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View Full Version : Icelandair fires ALL cabin crew


Bittair3000
17th Jul 2020, 16:22
After failing to reach an agreement with FFI (the Flight Attendant's union), including rejecting a new contract, Icelandair has decided to lay off all cabin crew!
As a temporary measure from July 20st and onwards, the airline will use company pilots to ensure safety onboard, until an agreement with a different union has been reached!

TBSC
17th Jul 2020, 18:14
Not sure I'd be a passenger on one of those flights.
https://onemileatatime.com/icelandair-fires-all-flight-attendants/?utm_source=BoardingArea&utm_medium=BoardingArea

an.other
17th Jul 2020, 18:37
I flew Icelandair from KEF to LHR last weekend and was due to travel back on Thursday. I've just bought a one-way ticket back with easyJet as I would be surprised if this doesn't translate into reliability issues.

I have a number of friends at Icelandair. I've heard a lot of bad feeling towards the cabin crew union from other staff groups over allowances (e.g. cabin crew getting an allowance to read emails before starting duty, but other staff groups not). I know a lot of laid-off ground staff at Keflavik who'd jump at the chance to become cabin crew (and were actively looking for openings before COVID), plus a lot of former Wow crew who are still out of work.

So Icelandair probably can do this, but I'll take my business elsewhere.

Banana Joe
17th Jul 2020, 18:46
On a serious note, I would expect all the pilots to go on strike until the cabin crews are reinstated.

nicolai
17th Jul 2020, 21:43
Remember back when the longer-serving BA staff on the gold-plated contracts went on strike - and ground staff and pilots crewed the cabin?

b1lanc
18th Jul 2020, 01:16
On a serious note, I would expect all the pilots to go on strike until the cabin crews are reinstated.
I would expect the same in normal circumstances but not necessarily now. What I'm suggesting is that times are tough for all and self-survival is now a big concern.

tonytales
18th Jul 2020, 02:50
Hard to believe that Iceland's erquivalent the USA FAA wouldn't stop them from flying. Cabin staff are absolutely required on airliners. I went through the agony of obtaining FAA passenger certoificasion at Orion Air (the US one), Pace Airlines and Treadewinds Airline (the US one). Although I was head of Maintenance and had to get my end ceetified, I also saw the Cabin Staff getting certified. It was thorough and was mainly safety related. Not a luxury, an absolute necessity.
The FAA required a minimum number of trained cabin crew dependoimg on aircraft type and seating. I also took part in evacuation trials on 747. 737 and L-1011. We failed the first trial on the L-1011 because the slide rafts which rode up on the doors, were then pulled out by the door action then deployed. In this case they jammed and would not come out and so held the doors only psrtially opened. The slides, it turned out, had been improperly packed by the manufactirers own repair station in Miami. Worse than embarrassing, it had a dreadful possibility of trapping a whole planeload of pax. FAA of course was present and notified Miami FSDO of problem. I took it up with the repair station and on the next try, all slide/rafts worked properly. Pardon thread drift.

Longtimer
18th Jul 2020, 03:11
'so, will all the pilots, AMEs etc go out in support? I would bet not.

InZed
18th Jul 2020, 03:40
I would expect the same in normal circumstances but not necessarily now. What I'm suggesting is that times are tough for all and self-survival is now a big concern.

It is a global pandemic, worldwide crisis and the start of a recession.. where airlines are going to shut down and people are going to lose their jobs. For a country of only 350,000 people... If you vote down a collective agreement during this time, I unfortunately can see why the airline has walked away.

Everyone in the global aviation industry is taking huge pay cuts to keep their jobs, facing down training to stay employed, or losing their jobs - you have to be able to meet the company halfway to help them out.

krismiler
18th Jul 2020, 06:54
Those cabin crew must be living in La La land. Everyone needs to pull together at the moment to keep as many of us employed as possible. Pay cuts are the norm for the foreseeable future, with those at the top taking the biggest hit. If I have to suffer a reduction in income for a while but someone keeps their job because of it, then it's money well spent.

