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Crew Behaviour ... Too Demanding!  
User currently offlinePat From Belgium, joined Aug 2000, 110 posts, RR: 1
Posted (11 years 6 months 2 weeks 2 hours ago) and read 2827 times:

Hi,


What kind of attitude can be expected from airline crew members during night stops ?

I recently heard some stories which are obviously far beyond my understanding ...

Some people are complaining for everything :

ex :

1/ "the hotel rooms are too small, wa cannot even have a drink with the entire crew..."

2/ "there are not enough restaurants close to the hotel..."

3/ "for the breakfast - on a very early departure -, the restaurant was still closed, we had to take our breakfast in our rooms..."

4/ "the shuttle bus to the hotel is not a private transport ... "

5/ "there is no fitness center in the hotel, during long night stop, it gets boring"

... ... etc, ... Is this a normal behaviour that all airlines crews' have ?
What would you say about it ? Do you have any feedback about crews being so demanding ?


Cheers,


Pat

32 replies: All unread, showing first 25:
 
User currently offlineJhooper From United States of America, joined Dec 2001, 6204 posts, RR: 12
Reply 1, posted (11 years 6 months 2 weeks 1 hour ago) and read 2784 times:

I doubt this is typical; but certainly there are those who would complain about anything.


Last year 1,944 New Yorkers saw something and said something.
User currently offlineRick767 From United Kingdom, joined Jan 2000, 2662 posts, RR: 51
Reply 2, posted (11 years 6 months 2 weeks 1 hour ago) and read 2756 times:

1/ "the hotel rooms are too small, wa cannot even have a drink with the entire crew..."

Perfectly reasonable... crew parties are the best  Big grin We are sociable people you know!!

2/ "there are not enough restaurants close to the hotel..."

We need some choice you know! Can't be paying for taxis to go to a decent restaurant...

3/ "for the breakfast - on a very early departure -, the restaurant was still closed, we had to take our breakfast in our rooms..."

Common problem

4/ "the shuttle bus to the hotel is not a private transport ... "

Inexcusable, would order a taxi and charge it to the company myself  Big grin

5/ "there is no fitness center in the hotel, during long night stop, it gets boring"

Yep, had this too. We're a long way from home, often in an unfamiliar place, a long way from our families, often for several nights. The airline has a responsibility to ensure we are staying somewhere with something to do every day. Luckily wherever I have stayed there is a bar and that provides sufficient entertainment....



I used to love the smell of Jet-A in the morning...
User currently offlineFlysab From Belgium, joined Nov 1999, 106 posts, RR: 5
Reply 3, posted (11 years 6 months 2 weeks 1 hour ago) and read 2748 times:

You have to see it from the crew perspective. Try for one year to spend half of your nights in hotel rooms and you might understand that flight crews need some level of comfort.

User currently offlineGreg From United Kingdom, joined May 2005, 0 posts, RR: 0
Reply 4, posted (11 years 6 months 2 weeks 1 hour ago) and read 2733 times:

I travel a lot---but NOTHING like a flight crew. Restaurants and services close by or in the hotel are more a requirement than a luxury.

The bar complaint is moot. They probably shouldn't be drinking on MOST layovers anyway.

They can take the hotel shuttle bus to the airport...just like their most loyal customers.


User currently offlineArtsyman From United States of America, joined Feb 2001, 4745 posts, RR: 34
Reply 5, posted (11 years 6 months 2 weeks 1 hour ago) and read 2727 times:

there is often wording in the contacts that say that many of these amenities have to be provided, so when they are not, it is a violation of the contract

Jeremy


User currently offlinePat From Belgium, joined Aug 2000, 110 posts, RR: 1
Reply 6, posted (11 years 6 months 2 weeks 1 hour ago) and read 2710 times:

Ha yeah because :

* going to the bar to have a drink it's too difficult ...
* having his breakfast in his room ... that's horrible indeed
* can you imagine a stay of 15h in a hotel which has no fitness room ...

Com'on do you know how pathetic this is ?

