be thrown in the bin. :mad:

Hand Solo
1st Jan 2006, 13:50
No doubt BAs highly litigious legal department will be filing large counter-claims for delaying the aircraft against the six and then whole thing will fade away.

HotDog
1st Jan 2006, 13:56
I think it would also test the limit of my patience, waiting 7 hours for take off. However the flight was probably jammed in the middle of a long que of aircraft waiting for take off clearance. It's God, not BA that should be charged.:D

Denti
1st Jan 2006, 14:55
Traffic for nearly all other airlines on that day was a bit delayed, but not by more than the normal 30 to 60 minutes you get during winter conditions in TXL. Especially with the deicing procedures used this year delays are cut short by nearly an hour if you compare it to the procedures of last year. Pax reportedly asked for several hours to deboard and step back from the flight and had to call german police using cell phones before they were allowed to leave the plane.

But after i was stuck lately behind a BA 767 in Munich who deiced for more than 40 minutes after half a millimeter of snow fall i'm not surprised by anything they do.

bjcc
1st Jan 2006, 15:22
Boy

I am assuming that this 'divertion' is in the UK. The instructon MAY be quite proper in Ireland, I don't know, I was only ever a Police Officer in the UK.

I can comment from experience of this sort of thing, its not an uncommon occurance not just for diverted aircraft, but also for long delayed ones.

Tthe times I was called, both to remote stands and aircraft on jetties, the outcome was the same. They wanted to walk, they walked.

The crew have no power to detain, or arrest. The pax does not commit any offence by demanding to be let off while the aircraft is on the ground.

The pax also did not nesseserily attract my attention as a Police officer just because they wanted to leave.

Often the reason it became an issue was the crew wrong assumed the could prevent the pax from leaving. The passenger then gets upset, causes a fuss and leads to the Old Bill being called. There is a conflicting interest, delay, verus rights of the person. And usually my only interest would be in trying to strike a fair balance, and preventing a breach of the peace.

Trying to look from both sides, yes, I can see it is inconvient to the airline, crew and other passengers for one of them to suddenly decide to get off, then having to go through the pain of a baggage ID etc. However there is no right given to crew to prevent that.

The offences mentioned in repect of being airside are debatable. Firstly because all pax at some stage end up airside. There is no problem being on a jetty, but yes the Airline or the Airport Operator would be responsible for ensuring they are escorted to customs/immigration if that is required. If there is no immigration or customs then Police could detain them until either or both other institutions are available.

As regards to an aircraft on a remote stand, the basics still apply, there is no right or power given to the crew to prevent a person from leaving. Obviously they can apply common sense in trying to talk the person out of just wandering off. And if I were called to a pax that had, I would give some serious words of advise. As a Police officer, I would probably find it difficult to justify the arrest of a pax in these circumstances.

fireloop
1st Jan 2006, 15:28
BA 767 in Munich who deiced for more than 40 minutes after half a millimeter of snow fall

De-Icing is for wimps... The snow will blow off the wings during the take-off roll. Whats the big deal? :ouch:

Hand Solo
1st Jan 2006, 15:35
Had Denti had a good look at the 767s wings to check for contaminants? If it took 40 minutes to de-ice a 767 I think the de-icing crews need to work a bit quicker. So much for German efficiency!

el @
1st Jan 2006, 16:02
No doubt BAs highly litigious legal department will be filing large counter-claims for delaying the aircraft against the six and then whole thing will fade away.

They can be litigious as much as rabid dogs but counter-claiming for 'delaying the aircract' is not going to help them, False arrest is a criminal matter and we know that litigations related to a criminal act can be had only after the criminal process had completed.

Worth of note that while having an educated dicussion in another thread http://www.pprune.org/forums/showthread.php?t=203792, still there are posts that beside being biased, appears to take the issue very lighty, and generally treat passagenger's claims of basic rights more like a nuisance.

I hope that I will never be in a position where I have to defend my rights against an airline (or whatever other entity or persons) that is restricting my freedom, but in that case, circumstances permitting, I shall be firm in defending it to the full extent of law..

His dudeness
1st Jan 2006, 16:11
[QUOTE=Denti]Traffic for nearly all other airlines on that day was a bit delayed, but not by more than the normal 30 to 60 minutes you get during winter conditions in TXL..... Pax reportedly asked for several hours to deboard and step back from the flight and had to call german police using cell phones before they were allowed to leave the plane.

If thats true (and that will be easy to check), IMO, the Capt / BA deserves to be put before a judge. 2 or 3 hours are within reason, but 7 hours is just beyond reason. Just my opinion...

Nov71
2nd Jan 2006, 00:56
From Jan 1, UK Police have the power of arrest ON SUSPICION of an offence, however minor. Given the OAP in Brighton, I guess they will use their new powers and arrest rather than use discretion.
What if the Captain says 'no steps available'?

derekl
2nd Jan 2006, 01:14
It will be interesting to see how the new police powers of arrest interplay with the European Human Rights laws. On past form, arbitrary arrest for very minor reasons may play out badly against an aggrieved citizen.

el @
2nd Jan 2006, 01:16
From Jan 1, UK Police have the power of arrest ON SUSPICION of an offence, however minor. Given the OAP in Brighton, I guess they will use their new powers and arrest rather than use discretion.


Go back and read what a former UK Police Officer wrote:
The crew have no power to detain, or arrest. The pax does not commit any offence by demanding to be let off while the aircraft is on the ground.

What if the Captain says 'no steps available'?

Send your suggestion to Ryanair, as you evidently share the opinion that deception is acceptable and even desirable in the business of air transportation.

ZFT
2nd Jan 2006, 02:18
Without any real knowledge of what really occured in Berlin, what ever happened to just plain common sense?

132.3
2nd Jan 2006, 03:05
Just to add my 2penneth and seek a bit of clarification,

Article 155 (2)(a) Of The ANO Specifies That an aircraft is in flight
'from the moment when, after the embarkation of its crew for the purpose of taking off, it first moves under its own power until the moment when it next comes to rest after landing'

By this definition a PAX wishing to leave a flight that has moved away from the stand under it's own power is leaving an aircraft while in flight, thus they are in breach of Art.77, the authority of the commander, the a/c in flying and thus the commanders word (in the intrests of efficiency) MUST be obeyed.

Bealzebub
2nd Jan 2006, 03:40
Yes that might be when an aircraft is in flight, in fact Article 1 ch.3 of the Tokyo convention 1963(the UK is a signatory) states that :

"For the purposes of this Convention, an aircraft is considered to be in flight from the moment when power is applied for the purpose of take- off until the moment when the landing run ends. .

and Article 1 also states that :

This Convention shall apply in respect of:
offences against penal law;
acts which, whether or not they are offences, may or do jeopardize the safety of the aircraft or of persons or property therein or which jeopardize good order and discipline on board.

However Chapter 3 Article 5 of the same convention dealing with the powers of the aircraft commander states :
Notwithstanding the provisions of Article 1, paragraph 3, an aircraft shall for the purposes of this Chapter, be considered to be in flight at any time from the moment when all its external doors are closed following embarkation until the moment when any such door is opened for disembarkation

The bit to read again is for disembarkation.

Therefore if I as a commander divert my flight to another airport with the clear stated intention of continuing on to the original destination then the powers of the aircraft commander are still supreme even if the doors are open provided it is not for disembarkation.

Upon purchasing your ticket you agreed to be bound by the general conditions of carriage which would certainly mean complying with the lawful instructions of the aircraft commander. If the instructions are that the passenger is not to disembark, use their mobile phone, light up a cigarette, use their transistor radio or indeed anything else that they may feel is an innapropriate rule as it applies in their case, then if it jeopordizes good order the Captain has a duty to act as may be appropriate to the situation, but his authority would certainly still apply.

If a person believes that the Captain has acted against their interest they can complain or seek redress within the law, as they as an individual (or collective) see fit. However bear in mind article 10 of the tokyo convention which states :
For actions taken in accordance with this Convention, neither the aircraft commander, any other member of the crew, any passenger, the owner or operator of the aircraft, nor the person on whose behalf the flight was performed shall be held responsible in any proceeding on account of the treatment undergone by the person against whom the actions were taken.

An aircraft commander ought to be a master of common sense and not a legal expert. It may be entirely appropriate to disembark a passenger or passengers at a diversion airport. Even where it is not, it might be expedient and in accordance with the maintainance of good order to comply with a demand. It may be that a passenger is handed over to the police or immigration authorities ( if appropriate), however the passenger does not have a right to breach their contract with the airline, nor do they have a right to disregard the lawful instructions of the aircraft commander without incurring whatever penalties might subsequently apply.

Boy
2nd Jan 2006, 12:29
Therefore if I as a commander divert my flight to another airport with the clear stated intention of continuing on to the original destination then the powers of the aircraft commander are still supreme even if the doors are open provided it is not for disembarkation.
Bealzebub, the first word is the key word: therefore since it clearly indicates a deduction. Are you really expressing the opinion that the commander of an aircraft can require, oblige or order a passenger to remain on board an aircraft when it has been diverted to an alternate because the flight is, in effect, still underway? Or are you making a different argument? One way or another, I think yours is an "interesting" interpretation to build upon the "General Conditions of Carriage" and I think I would prefer that you went to court to do the arguing!