Dannyboy39
18th Jul 2020, 07:14
"This is a pilot forum" - just getting that line in there before someone tries to justify not backing their colleagues...

Krautwald
18th Jul 2020, 07:24
Those cabin crew must be living in La La land. Everyone needs to pull together at the moment to keep as many of us employed as possible. Pay cuts are the norm for the foreseeable future, with those at the top taking the biggest hit. If I have to suffer a reduction in income for a while but someone keeps their job because of it, then it's money well spent.

1. Are you sure about that?
2. Except if people spend that money buying back their own jobs alone, while profits, bonuses etc. remain untouched. I get that big profits are unlikely as of now, but not at all sure this scenario is unthinkable.

Some things that disappear in crises just never come back, and that includes things that where right and just and fought for.

an.other
18th Jul 2020, 09:23
I have to agree. I do feel sorry for the crew who could see this and voted in favour of the agreement. They are now losing their jobs because of their colleagues.

I wonder if this will end up in a 'scab' conundrum, with some crew going back on Icelandair's new terms.

PilotLZ
18th Jul 2020, 10:55
Expect a massive round of landing bans for Icelandair across its route network. As far as I am aware, operating a passenger flight without cabin crew is illegal anywhere in the world. And for a good reason. While pilots are trained how to operate the doors (and have to open and close them for real on some ferry flights without cabin crew), the functions of the cabin crew aren't limited to the doors and the trolley service. What if there's a cabin or lavatory fire? What if a passenger becomes unwell or disruptive? What if an actual in-flight emergency happens? The pilots will have plenty on their plate and there's no chance they will be able to also prepare and possibly evacuate the cabin.

The only way this might work is if the idea is to use pilots who are not flying in the cockpit for the time being as cabin crew (after appropriate training). But even then, are there going to be enough pilots for that, given that the normal crew ratio is at least 2-2,5 cabin crew per pilot? And how long will training and checking them take?

Loads of unanswered questions. Hopefully this will not become the final nail in the coffin of an otherwise good airline.

krismiler
18th Jul 2020, 11:09
A previous employer of mine occasionally used pilots ac CC on regional turboprops if numbers were lacking due to excess leave or sickness. Needless to say it wasn't a popular duty.

If pilots have done the same emergency training as the CC, first aid, fire fighting, planned ditching etc, then it might be acceptable to the authorities however a cabin crew in charge would be needed and none of the pilots would qualify for that position, which normally has experience requirements.

PilotLZ
18th Jul 2020, 11:53
The last one is completely true, I think that 500 hours in CCM capacity is the legal requirement to become a SCCM.

MANAGP
18th Jul 2020, 12:24
I don't think there will be any "landing bans", the pilots will be licensed cabin crew, no big deal! Let's be honest British Airways did it with pilots and ground staff.

Kirks gusset
18th Jul 2020, 12:26
Article 1 (2)(11) defines ‘cabin crew member’ as follows:

(11) “Cabin crew member” means an appropriately qualified crew member, other than a flight crew or technical crew member, who is assigned by an operator to perform duties related to the safety of passengers and flight during operations;
To fulfil this definition the company may have to stand the pilots down as "pilots" and redefine them as "cabin crew" A SCCM can be anyone the company deems fit to be so with the appropriate training, for instance, if the SCCM becomes incapacitated the Commander would elect whom would do the task of SCCM , may not be the next most senior member, but whomever the Commander feels can do the role.

I remember when BA hold pool newbies were working as cabin crew, but quite how long horn skippers from IcelandAir will fair!

750XL
18th Jul 2020, 12:49
Strikes always have and always will be a huge thing in Iceland, just as recently with the nurses strikes, ferry workers strikes etc...

Madness from the cabin crew union in my opinion, there's thousands who would be willing to step up and take their role in a moments notice (both in Iceland and Europe as a whole!)

iggy
18th Jul 2020, 12:55
I can be a cabin crew if they want me to all right. But I just can't reach the pax sitting next to the window, back ache, and also can't bend over to the lower drawers in the galley, too big of a belly.

