Credit to the photographs

I would like to thank Brian Losisto (Air Canada's photographer) for always allowing me to post his pictures. (The above thrust lever pic is his). Then there is Kelly Paterson from Calgary and plane spotter "Erik" from Germany. Of course, I have lots myself. On that note, if you feel a photo(s) may be in appropriate or the content I post a bit dubious by all means send me an email. I will ratify it! That's all I ask.

...I hope you enjoy the blog...

Monday, October 4, 2010

The Unsung Heroes

One of the toughest jobs out there is a flight attendant. You have to be courteous, look good at 5:00 a.m, know safety and first aid, handle the business class passenger who won't look you in the eye and deal with the most difficult passenger there is....the pilot!

In 2009 Air Canada's flight attendants won Best Flight Attendants in North America!

I do realize a few may contest this prestigious honour, but overall I think we have a great "back end."

Having said that, I had to flex my captain authority on my last three day pairing.
The young girl working "J" class, as well as looking after us, just didn't fit the bill for "exemplary service." She had to call twice to get our coffee orders straight and turned the J class cookies into cow paddies. They tasted good, but the in-charge flight attendant would not let her serve them because of what they looked like. The straw that broke the camels back was me going back only to see her sitting with a business passenger and not even asking if we pilots wanted anything. We truly are locked in a closet so coming and going is a task. (There were tons of J snacks left, but her thought process did not even think about offering us). It used to be SOP to check up on the pilots. Apparently that ruling is gone or hidden from the flight attendant manual. I don't know about you, but I think I would be checking up on the two people in the "pointy end" who has my life in their hands.

I had to say something. Of course that causes friction for the rest of the flight. It was the first for me. Again, it's uncomfortable having to point out the obvious.

Another aspect of being a flight attendant is bombarding the passenger with announcements.
I detested this when I commuted. Blah, blah, blah. We have to keep certain authorities happy so we must tell you how to do up your seat belt, where the exits are, how to work the masks, and if we are flying over water how the life jackets work. We must do that in our two official languages and if you are on an overseas flight this may include Cantonese and Mandarin or whatever other local language.

As a note, search for a picture from the internet showing the passengers standing on the wing when Capt. Sully ditched into the Hudson. Virtually no one is wearing that infamous yellow vest.

Well here's one airline's take on safety announcements. I think it would be cute to see our senior flight attendants dance this. Then again, maybe passengers would expect us pilots to "rap" our welcome aboard announcements. :)


Reader, "Stephen," sent this link. "Just flown back with U.K based Thomsonfly think this is a good inflight safety film." I modified this post to include it. Not only is it extremely cute and very well done, but it shows safety briefings around the world are amazingly similar.


Aviatrix said...

And yet sometimes when you ask someone what she does, she still says, "I'm just a flight attendant."

Anonymous said...

carlton said...

When I worked as cabin crew one of the most embarrasing things was when I had to move a corpulent passenger from the overwing emergency exit row - as in an evacuation they would probably get wedged in and block the overwing exit ; )

thomashouseman said...

What about dead people? Have you ever had anyone die on a flight of yours?

stephen said...

Just flown back with U.K based Thomsonfly think this is a good inflight safety film

From the Flight Deck said...

Aviatrix. I frequently aver that point by saying, "there's no way I could do that job."
Contending with the entire spectrum of society in an enclosed aluminum tube takes a special person.
Not only are you dealing with the "different walks of life" for hours on end, but add a little bit of stress
to that equation and you have the making of interesting flights. :)

From the Flight Deck said...

Carlton. This where flight attendant diplomacy comes into play. It sure must be tough.

Even dealing with "seat belt extensions" sometimes adds an uncomfortable feeling both for the passenger and flight attendant.

From the Flight Deck said...

Thomas. Yes, sadly we've had people pass away. I won't get into details, but most "situations of life" are encountered in flight.

Recently, an in-charge I flew with said his good friend (another in-charge) calls himself the grim reaper. He had three people die on separate flights.

From the Flight Deck said...

Stephen. Thanks a million for the link!

I modified my post to include it. CUTE!

stephen said...

No problems,but i did notice the children on that flight did look and take notice of the safety film (thats got to be a first)so maybe it takes a child to talk to a child and not an adult, maybe Air Canada can pick up on that idea many thanks Steve

Daniel said...

I seen that dancing flight attendant one when it came out it had only like 200,000. Now over 5.0 million. I still think its because people find that one flight attendant a little attractive so they will watch it ^_^. The comments are really funny on it though.

From the Flight Deck said...

Daniel. I agree with the "attractiveness factor." Heck, if they are going to look and do that, maybe I'll rethink about commuting. :)

From the Flight Deck said...

Stephen. I watched the entire safety briefing without turning my head. Maybe it takes a child to talk to an adult! :) :) :)

Again, thanks!

whywhyzed said...

And speaking of announcements......I still don't understand why they announce the "planned altitude of...."

I can't think of a single reason why this is important to the passenger. Is it some kind of legal issue?? Estimated time enroute? Yes. Gonna be bumpy maybe? Yes. Pilots' names? OK. Wx at destination? Yep.

Planned altitude... Huh??

Just get us there on time and in one piece, please! :-)

(Dedicated Aeroplan member since 1985)

From the Flight Deck said...

Whywhyzed. I think we had this discussion before? I still think it goes back to the fifties where we tried to woo the public on how high they were going to
fly in a jet engine aircraft. Good point. What's the difference between FL300 or FL390?
Most passengers know airplanes are pressurized, but most do not realize they are pressurized equivalent to 6000 to 8000 feet above sea level.

I'm still wondering why I get paid on the 17th instead of the 15th. My bank wants my mortgage payment on the 15th. :)

Captain Doug

P.S Thanks for flying Air Canada!

Chris Gardner said...

Cute video Doug it is ssoooooooo sweet it is raising my blood sugers to double digits,lol.