Dissing the safety briefing

The New York Times put together an article that goes into the dissing of the standard safety briefing.  Yes, it’s something that we all know.  And yes, it’s something that we should do.

But when you consider how many people ignore the “turn off your electronics” pleas that are said at the same time as the safety briefing – as well as at least once before the airplane door closes.  I actually counted on my flight this morning; 7 people didn’t put their seatbelts on, and almost as many ignored the electronics request.  Why?

Arrogance, not being uninformed.  Because the flyer “knows better than the flight attendant.”

I call bullcrap.

Many people think of flight attendants as just someone who brings them a drink, or food if they’re lucky.  Those people have never been in an in-flight emergency before.  And I think it’s going to take some sort of emergency to get people to even pay attention anymore – which is sad.

Thing is, I bet the first time one of these ignorant people gets injured because they missed something in the briefing because they were listening to music, or they slip out of their seat when the plane has to slam on the brakes (been on a 737 that was at about 80 MPH that slammed on the brakes; it was NOT fun, even wearing my seat belt), they’ll be the first to start screaming, “You’ll hear from my lawyer.”  Ugh!

Folks, the people working your flight are there for your safety!  Give them the due respect that they have earned.

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Pinching pennies, costing lives?

Well this article sure isn’t one you want to read on an airplane.

There’s a new book out by author (and former airline-insider) William J. Mcgee called “Attention All Passengers” that calls into question the practices of our modern airline companies, and the sometimes scary job they’re doing as part of their day-to-day business.  Yes, overbooked flights and stuff stolen out of your luggage is a hassle.  But he hammers on the outsourcing that airlines are doing – something that I’ve been harping on for years – and adds stuff that I had no idea about.

From the interview over on NPR (and the two scariest paragraphs of the whole article):

Aircraft maintenance and repairs are also frequently outsourced — in some cases to unlicensed mechanics in China, Singapore, Mexico and El Salvador.

“In my view, it’s a critical safety issue — the FAA’s lack of oversight of maintenance [in these countries],” he says. “It used to be, if an airline had a major maintenance facility, the FAA had an office, and an inspector could pop by anytime. Now, with work being done [overseas], I’ve had dozens of inspectors express their frustration that they can’t do their jobs. They’re monitoring this work on an honor system.”

All I can say is, “Holy crap!”  That, and pray a little every time I get on a plane.

FYI, the book is available as an eBook on iTunes; I just picked it up.

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