Oh, and I don't think the life vest fits me. And I just suck at blowing... the life vest during the safety demo.

Clipper7
18th Jul 2020, 13:07
I don't think there will be any "landing bans", the pilots will be licensed cabin crew, no big deal! Let's be honest British Airways did it with pilots and ground staff.

They’ve announced there will be six pilots on every 757 flight, and eight on the 767s. Presumably including the two in the cockpit. 😀

Pugilistic Animus
18th Jul 2020, 13:59
I would have failed miserably if I were cabin crew...I mean I would be horrible at it...
in fact, it would have been better if a cabin crew member had my seat than me having their seat.
:}

an.other
18th Jul 2020, 14:11
Clipper7

From RUV (Icelandic media):

"Pilots have received extensive training on the safety of aircraft, co - operation on board and more in their training as pilots. And that training actually covers all the training that flight attendants receive so that they can perform this role well, "says Jens Ţórđarson, Icelandair's flight operations manager. "Flight regulations state the manning of aircraft, how many people should be on board in this safety role and there are four on board 757s and six in 767s with us." Are there two in the cockpit plus four? "Yes."

Keeping the pilot's union on side now is pretty key for Icelandair. There fired cabin crew are going on strike on 8th August. That might not seem important, but it means any other staff will be breaking a strike. However, FI have brought back most of their furloughed pilots for this, so it's hard for the pilot's union to complain. Plus I think the pilot's realise Icelandair really might collapse, with no transatlantic hub and inbound tourism capped by the government (people entering Iceland must be swab tested, multiple times for residents, but there is not enough lab capacity).

lomapaseo
18th Jul 2020, 15:00
Most of this swapping pilots for cabin staff can be hidden behind hand held safety signs and a minimum of service blamed on Covid. Would the passengers even know the difference?

tdracer
18th Jul 2020, 19:19
Keeping the pilot's union on side now is pretty key for Icelandair. There fired cabin crew are going on strike on 8th August. That might not seem important, but it means any other staff will be breaking a strike. However, FI have brought back most of their furloughed pilots for this, so it's hard for the pilot's union to complain.

In the US, many companies with multiple unions have it written into the contracts that one union cannot support another union's strike (e.g. by refusing to cross the picket lines). That was the case at Boeing, where the Engineer's union had to remain at work when the Machinists went on strike, and visa versa. That being said, members of the non-striking union could not be forced to perform the jobs of the striking union - but they could do so voluntarily.*
No idea how relevant that is to what's happening at Icelandair...

* I personally found this rather frustrating - especially when I was a younger engineer, I would have liked to get some first hand experience with what the machinists did - but I didn't want to be a scab to do it...

Clipper7
18th Jul 2020, 20:12
Plus I think the pilots realise Icelandair really might collapse.

I think that sums up the situation. The pilots fear the airline might collapse. The cabin crew think it’s business as usual.

flash8
18th Jul 2020, 21:32
I would have failed miserably if I were cabin crew...I mean I would be horrible at it...
in fact, it would have been better if a cabin crew member had my seat than me having their seat.I think that's a fair point, and agreed, many of my former colleagues would be atrocious to the point that no customers would likely return, some of the (older) captains would point blank refuse. It seems the consensus is it will be no problem, well, lets wait and see.

Icelanta
18th Jul 2020, 22:12
If you as Flightcrew can not perform the basic Safety function of your Cabin Crew, then you should not be near any function as Pilot in Command or Second in Command.

Whitemonk Returns
18th Jul 2020, 22:35
I am a Captain on the 757 and even if you held a gun to my child's head I would not be able to operate the PRAM 😂

FlyingStone
18th Jul 2020, 23:38
Icelanta

Has your company put you through a full first aid course? Have you received comprehensive training on crowd control and handling passengers in difficult situations? Do you know all the emergency instructions to passengers by memory?

