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Cellphones Handhelds Transportation Entertainment

Flight Attendants Want Stricter Gadget Rules Reinstated 406

stephendavion writes You might be super happy to toil away on your phone or tablet the entire time you're on a plane, but not everyone is pleased to see your face buried in your device during takeoff and landing. The Federal Aviation Administration's new, more relaxed rules on gadget use aren't sitting well with one group — flight attendants. According to a report from The Wall Street Journal, the nation's largest flight attendant union is now suing the FAA to have the ban on gadget use during takeoff and landing reinstated. The Association of Flight Attendants-CWA argues that the change has caused many passengers to ignore flight attendants' emergency announcements, and that the new rules violate federal regulations requiring passengers to stow all items during takeoff and landing.
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Flight Attendants Want Stricter Gadget Rules Reinstated

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  • by sbaker ( 47485 ) * on Tuesday October 14, 2014 @11:33AM (#48140939) Homepage

    People don't listen to that preflight announcement stuff because they've heard it a hundred times before. People who've flown even a couple of times before don't need to listen. People who are on their first flight, where it's all new and exciting are paying attention.

    So, no - I know how to wear a seatbelt and that my seat cushion can be used as a floatation device and to check where the nearest exit row is...yadda yadda yadda. I can stick my nose into my phone and I won't miss anything important.

    What's needed is either to make those instructions INTERESTING (like the Southwest Airlines people often do) - or to only give the routine instructions to people who need it. That way, when something truly important comes up, people will pay attention.

    • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday October 14, 2014 @11:34AM (#48140951)

      OMG

      you forgot the oxygen mask?!

      what if you didn't remember that even though the bag may not inflate oxygen will still be flowing, and what if you ignorantly helped someone else with their mask before wearing yours!

      wreckless just wreckless you'll kill us all my friend

      • by arielCo ( 995647 ) on Tuesday October 14, 2014 @11:54AM (#48141177)

        wreckless just wreckless you'll kill us all my friend

        Wreckless is how I like my flights! (you insensitive clod!)

      • by ShanghaiBill ( 739463 ) on Tuesday October 14, 2014 @12:21PM (#48141451)

        This is a classic example of "mission creep". The decision to ban electronic devices originally had nothing to do with making people pay attention to flight attendants. Yet that is now being used as an excuse to keep the ban. The only reason for the ban was RF interference. That is no longer a problem with modern devices, so the ban should end.

        • The only way to make sure people truly listen to the pre-flight emergency training is if you go Clockwork Orange on them, by strapping them down and forcing their eyelids open. Otherwise they will find something else to do, regardless of if they have access to an electronic device or not.
    • They don't want people looking at their devices with their headphones in when the captain says "brace for impact" a moment before you're supposed to land normally. It's not that hard to just be ready for an important announcement before takeoff and landing. And they're right that you want everything stowed away for those two phases of the flight.

      • by hawguy ( 1600213 ) on Tuesday October 14, 2014 @11:47AM (#48141091)

        They don't want people looking at their devices with their headphones in when the captain says "brace for impact" a moment before you're supposed to land normally. It's not that hard to just be ready for an important announcement before takeoff and landing. And they're right that you want everything stowed away for those two phases of the flight.

        I'll take my chances that even if I did brace for impact it wouldn't make a significant difference in my survival or chance of injury. And whether I'm looking at my kindle, staring out the window, even staring right at the flight attendant in the jump seat, I don't think it's going to affect my reaction time at all. Even with headphones on I can hear cabin announcements (I sure wish I couldn't, so I could sleep while the captain points out that we're crossing over the Rocky Mountains).

        I don't remember ever being asked to stow a book, and my kindle is smaller and lighter than most hardcover books (even many paperbacks). Besides, I've seen the overhead compartments come unlatched during severe turbulence, so in the event of a real crash, a loose kindle is the least of anyone's worries.

        • No more $6 drinks (Score:5, Insightful)

          by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday October 14, 2014 @12:31PM (#48141575)

          If they were serious about everyone performing in an emergency, they'd ban the $6 alcoholic drinks and screen everyone for benzodiazepines or GABAergic drugs before they stepped on to the plane. Ask yourself (i) whether you'd want to live in a world where you couldn't knock yourself out on a 15-hour flight, and (ii) whether the extremely rare chance of being in an evacuation is worth that level of imposition on basic developer-society human rights (access to physical/mental health care, and the freedom to consume the food/plants of your choice)... and then we'll be in the right area of discussion.

