Saturday, August 25, 2012

You can't wear THAT on my airplane!!

Great article on Yahoo about what some passengers try to wear onto airplanes.  Your "freedom of expression" ends at the door to the airplane.

The same goes for "wife beaters," and pajamas.  Honestly., sometimes I can't understand what drives people to wear the things they do onto an airplane.  Personally, I would  never wear flip flops.  If you have to evacuate in an emergency you are essentially going to be barefoot.  Moreover, the vents come up from the floor also and you can get some pretty cold feet. 

'via Blog this'

Monday, August 13, 2012

How to be a "Proper" Airline Passenger and Other Pilot "Secrets"

In my years as an airline pilot, I have heard from flight attendants working the flight about very specific passenger behavior.  Some of the stories I hear are really amazing.  I have had passengers met by law enforcement officials, and I have had a couple removed from the flight before we even pushed back. 

There are, as you know, certain behaviors that are not going to endear you to flight attendants and may even get you arrested.  There are very specific regulations regarding the circumstances that dictate when passengers can and cannot be boarded.  There aren't many, but there are important things to remember if you want to be perceived as the "proper" passenger. 

1.  DO NOT BE RUDE AND DEMANDING!  Please and thank you's go a very long way.  When you step on board, leave your foul mood behind.  Greet the crew cheerfully with at the very minimum, a "good morning," or "good afternoon," regardless if the flight is late and you have been inconvenienced.  It is never the crew's fault.  They want to be on time as much, if not more than you do.  If we are late, it typically affects the amount of lay over rest we get or the time we get off and get to go home after a long trip.  DON'T EVER TAKE IT OUR ON THE CREW!  That will get you nowhere.  We can refuse to board a person whose behavior indicates that they may be hazardous to other passengers.  That can be interpreted widely.Unruly, obnoxious, or disorderly persons will not board my airplane.

2.  DO NOT BE INTOXICATED!  You will not be allowed to board.  This is a U. S. Federal regulation.  If you have been drinking and are a "quiet," non-stumbling drunk, you may get on.  Just go to sleep right away and don't get sick.  If you are a loud, obnoxious drunk, then don't even try to get on.  If I, as the captain of the flight become aware of you, I will delay the flight and have you removed.  This includes being under the influence of drugs.

3.  DO NOT BE MALODOROUS!  Yes, this can actually prevent you from getting on a flight.  The only exception to this is if it is part of a medically diagnosed "disability."  We are not allowed to prevent "disabled" persons from boarding.  Some cancer patients can have this condition and all airlines have passenger care specialists that can deal with this.  If you simply don't bathe, then that is a whole different story.  On the other side of the spectrum however, are the persons who perfumes and colognes.  Yes, that to can be considered malodorous.  Remember, you will be traveling in a confined, pressurized tube with recirculated air.  This also means that you should refrain from doing things on board that are "malodorous," like putting on finger nail polish or consuming some exotic, strange smelling food (I will not even broach the subject of flatulence).  The air circulates forward to the cockpit.  I can smell everything.

4.  DO NOT BE A PACK MULE!  I know, I know....checked bag fees are onerous.  Checked baggage handling has gotten better and fewer are lost and misrouted.   But you cannot bring the kitchen sink and three other bags on board.  Believe it or not, people still try to bring on excess baggage.  Pack efficiently and you will be surprised what a roll aboard can hold.  The floor in front of your seat must be clear and anything you carry must fit in the over head bin or under the seat in front of you.  There is no exception to this for obvious reasons.    

5.  DO NOT REQUEST AN EXIT ROW SEAT if you cannot sit in a seat without using a "seat belt" extension.  If you are an, ahem..."large person" who flies, then you may have to use an "SBE'" or seat belt extension in order to buckle into your seat.  Not to be insensitive, but you and the seat belt extension are a hazard to persons attempting to exit in the event of an emergency.  It can become entangled in people's feet as they try to egress.  NOTE:  if you do sit n an exit row, you pretty much guaranteed to NOT sit next to a plus sized person.  Sorry if I offended anyone.  This is simply the reality.

These are just the some of the important points.  But remember that flying in a scheduled airline is not a right.  It is a privilege that you pay for.  Flying today is cheaper than it ever has been.  In round figures, and in inflation adjusted dollars, airfares today are almost three times cheaper than they were in the late 1970's! If you are not satisfied with your experience, please write the company and vote with your feet.  Go try another airline or form of transportation.  Trouble is, we have all gotten used to these "discounted fares," and now we expect to fly for practically free AND in first class!