UALbrat
Topic Author
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AmWest, Crew Drinks -- No Laughing Matter

Wed Jul 10, 2002 6:15 am

Just found this article about an incident that happened at SFO last night:

http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/gate/archive/2002/07/09/airportjoke.DTL

Here's the first bit if you don't want to follow the link:

An America West passenger was removed from a plane at San Francisco International Aiport after making a comment about the pilots' sobriety in jest.

A woman aboard America West flight 83 was escorted off the plane scheduled to depart San Francisco for Tuscon, Ariz. at 9 a.m. Monday after she said to a flight attendant, "Have you checked your crew for sobriety.''

The comment, an apparent joke in reference to an incident in Miami last week in which two America West pilots were arrested for attempting to fly under the influence of alcohol, was not funny to the crew.



The sfgate.com site also has "breaking news" about UAL machinists but I'm sure that will get picked up and spread around by others if it isn't already old news: http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?file=/news/archive/2002/07/09/national1547EDT0651.DTL&type=business
 
Squigee
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RE: AmWest, Crew Drinks -- No Laughing Matter

Wed Jul 10, 2002 6:19 am

Another guy did this a few days after the event. He cause the entire flight to be cancelled while they sorted it out- it was a huge mess.

I hope she gets charged and fined big time. Maybe even community service (pumping aircraft lav tanks!)

no offense to anyone with a job that has them doing that -S
Someday, we'll look back at this, laugh nervously, and then change the subject.
 
777236ER
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RE: AmWest, Crew Drinks -- No Laughing Matter

Wed Jul 10, 2002 6:47 am

Well looks like they've lost another customer. What great PR eh?  Insane
Your bone's got a little machine
 
MD88Captain
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RE: AmWest, Crew Drinks -- No Laughing Matter

Wed Jul 10, 2002 7:20 am

Here's the scoop folks. The ass that feels the need to ask if the pilot's are sober is going to trigger a big response. The pilots HAVE to protect their careers and the airline HAS to protect its reputation. So the dumb comments will see the Captain and FO leaving the airplane for sobriety testing. And of course the plane will leave very late and it is possible that that flight will be cancelled (assuming that the testing ordeal eats up the available crew duty day). The pilots aren't just going to jump off the airplane and blow in a tube. It will be a long ordeal. If fact some pilots may request blood testing in addition to breath testing. That will entail a trip to a medical facility off airport grounds. And of course before the testing the police are called, the station manager is called (he/she may have to drive to work), the Chief Pilot's Ofice is called, Operations personnel and Airline medical are called, Flight Control is advised, air line executives, etc. Conference calls and advisory calls and calls to this expert and the airline's medical doctor, ect. and so on.

I was just talking to a pilot friend who was accused after a flight by a loud mouthed husband of a deplaning passeneger who was not even on the flight. It is a long story but basically my Captain friend had the airport police detain the loud mouth and he and the FO stopped in mid-rotation for sobriety testing (the long ordeal touched on above). Statements were taken (I was just kidding! I didn't mean anything.) And flights were late the reat of the day due to this disruption. But the Captain didn't have a choice. You have to meet a accusation like that head on, because the stakes are too high. Sad isn't it?
 
FrequentFlyKid
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RE: AmWest, Crew Drinks -- No Laughing Matter

Wed Jul 10, 2002 9:04 am

Wait a minute, this isn't a security issue. America West and the officials who took her off the plane are way, way out-of-line. I'm sorry, but joke or no joke she has EVERY right to ask if the pilots are sober or not. Apparently for this airline it's a legit question. (I know this isn't indicative of America West of its employees). Still, except for maybe a bad joke she did nothing wrong.
 
srbmod
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RE: AmWest, Crew Drinks -- No Laughing Matter

Wed Jul 10, 2002 9:09 am

What is AWA going to do, put one of those interlock devices that DUI offenders have to get put on their ignitions in every aircraft? Pilots need to start back on the 8 hour rule, 8 hours bottle to throttle.
 
OPNLguy
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RE: AmWest, Crew Drinks -- No Laughing Matter

Wed Jul 10, 2002 9:12 am

>>>Still, except for maybe a bad joke she did nothing wrong.

With all due respect, you have completely missed the point...



