"Fasten Seat Belt" Signs On Delta.

Tue Apr 16, 2002 12:46 am

On Friday night I flew SFO-ATL-EWR. On Sunday evening I flew EWR-SLC-SFO. All flights were with Delta. For the entire duration of all 4 flights the “fasten seatbelts” sign was illuminated, the cabin crew said this was because of “rough air” however we didn’t have problem with any chop except around SLC on the way back. Why would an airline expect passengers to remain belted in on a transcontinental flight?
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RE: "Fasten Seat Belt" Signs On Delta.

Tue Apr 16, 2002 12:53 am

If ATC is reporting bad rides, the captain will elect to turn the fasten seat belt sign on until he's assured that people can safely move about the cabin.

It's extremely easy to forget if the seat belt sign is off or on at times. He (she?) may have left the sign on after clearing the forecast turbulence area by accident. It happens occasionally.

Doug Taylor
MD88/90 FO

RE: "Fasten Seat Belt" Signs On Delta.

Tue Apr 16, 2002 1:04 am

Passengers were compaining so I don't think it was an oversight.
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RE: "Fasten Seat Belt" Signs On Delta.

Tue Apr 16, 2002 3:16 am

The big difference is that passengers complain when the seat belt sign is left on, but they tend to sue when the seat belt sign is off and rough air is encountered.
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RE: "Fasten Seat Belt" Signs On Delta.

Tue Apr 16, 2002 4:50 am

To be quite frank, the passengers can complain loudly, and when the cockpit door is closed, I have no idea what's going on at all.

A good example is when the cabin is roasting because the airconditioner is set a little too high, but the cockpit is nice and comfy, I have no idea until the flight attendant calls the cockpit to let us know.

So yes, an oversight by the pilots, but the flight attendants should have inquired if it was safe to move about the cabin on the interphone.

Also, the industry is extremely litigious. If you have any suspicion of choppy air, you've got to turn the seat belt sign on. Because if you begin to hit turbulence and grandma's not strapped-in, suddenly, grandma is suing the airline for millions of dollars because her hot tea spilled on her lap.

Heck, I can go on and on about people suing airlines!

Doug Taylor
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RE: "Fasten Seat Belt" Signs On Delta.

Tue Apr 16, 2002 5:55 am

Some airlines leave the sign on all time now, as standard can still get up to pee if you need to but they want you belted in if you are in your seat, in case of clear air's a good idea...covers the airlines ass if they come into any bad air, and people go flying...harder for pax to take legal action in that case....
"Clive Beddoe says he favours competition, but his actions do not support that idea." Robert Milton - CEO Air Canada

RE: "Fasten Seat Belt" Signs On Delta.

Tue Apr 16, 2002 6:27 am

Federal law requires that passengers remain seated with the seatbelt fastened at all times when the "fasten seat belt" sign is on. This means that you can't go and pee legally. I'm worried that if this is becoming standard practice on airlines then the "crying wolf" scenario might creep in. Most passengers on my flights didn't have their seat belt fastened and the cabin crew were not asking people to fasten it. This meant that 4hrs into our flight on approach to SLC we hit some very choppy air and many passengers didn't have seat belts on.
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RE: "Fasten Seat Belt" Signs On Delta.

Tue Apr 16, 2002 7:00 am

I've also noticed lately (past 2-3 years especially) that people are just totally ignoring the seatbelt sign. A few weeks ago, on a trip ATL-SAT, things were pretty bumpy as they tend to get on a night where there are some good storms fired up, yet a mother had no problems sending her daughter to the lav (from like row 16 on a DL MD88) all the way to the rear lavs, by herself, despite three -- count them, three -- admonitions from the FA to stay seated, directed at this woman.

Besides the reminders over the PA, the FA's never approached the woman and told her to collect her kids... but she would have been the first to sue if her kid had gotten a bump on her head.

It's the mom's fault, to be sure, for being a purebred moron, but why don't the FA's lay down the law more?
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RE: "Fasten Seat Belt" Signs On Delta.

Tue Apr 16, 2002 7:08 am

Sometimes it seems that the crew forgets that the sign is on. On airlines with PTVs that have weather on them, its easy to tell when the plane should hit choppy air (though clear air turbulence can happen).

I distinctly remember a flight on CAL from LGA-IAH a few years ago when we hit moderate chop more than halfway into the flight, and some guy stood up to get something out of his bag in the overhead. We were hitting some pretty large bumps, and a f/a actually yelled at him over the pa. That's the only time I've ever had that happen on a flight!
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RE: Fasten Seat Belt Signs On Delta.

Tue Apr 16, 2002 7:28 am

People have been ignoring the "Fasten Seat Belt Signs" much longer than just the last 2-3 years. Way back when I started flying in 1971, people still ignored them, maybe not as much as now, but it still hapened. The Captain really may not have much choice, if in his educated opinion he sees what may become a problem, then he is obligated not only by law, but by his company's policy to turn on the seatbelt sign. After all, if he does turn off the light, you jump up, for whatever reason, then you hit an airpocket - of course you are going to probably fly up to the ceiling and possibly get hurt. Now in reality of course nobody wants you or anyone else to get hurt, but it may just happen. God forbid it does, then you as the same person that wanted the light turned off in the first place are then complaining that the pilot should have never turned off the light. And of course, most people then want to sue the living daylights out of the airline when they should have used good judgement in staying in their seats. You are completely right when you say that sitting down across the "pond" is difficult, but would you rather that happen or would you rather hit the ceiling? Take my word for it, sitting down is much better, I've hit the ceiling and it really hurts(broke my left forearm and the left thumb at the same time, on the same flight a male flight attendant in the back broke his collarbone and the girl working with him put a hole in the ceiling with the top of her head). Now personally I'd rather have been sitting down, how about you?
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RE: "Fasten Seat Belt" Signs On Delta.

Tue Apr 16, 2002 11:27 am

I always want to cooperate with the flight crew when it comes to the seat belt sign. If they turn it on I have no problem being belted in. However if they want pax to respect the belt sign ( and they have that right) they also have a responsibility to turn it off when possible. If it is on all the time it loses 100% of respect. I also notice that it comes on more often now. Once on a US flight from MAD-PHL the pilot kept it on the entire flight! Yes, use it when ncessary, make people seated keep it on, but allow the freedom to move when it is "necessary". If you want us to respect your direction, u have to respect the "needs" of the pax. Let's work together!
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RE: "Fasten Seat Belt" Signs On Delta.

Tue Apr 16, 2002 3:05 pm

What I always notice is that on every single flight, on every single person, there is always someone who is up out of their seat minutes after takeoff heading for the restroom. As the flight progresses, it is the same people over and over again in the aisles. I've also noticed, it is never the old ones but the younger ones. Sit down for crying out loud, it is annoying as hell. And in this day and age it is a little nerve racking too! If you have to go to the bathroom, use it right before you get on and again before push back and you should be fine.

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