          Captcha: inhibits

        • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday October 14, 2014 @12:31PM (#48141595)

          On one flight I was asked by a sky waitress to take off and stow my hat. My cloth hat.

          Why? "Because in case of an accident it could come off my head and fly through the cabin like a missile." She said said that with a completely straight face while people around me were on their phones or reading hardcover books and one lady in the aisle across from me had her knitting needles out the entire flight take-off to landing.

        • by beelsebob ( 529313 ) on Tuesday October 14, 2014 @12:55PM (#48141849)

          I'll take my chances that even if I did brace for impact it wouldn't make a significant difference in my survival or chance of injury.

          Actually, the brace position does have a huge effect on your survival of a crash landing. It stops your head accelerating rapidly forward, and then backward relative to your body. That illiminates a whole huge class of possible brain injuries.

        • by mjwx ( 966435 )

          They don't want people looking at their devices with their headphones in when the captain says "brace for impact" a moment before you're supposed to land normally. It's not that hard to just be ready for an important announcement before takeoff and landing. And they're right that you want everything stowed away for those two phases of the flight.

          I'll take my chances that even if I did brace for impact it wouldn't make a significant difference in my survival or chance of injury.

          No you wont. You'll sue the airline for not making the announcement clear enough. Airline will lose and they'll ban PED completely. Personally, I dont want this scenario.

          Are people that afraid to be left alone with their thoughts for five minutes that they cant put their tablets down. The article said,

          the union would also be fine with a policy that allows devices to be turned on during takeoff and landing, as long as they're stowed away.

          Why is it that hard for people to put down their tablets for 5 minutes during the most dangerous time of the flight? Are people really that self-entitled these days (and I used to argue against this so I re

      • by Z00L00K ( 682162 )

        And the difference in outcome will be insignificant if you already is belted and a brace for impact situation comes up.

      • by Wycliffe ( 116160 ) on Tuesday October 14, 2014 @11:52AM (#48141161) Homepage

        And they're right that you want everything stowed away for those two phases of the flight.

        So talk to their boss. If an airline wants to allow/disallow certain things or require everything to be stowed, then
        let the airline decide to do this. If the airline wants to sell flights where noone is allowed luggage, or where there
        are no seats and it is standing room only, then let the airlines do this. The FAA should only be concerned with
        the safety of the airplane and the safety of the pilot so that the airline can safely take off and land without hurting
        anyone outside the airplane. If luggage isn't stored properly and falls on someone, that's the airline's problem.
        It's no different than if someone slips and falls on ice at walmart, let the airlines decide what is needed to prevent
        unnecessary lawsuits.

      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by Thanshin ( 1188877 )

        I don't give a fuck.

        I fly 2h every monday and friday and still I'm most at risk during the 30min taxi trips homeairport. And if the taxi driver told me to store my phone is case of a much more probable accident, I'd give him the same answer.

        And the taxi driver owns his vehicle. And he could be killed precisely by my phone.

        So shut your dickhole about hypothetical airplane accidents and how many hoops we have to jump through to avoid dying in one.

        The scaremongering got old a long while ago.

      • You know how everything you said is 100% false?

        When the captain says "brace for impact", if someone is deaf and on their phones? How much of a difference is it going to make? Zero. Now apply the same to people who can hear, and guess what? Same impact.

        • Your logic is impeccable. But only if that is all there is.

          1) A deaf person is rare. A plane full of idiots who can't stop listening to their crappy music for 1/2 hour is not.
          2) A deaf person already knows how to deal with their impairment, and their awareness in other areas exceeds the average person's already. A plane full of idiots who can't stop listening to their music is not aware of anything, because they have already escaped into their own musical world.

          ALL other things being equal, I'll take a plan

    • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday October 14, 2014 @11:42AM (#48141029)

      They are trying to defend their mostly useless jobs. When flights had things like meals and movies, there was a real need for some one to serve. Now they are trying to hold on to their role, should an emergency occur, in controlling the crowd and directing actions. I'm astonished that they even have waitresses on short flights at all. If it is less then 6 hours, your probably better served with having ground crew help every one get seated and deplane.

      • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday October 14, 2014 @11:54AM (#48141179)

        This is wrong on so many levels. The only reason why flight attendants still exist is strictly for safety. They are there to protect the passengers in the event of any sort of problem be that mechanical or some drunk idiot. You rarely hear that as fortunately there are rarely problems that require the to do their "real" job. Remember the miracle on the Hudson? It was the flight attendants who made sure everyone was safe and made sure they evacuated in an orderly fashion. They were the last ones off the plane. THAT is why they are there and I for one am glad to see them.

        • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday October 14, 2014 @01:48PM (#48142385)

          You mean the Miracle on the Hudson where exactly 0% of the people took their seat cushion which can be used as a flotation device? Well done, flight attendants. Well done.

        • by Bob9113 ( 14996 ) on Tuesday October 14, 2014 @02:29PM (#48142755) Homepage

          Remember the miracle on the Hudson? It was the flight attendants who made sure everyone was safe and made sure they evacuated in an orderly fashion. They were the last ones off the plane. THAT is why they are there and I for one am glad to see them.

          Does the math work? How many lives per year would flight attendants have to save to justify the price?

          There's just short of 10m flights per year in the US, and a US life is worth about $7m [wikipedia.org] for prime-aged workers. If a flight costs an average of 10 flight attendant hours (I'm guessing that's low), that means we spend 100m flight attendant hours per year.

          Starting pay for flight attendants is $16/hr [indeed.com]. So that's 1.6 billion dollars per year, plus overhead, that we pay for flight attendants.

          If safety is 50% of their job, and overhead is 50% of base pay, that means we're spending $1.2b per year on flight attendants for safety purposes.

          At $7m per life, that means they have to provide safety benefits equal to saving 170 lives per year. In the US, we currently lose about 15.3 lives per year [sfgate.com] to air travel fatalities.

          Just ballpark figures, but it feels like we're overpaying.

        • What they need on planes are bouncers.

      • by gnupun ( 752725 )

        They are trying to defend their mostly useless jobs.

        Eliminating these jobs just promotes lawlessness in the skies. Who is supposed to handle it if someone faces a problem, or there is a fight/argument between two passengers?

    • But did you know that your nearest exit could be behind you? ;)

    • Indeed, many of us could probably give the same lecture we've heard it so many times.

      Yup, seatbelt, popcorn lighting, nearest exit row, oxygen mask (mine first, may not inflate), seat cushion for debris location, no smoking in the lav, card in the seatback pocket ... got it.

    • What's needed is either to make those instructions INTERESTING (like the Southwest Airlines people often do)

      Oh, good lord no. Right now, the announcements are fairly unobtrusive... except on Southwest. I already know the information, so the only value it would have is entertainment. Except most people aren't entertaining, especially when they do the same skit over and over. But my book is. So let me read in peace. As a consolation, if any of the flight attendants are any good, I'll go see their commun

    • by durrr ( 1316311 )

      They never say anything about floating seats in the EU.
      Maybe they assume all the corpses floating around will suffice?

    • RE: Seatbelts - a smaller Canadian airline says this in their safety video: 'Now that you've done it, we'll show you how you did it' recognizing that by the time you're watching the video you've probably already fastened your seat belt.

      I find the complaints by the flight attendants a little insulting - I was just as able to ignore the safety video before as I am now.

    • People don't listen to that preflight announcement stuff because they've heard it a hundred times before. People who've flown even a couple of times before don't need to listen.

      That may not be true, actually. I've got a skydiving licence and I can tell you that the beginner training depends absolutely on mindless repetition. All you have to do on your first two or three jumps is arch your back and pull the cord at 5,000 feet. There are two people there with you. It really only takes about ten or twenty minutes to understand what's required and practice it a few times. However, that's not going to cut it. When you're in a very high stress situation you no longer think normally and

    • You do need to be aware if the flight has lifejackets or floating cushions
    • Don't argue the "ignore the flight safety briefing" point - that's a red herring.

      They're not saying "it's unsafe" therefor we shouldn't have it. They're arguing "we don't like it very much, so we're going to tell you about safety so that you think we have a point".

