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Crew refuses to take off due to "hostile work environment"

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Crew refuses to take off due to "hostile work environment"

Old 9th Jul 2008, 12:50
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Right On

Hoo Rah, for the crew!!

jones
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Old 9th Jul 2008, 12:52
  #42 (permalink)  
 
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You want passenger rage? Just wait until unrestricted use of mobile phones occurs in the cabin. Allowing mobile phone bogans with loud voices in the cabin is going to cause serious problems to flight attendants who are forced to "speak" to the offender and risk getting knuckled.
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Old 9th Jul 2008, 12:56
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Centaurus, I have to second you there... It's something I am dreading. I'm happy with SMS or WiFi traffic via GSM and satellite, but voice calls? NO THANKS.

S.
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Old 9th Jul 2008, 13:21
  #44 (permalink)  
 
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I wonder if part of the problem stems from something which I have noticed a bit lately. It seems to me the crew were abused because the pax believed that they were the cause of the delay. Wobble2plank had a similar experience where ground staff 'gleefully' informed passengers, wrongly, that the crew had overslept.

Is there a pattern here? I have noticed that some non flying staff in the business sometimes seem to have a chip on their shoulders about those who fly. Sometimes cabin crew, (glorified waitresses) but particularly pilots. I myself was on the receiving end of sarky remarks from a non pilot with power over me. 'So called professional pilots' among other things said, all delivered in way to ensure that others saw it happen and I was properly put in my place. Over the years I have often heard digs and comment directed at pilots from various sources. One Mr O'Leary being a case in point.

The 'arrogant pilot' is of course the favoured target. Often it's delivered in a jocose manner but sometimes there's more than a hint of bile in it. Or in my case an attempt at at a serious put down. Anyone else come across it.
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Old 9th Jul 2008, 13:28
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Pax Bill Of Rights>>>ha!

There is talk of a passenger bill of rights...I say HA!!!!

There should be a flight crew/airline employee bill of rights...hey, let's call it:RE-REGULATION!
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Old 9th Jul 2008, 13:57
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corsair, all you need to do is look on here occasionally. The bile's still there...

S.
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Old 9th Jul 2008, 14:01
  #47 (permalink)  
 
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Noticed that too.
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Old 9th Jul 2008, 14:12
  #48 (permalink)  
 
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Bravo Zulu to that crew!
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Old 9th Jul 2008, 14:27
  #49 (permalink)  
 
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As a mere SLF, I can understand pax getting irritated. Especially when ground staff giove out no or wrong info. But in some ways, it's our fault as slf in wanting flying on the cheap. If we were not so mean, standby crews could be available. An example: earlier on this year, one evening flying back from somewhere in Europe, we were two hours late. Because, so the CC told me, the FO turned up for work, started feeling unwell, got so bad by the time he got to the aircraft they had an ambulance for him. Standby FO fetched from home, slots missed and cumulative delays all day and the crew getting right up to their hours limits. Now if pax paid more, maybe airlines could afford to have standby crew at the airport, rather than at home - the standby at home guys would be the back ups for wehen the first standby guys went out.
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Old 9th Jul 2008, 15:08
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I could write a book on this. This incident seems very typical of what I have seen happen so often you think you are in bad dream.

It all comes down to providing some accurate timely information to the passengers.

One night in ATL, Delta flight, their home base, we had a tech delay and then they found another aircraft which they were going to bring over from the MX hangar. At 10:40 the screen was still showing a 10:45 , ( 2 hour delay) departure and there was no plane at the gate!!! Come on folks. Concessions on the concourse were closed, they nearest food was half a mile away and all they could say was don't leave the gate! Plane left after midnight.

A few weeks later something very similar happened, again Delta at Atlanta flying to NYC, and the police had to be called. As the "mob" included several NYC cops things got fun in a hurry.

Most people will be reasonable but you treat people like turnips don't be surprised when they go off.

I really feel sorry for the ground staff, they are kept in the dark worse than the pax.


Green granite is right about one thing. The airlines take no consideration of the value of the customers time. I've got your money and you can just sit and wait. Don't go on about what do you expect for a cheap ticket. Often as not this happens to me when I'm flying on a $500 one way for a two hour flight. That is not a cheap ticket, why do I get treated as trash?

A few weeks back I had this happen in Mobile. RJ went tech and a mechanic had to drive 3 hours with the part. Gate told people the straight skinny, we would have a 4 hour delay, and when the mechanic showed he got a round of applause. ttp://www.pprune.org/forums/images/smilies2/eusa_clap.gif15 minutes later we were on our way. Could have being ugly but a little bit of honesty goes a long way.

I can't comment on the crew in this case but I will bet a lot of money that for a minimal effort from the airline this could have being avoided.