My answer would be no to all of the above.

krismiler
18th Jul 2020, 23:42
Flight crew would need training in meal service and duty free sales as well as the paperwork that the cabin crew have to deal with. More in-depth first aid training would be required as flight crew typically do not deal with medical emergencies.

This would probably take about a week. The authorities might allow flight crew experience to substitute for cabin crew experience to qualify for the senior CC role.

oceancrosser
18th Jul 2020, 23:51
Read the posts. No service. Water bottle on boarding picked up by pax at the door. How hard can it be?

Pugilistic Animus
19th Jul 2020, 00:58
The reason that I would flop as a FA is because I don't like people that much despite them being so cute. lock me in the dark room away from them :}

iggy
19th Jul 2020, 01:13
If you as Flightcrew can not perform the basic Safety function of your Cabin Crew, then you should not be near any function as Pilot in Command or Second in Command.

Aaaaaaaaand there it is!

I, for one, have always awe myself at the work ethics of the cc corps in any of the many different airlines I have flown. Quick turn arounds, longer duties than flight crew, heavier monthly rosters than flight crew, their preflight briefing covers so much more memory stuff than ours, they go about their unbelievable amount of checks, procedures and paperworks flawlessly, with spirit, and delivering a smile to hundreds of customers per day. Oh, AND THEY FEED US THE SECOND WE ASK THEM.

I think assuming that because a pilot is above a cc in the chain of command (the one in the OM, not the actual one that happens in the airplane! 🤣) a pilot knows everthing a cc does is having no clew whatsoever of what their job is.

Stepping off the pedestal once in a while is a healthy habit.

cappt
19th Jul 2020, 03:13
Any self respecting pilot better tell them to shove it up their tailpipe.
Crossing the picket line and doing scab work is not going to save an airline with that kind of labor strife.
I hope they don’t plan on flying into the U.S. with paper whipped FA’s.

42...
19th Jul 2020, 04:52
Can't imagine the awkward silence in the van to hotel after they come back...

woptb
19th Jul 2020, 05:19
Oh dear,doesn’t appear to be a whole lot of love for our cabin crew brethren.

Bob Viking
19th Jul 2020, 06:06
Just wait for a bunch of mean spirited people lacking in empathy to come on here and blame the CC for their own downfall and saying they have no right to whinge. Then we can all sleep soundly knowing true equality in the industry has finally been attained.

Clipper7
19th Jul 2020, 09:20
All over. Agreement reached with the cabin crew overnight. Viking negotiating tactics!

oceancrosser
19th Jul 2020, 10:21
Well I think the CC got a much needed wakeup call. It appears quite a few of them (including their leadership) were oblivious to the state of the industry in present times. We will see with the results of the vote whether some sense prevails or not.

aterpster
19th Jul 2020, 12:35
tonytales

Cabin certification is not the same as using qualified crew members to staff the cabin. At my airline all pilots and F/Es were qualified to be cabin crew for safety and emergency equipment operation purposes. I presume that is the same in Iceland.

FlightDetent
19th Jul 2020, 13:42
Which does not cover the intra CC-to-CC teamwork such as fighting fires, necessary training to handle medical situations or full size abnormals i.e. getting the PAX prepared for emergency landing / ditching.

kontrolor
19th Jul 2020, 14:25
update: https://onemileatatime.com/icelandair-wont-lay-off-flight-attendants/

cappt
19th Jul 2020, 16:20
aterpster

In the U.S. Flight Attendants are issued a license from the FAA just like pilots.

CargoOne
19th Jul 2020, 18:35
Once Icelandair have managed to get into a situation when all other unions have agreed and just an arrogant lunatics of cabin crew union were out, they shall not be allowed back even free of charge. Icelandair was on a right path to get a fresh air into the system but now giving up once the smaller win was achieved.

an.other
19th Jul 2020, 18:36
I'm not so sure this is over.

I have been involved in several management/union contract re-negotiations (elsewhere). The union's officials need to bring their membership along, to vote for the deal they've agreed. Twice in a row, this union has failed to do that, with their members voting against them (including during the current COVID crisis).

