dfwjim1
Topic Author
Posts: 2185
Joined: Fri Sep 09, 2011 8:46 pm

AA captain personally greeting passengers in the cabin

Sat Apr 20, 2019 12:07 am

Last October I flew on an AA 777 from Sao Paulo, Brazil to MIA. As the passengers were getting settled in before takeoff the AA captain walked around the cabin greeting the passengers and asking how they were doing. I thought it was a very professional and classy thing to do but in all of my years of flying this was the first time I have seen this done.

Just curious as to how many of you have seen this type of thing done or if you are a pilot have you ever walked the cabin greeting your passengers?
 
johns624
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Re: AA captain personally greeting passengers in the cabin

Sat Apr 20, 2019 12:28 am

Most of the time, they are too busy getting ready for departure.
 
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SierraPacific
Posts: 279
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Re: AA captain personally greeting passengers in the cabin

Sat Apr 20, 2019 12:31 am

I have had it once on a 777 at DL. It is a very cool thing to have done on an international flight where the crew gets to the aircraft early and can set up the aircraft before passengers board.
 
johns624
Posts: 2147
Joined: Mon Jul 07, 2008 11:09 pm

Re: AA captain personally greeting passengers in the cabin

Sat Apr 20, 2019 2:21 am

SierraPacific wrote:
I have had it once on a 777 at DL. It is a very cool thing to have done on an international flight where the crew gets to the aircraft early and can set up the aircraft before passengers board.
Or, it could be the relief crew.
 
spacecadet
Posts: 3413
Joined: Thu Sep 20, 2001 3:36 am

Re: AA captain personally greeting passengers in the cabin

Sat Apr 20, 2019 8:20 am

JetBlue encourages their pilots to greet the passengers, time permitting. But usually, time does not permit.

I wonder about the circumstances of this flight that the captain was even able to walk around greeting the passengers. It sounds like there must have been some kind of delay and he was trying to personalize the crew to the passengers so they wouldn't get mad. Typically prior to departure the flight crew is busy the entire time. I mean, there's a flight to prepare for. They're at work, not at a social gathering.
I'm tired of being a wanna-be league bowler. I wanna be a league bowler!
 
dfwjim1
Topic Author
Posts: 2185
Joined: Fri Sep 09, 2011 8:46 pm

Re: AA captain personally greeting passengers in the cabin

Sat Apr 20, 2019 8:31 am

spacecadet wrote:
JetBlue encourages their pilots to greet the passengers, time permitting. But usually, time does not permit.

I wonder about the circumstances of this flight that the captain was even able to walk around greeting the passengers. It sounds like there must have been some kind of delay and he was trying to personalize the crew to the passengers so they wouldn't get mad. Typically prior to departure the flight crew is busy the entire time. I mean, there's a flight to prepare for. They're at work, not at a social gathering.


No delays on this flight so I imagine the crew must have gotten to the plane early.
 
debonair
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Joined: Sat Jan 03, 2004 10:50 pm

Re: AA captain personally greeting passengers in the cabin

Sat Apr 20, 2019 9:21 am

For some airlines, I think it was swiss, it's a MUST DO for the pilot - part of their job description. Maybe not greeting the passengers, but after the flight wishing a farewell.
I even received once a feedback form, especially asking if the pilot was visible in the cabin and interacting with the passengers; like saying goodbye.
 
Gr8Circle
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Joined: Fri Dec 02, 2005 11:44 am

Re: AA captain personally greeting passengers in the cabin

Sat Apr 20, 2019 2:09 pm

Saw this happen on an AA flight during boarding at DFW recently.....the captain was in the cabin for some reason (he had to hand some papers over to some passenger at the back of the plane)…..however, instead of just walking through the cabin, he stopped to exchange greetings and jokes with passengers every few rows.....very nice......and the flight left right on time :)
 
e38
Posts: 618
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Re: AA captain personally greeting passengers in the cabin

Sat Apr 20, 2019 6:14 pm

Quoting dfwjim1 (thread starter), "have you ever walked the cabin greeting your passengers?"

jim, yes, I try to do this as often as possible, but in the past few years, I have stopped doing it as frequently as I used to and this is why. . .

However, let me give you some background first. Unless there is a delay, there is normally a narrow window of time when it is convenient to walk through the cabin. In most instances, once all the passengers are aboard, the gate agent comes down fairly soon thereafter with our final paperwork, closes the aircraft door, the flight attendant close the flight deck door, and the aircraft is ready for pushback.

However, occasionally, once all the passengers are aboard, there will be some time--perhaps five or ten minutes--before the agent comes down to the aircraft. In these situations, I normally take a look through the cabin first to make sure just about everyone is seated and most of the overhead bins are closed. I don't want to be in anybody's way--passengers or flight attendants--when walking through the cabin.

