Unruly Passengers Pay The Price

Unruly Passengers Pay The Price

Unruly passengers on board planes, depending on their offence, sometimes receive minimal punishment for their actions, yet the action taken against them is usually proportionate to the offence committed. Depending on the threat level, sometimes flights continue to their destinations, while some situations warrant diverting and removal of the disruptive passenger. For many years, diversion costs were absorbed by the airline, and the costs can go into the tens of thousands. Until now. A judge ruled that a passenger that was so disruptive and caused the captain to turn the plane around to remove the passenger will now be required to pay a fine, presumably the cost of the turnaround and possibly punitive fines, in the amount of 98,000.00 USD! I think it is fair to say that not only will this person forever rethink about their behavior on board a plane, hopefully the message will reach others like this one and make the public realize they will be held accountable for their actions, and they will pay dearly for it should the flight need to divert.

http://www.businessinsider.com/hawaiian-airlines-passenger-must-98000-to-airline-2017-8

Night vision for takeoff and landing

Night vision for takeoff and landing

Night vision for takeoff and landing is very important as it has direct implications to safety, that of the flight attendant and of the passengers. Most likely during training, flight attendants are taught to adjust the cabin lighting to the outside lighting prior to takeoff and landing so everyone’s eyes will adapt to the outside light faster than going from a bright cabin to a dark outside. This is why flight attendants turn off the cabin lights and sometimes include announcement to passengers that they may turn on their reading light if they wish to do so.

It can take your eyes anywhere from 5 to 10 minutes to adapt to the natural lighting outside. Have you ever been outside on a moonless night with no lights on, but by staying outside for a few minutes, as long as there is a little bit of ambient light from the stars, over the next few minutes you were able to begin seeing things in that room? This is how our eyes are all the time. In the interest of safety, flight attendants should always remember to have the cabin lighting adjusted to the outside lighting, particularly for night flights. Going from a dark cabin to bright lights, it might be a shock to the eyes for a few seconds, but they adapt quickly. It takes a few minutes for your eyes to adapt to darkness.

For clarification, if it’s a daytime flight, it does not mean you need to turn on the cabin lights to full bright. The cabin lights can be off, as the ambient light will enter the cabin with the window shades open. However, come evening and nighttime, that’s when the cabin lights should be dimmed to the lowest setting or turned off according to company policy. It’s not a regulation to adjust the cabin lighting to the outside lighting, it’s a best safety practice that everyone should do as flight attendants are safety professionals and should want to do things as best as they can to promote and or enhance safety.

Exit Row Seats

Exit Row Seats

Exit Row Seats on an airplane are among the most desirable seats available. They have more legroom, and on airplanes where it seems like space continues to shrink, sitting in an exit seat provides a little bit of extra comfort on a flight when flying economy. However, sitting in an exit seat is not just about comfort, it also comes with responsibility. Because of the additional responsibilities required of people who were seated there, should an emergency occur, they are expected to meet minimum requirements. Airlines are responsible for ensuring only qualified persons sit in an exit seat. The screening process takes place at check-in, but for some airlines, passengers are provided open seating, so flight attendants must be vigilant in screening those that sit in an exit seat. Anyone who sits in an exit seat us understand that it is not a right or a privilege to sit there. Some airlines require passengers to pay extra to sit in the seats, yet the flight attendants are charged with the responsibility of ensuring that the passenger seated meet the regulatory requirements of 14 CFR 121.585 Exit Seating.

This list is not complete, however the key points of exit seating requirements are that a person cannot sit in an exit seat if they:

  • Are under 15 years of age
  • If they have a responsibility to care for another person, small children for example, while seated in an exit seat. (Scenario: Dad is traveling with his 10 year old son. Dad is in the exit seat, the son is in the seat row behind him. Dad cannot sit in the exit seat as he has responsibility for a child not authorized to sit in an exit seat.  Scenario: Dad is traveling with his 10 year old son, and an adult is seated with his son. Dad may sit in the exit seat as there is an adult tending to the child.).
  • Have any kind of physical limitation, or likelihood of harm would occur that would restrict or cause difficulty in the operation of the emergency exit.
  • They cannot hear instructions shouted by flight attendants, use of a hearing aid is acceptable (The regulatory text: (5) The person lacks sufficient aural capacity to hear and understand instructions shouted by flight attendants, without assistance beyond a hearing aid. Translation: the person cannot be deaf and sit in an exit seat. Use of a sign language communicator assistant is not acceptable, the person themselves has to have the ability to hear)

Additionally, passengers must comply with the instructions given by a crewmember  implementing exit seating restrictions established in accordance with the regulation.

If a passenger does not wish to perform the functions required when seated in an exit seat, they can ask the flight attendant be reseated without being questioned why they want to change seats.

There is much more to this regulation than briefly described. You can read the full text of the regulation here, 14 CFR 121.585 Exit Seating.

Why Not To Get A Tattoo

Why Not To Get A Tattoo

Just no. Don’t do it. Don’t get the tattoo.

