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Cabin Appearance Vs. Mechanical Reliability  
User currently offlineDl757md From United States of America, joined May 2004, 1562 posts, RR: 16
Posted (10 years 2 weeks 5 days 13 hours ago) and read 3168 times:

DL is currently in the process of creating a separate dept. within mtc. for the sole purpose of better maintaining the cabins for the entire fleet. I'm sure this is good news to the many A.netters who have complained about the appearance of DL cabins. This change is being driven by CEO Jerry Grinstein in response to customer surveys. Of course during these lean times the dept initially will be staffed by current AMTs and AMT helpers with future plans for hiring of helpers to completely staff the dept. Initially 24 Lead AMTs and 88 AMTs will be loaned from line mtc resulting in a 6% reduction in line mtc staffing.

Do you think that reducing line mtc. staffing, which covers mostly airworthiness items, to increase cabin mtc. staffing, which consists mostly of non-airworthiness items, is something most passengers would approve of? Put another way are clean carpets and overhead bins and a properly functioning IFE system more important than a mechanically reliable airplane? What do you think the balance should be? Do you think that this is a smart move by DL?

Dl757md



757 Most beautiful airliner in the sky!
23 replies: All unread, jump to last
 
User currently offlineLono From United States of America, joined Apr 2004, 1335 posts, RR: 1
Reply 1, posted (10 years 2 weeks 5 days 13 hours ago) and read 3157 times:

Would your enjoy driving around inside a garbage truck if you knew the mechanical worthiness of the truck is good???

1st impressions are important...



Wally Bird Ruled the Skys!
User currently offlineFinnWings From Finland, joined Oct 2003, 640 posts, RR: 2
Reply 2, posted (10 years 2 weeks 5 days 13 hours ago) and read 3140 times:

Good question, but I think both are very important... The mechanical reliability of the aircraft should be the MOST important thing for all airlines in their business, that is very obvious of course. However, the condition of cabin is very important too but different way... Many passengers are still a little bit worried about flying, even they don't most likely admit that. Flying is not as relaxing as taking a train or bus for many passengers... Therefore, people are worried about safety as well. When they are travelling on bus they don't think how this bus has been maintained or they aren't worried about broken seats for example.

In the aircraft it is totally different world... people seem to think that dirty and not so well maintained cabin is relative to mechanical safety. "My seat doesn't recline and armrest is broken....oh...look those overhead bins how dirty they are...and why those IFE systems are broken? Ohgod, what kind of condition our engines and brakes will be...!?" You got my point?

By the way... nothing isn't more irritating than broken seat or IFE when flying. Good quality and reliable airline = Well maintained aircrafts in all possible ways. So yes, I believe DL has done smart move indeed... At least I respect that.

Best Regards,
FinnWings


User currently offlineDl757md From United States of America, joined May 2004, 1562 posts, RR: 16
Reply 3, posted (10 years 2 weeks 5 days 13 hours ago) and read 3132 times:

If you want to go to extremes... I'd pick the reliable garbage truck over the super clean Lexus with no brakes that gets T-boned at the light it can't stop for. Always easier to take a shower than stay in the hospital for 2 months and rehab for a year.

In addition to the original post...Do you think the appearance of the cabin is an indicator of the overall mtc of the plane?

FinnWings, I agree that both are important. In posting this thread I am not saying that I feel one way or another on the subject. However there is constructive debate on the subject here at Delta and I wanted to open it up to A.net.

Dl757md

[Edited 2004-07-10 20:57:18]


757 Most beautiful airliner in the sky!
User currently offlineFinnWings From Finland, joined Oct 2003, 640 posts, RR: 2
Reply 4, posted (10 years 2 weeks 5 days 13 hours ago) and read 3110 times:

FinnWings, I agree that both are important. In posting this thread I am not saying that I feel one way or another on the subject. However there is constructive debate on the subject here at Delta and I wanted to open it up to A.net.

Dl757md,

I think this is quite a common debate at all airlines...Don't worry, I noticed your neutral attitude on this subject. Like I said earlier, good topic and worth of discussion indeed...

FinnWings


User currently offlineBostonguy From United States of America, joined Jul 2000, 514 posts, RR: 8
Reply 5, posted (10 years 2 weeks 5 days 12 hours ago) and read 3089 times:

Reducing maintenance staffing doesn't necessarily indicate that there will be an increase in maintenance issues. As long as the aircraft is maintained in an appropriate condition and maintance issues aren't allowed to increase then I don't see a problem.

