ariis
Posts: 389
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Waving To Airplanes: Why Only In Japan?

Tue Oct 18, 2005 9:57 pm

Hi there,

as many of you know, Japanese ground crew always wave the departing airplane good bye. My question is: why only the Japanese do this.

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I personally think that it is a very nice and friendly habit that does not cost one cent, so why is it not popular anywhere outside Japan? Am I the only one (apart from the Japanese) who likes it? Well, reading the remarks under photos, apparently not.

Or perhaps things are changing already and more countries join this behaviour? I would love to see the ground crew wave all around the world.

Any ground crew personnel out there? Why not have a try? Why not change the restrictive procedures, if these are the issue?

Best regards
FAO
FAO - Flight Activities Officer
 
juventus
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RE: Waving To Airplanes: Why Only In Japan?

Tue Oct 18, 2005 10:01 pm

I've been thinking the same thing. I'm sure its due to their culture, but it should be done in more places. That sends off the crew and passengers (who see it) out on a good note...
 
ISIDRINK
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RE: Waving To Airplanes: Why Only In Japan?

Tue Oct 18, 2005 10:02 pm

They do the a similar thing in Monterrey, Mexico: The ground crew stands in formation waiting for the plane to taxi into the gate and when the plane is pushed back; sometimes they wave, sometimes they don't. And I agree, it is nice when they do so.
 
ariis
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RE: Waving To Airplanes: Why Only In Japan?

Tue Oct 18, 2005 10:05 pm

Quoting ISIDRINK (Reply 2):
The ground crew stands in formation waiting for the plane to taxi into the gate and when the plane is pushed back;

This is cool, I didn't know that. Another nice habit.

FAO
FAO - Flight Activities Officer
 
kiwiandrew

RE: Waving To Airplanes: Why Only In Japan?

Tue Oct 18, 2005 10:06 pm

I have seen this happen in other countries - I can't think where at the moment , but since I have seen it and I've never been to Japan it had to be somewhere else  Smile

I do agree that it is a nice idea - I suspect that one reason it doesn't happen more often is that in a hub and spoke type of operating environment ground crew are often racing from one flight to the next - staffing levels are very tight in most airlines and often the ground crews thoughts are already on the next operation.
 
manni
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RE: Waving To Airplanes: Why Only In Japan?

Tue Oct 18, 2005 10:12 pm

Happens in Incheon too. Ground handling waves to the aircraft when it is being pushed back.
 
oly720man
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RE: Waving To Airplanes: Why Only In Japan?

Tue Oct 18, 2005 10:13 pm

At MAN, from occasional observation, the ground crew give a wave and thumbs up before jumping in the van and going to get their cuppa (or out of the cold anyway) and leaving the flight crew to do their last checks.

In Japan it's surely the culture.
wheat and dairy can screw up your brain
 
yago
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RE: Waving To Airplanes: Why Only In Japan?

Tue Oct 18, 2005 11:00 pm

I'm a Flight Dispatcher at CDG and most of us always wave. Pilots don't always wave back though...

Where have you read it is only a Japanese practice?
 
wunala
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RE: Waving To Airplanes: Why Only In Japan?

Tue Oct 18, 2005 11:08 pm

I forgot about it until tonight and seeing it mentioned in one of the top 500 for yesterday.

I now remember every JAL flight I took, the craft was waved way. I like it. Something for a connection between pax and crew (gound and air, both important). Tradition, who knows, but agree it does not cost, yet adds a lot of value to the company.

I am sure there are others out there too. Let us know. Inform us.
 
KensukeAida
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RE: Waving To Airplanes: Why Only In Japan?

Tue Oct 18, 2005 11:08 pm

It's a culture thing mainly. Have you ever been to a full service gas station in Japan? It's crazy. They make a big deal out of filling your tank and washing your windows.

Anyways. It's pretty cool. People in the service industry in Japan take their jobs incredibly seriously. The aviation sector should be no different.

- John
 
crogalski
Posts: 477
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RE: Waving To Airplanes: Why Only In Japan?

