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Airline Employees: Your Worst Mistake?  
User currently offlineZrs70 From United States of America, joined Dec 2000, 3164 posts, RR: 9
Posted (6 years 7 months 2 weeks 2 days 4 hours ago) and read 5127 times:

For those in the industry, what was the worst mistake of your career?

For me, it was the summer of 1990. I was working for Bar Harbor Airlines (CO/EA express) in Boston. I worked both the ticket counter and the ramp.

My first day on the job, we had a bad rainstorm, so we used covered carts for the bags (rather than open ones) as we took them off the plane.

One of my co-workers failed to take an oil pan out of the cart. He had been using it earlier in they day for maintenence work and failed to remove it.

So it was dark and rainy. And I ended up piling bags onto the oily cart. I found out later that one of the passengers with a damaged bag was none other than Frank Lorenzo (head of the airline at the time).


14 year airliners.net vet! 2000-2013
24 replies: All unread, jump to last
 
User currently offlineNwAflyer07 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 1, posted (6 years 7 months 2 weeks 2 days 4 hours ago) and read 5045 times:

Wow.. thats funny as hell man. lol What are the odds of that?

I havent been in the industry long enough for anything to be considered the worst mistake of my career, nor have i had anything too dangerous happen.

Worst mistake ive done so far is forgetting to check the bypass pin on a 757 towbar my crew chief hooked up. It was my first night-time push and my 2nd day doing pushbacks by myself. (my 4th month as a ramper overall) Obviously, when i went to turn the aircraft the sheer pins popped out of the towbar making an awful bang. I was scared out of my mind at the time because i thought either the towbar popped, the aircraft came loose from the towbar and i had lost control of an 80 million dollar machine, or i had damaged the front landing gear somehow. Thankfully it was nothing serious.


User currently offlineDABZF From Germany, joined Mar 2004, 1200 posts, RR: 0
Reply 2, posted (6 years 7 months 2 weeks 2 days 2 hours ago) and read 4886 times:

I thought we don't do mistakes in this business because we are perfect... errrrr... no... wait...  duck 


I like driving backwards in the fog cause it doesn't remind me of anything - Chris Cornell
User currently offlineLAXspotter From India, joined Jan 2007, 3650 posts, RR: 5
Reply 3, posted (6 years 7 months 2 weeks 2 days 1 hour ago) and read 4837 times:

joining the airline industry

signed Laid-off pilots

BTW, this thread should be moved to av polls and preferences.



"Patriotism is the last refuge of the scoundrel" Samuel Johnson
User currently offlineTCFC424 From United States of America, joined Nov 2003, 517 posts, RR: 2
Reply 4, posted (6 years 7 months 2 weeks 2 days ago) and read 4701 times:

Worst mistakes...hmm...perhaps this should be changed to most dangerous...

I had always heard about how dangerous the ramp was, from this website. Honestly, I thought it was all common sense (and to a great extent it is.) The ramp IS a dangerous place, and it doesn't take much to create a major incident.

Mine was about two months into my job as a ramper. I brought in an A319 and was performing the "walk-around." Just as I crossed the center line of the aircraft, aft the rear cargo door, I sensed something wasn't right. I stopped and looked around. Then I realized the #1 engine was still active. 5 more feet and I would have wound up a hurting unit. I realized the crew was waiting for ground power, hooked them up, then completed my walk around.

I have seen some pretty precarious situations, and I realized quickly...it only takes a second of innattention before you become a statistic. When I am working an AC, I always watch where everyone is at, and do my best to point out hazards (i.e. running engines.)


User currently offlineAirframeAS From United States of America, joined Feb 2004, 14150 posts, RR: 24
Reply 5, posted (6 years 7 months 2 weeks 2 days ago) and read 4671 times:



Quoting TCFC424 (Reply 4):
Mine was about two months into my job as a ramper. I brought in an A319 and was performing the "walk-around." Just as I crossed the center line of the aircraft, aft the rear cargo door, I sensed something wasn't right. I stopped and looked around. Then I realized the #1 engine was still active. 5 more feet and I would have wound up a hurting unit.

This proves my point that everyone out on that ramp is, indeed, 'deaf' out there.

Back to the thread...the stupidest thing I've done was putting my hands in Mirabowl without reading the warning label. I became a smurf for the next two weeks, and it wasn't fun! (Mirabowl is the blue juice solvent we put in lavatories...)