This is really the managements fault and I think all staff should carry cards with the home numbers of the CEO and airport managers and hand this out to passengers.

20driver
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Old 9th Jul 2008, 15:10
  #51 (permalink)  
 
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The root issue here as was pointed out earlier is management and their accountability (for all parties involved - airline, airport, ground agents, handling, etc.)

They are too far removed, and there is a clear feedback breakdown between them, the crew and the slf.

I support the crews decision to walk away from this flight, and I hope they held the airline management accountable. (Doubt we will ever now).

Unfortunately this industry has become so big and complacent (airlines,crew and passengers alike) and _everyone_ feels entitled.

Everyone needs to show and be treated with respect.
Fares need to go up, not down, provided the revenues go to fix the system and not directly to the shareholders so they keep the (corrupt) management in place. People need decent wages (not just cabin crew but ground staff as well), otherwise they wont give a damn, will be overworked, and won't be motivated.

Good service, is a good business, good businesses make money.

Passengers who complain at the price hike, well there is always GreyHound....

The downside of course, is this could lead to downsizing if such a shift does occur, and a smaller but possibly happier place for those lucky enough to remain in the air.

It's a double edged sword.
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Old 9th Jul 2008, 15:12
  #52 (permalink)  
 
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Here's one proposed solution to the issue of pax unrest:

A senior government official with the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has expressed great interest in a so-called safety bracelet that would serve as a stun device, similar to that of a police Taser®. According to this promotional video found at the Lamperd Less Lethal, Inc. website, the bracelet would be worn by all airline passengers (video also shown below).

This bracelet would:

• take the place of an airline boarding pass

• contain personal information about the traveler

• be able to monitor the whereabouts of each passenger and his/her luggage

• shock the wearer on command, completely immobilizing him/her for several minutes
Washington Times - Politics, Breaking News, US and World News - "Want some torture with your peanuts?" by Aviation Security
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Old 9th Jul 2008, 15:26
  #53 (permalink)  
 
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I wonder about the captain in charge! Either he is an impulsive young captain that let his ego take that decision or an one close to retirement that miss old times when both passenger and crews were much more mannered and less stressed than nowadays
Or perhaps he was trying to avoid further incidences of air rage.

I was unfortunate enough to be in a similar situation, pax were making snarky comments, swearing and being abusive to staff. Unfortunately this was due to lengthy ground delays then a mid-air return to departure airport. No alternative but to send crew to rest for 10 hours then come back and fly with these pax on the repaired a/c. During the flight things got progressively worse and deteriorated to the point of physical altercation between pax and cabin crew. One cc was even spat on by a pax!!

Had the captain on that flight decided to leave them all stranded it would have been a much better outcome. End result was, a few angry pax left everyone stranded when they diverted to have this to$$er arrested!

'Don't go assuming it's about ego. Quite possibly this decision prevented further delay/injury/drama.

I agree, the flow of information needs to be better- but having been ground staff, informing pax of the reasons for delay (e.g. technical fault, XX minutes to fix") invariably results in stupid comments from 99% of pax like, cant we fly without it?? When pax stop treating CC and groud staff like slaves then they will get a better reaction.

Next time you're delayed take a minute to watch how pax are treated by the CC.... the ones being to$$ers are inevitably given a minimum of attention, while crew will go all-out for those pax who remain polite and unabusive. Call them unprofessional if you like but what's the saying.... treat others as you would like to be treated?

We know pax pay our wages, they pay their kids teachers too but would they spit on her or called her a 'stupid bitch' if their kid got D's???
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Old 9th Jul 2008, 15:47
  #54 (permalink)  
 
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Who caused the "hostile work environment"? The airline
how? bad communication and customer care principles.
why? insufficient training in people skills.
were the crew right to cancel? Probably. It is an on the spot call.
What is the overall outcome? Bad PR for the airline for obvious reasons, and bad PR for the crew, because it has been made to look like they have very fragile egos.
What's the answer? better understanding needed of the PR and commercial benefits of accurate and timely communication.
How? Better or more training with role play.
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Old 9th Jul 2008, 16:00
  #55 (permalink)  

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Oh all of a sudden what we read in the papers is 100% accurate..

