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yashk
Topic Author
Posts: 109
Joined: Thu May 12, 2016 2:45 pm

Is it illegal to look at papers in the galley

Mon Jan 22, 2018 6:12 pm

On a recent LHR-JFK flight, while waiting for the restroom to free up in the back galley, I glanced at few papers hung in the galley. One of the major reasons why I even dared to do so was the CIV score. I read up somewhere on this website only that the flight manifest has that score written in front of your name. But what I actually saw was the break up of number of OW/BA elites by tier on this flight. In a minute, a guy comes up to me and says that I am not supposed to be here. I rudely replied so neither are you. Turns out he was a captain for ba but was in plain clothes. I went back to my seat and soon the cabin services director came up to me and said that what I did was a serious breach and I could be reported and detained for it. I tried to argue that if the documents are so sensitive why keep it in plain sight in the galley. He then said that galleys are out of bounds for passengers and I further asked him why not cordon them off like the first class cabin. Not wanting to further escalate the issue, I apologized and went about my way.

But in retrospect, I want to know that could I be detained for what I did. When we buy tickets, do we agree to not look at things hanging in the galley or this there some explicit rule about such things? I did not disobey the crew at any point, thus the rule where one can be detained for not obeying the crew is also not applicable in my case.
 
masgniw
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Re: Is it illegal to look at papers in the galley

Mon Jan 22, 2018 6:37 pm

Any company has the right to protect their "trade secrets". There's no way they'd know you were just a curious flyer vs a spy from a competing airline.
 
yashk
Topic Author
Posts: 109
Joined: Thu May 12, 2016 2:45 pm

Re: Is it illegal to look at papers in the galley

Mon Jan 22, 2018 6:40 pm

masgniw wrote:
Any company has the right to protect their "trade secrets". There's no way they'd know you were just a curious flyer vs a spy from a competing airline.


Yeah true but the question here is that if a curious flyer or even a spy goes through documents lying in plain sight, is that enough to warrant detention/arrest?
 
masgniw
Posts: 559
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Re: Is it illegal to look at papers in the galley

Mon Jan 22, 2018 6:49 pm

yashk wrote:
masgniw wrote:
Any company has the right to protect their "trade secrets". There's no way they'd know you were just a curious flyer vs a spy from a competing airline.


Yeah true but the question here is that if a curious flyer or even a spy goes through documents lying in plain sight, is that enough to warrant detention/arrest?


It's all about the intent of what you wanted to do with that information. I'm not familiar with the nuts and bolts of these laws, especially in the UK, but if there was any reason to suspect you had malicious intent, I believe they could justifiably arrest you. Of course, charging you or convicting you of anything is a whole different situation.
 
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readytotaxi
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Re: Is it illegal to look at papers in the galley

Mon Jan 22, 2018 6:51 pm

I have never had a problem waiting by a galley for a restroom, manned or not. If paperwork is on open display it can be viewed or photographed. You appear to have fallen foul of an off duty captain who then reported it to the CSD, he was not going to argue with the captain and came and rebuked you.
The aircraft is a public space such as a train or bus but it does come with rules. Like you, over the years of travel on aircraft, I have seen many paperwork examples in galleys, crew lists, passenger lists, special requirements.What is key is how you respond when challenged, good behaviour is usually best. "What could you be detained for?" Not really sure. In todays world flying into the USA and reported by a crew member you would probably get a bit of a grilling and then sent on your way once they were happy with your background.
Over reaction, perhaps, flying was a lot more fun back in the 80's.
you don't get a second chance to make a first impression!
Growing older, but not up.
 
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Tugger
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Re: Is it illegal to look at papers in the galley

Mon Jan 22, 2018 7:59 pm

Just act like you are texting/playing a game or something on your phone and take a picture of the docs (be sure the camera is off). Then you can zoom in and look at the docs much more easily and privately back at your seat.....