A Safe Flight Begins With Quality Maintenance On The Ground.
User currently offlineLHR777 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 6, posted (6 years 7 months 2 weeks 1 day 23 hours ago) and read 4660 times:

My worst mistake was probably not going into medicine as I had planned. "Just one year in the airline business, then I go to medical school".

That was 17 years ago........


User currently offlineD328 From United States of America, joined Jul 2007, 304 posts, RR: 0
Reply 7, posted (6 years 7 months 2 weeks 1 day 23 hours ago) and read 4632 times:

Working at PIT for PSA. I have two.

I sent my Badge to STL on a Saturday on the last flight out with none returning till late morning on Sunday, I had to work at 8am. But I used my travel pass to get in to the airport and sat around till the Badge came in. But I didn't mind I had the rest of the night off and the next morning because of it.

Second one was part my fault but nothing resulted in it. I elected to turn out a Saab that was in between a Dash 8 and another Saab that was parked on the wrong line and too close to the middle Saab(the one I was turning out). Also a pain was they were painting jet ways so they were extended pretty far out and was unable to bring the Saab forward any. I wanted to turn it out purpose not really trusting the other ramp agent I was with on that gate. I asked the pilot what way he wanted to go before he boarded the plane and said turn towards the Dash. So turned towards the days and the wing of the Saab went under the Dash 8's wing by about a foot. I however did walk the wing the whole way while I was turning it out. Did not get in trouble for that. Except the Colgan MX dude gave me some words and I told him the pilot wanted to go that way and walked away.

I've turned another Saab out coming within inches of another Saab's wing, the other person turning it out with me I told to stand at the wing of the other Saab but the guy didn't and the supervisor told him later he should have stayed there. Told me I did a good job turning it out, because i kept with the wing since that other guy didn't. This was another Saab parked on the wrong line. Too many lines where on the ramp at PIT, I personally did not bring either of the Saab's that were on the wrong lines. They were new hires so they got a break.


User currently offlineLO231 From Belgium, joined Sep 2004, 2392 posts, RR: 23
Reply 8, posted (6 years 7 months 2 weeks 1 day 18 hours ago) and read 4496 times:

Do travel agents count?

Anyway, my mistake was to send a pax to the wrong airport. We had a chat before issuing a ticket, he was saying his flight from DTW is very short and he knew it because he flew it before, I was like: "no, it's 2 hours". He didnt reply. He gave up..

Only when he was in NYC he discoverd I was talking about Rochester, NY and he was talking about Rochester, MN.

Luckily it was a business class fare, they've rerouted him in the States, he came back and could laugh about it.. I couldn't for a while...

Regards,
LO231



Got both LO 788 frames already, next LO E95 and 734 BRU-WAW-BRU
User currently offlineJetMech From Australia, joined Mar 2006, 2687 posts, RR: 53
Reply 9, posted (6 years 7 months 2 weeks 1 day 18 hours ago) and read 4491 times:

My worst mistake was running a maintenance stand into the side of an A340 engine and tearing a big gash into it. I thought the stand would clear the engine but it didn't.

Regards, JetMech



JetMech split the back of his pants. He can feel the wind in his hair.
User currently offlineSK601 From Belgium, joined Jun 2005, 976 posts, RR: 4
Reply 10, posted (6 years 7 months 2 weeks 1 day 17 hours ago) and read 4483 times:



Quoting Zrs70 (Thread starter):
what was the worst mistake of your career

Maybe not considered worst mistake, but certainly something to regret:
- upgrading an Elite passenger on an intercontinental flight and getting the reply: "Oh, yes, that's what they always do" instead of a "thank you, I appreciate that"


User currently offlineJCKastrup From Denmark, joined Sep 2006, 419 posts, RR: 0
Reply 11, posted (6 years 7 months 2 weeks 1 day 9 hours ago) and read 4432 times:



Quoting JetMech (Reply 9):
My worst mistake was running a maintenance stand into the side of an A340 engine and tearing a big gash into it. I thought the stand would clear the engine but it didn't.