BTW, how does asking - or even demanding - to depart the aircraft in such circumstances come fall within the applicability of the phrase "... may or do jeopardize the safety of the aircraft ... " and the intentions of the Convention?

RAT 5
2nd Jan 2006, 13:00
I would like, indeed consider it essential, that this matter is cleared up PDQ. I suppose, in the case of RYR, the captain, if later sued by a pax, could claim he was acting as an agent under the direct orders of his superiors. Would that hold as a defence? Why is not a union, or ECA, asking the question to the authorities on behalf of the whole profession? This is not a company specific issue, but an industry-wide matter; thus it should be solved by a central body; and what better than a national union to ask the question of the local authority. Surely, as a goverment body, they should be able to issue the final ruling.

My only experience of such a scenario was this. AT the time I had all sympathy witht he pax, and no doubt would have acted the same in their shoes. It did seem petty, but the company ordered it thus.

Destination AAA, Held 40mins waiting for landing. Diverted BBB, about 100miles & 2.5 hours by coach away, due lack of fuel to hold any longer. Plan was to re-fuel and continue to AAA. However, as we sat at BBB, and all the new scheduled arrivals stacking up at AAA, slot times of over 3 hours were issued to us. Company decided to bus the pax from AAA - BBB. Pax at BBB would have to wait for the buses to arrive, then bus to AAA. WE were stuck out in the bundu, with a local handling agent who was unfamiliar with our company, and had other priorities. Thus we had no ground services and little communication, and certainly no priority.
Discussed situation with pax, some of whom wanted to get off. A seemingly reasonable request, as the coach from BBB - AAA would pass their intended local destination. Not only did the company refuse disembarkation, but also to drop off pax en-route to AAA. They calimed that they had a contract with the pax to deliver them and their baggage to AAA; and come hell or high water, that is what would happen, by plane, train or auto.
As there were no airport buses, or baggage loaders available, the near rioting pax were persuaded that to wander about on the apron would attract severe attention from the local fuzz.
Still, all in all it was a PR nightmare. I would not have liked to come the heavy handed messenger quoting chapter & verse from some regulations.

But, back to the top; Can the correct agency please obtain, on behalf of the whole profession, the answer to this very vexing question.

GGV
2nd Jan 2006, 13:23
RAT5 I have in fact made such a request for legal guidance. The excuse being presented for not giving me a prompt reply is something called "Christmas and the New Year" and I have been told not to hold my breath .... I will post it eventually if nothing is posted by somebody else in the interim. As regards your comment: I suppose, in the case of RYR, the captain, if later sued by a pax, could claim he was acting as an agent under the direct orders of his superiors. Would that hold as a defence? I beg to suggest that it would be a "defence" but I doubt that it would work since it is the authority and actions of the captain that are at issue here, not the authority and actions of Ryanair. As I understand it, this goes back to the fact that each pilot operates on the basis of HIS/HER licence, not Ryanair's AOC, or Ryanair's anything else.

RAT 5
2nd Jan 2006, 13:34
GGV.

Thanks for your thoughts. Regarding the licence issue, surely that is primarily a flying matter; this is a ground matter. The licence does not confer rank. That is awarded by the company. The thread was started because of a memo issued to RYR captains. The captain, agent/ambassador for his company, has been issued with a direct order by that company on how to deal with this specific scenario. It could also have been issued to the handling agent, or local manager, who then could have read out the same blurb to the pax. Thus, I'm not sure the individual could be held wholely responsible. I realise, after 1945, that "I was only obeying orders" has ceased to be a watertight defence, but in this case I would of thought it would hold. If the captain or agnet was operating, knowingly, outside the law, then yes they would be liable. In this particular case, it would seem no-one knows quite what the law is.
Might this be a case of RYR being a law unto itself. It would be interesting for them to quote which law they are referring to. The feathers would certainly fly if there was a member of the legal fraternity on board and took issue with it. I think I would hand him my mobile and the number of the D'Ops.

stagger
2nd Jan 2006, 14:32
I discussing whether it might be legal for a captain to detain passengers under the circumstances outlined above - everyone seems to be missing the gist of the original Ryanair announcement.

Ryanair are suggesting that not only are they legally entitled to detain the passengers, but that they are legally obliged to detain the passengers.

It is prohibited by law for security reasons to allow any passengers to disembark at this airport, despite its proximity to your original destination. This situation is completely outside my control

What is the basis for this?

GGV
2nd Jan 2006, 14:50
RAT5 I think on this one you may be wrong - mainly because the "I was only obeying orders / had no choice" defence is unacceptable to those who have the power to act (courts, Aviation Authorities, etc) should they decide you did something wrong. Try this example, which I have (informally) asked my local Aviation Authority about in the specific context of Ryanair. Here's the question: "If I am threatened with the loss of my employment for refusing to complete my duty on grounds of fatigue and, as a result, I continue to fly will you be able to help me deal with my employer if I come to you?"

Ans: Nope, sorry …. and by the way, you would have acted illegally if you flew. You, and only you (the licence holder), have the responsibility in law for how you act. Your responsibility is absolute. If you fly in such circumstances you will have committed an offence. Not only that but, officially, if you then tell us (the Aviation Authority) we are technically obliged to pursue you, not them.

As regards tackling an employer the message was infinitely more difficult to grasp. I think I was basically told that it was essentially an industrial matter and that it would be up to me, my lawyers or my pilots association to pursue the matter. When I pointed out that the implications and consequences of such advice were well known I was given the "I know what you mean" smile and eyebrows (not a word was uttered) and told that whatever personal sympathy might be forthcoming, the legal types take a very black and white view of such matters. I then tried to suggest that if my association brought a complaint on my behalf ... to be told that for such purposes only I, in my capacity as a licence holder, could approach the Authority since the association has no standing in such matters (which came as news to me).

Hence RAT5 my feeling that this is all about me (the licence holder) and not about them (the employer). Regardless of employer, whether on the Ground or in the Air, it is all about the defensibility of the pilot’s actions in whatever legal context applies. The fact that an employer orders or requires you to do something illegal is irrelevant. Hope you now feel as pissed off as I do.

IcePack
2nd Jan 2006, 17:00
Me thinks that the reason for not letting pax disembark at points other than destination is something to do with traffic rights. i.e. ANairline has rights to fly pax from A to B but NOT from A to C so if they let pax off at C they would be in breach of their traffic rights/5th freedom rights etc and the Airline "could" be heavily fined for breaking their traffic rights. Well something like that anyway:cool:

Jakey
2nd Jan 2006, 19:35
OK- a little gung ho arrogance being shown here as far as I am concerned.

I have just, within the last few days, walked off a Garuda flight (ticketed through to Jakarta from Lombok- there was a stop at Jogjakarta) because of the standard of flying from the pilot. Firstly there was an aborted landing and secondly a series of tight holding turns at around 3000 ft. THe final landing was almost nose first, and the plane struggled to stop before the end of the runway. All things considered, especially adding in Garuda's lamentable piloting and safety record, and the general upkeep of the airplane, I got off at Jogjakarta and left the plane.

My life, my rights and quite frankly if the pilot wants to gripe he needs to look at his level of performance before he tries to hide behind regulations and red tape.

Hand Solo
2nd Jan 2006, 19:39
Yes I'm sure you'd have preferred the pilot didn't abort his landing and just hit the obstruction on the runway. Perhaps you should stick to the spotters forum.

Jakey
2nd Jan 2006, 19:42
Yes I'm sure you'd have preferred the pilot didn't abort his landing and just hit the obstruction on the runway. Perhaps you should stick to the spotters forum.

Gung ho arrogance QED. What a tosser.

What makes you think there was something on the runway?

Could it be he ballsed up the approach, bearing in mind the length of Jogjakartas runway?

Hand Solo
2nd Jan 2006, 19:45
Perhaps you'd share your level of flying experience with us, given that you are able to gauge the quality of the approach flown, the altitude and the bank angle during the hold, the approach attitude and the wind component on landing all from the comfort of your seat in the passenger cabin.

Looks like we've got a gung ho SLF!

Jakey
2nd Jan 2006, 19:50
Perhaps you'd share your level of flying experience with us, given that you are able to gauge the quality of the approach flown, the altitude and the bank angle during the hold, the approach attitude and the wind component on landing all from the comfort of your seat in the passenger cabin.

Looks like we've got a gung ho SLF!

Matey, some freight is worth more than cheap packaging and even an arrogant **** might you could learn something about passengers feelings before sitting in such high and mighty judgement.

Oh for the record 800- odd hours and doing my instrument rating. Feel free to sneer.

Hand Solo
2nd Jan 2006, 19:54
800 hours PPLer without an IRT knows remarkably little about instrument flying. Excuse us if the professionals ignore your back seat driver comments. Now run along back to the Wanabees forum, where you can consider your 'high and mighty judgements' on the Indonesians abilities. This forum is meant for people who know what they're talking about.

Sunfish
2nd Jan 2006, 19:59
This is not to slag off at Garuda, but, Mr. Solo, you obviously have never flown in Indonesia or expereinced anything of Asian "Culture"! I know exactly how Jakey feels and have had similar expereinces flying into Medan and Manado, and in Malaysia many years ago I missed a flight that crashed by a few minutes.