Last time common sense says the cabin crew would have voted in favour - Icelanders can be a strong-willed bunch.

oceancrosser
19th Jul 2020, 19:47
aterpster

In the U.S. Flight Attendants are issued a license from the FAA just like pilots.

There is no Cabin Crew licence in EASA land (which includes Iceland). Just a written confirmation of training.

Spooky 2
19th Jul 2020, 20:28
Not much more than a record of your initial training / qualification. You don't even have to carry on you and of course no physical required. Most corporate FAs in the US far exceed anything seen in the air carriers here in the US. T call it. "just like the pilots" is a joke.

https://www.faa.gov/other_visit/aviation_industry/airline_operators/airline_safety/info/all_infos/media/2008/FACert.pdf

MANAGP
19th Jul 2020, 21:21
Based on what I've seen that licence may as well be given away with a cereal pack. I flew on an American mainline carrier flight last year where the hostie was so overweight as to require an extension seatbelt, hardly weight proportional to height!

Longtimer
20th Jul 2020, 02:01
I flew on a number of carriers in 2019 and observed more than one PILOT WITH 4 STRIPES working their way into the cockpit who i WOULD BET ALSO NEEDED A SEATBELT EXTENSION.

cappt
20th Jul 2020, 03:03
Not much more than a record of your initial training / qualification. You don't even have to carry on you and of course no physical required. Most corporate FAs in the US far exceed anything seen in the air carriers here in the US. T call it. "just like the pilots" is a joke.

https://www.faa.gov/other_visit/aviation_industry/airline_operators/airline_safety/info/all_infos/media/2008/FACert.pdf
r
Tell me you can be an air carrier FA without one? It’s a piece of plastic just like the pilots, duh. No airline pilot in the US is qualified to be a FA, because you can arm and disarm a door doesn’t make you qualified. Must be very different in EASA land.

proxus
20th Jul 2020, 04:44
With the 4 operators I've worked for in EASA land I've have done most if not all of the safety training part of the FAs. Maybe the First Aid course is not as extensive but still a full day of action. We do fire fighting, smoke "diving" working in pairs, Arming, disarming and operating the doors both normally and in emergency. This might be looked upon as an abbreviated FA training but more often than not we do it along side the FAs during refresher training. How is it then under FAA?

PC767
20th Jul 2020, 10:42
There is no Cabin Crew licence in EASA land (which includes Iceland). Just a written confirmation of training.

Cabin crew now have an attestation. I say now from a UK perspective, I think European carriers may have previously had/understood an attestation. My carrier now has this available online as they state EASA regulations require it to be produced, if asked by an authorised person.

scr1
20th Jul 2020, 11:10
Sounds like the cabin crew have backed down

https://icelandmonitor.mbl.is/news/news/2020/07/19/icelandair_and_flight_attendants_have_struck_a_deal/?fbclid=IwAR0Cc4N56f76_sqieVo62nunrs7cjZX7-sqFeAcg9YxCEQiAyeR-40H_KNw

an.other
22nd Jul 2020, 10:17
It's still down to the membership, it's the third time the union have agreed a deal with Icelandair and their members have rejected it twice. Let us see what happens. A lot of Icelandair cancellations so far this week (including my flight!), all is not smooth in the frozen north.

MacLaren1
23rd Jul 2020, 14:15
Sorry, but - in any business - it's all about the money. Without that, no one works.

ChicoG
24th Jul 2020, 17:34
Just to put it in perspective, Emirates are asking some cabin crew to take four months unpaid leave to keep their jobs.

They will still be provided with company accommodation and medical cover.

https://www.reuters.com/article/us-health-coronavirus-emirates-airline/emirates-offers-pilots-cabin-crew-four-months-unpaid-leave-idUSKCN24O1D4

Re: IcelandAir, the cabin crew came back to the table and agreed a deal; the turkeys have another opportunity to vote for Christmas on the 27th July.