Regards, JetMech


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Who the hell wants to fly to JFK? Nobody does, That's who!
User currently offlineDavid21487 From United States of America, joined Oct 2006, 232 posts, RR: 0
Reply 12, posted (6 years 7 months 5 days 23 hours ago) and read 4260 times:

I messed up someone's ticket soooo bad one time. This guy was originaly flying CMH-ATL-SNA but he had it changed to CMH-ATL-RIC and then the next day he was flying RIC-ATL-SNA. He was running late for the CMH-ATL flight and it was already boarding, so I tried to check him in real quick and I got an error response from the computer. After looking at the e-ticket, I saw that it needed to be reissued since the change. When I did the reissue entry I got a response saying "Invalid for reissue - process manually." I don't know how to do a manual reissue so I did what we always do when we get that response - print the ticket and attatch the paper coupons. Well he got to RIC just fine, but when he went to check in the next day for SNA, he didn't have a ticket because I didn't reissue it.

The issue took so long to get resolved at the check-in counter in Richmond that he missed his flight to ATL and the flight to SNA for which he had a confirmed upgrade to first class. They made him pay some astronomical fee to get everything corrected (I don't know why, since it was clearly employee error), and since there were no more ATL-SNA flights that day, he had to fly to LAX in coach. The worst part about it is that he was PLATIMNUM and regularly flew out of CMH.

While I never officially got a nasty complaint letter from him, I got an email from corporate with every little detail of his reservation and all the special remarks that the other agents had added. Of course that same email was also sent to the station manager and my supervisor. They also put in the email how much revenue the company lost because of my mistake. That one definately went in my file.

That was definately the worst mistake that I've ever made at work, and I felt extra horrible about it because he was a really nice guy and I really didn't think that I was doing anything wrong at the time. And I think that we lost his business because of it.



-- Step! Jump! Slide! --
User currently offlineFlyboyOz From Australia, joined Nov 2000, 1985 posts, RR: 25
Reply 13, posted (6 years 7 months 5 days 11 hours ago) and read 4207 times:



Quoting JetMech (Reply 9):
My worst mistake was running a maintenance stand into the side of an A340 engine and tearing a big gash into it. I thought the stand would clear the engine but it didn't.

Which airline it was?



The Spirit of AustraliAN - Longreach
User currently offlineJER757 From United Kingdom, joined Jun 2006, 350 posts, RR: 0
Reply 14, posted (6 years 7 months 5 days 8 hours ago) and read 4187 times:

Putting a passenger on the wrong aircraft and sending them to GCI instead of ACI. The following ACI aircraft (the one he was meant to be on) had to go via GCI to pick him up. My company then had to pick up the fuel bill and the extension for GCI. Wasn't in the boss' good books for a while!

Quoting LHR777 (Reply 6):
My worst mistake was probably not going into medicine as I had planned. "Just one year in the airline business, then I go to medical school".

Believe me LHR777... sometimes I regret taking the med school route!



Gale force fog... don't you love it?
User currently offlineUnited319 From United States of America, joined Jul 2006, 522 posts, RR: 0
Reply 15, posted (6 years 7 months 5 days 8 hours ago) and read 4185 times:
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1) I cracked my head open on the pitot tube of a 717 when I worked for FL
2) I took too sharp of a turn with some bag carts and a bag fell out, in it was about $300 worth of frozen meat that I ran over
3) One night on a 733 I went to make sure the battery switch was off and I accidentally flipped the engine fire extinguisher switch just below the battery which caused MX to come out and fix the A/C.



It's Time To Fly
User currently offlineStarAlliance38 From United States of America, joined Jan 2008, 1445 posts, RR: 3
Reply 16, posted (6 years 7 months 3 days 9 hours ago) and read 4093 times:

Accidently booked a couple to LAX to return 1 month after arrival. oops lol


Roar, lion, roar
User currently offlineJetMech From Australia, joined Mar 2006, 2687 posts, RR: 53
Reply 17, posted (6 years 7 months 1 day 17 hours ago) and read 4024 times:



Quoting JCKastrup (Reply 11):

Not quite that bad!

Quoting FlyboyOz (Reply 13):
Which airline it was?

Turkish.

Regards, JetMech



JetMech split the back of his pants. He can feel the wind in his hair.
User currently offlineAtlas From United States of America, joined Jan 2008, 2 posts, RR: 0
Reply 18, posted (6 years 7 months 1 day 7 hours ago) and read 3963 times:

I opened the top of the lav cart in 95+ degree heat and got a shit steam bath.