As SLF in such situations, you have no way of knowing if your pilot is an idiot who just happens to be a priviledged General's son, or a competent professional. There is plenty of evidence in other pprune threads that such incompetents exist in Asia and elsewhere.

Furthermore I believe that, despite your sneering references to "slf", a reasonably experienced traveller can tell the difference between normal and "abnormal" operations under VFR situations anyway.

Jakey
2nd Jan 2006, 20:00
800 hours PPLer without an IRT knows remarkably little about instrument flying. Excuse us if the professionals ignore your back seat driver comments. Now run along back to the Wanabees forum, where you can consider your 'high and mighty judgements' on the Indonesians abilities. This forum is meant for people who know what they're talking about.

Judge Garuda's record for yourself. It's lamentable.

And, for the record, you should realise that if I, as a customer, judge a 'professionals' abilities not to be up to scratch then you should actually take congnicence, as it might just be that I have a point, especially as the landing was virtually nosewheel first (would you applude that? Nice party piece?). However, I am sure that your confidence will hold you in great stead. Until that confidence possibly leads to a feeling of over-confidence.

In the meantime, the best advice I can give you is if I pay you (collectively) to take responsibility with my life then try to be professional enough and humble enough to listen to my views and concerns.

I'd like also like to applude your choice of name- Hand Solo is remarkably apt.

Jakey
2nd Jan 2006, 20:03
I always relax a bit when I hear an Australian accent coming from the flight deck.

Speak for yourself; they haven't got over us beating them in the Ashes yet.

Techman
2nd Jan 2006, 20:04
There are many ways to voice one's concerns. It would seem Jakey has still to learn how it's done if it is to be taken seriously!

Hand Solo
2nd Jan 2006, 20:06
Or it might just be that you don't have a point, especially if the landing was 'virtually nosewheel first', meaning that it wasn't actually nosewheel first and hence no different to any number of duff landings I've sat through on ERJ and CRJs in Europe. Didn't feel the need to come on here though and bleat about how awful I thought the pilots were.

PS Best not fly Monarch for a while, I'm sure they put one nosewheel first into Gibraltar not so long ago.

Jakey
2nd Jan 2006, 20:10
There are many ways to voice one's concerns. It would seem Jakey has still to learn how it's done if it is to be taken seriously!

So how would you like me to phrase it?

The points that have been made on here are regarding the legalities of preventing PAX from leaving a flight on diversion or in a similar incident.

The majority of arguements purported have been those of contracts and vested interest; very few have bothered to consider the view of the passenger, who, after all is actually the one paying the wages and charges.

In my instance, I considered the situation unsafe. My choice, my decision. And, if that is my decision, twisting contractual wording as has been suggested elsewhere on this thread to prevent a passenger from excercising his choices is pretty low.

Jakey
2nd Jan 2006, 20:15
Or it might just be that you don't have a point, especially if the landing was 'virtually nosewheel first'
.

You're taking very personally. Were you the pilot concerned or do you just jump to the pilot's defence by attacking the man, not the ball, without listening to concerns, because they are your 'colleague'?

The point is I considered the situation cocnerning enough not to wish to carry on. And that in itself should worry you and make you perhaps re-visit some of the views put elsewhere in this thread.

Oh and Monarch- no thanks. Malaysian First last night was just dandy, especially the Billecart-Salmon.

Hand Solo
2nd Jan 2006, 20:25
I'm not taking anything personally, merely pointing out that as a passenger you are generally not sufficiently informed or qualified to make objective complaints about anybodys flying. We get used to hearing passenger comments like "that was a great/terrible landing", "what an awful approach", "that must have been unsafe" when we can see that they are patently talking rubbish and are basing their assessment on how smooth the touchdown was or how windy it was over the hangars at LHR or whether ATC left us high. I have also had numerous incidences of passengers wishing to get off aircraft with a technical delay because they deemed the aircraft to be "unsafe".

PS Whilst your enjoying your flight on Malaysian First try not to muse over their previous unfortunate habit of arriving at LHR without even enough fuel to fly a standard missed approach.;)

Jakey
2nd Jan 2006, 20:42
I'm not taking anything personally, merely pointing out that as a passenger you are generally not sufficiently informed or qualified to make objective complaints about anybodys flying. We get used to hearing passenger comments like "that was a great/terrible landing", "what an awful approach", "that must have been unsafe" when we can see that they are patently talking rubbish and are basing their assessment on how smooth the touchdown was or how windy it was over the hangars at LHR or whether ATC left us high. I have also had numerous incidences of passengers wishing to get off aircraft with a technical delay because they deemed the aircraft to be "unsafe".

PS Whilst your enjoying your flight on Malaysian First try not to muse over their previous unfortunate habit of arriving at LHR without even enough fuel to fly a standard missed approach.;)

So, the thrust of your argument is that because I believe a situation to be unsafe, that because your are more qualified to make the judgement (which I accede) then you are right?

Hmmm. A very interesting point of view. Is your name Captain Key? I believe he was similarly robust in his viewpoints.

Regarding smoothness of a landing, I am sufficiently versed to know that a 73 needs to be flown onto the runway and I thought the general idea was to increase the pitch on landing, not reduce it.

Jakey
2nd Jan 2006, 20:52
Oh and re Malaysia, sadly after reading some of the issues and happenings on here I'm not surprised. In fact some of the things on here are pretty concerning, and being very honest for one minute, has changed my perceptions of a number of airlines and their practices. Highly informative, possibly too much so, I have to say.

Going back to MAS, perhaps you might educate me... how many times did this happen and why? And when did the practice stop?

bjcc
2nd Jan 2006, 21:01
Bealzebub

You have research wht you wrote very well, obviously. The genral rule we police at Heathrow used when i was there was doors open, not in flight, doors closed, in flight.

The point where I disagree with you is the 'Lawful instructions of the captain'.

and your definition of good order etc.

Is it a lawful instruction for the captain to decide that pax should not diembark. Whats that assumption based on? If it is pure economics then it is a lawful instruction? That would have nothing to do with the good order you mention on a flight. (assuming that an instruction not to disembark could ever be lawful, which I doubt)

GGV
2nd Jan 2006, 21:26
Well said bjcc.

Sven Sixtoo
2nd Jan 2006, 22:46
Yes I think bjcc has the rights of the case.

But it will take someone to sue to make the legal point.

Sven

Nov71
2nd Jan 2006, 23:55
Trip, IMO 'Yes' Any citizen has the right to detain another if he believes a crime has been/is being committed, until the Police arrive. You can detain him in a room with door closed - but not locked (unlawful imprisonment) provided you contact the Police immediately with details.

Aircraft etc may have diplomatic questions but IMO a UK reg aircraft is UK territory subject to UK Law, certainly in the UK. Unless the lawyers know diff!

Nov71
3rd Jan 2006, 00:01
As regards the other pax; if the Police had told you to keep them onboard until the situation was sorted then I think it would be a reckless pax to disembark, knowing Police were at the bottom of the steps.

Nov71
3rd Jan 2006, 01:12
Trip, I am not a lawyer or 'plod'
If smoking on an aircraft is a criminal offence and you had reasonable suspicion, eg smokers breath, independent witness, that the individual had committed the offence then a 'citizens arrest' as described would be lawful. Leave proof to the Courts
If an offence under Civil Law, unlikely, then no power to detain
Re other pax, you only requested their co-operation. If a pax had insisted on disembarkation (to make a connecting flight etc) I suggest all you could do would be to satisfy yourself you had the pax name, contact details for the Police to follow up, if the pax was not implicated in the offence.
If the offence suggested a conspiracy, then all pax & crew could be considered suspects and wholesale ground detention would be lawful subject to 'reaonable' force, provided you do not end up with a hostage situation
I use the term 'reasonable' in the legal sense - if physically aggressive, restrain; if he points a gun, kill him if no other option

Nov71
3rd Jan 2006, 02:08
Trip, I am strong on human rights of the individual My 'kill him' comment was related to prevailing situation & legal opinion if innocent lives were in imminent danger Ideally you, and any Police Officer, would be charged with Murder 1, 2 or manslaughter and left for a Jury to decide

bjcc
3rd Jan 2006, 06:49
Trip Switch

You asked when you may detain a person on board.

I can't give you a simple answer. The general powers to detain a person (arrest) are in the Police and criminal evidence act. That also covers whats termed 'Citizens arrest'.

In short, any person may arrest a person that has committed an arrestable offence, or a person who he has reasonable cause to suspect has committed one. (I have not used the exact wording)

An arrestable offence is one which carries a penatly of 5 years imprisonment for the first offence (again thats a simplistic version of what the legislation says)

Offences under the Air Navigation order carry a maximum penalty of 2 years imprisonment, thus are not arrestable offences, and carry no 'any person' power of arrest.

If you ask your pax to wait in their seats until police arrive, and they comply with that 'request' is it arrest? Possibly, although I wouldn't like to bet on it. Flying lawyer would be the person to give you a better answer to that. I would guess it would depend on exactly what you said.

