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DL Plane Lands With Passenger In Lav  
User currently offlineL1011 From United States of America, joined May 1999, 1674 posts, RR: 9
Posted (2 years 9 months 3 weeks 2 days 5 hours ago) and read 22489 times:
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Today I was a passenger on a Delta 777, flight 16 from LAX to ATL. I was sitting in seat 50F. When we were on final approach to ATL, the elderly lady in seat 48F got up and walked to the right-hand lav in the center of the economy cabin. The flight attendant sitting in the jump seat told the lady to sit back down, but she went in the lav anyway. We touched down and slowed down quickly, then taxiied to gate T2. The lady was still in the lav. When the seat belt sign went off, the flight attendant got up and knocked on the door. The lady immediately came out, but had difficulty getting back to her seat because the aisles were crowded with people waiting to get off. People finally let her get by to get back to her seat. My question is: What is the proper procedure that should be followed in a situation like this? I expected that the captain would have executed a missed approach and gone around, but he didn't. I don't know whether the flight attendant notified him or not. I'm sure this is not the first time this has happened. Did they follow normal procedure?

Bob Bradley


Fly Eastern's Golden Falcon DC-7B
64 replies: All unread, showing first 25:
 
User currently offlineMD88Captain From United States of America, joined Nov 2001, 1330 posts, RR: 20
Reply 1, posted (2 years 9 months 3 weeks 2 days 5 hours ago) and read 22499 times:

If the flight attendant notifies the Captain, he is probably going to go around. (Unless he determines it is more dangerous to go around than to land.)

User currently onlineBMI727 From United States of America, joined Feb 2009, 15745 posts, RR: 27
Reply 2, posted (2 years 9 months 3 weeks 2 days 5 hours ago) and read 22461 times:

Quoting L1011 (Thread starter):
My question is: What is the proper procedure that should be followed in a situation like this?

I would think that by the letter of the law, the plane should not land.

I was on a flight where we were waiting on a taxiway and another passenger really had to go. The FA relented and rang the cockpit telling them not to move until the passenger was back in his seat. I'm sure the JFK ground controllers loved that. Anyway, this situation isn't quite the same, but I think that technically, they should not have landed.



Why do Aerospace Engineering students have to turn things in on time?
User currently offlineRevelation From United States of America, joined Feb 2005, 12564 posts, RR: 25
Reply 3, posted (2 years 9 months 3 weeks 2 days 5 hours ago) and read 22312 times:

Quoting L1011 (Thread starter):
My question is: What is the proper procedure that should be followed in a situation like this?

She should wash her hands after using the toilet.



Inspiration, move me brightly!
User currently offlineZkpilot From New Zealand, joined Mar 2006, 4833 posts, RR: 9
Reply 4, posted (2 years 9 months 3 weeks 2 days 5 hours ago) and read 22212 times:

Quoting L1011 (Thread starter):
My question is: What is the proper procedure that should be followed in a situation like this? I expected that the captain would have executed a missed approach and gone around, but he didn't. I don't know whether the flight attendant notified him or not. I'm sure this is not the first time this has happened. Did they follow normal procedure?

Yes, there is what is known as a no contact period. This is in the final stages of the approach when the pilots are not to be distracted (helps to keep the landing safe). If passengers choose to ignore the safety warnings then they are putting themselves in danger (and other passengers around them). It is not up to crew to risk their own safety to stop a passenger hence the verbal instructions. In theory that passenger could have then been arrested for failing to follow a crew members instructions (under FAA/CAA/JAA etc etc law) but in reality a telling off is likely to be the worst that will happen to them unless there is a skymarshal type person onboard.



56 types. 38 countries. 24 airlines.
User currently offlinedavescj From United States of America, joined Jun 2007, 2307 posts, RR: 0
Reply 5, posted (2 years 9 months 3 weeks 2 days 5 hours ago) and read 22164 times:

Strictly speaking, yes she could be arrested. But would a jury convict? That's another question.

But - in a broader sense - it can happen. I was trapped in a DC-9 front cabin lav (during boarding). As it turns out, because the door spring broke, I could not get out. The FAs could not open the door front the outside either.