ALL views, opinions expressed are mine ONLY and are NOT representative of those shared by Southwest Airlines Co.
 
concorde1518
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RE: AmWest, Crew Drinks -- No Laughing Matter

Wed Jul 10, 2002 9:17 am

Not sure if I understand... the crew HAS to submit a test if a pax. makes that kind of remark?


 Smile
 
767er
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RE: AmWest, Crew Drinks -- No Laughing Matter

Wed Jul 10, 2002 9:30 am

That was a complete over reaction on AWAs part. The passenger had every right to ask that question...she has not done anything wrong IMO.
Aircraft flown:F27,Viscount. EMB120, SAAB340, ATR70, 737-200.737-300,DC8, DC10,747-100,747-200,747-300,747-400, A320, A3
 
brons2
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RE: AmWest, Crew Drinks -- No Laughing Matter

Wed Jul 10, 2002 10:00 am

What is AWA going to do, put one of those interlock devices that DUI offenders have to get put on their ignitions in every aircraft? Pilots need to start back on the 8 hour rule, 8 hours bottle to throttle.

America West has a 12 hour, no tolerance, drinking policy. No drinking in the 12 hours leading to duty.
Firings, if well done, are good for employee morale.
 
tt737fo
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RE: AmWest, Crew Drinks -- No Laughing Matter

Wed Jul 10, 2002 10:22 am

>>>"The ass that feels the need to ask if the pilot's are sober is going to trigger a big response."

Ass huh? To me the real ass(es) is(are) the winged, trusted crew--knowing full well the ramifications of their actions--who drank and gave us all a bad name. And you expect jokes NOT TO BE MADE? Sad isn't it, that the customer (who is really the source of our paycheck) does feel the need to ask if their crew is sober. Think about it? Who has let who down over the past few years?

>>>"the station manager is called (he/she may have to drive to work)"

Oh God no! Please...not that! You mean management might just take the customer's/FAA safety concerns into consideration?! And drive all that way?! Maybe the flying public ought to just bow down and worship that thought.

>>>"You have to meet a accusation like that head on, because the stakes are too high. Sad isn't it?"

Shit yes, it is sad! I could not agree with you more.

But who are the morons in this case? I'll tell you who: Thomas Cloyd and Chris Hughes. The men with wings. The men in uniform. The men the customer not only pays but trusts to get them from point a to point b. Safe. Sober. When that trust is violated, unfortunately we all pay for it. Our airlines, ALPA. The station manager. The ramper. That's the way it is.

And you are very right. The stakes are too high. But then again, there have been disasterous results. DUE TO SUBSTANCE ABUSE. Here's just a few examples:

July 13, 1977 Anchorage Alaska. JAL Cargo DC-8. Captain intoxicated .310.

March 13, 1986. Alpena Michigan. Simmons Bandeirante. Captain very hung over and impaired.

January 19,1988. Colorado. Fairchild Metro. Captain had been snorting Coke.

 
johnboy
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RE: AmWest, Crew Drinks -- No Laughing Matter

Wed Jul 10, 2002 10:31 am

I agree with the comment that joke or no joke, she shouldn't have been removed over that comment. Ludicrous in my opinion, and should reflect negatively in the PR about America West.

What really scares me is that the crew on the original, "Drunken" flight had no qualms about letting the pilot(s) getting behind the controls. Maybe that's why they're a bit "touchy" these days.
 
MD88Captain
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RE: AmWest, Crew Drinks -- No Laughing Matter

Wed Jul 10, 2002 11:16 am

TT737FO. Your disgust with the two AWA pilots and their criminal behavior echo mine. I have made my disdain for those two idiots known on other threads. But we disagree on whether people have the right to ask me every time I walk into an airplane whether I have been drinking. I simply will not put up with that type of behavior. It is rude and implies that I am a.) a drunk, b.) stupid, c.) a criminal, d.) an asshole and e.) unprofessional. I am none of those things and go overboard to be completely professional in conduct and appearance. I take it serious and nobody gets to impugn my professionalism and my character in my workplace. We don't walk into the doctor's, dentist's, lawyers, principal's, judge's, office and start insulting them because it is rude and unacceptable behavior. And it gets you thrown out of their office. The mores of society should not be any different on my aircraft.

