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'Have you got your pistol, dear'

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'Have you got your pistol, dear'

Old 16th Nov 2001, 20:35
  #21 (permalink)  
 
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Sadly I have to agree with a lot of these posts. The rights or wrongs of Mr Ashworth aside, too many people in the airline industry see passengers as irritating inconveniences that simply get in the way of their important job of flying aeroplanes!

Air travel is in no danger of extinction, but there are some lean years ahead and I think there needs to be a serious change in attitude if things are going to get better.

I wonder if the pilots who are crying for the blood of people like Mr Ashworth have the same attitude when it comes to reports of pilots who make smartass remarks to ATC or ground controllers? It's the same situation in my book; it's a serious business that, in the strictest terms, leaves no room for horseplay. However, it's rare that a pilot will get locked up for cracking a joke over the VHF, or indeed making a humorous remark over the cabin intercom. But then, the pilots are important respected pillars of the community whereas the passengers are just the cattle who pay their wages.

A bit of common sense is what is needed instead of knee-jerk reactions. Someone recently coined the phrase "emotional correctness" to describe a phenomenon which is currently on the increase. In short, it's social pressure to conform to an emotional state, be it outrage at one thing or sensitivity towards something else. What I think the airline industry is going through at the moment is as serious case of EC!
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Old 17th Nov 2001, 05:19
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It is presisely out of concern for passengers that crews and security staff take a dim view of "stupid remarks". Can you imagine the potential fear generated amongst the inexperienced travelling public caused by these smart remarks on-board. I'd rather see them licking their wounds on the ground than spreading fear in the air.

reports of pilots who make smartass remarks to ATC or ground controllers? It's the same situation in my book;
This is not comparible at all. Crews and ATC while on the air will have already been security screened and are just carrying out their duties. A bit of banter between professionals can liven up the day. Eveyone in this situation knows who they are dealing with and where they stand.
The same is not true about Pax. It must be obvious to even the above writers that Sep 11 was caused by people posing as ordinary pax. Crews, airport staff and most importantly pax themselves are paranoid about other pax. Sadly nothing can be taken for granted anymore and these remarks can't be tolerated.
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Old 17th Nov 2001, 08:58
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I'l bet the dumb ass doesn't make such a stupid comment next time.
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Old 17th Nov 2001, 09:22
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From a previous poster...

Can you imagine the potential fear generated amongst the inexperienced travelling public caused by these smart remarks on-board?

I've read about a few of these 'incidents' since Sept 11. They were either wisecrack comments or innocent discussion taken out of context by crew. I doubt they caused much in the way of fear (potential or otherwise) amongst other pax. I DO think they provided convenient opportunities for on-edge security and/or crew members to give vent to some of their emotion - fully aware that in the circumstances, they could prevail and would not be challenged.

This is nothing more than a form of bullying under the dubious camouflage of righteous indignation. We are ALL grieving for the victims of this outrage.

[i]It must be obvious to even the above writers that Sep 11 was caused by people posing as ordinary pax. [/I

Yes it was, but they were definitely not pax who were going to draw unecessary attention to themselves by cracking stupid jokes at the check-in counter!

Crews, airport staff and most importantly pax themselves are paranoid about other pax.

If this is indeed so, then those employees need to think about a change, either of job or of work environment. Cool heads are needed.

Sadly nothing can be taken for granted anymore and these remarks can't be tolerated.

The first statement is unarguable - as to the second, re-read the above. Such airline industry staff need to ponder their futures and perhaps reconsider their tolerance thresholds.
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Old 17th Nov 2001, 20:33
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I'm not undermining the seriousness of making comments etc. However, I would question, wouldn't those who pose a "real threat" be more likely not to attract attention to themselves? Their response would be to say no more than they had to?
The purpose is to get "on the plane" to carry out their intentions?
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Old 19th Nov 2001, 09:21
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Down and Welded and JudyTT, Clearly you don't fly ( unless maybe cargo ) and have no idea how easy it is to scare people, particularly at the moment.

JudyTT my point was not about the "real threat" but about passengers real fears. An idiot who thinks he is funny ( albeit no threat ) can terrify innocent pax. This has happened countless times pre-sep 11 and is potentially a much bigger problem now. Incidentally it is a felony in the States.