It could have just as easily happened to someone mid-flight. I was just lucky that we were on the ground.

I guess all the FAs could do would be to tell the pax to hang onto the handrail provided.

Dave



Can I have a mojito on this flight?
User currently offlineRoseFlyer From United States of America, joined Feb 2004, 9649 posts, RR: 52
Reply 6, posted (2 years 9 months 3 weeks 2 days 5 hours ago) and read 22145 times:

Does DL have the flight attendants lock the lavatories during approach? I know one airline that specifically instigated that policy to prevent exactly this from happening since most passengers, especially the type of passengers who disobey the posted signs and instructions would not know how to unlock the lavatory.


If you have never designed an airplane part before, let the real designers do the work!
User currently offlinedavescj From United States of America, joined Jun 2007, 2307 posts, RR: 0
Reply 7, posted (2 years 9 months 3 weeks 2 days 5 hours ago) and read 22092 times:

Quoting RoseFlyer (Reply 6):
Does DL have the flight attendants lock the lavatories during approach?

FWIW, I have never seen them do this on mainline flights, but I have seen it on RJs.

Dave



Can I have a mojito on this flight?
User currently offlinejetjack74 From United States of America, joined Jul 2003, 7410 posts, RR: 50
Reply 8, posted (2 years 9 months 3 weeks 2 days 5 hours ago) and read 22072 times:
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Quoting RoseFlyer (Reply 6):
Does DL have the flight attendants lock the lavatories during approach? I know one airline that specifically instigated that policy to prevent exactly this from happening since most passengers, especially the type of passengers who disobey the posted signs and instructions would not know how to unlock the lavatory.

No, there is no locking of the lavs unless there is a maintenance issue, otherwise, they stay unlocked.

[Edited 2011-12-04 17:51:51]


Made from jets!
User currently offlineAirCanada787 From Canada, joined Nov 2010, 283 posts, RR: 0
Reply 9, posted (2 years 9 months 3 weeks 2 days 5 hours ago) and read 22019 times:

Quoting RoseFlyer (Reply 6):

Does DL have the flight attendants lock the lavatories during approach? I know one airline that specifically instigated that policy to prevent exactly this from happening since most passengers, especially the type of passengers who disobey the posted signs and instructions would not know how to unlock the lavatory.

I was going to ask that as well. I never noticed flight attendants locking lavatories before until this past year when I've had four trips on AC 777's. On descent the flight attendant would check the lav and then lock it, it appears that there is a small metal cover that can be flipped up and I assume a keyhole or switch under that to lock or unlock them. I don't know if they actually need a key or not. Maybe it is an optional feature or a new feature. Hopefully someone can tell us more since I'm not an FA and don't know myself but would be interested in knowing, not so I can unlock the lav and disobey the rules I'm just generally curious.



The mind, like a parachute, functions only when open.
User currently offlineMaverick623 From United States of America, joined Nov 2006, 5649 posts, RR: 6
Reply 10, posted (2 years 9 months 3 weeks 2 days 5 hours ago) and read 21881 times:

Quoting AirCanada787 (Reply 9):

I was going to ask that as well. I never noticed flight attendants locking lavatories before until this past year when I've had four trips on AC 777's. On descent the flight attendant would check the lav and then lock it, it appears that there is a small metal cover that can be flipped up and I assume a keyhole or switch under that to lock or unlock them. I don't know if they actually need a key or not. Maybe it is an optional feature or a new feature. Hopefully someone can tell us more since I'm not an FA and don't know myself but would be interested in knowing, not so I can unlock the lav and disobey the rules I'm just generally curious.

There's a switch under the sign. No key needed. This has been the case since as far back as I can remember, being a safety requirement in case someone passes out in the lavatory (a situation I have personally witnessed... unfortunately, the guy wound up falling on me as I opened the door. I was 7  Wow! ), or someone is doing something nefarious and you need to get in.