As to the station manager comment. I was only showing the time aspect involved in sobriety testing. Each station has specially trained (6 hr course) personnel that must be present for such a situation. If they are at the lake skiing you have to wait for them to "drive to work". The point is that one ass sticking it to the Captain as he walks by now can impact everyone on his aircraft by significantly delaying the plane. AND he can impact the next 3 flights that plane and crew are scheduled to take. One guy's snide remark can literally disrupt the travel plans to 400-500 pax.

And you know the "asses" I'm referring to if you've flown any time at all. I'm not talking about genuinely scared pax. I'm talking about the pax who just wants to screw with you for whatever reason. He's pissed at your airline, or pilots in general, or the world in general. That type of pax doesnt get to fly with me. He gets to go later.

 
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yyz717
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RE: AmWest, Crew Drinks -- No Laughing Matter

Wed Jul 10, 2002 11:25 am

Wait a minute, this isn't a security issue. America West and the officials who took her off the plane are way, way out-of-line. -- Well said FFK. No one should be kicked off a flight for this.

When a passenger boards an aircraft, they are a CUSTOMER. Their fare provides the revenue that pays the pilot's salary. A question about sobriety (even in jest) is not grounds for removal. Pilots simply should not treat their bread & butter (the paying passengers) in this callous regard.

I dumped at the gybe mark in strong winds when I looked up at a Porter Q400 on finals. Can't stop spotting.
 
sccutler
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RE: AmWest, Crew Drinks -- No Laughing Matter

Wed Jul 10, 2002 11:29 am

MD88:

!!!!

There will always be those whose insecurities are expressed through hostility to others.

As pilot in command, you have the authority. If, in your judgment, the presence of that passenger poses a risk to the overall professionalism and, therefore, safety and security of the flight, then you should exclude them.

And, if I am booked on that flight, I'll thank you personally for so doing.
...three miles from BRONS, clear for the ILS one five approach...
 
MD88Captain
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RE: AmWest, Crew Drinks -- No Laughing Matter

Wed Jul 10, 2002 11:31 am

Sorry. The Captain has the final say as to whether a passenger goes or not.
 
MD88Captain
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RE: AmWest, Crew Drinks -- No Laughing Matter

Wed Jul 10, 2002 11:34 am

Sccutler. Thank you. You will always get my best. And to be honest I have a hard time comprehending the AWA pilots behavior.
 
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yyz717
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RE: AmWest, Crew Drinks -- No Laughing Matter

Wed Jul 10, 2002 11:37 am

Just rememeber who's paying your salary MD88......it's the people sitting behind you. No one else.

If they walk, you're out of work.
I dumped at the gybe mark in strong winds when I looked up at a Porter Q400 on finals. Can't stop spotting.
 
LoneStarMike
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RE: AmWest, Crew Drinks -- No Laughing Matter

Wed Jul 10, 2002 11:55 am

The ass that feels the need to ask if the pilot's are sober is going to trigger a big response. The pilots HAVE to protect their careers and the airline HAS to protect its reputation. So the dumb comments will see the Captain and FO leaving the airplane for sobriety testing. And of course the plane will leave very late and it is possible that that flight will be cancelled.

That's all well and good, but it doesn't seem to have been the case in this particular incident.

If you read the article it said:

The incident delayed the flight for 12 minutes, Wilson said.

"She kept saying, 'I was just kidding, can't you guys take a joke,' but it was something the airline took very, very seriously,'' Wilson said.

And yet the flight was only delayed 12 minutes? It doesn't sound like these pilots took any kind of sobriety test. The 12 minute delay was probably so they could take the woman's checked baggage off the plane.

Now obviously if you make a joke about a bomb or a gun or something like that, you're going to be pulled of the plane and most likely arrested. Yet not only was this woman not arrested, she was put on a later flight at no additional charge.

I'm talking about the pax who just wants to screw with you for whatever reason. He's pissed at your airline, or pilots in general, or the world in general. That type of pax doesnt get to fly with me. He gets to go later.

Why would he get to go later? If the person was truly a security risk he or she shouldn't be alowed to fly at all. Sorry, but your comments sound more like a case of someone who puts on a uniform and decides he gets to be a control freak on a power trip.

Was the woman's attempt at a joke tasteless and uncalled for? Yes. But was she really a security risk? I think not.