The detention for 'economic' reasons, which sparked this, would not be legal. I can see the common sense of not allowing a pax off to go wandering about on his own. However, being airside in itself is not an arrestable offence and there is therefore no power to arrest. Even if it were, the power would not come into being for 'any person' until an offence had been committed, ie they had actually got off and entered the restricted area.

Boy
3rd Jan 2006, 08:10
The exchange above ending with - yet again - the addition of sobering facts and common sense by bjcc should be an instruction to all. Yet again we have seen pilot reasoning, based on particular conceptions of the law and misinterpreted premises, demonstrated to be flawed.

The lesson for me is that it is now looking to me that pilots often (like to) think they have powers that they simply do not have. (Interesting that in one comment above the contributor, having successfully asked his passengers to remain on board, thinks he has "detained" them. What would he have made of the situation, or done, had they collectively refused!!?? Tried to "citzens arrest" them all? I have been on an aircraft where a number of passengers became determined to leave after a sustained delay - it would have needed a very courageous person to stand in their way).

On a more personal note, it is interesting to see the divide between those who seem to think that "human rights" are a means of manipulating "the system" and those, like me, who think they are a protection against the arbitrary abuse of power.

As I said many posts ago, all the signs are that the original Ryanair memo has little to do with the law and lots to do with Ryanair. I've seen nothing since to persuade me differently.

RAT 5
3rd Jan 2006, 11:13
bjcc:

Glad we got back on track with this. Too important to have allowed it become hi-jacked by a Garuda bashing, etc.

You said the original spark for this thread was "economic reasons". I'm not sure how that arises. The PA says specifically it is for legal & security reasons. This whole debate has been about whether this statement is true, or not. Is the Captain stepping beyond thier authority? (Perhaps the real reason is economic and the rest is a smoke screen?)

Concerning the reply about route licences & freedom rights; what about the case where a/c diverts and there is no plan to continue, eventually, by the same a/c to the original destination? Thus the pax disembark at the diversion airfiled under orders of the carrier.
In my only case of such an event, the interesting scene which must have ensued in the baggage hall, when a few pax did not want to take the coach service to their original destination AAA, as the diversion BBB was closer ot their accommodation. The airline refused to release their baggage, and insisted on taking it to AAA. No forwarding service was offered as the baggage had not been lost. Infuriating in the extreme; seriously bad PR, but probably legal as per the original contract between airline & pax.

I asked that a national agency (union) asks these questions on behalf of the whole profession. From GGV's replies it might be that the CAA's do not want to get involved. If not, then they should be able to tell you who is the definitive authority. Untimately the government, I would have thought. Surely a question to the Dept of Transport should be successful; or is that naive?

GGV: I sympathise with your contact with the CAA. I can understand that, if you were dismissed for obeying the law, then that is an unlawful dismissal case in the civil courts. However, I would have expected the CAA to become involved if it was known that an airline had coerced an employee to break the law. Sadly, it would seem another case of the CAA's being more interested in incorrect paperwork and record keeping that actual opertional matters effecting real people every day during real operations; or is that cynical?

bjcc
3rd Jan 2006, 12:59
RAT 5

Yes the memo, or instruction from Ryan air quoted at the begining did say Security Reasons.

My point in saying I wonder if perhaps it was motivated more by 'economic' reasons. Ryanair is an Irish carrier, and the rules, legislation in the ROI may be different from those in the UK. It may be the case that there, the memo's contents has some standing. In the UK though I am suggesting it does not.

My reasons are strainght forward. Preventing a pax from disembarking at a divertion airfield does not present any more of a security issue that it does at any other airport.

Yes, they would have to be escorted to a Terminal, if the aircraft is on a remote stand. Yes, there may be an additional charge levied by the airport operator to the airline for that. As indeed there may be for any extra time spent on the ground while baggage is unloaded, if that is nessesery.

However, passenger airports are designed to accomadate all of these things, obviously at cost to an airline.

Given then, that in reality there is NO security implication, then the memo seems to fall on it's face.

The issue of contract goes over my head I'm afraid. But having been called to a fair few similar incidents, not involving Ryanair, at Heathrow,all I can say is my actions were never questioned in allowing pax to dissembark if that is what they wished to do.

A contract between the airline and the pax does not entitle the airline to refuse an entitlement to freedom, in this case, to leave. I will also say that the Captains of the aircraft concerned varried between not caring and being indignent at my actions. But thats not my concern, the big airline with red white and blue planes at Heathrow didn't pay my wages! The airline attitude was however similar to Ryanairs apparent message in the memo quoted. In reality that 'concern' did not stand up to scrutiny.

If an airline felt that strongly about it, then I am sure they could persure the matter in a Civil Court, but for the time of the 'incident' the passenger can leave if he wishes.

NigelOnDraft
3rd Jan 2006, 13:00
bjcc

You are giving us some insight into the legal side from your pov, but I think missing ours. So let's try an analogy.

You are a passenger on a bus stop/starting on the M25. You decide you've missed the meeting... and want to get off and walk. You say as much to the driver.

Is he committing an offence by refusing to let you off the bus in the middle lane of the M25? Or must he immediately get to the hard shoulder and let you off? Or exit at the next Motorway exit and let you off? And has he not breached some duty of care or whatever letting you off in a dangerous / prohibited place? And what you do as the police to the bus driver? And to the now motorway pedestrian?

This leads on to a situation we have where bus drivers are refusing to let us alight as one exits from LHR airside, and insisiting "for H&S" we mst stay on the bus to the other side of the airport, to have to return by public transport. The point we request to alight is a grassed verge to a public road, it is not illegal to stop there etc. Are they breaking the law? Do we have the right to demand to be let off?

Thanks in advance...

NoD

D SQDRN 97th IOTC
3rd Jan 2006, 13:25
bjcc

From a legal point of view, "in flight" means from the time from the first application of power for the purpose of taking off until the moment the landing run ends at the termination of that flight.

The ANO (made under s.61 of the 1982 Civil Aviation Act), in particular Art. 77 is informative here. This article requires every person in an aircraft to obey all lawful commands which the commander of the aircraft may give for securing the safety of the aircraft and its passengers or for the efficiency of air navigation. Breach of article 59 is an offence.

It is also an offence to trespass on an aerodrome licensed under the ANO - see s.39 of the CAA 1982.

So if a passenger in the UK decides he doesn't want to obey a lawful command given under Art 59 of the ANO and he wants to voluntarily trespass too - then more fool him.

Happy New Year!

bjcc
3rd Jan 2006, 13:38
NigelOnDraft

I can see what you mean by the analagy you use. But to take it a stage further, would you expect to not be allowed to get off the same bus at the stop before yours? Of course you would no more expect to be allowed off the bus on the M25 than you would 5 minutes after take off, expect to be allowed to leave the plane.

In this case though, the aircraft is on the ground at an airport. So in a similar position as a bus at a stop.

The same principles apply. If a bus passenger wants off, he goes. The complication though is yes, you are airside, and common snese, never mind duty of care, legislation in respect of restricted access etc have to be born in mind.

If said pax says, I am going and goes, then what right do you have to detain him? None, I would say. There is no power to arrest for being stupid. There is no power to deatin for being about to commit an offence, so you have no way of detaining. I accept that trying to show him the error of his ways is a good idea, but if that fails then thats that. It then becomes a matter for someone else to deal with.

On the other hand, airports are geared up to take a passenger from an aircraft to a terminal and then on to Landside. And they are able to deal with that whatever the circumstances of the aircraft being there. So the practical implications of getting from aircraft to Landside can be overcome. But at a cost.

The suggestion from Ryanair though is that this is due a security reason. There does not seem to be any justification for that concern. Its one the big airline with red white and blue planes at LHR used to use, but the reality is when asked to explain they failed to do so on every occation. Although if bags had to be off loaded, there was much nashing of teeth etc about cost of delay and unloading....

I can see your point, and its a difficult position for the crew to be in, I also see that.


D Sqdn

Yes it is more fool him, not only are there offences under the ANO, there are many others to consider, but none of them, as far as I recall with an 'any person' power to arrest, of course you are also assuming the aircraft is on a remote stand, away from a terminal.

Your definition of in flight, is one of a few, and thats why for simplicity we used doors open not in flight, doors shut in flight.

Again your correct the ANO does say that. It does not however give the captain a power to detain for an offence under the act. Breaching S59 may well then be an offence, to misquote something I used to hear 'What you going to do about it Captain?'

Where a captain may have a problem is in whether the command 'you can't get off' is legal. And I can't see it being for the reasons Ryanair appear to quote.

Faire d'income
3rd Jan 2006, 13:39
Is he committing an offence by refusing to let you off the bus in the middle lane of the M25?

Nigel does missing the point come naturally or do you have to practise?

We are not talking about a passenger trying to disembark in the middle of the UL607 are we? If you said the passenger wanted to get off the bus buring a tyre change at an unscheduled service station that may be more comparable. I doubt if the driver would go beyond asking you to remain on board which is all I suggest we as commanders can do on the ground, engines shut down.

It is seriously disappointing to see how many skippers ( or wannabe skippers ) here grossly overestimate their legal postition. I suggest some research before the predictable high profile case comes along and some one ends up shafted.

