excerpt from the report:
"many federal air marshalls are complaining about working 5 days a week on airplanes, which made them sick. Since Sept. 11, many new air marshalls were hired without having to pass the old, more stringent, marksmanship tests, and this has caused concerns among air marshalls who have been in the service for a long time. Last, but not least is the new dress code imposed by the service. The air marshalls claim this makes them quite easily identifiable by anyone, including any potential terrorists and hijackers. They are considering suing the federal government to improve working conditions....."
I can understand the last two concerns they addressed, but not the first one. (working on airplanes 5 days a week make them sick? what about flight attendants & pilots who do that regularaly) I hope the govt can resolve any problems they have as quickly as possible. After all, the air marshall are our last line of defense. No, I do NOT support arming commercial airline pilots.
Md88Captain From United States of America, joined Nov 2001, 1332 posts, RR: 21
Reply 9, posted (12 years 2 months 1 week 4 days 10 hours ago) and read 2716 times:
I may have mis-spoken here since I just read a posting from someone I know (who has first hand knowledge) that states that the FAM program truly is in a state of meltdown. He's says it is worse than the media states (and that may be a first!) These guys apparently work for a first class jerk and they are being worked to way too hard. I heard some accounts of these guys falling asleep enroute (maybe they were play acting), but by all accounts they are being worked to a point where they are not 100% effective due to fatigue.
Bobcat From United States of America, joined Jun 2007, 0 posts, RR: 0
Reply 12, posted (12 years 2 months 1 week 4 days 7 hours ago) and read 2627 times:
a full report from CNN.com
"Federal air marshals dissatisfied with jobs"
From Patty Davis and Beth Lewandowski
CNN Washington Bureau
WASHINGTON (CNN) -- Air marshals are increasingly dissatisfied with their jobs, the head of a federal workers union said Thursday.
"We're hearing most of the people are dissatisfied," said T.J. Bonner, president of the National Border Patrol Council, which represents border patrol agents.
Bonner estimated 90 percent of the 700 border patrol agents who have become air marshals are unhappy with the long work hours, the lack of overtime pay and a requirement that they wear business attire, which "makes them stick out like a sore thumb."
Bonner said the air marshals should be represented by a union.
USA Today reported Thursday the air marshal program is in disarray and that as many as 80 air marshals have resigned. It also reported that air marshals no longer have to pass a critical marksmanship skills test.
But the Transportation Department denies the program is in trouble.
Spokesman Leonardo Alcivar told CNN there have not been 80 resignations, though he said some people have left.
"The level of attrition is minuscule and not in any way a concern," Alcivar said. "We need for people to be weeded out as part of any organization."
He said the air marshal program is working as planned: "There are more marshals on more flights conducting more missions in more countries than ever before. Americans should have confidence with their being in the air."
Alcivar also said the marksmanship test has not been done away with, "We changed the process and moved that aspect of training to later."
He said some new marshals may fly before passing the test in order to train more people in the basic skills they need.
Alcivar said air marshals are more highly trained in shooting skills than Secret Service agents.
The Transportation Department said it is investigating a few incidents involving air marshals.
In one, a manager stopped an air marshal from boarding a flight in Washington because he smelled of alcohol. In two incidents, air marshals accidentally discharged their guns -- one in a hotel room.
In addition, the Transportation Department said one air marshal left his gun in an airplane bathroom on a United Airlines flight from Washington to Las Vegas. A passenger found the weapon. The air marshal was suspended.
About 200,000 people applied to become air marshals as the federal government moved to increase security aboard flights after the September 11 terrorist attacks. The pace of hiring has picked up, but the Transportation Department will not reveal exact numbers because it says the figures are considered highly sensitive.
Jcs17 From United States of America, joined Jun 2001, 8065 posts, RR: 39
Reply 13, posted (12 years 2 months 1 week 4 days 6 hours ago) and read 2597 times:
Oh c'mon! These people are complaining when they work for $50K a year, and all they do is sit and fly (yeah, yeah...there is the remote chance of something happening). I'd take this job in a second though. These guys arent sitting in seat 28E in back of an MD-88 either. They usually get either premium coach seats in the front of the cabin or most of the time they fly first class. Real tough stuff! Imagine that! 40 hours a week! You basically get paid to sit in a first class seat.
Mandala499 From Indonesia, joined Aug 2001, 6926 posts, RR: 76
Reply 14, posted (12 years 2 months 1 week 4 days 5 hours ago) and read 2579 times:
Well, they're paid to stay alert, not to be worn out.
People say pilots have it easy, take off press the autopilot, and then do the landing... Well, the marshall looks like having it even easier... but staying alert (not necessarily awake) in a confined dehydrated space and keeping your sanity is not easy... at least the pilots have something to do (radio checks, fuel calcs etc).
40 hrs a week ? Pilots do that in 3 weeks to a month on transcon !
Sure pilots can do 40hrs a week, but if something happens, they wont act properly.
It appears that security in US air travel is treated like a joke. If they start treating the Air Marshalls like the security on the ground (long hours etc) then they will not be effective and be more of a waste of money.
Hey, let's start making pilots fly 40hrs a week and see what happens...
Wake Up America !
When losing situational awareness, pray Cumulus Granitus isn't nearby !
Flyboy36y From United States of America, joined Mar 2000, 3039 posts, RR: 7
Reply 15, posted (12 years 2 months 1 week 4 days 5 hours ago) and read 2567 times:
This may sound ignorant of me... but I was onder the inpression that air marshals did a lot more than sit in a first class seat. I agree with them on the count of clothing and on hours. Flying 5 days a week is a lot. We want them alert.
Backfire From Germany, joined Oct 2006, 0 posts, RR: 0
Reply 16, posted (12 years 2 months 1 week 4 days 2 hours ago) and read 2550 times:
I'll bet sheer boredom is one of the real issues.
Face it, how many of these air marshalls are ever going to see action? Hardly any. They'd have barely seen any BEFORE Sept 11, let alone now when airlines are openly talking about having them on board.
How long would you stay in a job that required you to sit down and stay anonymous for hours on end, day after day, with no prospect of ever "playing the hero" to make it all seem worthwhile?
Jcs17 From United States of America, joined Jun 2001, 8065 posts, RR: 39
Reply 17, posted (12 years 2 months 1 week 4 days 1 hour ago) and read 2546 times:
Just think about it for a second, 40 hrs. isnt too much. That is an 8 hour day for 5 days. I know that these guys fly red-eyes and long routes, but fed. law mandates that they do get rest. And Im sure they get it! Its not like these guys are flying ORD-HKG and then just hopping on the return flight. They get a day off! And these guys are complaining about just doing an 8 hour shift. Most of us on these boards have pulled off more than 15 hours sitting in airplanes and airports before arriving in the final destination. Dude, boredom? Youre allowed to read on the plane as an air marshal. C'mon, dont compare these guys to pilots either...The chances that they will be called into action is 1 in a billion, a pilot is tested every flight. I personally, could care less about what they wear, just as long as they blend in with the crowd, like not wearing a suit on a Saturday afternoon flight from EWR-MCO. Just quit complaining, you guys are in a job I would die to have.