LoneStarMike

 
jaysit
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RE: AmWest, Crew Drinks -- No Laughing Matter

Wed Jul 10, 2002 12:13 pm

So a passenger makes an off-handed joke and gets thrown off the plane? What security risk is a silly joke? What a load of BS !! Talk about obnoxious Flight crews on some ridiculous power trip. The bogey man of 9-11 has given these dorks a whole new set of powers. I guess America West thinks it can treat its passengers like punching bags as long as it has patrons in the US Senate to keep it afloat and give it all sorts of choice routes.

What next? Comments on nasty, ugly flight attendants causing passengers to be booted off the plane? Where did the First amendment go? Its one thing if a passenger screamed fire on a plane in flight, but this is ridiculous.

What a pathetic airline. Ditto for its humorless cowboys in the cockpit.
Atheism is Myth Understood.
 
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yyz717
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RE: AmWest, Crew Drinks -- No Laughing Matter

Wed Jul 10, 2002 12:22 pm

Exactly Jaysit. Maybe we should all boycott AMwest in support of that poor woman thrown off the flight by a bad-tempered (upper middle class) pilot.

Arrogance, thy name is cockpit crew. Well, some of them anyway.

I dumped at the gybe mark in strong winds when I looked up at a Porter Q400 on finals. Can't stop spotting.
 
MD88Captain
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RE: AmWest, Crew Drinks -- No Laughing Matter

Wed Jul 10, 2002 12:24 pm

The legal authority and legal responsibility for the safe conduct of the flight rests solely with the Captain. If the Captain decides that a passenger may disrupt the safe conduct of the flight, then that passenegr is removed from the flight. If a passenger will screw with the Captain, the ultimate authority on the aircraft, what will they do to the flight attendents or other passengers? Considering recent events I simply take no chances and that suspect passenger does not go with me. Call it a power trip if you like. I call it doing my job.

And YYZ717 I am paid to conduct a safe flight. And that just about covers it. When I remove a passenger (and I have) it is with the safety of those all important other passenegers in mind. And when I look at passenegers I never think about money, I only think about getting them to the destination safely. Yes, the passenegers do pay my salary, but they do not pay for the right to abuse me or my crew. If they do that, they get to go later.
 
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yyz717
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RE: AmWest, Crew Drinks -- No Laughing Matter

Wed Jul 10, 2002 12:35 pm

Then MD88, how can a passenger making a comment about sobriety be a threat to the safe conduct of a flight?

This incident just reeks of a captain over-stepping his bounds in a bad-tempered way, because he can. Why couldn't this captain just 'grin & bear' the comment in a good-natured way? In the interest of customer service?

I dumped at the gybe mark in strong winds when I looked up at a Porter Q400 on finals. Can't stop spotting.
 
MD88Captain
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RE: AmWest, Crew Drinks -- No Laughing Matter

Wed Jul 10, 2002 12:52 pm

You are talking about an event that neither one of us know anything about. Everyone on this board decries the inaccuracy of the press and yet you take those same reports and vilify this AWA Captain. We do not know exactly what she said, the way she said it, her attitude after being confronted, had mental state, her sobriety. We do not even know if the Captain talked to her or if a AWA CSA made the decision to pull her off. We do not know anything really because we were not there. So why condemn a crew with no facts in hand?

What I do know is that as Captain I am legally responsible for the safe conduct of the flight. And as Captain I make the determination as to who may or may not be an impediment to safety. That's what you pay for. An experienced professional who can make the call on "grinning and bearing" or removing a passeneger.
 
Guest

RE: AmWest, Crew Drinks -- No Laughing Matter

Wed Jul 10, 2002 1:06 pm

YYZ717: The pilot considers himself(rightly so) to be a professional. When people say things and make generalizations like that, it can piss a guy off emotionally. Why should he 'grin and bear it'?

I would consider this the same as asking an Arab on the plane if he's a hijacker, or asking a Home Depot employee if he might actually know something about hardware.

At my school several years ago, the health teacher was 'busted' for selling marijuana(I love the irony). After the incident, one kid I know got kicked out of class because he said that his teacher "must have been getting high" when the teacher walked into the classroom 5 minutes late.
 
jaysit
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RE: AmWest, Crew Drinks -- No Laughing Matter

Wed Jul 10, 2002 1:11 pm

"I am the captain. I am legally responsible for the safe conduct of the flight. If I deem your jokes vulgar or not funny, I will declare you to be a danger to the flight, or worse, a member of some fundamentalist nut-case Islamic cult. You will grow a long bushy black beard even if you are a blond cherubic midwestern woman of doubtful comedic talent, and I will kick you off my plane. I can do this because I am paid over $ 350,000 for being a humorless aphorism spouting robot who really hates the poor sods I am hauling across America's skies. If you sue me, I will go on strike and strand you in poorly ventilated airport terminals with food vendors that go home at 8 pm. I can do this because . . . I can."

