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Fair Or Not?

Tue Jul 11, 2000 6:55 am

I was on a BA flight from London to Philadelphia on Friday. While taxiing to take off position, the centre-row overhead bin, directly accross from my row (23) opened. The passenger next to me promptly unfastended his belt, reached up and closed the bin, before belting in again. Flight attendents were at take off position already. As soon as we had taken off, the guy had a visit from a flight attendent and asked whether he was the one that got up to close the bin. Upon his affirmative response, he was reprimanded by the FA and told in no uncertain terms that this was not his responsibility and that he had endangered his fellow passengers as he could easlily be thrown on them should the plane start its take-off roll. My question is whether this guy was not too roughly handled. He was strapped in again before take off roll commenced and he was the closest to the open bin. For a flight attendent to come forward would have been more dangerous and falling baggage from the bin could really hurt someone. Looking forward to hearing your opinions regarding this matter.
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RE: Fair Or Not?

Tue Jul 11, 2000 8:50 am

If I were under that bin I would have got up and closed it too. If something were to roll out and hit my or someone else's head, it certainly would be BA's problem. I can understand a visit from the flight attendant after takeoff to investigate what happened, but if he or she behaved in a manner you described, I would immediately ask to speak to the Cabin Services Director, as any attempt to explain the situation to the FA would probably be futile.

The customer isn't a moron, she is your wife -David Ogilvy
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RE: Fair Or Not?

Tue Jul 11, 2000 10:11 am

i also would have done the same. I remember doing the same just before a landing. That was probley more dangerous. But, those carry ons are heavy and could break my neck. I had a flight attendant friend that broke her arm when a carry on fell out the bin
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RE: Fair Or Not?

Tue Jul 11, 2000 10:41 am

Is this a case of reverse "Air-Rage"?

I too would have got up and done exactly the same. And as for the FA.....

I would personally have asked to see the Cabin Manager on the flight to discuss the incident, probably after returning a few thoughts of my own to the FA first. I can understand it if it was in the middle of a takeoff roll or about to touch down, but I believe what the passenger did was only showing good human nature at - what they felt - protecting themselves and fellow passengers.

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RE: Fair Or Not?

Tue Jul 11, 2000 11:26 am

Of course it isn't fair for the Flight Attendant to accost a passenger in the manner which you described. A simple "Thank You" would have sufficed. In a perfect world, the Flight Attendant would have phoned the cockpit and ask the Captain to hold tight for a quick minute so that she/he could close a bin that flew open. As the other people stated, I would have talked to the Cabin Manager or Head Flight Attendant to discuss the matter further. That type of attitude from an airline employee is simply uncalled for, especially in today's already tense skys.

Aviation is proof that, given the will, we have the capacity to achieve the impossible.
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RE: Fair Or Not?

Tue Jul 11, 2000 11:35 am

Interesting... I was on a BA flight and several (3 or 4) overhead bins opened on the takeoff roll itself, and people got up to close them, and no one was reprimanded by the cabin crew, despite the fact the craft was starting to rotate. Oh well, luck of the draw I guess.
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RE: Fair Or Not?

Tue Jul 11, 2000 11:42 am

For the flight attendant to reprimand the passenger for doing the right and logical thing is not correct behaviour from an airline employee.

I think that if anything, he should have been commended by the flight attendant for ensuring the safety of the other passengers at the risk of his own.

Get your patchouli stink outta my store!
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RE: Fair Or Not?

Tue Jul 11, 2000 2:08 pm

I agree with the flight attendant. (Though maybe he/she might have been a little too harsh, but I wasn't there). I guess it also depends on how soon the takeoff roll would began once the aircraft gets into position. This something only the cockpit is privy to.

AerLingus wrote:
"...he should have been commended by the flight attendant for ensuring the safety of the other passengers at the risk of his own."

Well not exactly. Please bear in mind that when the passenger did this, he was risking the safety of SEVERAL passengers, not just his own. Simply put, if he was standing during a takeoff roll, and if the aircraft had to suddenly abort the takeoff, a standing passenger literally becomes a flying missile through the cabin, inevitably landing on one, two, three or more passengers. Necks could be broken, backs could be broken, and the guy himself could have been killed. Passengers have most certainly been killed this way on past UA flights. THIS IS A PRIMARY REASON FOR PAX (AS WELL AS F/A'S) TO REMAIN SEATED WITH THEIR SEATBELTS SECURELY FASTENED during takeoffs and landings.

During an aborted takeoff, a standing passenger is more likely to seriously injure (or kill) several fellow passengers, than a content from an overhead bin.

Again, the f/a was merely trying to perform his/her job and exercise leadership skills (albeit in a harsh way). He/she just "went by the book," and it's true that other f/a's may not have reacted the same, (although it depends on the takeoff/taxi timing situation). I have to admit though, that I've gotten up from my jumpseat, sprinted through the aisle to close an opened bin just before takeoff. Yes, this was risky, so don't tell anyone!
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RE: Fair Or Not?

Tue Jul 11, 2000 2:24 pm


Quite a conundrum, ne pas?

If the FA's didn't see the compartment open and a piece of baggage fell out and on to someone's head because of it, that too would have caused serious injury and/or death as well.

I can understand why FA's are so stringent about being seated and belted in during the takeoff roll, but I think the primary issue here is whether the FA in this situation overreacted to what the passenger could argue is a damned if you do, damned if you don't situation.

The customer isn't a moron, she is your wife -David Ogilvy
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RE: Fair Or Not?

Wed Jul 12, 2000 4:45 am

I believe that the passenger's actions are really beside the point in this situation...

Why did the flight attendant elect to reprimand the passenger at all? By the time the flight attendant got to the passenger, the deed was done. Was the reprimand designed to educate the passengers so that in the future, when a bin opened during the taxi phase, they would know that they should not get up?

And why would a flight attendant reprimand a passenger so publicly? There are other ways to communicate to an individual passenger without resorting to public humiliation.

I have a healthy respect for the hard work that flight attendants are expected to perform. And I think that all too often, airlines place weighty responsibilities on flight attendants without giving them the resources to succeed in carrying through.

I've witnessed this type of behavior several times aboard planes. It doesn't help. And ultimately, if you treat passengers like school children and they'll give you their worst.
"If I don't manage to fly, someone else will. The spirit wants only for there to be flying. As for who happens to do it, in that he has only a passing interest."
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