In most countries including Ryanair's Ireland you need very solid ground to deny anyone their civil liberties. Call the plods and let them decide. Do not rely on management memos.

D SQDRN 97th IOTC
3rd Jan 2006, 13:43
bjcc

I might also add that the police powers of arrest changed on the 1st.

Section 110 of the Serious Organised Crime and Police Act 2005 inserted a new section 24 into the Police and Criminal Evidence Act 1984. The new section 24 removes the distinction between criminal offences which are arrestable and those which are not and provides that a constable may, provided certain criteria are met, arrest a person in relation to any criminal offence.

Just adding this for the benefit of those who don't know any better for checking the statements of those who claim to or should.

:-)

Ringo
3rd Jan 2006, 13:48
A word of caution for any RYR Captain "following these orders".... Ryanair has failed on just about every legal case it has taken on in recent memory and I would not count on too much support from them in the event of any civil claim made against the crew.

NigelOnDraft
3rd Jan 2006, 14:08
bjcc / F'dI

Thanks for the replies...
...trying to disembark in the middle of the UL607 are we?
In this case though, the aircraft is on the ground at an airport.
So in a similar position as a bus at a stopI don't know anything about bus stops... but I do about airports ;) If I divert and am off stnad, or if I have left stand and am now caught up in de-icing etc. or just the usual delays air transport seems to get itself into, I might as well be in UL607: At LHR I might wait 45mins for a stand to become available when I am scheduled to arrive. So if I suddenly announce I want one because Mr Jones wants to get off that might take 1 hour. If I have waited an hour or so in the de-ice queue and go back to stand to offload Mr Jones, I now go to the back of that queue. If I have waited the hour and de-iced, I now have a "holdover" time to get airborne in - maybe 15mins. If I go back and offload Mr Jones, that is lost, and I have to de-ice again. By the time I have done this, for Mr Smith as well, the crew are out of hours, and the other 99 pax go nowhere.In short, does Mr Jones' "right to get off" after I have left stand i.e. the flight / journey he has contracted with us to do has started supersede the expectations of all the other pax and the company?

If said pax says, I am going and goes, then
what right do you have to detain him?Do I have to open a door, inflate a slide, and leave him on taxiway A??

On the other hand, airports are geared up to take a
passenger from an aircraft to a terminal and then on to LandsidSome would disagree.... something more to do with shopping ;)

My point is that the law does not seem to differentiate between being airborne and on the ground. If I am on stand, jetty attached, I do understand I cannot withhold the passenger. And elsewhere I have already stated that. The fact that the jetty is "restricted access" and the passenger will be apprehended by the outsourced security staff in the jetty won't be my problem. And certainly in my company, asking the ground staff to reattend will take 30+mins at a minimum. However, once the aircraft has left stand, it might as well be airborne for the time and hassle and cost it will take to offload the pax. But more importantly, the law you quote does not differentiate between being airborne and on the ground, so if what you say is true, a passenger has an equal right to demand we land...

I suggest some research before the predictable
high profile case comes along and some one ends up shafted. Do you not think this is what this discussion is aimed at...

bjcc
3rd Jan 2006, 14:23
D SQDRN 97th IOTC

Thank you, we can all read papers, but this is about a member of the public not a police officer.

Although I did say earlier that when I police officer, I would find it difficult in the circumstances surrounding Ryanairs memo to justify it being nessesary to arrest a person who decided to get off. Even though he may well have committed all sorts of offences.
The new powers do not change that.


NigelOnDraft

I don';t doubt your ability to tell the difference, nor do I envy the position an airline crew may find it's self in.

Many of the circumstances you discribe I would be suprsied if an aircraft went back to stand to throw the passenger off, although it has happened. And once in the air, I certainly wasn't coming to you, so what happens while you are up there is your call.

Maybe I was reading too much into the circumstances, I assumed would be, if the memo was called into use. An aircraft stuck at a divertion for a period of time. And it is in those much more simplistic circumstances I would think a captain wouldn't have a leg to stand on if he refused disembarkation.

The cost implication to an airline isn't a concern of mine if I was called to that, or indeed a pax who at the last moment decided he was not going.

Thats not to say the cost isn't important to the airlines, just it wasn't something I could take into account when deciding what, if anything I was going to do.

Trip Switch.

Yes you have the powers discibed, which you would probably be called on to justify. The power you quote, only gives you the right to restrain on for acts on board and in relation to your aircraft, but we are not talking about a pax who decides to go nutty. We are talking about a person, who once on the ground decides he wants off. What justification have you for refusing that?

I am saying I don't think you have any. If you are at an airport, then the facilities exist to facilitate that. If the doors are open, then short of using the powers you discribe then how are you going to stop them going?

Again, I'll refer you to Flying Lawyer to answer points on sueing. It's a Civil matter not a Police one.

el @
3rd Jan 2006, 15:01
bjcc

From a legal point of view, "in flight" means from the time from the first application of power for the purpose of taking off until the moment the landing run ends at the termination of that flight.

... [cut for brevity]


All what you said has been said already - and is of little relevance to the matter discussed.
Also it has been said already that a plane is not in flight when stopped for a diversion or long delay.
That asking to leave an airplane in such conditions is not an offence.
That denying a person of his basic rights is in fact a serious crime - Captains have been warned that they could suffer consequences if acting so no matter the Airline instructions.

Much of this advice came from experienced Captains or Pilots or even Police Officers. An intelligent discussion has developed and I hope it continues in this way.

Yet, we have to listen the train or highway analogy, to the threat of pax being arrested because (not obeying orders | go airside unauthorized | place your favorite here), or to people defending the mere economic interest of Airlines. Then this threat is preposterously defended in light of the new UK law on power of arrest - that again has nothing to do with the matter.

Go ahead and say or do what you want - each is one entitled to his own opinion, but do not expect things to be the way you like just because you're not listening.

Boy
3rd Jan 2006, 15:20
Trip Switch, earlier today you took me to task thus (even though I refrained from specifiying any particular poster):I am slightly concerned that you believe that asking a question somehow demonstrates a flaw in one's reasoning.

Funny enough, I don’t believe that. However, please reflect on the following statements you made and - may I suggest - reflect further on the fact that not only is it not a question but is, instead, revealing of certain attitudes to be found in your posts: I just get a little twitchy when I hear things like Human Rights etc. There's always some fool trying to sue you for something (- beats having to work for a living!). Unfortunately, there's always a load of fool lawyers willing to give them the time of day.

Given the nature of your forthright opinions I would have thought you came across as being rather sensitive. I stand by my remarks and I too “wish you well” despite your accusation that: Maybe it's the fact that we wear a uniform that get's (sic) you so upset or maybe it's just jealousy of the job. Now, where did that come from? There is not an iota of justification for such a statement in my post.

fireloop
3rd Jan 2006, 15:21
The other point is 'Duty-of-Care'. If a passenger demands to be released from the aircraft, and subsequently injures themselves whilst walking around the apron, can I be sued for failure in my DoC as their verbal demand does not release me from my legal responsibilities, or does it?

No, I believe you cannot be sued. Your responsibility for taking care begins as soon as the passenger puts his/her foot on the steps of the aircraft with the intention of travelling. It ends as soon as he/she sets foot on the apron or enters the jetty.

IOW: if Mr. Jones gets hit by a fuel truck, on the apron, it's his fault, not yours. IF he trips and falls down the stairs onto the apron you're the one to fill out the paperwork and possibly be sued. :cool:

regards

PS: it's rediculous isn't it? I'm a pilot not a lawyer, damnit!

D SQDRN 97th IOTC
3rd Jan 2006, 15:29
bjcc

We may be close to agreement on something for a change, but as always I like to look at the detail.

In relation to the powers of arrest and the new s.24 inserted in PACE, there is also a new s.24A inserted that covers the powers of arrest for persons other than constables. The 24A change is that the ability to make a "citizen's arrest" is no longer based on the test of arrestability, but that the offence should be indictable. Broadly, there is likely to be only one indictable offence on an airplane for which a non constable could arrest a person which is endangering the safety of an aircraft - Art.73 of the ANO. The simple act of disobeying the lawful command of a commander is a summary offence only - a citizen cannot arrest someone for this, but it is an argument for police in the air! (But as you pointed out, the indictable offence could land someone in jail for 5 years and is similar to the old arrestability test.)

What could happen if you tried to arrest someone as a citizen and you had no power of arrest? Could you be sued for assault, wrongful imprisonment and false arrest? All of these are possibilities. The remedy to anyone suing someone for false imprisonment etc. is usually damages.

In respect of making an arrest where someone is threatening the safety of the aircraft, s24A (b) provides a defence to a citizen making such an arrest if he had "reasonable grounds for suspecting".

If a citizen makes an arrest for any other reason on a plane, I suggest he could be in trouble. Arrest means to physically restrain or detain somebody, and in the UK this is unlawful unless the law gives someone the power of arrest. So if somebody is being wrongly arrested, he can therefore use reasonable force to resist, and the person making the unlawful arrest could be on the end of an assault charge.......

bjcc
3rd Jan 2006, 16:23
D SQDRN 97th IOTC

I'm not sure how helpful your legal lesson really is in respect of this thread.