D a W ( Rather appropriate initials )

A little knowledge is a dangerous thing!
I've read about a few of these 'incidents' since Sept 11. They were either wisecrack comments or innocent discussion taken out of context by crew

If you have only "read" about these you show remarkable arrogance in lecturing those who have witnessed them. Also they were not taken out of anything by "crew" beause they were directed at and dealt with by security!

[ 19 November 2001: Message edited by: westman ]
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Old 19th Nov 2001, 11:26
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D&W, I take it you are one of those people who feel it is quite alright to crack tasteless jokes even when they know it could really upset someone? The incident on the QF flight occured IN THE AIR somewhere between SYD and PER. It REALLY UPSET nearby passengers. I was not on that flight but have accurate information about this (identities of the frightened passengers are confidential information so you will just have to trust me) Were you on that flight? Do you know the people concerned? Have you spoken to them or their relatives? Had the two people making the remarks really been terrorists then mid-flight is surely the most likely time for them to strike. The crew can hardly have been said to have over-reacted. Had they handed over to the police the mangled bodies of the two culprits there might have been reason to make such a claim but they didn't. The two walked off with the WA Police. These two were senoir management in their company, posts which one would have thought implied that they posessed at least some intelligence and a basic knowledge of human nature. Their irresponsibility was totally inappropriate for their positions. It was NOT a little bit of fun.
To all crew: Please continue to protect your passengers by whatever action you deem necessary, and, before some silly person dares to suggest it, I am not a frightened or nervous passenger, I just want to arrive safely at the place I intended.
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Old 19th Nov 2001, 12:12
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As a general point, is there anyone who can tell me just how we can choose, change or police peoples senses of humour? Who gets to decide what is funny and what is not? And who gets to make the decision about what jokes are appropriate and where.

Please - not Hollywood or airline security.
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Old 19th Nov 2001, 13:12
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DX

I agree that in the air it is not acceptable to joke in this way. However the original post was about an elderly couple on the ground where a question was asked which could have been a joke or could have been a valid query to make sure his wife had not inadvertently packed such an item. What also should be borne in mind is that nervous people tend to joke about the very thing they are nervous about as a means of dealing with it themselves. At worst these people should have been subjected to a more thorough security check followed by a quiet word then allowed to board. I will say that if the more thorough check wasnít conclusive I agree that they not be allowed to fly but at the moment it appears that the terrorists are winning as evidenced by the paranoia that is making this industry tear itís self apart.
Time to lighten up, not on security just attitude towards the people who ultimately you work for.
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Old 19th Nov 2001, 17:47
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Exclamation

Those of you who think that the Ashworth's were 'insensitive' should take a few lessons in being 'sensitive' yourselves.

Down and Welded makes a very good point. Check in staff should be much more reasonable (sensitive?) with passengers who clearly are just being silly. Sure thing it is not sensible to make such remarks, but let's get some perspective shall we?

DX Wombat you are confusing this with some other incident. Try and keep to the point of the thread.
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Old 19th Nov 2001, 19:07
  #31 (permalink)  

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A terrorist would be unlikely to declare concealed weapons so reacting in this way is of debatable value. There's also a danger of creating a culture of fear over check-in: Pax will be less inclined to admit leaving bags unattended if they fear more than just an enhanced search.

That said, there's a downside to asking check-in staff to decide if the pax is a security risk or a stand-up comedian. Whenever judgement calls are made, there's scope for human error.

Perhaps the best option would be to better educate pax about the formality of the check-in procedure. Many airlines have leaflets explaining the security questions. How about a footnote such as "Your check-in declarations are legally binding, please take them seriously and do not make jokes" ?
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Old 19th Nov 2001, 19:54
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I'm just a pax. All I can give you is my point of view from where I stand. It may interest some of you who actually cares to hear how we feel and see this events that are happening after that tragic Sep. 11.

I fly almost every week, different airports, different carriers, in US and out of it. I love flying since I was a kid, have no fear of flying whatsoever, even after Sep 11.

Lately, every time I go to the airport I get the feeling that I am considered as a terrorist until proven otherwise. I check and recheck my luggage trying to find out if any of my belongings can be considered as a weapon or something a terrorist would be carrying. I try not to look at the security in order not to raise any concerns, at the same time that I think they are looking at me and wondering why am I avoiding eye contact. I certainly do not make bad taste jokes like that, but this I did not do even before.