Tugg
I don’t know that I am unafraid to be myself, but it is hard to be somebody else. - W. Shatner
There are many kinds of sentences that we think state facts about the world but that are really just expressions of our attitudes. - F. Ramsey
 
VSMUT
Posts: 5498
Joined: Mon Aug 08, 2016 11:40 am

Re: Is it illegal to look at papers in the galley

Tue Jan 23, 2018 5:04 pm

yashk wrote:
On a recent LHR-JFK flight, while waiting for the restroom to free up in the back galley, I glanced at few papers hung in the galley. One of the major reasons why I even dared to do so was the CIV score. I read up somewhere on this website only that the flight manifest has that score written in front of your name. But what I actually saw was the break up of number of OW/BA elites by tier on this flight. In a minute, a guy comes up to me and says that I am not supposed to be here. I rudely replied so neither are you. Turns out he was a captain for ba but was in plain clothes. I went back to my seat and soon the cabin services director came up to me and said that what I did was a serious breach and I could be reported and detained for it. I tried to argue that if the documents are so sensitive why keep it in plain sight in the galley. He then said that galleys are out of bounds for passengers and I further asked him why not cordon them off like the first class cabin. Not wanting to further escalate the issue, I apologized and went about my way.

But in retrospect, I want to know that could I be detained for what I did. When we buy tickets, do we agree to not look at things hanging in the galley or this there some explicit rule about such things? I did not disobey the crew at any point, thus the rule where one can be detained for not obeying the crew is also not applicable in my case.


Just signing a document with BA, even if you did so, is not enough to put you in jail. You actually have to break a law for that to happen, and the police wouldn't give a rats rear end about it as long as you didn't bother the flight crew any further. Looking at a document left in a public area isn't an offense in the first world.
 
masgniw
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Re: Is it illegal to look at papers in the galley

Tue Jan 23, 2018 5:13 pm

VSMUT wrote:
Just signing a document with BA, even if you did so, is not enough to put you in jail. You actually have to break a law for that to happen, and the police wouldn't give a rats rear end about it as long as you didn't bother the flight crew any further. Looking at a document left in a public area isn't an offense in the first world.


False. You can be jailed for probable cause, without necessarily having committed a crime. Being convicted is a different story, though.
 
jumpjets
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Re: Is it illegal to look at papers in the galley

Tue Jan 23, 2018 6:59 pm

I know nothing pertaining specifically to UK aviation laws but under general UK law you are deemed to know the law of the land and ignorance is not an excuse.

So if UK aviation law makes airline galleys a restricted area then even if you didn't know that you would be in breach of the law and so anything you did whilst in that restricted area would inevitably be an illegal act. I would assume if you were allowed in by an authorised person then you'd be ok. As to reading stuff left on displAy, the crew member responsible probably committed an offence and if you acted on information obtained illegally [think Wikileaks here] you'd be likely as not guilty of an offence on that score too.

Before doing it again check out how much room there is the Ecuador Embassy in London as their spare room might already be taken....
 
FlyingColours
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Re: Is it illegal to look at papers in the galley

Tue Jan 23, 2018 7:50 pm

Galley's are not restricted areas though, generally speaking of course. The forward galley is temporarily restricted for public access when the flightdeck door will be opened briefly and of course the downstairs galleys on the likes of Tri-Stars, DC-10s, 747s etc is probably restricted given the means required to access them. I would usually have several visitors over the course of a flight, especially a long one where folks just want to stretch their legs or perhaps pop in and ask for something rather than use the call bell.

By the way, the galley curtain if closed doesn't make it a restricted area all of a sudden (though be aware if it's the forward galley it may be for F/D access) though some crews may not appreciate visitors...

As for paperwork, I can't say we left stuff in plain sight in the galley on my flights - aside from handwritten notes regarding TOB, ETA, Meal info, Flight No, A/C Reg and any other pertinent bits that may come in useful. Any other paperwork was kept in the purser's file, for the first class cabin the manifest would be put somewhere out of the way (but it's now been 10 years so I can't remember where exactly).

Phil
FlyingColours
Lifes a train racing towards you, now you can either run away or grab a chair & a beer and watch it come - Phil
 
spacecadet
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Re: Is it illegal to look at papers in the galley

Wed Jan 24, 2018 6:58 am

I've never heard of something like this. Galleys are typically left open near restrooms specifically so that passengers can walk through. In fact, flight attendants will often tell you to walk through if the lav on your side is occupied while the one on the opposite side is open. I've seen many papers hanging or left out while walking through; usually they're harmless things like drink orders or just passenger names and seat numbers (I may have only seen this in business class; I sometimes marvel at how they know my name as soon as I walk on, and I guess they study in advance).

I've never heard of someone saying galleys are off limits and a "serious breach" should you walk through and see something left in plain sight. It seems to me that the breach in that case would be on the flight attendant for leaving sensitive info in view.