I don't agree that the only indicable (triable at Crown Court) offence committed in the air is the ANO offence of Endangering an aircraft. What about the Aviation Security Act? And of course the old favourates, Theft, assaults and criminal damage. All of which are arrestable by a member of the public, and have been committed on aircraft.

Moving on though..........

Can we go back to the original subject?

RAT 5
3rd Jan 2006, 16:50
Oh where is Leo H. C. when you really need him? Surely he must have the ear of 'imself, to be sure!

GGV
3rd Jan 2006, 17:22
RAT5 You referred above to a posting of mine. In fact I did not specifiy the Authority to which I made my approach. It would be unfair to assume that it was the CAA. As I said, it was an informal chat (and very useful and candid for that reason) and I would prefer not to specify the Authority involved.

RAT 5
3rd Jan 2006, 17:50
GGV.
Humble apologies. I too try to use the word 'authorities' in a general sense, rather than specific. Any assumptions on my part are unfounded.

I wonder when & how we as an industry will find an answer to this question. Let us keep trying and post when we have news, rather than bar room speculation.

Success.

banana9999
3rd Jan 2006, 18:06
It comes across as though you have a serious problem with the authority of a captain of an aircraft
I agree - this is so bad.

Now give me my pilot's hat :p

JW411
3rd Jan 2006, 19:52
Nov71:

"If smoking on an aircraft is a criminal offence...."

Where exactly does it say that smoking on an aircraft is a criminal offence?

Sunfish
3rd Jan 2006, 21:12
Here is Reuters report:

BERLIN (Reuters) - Six German airline passengers who said they were being held against their will on an aircraft stuck on the runway for hours during a snowstorm have filed "false imprisonment" charges, German police said Saturday.

The passengers filed charges against the pilot of a British Airways Berlin-London flight that sat on the runway for seven hours before it could take off, a federal police spokesman said.

Passengers boarded the plane at Berlin's Tegel airport at 7 a.m. Thursday, but snow and ice delayed their takeoff. At 11:30 a.m. a man named Ingo Q. called a police emergency hotline on his cell phone and said he felt as if he was being "held hostage," the tabloid Bild reported Saturday.

Police boarded the plane and Ingo Q. ran forward and screamed "I want to get out of here." But only three people who only had hand luggage were allowed to leave the plane.

Shortly after noon, Ingo Q told police again that he wanted to leave the aircraft, still waiting on the snow-covered runway. Ingo, his wife and another couple from Biesdorf near Berlin were allowed off the plane at 12:48 p.m., and it finally took off at 2:36 p.m., seven hours late, Bild said.

The Berlin police spokesman said it was an unusual incident. "The plane stood there for a long time ... It's difficult to say whether the passengers are allowed off or not. It's something they have to work out

Sunfish
3rd Jan 2006, 21:52
Despite all the pompous legal claptrap that has been paraded here, I suspect that we are going to end up with the good old common law test of what is "Reasonable". I also think that there is a much more important issue here that has been overlooked.

Is it "reasonable" to have pax sitting in a plane for 7 hours waiting to take off? Personally I don't think so.

Is it "reasonable" to deny people the right to leave an aircraft at an intermediate or diversion stop on the grounds that they originally contracted to fly to another destination? I don't think so.

Is it may be reasonable to deny the right to leave if there are practical difficulties in doing so that make it dangerous for pax or staff? Most definately

Is it reasonable for airlines to sue passengers whose behaviour causes delays? Probably is.



But there is a much more important issue here. Exactly what were the entire crew doing all this time? My personal view having had to sit through a few delays myself, is that the BA crew involved, from the Captain down, deserve a giant foot up the backside for failing to manage the situation. It was probably a crew made up of the thoughtless sneering british idiots who call passengers "self loading freight" and behave accordingly.

The evidence for that statement? Six Germans, the most orderly and law abiding of all Europeans, become irate enough to complain and now take court action. Why were'nt the pax advised regularly of the causes of the delay and the status of the flight? Why were'nt they disembarked after, say, two hours? Why were they boarded in the first place if the Captain knew of the delay? Would you get irate if you were delayed for more than twice as long as the scheduled duration of the flight? I know I would!

So who the $%^& do you think you are to prattle on about your rights to torment the people who pay your wages? So go on being pompous about your legal powers, the publicity generated by this little storm in a tea cup will do wonders for BA's reputation.

As a simple PPL, the rules here state that my pax have to obey my lawful instructions airside. I want to ensure they have a pleasant flying experience. If I strap someone in and they then say "I want to get out" who am I to refuse?

Sunfish
4th Jan 2006, 04:33
Sorry about the rant Trip. The longest delay I've faced was about six hours.

QF 747 spoiler actuator kaput after we were all boarded for LAX. Captain made an announcement that QF engineers were looking at the problem and would advise in half an hour. At appointed time we were told to disembark and another aircraft was going to take us to Sydney. At Sydney their LAX flight was held waiting for us. At LAX all onward bookings had been changed already.

Couldn't fault Qf's response to a mechanical problem or their customer service. We were kept informed the whole way through. Only problem was I finally arrived at the Riverside Hilton in New Orleans at midnight on Mardi Gras instead of 7pm:{ :{ :{ :{

qfcabin
4th Jan 2006, 06:10
Interesting discussion gentlemen (and ladies). Several years ago, I was working a QF from SIN to CDG..due weather we had to divert into FRA for fuel..as it happened FRA was the final destination for quite a large number of our pax.
However, as it was 0300 Fra time, no customs, minimal QF ground support, no possibility of baggage handling, being located on a remote fuelling bay with no access to a gate combined to prohibit pax leaving the aircraft; (oh, and the presence of several large uniformed police or airport security personnel).
In that instance even though we had many pax vociferously demanding to be allowed to disembark (and after 12 hours or so in the air from SIN and being able to see the FRA terminal from the aeroplane, who could blame them?) we had no options but to continue with pax and baggage to CDG.Had we remained in FRA till it opened , the bulk of our pax with CDG as their ultimate destination would have been unfairly delayed.
Any thoughts?

GGV
4th Jan 2006, 06:57
qfcabin as I see it this is a bit easier to answer than may initially appear. The key is that it appears that it was the German (airport) authorities that denied access due to non-available facilities (no customs, etc. and you did not mention immigration which probably would not have been available if customs were not available). The argument is then between the airport and government authorities and any pax that want to leave the aircraft. (In fact airports do from time to time deny access to terminal buildings, especially in the case of multiple diversions where the facilities are overwhelmned. The justification for substantial delays is often safety, due to congestion in the building). The key to such a situation is the role of the National authorities and any safety arguments that might apply.

That being said, the same principle of "detaining the unwilling" arises and one can see a situation where an individual could insist on getting off and various fun and games starting. At a minimum it could be forecast that (a) they would need a good reason (not just convenience) to sustain their argument and (b) they might get off, but they would not be processed through the airport in the absence of the necessary facilities - leading, at a minimum, to a stay in the transit lounge. The consequences of that could be probelmmatic for everyone else ... but would be no different than removing a passenger for medical reasons ... What about their bags .... and the lack of unloading facilities... but that this a different matter.

P.S. RAT 5 thanks for your fine and humble apology ... which was unnecessary. Just setting the record straight.

normal_nigel
4th Jan 2006, 10:38
Has David Learmount commneted yet in the media?

Surely all discussion if futile until he has appeared in a paper/ on Sky News and told us all how it is?

unwiseowl
4th Jan 2006, 19:08
Well I wish DL/Flight would comment, because that comment would be based on investigation and research.

NigelOnDraft
4th Jan 2006, 19:30
Interesting, more in-house, discussions appear to indicate that there is legal precedant (multiple) [and training on this basis] basically indicating that once a journey has begun, then you are with the crew / vehicle to the end of that journey.

I am not suggesting this extends to "detaining" a passenger on board because of the cost implications of a delay / retrieving baggage. However, it would apply to once you have pushed back, and until you arrive at the designated destination, the crew / Captain are under no obligation to make specific / additional arrangements / stops / detours should one now decide not to travel / travel no further. Goes back to US railroad days - which as many will appreciate - are the precedant for much of aviation law.

I am quite aware that there are numerous updated laws, both national and international, that may (or may not) override. However, a pPrune debate, or even a DL leader, is unlikely to resolve the issue :ooh:

el @
4th Jan 2006, 20:26
Interesting, more in-house, discussions appear to indicate that there is legal precedant (multiple) [and training on this basis] basically indicating that once a journey has begun, then you are with the crew / vehicle to the end of that journey.

Please mention specific, verifiable cases. "You are" or you "You must be" ?!!
This vague, uncircumstantiated sentence is not bringing much to this discussion.


I am not suggesting this extends to "detaining" a passenger on board because of the cost implications of a delay / retrieving baggage. However, it would apply to once you have pushed back, and until you arrive at the designated destination, the crew / Captain are under no obligation to make specific / additional arrangements / stops / detours should one now decide not to travel / travel no further.

Let's stay on topic. Nobody is talking about specific / additional arrangements / stops / detours.
We are talking about the right of leaving a stopped airplane.


Goes back to US railroad days - which as many will appreciate - are the precedant for much of aviation law.