The reason the Delta CEO wants to put more focus on interior maintance is the fact that consumers equate "issues" within the cabin with the aircraft's airworthiness. This goes back to PeopleExpress which placed a high emphasis on correcting cosmetic issues (coffee stains on seat trays) because it greatly enhanced the perception among PeopleExpress's customers that the flights were well maintained.

All companies have to deal with the fact that customer perceptions, whether right or not, are a company's problem to deal with and adjust to.

In this case, the Delta CEO is correct as long as the overall airworthiness is not compromised.


User currently offlineUA777222 From United States of America, joined Dec 2003, 3348 posts, RR: 11
Reply 6, posted (10 years 2 weeks 5 days 12 hours ago) and read 3066 times:

No airline, well no airline that wants to stay in business, will give up the safety of the a/c for appearances. By making this step they are clearly showing that they have no issues with the safety of the a/c and will continue to have no issues and have taken the first step to improve the overall look of the a/c. I have no worries that if the safety and maintains of the a/c ever comes into question that they will drop making the inside better and will fix the issue in question.

UA777222



"It wasn't raining when Noah built the ark."
User currently offlineAir2gxs From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 7, posted (10 years 2 weeks 5 days 12 hours ago) and read 3067 times:

Remember how an airline makes money. By attracting passengers and reducing costs.

An aircraft that is aesthetically attractive will bring return customers. There is a direct relationship between appearance and the perception of a safe aircraft. Clean = Safe.

I think the trade-off is worth it, if you can accept and control the costs of mechanical delays. What I'm getting at is a cost-benefit analysis. Is it cheaper (benefit) to take a couple of delays because of MCO (maintenance carry-over) conflicts than it is to lose passengers (cost) due to the "perception" of an un-safe aircraft because its cabin and IFE are not up to snuff?

The aircraft will be safe, by taking some AMTs off the line to work cabin items you are reducing the ability of the airline to work those mucosa. That takes the redundancy out of the aircraft, thus reducing overall reliability. Again, I think the trade-off is worth it if you can keep your load factors up.


User currently offlineMats From United States of America, joined Jul 2003, 625 posts, RR: 1
Reply 8, posted (10 years 2 weeks 5 days 9 hours ago) and read 3001 times:

I think this is a wise move on Delta's behalf. Of course it doesn't make any sense, but the cabin appearance DOES affect my perception of safety. If I have a broken tray-table, a broken video unit, and the bathroom is out-of-service, I start to wonder what other parts of the aircraft have been neglected.

Delta's cost-cutting measures have drastically affected customer service. There are fewer flight attendants, meal service is shockingly poor in first class, and aircraft interiors are crumbling.

I have often heard friends and family members describe a DC-9 or a 727 as "brand new" merely because it has new upholstery. So this is a good first step to restoring passenger confidence in Delta.

Meanwhile, I plan to spend my 6-digit Delta frequent flyer account and switch to someone else. The service is just pathetic on long-haul domestic first class. New interior or not, they have a lot of work ahead of them.


User currently offlineSmcmac32msn From United States of America, joined May 2004, 2211 posts, RR: 4
Reply 9, posted (10 years 2 weeks 5 days 9 hours ago) and read 2996 times:

I don't care what the inside of the cabin looks like... but if theres grease seeping out of the engines and other areas, that maybe an indication of the problem. You could give me a plastic milk-crate to sit on during the flight and I'd be happy, as long as I knew the plane was safe.


Hey Obama, keep the change! I want my dollar back.
User currently offlineJetMechMD80 From United States of America, joined Jul 2004, 380 posts, RR: 7
Reply 10, posted (10 years 2 weeks 5 days 7 hours ago) and read 2945 times:

Reducing maintenance staffing doesn't necessarily indicate that there will be an increase in maintenance issues.

I have to disagree here, I don't know of any US Airline, POST 9-11 that has extra A&P's on the payroll. As a matter of fact, I will bet that most A&Ps, are doing more, with less, than ever before. You take 80 guys off the line, and something that was getting done before, is not going to get done. Do I think that routine maintenance is going to suffer? No. What normally happens when you are short of people, is that Deferred items (MEL, DMI's) are going to take longer to troubleshoot, and longer to clear. They start to pile up. Its extra work for the fight crew, and we all know what can happen then. It does affect safety.
Ask your self this question, Are you going spend time looking into a autopilot problem, that has 3 more days before it drops dead, when you have a check that has to be done by 7 AM so the aircraft can depart?
Before they took away 80 guys, maybe you had the people to do both.
Understand where I am coming from?

