View Full Version : You don't trust us anymore`

Epsom Hold 2
24th Sep 2001, 15:45
Despite delusions of grandeur and a big aviation library, I'm mere SLF. Here's an observation about a fundamental change in commerical aviation.

Until the attacks on the US, I felt I could talk to cabin crew and pilots as humans on an equal basis, and I can scarcely remember a flight which didn't involve a long and interesting (for both sides) conversation up front followed by an invitation to stay for the landing.

Flew British Midland from Ajaccio to Heathrow yesterday. B Mid (and others?) have banned the use of the forward toilets on their fleet, to keep pax away from the cockpit (and pax are not allowed in or near the forward galley). And I know I'll never get another cockpit visit, let alone landing, even if I live to be 150 (B Mid STAFF are banned from blagging jumpseats unless they're in uniform and on duty).

So, something radical has changed in the relationship between pax and crew - even in the wake of some pretty nasty and increasingly regular airrage incidents, there was a level of trust between the two parties, and that has evaporated. Having done a lot of miles just before the WTC attacks, my pockets yesterday were still full of rolls of different currency, including Lebanese Lira, US Dollars, Hungarian Wotsits and Syrian Pounds. My passport has all kinds of recent visas for countries that are suddenly harbouring "terrorists". If the British Midland hostie I was chatting to yesterday had seen the wad or the passport (combined with the conversation topic of jumpseat rides) she would have been HIGHLY suspicious, when I'm just a travelling musician who has friends in Beirut and loves flying. As it was she was happy to talk but guarded and in no way was I going to be allowed into the forward galley to ask for a drink, let alone visit the cockpit, ever again.