The reason I am given is that it is for my own safety. Sadly, I do not believe that. I believe in x-rayed carry-on luggage, in positive id of every checked luggage, in checking all personnel that works on the air side of operations, but the psychological part of this attitudes is simply awful. Believe me, there are far more pax terrified by this attitude then by bad taste jokes like that. And don't even get me started on air marshalls, the thought that there is a gun on board not controlled by crew is terrifying enough.

It has been said a lot, these are times for cool minded people. Not all pax are terrorists.
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Old 20th Nov 2001, 20:13
  #33 (permalink)  
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FlyingRabbit there is no such thing as "just a pax".

Without yourselves and the non-self-loading freight, there would be no airline industry, and all us would have to work in a field much less exiting and much less fun!

It's good to read things from a different perspective since being "on the indside" it's not always that easy to see what's like from the passengers' point of view, nor what it feels like to be treated the way you are at the moment.
So thank you for your level headed comment.
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Old 21st Nov 2001, 05:12
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OK so lets try to lighten up a bit
Having a fear of flying has a name but the word escapes me . So what is the name, if there is one for fear of terrorists?
Better still what should we call fear of passengers???
How about Paxophobia or SLFobia?
Any other suggestions
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Old 21st Nov 2001, 07:35
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I am just a pax (slf) too. And I will be very happy to have an Air Marshall on the plane with me. These people are trained in handgun marksmanship and are of high character. Most are ex-military or ex-police and are mostly mature individuals.

Most on this board seem not to remember that armed Air Marshalls are not new to US flagged carriers. I flew with them in the '70s with no problems.

Back on subject - if I hear any "funny" comments from ANYONE, especially Mom & Pop Vacationer, I will turn their ass in as fast as I can!! There has NEVEN been anything remotely "funny" about "hi-jack"; "gun"; "bomb", etc. and any idiot that thinks there is does NOT need to be on the same plane as I am on. Do I travel a lot? Yes, 122 segments last year. Don't try being "funny" within my hearing or your ass is grass, as we say over here in 'merica.

dAAvid -
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Old 21st Nov 2001, 20:04
  #36 (permalink)  
 
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Flapsforty

thank you so much for your kind words. It is people like you that makes me come back smiling every time despite the paxophobics (great one, Gunner) on the ground.

AA SLF

I agree that 99% of the air marshalls fit in your description. It is the 1% that worries me. Remember that that individual that blew the Arizona building would fit in this description too. And I believe it creates a huge breach in security, i.e., a gun is allowed in the plane.

Again, I'm no expert in any of this, this is just how I feel.
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Old 21st Nov 2001, 21:52
  #37 (permalink)  
 
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Angel

FlyingRabbitt - We can certainly agree that people like flapsforty are the ones who bring enjoyment to business travel. This lady, and her peers - if there are any out there, receive my biggest THANK YOU everytime I find them on one of my flights. On AA we top-tier pax have a special document that we can "award" these fine people with. This document will allow the employee to receive absolutely "free" travel on AA, not fees at all and with a "reserved seat" as well. It is called an SOS (SomeOne Special). I love to give them out to any AA employee I meet who exhibits great customer service!

The gentleman that you refer to would never have gotten to be an Air Marshall IMHO. He had exhibited all the "bad" characteristics while he was in the Army that would have shown a lack of "stability" and maturity and thus disqualified him from the job.

I am not a "paxophobic" as I have faced up to the fact that I might be on a flight with a "bad guy" and have decided that I must go after that person regardless of the consequences. Once you make that kind of an examination of yourself you no longer have a phobic fear of the event, just a normal fear level that is good as a driving force to motivate you and quicken your senses. This was/is very common in military and police people. Yes, they have the fear, they face it, and they move on to do their jobs as best they can. We pax/slf did not have to think about this prior to 11-Sept, but now we do! It is a sad world we live in today.

Hope you always have a safe flight every time!

dAAvid -
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Old 22nd Nov 2001, 09:30
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FlyingRabbit

Iíve just realised Paxo is also an english brand name for a filling used to fill dead birds prior to roasting them. So if we donít lighten up then I suppose aviationís goose will definitely be stuffed.

I didnít realise how appropriate the word would be.
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