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Air rage (again)

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Air rage (again)

Old 21st Aug 2001, 14:45
  #21 (permalink)  
The Guvnor
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Interesting item in today's Air & Business Travel News:

AIR RAGE: A final word from Brian Walters, one time Lufthansa UK Sales Manager but more recently an airline journalist of distinction and now retired (he says).

"I fully support get tough moves but suspect that some ground staff are apt to pass the buck, only too glad to get rid of drunken passengers. In this litigious age airlines would need a prompt method of confirming
that passengers are drunk before boarding is denied. There is a Freudian aspect to the subject. On a flight to Vancouver several years ago, passengers in the row behind me were becoming rowdy (young males - too much beer). A five foot nothing BA hostess got them quiet in no time. Sensibly, a steward was not to be seen - otherwise a punch-up
might have resulted."

There is a moral to this story. You've got to get your cabin crew right. Hefty lads to shift the food trolleys and tiny girls to deal with unruly passengers. It is usually the other way around!
 
Old 21st Aug 2001, 18:56
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I don't know how the US crews see the European justice, but here in Europe, we know how fast and easy to launch is th US's one...
Here a story who take place a few years ago:
A french journalist, of the french newspaper "LE MONDE" (known as the french "reference newspaper") plan to have his holidays in the USA.
So he took a fly with his wife and son to (I think) Boston.
The man have, at this time, a broken leg, still wearing a plaster, and was walking with a crutch.
After boarding, he ask the FA if he could change his place to another where he could have his leg horizontally (cause of the plaster), and the FA desagree and let him in his first place.
End of the place story, and the fly took its way normaly to Boston.
Then, while coming out of the aircraft, he missed a stair, and fall in the arms of the same FA, who immediately screamed, and then, two FBI's guys rushed, took him, and put him in jail, where he stayed for a few days, whitout even a call to the french consul nor his wife, who was left alone with her children in the airport without news, and he was charged of AIR RAGE and "assault" on the FA...
Have nices holidays in USA...


I just don't want to imagine how this story was reported by the locals news medias...



MGloff
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Old 21st Aug 2001, 19:04
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Have to agree with 126.9 here - a high proportion of air-rage incidents are public relations problemettes which get out of hand as a direct result of the immature behaviour of stewards/stewardesses who unfortunately have their heads filled with regulations and an inflated view of their own importance at the training stage and completely lack empathy and basic people skills.

And Rongotai, why should passengers have to put up with the "grumpiness" of people working under pressure? Grounds for complaint here alone, surely?
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Old 21st Aug 2001, 20:20
  #24 (permalink)  
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Well said PFO
Until we (airlines) stop encouraging cabin crew to sell as much booze as possible to boost their commissions we will always have these problems. Carriers can inform passengers about the effects of consuming alcohol at altitude and to drink plenty of water all they want but if booze is then made available in what would seem limitless quantities are we not shooting ourselves in the foot.

If we must serve beer’s etc, would it not be better to pour it into a plastic glass as part of the service, rather then give them something that can be used as a missile.

 
Old 21st Aug 2001, 20:37
  #25 (permalink)  
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WELL SAID 126.9

and may i add..

if the airlines didnīt have sullen, sulky ground staff and cabin crew, things would immediately improve 100%. many of the cabin crew think theyīre godīs gift to men, women or queerdom and you are lucky if you get a grimace off them, instead of a grunt. (unless you are the lucky queer)

instead of being bad-tempered, impatient, arrogant and overbearing (see the dictionary under 'Lufthansa' here), a smile and a polite explanation/conversation wins over in 99% of cases

airlines - YOU are to blame for most 'air rage' cases.

the pax have a right to become angry when they are treated as they are being treated

iīm ashamed to get out of the cockpit and show my face some days
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Old 21st Aug 2001, 21:50
  #26 (permalink)  
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The blame is on society - people in the airline and people in the public. Society is sick, and will be until Shakespeare is made required reading again.
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Old 21st Aug 2001, 22:02
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AfricanSkies, with badly thought-out and badly argued posts such as that, especially your homophobic jibes, you SHOULD be ashamed to get out and show your face. (I'll say nothing about the almost illiterate spelling, grammar etc.)