Do you think that businessmen-women who travelling a lot as well
are as demanding as that ? Sometimes to be honnest I am pissed
of by attitudes that kids of ten years wouldn't have.

If you can get all the features for reasonable price why not ... but do you know that the price the company pays for your rooms it'a bit of everybody's money in the company ? Yours included !

Cheers,


Pat


User currently offlineRJ From United States of America, joined Mar 2001, 198 posts, RR: 1
Reply 7, posted (11 years 6 months 2 weeks 1 hour ago) and read 2708 times:



Demanding?!?!?

I will try and put this in a way that doesn't make me sound like I'm whining, but when you spend half of your life on the road, there are certain things that get under your skin.

You see, when you are on the road, certain liberties are taken away from you. Lets take a look at some of the complaints that you have heard.

Pat said: "there are not enough restaurants close to the hotel..."

"for the breakfast - on a very early departure -, the restaurant was still closed, we had to take our breakfast in our rooms...
"

Food is a perfect example of some of the biggest complaints that crewmembers have. When I am home I have the choice of what and when I eat. If I had a nine to five job, I would eat breakfast at home and have a lunch break during the day, and end up eating dinner at home. But when I'm on the road, all of those choices are taken away from me. You see, a flight crewmembers life can change day to day, trip to trip, and month to month. The folks that build the trips (at least at my airline) don't seem to take in account that the crewmembers have to eat! And we don't serve meals on our planes or have crew meals, so that rules that out. Sure, I might get an hour here or an hour there during the day but a lot of that hour is spent pre and post flighting the aircraft for the next leg. And we all know what kind of food is available in the airports! It's a nutritionist dream! When you are at a hotel, you are a captive audience. The location of the hotel dictates what you can eat, how much money you will have to spend, and the time you can eat.

Pat said: "there is no fitness center in the hotel, during long night stop, it gets boring

Again, I reiterate that you are captive when you are at a hotel. Exercise is important to many people. When you spend 6 or 7 hours a day sitting on you behind, eat crappy airport food, work odd hours, and deal with the associated stress of work, some people like to relieve that stress. Some people exercise and other people do what you complained about here:

"the hotel rooms are too small, we cannot even have a drink with the entire crew..."

I hope you can understand and appreciate why you have heard some of these gripes. I could go on and on about my pet peeves, but then again I would sound like a whiner. Someday, I will need to post the schedule for one of my trips, and then post how it actually turned out. How I missed eating because of a weather delay, how the resturaunt had bugs in the cream for the coffee (all true) and on and on. Then maybe you would all see how demanding life of the road really is............ Someday, maybe someday

Happy flying!!!

RJ


User currently offlineLH423 From Canada, joined Jul 1999, 6501 posts, RR: 54
Reply 8, posted (11 years 6 months 2 weeks 1 hour ago) and read 2672 times:

Generally the crew are pretty happy with what BA provides them in Boston. Private transport to a hotel in the middle of the city. A hotel with a pool, fitness centre, connected to one of the main shopping centres in the city, etc. We meet most of these requirements which are in the FA contract, and after talking with some crew members and toying with the idea of becoming one myself, I can see why it's important.

LH423



« On ne voit bien qu'avec le cœur. L'essentiel est invisible pour les yeux » Antoine de Saint-Exupéry
User currently offlinePat From Belgium, joined Aug 2000, 110 posts, RR: 1
Reply 9, posted (11 years 6 months 2 weeks 1 hour ago) and read 2662 times:

RJ,

Don't take it wrong. It looks obvious that people will always find some good reasons to make cost cuts and it has to stop somewhere. Crews are entitled to be accomodated in good hotels, and if possible, with as much features as possible. But there is a "stop".

You chosed to do this job, you knew right from the start that you were going to travel extensively, right ? Knowing all this, let's see the facts : at the airline I am speaking of in this particular case, flight crew have a max. of 5-6 night stops a month ... the hotels booked for them are all 4 **** hotels.

