LoneStarMike From United States of America, joined Jul 2000, 3827 posts, RR: 33 Posted (6 years 1 month 1 week 3 days 14 hours ago) and read 5103 times:
OK I love Southwest & fly them frequently, but I thought this was funny. I searched and didn't see anything posted about it.
Southwest has a Proactive Customer Service Communications department headed up by Fred Taylor. The New York Times had an article awhile back about him.
Quote: He spends his 12-hour work days finding out how Southwest disappointed its customers and then firing off homespun letters of apology.
He composes about 180 letters a year explaining what went wrong on particular flights and, with about 110 passengers per flight, he mails off roughly 20,000 mea culpas. Each one bears his direct phone line.
Great idea, but sometimes things can go wrong.
Fast forward to a June 26, 2008 incident onboard a WN flight.
The story goes into more detail about the incident, but basically a 64- year old doctor on a WN flight from STL-LAS gets up near the end of the flight to use the forward lav. The captain was using the lavatory at the time, and a flight attendant told the passenger to return to his seat, which he did. When the passenger saw the captain leave the lavatory, he got up again. It is against FAA regulations to approach the cockpit when the cockpit is not secure.
Southwest claims that two flight attendants explained the regulation to the passenger. At any rate, some pushing ensued. The passenger claims the FA pushed him back to his seat (the second time he approached the lav), and the FA says yes, but that was only after he tried to force his way past her.
Plane lands, police meet plane and escort passenger off and turn him over to FBI, who took him out of the airport in handcuffs and placed him in a detention center.
The next morning, he was taken to federal court, where he said a court-appointed attorney told him he could plead guilty to misdemeanor assault and pay a fine of $2,500. Or else he could plead not guilty and expect a protracted and costly legal fight that would almost certainly require multiple trips to Las Vegas. (The passenger lives in Poplar Bluff, MO)
He pleaded guilty and eventually made his way to the convention that had brought him to Las Vegas in the first place.
Apparently he now regrets pleading guilty and thus the article posted above. But in an ironic twist of fate at the very end of the article it mentions that he received a letter from Fred Taylor of Southwest.
Quote: "Dear Sivaprasad Madduri: Sometimes an explanation for the reason why things happen isn't always possible, and the bizarre behavior of the individual during your June 26 flight to Las Vegas supports this point. While I'm unable to explain the circumstances surrounding the disruption, I think it's important to offer my heartfelt apologies for any concerns you may have had as a result of this event. Naturally, we don't want this experience to affect your feelings about flying with us in the future, or for it to be your last recollection of traveling with our Company.
"In fact, we would consider it a privilege if you gave us another opportunity to provide you with better memories. I am confident your next trips with Southwest Airlines will be more pleasant and to prove just that, I sent a LUV Voucher to every person (except, of course, the lady who caused the disruption) who was onboard your flight."
The letter was signed by Fred Taylor, a senior manager in Proactive Customer Service Communications. The LUV Voucher was a $100 certificate to be used against the costs of another flight.
The passenger said he thought the "lady who caused the disruption" was the flight attendant, and so the letter backed up his story.
Southwest's Brandy King said the person who wrote the letter simply got the gender wrong.
"We did not intend to send this letter to Mr. Madduri," she said
The article didn't mention whether or not the passenger flew WN back to STL after the convention was over
JetBlueAtJFK From United States of America, joined Jan 2005, 1687 posts, RR: 3
Reply 5, posted (6 years 1 month 1 week 2 days 19 hours ago) and read 3907 times:
Quoting DL757FAN (Reply 4): I am not making a statement...just an old-fashion observation; however, prompts me to ask a question. I wonder how many flights to LAS are disrupted by passengers (in comparison to others)?
Hahah I was beginning to wonder the same thing. I was jsut reading the B6 camcorder thing on a LAS bound flight and read this next.
I've heard of other LAS involved flights with problems as well. Interesting observation.
ArcrftLvr From United States of America, joined Nov 2006, 826 posts, RR: 0
Reply 6, posted (6 years 1 month 1 week 2 days 8 hours ago) and read 3683 times:
Quoting AA737-823 (Reply 1): we've taken away the rights of a SENIOR CITIZEN to go pee.
And then arrested him for trying to do so.
Wait a minute here. His rights were not being taken away! Based on the story, it sounds like the FAs simply wanted the passenger to remain seated until the cockpit door was secured. I presume that he got up immediately after the pilot left the lavatory and had not yet gotten back into the cockpit, thus the door had yet to be secured.
So, by having the passenger wait until the door was secured, how is that taking away his rights? If you don't follow FAA policy and procedure, you're going to get in trouble. Plain and simple. I cannot stand the 'rules don't apply to me' mentality. It runs rampant with ignorant passengers that have no respect for the authority of the flight crew. I'm glad this guy got arrested. He deserves everything he gets (except of course for the apology letter)!
Travatl From United States of America, joined Mar 2001, 2173 posts, RR: 7
Reply 7, posted (6 years 1 month 1 week 2 days 4 hours ago) and read 3504 times:
Quoting ArcrftLvr (Reply 6): I cannot stand the 'rules don't apply to me' mentality. It runs rampant with ignorant passengers that have no respect for the authority of the flight crew.
Even as a flight attendant, I often side with passengers, as cabin crew can, from time to time, escalate a bad situation. But the rules here are clear cut. Nobody comes forward until the pilot is back in the flight deck, and the flight deck door has been secured. NOBODY. And remember, you have to walk directly up the flight deck door on the 737 to enter the forward lavatory.
WNCrew From United States of America, joined Jun 2006, 1473 posts, RR: 10
Reply 8, posted (6 years 1 month 1 week 2 days 4 hours ago) and read 3460 times:
I agree wholeheartedly with the fact that if the FD door was not secure then the pax should be asked to return to their seat.
If you have enough common sense to sue or write a complain letter then you should most definitely have enough common sense to realize, SEVEN years after-the-fact (as in everyone should know now), that you NEVER approach the front of the aircraft when you see any movement around the FD or involving the FD door.
I have pax do this from time to time I have to tell them SEVERAL times to return to their seats, sometimes BOTH the CA and FO have to go and that involves a switch which can take a minute. It's not the pax's job to determine when it's appropriate to come FWD, I assure you the Cabin Crew will let YOU know when it's permissible. There are rules in the grocery store, there are rules at Church, there are rules at Movie Theaters and YES FOLKS there are rules on a plane whether we like it or not.
ALL views, opinions expressed are mine ONLY and are NOT representative of those shared by Southwest Airlines Co.