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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 18th Jul 2008, 07:23
  #141 (permalink)  
 
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Glamgirl, that is pretty interesting. In the states you have to have the required cabin crew per the number of seats certificated on that airplane. For example a 737 with 128 seats would have to have 3 F/As, no matter what the pax load was. You can't drop a F/A and just do a minimum service. It's one F/A for 19 to 49 seats, 2 for 50 to 99, and one additional for each 50 seats certified on that aircraft.
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Old 18th Jul 2008, 08:09
  #142 (permalink)  
 
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Years ago I flew for a company (a predecessor of Ryanair but UK registered) with a Rombac BAC 1-11 which was fitted with 102 seats and therefore needed three cabin crew. Occasionally we ended up short of that number and a bright spark suggested that if we took out the last row of three seats we would be legal with only two cc. Initially this worked well until our flight ops inspector ruled against it saying that they had been trained to work as a three woman team and by reducing to two safety was compromised. The rule stated that the number of pax was irrelevant. What mattered was the number of seats and the crew had to match that. And in our case we couldn't just reduce the number of seats on an adhoc basis without a full cabin crew retraining course.
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Old 18th Jul 2008, 20:43
  #143 (permalink)  
 
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It is per "body" on board, not per seat fitted to the aircraft. That's what our manuals etc say. Bringing back an aircraft with only 2 crew (737) is only in exeptional circumstances and not something that happens often (for me, only twice in my 10 years of flying).

We can do the cabin service if we wish, but we don't tend to do it. Not because we're evil or lazy, but because it is more important to do safety duties. The airline will usually give the pax a voucher for refreshments either before departure or after landing (better than nothing I guess...)

Anyways, back to topic...

Gg
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Old 19th Jul 2008, 06:32
  #144 (permalink)  
 
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I read this thread, and can only come up with one statement...

"Thank God for the freight business"
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Old 19th Jul 2008, 20:26
  #145 (permalink)  
 
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Not Personal ... Just Business

This is my first post .... submitted with respect to all side-takers in this matter.

Just wanted to note that in business school, I learned 2 indispensable rules of any successful business enterprise:

1. MAKE A PROFIT

2. NEVER FORGET WHO YOUR CUSTOMERS ARE.

Customers (let's call them SLF or PAX for purposes of this discussion) were defined generically as the people who paid your mortgage, put food on your table, put a car in the garage, put the kids through school, paid the alimony... you complete the list.


The airlines are botching Rule 1 and observing Rule 2 only with PA blather:

"We know you have a choice in flying and appreciate your choosing (insert name of airline here)"

Without doubt, airline customers seem occasionally to plumb new depths of coarseness. Allowing their failure to justify breaking Rule 2, leads inexorably to breaking Rule 1, which leads to places where neither the airlines nor passengers want to go.

PS: For those inclined to respond with a "So,what's the point?", may I suggest you could be part of the problem.
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Old 20th Jul 2008, 04:38
  #146 (permalink)  
 
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right on!

Edunne,

How right you are.

FD and CC: Please remember that the far greater majority of SLF are well behaved, quiet and pleasant. Try not to include them with the a$$h****s who cause difficulty.
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Old 20th Jul 2008, 09:01
  #147 (permalink)  
 
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As so many have pointed out, honesty about delays is vital. I remember one delay in particular, caused by a cabin crew member leaving her/his passport at home (easyJet Luton-Madrid, May, 2007 if the crew concerned is reading this!). I can only speak for myself, but knowing the truth made a difference. All too often, though I suspect that where a long delay is expected the reality is sometimes only revealed in "small doses" (e.g., a 30 minute delay is anounced, which becomes an hour, then two....). I can only imagine that the airline thinks passenger reaction will be more muted if the truth is only revealed slowly. In some respects, however, the worst deception is "the flight will depart on time" from staff at the gate when we can both see that fifteen minutes prior to that time the inbound flight has not even arrived!!

Last edited by Seat62K; 22nd Jul 2008 at 19:08. Reason: spelling
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Old 21st Jul 2008, 13:44
  #148 (permalink)  
 
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It's a two way street

I once waited for a flight that was delayed because the "crew bus was late".

Considering I'd seen all of the crew in the Duty Free shop, in uniform, I considered that a little bit of a white lie.

When you've paid your readies to choose a certain airline, and you get p*ssed about because they decide they want to do a bit of d/f shopping instead of working when they are supposed to, you have every right to moan.

And more importantly, vote with your feet.

You are right that sometimes there is a simple and valid explanation for delays, and sometimes that explanation does not get across, but please let's not forget that there are times when some of those that (and in some cases, quite sneeringly) refer to passengers as "SLFs" deserve exactly what they get.

Whether that was true in this instance, I don't know, but there is no-one here that can automatically assume that in all instances, the people up the front are entirely blameless.

Let's have a bit of balance, please.
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Old 22nd Jul 2008, 17:30
  #149 (permalink)  
 
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I once waited for a flight that was delayed because the "crew bus was late".

Considering I'd seen all of the crew in the Duty Free shop, in uniform, I considered that a little bit of a white lie.
And even when you don't have duty free, one idiot will always delay the crew 20 minutes on the way to work because 'I've gotta have my Starbucks'.
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Old 23rd Jul 2008, 04:59
  #150 (permalink)  
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A follow-up in today's NY Times:

http://www.nytimes.com/2008/07/22/business/22road.html
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Old 24th Jul 2008, 17:40
  #151 (permalink)  
 
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Glamgirl, if you work for a UK airline, the Air Navigation Order (the Act of Parliament regulating civil aviation) mandates the number of cabin crew based on number of passenger seats. Your company cannot legally reduce these numbers- however few passengers are carried (unless "few" equals "none").
If your manuals really do have a procedure to allow this reduction, let us know who you work for, the Flight Ops Inspector will be right over!
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Old 24th Jul 2008, 20:42
  #152 (permalink)  
 
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Dunno if that was a follow-up, or a repetition of the general sentiment.
Anyway, I was going to write this earlier, but decided the better of it.