When I get to hear some stories like " I had one banana and two croissants this morning iso 1 banana, 1 croissant and 1 muffin" ... I get pissed of yes.
Let's be honnest, airlines crews' are not top executives - I don't want to underestimate you guys; without you there is no business - but you cannot reasonnably ask things that are only provided to top executives, can you ?

"There are not "much" restaurants around ... you get acceptable layovers to pay you a cab - divided by 3, 4 or 5 people it looks acceptable - or to take the tube, no ? Of course, some of the crew members want to keep all that money for them ... you can never have the butter and the money of the butter, can you ? You want to keep the money given for specific reasons okay but then do not complain afterwards - am not saying you do the same RJ, it's just to give the full background of the story -.

If the contracting people can get the maximum when dealing the contract it is much better for the crew members ... and also for the company because the crew will be happy and will most probably reflect that on their passengers. But, once more, it has to stop somewhere ... you guys are working hard, are not home several times a month ... but you chosed for that and cannot blame the airline for a few stuffs that big boys themselves wouldn't require. some people inside your company, when travelling for the company - i.e relief station managers, quality auditors - and staying for a few DAYS see weeks in a hotel wouldn't be that demanding ...

Hope you understand what I mean ?


Cheers,


Pat


User currently offlineCorocks From United States of America, joined Feb 2001, 1213 posts, RR: 0
Reply 10, posted (11 years 6 months 2 weeks ago) and read 2605 times:

"Do you think that businessmen-women who travelling a lot as well
are as demanding as that ? "

Absolutely.....I probably spend more time on the road than flight crews. I am often in hotels every week night, 50 weeks out of the year. I definately feel that these things are important. It is the little things that make travel tolerable.


User currently offlinePat From Belgium, joined Aug 2000, 110 posts, RR: 1
Reply 11, posted (11 years 6 months 2 weeks ago) and read 2583 times:

Sorry for looking a bit rude but do you read only even lines ?
You speak of 50 weeks a year ... we speak of airline crews (in this case one particular airline having short hauls flights > max 2h30) spending 50 nights out a year ...

As for the businessmen-woman-, most of them are either executives or working for companies which are currently in better shape than most airlines.
Next to that people like need of course a lot of comfort (50 WEEKs out a year that's the minimum your company can do).

Think it had to be said ...


Cheers,


Pat


User currently offlineMD88Captain From United States of America, joined Nov 2001, 1330 posts, RR: 20
Reply 12, posted (11 years 6 months 2 weeks ago) and read 2576 times:

Pat, you should stick with what you know. We live our lives away from home in all types of hotels. We want and demand certain amenities that make this type of life easier. You may not like, but tough. No place to eat or no place to get breakfast with an early departure is just unacceptable on both a personal, professional, and safety level. No gym at the hotel is very important to many crew members who keep themselves in good physical condition. (And that impacts sick leave and medical costs is a good way for your company.)

We want CLEAN, safe, and comfortable homes away from home. That's the way it is.


User currently offlineRJ From United States of America, joined Mar 2001, 198 posts, RR: 1
Reply 13, posted (11 years 6 months 2 weeks ago) and read 2568 times:

No Pat, I think you don't quite get it yet.

First off, a little background. I do not work for a major carrier. I work for a Regional carrier here in the USA. I spend half my month on the road and usually fly 4 day trips. I have had layovers anywhere from 8 hours to as much as 18 hours. I usually don't stay at 4 star hotels and I have no say on where we stay. I am captaive.

What you are arguing about is the "entitlement" attitude that some crewmembers get. There is a fundemental difference in an entitlement attitude vs. what we should be entitled to on a layover. What should I be entitled to on a layover? According to you, all I am entitled to is a roof over my head. If I want food, then I should bare the burden of finding it myself and paying my way to get the food. Is that correct? I disagree. I work in an unique environment, an environment that does not run like the normal working world, and because of the uniqueness of the job, certain fundemental needs have to be addressed. I believe that a company has the responsibility to meet these needs. Food, shelter, and safety are paramount to the well being of the crew and that ultimetaly leads to the safety of the passengers. I believe that I am entitled to this and should not have to compromise these principles.

