Old 02-07-2013, 10:32 PM   #21
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Um, you do know there are several ways they can contact the field team at the airport coming up. I know of 2 or 3 right off the top of my head.


But you can keep believing it doesn't happen all you want.
I don't normally whip out my "Do You Know Who I Am" card, but for what it's worth, I'm a Captain at a fairly large Airline (think ATL/NYC/DTW...and you'll be in the right ballpark). So I have a reasonably good idea of how airline ops work, though I do apreciate your lecture.

Here's the deal, Flight Attendants spend hour after endless hour fielding questions and complaints from passengers. Frankly, I don't know how they do it without going nuts. The problem is, while I respect what they do, F/As are generally the least equipped to answer most of those questions or fix many of the complaints. They spend their time in the little cocoon of the cabin and don't intereact with many of the other deparments or employee groups (ask anyone at an airline and they'll tell you that F/A rumors are always the most useless). 99% of them haven't got a clue about aircraft systems, aviation weather, and they don't memorize the available facilities at the hundreds of airports that we fly into. Unfortunately for them, they are the public face of the airline and therefore have to deal with any number of issues that they don't control.

So, when you hear another PAX say:

"Can you call ahead and have them hold my connecting flight"
"Can you have these miles added to my frequent flier account"
"What are we flying over right now"
"Did my bag make it on this flight"
"What baggage carousel can I get my luggage at"
"What is the weather like in Chicago"
"How long is it going to take to fix the hydraulic problem"
"Why don't you serve Pepsi instead of Coke"
"Can you warm up the floor area, my feet are cold"

What the F/A wants to do for most of these requests is say: "I have no freakin' idea".....but what she will probably do is smile nicely and say "I'll see what we can do"....and then continue on with her day. In the particular case of holding a connection, the F/A has no way of contacting Dispatch/Local Ops on their own (though I'd be interested in the 2 or 3 that you know of). "If" they actually do let the pilots know, then the pilots "might" send it downline via ACARs or Company Radio if, as snydersnapshots mentioned above, it is an unusual case. I can assure you that someone having a tight conection because they wanted to save themselves $9 on their ticket doesn't qualify as a special case.....that's half the airplane. And if it's past Top of Descent, sorry, I have other more important things to deal with and Flight Ops management considers that a 'nonessential duty'.

I'm not disrespecting F/As here...they have a tough job. I'm simply telling you that passengers bombard them with questions and issues that they have no knowledge or ability to deal with. (BTW, the same goes for the gate agent....people will continually pester them with questions about maintenance and weather delays and the Gate Agent hasn't got a clue. They look down at their computer and recite to you what it says in the flight history....it's like going to a fancy restaurant and asking the car valet about the Menu Specials)

I'm surprised that the OP was able to book a 25 minute connection. Most airlines have minimum connections times that vary by airport to take into account the compexity of the terminals and the possibility of International travel. Good for him if he was able to save some money on the ticket, but please don't encourage that type of risky travel by saying "There's a good chance the Flight Attendant will get them to hold the connection for you" because that's wishful thinking.
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Old 02-07-2013, 11:03 PM   #22
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BTW, to echo some of what snydersnapshots said, the decision to hold an aircraft is made at the OCC level. They have the 'Big Picture' on who is connecting where and the ripple effect of delays on the plane and Cabin/Cockpit crews. That decision is being made by people that the Passenger involved will never see. The Gate Agent has no input into it and the Flight Attendants certainly have no input. With the pressure of published DOT Operational statistics, the current industry wide philosophy is to push on-time unless it's a very unusual case.....if we delay a flight, the one or two connecting passengers may be happy, but the other 150-250 who are now delayed aren't quite as thrilled. Because the plane and Cabin/Cockpit crews may go their separate ways on various flight throughout the day, an early morning flight that gets delayed may end up affecting a dozen or more flights and thousands of passengers.

As a Captain, they don't ask me my opinion about delaying flights either. It's simply not my call....though as the guy in charge of the parking brake, I have overruled Dispatch and angry Gate Agents in a select few cases where I used some common sense with the knowledge that the passengers could be quickly rounded up and put onboard (and I've never been questioned on that)
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Old 02-08-2013, 02:10 AM   #23
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I would say the reason that FA's aren't as knowledgeable as people would like is because their 6 weeks of training mostly deals with safety and emergency procedures plus the usual in-flight stuff.

I am attending college to become an FA and I can say I could answer most questions that a passenger poses to me, mainly because I wanted to be a pilot first. I do look at some of my class mates and I can totally understand why people think FA's aren't knowledgable at all.

But insulting them isn't the right thing to do. For many problems (not all) a passenger has the ability of knowing themselves. As for when people ask "what's the hold up?" and they get the answer, "It is a technical problem," well don't think about it as them lying to you. FA's also have to keep people calm in-flight and making nervous fliers even worse by saying, "The bolts holding the engines to the plane are very rusted out," will only make their job that much harder.

I don't think people understand what FA'a actually have to go through during a flight and that's why they think we are ill informed or whatever.
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Old 02-08-2013, 02:18 AM   #24
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I don't normally whip out my "Do You Know Who I Am" card, but for what it's worth, I'm a Captain at a fairly large Airline...
Yeah, calling ahead and asking for the plane to be held...no way...