While you may like the way a certain tattoo looks, just because you like it doesn’t mean employers will have the same appreciation for it as well. In fact, there are some airlines that do not allow ANY tattoos anywhere on your body. They don’t care that it’s covered or on the back of your neck, hidden by your hair. Some airlines permit tattoos, but only if they are out of sight or can be covered by a long sleeve shirt or long pants. If you have one on your wrist or anywhere normally visible, sorry, you won’t get hired, and they won’t tell you why. We’re telling you now, you may think your tattoo is not your resume, but you are the image if the airline. You are the #1 marketing, public relations face of the airline. Airlines are not just names, they are brands, and airlines will and do protect their brand. What works for Hot Topic and Starbucks does’s fly, no pun intended, with image conscious airlines.

So, if you were considering getting a tattoo, we recommend you don’t. Ultimately, it’s your decision, but it may be a career roadblock. Decide what’s more important, your tattoo or your career and future. Choose wisely!

Cabin Safety through Galley Security

Cabin Safety through Galley Security

One way that flight attendants provide cabin safety through galley security is by ensuring all galley carts, bins, and compartments are properly closed and latched prior to getting into the jumpseat before takeoff or landing. Airlines around the world teach their flight attendants about galley security, and the importance of it, or at least they should be. Here is a perfect example of what happens when the galley isn’t properly secured for landing. If in a forward galley, carts or bins would fall out. This is serious as persons were injured and it could have been worse. Learn from the mistakes of others and remind your flight attendants/cabin crew that they must verify each piece of galley equipment:
– bins are closed
– red latches in proper position
– cart doors closed
– red cart latches down (both)
– cart brakes applied (red pedal down) – split carts latch down, if applicable.

When I worked as a flight attendant back in the 1990s, the airline I worked at, Tower Air, experienced a runway excursion during takeoff. There was one particular cart, really the ice bin which was made of heavy steel, was not properly secured for takeoff. The red latches on top were in the down position, but the holding pin down below was not inserted properly. When the airplane experience the runway excursion, this very heavy ice cart came out and struck the R4 flight attendant on her right shoulder. She became badly injured from the cart that was not secured. Over the years she’s had multiple surgeries on her right shoulder, yet she has never regained full motion of that arm. It was all due to improper galley security checks. In fact, this particular accident is one of the reasons why the airlines are required to have galley security training.

Please read the story, link below, of what happened during landing on a Jet2Go aircraft when a galley cart wasn’t properly secured.
http://www.foxnews.com/travel/2018/07/02/jet2-passengers-injured-when-snack-cart-hurtles-through-plane-during-landing.html

Safety Information Cards

Safety Information Cards

Safety Information Cards

Safety information cards are found on all commercial aircraft, corporate as well. Information contained on these cards tells passengers about the safety features of the aircraft, location of flotation devices when applicable, the donning of emergency oxygen in the event of decompression, and other important information. Often passengers take for granted that when they board an airplane that they will arrive at their destination safely. Thankfully airline accidents are relatively rare occurrences, however, passengers do need to be ready and knowledgeable how to evacuate an airplane should the need arise.

It is important for passengers to read and review on each flight the safety information card located in the seat pocket in front of them. Some passengers may be frequent flyers and feel they know everything there is to know about the safety demonstration, but the aircraft they frequently fly on may occasionally be different.

Commercial airlines are required to provide one safety information card at each seat location, and have spares on the airplane in the event some disappear, either through aircraft cleaning for safety information card collectors (you shouldn’t be taking the cards off the plane!).

As an operator of an aircraft, there are many regulations you need to know, and there are many that you may not know or understand. This is where our expertise comes in. One example is a question I received about safety information cards on aircraft and their requirement.

“Is there a regulation with regards to the Safety Information Card requirement on board the aircraft? We have some conflicting information regarding the minimum required. Is it 1 per seat or 1 per row/seat grouping?”

My response:
Regarding safety cards being at each seat, in the United States there’s a regulation that requires the certificate holder to have a safety information card located at each exit seat. Keep in mind that your regulations may differ.

§121.585 Exit seating.

The specific paragraph reference: (d) Each certificate holder shall include on passenger information cards, presented in the language in which briefings and oral commands are given by the crew, at each exit seat affected by this section, information that, in the event of an emergency in which a crewmember is not available to assist, a passenger occupying an exit seat may use if called upon to perform the following functions:

However, for all other seats, 121.571 applies, and you’ll find that the requirements for passenger safety information card quantity is rather vague per regulation, as it states below “in convenient use for of each passenger,” not “one per seat.”

§121.571 Briefing passengers before takeoff.
The specific paragraph reference:  (b) Each certificate holder must carry on each passenger-carrying airplane, in convenient locations for use of each passenger, printed cards supplementing the oral briefing. Each card must contain information pertinent only to the type and model of airplane used for that flight, including-
That said, there is another factor to consider – airplanes must be configured in accordance with the LOPA, submitted during certification of the aircraft and/or configuration change. The condition it was in at the time of certification, including emergency equipment, briefing cards, etc, is how an airplane is to be configured for flight, except otherwise excepted by the Minimum Equipment List (MEL).

Keeping that in mind, there is another piece of information I recall, but cannot find at the moment. I am fairly certain at some time, in some FAA Order or Advisory Circular, it mentioned in the event the plane is lacking one safety card per seat, following the requirements of 121.571, a row of three seats could share two cards; a row of four seats could share three cards, or two, depending on circumstance, and place the cards so all passengers in that section of seats could gain access to a safety information card. If really dire, there could be one card per row of three seats, and that card would be stowed in the center seat back pocket.

Although I remember this, I am unable to cite the reference where this came from, or where it can be located. It may have been revised and is no longer applicable.