If you (and 126.9 and MaxContinuous) are attempting to argue that all Air Rage incidents are self-inflicted injuries, I think you will have to come up with some evidence to support your allegations, or retract them. Why? Because there is ample evidence to support the contention that, in the large majority of cases, there has been little or no shortcoming on the part of airline staff as far as their attitude is concerned. Because many incidents are the extensions of arguments between two passengers (e.g. over the passenger in front reclining his seat etc. etc.). Look at the statistics. They're there to e read, if you can be bothered.

All cabin crew with whom I have worked (with one exception, who didn't last long) are acutely aware that they are the front line in the airline's relationship with the passengers. If they don't perform as they should, they let EVERYBODY else down. And very few do.

Put yourself in their shoes for a while. They have to endure some of the most boorish passengers treating them (at best) like glorified waitresses, or as servants. They have to find a way tactfully (but firmly) to prevent breaches of safety and security. They have to enforce not only airline rules but the law as well. And sometimes, sure, the smile slips. You think you wouldn't have a sense of humour failure from time to time?

However, if they fail to give one passenger their widest smile and a "certainly, sir" when some drunken lout is insulting and rude, there is no excuse whatsoever for the sort of violence and extreme rage that has been the main feature of too many incidents recently.

If a passenger is dissatisfied with the standard of service, or someone in the employ of an airline has been rude, then they have the right to write and complain - not to wreck the joint, fight with crew and other passengers, kick their way into the flight deck, etc.

And if ANYONE, for any reason whatsoever, endangers either my safety, the safety of any of my crew, my aircraft or others of my passengers, I will demand that they be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.
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Old 21st Aug 2001, 22:28
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Slightly off-topic, but still on the subject of getting pissed off at poor service while travelling by air.

I've found a lot of American so-called "international" airports to be absolutely abominable in the service they provide to international travellers. Yesterday, I was returning from LGW to PHL and disembarked at arounf 3:30pm to find an immigration hall not just packed with "alien" passengers, but overflowing down the corridor so that they had to let people up the escalator in groups of 20.

I had to wait in the queue for the immigration officer for an hour and half in a hot, sweaty, smelly and overcrowded snaking queue, struggling with my carry-on baggage among hordes of screaming kids. After an eight hour flight, it was a nightmare. The stress it engendered completely nullified any extra relaxation I got by paying the premium for a business class seat. By the time I got out of the airport I was fuming and ready to rip someone's head off. Not air rage, but airport rage - and I normally consider myself to be pretty level-headed.

This isn't the first time this has happened at PHL (although it was the worst). I've also had problems at IAD and JFK. Not only that, but PHL baggage handling is simply atrocious. Luggage is ALWAYS late onto the carousels, so you often have to hang around for an hour after you've disembarked (assuming you haven't already waited that hour out in the immigration queue). It's frequently lost and because he airport is so woefully unprepared for the amount of traffic it receives, they have teams of people taking the luggage off the carousels and stacking it in random piles around he customs hall almost as soon as it arrives so as to make room for the next flight.

Maybe I'm just being over-critical, but it seems to me that a lot of US airports make insufficient provision for the number of foreign passengers who arrive at peak times. It's not really a very good advertisement for your country when the first thing a foreign visitor has to do after a long and tiring flight, suffering from jetlag, is wait for ages in a hot stuffy queue.

I have to say you never see that at LHR or LGW - foreign passengers are usually admitted within five minutes or so of arriving in the immigration hall. In fact, at LGW, foreign business class passengers are issued with special "Fast Track" coupons to allow them speedy passage through immigration and customs.