Tue Oct 18, 2005 11:26 pm

We do it down here in TPA.. called the Tampa Wave.. after every flight we push out, we line up, and wave away..




and if i'm not mistaken.. B6 wants every station to do it..
A319 A320 A321 A330 B717 B727 B737 B747 B757 B767 CRJ200 CRJ700 CRJ900 DC9 E145 E190 MD88 Q400 | AA AB B6 CO DL EI FL NK
 
FlyingRPh
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RE: Waving To Airplanes: Why Only In Japan?

Wed Oct 19, 2005 2:11 am

Last time I flew out of ROC on B6 the ground grew was waving us off. And the same for the return flight from JFK to ROC, the JFK crew waived us off.

Blue Skies

Kevin
 
Doona
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RE: Waving To Airplanes: Why Only In Japan?

Wed Oct 19, 2005 2:22 am

I love it. I noticed this whilst killing some time on the observation deck at NGO before a flight. As a plane is pushed back it is 'walked' by two or three groundcrew, and as the pushback vehicle is disconnected, they all line up and start waving, white gloves and everything. As the plane moves away they bow, and return to their duties.

A friend told me that the bow is out of respect, not for the PAX or crew, but for the aircraft itself. Anyone know anything about this?

Cheers
Mats
Sure, we're concerned for our lives. Just not as concerned as saving 9 bucks on a roundtrip to Ft. Myers.
 
thehangarcat
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RE: Waving To Airplanes: Why Only In Japan?

Wed Oct 19, 2005 2:27 am

You can expect all the guys in YYC to do this @ WestJet...

It's their signature move.
If it Ain't Boeing, I ain't Going!
 
HPRamper
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RE: Waving To Airplanes: Why Only In Japan?

Wed Oct 19, 2005 2:30 am

I've seen ground crew working at PDX waving off the Air China Cargo 744. Could be that it's mainly an Asian practice that has been picked up by a select few Western groups. I've only ever seen it done with large aircraft. Another idea is that the departure of such a large plane is still an event much the same as sending a ship off to sea.
 
flyinghippo
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RE: Waving To Airplanes: Why Only In Japan?

Wed Oct 19, 2005 2:36 am

You will find this in TPE as well. I flew with CI and CX out of TPE, as the plane starts to taxi to the runway, the groundcrew will line up and wave us off.

It's mostly a culture in countries on the pacific rim, You will not find a better service industry than Japan, Taiwan, Hong Kong anywhere in the world.
 
SonofHerman
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RE: Waving To Airplanes: Why Only In Japan?

Wed Oct 19, 2005 2:40 am

Here in the states its not in the union contracts to have to wave.
 
Treg
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RE: Waving To Airplanes: Why Only In Japan?

Wed Oct 19, 2005 2:40 am

Have seen something similar in many airports. Last time in FRA. She was really cute  bigthumbsup 

 
flyinghippo
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RE: Waving To Airplanes: Why Only In Japan?

Wed Oct 19, 2005 2:42 am

Quoting SonofHerman (Reply 16):
Here in the states its not in the union contracts to have to wave.

I don't think they wave because they HAVE TO, they wave because the service industry is usually gives more respect to the paying customers and to the people and machines that earns money for the company.

It's a completely different culture.
 
afrikaskyes
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RE: Waving To Airplanes: Why Only In Japan?

Wed Oct 19, 2005 2:43 am

Many ramp personnel rapidly lost their sense of corporate pride after being kicked around so long, are underpaid, pushed very hard from one flight to the next, and really don't care anymore. You think they want to bow or wave now?

Oh yeah...Those pilots you want the rampers to wave to? When was the last time they took time out of their day to stop and say "hi" to that ramper?

Maybe those arrogant, self servicing pilots should bow and wave to the rampers before they board the flight. How 'bout that?

However, there are good crew members out there and they don't look down on the rampers work. Those are the men and women that surely deserve a solid salute as they're pushing out. You guy aren't forgotten.
 
captaink
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RE: Waving To Airplanes: Why Only In Japan?

Wed Oct 19, 2005 2:45 am

Back home in Grenada the ramp guys and pilots exchange salutes when the pushback is complete and the aircraft is about to begin taxiing. It is not so much a wave just a quick salute and thumbs from both parties.. The same is done on smaller airplanes like Dash8's when they are marshalled out of the park as they spin around the pilots and the marshaller exchange salutes...
There is something special about planes....
 