"PHX is Phoenix, PDX is the other city" -777Way
User currently offlineRoseFlyer From United States of America, joined Feb 2004, 9649 posts, RR: 52
Reply 11, posted (2 years 9 months 3 weeks 2 days 4 hours ago) and read 21828 times:

Quoting AirCanada787 (Reply 9):
On descent the flight attendant would check the lav and then lock it, it appears that there is a small metal cover that can be flipped up and I assume a keyhole or switch under that to lock or unlock them. I don't know if they actually need a key or not. Maybe it is an optional feature or a new feature. Hopefully someone can tell us more since I'm not an FA and don't know myself but would be interested in knowing, not so I can unlock the lav and disobey the rules I'm just generally curious.

Very simple. If you lift the metal plaque there is a simple lever. It's pretty easy to lock them if you know how.

At UA they lock the lavatory by the flight deck and stick a paper cup under the metal plaque so that the flight attendant unlocking them after the airplane is airborne know that they aren't unlocking the door on someone inside.



If you have never designed an airplane part before, let the real designers do the work!
User currently offlinefxramper From United States of America, joined Dec 2005, 7298 posts, RR: 85
Reply 12, posted (2 years 9 months 3 weeks 2 days 4 hours ago) and read 21701 times:
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Quoting davescj (Reply 5):
Strictly speaking, yes she could be arrested. But would a jury convict? That's another question.

no she couldnt and more importantly the AUSA would laugh in your face. the old bag needed to pee.


User currently offlinesac From United States of America, joined Feb 2006, 98 posts, RR: 2
Reply 13, posted (2 years 9 months 3 weeks 2 days 4 hours ago) and read 21685 times:

Quoting RoseFlyer (Reply 11):
At UA they lock the lavatory by the flight deck and stick a paper cup under the metal plaque so that the flight attendant unlocking them after the airplane is airborne know that they aren't unlocking the door on someone inside.

What page in the FOAM is that?


User currently offlineSplitterz From United States of America, joined Apr 2011, 204 posts, RR: 0
Reply 14, posted (2 years 9 months 3 weeks 2 days 4 hours ago) and read 21584 times:

I have a solution. FAs lock all lavatories as part of there predeparture and landing sequences.

User currently offlinejamake1 From United States of America, joined May 2004, 1011 posts, RR: 2
Reply 15, posted (2 years 9 months 3 weeks 2 days 4 hours ago) and read 21440 times:

United F/A's lock lavs before take-off and landing.


United's B747-400. "She's a a cruel lover."
User currently offlinedfambro From United States of America, joined Nov 2009, 328 posts, RR: 0
Reply 16, posted (2 years 9 months 3 weeks 2 days 4 hours ago) and read 21364 times:

Sometimes you just gotta go!
Truth be told, I was once in tha lav during landing. But that was the 90's and everything was a little looser back then.


User currently offlineJAGflyer From Canada, joined Aug 2004, 3532 posts, RR: 4
Reply 17, posted (2 years 9 months 3 weeks 2 days 3 hours ago) and read 21254 times:

I think a go-around for a passenger in the lav is a bit excessive. I've landed many times without my seatbelt fastened and am still alive. It's a safety procedure just like any other, however I would not be an advocate for go-around.


Support the beer and soda can industry, recycle old airplanes!
User currently offlineqqflyboy From United States of America, joined Oct 2003, 2282 posts, RR: 13
Reply 18, posted (2 years 9 months 3 weeks 2 days 3 hours ago) and read 21149 times:

IMO, as a flight attendant, it would be unlikely for a pilot to go-around simply because someone is in the lav. If the pilots were notified, they'd likely instruct the f/a to tell the pax to sit down in the lav, and stay there until notified it's safe to come out. As stated above, flight attendants are not there to physically restrict someone from using the lav, or even forcefully make them follow an FAR (unless security, not safety (to the individual), is at risk.) Even if the lavs were locked during takeoff and landing, most offenders would likely stand outside the lav anyway, waiting for it to become "open" despite repeated pleas from the crew to sit down. In the above incident on DL, it is very likely the situation was handled appropriately. You can't risk everyone's safety for the safety of an individual. Obviously if you're on the ground awaiting takeoff and the same thing happens, you have more control over when the plane actually takes off. But when coming into land there is far less time to deal with someone relieving themselves, and far more important safety issues to be focused on.


