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United Attendants Say 13 Fired for Protesting ‘Menacing’ Jet

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United Attendants Say 13 Fired for Protesting ‘Menacing’ Jet

Old 8th Jan 2015, 08:28
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United Attendants Say 13 Fired for Protesting ‘Menacing’ Jet

"Thirteen former United Airlines (UAL) flight attendants say they were improperly fired last year after refusing to work on a Boeing Co. (BA) 747 jumbo jet that had “menacing” images drawn below its tail."

United Attendants Say 13 Fired for Protesting "Menacing" Jet - Bloomberg
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Old 8th Jan 2015, 08:52
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The SCMP are running their own version of this story, with an interesting modification:

"A group of 13 flight attendants say they were illegally fired by United Airlines after refusing to fly on a Hong Kong-bound plane last July that had a “threatening” message scrawled under its tail engine, according to a complaint filed with the US Department of Labor.

In the complaint, filed Tuesday, they said the words “Bye Bye” and two faces, one smiling and the other “devilish”, were found finger-drawn in oil grime under the auxiliary engine of the Boeing 747-400 plane at San Francisco International Airport."

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Old 8th Jan 2015, 09:17
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no info as to the reaction of the flight deck crew when they were made aware of this? most certainly I would have requested a security search of the airplane..
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Old 8th Jan 2015, 09:48
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Offensive cartoon from Charlie Hebdo?
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Old 8th Jan 2015, 11:40
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Sadly that is the world we ALL live in. I think they did the right thing highlighting this, should it of cost them there jobs? There has to more to it and I would want to know the Captains reaction, his ship, his rules etc.
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Old 8th Jan 2015, 13:25
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Sounds like their own union did not support them.

The captain knew as much about the circumstances and concerns as they did, and he accepted the airplane.

I hope the doors didn't hit them too hard on their way out.
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Old 8th Jan 2015, 13:47
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I hope the doors didn't hit them too hard on their way out

excellent CRM there..I would have walked off it myself...until it was completely searched, find the same message on a lav mirror and it's different?
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Old 8th Jan 2015, 13:58
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first off, the ''artist'' would be easy to find as his or her finger would be dirty...and fingerprints might be easy to find.

It really works like this: IF YOU THINK that the plane is in jeopardy you have an obligation to stop the op (operation) until YOU are satisfied that safety has been restored.


The FAs will sue and will win. They will go on talk shows and make united look even more stupid than it already is.

Were those markings authorized by UNITED? OF COURSE NOT< so someone has tampered with the plane.

I saw the images on local tv news (our of the bay area) and it looks more like one face is oriental and one is occidental. Perhaps a message from one MX department to the other.

But how did the girls know? Did the F/O or someone tell them after the walk around?
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Old 8th Jan 2015, 14:06
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If you find a message on the lav mirror it could be anyone of 400 or so idiots with a perverse sense of adventure, and the threat level is probably low. To be able to write it on the tail some 30 foot in the air means it was likely somebody with airside access, probably involved in a maintenance activity, and with more than just a passing knowledge of the aircraft systems. I would think that was justifiable cause for concern from the FA's.
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Old 8th Jan 2015, 14:35
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If you find a message on the lav mirror it could be anyone of 400 or so idiots with a perverse sense of adventure, and the threat level is probably low. To be able to write it on the tail some 30 foot in the air means it was likely somebody with airside access, probably involved in a maintenance activity, and with more than just a passing knowledge of the aircraft systems. I would think that was justifiable cause for concern from the FA's.
Sounds to me like the captain made the correct call (he or she was trying to operate an airline), then the F/As decided they were in command.

Last time I checked the captain was the PIC, not one of the folks working the cabin.
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Old 8th Jan 2015, 14:44
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aterpster

usually I like your posts, showing knowledge and understanding of the technical aspects of aerial naviagation.

HOWEVER, I disagree here with you

The captain can be wrong and if he has ANYTHING brought to his attention he should work to make everyone reasonably content about the safe continuation of the operation.

This was not done here. poster TWO's IN has the concept quite right. Who has access to the apu area of the plane? Mechanics who probably wouldn't want anyone hurt...OR some bad guy who did want someone hurt. Recently in San Jose , California, USA someone managed to get into the wheel well on a 767 to Hawaii. Breaches in airport security are becoming MORE commonplace and grabbing ascafolding/ladder and compromising the plane is a possibility.