Quoting johns624 (Reply #2), "Most of the time, they are too busy getting ready for departure." and spacecadet (Reply #5), "Typically prior to departure the flight crew is busy the entire time. I mean, there's a flight to prepare for. They're at work, not at a social gathering."

johns624 and spacecadet, that's not exactly correct. While there is much to do to get the flightdeck prepared for the flight, very often there IS sufficient time for one of the pilots to walk through the cabin. Yes, it takes some time to program the FMS, go through our pre-departure briefings, and run the pre-flight checklist, but to say that we're too busy or that the flight crew is busy the entire time is not entirely correct. Sometimes it is--perhaps if we've had an aircraft change and are running behind schedule or if the aircraft comes in late and we're trying to get it out on time--lot of variables--but in general, we can accomplish everything we need to do to prepare for the flight and still have time left over before the agent closes the door and push back. And spacecadet, reference your comment about a "social gathering." We understand it is not a social gathering, but this is a business and the passengers are our customers, so greeting our passengers or asking how they are doing is not looked upon as a "social gathering" type of thing. Time permitting, greeting our customers IS part of our work. At the company where I am employed, the pilots are encouraged to interact with the passengers whenever possible--not mandatory, but encouraged.

so jim, here's why I don't do it much anymore. Very briefly, almost nobody cares.

Many times, I have walked the entire length of the cabin--from Row 1 to the very back--with a full load of passengers (175+) and absolutely not one passenger has made eye contact with me or even looked up from their entertainment/business device (in-seat video monitors, their phones, laptop computers, whatever they have with them). Occasionally, if someone does make eye contact, or seems to be a little nervous, of course I'll stop and say "Welcome aboard," or "How are you today," but invariably, as they are removing their earbuds from their ears, they give me an irritated look as if to say, "Who are you and why are you interrupting me? Now, go away and leave me alone." jim, I know for aviation enthusiasts this is a nice gesture, but for 99.9 percent of the traveling public (at least in the United States), all they want to do is get from Point A to Point B on time and they really couldn't care less if the captain or first officer stops by to say "hello." By the time the average passenger sits down, fastens their seat belt and settles in, they immediately immerse themselves in whatever device they have--sending a text message, e-Mail, last minute phone call, selecting a movie from the in-seat monitor, or listening to their i-Tunes, and most are completely oblivious to anything else, or anyone else, around them.

Yes, I still make the effort to do this because I think it's a nice gesture--time permitting--but I have to be honest--many times I ask myself why I would bother doing so when not a single person aboard the airplane will care if I do.

e38
 
Yflyer
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Re: AA captain personally greeting passengers in the cabin

Sat Apr 20, 2019 11:27 pm

About a decade ago, prior to boarding a UA flight from SMF to DEN the First Officer came out to the gate area, introduced himself, and chatted with some of the passengers before the flight.
 
ilovelamp
Posts: 297
Joined: Tue Dec 05, 2017 12:45 am

Re: AA captain personally greeting passengers in the cabin

Sun Apr 21, 2019 12:28 am

This probably most common on DL currently. Even our some our regional crews have been known to do this. Passengers typically report it favorably and it has contributed to our rise in NPS.


ILL
 
spacecadet
Posts: 3413
Joined: Thu Sep 20, 2001 3:36 am

Re: AA captain personally greeting passengers in the cabin

Sun Apr 21, 2019 5:20 am

Glad I'm not the first officer on any of these flights, because it sounds like he/she is the one doing all the flight prep.
I'm tired of being a wanna-be league bowler. I wanna be a league bowler!
 
IAHFLYR
Posts: 4081
Joined: Sat Jun 25, 2005 12:56 am

Re: AA captain personally greeting passengers in the cabin

Sun Apr 21, 2019 1:24 pm

I've been on two separate UA A319/320 flights in the past couple of years and had the Captain at the door of the plane greeting passengers as they boarded.

Just last week IAH-ATL on DL MD90 (left gate early) the Captain came out to greet the first class cabin with details of the flight and weather along our route of flight.

Both were nice touches and well received.
Any views shared are strictly my own and do not a represent those of any former employer.
 
jb1087xna
Posts: 435
Joined: Tue Jun 03, 2014 2:11 am

Re: AA captain personally greeting passengers in the cabin

Sun Apr 21, 2019 1:25 pm

ilovelamp wrote:
This probably most common on DL currently. Even our some our regional crews have been known to do this. Passengers typically report it favorably and it has contributed to our rise in NPS.


ILL


It's probably been a year since I've gotten an after-flight email survey, but DL used to include a question about the captain interacting with passengers as they leave the plane after arrival. I'm generally up front so it seems they don't have enough time to talk to F passengers before the door is open and the stampede begins. But generally whenever I'm in Y they are standing somewhere in the F cabin to wish people well or thank people for flying with them.
Next up: XNA-ATL-PWM-ATL-XNA
 
e38
Posts: 618
Joined: Sun May 04, 2008 10:09 pm

Re: AA captain personally greeting passengers in the cabin

Sun Apr 21, 2019 6:01 pm

quoting spacecadet (Reply # 12), "Glad I'm not the first officer on any of these flights, because it sounds like he/she is the one doing all the flight prep."

such is the life of a first officer ! :smile:

e38

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