    • My flying background must be showing. I always review the safety information card, confirm safety equipment in my vicinity, and, yes, I actually do pay attention to the safety briefing.

      But that's just me.

      ...laura

      • by green1 ( 322787 )

        I'm not a pilot, however I have volunteered with an air search and rescue group.
        On a commercial airliner I glance at the card, take a quick look around at the safety equipment, and completely ignore the "briefing"
        On a military or civil airplane, I pay full attention to the briefing, where everything is, and any other information I can get.

        The difference is that the commercial airliners are all essentially the same, and haven't changed in decades.
        Each military or civil airplane is completely different.
        (there

    • If the plane goes down in water your seat cushion will function as a suppository.

  • they are just a bit lonely...
  • by cirby ( 2599 ) on Tuesday October 14, 2014 @11:35AM (#48140959)

    ...because we've seen their act too many times, and pretty much everything except the location of the doors is common sense in the first place.

    Anyone who can't figure that stuff out is probably traveling with an adult to handle the actual decisions.

    • by Gr8Apes ( 679165 )
      It's irrelevant anyways, there's an entire cadre of people that can't follow even a simple 1 line instruction as soon as irrational panic sets in, like when masks drop from the ceiling.
    • by bondsbw ( 888959 )

      To be fair, common sense can easily be forgotten during emergencies.

      Fight-or-flight instincts don't let us know that seats are useful flotation devices, but flight attendants remind us each time so it will be more fresh on our minds.

      • by itzly ( 3699663 )
        In the history of aviation, how many people have actually been saved from death by using their seat cushion as flotation devices ? I suspect the number to be quite close to zero, actually.
    • by RobinH ( 124750 )
      I agree that most people have just seen the act before. However, your idea that it's all common sense isn't correct. No first-time traveler is going to assume the life vest is velcro'd under the seat, and the seat belts don't work the same as the ones in cars. Plus, have you ever read the safety features brochure? The instructions for opening a hatch and deploying the slide/raft is not 100% common sense either.
  • Do it like a virgin (Score:4, Informative)

    by MorbidBBQ ( 1453553 ) on Tuesday October 14, 2014 @11:35AM (#48140961)
    Virgin Airlines has a video instead of flight attendants do the safety spiel.
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DtyfiPIHsIg

    Time for other airlines to get with the times.
    • by Vlado ( 817879 )
      Not just Virgin. If the plane has video monitors, then almost all airlines in Europe, Middle East and Asia have this.
    • by jandrese ( 485 ) <kensama@vt.edu> on Tuesday October 14, 2014 @11:43AM (#48141045) Homepage Journal
      United has a cheesy video too, where the presenter is in a bumpy taxi talking about seatbelts and on a beach talking about stowing tray tables and putting your seats in their full upright and locked position for takeoff. It's only on planes that have video screens though, on smaller and older planes you get the traditional spiel.
    • by _xeno_ ( 155264 )

      Virgin Airlines has a video instead of flight attendants do the safety spiel.
      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DtyfiPIHsIg [youtube.com]

      A lot of them have been [today.com].

      Not all of them are as interesting as the Virgin Airlines video (and some are just a video of the standard lecture) but they're not uncommon.

    • by hawguy ( 1600213 )

      Virgin Airlines has a video instead of flight attendants do the safety spiel.
      https://www.youtube.com/watch?... [youtube.com]

      Time for other airlines to get with the times.

      United has a new "humorous" preflight briefing [apex.aero], and if I hadn't already been through hundreds of preflight briefings, I'm not sure that I'd understand exactly what I'm supposed to do based on this video. I can't believe the FAA ever approved it.

    • Time for other airlines to get with the times

      Many airlines are ditching in-flight screens in favour of content that streams via WiFi directly to your device.

      Time for other airlines with screens to get with the times.

    • by suutar ( 1860506 )

      Delta had these on my last trip. They added some humor so I was actually motivated to watch it, unlike the... literally 50 other trips I've taken in the past 8 years.

  • by nblender ( 741424 ) on Tuesday October 14, 2014 @11:39AM (#48140987)

    Typical of Air Canada, if you're not listening, they become surly... So they want you to listen. But you have to listen twice, both in english and in french... God help you if you should tune out while they're going through the whole spiel in a language you don't understand...