Excuse me? The US railroad days precedent for aviation law? Including shooting at Native Americans as seen in the old movies? Does that apply to my contry too? Interesting opinion, but must be your own only.


I am quite aware that there are numerous updated laws, both national and international, that may (or may not) override. However, a pPrune debate, or even a DL leader, is unlikely to resolve the issue :ooh:
See, the concept that apparently is so hard for some to grasp, is that no specific laws are needed to let a free human being to decide where he wants to go (or not go).
To the contrary, I applaude the fresh and sincere posting by Sunfish, he has been hable to summarize and stigmatize much of the arrogant attitude kept by what I understand is only a minority of the Piloting Crews.

NigelOnDraft
4th Jan 2006, 22:11
el @

This will be my last post whilst you (and others) take such an aggressive attitude to what I am trying to "debate" at a rational level.

The US railroad days precedent for aviation law?This is a Professional Pilots' board, and one would expect a level of knowledge of Aviation law to post here. Various "treaties" apply to Aviation, called various names (e.g. "Tokyo Convention") and it is historical fact that many of these orginate from US Railroad Law - surprisingly enough ;)

We are talking about the right of leaving a stopped airplane.I have tried time and again to point out that I will make no attempt to stop you leaving a stopped aeroplane. However, I need not make (as far as I am aware) specific / additional arrangements / stops / detours. . If you can show me I must, then I will... but until then I will act in the interests of the majoprity of passengers who want to get to their destination, and/or my company's instructions.

So, we are diverted to XYZ, and parked off stand. The doors are closed. How are you going to get off? I won't stop you, unless you attempt to open the door. If you attempt to open the door you are committing an offence, since you may well kill someone the other side, and/or yourself when you fall out. I can therefore restrain you (but would prefer to discourage you).

We are stuck in / post a de-icing queue. You want to get off. The aircraft is "stopped" (your arbitrary criteria that I will ask you to quote a law defining this as a state where you are allowed to "get off"). What must I do to facilitate this? Anything?

What a lot of people (including you) call here "arrogant attitude kept by what I understand is only a minority of the Piloting Crews" is, IMHO, a misunderstanding or over-emphasis of what we can do. Piloting an aircraft is subject to so many laws. I cannot taxi an aircraft 1 metre without permission from ATC. I cannot disembark a passenger without the agreement, or in accordance with the rules of, the police, airport security company, airport operator, immigration, customs and probably others. I cannot demand a parking stand, nor steps. Yes - in a medical emergency I can summon police / ambulance / steps etc. but only in a genuine health or life threatening case.

So I pose the question back. We are parked off stand. You want to get off. What am I legally obliged to do to comply with your legal rights? And to quote yourself, please quote the actual law and/or example case.

GGV
4th Jan 2006, 23:11
Nigel, I think I now understand you better, but I also think you contribute to making the matter more complex than it needs be. First, this thread started in response to a claim by Ryanair about legalities (claims that appears to be incorrect), and some of us keep going back to that. Second, other topics having crept in, it appears like some people are looking for legal advice here (and such advice should be sought elsewhere).

In response to your questionWe are parked off stand. You want to get off. What am I legally obliged to do to comply with your legal rights? I am not qualified to answer this definitively, but try to think of it from the other point of view. Here we find you as a pax on an aeroplane at a diversion airfield and you have genuine fears about continuing on the flight (for whatever reason). You ask that arrangements be made to get us off. You do so politely and, having been visited by the captain, you explain that you are unsatisified with some aspect of how the flight was conducted, safety equipment, cabin crew (non)performance of safety related duties, etc. You say that there is no rush to get you off and you are willing to help in any way possible, bar continuing on the flight.

Can the captain stop you? That is the question that needs to be answered. One can add colour and complication by adding the fact that the immediate consequence of allowing any passenger off will be to ensure that the flight will not be able to continue without a prior overnight stop.

So this time it is you who wants off, and your reasons/fears are genuine. Can the captain make you stay on board? Do you think he would have such an entitlement? At least if we can answer that question, we can then move on to the more complex ones.

Nov71
5th Jan 2006, 01:17
Please will a RYR Captain please invoke Company policy so it can be contested in Court along with a disruptive passenger ejected en-route to Tenerife for abusive behaviour

Faire d'income
5th Jan 2006, 02:03
GGV, as usual you put it more succinctly than I or others could ever put it.

I cannot answer your question. However it could happen to me or many others here tomorrow and we would have to act without the legal opinion we all desire.

We are parked off stand. You want to get off. What am I legally obliged to do to comply with your legal rights?

Most of us would plead, persuade said pax to stay aboard....reassure any doubts etc but after that if the pax was determined to deplane we would have the original problem.

Irish courts have tended to back up Irish crews quite well with disruptive pax in the recent past but this is different.

*You are not in flight by any definition and the doors holding the pax were closed by your crew.
*You can argue semantically about no steps, but that does not reasonably give you the right to force the pax to remain on board for a flight which they dont want to undertake and which hasn't begun yet.

It is a massive inconvenience to all involved not least the other pax to have the perpetrators disembarked but in the absence of clear legislation protecting me I will be letting them off. The only thing I might consider is a chat with the local constabulary but that really would be a last ditch effort to persuade the pax to remain on board.

NigelOnDraft
5th Jan 2006, 08:00
GGV - thanks for an interesting, debate level reply, unlike some others further up :ouch:

You are right that I am relating things more to my experience, and other known incidents, than the "blanket" directive issued by RYR. That said, it is very hard for any passenger to know the exact circumstances, and whether or not the crew on the day are engineering the situation, or concealing information.

My experiences: Div ex-LHR to LTN due Wx. Aircraft parked remote, set of steps provided to apron (by definition airside in area regulated by Aviation & Security Act hence a crime to be there unauthorised, and probably a crime by me to aid & abet someone else to be there). 1 handling agent person available from time to time to co-ordinate refuelling. Some passengers request to disembark, passed by RT to handling agent. "Not permitted" is reply. All pasengers bar one accept situation. That one takes up most of the CC's and my time making arguments about this that and the other, and single handly is actually extending the diversion. When he tries the "restraining against my will" trick I state I am not - he is free to walk down the steps and do as he wishes - but I am advising him I will call the police, and I suspect he will end up in the Luton cells. He backs down and we go to LHR. Div DUS ex AMS (weather). Parked remote again, but handled by the usual BA staff. They say "nobody can get off", but in fact, some "discussion" (perusasion ;) ) by me, and they agree to let passengers with hand baggage only off, but they have to say so now. Worked well, then went to AMS. These are more typical of BA, where as Captain we are allowed, indeed encouraged, to manage the situation as seen fit on the day, rather than given prescriptive memos like the RYR one. However, our hands are somewhat tied - if a handling agent refuses to provide the means to legally disembark, I might have 4 stripes, but it doesn't count for a lot. We still cannot disembark any passengers!

we find you as a pax on an aeroplane at a diversion airfield
and you have genuine fears about continuing on the flight (for
whatever reason). You ask that arrangements be made to get us off.
You do so politely and, having been visited by the captain, you explain
that you are unsatisified with some aspect of how the flight was conducted,
safety equipment, cabin crew (non)performance of safety related duties, etc.
You say that there is no rush to get you off and you are willing to help in any
way possible, bar continuing on the flight.

Can the captain stop you? That is the question that needs to be answeredI think that is a separate question, again, but an interesting one. I won't go through "persuading" the passenger or addressing their concerns because I know your reply will be "unsuccessful". I would have to establish what they propose to do if I do not disembark them. If they are reasonable ( you make out they are), and the fear is genuine, and they think they will have a fit etc., we might be able to swing a medical / safety reason. I am not sure it is exactly relevant to the law, since you indicate they are happy to be held on the aircraft ad infinitum, just not fly (again) in it / with this crew etc. I would emphasise that I still disagree with the way the question was posed <<Can the captain stop you?>> which implies a positive action by the Captain ('stop you') which if true, would tend more easily to be shown as an "action" which might be deemed "criminal" etc. Whereas from my point of view I would rephrase "Is the Captain obliged to make specific arrangements to disembark you?".

F'dI make some points I think addressed above.

I will bow out of this one now, since we are slightly going around in circles. It is ironic since the thread started we have the BA in TXL situation. The topic is interesting, and I doubt ever clear cut - but must be handled "on the day". I had some idea about these "detention" actions, and indeed had to act on these at LTN as above. As I said above, there are BA pilot discussions going on, and there seem some legal precedents that will help crews decide better - I am also sure that I and others will be actively seeking some clarification from BA and BALPA. Finally, as GGV puts, a calm rational discussion with the crew is always likely to result in a better situation for all than a fist thumping tanter quoting various laws that don't really or necessarily apply :ooh:

Curious Pax
5th Jan 2006, 11:13
Speaking from a pax point of view I think a lot of the problem with this thread is that there are 2 separate questions which many are trying to give the same answer for.

The first question relates to the original post re Ryanair. To me, and I suspect to many on here who are aware of RYR's desire to minimise costs wherever possible they are tenuously using the legal argument to avoid anything that a) might cost them money (I am guessing that an airport would charge them a fee for pax that disembarked, but would not for those that remained on board), and b) might cost them time (having to disembark pax when all you want is a quick gas-and-go or to be in a position to take up a slot at seconds notice). Saying it is illegal usually makes for a shorter argument that saying that it is inconvenient or costly to the airline.