AADC10
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RE: Waving To Airplanes: Why Only In Japan?

Wed Oct 19, 2005 2:46 am

It seems to be some kind of Japanese thing. I have some distant relatives in Japan who waited by the highway to wave at us as our tour bus went past. We did not even stop there.

If I had to guess it is some kind of Buddhist or Shintoist good luck expression. At least they do not tape a "Safe Travel" amulet to the nose.
 
MarshalN
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RE: Waving To Airplanes: Why Only In Japan?

Wed Oct 19, 2005 3:35 am

Quoting Doona (Reply 12):
A friend told me that the bow is out of respect, not for the PAX or crew, but for the aircraft itself. Anyone know anything about this?

It's customary to bow before you take leave from anybody in Japan, at least anyone you are dealing with on a basis that's more formal than just friends. If you're a storekeeper and you have a customer leaving your store you are sure you bow to them. They do the same thing in Korea and Taiwan (a colonial legacy, IMO). Chinese in the mainland are picking up on the habit, but Chinese in Hong Kong generally don't bow, although the services are still generally polite and curteous.

I guess what I'm saying is that bowing to a plane full of pax is pretty logical. Japanese do treat a lot of things with respect -- they will bless their cars and things like that, so it is entirely possible for them to bow to the plane as well as the people inside.
 
Kohflot
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RE: Waving To Airplanes: Why Only In Japan?

Wed Oct 19, 2005 3:49 am

treg:

I hate to break it to you, but I think your friend is mainly showing the crew that she has the gear pin. That's standard practice at a lot of airlines...
Ask why..
 
ariis
Posts: 389
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RE: Waving To Airplanes: Why Only In Japan?

Wed Oct 19, 2005 4:04 am

Quoting KensukeAida (Reply 9):
Have you ever been to a full service gas station in Japan?

Me I have and I know what is going on out there. The whole staff jumps at you and while you are lost in the "mess" the fuel tank is full and you have clean windows. Then they lead you back on the lane and wave with their caps until you turn a corner. A bit crazy, very friendly, but not really sincere, I am afraid (like many of the services in Japanese commercial places).

Quoting Doona (Reply 12):
A friend told me that the bow is out of respect

Japanese bow at many things and many people, this is their nature and habit, showing their sign of respect. I think bow in front of an airplane after a minute of waving is a crewmember's personal goodbye at the end (like "Thank you, I will leave you now [bow]").

Anyway, I am happy to hear that this is not anymore a Japan-specific thing and that other ground crew staff happen to behave similarly (either adopting the Japanese habit /which is good/ or by their own will /even better/). I love to see other forum members support this idea too.

Of course I do not expect every personnel to stop for 5 minutes doing nothing but waving and throwing kisses, but even a short, distinctive wave or any other friendly sign would make a huge difference.

Best regards
FAO
FAO - Flight Activities Officer
 
myk
Posts: 434
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RE: Waving To Airplanes: Why Only In Japan?

Wed Oct 19, 2005 4:40 am

Quoting Yago (Reply 7):

The japanese way is not just Waiving, its a real salute and this is nice.

I remember when working in CDG, I used to be around 20:00 in CDG1 Sat3 to see the departure of the ANA 747. Its a real procession. The NH representatives stands in line at the windows waiving to the pilots (with their white gloves) and leaving just when the plane gets out of sight.

For me, this was a kind of "Osmosis" between the Plane, the Crew and the staff and denotes a kind of proud !

This is by far not the usual waiving between dispatcher and Crew....its a little bit more metaphysical....
 
ETStar
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RE: Waving To Airplanes: Why Only In Japan?

Wed Oct 19, 2005 4:49 am

I remember the old observation deck at Addis Ababa, where everone would wave when a flight left ... I even think there was a video clip of a song by an Ethiopian artist (old timer) who sang about his love leaving, and he was on the deck saying goodbye...

Most know that those on the plane don't see them (heck they don't even know where the acquaintance is sitting on the aircraft), but still wave goodbye.

Ever tried to get the attention of a ramp rat from inside the airplane? Wink at the chick? Pull tongue out? Big grin
 
siromega
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RE: Waving To Airplanes: Why Only In Japan?