    Westjet has a video for the french half and could seemingly care less if you're paying attention. The english half is occasionally made interesting with the injection of humor...

  • Thanks God we have flight attendants taking care of our self...
    What if the passenger doesn't care about it's OWN safety? Let him ignore the safety instructions, it's his own decision! FAA and/or the flight attendants are not our mothers..
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by jabuzz ( 182671 )

      The moment you stop caring about your safety is the moment you put *MY* safety at risk. A simple one would be total brainless morons who inflate their life-jacket inside the aircraft because they where not listening and as a consequence impede my exit. Yes this does happen there are a number of well documented cases of aircraft ditching and people inflating life-jackets inside the aircraft and people needlessly ending up drowned.

      • there are a number of well documented cases of aircraft ditching and people inflating life-jackets inside the aircraft and people needlessly ending up drowned.

        Citation?

        I can't recall ever seeing that in a description of an airplane accident, but I don't read about all of them....

      • by Wovel ( 964431 )

        Did any of those happen during the nearly 30 year ban on the use of electronic devices during take off and landing?

  • Laws are there to prevent dangerous behavior, not to help people do their job - even if their job is safety related.

    That is, people have the right to ignore the safety lecture, especially considering it is the exact same thing EVERY single flight.

    You want people to actually listen to it? Fine. Put a machine in the waiting area and require people to enter the machine and listen to the speech for 30 seconds, before being given a 'boarding order.'.

    But these complaints are just silly.

  • What about books? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Len ( 89493 ) on Tuesday October 14, 2014 @11:45AM (#48141069)

    Why were books, magazines and newspapers never banned before? They're just as much of a distraction (at least, they used to be until smartphones took over). Heck, they give away magazines in every seat pocket.

    • Why were books, magazines and newspapers never banned before? They're just as much of a distraction (at least, they used to be until smartphones took over). Heck, they give away magazines in every seat pocket.

      My thoughts exactly. I was expecting the in-flight magazine folks and SkyMall to be the ones pushing the issue. The only time I'd read them is takeoffs and landings.

      What they ought to do is build the safety briefing into their mobile apps. They know when I've boarded the plane, so they could simply set a timer that triggers ten minutes later and prompts me to look at a video or something on my mobile. Frequent flyers would still ignore it, but at least the flight attendants wouldn't get their knickers in a

  • by XanC ( 644172 ) on Tuesday October 14, 2014 @11:47AM (#48141089)

    I flew recently, and the crew was saying how much they loved not having to fight everybody to turn off their devices.

    Southwest might be a bit friendlier than most others, though.

    • My main issue is if they allow cell phone use in flight - an entire plane full of people yakking on their phones, it'll be like going to the movies.

    • What subset of flight attendants were pushing for this lawsuit? The crews on the flights that I have been on since the rule change have had no problem at all with the change. It makes their job easier.

    • by Wovel ( 964431 )

      I have asked a lot of American Airlines flight attendants about this and none of them said they supported the ban and they were happy to not have to deal with it.

  • by FreonTrip ( 694097 ) <freontrip@gmailP ... minus physicist> on Tuesday October 14, 2014 @11:52AM (#48141157)
    Seriously - bring a package of cookies for the flight crew. The flight attendants will leave you alone except to check on you, and will probably sneak you a non-alcoholic treat at some point during the flight. And it's not a job that's appreciated terribly much - look at the comments in this thread, just for starters - so it goes a long way.
    • by ledow ( 319597 ) on Tuesday October 14, 2014 @12:31PM (#48141597) Homepage

      Sorry, I don't bribe in order to receive good service from people whom I'm paying money for that service in that first place. Provide of don't. That your job is bad isn't my problem. I won't make it any worse, so long as you do it. But I'm not going to bribe service from you.

      And it's "under-appreciated" for a reason. They serve drinks. And do a little safety panto. Sure, they probably have to do training to get there, but I have to do training to say I can safely climb a stepladder at work these days - it means nothing.

      P.S. Tips are optional. And voluntary. Always have been, always will be. But I know some of us on here live in a country where not paying the tip is actually PENALISED with attempts at humiliating you. Try it on me. Just try it.