The second question relates to how long an airline can reasonably expect pax to remain on board due to either a diversion or extensive departure delay. This is really a piece of string question - depends on the circumstances. Northwest had a class action with several thousand passengers after up to 11 hours delays in Detroit in 1999 due to snow, where they weren't allowed to leave the aircraft. Unfortunately this was settled out of court, so doesn't give a precedent, but I had a little sympathy with Northwest, as it seemed that the volume of snow meant that they were stuck between a rock and a hard place. However in general I would have thought that if a delay has gone on for more than a couple of hours a crew would need to have pretty pressing reasons for insisting that pax remain on board - such as a reasonable expectation that departure is imminent, or dangerous weather conditions making disembarkation unwise.

Personally I find that although a business, it is sometimes unclear whether commercial air travel is a customer service or not. Some posters here seemingly from the sharp end give the impression (unwittingly I suspect) that it is not, and as such the paying customers should just shut up and do what they are told.

NigelOnDraft
5th Jan 2006, 11:25
Personally I find that although a business, it is sometimes
unclear whether commercial air travel is a customer service or not.
Some posters here seemingly from the sharp end give the impression
(unwittingly I suspect) that it is not, and as such the paying
customers should just shut up and do what they are told.I can only agree, and hope that my posts do not come over as that.
The ultimate problem with this thread, and the "rights" to get off, is that enabling that 1 (or few) passengers(s) to get off will massively "inconvenience" 100s of others. Not only those others on this flight, but others relying on this service's aircraft and/or crew over the next few hours. It might not sound like it, but at heart most Flight Crew, certainly BA, want to provide the best service for the majority of passengers, once safety concerns are addressed. The obstructions / frustrations you (as passengers) feel are felt by us as much, if not more, since we are exposed to them more often. I'm not asking for sympathy, just understanding, and try to reciprocate that ;)

DME MILOS
5th Jan 2006, 15:33
Just found this one on Yahoo news, not sure if they'll have much success, not too nice for the Captain though...:ooh:

Delayed passengers sue pilot Thursday January 5, 07:00 AM

Six German airline passengers who said they were being held against their will on an aircraft stuck on the runway for hours during a snowstorm have filed "false imprisonment" charges.

The passengers filed charges against the pilot of a British Airways Berlin-London flight that sat on the runway for seven hours before it could take off, a federal police spokesman said.

The Berlin police spokesman said it was an unusual incident. "The plane stood there for a long time. It's difficult to say whether the passengers were allowed off or not. It's something they have to work out with the captain," he added.

Dash-7 lover
5th Jan 2006, 16:41
It's one of those situations where you're damned if you do and damned if you don't. It was tricky the other week. I had many similar situations where you were stuck between offloading passengers or keeping them on board just in case you missed your slot in the queue for de-icing or it stopped snowing, regardless of being on stand or not. If the pax disembark you can bet some will wonder off and will be late returning then you're into offloading bags and oops we're at the back of the queue again!! I'm sure the Capt would have consulted ops control as to the best game plan for all of the passengers and not the few. Of course the other option would have been to cancel and under EU law it's classed as an unforseen circumstance on the day so no compensation would be due anyway..... take your pick.

matkat
5th Jan 2006, 17:01
7 Hours! surely thats a typo.or is it?

jay_hl
5th Jan 2006, 17:05
Sat on the runway for 7 hours.

So basically your telling me that no aircraft took off or landed in Berlin for 7 hours. I dont think so!!

splash&dash
5th Jan 2006, 17:22
i bet the cabin crew werent too chuffed either stuck on the aircraft and trying to keep the unhappy pax fed and watered :*

Dash-7 lover
5th Jan 2006, 17:26
7 hours...... It's possible.

one example that's happened to me...

1/ Aircraft lands at airport in light snow.
2/ Whilst on stand, light snow has turned to heavy snow.
3/ Aircraft now requires de-icing - 1 hour delay - snow eases off
4/ 1 hour later a/c gets de-iced but due to traffic build up and departure restrictions because of the weather there's now a queue for takeoff and it starts snowing heavily again - airfield closes whilst aircraft 17th in queue at holding point.
5/ another hour later airfield still closed and aircraft returns to stand for a refuel.
6/ another delay waiting for refueller but snow stops- airfield re-opens
7/ a/c needs another de-ice due to snow collecting on wings and other surfaces at holding point - further delay
8/ still waiting for the refueller and its snowing heavily - airfield closes and airfield also runs out of de-icing fluid!! further hour delay waiting for more fluid to be found and heated...
9/ indefinite delay.......................pax disembark
10/ airfield clears several hours later but can't find some of the passengers because we've let them off!!!!
11/ pax found but crew out of hours including using maximum allowable discretion - flight cancelled



Need I say more.....NO

jondc9
5th Jan 2006, 19:13
in most situations the airline will indemnify ( I think this means take care of things and protect) the pilot.

in the states we have had people delayed for many hours within 100 yards of the arrival gate.

In my flying I would much rather take the delay at the gate. While many airlines pay their pilots by the minute (engines running sort of thing)...sitting out on the ramp when you don't have to is uncomfortable and not fuel efficent.

jon

whattimedoweland
5th Jan 2006, 22:26
Maybe we the airlines can start to sue the passengers who delay the flight by boarding ten minutes late,we lose the slot and sit there for 90 minutes.Two bags of duty free and they say they could'nt hear the last call!!.

They'd soon hear if you gave them the bill for the on stand delay and all the missed connections:ok:.

WTDWL.

A-3TWENTY
5th Jan 2006, 23:01
During the last strike in France Ì had a slot of one hour. I boarded the passenger and sent a ready message.

With 15 minutes to start up another slot came of 1h30 min.Despite the small chances company ops`s sent another ready message.

When the passengers requested to de board I did a speech and I said to them with this words:

I can`t retain anybody here,but be advised that if we get cleared to push back and start up I will not wait you, in respect to the passengers which will stay and the others waiting on the next leg.

None of them got off...

And if they did ,I would request their seats and ask the red cap to find their luggage and leave it ready to be off .Another load sheet and I was ready again 5 ,10 minutes.

Nov71
6th Jan 2006, 00:34
7 hours delay, try 14! 1985 Dan Dare MAN to Corfu. Midnight t/o delayed 1 hr, ‘captain incapacity?’ Finals, next in line, airport closes due to fog, diverted to Brindisi Corfu re-opens when Sun comes up and fog burns off but Greece decides to clear diversion log-jam at their airports first. Our cabin temp rises, soft drinks run-out and pax rebellious rumblings start. Crew run out of hours. Finally, Italians allow pax into terminal, £5 for a cup of coffee and a saucer sized pizza as no-one had lira (thank god for the euro) Finally, crew of 7am Man-Corfu deliver their pax and come to take-over our flight Finally arrive Corfu 14 hours late Add in another day to sleep it off…. Holiday insurance did not payout for delay >12hr as it occurred en route and was due to an Act of God (weather)
My memory is that a few pax resented the extra delay waiting for the relief crew but no-one wanted to be off-loaded, though some discussion on ferry transit times. The Insurance Co may have listed God as the primary culprit, the pax put it down to Greek pride with some left over for the Italians for lack of compassion

Slow Flying Pumpkin
9th Jan 2006, 10:51
I am a lawyer who, until now, has visited this site out of interest and just to learn.

The efforts being made to determine the legality of the actions described above are impressive (as is the argument!!). Unfortunately you would be unwise to blindly rely on some of the views expressed.

If your actions on the ground are considered by the Courts or other authorities of the country in which your aircraft was located at that time then the actions are likely to be considered against the laws of that country. The legislation and treaties that have been referred to are then only relevant if they apply in that country. You should not assume that that legislation and those treaties will apply (unless it is legislation of the country in which the aircraft is located or you know the country in which the aircraft is located is a party to the treaty and is bound to give effect to the treaty).

You should also be very careful of quotes from legislation or a treaty as determining the matter. There may be other provisions of the legislation or treaty that result in the provisions not being applicable. There may also be other provisions of the same, or other, legislation or treaties that change the result.

Unfortunately reasoning through "common sense" can only reach a common sense answer. Whether the laws of the relevant country operate to produce the same answer needs to be considered on a country by country basis.

It would not be difficult or expnsive for the airlines to obtain regularly confirmed advice from lawyers qualified in each country to which the airline flies as to the legality of the actions in that country. The position could then be made clear in material provided to crew flying to that country.

Good luck!!

judge11
9th Jan 2006, 13:53
Ah! Written like a true lawyer. In summary, are you saying that due to the multiplicity of legislation it is best to err on the side of 'letting the passengers' disembark, come what may?

cwatters
9th Jan 2006, 19:39
Ah! Written like a true lawyer. In summary, are you saying that due to the multiplicity of legislation it is best to err on the side of 'letting the passengers' disembark, come what may?

No because that would delay and detain the other pax unreasonably. The pax that want to stay on might take you to court for exactly the same reasons as those that want to get off. The only difference between the two groups is their preferred direction :-) Catch 22