[Edited 2004-07-11 02:16:02]


"I get along great with nobody"~ Billy Idol
User currently offlineFlyCaledonian From United Kingdom, joined Dec 2003, 2072 posts, RR: 3
Reply 11, posted (10 years 2 weeks 5 days 7 hours ago) and read 2926 times:

This is a very good move by Delta, and I'm sure mechanical standards of aircraft won't be unduly affected by redirecting maintenance staff. The whole perception princple is vitally important. And actually it applies equally to trains and buses as well as aircraft.

Sir Richard Branson has two train companies in the UK and is presently introducing brand spanking new tilting trains on the West Coast route. The old trains were refurbished in the late 1990s, but now look very tired. Mechanically they are sound, out of necessity, but comestically they have been allowed to go down hill - broken seats, missing cushions, torn coverings, carpet stains, toilets not even worth talking about, etc, etc. Virgin Trains staff say the company doesn't want to waste money on maintaining the interiors of trains that only have a few months service left (Though they have been like this for at least six months now). Cynically, it could also be said that it will really boost the image of the new trains in comparison! Personally, given Virgin's poor early image for its UK rail services this is a bad move. Yes the new trains are fantastic, light years ahead of what they are replacing (Though seating a hell of a lot less people). But allowing the old trains to get and remain tatty looking doesn't do them any favours.

So to get back to the point of the post this is a good move by Delta. It boosts customer perception, and has the benefit surely of reducing long term maintenance costs for interiors. Like anything, if you allow it to deteriote it costs more to put right in the long run.



Let's Go British Caledonian!
User currently offlineBa319-131 From United Kingdom, joined Jan 2001, 8502 posts, RR: 55
Reply 12, posted (10 years 2 weeks 5 days 4 hours ago) and read 2870 times:
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Though I have not flown Delta since '99(i think),apperance and condition of the cabin is a very important factor to passengers.

Even if the booking,check-in,boarding etc goes well,a poorly maintained cabin will stand out more than all of the 'good' things you may have experienced so far.

Image is everything today and the cabin is a huge reflection on how you run and maintain your business.

If you maintain your cabin most passengers,except us A.NETTER's Smile, will have no idea how old the aircraft is.



111,732,3,4,5,7,8,BBJ,741,742,743,744,752,762,763,764,772,77L,773,77W,L15,D10,30,40,AB3,AB6,A312.313,319,320,321,332,333
User currently offlineDl757md From United States of America, joined May 2004, 1562 posts, RR: 16
Reply 13, posted (10 years 2 weeks 4 days 9 hours ago) and read 2713 times:

So it seems the general consensus is that as long as it doesn't cut too greatly into the technical dispatch rate of the fleet, shifting resources from line MX to cabin MX is OK.
Thanks for the opinions.

Dl757md



757 Most beautiful airliner in the sky!
User currently offlineTravatl From United States of America, joined Mar 2001, 2173 posts, RR: 7
Reply 14, posted (10 years 2 weeks 4 days 9 hours ago) and read 2705 times:

In my opinion, to allege that Delta "might" risk sacrificing safety to improve the appearance of it's cabins is RUBBISH.

Travis


User currently offlineJetMechMD80 From United States of America, joined Jul 2004, 380 posts, RR: 7
Reply 15, posted (10 years 2 weeks 4 days 8 hours ago) and read 2676 times:

In my opinion, to allege that Delta "might" risk sacrificing safety to improve the appearance of it's cabins is RUBBISH.

Travis

RUBBISH?
I assume you are referring to my post. I stand by what I have written, and I speak from experience. What is yours? There is not an over abundance of A&P's employed at any carrier. You can only do so much in a single shift, so who is going to pick up the work load of the 80 people they took off the line? You are talking about 3600 work hours per week. Do you have any idea how much maintenance is done in this time frame?
I am all for the cabin looking nice, and the importance of this. But they need to hire some more people to do it. The reason the cabins are looking ratty, is the line mechs, don't have the time to take care of it as it is, so how do you figure that taking 80 people off the line, will not impact the maintenance.
You logic escapes me.



"I get along great with nobody"~ Billy Idol
User currently offlineTravatl From United States of America, joined Mar 2001, 2173 posts, RR: 7
Reply 16, posted (10 years 2 weeks 4 days 8 hours ago) and read 2666 times:

JetMechMD80 -

Actually, my post was not directed at your post specifically. I was only stating (in general) for anyone to imply that Delta, or any other major carrier for that matter, would actually sacrifice safety for cabin appearance is ridiculous.

However, I will ask...do you work for Delta? If not, then I believe that your post is indeed RUBBISH.

Travis

[Edited 2004-07-12 02:08:42]

User currently offlineJetMechMD80 From United States of America, joined Jul 2004, 380 posts, RR: 7
Reply 17, posted (10 years 2 weeks 4 days 7 hours ago) and read 2646 times:

JetMechMD80 -

Do you work for Delta? If not, then I believe that your post is indeed RUBBISH.