I should add that US Airways(who I usually travel with) provide excellent service, and the customs and immigration officials at the airports I've always found to be pleasant and efficient. My gripe is with the airports and the airport authorities. Where are all our airport tax dollars going?
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Old 21st Aug 2001, 23:42
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Red face

As a passenger on the above flight I feel it was a slightly over the top reaction from both pilot and crew regarding the offending passengers. There were definitly no beer cans being thrown and the one passenger that went to the cock pit was invited to do so by quite an aggresive crew member. Yes approx. 10 passengers were rude and quite annoying throughout the flight, but this did not constitute the remaining 150 passengers being removed from the plane under armed police surveilance. The crew were aware of disruptive passengers before take off, and in my opinion should prehaps have refused to take those passengers from Cyprus, however, they continued with the flighht offering these people drinks services galore! I cannot abide aggresive and rude people but I feel that crew members may have been able to calm the situation if they had not been so abrupt and defensive!
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Old 21st Aug 2001, 23:44
  #30 (permalink)  
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I flew into Cincinnati earlier this year and when the immigration chap asked me where I was going to I told him.

He said:

"What the hell do you wanna go there for, it's a sh*thole!"

Welcome to America!

PFO
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Old 22nd Aug 2001, 02:30
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Max Continuous asks why I tolerate what I called 'normal grumpiness'. I have a dilemma with this question. On one level I agree with him.

But if I see frustrated passengers queued up in 4 check in lines while another three stations are unmanned, then neither the passengers nor the staff on duty are responsible for the tension that is created - it is the airline beancounters who have undermanned the operation.

I am very unwilling to complain about an individual in such circumstances because I know that if I do it is not the management who are responsible for the situation that will take a hit, but the staff member on duty.

My standard is that I expect staff to do their jobs properly, I don't always expect them to be happy. Under pressure I can get grumpy as well. If a person providing me with a service is in a bad mood, I make some judgements based on available evidence about whether it is their own gratuitous behaviour, or a response to imposed working conditions. I then complain to the company, or not, according to that judgement.

Actually, when ORD is closed by a line of thunderstorms on a Friday afternoon, or when Ansett suddenly has its 767's grounded, the best thing to do is to empathise with staff regardless of their individual demeanour. Not only does that help to ease the situation rather than exacerbate it, but from time to time it results in some snarling monster miraculously finding me a seat on some other flight while everybody else remains stuck and engaged in mutual hostility.
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Old 22nd Aug 2001, 02:57
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Good for you, Rongotai. I always try to behave as you do. I don't always succeed! However, when I do, my experience echoes yours.

And if people think that dealing with grumpy, sullen or simply overstressed staff is reason enough to scream insults and oscenities, start fist fights, trash the place, endanger the safety of everyone around them, or simple beat and stab people half to death with broken vodka bottles perhaps they also ought to stay out of almost all fast food joints, all trains, many supermarkets, etc. etc. etc....
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Old 22nd Aug 2001, 03:49
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Hugmonster - I agree with you that there's very little excuse for sounding off and getting generally wound up just because you're face to face with a stressed out, grumpy employee, on the ground or in-flight.

Nevertheless it's probably fair to say that most cabin staff, when asked at their interviews why they wish to join an airline, will reply that a big reason is their desire to work with "people". God only knows why, because, let's face it, "people" are the most dreadful, depressing, awkward scumbags imaginable. Far better to work on your own or with machines, in my humble opinion. But given their apparent desire to work with the general public, surely we can expect them to be relatively mature in their outlook and properly trained in basic inter-personal and interaction skills.

Blatantly this is not the case at present. Far too many hosties are under twenty-five, immature and in fact just as awful as the general public they purport to serve and work with. They're basically out for themselves and not in the job in any way because they enjoy helping and pleasing others. Many of them are defensive and moody and take criticism personally. I've very little sympathy with them because they're the ones who say they wanted to work with "people" in the first place. What do they expect? Why do they even get out of bed for the meagre wages they are paid?

Of course it's the glorious exceptions which prove the rule. Potential air-rage incidents on my own flights have, to my certain knowledge, been defused by experienced, sympathetic, reassuring cabin staff who are in the job for the right reasons. These angels comprise, say, ten per cent of the total.

And there we have it - predominantly ill-mannered passengers and cabin staff all getting fed up with each other, a tinder box waiting to ignite...........
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Old 22nd Aug 2001, 04:43
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Although I agree that most cabin crew are very young and immature, I have never found myself wound up by anything in flight, other than being told to close my blind so they can screen a stupid movie about bears playing baseball (with the sex bits cut out) while cruising over Greenland in broad daylight.