The views expressed are mine alone and do not necessarily reflect my employer’s views.
User currently offlineseven3seven From United States of America, joined Apr 2005, 318 posts, RR: 23
Reply 19, posted (2 years 9 months 3 weeks 2 days 3 hours ago) and read 21131 times:

As a pilot, I dont want the flight attendants calling me below 10K feet unless its an emergency.

This was not an emergency



My views are mine alone and are not that of any of my fellow employees, officers, or directors at my company
User currently offlineflybynight From Norway, joined Jul 2003, 1005 posts, RR: 2
Reply 20, posted (2 years 9 months 3 weeks 2 days 2 hours ago) and read 20532 times:

Agreed. No reason to waste fuel, etc on something minor like this.

Having said that, if it wasn't an old lady it could be something to worry about I guess.

AS, by the way, locks their restrooms on approach. It is of course very easy to unlock them if for some reason you wanted to.



Heia Norge!
User currently onlineJackbr From Australia, joined Dec 2009, 666 posts, RR: 0
Reply 21, posted (2 years 9 months 3 weeks 2 days 2 hours ago) and read 20437 times:

Qantas locks them, I think Virgin Australia does too

User currently offlineRoseFlyer From United States of America, joined Feb 2004, 9649 posts, RR: 52
Reply 22, posted (2 years 9 months 3 weeks 2 days 2 hours ago) and read 20280 times:

Quoting sac (Reply 13):

What page in the FOAM is that?

No idea where the trend came from, but it spread in the SFO and SEA bases.



If you have never designed an airplane part before, let the real designers do the work!
User currently offlinequiet1 From Thailand, joined Apr 2010, 356 posts, RR: 0
Reply 23, posted (2 years 9 months 3 weeks 2 days ago) and read 19227 times:

I'm surprised it's not an FAR that the lavs be locked before takeoff and landing. I thought the procedure was instituted many years ago after a crash/evacuation (IIRC, an EA flight?) where a passenger's (dead) body was found in a lav during the post-evac investigation. Sorry to be fuzzy with details, but that's the story as I recall it. Urban legend?

Regarding the UA cup-under-the hinged metal latch cover, that is a crewmember choice, not policy. Many crew do that, or similar (like a scrap of serviette or other paper), but it's not required.


User currently offlineMCO2BRS From United Kingdom, joined Jan 2007, 540 posts, RR: 0
Reply 24, posted (2 years 9 months 3 weeks 2 days ago) and read 18949 times:

At FR, we lock the toilets when we're given '10 minutes to landing'. Once we're told to take our seats by the flight deck, we can't leave our seats unless it is an absolute emergency - the same applies for calling the flight deck.