...but at least I can be comfortable knowing that the FA will tell you when I note that you haven't set take off flaps.
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Old 02-08-2013, 10:52 AM   #25
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As for when people ask "what's the hold up?" and they get the answer, "It is a technical problem," well don't think about it as them lying to you. FA's also have to keep people calm in-flight and making nervous fliers even worse by saying, "The bolts holding the engines to the plane are very rusted out," will only make their job that much harder.

I don't think people understand what FA'a actually have to go through during a flight and that's why they think we are ill informed or whatever.

porter guy has a good point...sometimes FA's know more about a certain situation than we lead passenger's to believe, simply because we don't want to give them info that's too much for them to comprehend. And let's face it, how many of them would even believe us anyway. I was on a flight once from PHL-ATL, a fully loaded MD-88. We already knew we would be delayed en route due to t-storms in ATL. We wound up stuck in a holding pattern outside of ATL, our total time airborne was approaching 4 hours...IN AN MD-80! Needless to say we had to divert to another airport for fueling. One passenger asks me..."Why don't you put enough gas in these planes if you know there's gonna be a weather delay ahead of time?" Of course, I could have told him that an MD-80 couldn't carry enough gas to keep us airborne for as long as we were, but he would've bought a word I was saying... after all, I'm just a drink-pouring, peanut-offering FA...yet, he still asks me this question. So I just smile, apologize for the inconvenience, and tell him that we'll do everything we can to minimize the delay and get him to his destination soon as possible.

That's usually what I do....unless the question asked of me is so utterly ridiculous that I have no choice but to spell it out for someone...like the time a person pleaded with me to ask the captain if he knew there was ice on the wings...IT WAS 50 DEGREES OUTSIDE! I felt the need to set this person straight on the difference between ice and plain-old condensation.

As for the age-old question, "can we call ahead to hold a connecting flight?", we give the same answer every time..."*smile*...I'm sorry, but we don't have any info on-board regarding flight connections...please check with the representative meeting this flight upon our arrival, or feel free to call the airline's automated flight status line after we land...*smile*" . Every FA knows that if they say these words to every passenger every time, they'll live to fly(or fight...) another day.
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Old 02-08-2013, 01:39 PM   #26
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I don't normally whip out my "Do You Know Who I Am" card, but for what it's worth, I'm a Captain at a fairly large Airline (think ATL/NYC/DTW...and you'll be in the right ballpark). So I have a reasonably good idea of how airline ops work, though I do appreciate your lecture.
Wasn't a lecture I'm just telling you what happened. Whether you believe it or not is up to you. Maybe its changed policy as Ive had no need to use it in years, as with your screwed up schedules and funny planning I don't schedule short runs anymore, as I said I plan 1 1/2 hours minimum if I can.

But if that's now policy and you no longer care about people missing connections, I'm glad I don't fly your airline anymore (more than 1 reason I quit flying that one if Im guessing right its D).
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Old 02-08-2013, 04:25 PM   #27
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where is United cabincrew? I want to know his opinion on all of this
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Old 02-08-2013, 06:15 PM   #28
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Well now that we are discussing this In 2 weeks I am flying into ATL and catching a conncecting flight to LAX and my connecting time is 50 minutes is that enough?
If an international connection not (i know it from previous experience)
Remeber that Atlanta is very big. It all depend of the terminals
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Old 02-08-2013, 06:16 PM   #29
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where is United cabincrew? I want to know his opinion on all of this
He is sadly banned
Too bad, he was so funny
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Old 02-09-2013, 11:36 AM   #30
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Yeah, sure they will. They'll do it on their Flight Attendant VHF radio they have in the galleys.


....or maybe they'll tell you whatever you want to hear just to make you feel good.
Vnav,

You've just ruined my flights for the years to come until I die. I thought an FA could organized everything up to and including a Vertical Landing if necessary!!!

Next you'll be telling me that the tooth fairy ain't real. Good thing Santa is the real deal
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Old 02-09-2013, 06:01 PM   #31
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Wow that is a lot of replies

Thanks for the tips guys. It turns out I found a cheaper Southwest Airlines flight with a one-stop, no plane change. That way, I don't need to get off the plane, so it is all good now

Happy flyings!

Jerry
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Old 02-10-2013, 11:51 PM   #32
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Vnav,

...

Next you'll be telling me that the tooth fairy ain't real. Good thing Santa is the real deal
I'm not sure about that, but V-Nav once told me that airliner pilots get all the free beer they can drink as part of their compensation package.
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Old 02-11-2013, 02:32 AM   #33
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I'm not sure about that, but V-Nav once told me that airliner pilots get all the free beer they can drink as part of their compensation package.
Whoa. WHoa. WHOA!!! What airline has free beer in their contract? More importantly, WHERE DO I SEND A RESUME?!!

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Old 02-11-2013, 09:46 AM   #34
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I'm not sure about that, but V-Nav once told me that airliner pilots get all the free beer they can drink as part of their compensation package.
Excellent. Is it better to drink a Lager or Pilsner on approach and is a Stout contra-indicated in cruise?
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Old 02-12-2013, 03:50 AM   #35
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Excellent. Is it better to drink a Lager or Pilsner on approach and is a Stout contra-indicated in cruise?
I was thinking more along the lines of drinking it on a layover...NOT while working!

I personally prefer the stout though...
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