Wed Oct 19, 2005 4:53 am

I used to wave to planes that few above my house when I was a kid.
 
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yowza
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RE: Waving To Airplanes: Why Only In Japan?

Wed Oct 19, 2005 4:55 am

While we're talking about cultural phenomena in aviation, why do Italians clap when the plane touches down? It's a little bizarre to me...

YOWza
 
irelayer
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RE: Waving To Airplanes: Why Only In Japan?

Wed Oct 19, 2005 5:31 am

Quoting YOWza (Reply 28):
While we're talking about cultural phenomena in aviation, why do Italians clap when the plane touches down? It's a little bizarre to me...

A lot of people do that, not just Italians. It happens a lot on very long flights when the landing is really smooth. Probably to show appreciation to the flight crew for getting them to their destination safely and comfortably...

I think the waving and bowing is most certainly a respect thing. It shows that the Japanese have retained not only the traditions but the meaning of their colorful history in modern times. Plus Japanese society is very hierarchical so it may be a way of bowing to their "superiors".

-IR
 
AAgent
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RE: Waving To Airplanes: Why Only In Japan?

Wed Oct 19, 2005 5:42 am

When I'm on the ramp I wave at every passenger that looks out of their window. I'm not paid to do it and I've never been asked to do it. I'm from the south and it's just good manners to wave goodbye. It says, "Hey, thanks for flying American!" ...and I mean it.

Best Regards,
AAgent
War Eagle!
 
SLUAviator
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RE: Waving To Airplanes: Why Only In Japan?

Wed Oct 19, 2005 5:53 am

Part of my thing after I pushed was I would wave to the crew as we were pulling back. Most of us on the UAX ramp at ORD waved. Now its UA working the UAX flights, the crew is lucky to be out of the gate let alone waved too.
What do I know? I just fly 'em.......
 
HPRamper
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RE: Waving To Airplanes: Why Only In Japan?

Wed Oct 19, 2005 6:16 am

Quoting AAgent (Reply 30):
When I'm on the ramp I wave at every passenger that looks out of their window. I'm not paid to do it and I've never been asked to do it.

I do that too. It's pretty much the most interaction I have with passengers, other than taking the gate check baggage on the RJs.
 
FlyNYC
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RE: Waving To Airplanes: Why Only In Japan?

Wed Oct 19, 2005 11:47 am

Independence Air even took "waving at the aircraft" to the next level. Their marketing department made large foam-board signs (circular shaped) that said on one side "Your bags are loaded" and on the other side "See you on the flip side!" or "Have a nice flight!"

The ramp workers would hold up these signs in view of the passengers and walk with the aircraft as it pushed back, one on each side. As the aircraft started up and taxied out, the ramp workers would line up and waive.

Of course, FLYi's operations quickly grew very challenging last year, their financial troubles came, morale dropped and 45 percent of their workforce was laid off... and now I think they've put down their signs and have dropped this practice all together.

Does anyone know if FLYi still does this?

It is interesting to note the Japanese connection, as FLYi got the idea from watching the ANA B777 departure out of IAD to NRT. (even though they are handled by a ground service company, I believe the ANA gate agents are the ones who come out and give the send-off salute).

It certainly has an element of respect and professionalism, although that's not to say that one needs to bow and waive at a plane to be professional in their job. However, as a passenger on board, it is very cool to see.
 
Carpethead
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RE: Waving To Airplanes: Why Only In Japan?

Wed Oct 19, 2005 12:26 pm

The bowing gesture is to show appreciation of thanks. So for ground staff, it means thank for flying with us to the customers on the plane and for a safe journey. After they wave and bow at the plane, the ground crew often shake hands or bow to each other for a job well done.
 
ckfred
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RE: Waving To Airplanes: Why Only In Japan?

Wed Oct 19, 2005 12:41 pm

I was always under the inpression that a member of the ground crew had to give some kind of signal, either a wave, a salute, or a thumbs up, to indicate that the tug and crew were clear, and that it was safe to taxi.

I have also seen CSAs standing in jet bridges wave to pilots as aircraft are pushed back.
 
Bridogger6
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RE: Waving To Airplanes: Why Only In Japan?