User currently offlineZWRampRat From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 19, posted (6 years 7 months 23 hours ago) and read 3919 times:

On the Counter -

During bad weather with massive dlys and cncl it is common for us to check pax in for thier entire flight, have them take ground transportation to ORD and offloading them from their MKE-ORD flight so that we have seats on the aircraft when/if it gets in. Well one day not too long ago I accidentally offloaded a pax from their entire flight to SYD who also had a very tight connection taking the ground transportation to ORD. I'm sure it was something the gate could have fixed when he got there but it didnt help that I accidentially cancelled out his PNR somehow. ooops.


On the Ramp -

1) being in a hurry to get out of the bit of a CRJ2 I thought it would be wise to lower myself out of the pit without a belt loader or anything under me. when I got to the point when I was going to let my body drop straight down my legs swung under the aircraft and I ended up landing flat on my back with my legs up in the air. didnt get hurt.

2) working in the bag room one day I somehow forgot I had 2 carts attached to the tug and closed the overhead door as I was driving out the door slammed ontop of the second cart and messed the door up. the cable came loose on both sides of the door and it wouldnt close.

3) first day on the ramp I drove the offloaded bags ( including 3 transfer bags ) to the baggage claim belt. Realizing what I did with the transfer bags I went upstairs to the carosel to retrive them and drop them off at the correct airline. There was a crowd of 40 some people.... I offloaded 16 bags.... we were too short to have anyone in BSO at the time..... people started asking me where the rest of the bags where, as I grabbed the transfer bags I stated that all the bags have been offloaded from that flight.... I had an angry mob follow me to the elevator back to the tunnel yelling at me...... again, first day on the job was pretty scary..... Now I know that transfer bags dont go to baggage claim, and if I made the same mistake again and had the same situation, I would put a sweatshirt on and say I work for a different airline.


User currently offlineHAWK21M From India, joined Jan 2001, 31667 posts, RR: 56
Reply 20, posted (6 years 7 months 22 hours ago) and read 3910 times:

Skydrol burn on my RH Hand.Took a month to get back to normal,caused by a cotton glove getting soaked with skydrol during a major check & I took the glove off after 7-8hrs.Looked fine until the next day when the skin started flaking.  Sad

regds
MEL



Think of the brighter side!
User currently offlineAF340 From Canada, joined Jul 2007, 2786 posts, RR: 4
Reply 21, posted (6 years 7 months 9 hours ago) and read 3871 times:



Quoting HAWK21M (Reply 20):

Ohhhh that has gotta hurt!




Liam spin 


User currently offlineSWAOPSusafATC From United States of America, joined Dec 2005, 118 posts, RR: 0
Reply 22, posted (6 years 6 months 4 weeks 1 day 10 hours ago) and read 3807 times:



Quoting United319 (Reply 15):
One night on a 733 I went to make sure the battery switch was off and I accidentally flipped the engine fire extinguisher switch just below the battery which caused MX to come out and fix the A/C.

Not to call you out but that makes no sense. The T handle is below the throttle quad the battery is on the overhead. You would have to pull up the t handle and twist left or right to have to call out MX.

Are you maybe thinking of the CSD disconnect switch (red guarded, normally wired down)?

For me.. I had a pax that had a black eye. He asked to preboard and I told him he could not since he was not disabled. He then boarded but complained. A month or so later I was pulled into the office.. Apparently a black eye is a temporary disability and I was in violation of the Air carrier access act.. Oops..


User currently offlineHAWK21M From India, joined Jan 2001, 31667 posts, RR: 56
Reply 23, posted (6 years 6 months 4 weeks ago) and read 3746 times:



Quoting AF340 (Reply 21):
Ohhhh that has gotta hurt!

hurt not much but the look was worse for some time till it healed.

regds
MEL



Think of the brighter side!
User currently offlineElite From Hong Kong, joined Jun 2006, 2796 posts, RR: 10
Reply 24, posted (6 years 6 months 3 weeks 6 days 21 hours ago) and read 3727 times:



Quoting SWAOPSusafATC (Reply 22):
For me.. I had a pax that had a black eye. He asked to preboard and I told him he could not since he was not disabled. He then boarded but complained. A month or so later I was pulled into the office.. Apparently a black eye is a temporary disability and I was in violation of the Air carrier access act.. Oops..

I wouldn't blame you there, I didn't know that a black eye would qualify as a disability... how about losing my glasses before boarding? I was basically partially blind  Smile


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