You are correct in pointing out the pettyness that crewmembers sometimes are guilty to. Whining and complaining seem to be an unalienable right to crewmembers.  Smile But implying that we want to be treated better than the Execs of our company is a misrepresentation of the facts. All that we are asking for is a safe and clean place to sleep with decent food available near by. Added extras are gyms, pools, and transportation to near by resturaunts and attractions. I don't believe that is too much to ask for in a job that requires me to be professional, alert, well rested, and above all, looking out for the safety of its crew and passengers.

Happy flying!!!

RJ


User currently offlineCorocks From United States of America, joined Feb 2001, 1213 posts, RR: 0
Reply 14, posted (11 years 6 months 1 week 6 days 23 hours ago) and read 2546 times:

Whether it is 50 nights or 50 weeks it does not matter. In the corporate world, if you re traveling on business, you should be able to enjoy the same lifestyle on the road as at home. It is very demanding to be on the road. Anyone should have access to decent food, lodging, and comforts such as gyms....(hey healthy employees makes for less insurance costs)!


User currently offlinePat From Belgium, joined Aug 2000, 110 posts, RR: 1
Reply 15, posted (11 years 6 months 1 week 6 days 23 hours ago) and read 2507 times:

Oh guys, take it easy ... I am not insulting you  Smile/happy/getting dizzy
Now, seriously, I ll try to be clearer :

I am speaking of crew members having:

*short hauls flight (max >2h30 flight; usually 1h30)
*receiving indemnities for their night-stop (on the spot at the hotel for the food, drinks, transport, etc, ... )
*a night-stop starting at 7.30 pm finishing at 12.00 -the latest- the next day.
*4**** hotels - where there is OFTEN a swimming pool and a fitness center
* a max. of 50 night stops a year.

I think as well that there is great difference between the Europeans habits and social laws and the American standards. we cannot compare that easily the two things.

This said : I can cope with different point of views than mine. Apparently, everybody agrees on this topic. I would just finish with this :

If in the todays airline business, some airlines can still afford to have people (3
in this case for +/- 400 crew members) working full time on captain reports
complaining about a banana replacing an apple; about the fact that in the former hotel (30 USD more expensive) the restaurant was in the hotel ... and now the closest are within a walking distance of 5min; ... ; etc; ...

Then yes, I say, so much better for the crews ( I don't pretend they should only have one roof above their heads - we speak of 4**** hotels; your attitude is, sorry for saying so RJ, the typical attitude of SOME - rpt, try to read it correctly this time SOME crew members ).

On my side, I remain convinced that while cost cuts are happening in every single company, it is acceptable to change the hotel when the company can earn 30 USD a night / person if the only changes are that :

1/ the crew has to walk 5 min to get to the restaurants area
2/ they have to take a free - but public - shuttle bus to the airport


If you cannot agree, well, I sincerely wish you good luck cause it will most probably happen to some of you in a near future ...

Take care and sorry if I have been rude, but honnest ...


Cheers,


Pat



User currently offlineMeechy36 From United States of America, joined Nov 2001, 312 posts, RR: 0
Reply 16, posted (11 years 6 months 1 week 6 days 23 hours ago) and read 2507 times:

Pat, when you grow up and expand your universe further than your bike can take you, you too will find out what life in the real world is like.

I have been a flight attendant for 16 years and some of the above stuff is whining while some of it is justified. I am a health freak, I like to eat healthy foods and work out daily, my favorite hotel is a Courtyard Marriott that we stay in LA, I can get my workout done by running up to and along the beach to Santa Monica and there is a Subway store right near it, my slice of heaven. I happen to be one of the flight attendants who roll with the punches when it comes to hotels, all I want is a clean NON-SMOKING room that is quiet. I carry enough food and water with me for the first day of the trip and there is usually a grocery store within walking distance that allows me to replenish my stuff. As for room size, I have NEVER heard of a crew member complaining that it is too small to fit the crew in, at least at my airline we usually get together and head out to a sports bar, especially in California where smoking isn't allowed. The one time you do hear about how small the rooms are is when a new person goes international and lays over in a European city, they are usually shocked at how small the rooms are compared to US hotels, it has nothing to do with the party space.