Travis

No, I do not work for Delta, I just have some ex Delta A&P's for friends and co-workers, along with ex-American, and ex-United. And I have 20+ years experience in AC Line Maintenance. So I know a little about what happens at night on the ramp after everyone else goes home.
So tell me, what's your experience? Tell me about you vast wealth of Aircraft Maintenance knowledge.



"I get along great with nobody"~ Billy Idol
User currently offlineDl757md From United States of America, joined May 2004, 1562 posts, RR: 16
Reply 18, posted (10 years 2 weeks 4 days 7 hours ago) and read 2641 times:

In my opinion, to allege that Delta "might" risk sacrificing safety to improve the appearance of it's cabins is RUBBISH.

Travatl

I realize that this is your opinion and I respect that. However, I haven't seen anything in the posts on this thread that "alleges" Delta is risking sacrificing safety. As JetMechMD80 and others have pointed out reliability will suffer. That does not equate to safety. It is standard in the industry and safe to fly planes that are broken provided MEL and CDL procedure are followed. It is line MX job to fix as many of these items as possible while the planes are on the ground, usually overnight. If you take manpower away from the line less of these items are going to be able to be cleared. Eventually MX delays will result. Nobody said Delta was going to fly any plane that wasn't safe to fly, just that they will incur more delays due to MX issues(IMO a bigger concern to customers than cabin appearance). Also the manpower issue is real.
If Delta thought they had a 6% surplus of line AMTs they would have furloughed them along with the rest that they did in Feb 2003.

Dl757md






757 Most beautiful airliner in the sky!
User currently offlineDl757md From United States of America, joined May 2004, 1562 posts, RR: 16
Reply 19, posted (10 years 2 weeks 4 days 7 hours ago) and read 2629 times:

JetMechMD80

Take a look at his profile, specifically the following.

Other info: I'm 30, have worked for three airlines in the last 10 yrs. In that time I've worked ramp, cust service, operations, gates, base management, inflight, you name it....I've done everything but fly 'em and fix 'em

He's entitled to his opinion..................informed or not.



757 Most beautiful airliner in the sky!
User currently offlineJetMechMD80 From United States of America, joined Jul 2004, 380 posts, RR: 7
Reply 20, posted (10 years 2 weeks 4 days 7 hours ago) and read 2627 times:

Well said Dl757md. You hit the nail right on the head with that. And I do hope things turn around for your company. I know the guys that work with me, that are from DAL are a good group of people.


"I get along great with nobody"~ Billy Idol
User currently offlineAgnusBymaster From United States of America, joined Feb 2001, 652 posts, RR: 0
Reply 21, posted (10 years 2 weeks 4 days 6 hours ago) and read 2600 times:

Very poor move by Delta. The cabin appearance of any Delta plane I've been on has been fine...I don't know what everyone is complaining about. Spend the money on line maintenance and increase the spare parts inventory. What really sucks is when an aircraft has some tiny little problem, but then they don't have anyone qualified to fix it, and then when they find someone, they can't find the part. What should be a minimal 30 min delay baloons into something that goes on for hours and costs the airline a lot of money both in passenger reaccomodation and customer goodwill.

User currently offlineSuper Em From United States of America, joined Nov 2000, 442 posts, RR: 0
Reply 22, posted (10 years 2 weeks 4 days 5 hours ago) and read 2569 times:

Well when something does go wrong and the flight is delayed, atleast the passengers will have a nice clean cabing to complain in  Big grin

User currently offlineLtbewr From United States of America, joined Jan 2004, 13039 posts, RR: 12
Reply 23, posted (10 years 2 weeks 4 days 5 hours ago) and read 2541 times:

There has probably been serious consideration and balance done by Delta with this situation and realized that slightly more attention to cabin appearance can be done without sacraficing mechanical safety. Mechanical safety is directed by the a/c manufacturers and the (here USA) govenment authorities. If something with mechanical maintenance isn't done when it should be and by accepted procedures, you risk your passangers and your business. Let us not forget that 'appearance' problems may be minor, but yet may be in violation of safety regulations. Dirty seat covers may present a minor but annoying health issue. If some floor board strip is loose, a pax or f/a could be injured. Loose overhead fixtures (lights, emergency oxygen, overhead storage) could cause a head cut or injury. Damaged seat adjustments could be a problem with someone with a back problem. Bad IFE equipment could cause pax to be very unrurly and if not working could be a sign of more serious problems (like the wiring with the Swissair flight that crashed in 1999).

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