However, I suffer ground rage almost every time I fly to or from a big airport. Twenty minute check-in queue, pre-assigned seat reservation not in the system, then the guantlet of security / emigration, two mile walk / run to the gate, overcrowded departure "lounge" (gonna love those A380s, oh baby), delay, tailback in the jetbridge, idiots who have been allowed to bring a steamer trunk as handluggage and now they're blocking an aisle and endangering anyone sitting under them while they stuff it into a creaking overhead locker... I can't remember ever plonking my weary arse into an airline seat not drenched in seat. I love flying so for someone who doesn't, or maybe hate it, I don't know how they don't lose the plot.

Arriving can be worse - and I don't find LHR or LGW Arrivals that thrilling by the way, I am a non-EU national who is resident in the UK and that 'others' queue at T3 has NEVER been "five or ten minutes" (as someone suggested above), more like 30+, which admittedly still isn't as bad as in the US. Difference is that you're off the aircraft so you're more likely to kill a taxi driver than a trolley dolly / dragon with a wagon.

Agree with Mr Draper, ganga should be compulsory for SLF. No-one ever kicked in a shopwindow after smoking weed. The quickest and most stress-free inflight experience I ever had was Athens-BKK-Sydney on an Olympic 747 in my younger years. Swallowed a hefty lump of hash while on the taxiway at Hellenikon and dozed and snacked in contented silence all the way home. God bless those OA caterers for their generous portions. Although the view as we pounded out over the Greek Islands with the Med sparkling in the morning sunshine didn't really need any mood enhancement. (BTW I've flown OA longhaul without the Class Bs and still found them really good, including the food.)
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Old 22nd Aug 2001, 05:17
  #35 (permalink)  

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I have to disagree with Max. I have found that most "people" on this planet are decent folks - ground agents and flight attendants included. I try to treat everyone nicely and it is a rare occasion when I run into anyone nasty. I think good folks are in the majority but very quiet about it. It is the horrible encounters that one remembers most,unfortunately, and this does tend to colour attitudes. As for the trials and tribulations of crowded airports,flights, delays etc. I try to step back mentally and observe - makes it less personal and "Turned out nice again, didn't it?"
As for LHR T3 - absolutely horrible terminal. As a non-EU resident flying into it six times a year over many years - I have never, ever had to queue longer than five minutes at customs and immigration. Never had a lost bag either. Damn charmed life...so far.
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Old 22nd Aug 2001, 10:08
  #36 (permalink)  
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I have to say that whenever I fly (which is at least 3 times a month) I always empathise with the ground staff no matter how awful things are.

You can only admire people who VOLUNTARILY choose to work with the public.

A more disgusting, annoying and rude conglomerate of idiosyncracies you could never hope to find. The public that is. They're the reason I quit my retail career and am now a consultant. If a member of the public irritates me at work at least I know I can charge the B*****D $200.00 per hour for the privilege.

When you think about it the pilots have the best position in the airline. They only ever have one way communication with a bunch of people they never have to look at. Even when they're under attack the FA's are a formidable line of defense.

But to get back to the topic, I would have to agree that the majority of air rage incidents just would not happen if alcohol was not supplied. After all is it really necessary????? Can't we just go for a few hours without it?
 
Old 22nd Aug 2001, 11:28
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Hmmmmm, I wonder how many incidences of air rage Saudi Arabian Airlines have, as a 'dry' airline?

Any KSA based PPRuNers care to comment??
 
Old 22nd Aug 2001, 12:31
  #38 (permalink)  
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Hugmonster

firstly, i donīt spend my life and times on pprune writing prose to suit you, this isnīt an english competition, you stuffed shirt ...as for homophobic, i certainly am. all the more for you, eh?