I ride a bit. Maybe once every two months, and a crossing or two of 10W once a year. So, no, I don't have the experience of a professional; just of a poor slob who flies from time to time, and sees some things.
Like being two hours late on a flight from Lisbon due to tech, complicated by the equipment being parked on the other side of the runway. Yes, I have a connecting flight to JFK, and yes, I've been seated in the last row. Supposedly, the BA folks sent agents to lead the transfer passengers, and they did ask people to keep the rows clear for transfer folks. And the rows were clear for the first seven or so to deplane. So then I'm stuck behind a bunch of Brits who are whinging for no particular reason (take pride in it. As an American, I take pride in being a pointless jerk. It's cultural expression, dude. The French swell with pride at gluttony; Italians decry the envy of their neighbors. A gentle(wo)man should have a vice). I finally get out, and nobody is waiting for me. So I race down the terminal (yes, we're parked at the very end of it), passing all the transfer groups except mine on the way to the busses. At some point, I hit a wall. Yes, the fire alarm has sounded, and the fire doors have automatically closed. The transfer groups pile up behind me. Finally, the doors open, and I charge ahead to the transfer bus. But wait, some genius LHR designer has decided to put only escalators down to the bus, and some corpulent family (and I use that term as an American, mind you) from the Midlands has decided to park in the middle of them. So I watch helplessly as the bus leaves. The next bus, of course, is delayed by the full complement of pax from the Lisbon flight, and additionally hampered by the lack of readily available wheelchair equipment for the 90-year-old transfer to Rio. Eventually, the bus leaves, and I get to T1. I go upstairs, and the doors closed five minutes previous. Down to the BA rep, and she says "You could have made that flight," and says that if I want the hope of a standby, I should go to the next (and last) flight to NY, and plead my case.

It doesn't stop there.
I go to the next flight. When the gate opens, I get in line to plead my case. The agent motions to a colleague and says, "can you do me a favor and take this one? I'll owe you one -- they're going to be really nasty."
He takes it, and I say, "So, I gather I'm supposed to get abusive now?"
In all fairness, I got an Economy Plus exit-row seat with an alleged "broken IFEN" unit.


On the other hand, and to explain our mentality, I recently was on a SAS flight from ZRH-CPH. Load factors on this route (LX included) are usually 80-100%), and this was the upper end of that. First they blamed the delay on "late arrival" as the mechanics inspected the NLG well. Then they announced a minor tech problem as they went to look at something up the main gear well. Then the mechs walked away and they started unloading baggage. On spotting that I was fortunate enough to flank to the security side of the crowd for the announcement of the cancellation. I lost my lead by missing the exit door. I dropped 4 positions (plus the three women lucky enough to have small children). That was enough to delay me 45 minutes at the transfer desk. When I left on my replacement flight an hour later, 3/4 of the flight was still waiting in line at the desk. SAS also informed me that the they will only refund and pay penalties on a flight if the passenger does not accept alternate booking; so, on my math, some of those people would have to wait up to eight hours for an alternate solution that would be less than ideal. When they took it, the airline would casually inform them (as they did me) that they deserved no compensation.
And this is for national carriers on a route that has between 6-8 flights a day.

So, sure, passengers are nastier. I prefer to use superior intelligence over being an jerk to achieve my means, but the tension is there, and if anyone bothered to do a study, we'd have a nice monetary quantification of that tension. And I can't speak about Miami, but JFK is decidedly the least pleasant airport for human relations. It's not just the oversubscribed crap on the taxiways (BTW, cheers to the NW folks in the last two weeks for their perfect information at JFK with the regular inbound delays. For the flight that concerned me, they reported over the gate PA that the flight was on final within one minute of when they were cleared to land. And everyone knows the JFK delays aren't NWA's fault; that would be Delta), it's the poorly conceived architecture with the low ceilings, increasing the darkness, noise, and agoraphobia. Even thinking about it, pax and crew alike get belligerent (okay, I'm assuming for crew, but I know they're with me).

So, yes, Joe Sharkey is right. We're all victims of the same process. On regional flights, I often get seated across from the dead-heading pilot. That pilot inevitably sleeps more than I do; and I try to sleep on flights. Practice makes perfect.

But when the system fails so terribly as to make the passengers give a "no confidence" vote to the flight crew before departure, I'm with the flight crew. Don't do it. You can only lose.

/rant
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Old 24th Jul 2008, 21:20
  #153 (permalink)  
 
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required cabin crew

Glamgirl, if you work for a UK airline, the Air Navigation Order (the Act of Parliament regulating civil aviation) mandates the number of cabin crew based on number of passenger seats. Your company cannot legally reduce these numbers- however few passengers are carried (unless "few" equals "none").
If your manuals really do have a procedure to allow this reduction, let us know who you work for, the Flight Ops Inspector will be right over!
Probably that the UK CAA is stricter than JAROPS here on the continent, or you're confusing "required cabin crew" (derived from the aircraft Type Certificate Data Sheet, determined for the amount of passenger SEATS) with "reduced required cabin crew" (min 1 CA per 50 PERSONS, and only in exceptional cases, homebound only, etcetc...), as mentioned in our JAROPS approved manual.
So, yes it's possible, at least on our side of the channel.
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