Of course there are times when the flight attendants are busy preparing food or drinks and I wouldn't walk through at that time. Usually on the airlines I fly on, they do pull the curtains during those times. I assume the galley is off limits at that point. But other times, they specifically leave the curtains open. I mean they intentionally open them after the service is done. I have even walked through when flight attendants were in there (when the curtain's open), and I just say excuse me and they move a little bit and that's it.

I also fly JetBlue sometimes and I've even seen it where the flight attendants basically hang out with passengers in the galley while they wait for the lav. The f/a's sit down back there and the galley's just open right behind the lav, so they just all stand around and talk in the galley.

Were you acting suspiciously, I mean did it look like you were *really interested* in those documents?
I'm tired of being a wanna-be league bowler. I wanna be a league bowler!
 
RoySFlying
Posts: 257
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Re: Is it illegal to look at papers in the galley

Thu Jan 25, 2018 1:52 am

I guess the answer is whether you are happy with other people seeing confidential information about yourself. If someone, invited into your house searched your phone, started reading your diary or emails while you popped out to the toilet, would that be OK with you?

The fact that passengers may access the galley to board/ leave the aircraft or go to the toilets does not mean that they have free run to read any documents they happen to see. Regardless of where they are left, the documents are the property of the carrier and other passengers are entitled to privacy.
 
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Tugger
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Re: Is it illegal to look at papers in the galley

Thu Jan 25, 2018 4:57 am

RoySFlying wrote:
Regardless of where they are left, the documents are the property of the carrier and other passengers are entitled to privacy.

I disagree. Pretty much completely. "Entitled" is not the proper verbiage, "want" is accurate but we constantly hand over tons of data and information while accepting (often via clicking some ubiquitous "button") the terms that the holder may use and do with what they want with the information we provide. And we are given no choice. In addition, while the carrier (the holder of our precious information in this case) may be responsible for it, if left somewhere visible, just as with law entities, if it is is "publicly viewable" aka "in plain sight" the public may view it freely.

I don't like it particularly but try arguing with those that monitor the CCTV feeds in many major cities nowadays. If they can view it and use such information, the public can too.

TLDR: Put your sh!t away, don't leave it out in the galley or anywhere it shouldn't really be visible to the public. Don't pray some contrived rule will save you from your sloppiness. (Oh and stop clicking on every button accepting every EULA etc. Don't buy it. If the sales dry up things will change, really.)

Sorry.... was I ranting? I have a feeling I was ranting... ;-)

Tugg
I don’t know that I am unafraid to be myself, but it is hard to be somebody else. - W. Shatner
There are many kinds of sentences that we think state facts about the world but that are really just expressions of our attitudes. - F. Ramsey
 
RoySFlying
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Re: Is it illegal to look at papers in the galley

Thu Jan 25, 2018 6:11 am

Tugger wrote:
I disagree. Pretty much completely. "Entitled" is not the proper verbiage, "want" is accurate

Privacy laws vary by country. From the available information, I deduce (maybe erroneously) that this incident was on a BA flight. Although the flight was to JFK, it had originated in the UK and, to date, the UK is part of the EU and therefore BA is subject to EU privacy directives. While BA remains responsible for any breach, no amount of clicking on web sites gives any passenger the right to view another passenger's information.
 
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cranberrysaus
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Re: Is it illegal to look at papers in the galley

Thu Jan 25, 2018 3:08 pm

If they don't want passengers to read something, perhaps they shouldn't put it where passengers can read it?

Just food for thought. I'm not sure why so many here are so eager to defend thoughtcrime.
 
spacecadet
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Re: Is it illegal to look at papers in the galley

Fri Jan 26, 2018 4:42 am

RoySFlying wrote:
Privacy laws vary by country. From the available information, I deduce (maybe erroneously) that this incident was on a BA flight. Although the flight was to JFK, it had originated in the UK and, to date, the UK is part of the EU and therefore BA is subject to EU privacy directives.


What privacy law in the EU, specifically, would put a passenger in criminal jeopardy for viewing a document left in plain sight in a public area of an airplane?
I'm tired of being a wanna-be league bowler. I wanna be a league bowler!
 
PanzerPowner
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Re: Is it illegal to look at papers in the galley

Fri Jan 26, 2018 5:37 am

I remember last summer I was on a DL flight to LAX from HNL. I was in the galley asking for milk and I saw a manifest. With the curiosity of a young person as me, I peeked and saw that it was the list of special needs passengers. And unlike your flight, they paid no attention.
Well uh, I obviously decided to refine this but i dont know how.

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