Atheism is Myth Understood.
 
MD88Captain
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RE: AmWest, Crew Drinks -- No Laughing Matter

Wed Jul 10, 2002 1:14 pm

Damn, Jay. Dealing with any authority issues?
 
OPNLguy
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MD88Captain

Wed Jul 10, 2002 1:21 pm

>>>The legal authority and legal responsibility for the safe conduct of the flight rests solely with the Captain.

Hmmm..... I think I know your intended context (re: the subject at hand), but your statement above seems a wee-bit generalized...


121.533 Responsibility for operational control: Domestic operations.
(a) Each certificate holder conducting domestic operations is responsible for operational control.
(b) The pilot in command and the aircraft dispatcher are jointly responsible for the preflight planning, delay, and dispatch release of a flight in compliance with this chapter and operations specifications.
(c) The aircraft dispatcher is responsible for -
(1) Monitoring the progress of each flight;
(2) Issuing necessary information for the safety of the flight; and
(3) Canceling or redispatching a flight if, in his opinion or the opinion of the pilot in command, the flight cannot operate or continue to operate safely as planned or released.
(d) Each pilot in command of an aircraft is, during flight time, in command of the aircraft and crew and is responsible for the safety of the passengers, crewmembers, cargo, and airplane.
(e) Each pilot in command has full control and authority in the operation of the aircraft, without limitation, over other crewmembers and their duties during flight time, whether or not he holds valid certificates authorizing him to perform the duties of those crewmembers.

Flag rules (121.535) essentially the same...

Cheers...
ALL views, opinions expressed are mine ONLY and are NOT representative of those shared by Southwest Airlines Co.
 
MD88Captain
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RE: AmWest, Crew Drinks -- No Laughing Matter

Wed Jul 10, 2002 1:27 pm

I almost threw in something about the dispatcher, but decided that it would just cloud the issue.
 
tt737fo
Posts: 468
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RE: AmWest, Crew Drinks -- No Laughing Matter

Wed Jul 10, 2002 1:28 pm

>>>"Why should he 'grin and bear it'?"

For several reasons. Firstly, ATPs carry with them a license that's issued by the Federal Government. Not the state, not the county. In my mind, that (as well as the experience I have) qualifies me as a professional. As such, I am held to a higher standard. I have to smile and say "thank you very much for flying with us" when the little old lady criticizes me for making a rough landing.

Maybe I carried a little bit too much of the Marine Corps with me to my civilian flying job, but I (like MD88Capt also, apparently) always take the time to ensure my uniform is neatly pressed, my shoes shined, and that I represent my company to the best of my ability--appearance wise. I do the best I can with my attitude. In many cases other employee groups (CSRs, FAs, HR, etc) do the same, however, more and more there is a growing hostility toward the passenger. And we wonder sometimes why we have to deal with snide remarks.

I formerly flew left seat for an upscale, national carrier. I did not encounter very many "asses" per se. Nor have I at the airline in which I am currently furloughed because I wasn't on the line much. However there were several ignoramous individuals who did go borderline--mostly with inappropriate remarks that we smiled politely at. The most "hostility" I encountered was in the winter of 2000 when we were on the verge of going on strike. We put up with a lot of stereotypical remarks such as "overpaid whiners", "need the extra cash to support our mistresses and illegitimates", etc. Again, just grin and bear it because we get paid the "big bucks".

Lastly take the comment: "At my school several years ago, the health teacher was 'busted' for selling marijuana(I love the irony). After the incident, one kid I know got kicked out of class because he said that his teacher "must have been getting high" when the teacher walked into the classroom 5 minutes late."

I understand where that remark came from, generalization that it was. Teachers are trusted professionals (licensed by a governing authority). As such they too are held to a higher standard and have an impressionable position. When you take one individual who screws up by getting busted for happy smoke--it's going to cause everyone to get painted with the bad brush. Kicking the kid out of class (barring any other extenuating circumstances) was an unprofessional reaction to something the teacher's group needed to address and realize that they would open themselves up to.

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