Some of you guys are unreal - one minute they're the "gutter press/journo idiots" and the next you're on yer high horses quoting self same press to castigate pax!
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Old 9th Jul 2008, 16:29
  #56 (permalink)  
 
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Unfortunately the airlines seemed to be trapped in a vicous downward spiral. Understaffing combined with unrealistic schedules virtually guarantee many if not most flights will be late. Demoralized front line staff who are under layoff threats and have had there T & C's significantly rolled back have to deal with a never ending stream of unhappy passengers. Now the high cost of fuel will add further pressures to cut staff, while the airlines continue to encourage unreasonable expectations on the part of passsengers by promising what they cannot delever and pricing fares below the cost of running the operation. I cannot see how things could significantly impove without a fundamental change in he airline business model which would IMO have to start with a real effort to educating the travelling public on what their ticket does (and more importantly doesn't) buy.
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Old 9th Jul 2008, 17:02
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Interesting to see the entrenched positions on this. I can fully understand pax getting annoyed and yes, having information on why there's a delay goes a long way to calming the situation. I've seen the monitors at the RYR gates at STN where they're obviously on automatic and make no allowance for late flights, just cycling over at pre-determined times. However, the crew and ground staff are not to blame for the foul-up so complaints should be delivered politely (the same is true of most places, the person you deal with is not at fault and will be more receptive to your complaint if you're polite).

A couple of weeks ago I was on a Delta flight from SFO to SLC and one of the cabin crew failed to arrive. We couldn't board because I assume an RJ700 requires two crew in the cabin for that to happen, but this was explained to us, along with the fact that they were trying to source a replacement. Then we got told one had been found and he was on his way. He got a lot of thanks from the pax as we boarded and again as we got off.

I can fully understand why the crew of the flight under discussion didn't want to fly, good for them and I hope they get a chance to make their side of things clear to the media (probably unlikely, management will sit on them) so that credit for the day's events can be delivered to the correct place.
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Old 9th Jul 2008, 17:39
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I'm a fare paying passenger and not connected to the airline industry either past or present.
There is something very odd about this tale and the reactions to it. My day job is as a full time academic. I can have lectures with up to 500 people in the room, in air transport terms an A380's worth of passengers. Now since I work in central London I can be late due to train/tube delays even if I catch an early one. If I am late I have to enter a room full of now skeptical students who obviously think it is my fault I have kept them waiting. So, what do I do? I tell them why they have been kept waiting, including if it is my fault. Apology is given and generally speaking nothing is made of the issue. Without second guessing the captain of the aircraft concerned I think I would have gone to the desk and spoken over the loud speakers to the irate passengers giving them a full and frank explanation as to why I and my crew were so late. I would then have got on with the job. But I do say this without second guessing the captain, I was not there. I must also say that I would not want to be flown by a distressed crew, caused by any reason let alone from the fare paying public. I am old enough to remember the Staines BEA Trident crash; in 1963 was it?
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Old 9th Jul 2008, 18:23
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Airline management is always blaming the pilots for anything - you want to blame somebody for rude treatment by customers blame the managers who are always publicly blaming the pilots for everything that is wrong with the industry.

Airlines seem to do little to help themselves, they keep passengers in the dark about delays, try to conceal the true extent of a delay to avoid paying for hotels or snacks for passengers and often seem to have rude and undertrained staff at the sharp end dealing with the customers.
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Old 9th Jul 2008, 21:33
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Deltaindiasierrspapa, Airbubba, Romeoidiaxray, Weasil, etc.

The entitlement of the pax is to be treated as CUSTOMERS. Remember, the customer is always right! They are the people who are paying your wages. You need to remember that you are in a service industry. They are also entitled to be transported, together with their bags, in accordance with the company’s published timetable. This is nothing new. In the late 19th century Sir Richard Moon, who was Chairman of the London & North Western Railway, said: “A timetable is a gentleman’s word.” The LNWR right up until Grouping had a reputation as being above all other UK railways for being on time and for its employees doing their best to regain time that had been lost by others/elsewhere.

Things go wrong in the best of companies. In addition to the usual personnel and equipment problems, airlines are subject to weather delays more than other forms of transport. The obligation then is to do one’s best to remedy the situation and KEEP THE CUSTOMERS INFORMED OF WHAT IS BEING DONE. All too often when a flight is delayed the airline company’s and staff’s attitude to customers is one of dumb insolence.

It seems that many people in the airline industry or associated with it (eg so-called security personnel) consider that being part of it gives them an entitlement to be abusive to the general public, particularly their passengers. Reasonable complaints from customers are all too often met with shouts of “Air Rage” and outright insolence and abuse from staff and company. What goes around comes around! Being an airline pilot or air hostess used to be looked up to. They were occupations with genuine status. Now an airline pilot is looked upon as being no more than an airborne and rather surly version of a bus, truck or train driver and the air hostess as a flying waitress with an attitude. This disreputable industry has forfeited the public’s respect with its unpleasant antics. If the industry wants to regain that respect then it has to mend its ways and EARN it. It will not help the situation by engaging in and encouraging further bullying of the travelling public.
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