it is not my argument that all air rage cases are the fault of the airline. if you read my post more carefully, you will see that i said they were to blame for 'most' air rage cases. of course the airlines cannot be held responsible for the insane. however, the cases you read about in the media are the tip of the iceberg! for every one incident where a passenger explodes into violence, there are perhaps fifty passengers who are seething in their seats! just because there is no outburst certainly does not mean there is no rage! this as a result of having been shunted from pillar to post from the moment they arrived at the airport. ...parking problems... heavy bags... standing in long queues...miserable faces of stressed ground staff...booking problems...security checks...finding the way to the gate...more sullen ground staff, usually more stressed out by this stage...waiting at the gate... delays....... by this time most passengers are edgy, if not outright tense...so when the flight is called they all jump up at once to get through the gate..more stress...the passengers arrive on board only to have to fight for overhead locker room, if not seats themselves...to their dismay the pitch has yet again been reduced...to the extent that if they drop their headset onto the floor they are unable to simply reach down and pick it up....not that it would matter, ten to one it was faulty anyway, and from where they have been seated (which was not their originally booked seat) they canīt see the screen without twisting their necks...the baby in the seat behind them is squealing, itīs parents are having a whispered argument...the frosty flight attendant comes past with the trolley taking out any elbows which happen to be an inch over the armrest..and throws everyone a roll with a grunt...later the pax is thirsty, he presses the call button...surprise, surprise, nobody shines up...he manages to catch the eye of a flight attendant and asks for a drink...after sheīs been past three or four times she remembers his request with a tut and brings him a miniscule plastic beaker filled with diluted orange juice which he finishes in one mouthful...i could go on and on...and i do, i know

years ago, before ‘cost-cutting’ was the buzzword on airline employeeīs lips, airlines did not have bare-minimum facilities at airports. they operated aircraft where passengers could sit in relative comfort, instead of packing them in ever tighter whilst fighting off the dvt lawsuits. they treated passengers as customers. today they are just another pax, just another problem. no wonder that sometimes the problems assert themselves....

and donīt take umbrage at the grammar huggy, you got the only capital letter in the whole post...

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Old 22nd Aug 2001, 15:39
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Red face

Interesting to read the account of the incident from Katie who was actually on the flight - and gives a very different description of events from the picture painted by the Press.
Perhaps the reason the police didn't arrest anyone for allegedly trying to force their way onto the F/D is that no-one did!!

Curious (and amusing) that whenever the Press reports an aviation story which is critical of the airlines we protest that it is a melodramatic and exaggerated distortion of what actually occurred - yet many ppruners seem all too ready to believe such stories when the criticism is of pax!

When these stories occur, there is a reluctance to accept even the possibility that the attitude of our check-in staff and/or CC could have been even a contributing factor.
And, when someone in the industry speaks out and tells the truth as he/she sees it, he/she is attacked.
The majority do their jobs well; but, sadly, there is a minority who seem to be ill-suited to a service industry, and give the impression they'd enjoy their work more if it wasn't for the pax - who pay their wages. The public can be tiresome; if that's a strain, find a job which doesn't involve serving them.

Hugmonster: I haven't the time (or inclination) to check my grammar. Have fun!

[ 22 August 2001: Message edited by: Heliport ]
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Old 22nd Aug 2001, 19:03
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Max-Cont'-I agree with Rolling Thunder-most people are not scumbags. Most are decent, pateint people. The scumbags that do cause trouble should be delt with very severely. The airports are definetley a cause of stress, but anyone getting seriously arsey at that stage should be denied boarding, esoeciacally if they're drunk. Its far easier to deal with trouble on the ground, with space and police available, than in an confined space of an aircraft. It must be very frightening for passangers to have someone causing trouble in the air. Trying to open the door is an excellent example. We all know that the pressure amounts to several tons, preventing anyone opening it i flight, but passangers don't-it must be terrifying.
It doesn't matter how frustrated you are or how shoddy the service, there is ABSOLUTELY NO EXCUSE for violent or threatening behaviour. I've worked with people with learning difficulties and behaviour problems and some of the things on hears about with air rage sounds like the perpetrators are candiates to be sectioned!
Can you blame the CC for over reating slightly-they've probably all seen incidents before, and don't want some t*** to stick a broken bottle in their face. Their job is to look after these c***s in an emergency, not take this!
Stop alcohol on flights, and be really tough on the idiots, before a fatality in flight on a complete a/c loss occurs.

[ 22 August 2001: Message edited by: Captain James Bigglesworth ]
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