Wed Oct 19, 2005 1:03 pm

Yeah as a CSR for HP we're required to wait at the bottom of the jetway until the plane actually pushes and until we've waived to the pilot and he has aknowledged that everything is a go by waving back to us, that is the signal that it is all clear and we won't be needing to bring the jet bridge back up to the plane for any reason.
 
DCrawley
Posts: 328
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RE: Waving To Airplanes: Why Only In Japan?

Wed Oct 19, 2005 1:34 pm

When I used to be a ramper before becoming a pilot, I used to salute the pilot after pushback and disconnect.. it was to make sure everything was alright and this was company policy.

Quoting Afrikaskyes (Reply 19):
Oh yeah...Those pilots you want the rampers to wave to? When was the last time they took time out of their day to stop and say "hi" to that ramper?

Last week when I flew.. and I'll say hello to them tomorrow when I go back to fly as well.

Quoting Afrikaskyes (Reply 19):
Maybe those arrogant, self servicing pilots should bow and wave to the rampers before they board the flight. How 'bout that?

Lord almighty, that was extreme.. why do you generalize? Do you think this about all pilots? I, personally, think this says more about you than the pilots..

Quoting Afrikaskyes (Reply 19):
However, there are good crew members out there and they don't look down on the rampers work. Those are the men and women that surely deserve a solid salute as they're pushing out. You guy aren't forgotten.

Ah, why you redeemed yourself in my view  Wink .. lol. I think there are always going to be people in life who look down on others, but the rest of us who are just regular down-to-earth guys (and gals).. some flight crew members do have that holier-than-thou attitude, but ya can't just generalize!

-d
"Weather at our destination is 50 degrees with some broken clouds, but they'll try to have them fixed before we arrive."
 
ha763
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RE: Waving To Airplanes: Why Only In Japan?

Wed Oct 19, 2005 1:56 pm

Quoting Ariis (Thread starter):
I personally think that it is a very nice and friendly habit that does not cost one cent, so why is it not popular anywhere outside Japan?

Any ground crew personnel out there? Why not have a try? Why not change the restrictive procedures, if these are the issue?

Actually, there is a cost in waving to a departing aircraft the way the Japanese do it and it is in efficiency. They don't just pushback, wave, and leave. They actually wait until the aircraft starts taxiing before waving and wait until the aircraft passes them before moving on. That means that the crew and pushback tug are just standing around after they disconnect from the aircraft for at least 5-10 minutes. For many airlines, they cannot afford to have this down time due to the fact that the pushback crew will need to move onto the next flight as soon as possible.

The way JAL does this in HNL allows for the traditional waving, allowing for efficiency in the use of the pushback tug and crew. Pushback is done by the contract workers with the JAL maintenance person in-charge of the flight as one of the wing walkers. Once the pushback tug is disconnected and all engines running, the contract workers leave, leaving the in-charge JAL maintenance person to wait and wave as the aircraft taxis out. This allows the pushback crew to push the next flight or reposition an aircraft that needs to be moved or was moved.
 
Byrdluvs747
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RE: Waving To Airplanes: Why Only In Japan?

Wed Oct 19, 2005 2:04 pm

Don't ground crews also wear white gloves? That's a nice touch as well.
The 747: The hands who designed it were guided by god.
 
AirWillie6475
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RE: Waving To Airplanes: Why Only In Japan?

Wed Oct 19, 2005 2:15 pm

It's just a culture thing, I have been to japan. They are just friendly, from the janitors to the company officials. When you go to a 7/11 in Japan, the workers make a big deal on just giving you change and even counting it for you aloud twice so you have the right change. At the gas stations, they give you free water/coke/air freshner, they service your car, and even stop the traffic on the street so you don't have to wait there for traffic when leaving the station. They bow to you and the car that waited for you. You could stil see them bowing on the rear view mirror. This is why Japan is one of the most successful countries in the world. If they had the land size and resources of U.S they would probably be the most powerful country in the world. As far as the Ramp agent wave, who needs it. It's not in our culture to do that.
 
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centrair
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RE: Waving To Airplanes: Why Only In Japan?

Wed Oct 19, 2005 3:00 pm

Quoting Byrdluvs747 (Reply 39):
Don't ground crews also wear white gloves?