As a guy I think it's a lot safer for me to venture away from the hotel than the females, I mean I go running on my London Layovers at 11pm and feel completely safe doing it, would I recommend that to a female NO.

As for the food issue, it is a problem especially domestically, some of the time you are on duty for 14 hours and all you have had time to eat is some pretzels and soda, you pray that where you are staying has a restaurant that is open or something really close by because after that kind of day you do not feel like hoofing it a couple of miles for a Denny's. Same thing for breakfast, if you don't get a chance then you don't know when you are going to eat again.

As for the limo situation, once again I have never heard a crew member say that they didn't want to ride the hotel van with other guests. On international we always have a dedicated crew bus but domestically you ride the same shuttle bus as the hotel guests about 50% of the time.

Like life this job has it's 10% of A**holes, you are going to find that in any profession. There are going to be people who complain no matter what, it can be the best day going and they are going to find something wrong with it. The things that make me happy on a layover won't make the cut with the person sitting next to me in the jumpseat and vice versa

Mike-BOS


User currently offlinePat From Belgium, joined Aug 2000, 110 posts, RR: 1
Reply 17, posted (11 years 6 months 1 week 6 days 23 hours ago) and read 2489 times:

Mike,

Fully agree with you.
Actually see my post above yours that I posted while you were posting yours.
You have more information about the situation of the crews I am speaking of.

Cheers,


Pat


User currently offlinePat From Belgium, joined Aug 2000, 110 posts, RR: 1
Reply 18, posted (11 years 6 months 1 week 6 days 23 hours ago) and read 2481 times:

Oh yeah Mike ... sorry for coming again but : about my bike :
I left it some 15 years ago when I became Station Manager for
a major European carrier ...

Sorry if the profile set up by my son shows : from Albania 15 years old ...
By the way, since you like sports so much, I could borrow you my bike during your night stops at LHR  Smile/happy/getting dizzy  Smile/happy/getting dizzy  Smile/happy/getting dizzy

Just kidding,

Cheers.


Pat


User currently offlineMeechy36 From United States of America, joined Nov 2001, 312 posts, RR: 0
Reply 19, posted (11 years 6 months 1 week 6 days 22 hours ago) and read 2455 times:

Pat, sorry for the tirade against you, it was directed at the 13-15 year old Albanian boy who I didn't think had a real clue about crew.

Now that I know you are a station manager you have my sympathies. I have had to deal with our station manager at LHR when one of our crew broke her ankle on a layover and was extremely helpful in getting all of the medical care taken care of. Spending time with him I learned how much responsibility went with the position and not just getting the planes out on time and this was pre Sept 11th.

Mike-BOS


User currently offlineHeavierthanair From Switzerland, joined Oct 2000, 795 posts, RR: 0
Reply 20, posted (11 years 6 months 1 week 6 days 22 hours ago) and read 2413 times:

G'day

Poor crews, I feel so sorry for all the troubles they have to go through! Should we maybe look for ways to support them? Myself belonging to the selfloading cargo species I was not aware about all the hardship going on out there, how ignorant of me, I apologize!

This will all change the day the A380 enters service. It is my understanding that during stopovers the crews will be allowed to use all its facilities, i.e. the spas, gyms, saunas, tennis courts, the various pools, and will be able to enjoy the variety of restaurants plus all the shopping arcades. All will be open around the clock so steak n eggs with blueberry pancakes for breakfast is no subject. Anyone know yet if tee off will be possible during takeoff and landings or if rules comparable to those applying to the use of computers will be enforced?

Cheers

Peter



"Two things are infinite: the universe and human stupidity; and I'm not sure about the universe." (Albert Einstein, 1879
User currently offlinePat From Belgium, joined Aug 2000, 110 posts, RR: 1
Reply 21, posted (11 years 6 months 1 week 6 days 21 hours ago) and read 2373 times:

Thanks Mike !
No prob.
Once more I spoke of SOME species of crew members.
You have people making troubles everywhere.
BTW you re working for, if not too undiscrete ??? ?