Cheers,

MCO 2 BRS


25 planejamie : At BA and BD I've seen them lock the lavatories on take-off/landing. Normally as the crew are asked to be seated before landing, they flip up the meta
26 bennett123 : IMO, it is a good idea to lock it. If the passenger then unlocks it and gets hurt, then that would not help them if it went to court.
27 Barney Captain : One thing we do as pilots is risk assessment. IMO, going around would have created more risks for everyone on-board as compared to the small risk for
28 redhair : I think it is pretty common in Europe...
29 CRJ900 : Our operating manual requires us to lock all lavatories before takeoff and before landing. Sometimes pax come running down the aisle just before landi
30 srbmod : Last year on a flight into LAS, we hit some rough air (as usual) on approach into LAS and one passenger got air sick and ran to one of the rear lavs.
31 Post contains images astuteman : Too much information methinks...... Rgds
32 Rising : People get up and use the lav all the time when the seat belt sign is on- even during turbulence. Are they going to have them arrested too? Get real.
33 tonystan : Well its definately NOT a BA policy. However I know EI do it!
34 DAL763ER : Why??? Just because a person is in the lav? Why annoy 200 other people and delay the flight for 15 minutes because someone is in the toilet?
35 TupolevTu154 : We lock the both lavs before landing too, just before we take our landing positions. If anything, it's a deterrent. If a passenger is sat down needing
36 ozark1 : It's not an emergency. I would have broken sterile cockpit, informed the pilots that a woman was in the lavatory, and then it would have been up to th
37 5MillionMiler : Was coming into MEL on a 767 last week and a woman from a big tour group from another country got up out of her seat on final and just casually starte
38 raffik : Coming back from Beirut in October we were coming into land at Heathrow and an elderly man strolled casually down to the back of the aircraft when the
39 musang : Agreed. The crew can only do so much. They give the safety briefings and their ars£$ are covered. If I were cabin crew I'd take the view that if a c
40 idlewildchild : This reminds me of a 9/78 L1011 TWA LHR-JFK flight I took. The Captain or FO never advised the crew how close we were to landing. We landed and crew w
41 Navigator : No no no... A missed approach would not be appropriate because it affects the whole flight and limits endurance. There was nothing wrong with the pla
42 lucce : I've seen pretty much the opposite on BA 757 (when they still had them): the cabin crew actually locked to door open. There was a little latch in the
43 capitol8s : "Prepare for departure, crosscheck, lock all interior doors".... I heard this announced on a United flight a while back.. So I guess UAL still has a p
44 DashTrash : I've landed with a passenger in the lav. It comes down to risk management and assignment. If I go around with a passenger in the lav, I expose the ent
45 davescj : While nothing is likely to happen, in the strict sense the requirement is to comply with lighted signs and crew instructions. That said... I think ma
46 airproxx : You don't perform a go around, especially in a very busy aera like ATL, simply because of a pax stranded in the lav.. Let's stay logical.
47 Post contains images airproxx : Yep, makes sense. And THIS is safety. End of story.
48 Post contains links BC77008 : Here is why the crew says anything to begin with... yes it really is for your safety: http://www.gadling.com/2009/04/21/wo...lence-on-continental-airl
49 Zkpilot : It wouldn't be the airline, it would be the FAA (if they chose to do it)
50 Revelation : Yet as above, many crews just leave the fasten seat belt light on all the time, even on TATL flights, so what is a person to do?
51 seven3seven : Your post contradicts itself. You think it makes sense to lock the lavs before landing. But if DL refused to let her use the lav there would probably
52 tugger : What response would that receive? If someone were to unlock the locked lav and use it? I assume the crew would do something as you actively "defeated
53 TupolevTu154 : I based that second statement on the "sue everyone for everything" culture that seems to be arising in the US every so often. There's a difference be
54 skysurfer : Back in 2000 I was on board a Canada 3000 'bus in YYZ and twice on taxi to the runway an FA told an elderly gentleman he couldn't use the lav until th
55 Post contains images kgaiflyer : On a CO 753 IAH-LAX flight a couple weeks ago, 5A disappeared before we landed at LAX. A couple of us became concerned and alerted the Flight Service
56 seven3seven : A passenger being up for landing is not the end of the world. If they're up its probably a very urgent situation which requires immediate action. Loc
57 Post contains images 9VSIO : Would a hard landing lead to some....splash-back?
58 cmf : Amazing! Suggesting keeping window shades open brings the wrath of not following crews instructions and how it is law. But walking around when the sea
59 IPFreely : A go-around while she is in an unbalanced position might toss her around and cause her to end up wedged head-first into the toilet bowl. Then the flig
60 Post contains images chris777 : It happened on my flight too going to the Dominican Republic. We were on final approach in a passing hurricane..so you all can imagine how bumpy it wa
61 Stabilator : If I was the pilot, I wouldn't want to be informed during landing. Pilots have a great number of things to worry about during final descent and landin
62 lmml 14/32 : It is as much the passenger's responsibility for their own safety as it is the airline's (namely the crew). If I were faced with such a situation, giv
63 Post contains images exFWAOONW : I guess some people on here have never heard of IBS or the side effects of certain medications that cause frequent unscheduled trips to the bathroom (
64 TupolevTu154 : In 600+ flights I've locked the lav on takeoff and landing I've not had one "incident". Whenever someone unlocks the lav before the seatbelt sign is
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