White gloves are common in many places in Japan. Example: Pilots, Taxi drivers, bus drivers, security, politicians (during election) and old ladies.

As an American abroad, I suffer from severe culture shock when I reenter the U.S. No "uniforms", smiles or pleases or thank yous. Every year I host American teens and many of them have never felt so appreciated. They return with better manners and greater patients.

As for the waving. Its just like JAL and NH F/A bowing when you deplane. Its a fantastic part of the culture. I find I do many of the same things and in the states people think I am strange for using such manners.
My name is Centrair but HND is closer. Let's Japanese Aviation!
 
9VSRH
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RE: Waving To Airplanes: Why Only In Japan?

Wed Oct 19, 2005 3:05 pm

I've always thought that the ground crew and pilots had to wave, salute or giv a thumbs up. I was told that the pilot facing the ground crew had to do it to let the ground crew know everything went well during start-up, seems logical to me
cheers
Patrick  Smile
 
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HAWK21M
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RE: Waving To Airplanes: Why Only In Japan?

Wed Oct 19, 2005 5:06 pm

Out here Its the Thumbs up sign, followed by a Raised Hand or may be a slight Wave of the Right hand.Sometimes a small salute.
regds
MEL
I may not win often, but I damn well never lose!!! ;)
 
kbfispotter
Posts: 658
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RE: Waving To Airplanes: Why Only In Japan?

Wed Oct 19, 2005 5:19 pm

My fellow ramp rats and I have gotten into the habbit of lining up and waving (or even saluting, depending on the customer) when ever an aircraft departs. Even though we only service bizjets and part 135 cargo aircraft, the pilots enjoy it and so do the pax. I almost always get a wave back from at least one pax and the crew.

IMO, it is only customary to do this... It shows that we appreciate their bussiness, and would love to see them come back again.

Kris
KBFIspotter
Proud to be an A&P!!!
 
Scotland1979
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RE: Waving To Airplanes: Why Only In Japan?

Wed Oct 19, 2005 5:23 pm

It was nice to see the way Japaneses waving...

Mind you - the only time when I was on Concorde in Toronto and taxiing toward runway 33R and I could see alot of crews waving at us (obviously it was a special event when Concorde left Toronto for the last time) on October 2nd, 2003 (Concorde Farewell) I am wondering did other airports did the same thing during Concorde Farewell??

Cheers
Jesus said "I am the Way and the Truth and the Life. No one comes to the Father except through Me" - John 14:6
 
Silver1SWA
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RE: Waving To Airplanes: Why Only In Japan?

Wed Oct 19, 2005 5:36 pm

Quoting SonofHerman (Reply 16):
Here in the states its not in the union contracts to have to wave.

      

I really like the idea of the wave. But, here in the US a ramper would be singled out by his peers as taking his job WAY too seriously. Also, I'm not sure pax here in the US would really appreciate it the same way the Japanese do. They'd probably look out that window saying, "now that guy takes his job WAY too seriously!". haha.

As stated, it's simly a culture thing.

[Edited 2005-10-19 10:38:09]
ALL views, opinions expressed are mine ONLY and are NOT representative of those shared by Southwest Airlines Co.
 
SuperD
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RE: Waving To Airplanes: Why Only In Japan?

Wed Oct 19, 2005 10:05 pm

Most of the tugdrivers I've seen will wave or salute as they drive off. The wingwalkers usually don't, but that's ok. I try to make a point of waving back. I like the rampers who do elaborate "the runway's that way" sendoffs with their wands, swinging them around in circles and waving off toward the runway as they walk away. Looks very cool.
 
Silver1SWA
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RE: Waving To Airplanes: Why Only In Japan?

Thu Oct 20, 2005 3:59 am

Quoting SuperD (Reply 47):
Most of the tugdrivers I've seen will wave or salute as they drive off.

Saluting/waving to the crew is pretty much standard company policy at all companies that tells the crew all is clear and it is save to proceed. Standing there and waving at the pax until the aircraft passes is not.
ALL views, opinions expressed are mine ONLY and are NOT representative of those shared by Southwest Airlines Co.
 
Lindy
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RE: Waving To Airplanes: Why Only In Japan?

Thu Oct 20, 2005 4:03 am

ANA Staff is doing it everyday at IAD


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