Cheers,


Pat


User currently offlineMeechy36 From United States of America, joined Nov 2001, 312 posts, RR: 0
Reply 22, posted (11 years 6 months 1 week 6 days 21 hours ago) and read 2346 times:

American out of Boston

mike-bos


User currently offlineCx flyboy From Hong Kong, joined Dec 1999, 6597 posts, RR: 55
Reply 23, posted (11 years 6 months 1 week 6 days 19 hours ago) and read 2320 times:

I just love it when people say "They can treat you like crap and you must accept it because it is you that chose to do that job". Amazing.

User currently offlineJmc777 From United Kingdom, joined Apr 2000, 234 posts, RR: 0
Reply 24, posted (11 years 6 months 1 week 6 days 18 hours ago) and read 2265 times:

Seems to be a touchy subject this one.

In the past I have encountered problems with passengers who stay in the same hotels as us downroute, simply because they pay for a decent hotel and we get it free.

To quash a few myths:

In Europe, under JAR OPS, there are certain amenities that cabin crew and flight crew MUST have at the hotel they are staying at. In case I breach any security protocols, I won't outline them. However, these amenities usually mean the crews stay at decent hotels.

What then happens is we become accustomed to a certain level of hospitality - which makes paying for our holidays a real nightmare - we become spoiled.

In our defense though, as has been said above, most crews that stay in hotels do it on a regular basis, much more than the regular business man/woman who may only stay one or two nights. On some of our tours away from base, we can spend as much as 5 weeks away.

5 weeks in the same hotel room can drive you insane..........Literally. I have personal experience of individuals attempting suicide and unfortunately one succeeded.

The lifestyle is extreme and the majority of crews love it, we work hard and we party hard. All we want is somewhere that feels like home to come back to of an evening, especially if you are there for the duration. However, paying guests at the hotels never see it that way, nor do the passengers. Most people have no idea of the hours we work or the layovers.

I work for a European Leisure Airline, and we do long days, even when working shorthaul flights. The maximum allowed duty, depending on check in time and sectors, is about 17 1/4 hours (14 1/4 + 3 hours discretion), with no legal entitlement to a break, we are talking flat out. So you can be real sure I want a decent hotel room to get some sleep in, especially if I have to do it all again the day after.

We are not allowed in my company to use transport to the airport with other people as it is considered a security risk, which is why we generally get private transport.

We work as hard as you do, we just do a different job. Quite a few years ago, I was flying long haul in and out of the same base for 6 months, in those 6 months - approx 180 days - I only spent 68 days in the UK, including days landing and taking off from London. So is it unreasonable for me to want a decent hotel where I was staying? With decent amenities around me?


25 Post contains links CX747 : Very touchy subject here. I understand everyone's perspective. Here's my 50 cents. Give me your problems and job anyday of the week. If your flying fo
26 Pat : I think that your case is "slightly" different than the case I exposed above ... Don't you think ? I never said, nor did anybody, that crew members sh
27 Mandala499 : Some gripe endlessly... But, they do need reasonable facilities... Imagine you do a week of rotation of minimum rests over 4 timezone differences with
28 A350-200 : Pat, This post is funny for me: I was in Itsambul a couple of weeks ago. My hotel was a 4 Star like, with plenty of crews, complaining EXACTLY the sam
29 Willfly4food : cx747, I hope I never see you in a commercial airline cockpit. Your attitude is that of a scab. We are professionals. We expect to be treated as such.
30 Post contains images MxCtrlr : There are also, some not-so-obvious reasons why crews demand these "perks" and the airlines used to provide them. Simply put, happy crews make for hap
31 CX747 : What a wonderful post. Thanks for your uplifting comments. Okay, where to begin. First off a little bit of information about me. I love aviation and w
32 Gigneil : Heh. Fitness equipment is absolutely mandatory. Any company sending you on the road is liable for your physical and mental health. Even if you aren't
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