Someone is wrong here, but it is not the FAs. Running an airline is always secondary to safety at an airline...isn't it?
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Old 8th Jan 2015, 15:37
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glendalegoon:

From the linked article:

“Our flight operations, safety and maintenance teams appropriately investigated and determined there was no credible security threat,” the Chicago-based airline said by e-mail. “All of FAA’s and United’s own safety procedures were followed, including a comprehensive safety sweep prior to boarding, and the pilots, mechanics and safety leaders deemed the aircraft entirely safe to fly.
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Old 8th Jan 2015, 15:48
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find the same message on a lav mirror and it's different?
Here, here. Could you imagine this being found on the mirror in the head?
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Old 8th Jan 2015, 15:55
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The captain is PIC but must use his crew to keep him informed of problems or concerns they have with the operation of the flight. After their input it is his responsibility to do what ever is necessary to insure the safety and proper operation of the flight.

When he has made this decision and you as a crewmember choose to not follow his direction you are putting your job on the line and you know this.

I have done this a couple of times as an FO and both times knew the consequences but felt it was my duty. Both times the captain let it go. One time he thanked me. Do your job. Just make sure you are right if you push it.
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Old 8th Jan 2015, 19:31
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aterpster

so, exactly who made the images? did united investigate that? did they explain that it was a couple of jerk mechanics fooling around?

back in the old days, leaving notes on planes or even chewing gum outside happened...but things have changed...I think if it had said : HELLO, instead of BYE BYE it might have been different.

UNITED started CRM because they really screwed the pooch on a few mammouth crashes that the captain really made some bad choices.

CRM dictates you fix things up so everyone is reasonably happy ( I say reasonably because real happiness is hard to achieve) about the safety of flight.

AT THE VERY LEAST, this should teach UNITED AIRLINES TO NOT BE CHEAP ABOUT WASHING THEIR PLANES.

Wondering what else they are cheap about. I SUPPORT THE FA's on this one.
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Old 8th Jan 2015, 23:07
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The Drawing in the Dirt



If YOU saw this on a plane you were about to board, would you be happy to board? A group of 13 flight attendants say they were illegally fired by United Airlines after refusing to fly on a Hong Kong-bound plane last July that had a “threatening” message scrawled under its tail engine, according to a complaint filed with the US Department of Labor. Sanfrancisco to HK 14Jul14.

If the Captain thought it was OK to fly after this was found without deboarding and searching the plane, then I will NOT fly with United ever again.
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Old 9th Jan 2015, 00:52
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Plane not searched, only auxiliary engine

"When the images were discovered, the airline should have checked the entire jet, not just the auxiliary power unit, according to the complaint. The unit is a small turbine that drives a generator mainly for power on the ground.

With the 747 in a secured area of the airport and the graffiti on the tail about 30 feet off the ground, the images should have triggered a more-comprehensive reaction, according to the complaint. A pilot’s suggestion to the crew that images were applied when the plane was in South Korea before arriving in San Francisco should have raised alarms about safety in that country, the attendants said."

United Attendants Say 13 Fired for Protesting ?Menacing? Jet - Bloomberg
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Old 9th Jan 2015, 06:00
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United fires 13 for refusal to fly over security concerns

News story with pic here:
13 United flight attendants want their jobs back after refusing to fly on a plane defaced with a creepy message - The Washington Post

Legal Proceedings here:
http://savvystews.com/wp-content/upl...ted-Filing.pdf
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Old 9th Jan 2015, 06:13
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I don't find the message "creepy" at all.
It says BYE BYE and has 2 smilies drawn in the dirt on the tailcone.
There is no threat, no warning.
The flight attendant scare looks like some kind of "group dynamics" to me, with emotions boiling over.
If the pilots deemed it safe to fly in consultation with the company and had the area reinspected with no findings, I find the insubordination out of place.

“Our flight operations, safety and maintenance teams appropriately investigated and determined there was no credible security threat,” United spokeswoman Christen David said in a statement. “All of FAA’s and United’s own safety procedures were followed, including a comprehensive safety sweep prior to boarding, and the pilots, mechanics and safety leaders deemed the aircraft entirely safe to fly.”
But given, that they might really have been afraid for their lives, even for reasons out of being overemotional, firing them all imediatly is way to harsh. Kinda shows a little about the company culture on dealing with stress incidents.

Whoever did this should better have written "Wash me!"...
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Old 9th Jan 2015, 07:00
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*** But given, that they might really have been afraid for their lives, even for reasons out of being overemotional, firing them all imediatly is way to harsh. Kinda shows a little about the company culture on dealing with stress incidents. ***

How much did this event cost the company?
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