      If I choose to reward good service, it's done AFTER the service has been performed for me, if the service was exceptional, and on the condition that it was never expected (Bellboys holding their hands out?! Get outta here!).

  • Unions (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Jodka ( 520060 ) on Tuesday October 14, 2014 @11:54AM (#48141173)

    "...the nation's largest flight attendant union is now suing the FAA to have the ban on gadget use during takeoff and landing reinstated."

    An excellent example of how unions supplant an eagerness of workers to meet customers wants and needs with an attitude of wanton truculence.

  • There have already been a couple of instances of children being injured in car accidents --- what will be the rate of injury in an airliner crash?

  • by HangingChad ( 677530 ) on Tuesday October 14, 2014 @11:58AM (#48141219) Homepage

    We were ignoring seat belt puppet show long before the FAA loosened restrictions on gadgets. Besides, if there ever actually was an accident, the chances of needing any of that safety equipment is pretty negligible. I don't think the little oxygen mask is going to be any match for blunt force trauma. At normal airliner speeds, the little mask would be wearing you for protection.

  • by sjbe ( 173966 ) on Tuesday October 14, 2014 @12:00PM (#48141237)

    The Association of Flight Attendants-CWA argues that the change has caused many passengers to ignore flight attendants' emergency announcements, and that the new rules violate federal regulations requiring passengers to stow all items during takeoff and landing.

    So many problems with this:

    1) It's cute how they think people were paying attention before. The little song and dance number they do before every flight is a bureaucrat's dumb idea. Air travel is almost absurdly safe and the talk is a good approximation of useless. It's purely so that if the airline gets sued they have a defense and that isn't my problem.

    2) There has never been a requirement that "all items" be stowed during takeoff and landing or if there actually was such a regulation it was never enforced before so it's unclear why it is now necessary. I've never been asked to put away a magazine or any number of other loose items during takeoff or landing.

    3) Reading or playing with my tablet keeps what is already an uncomfortable and annoying experience within the bounds of tolerable. If they want to give me more leg room and a better seat then we can talk about when to allow my choice of entertainment.

  • I can't say there's much good about being a flight attendant.

    It doesn't have that 1960s "Coffee, tea, or me?" glamour anymore. The airlines want to fuck them over on wages, work rules and pensions. The passengers aren't upper middle class people in suits and dresses, they're filled with slobs in flip-flops. Unless the flight goes extremely well without delays and problems, the coach section is a little like prison cell block, on the verge of riot at any moment.

    Many passengers are openly spiteful of the a

  • So I can not pay attention while listening to music vs. not paying attention while not listening to music. These flight attendants just want to still feel relevant.
  • Since the rules were relaxed on electronic devices on planes it's been kind of nice not having to turn everything off - just put it in airplane mode. What I'm worried about is allowing the use of cellphones in flight. We have all heard about recent skirmishes on planes over people reclining seats. What do you think will happen if cellphones are able to be used for the whole flight? Guaranteed in flight fights.

    I'm not sure whether or not the flight attendants are considering this in their dispute but for the

    • Back in the day, airlines provided us with food and entertainment. Arguably, it was lousy food and entertainment but it was supplied none the less. Now we have no choice but to bring our own.

      I'm (partially) with you on food, but entertainment? 20 years ago, the entertainment on a flight to Europe (or across the country) was one movie, shown on an overhead screen, with terrible sound through uncomfortable headphones. Had already seen it? Tough. Didn't like the movie? Tough. Now, most flights of similar length have hundreds of choices, on-demand, on your own personal screen, plus dozens of audio channels. It's an ENORMOUS improvement.

  • by ErichTheRed ( 39327 ) on Tuesday October 14, 2014 @12:47PM (#48141771)

    I noticed that a lot of people are posting the fact that the FAs just want to keep their jobs or that they should stick to their primary job of serving drinks. I worked for an airline (in IT, not flight crew) and flew a lot, so I've talked to a bunch of FAs. Yes, they do appear to be serving drinks, but FAs are indeed there to keep order and for passenger safety. That role is just hidden until an emergency occurs. Sure, some of this might be a union thing, but the reality is that airlines are way beyond stingy and would have dropped FAs by now if they didn't provide the additional service of flight safety officers.

    An example of this can be seen in a crash that happened in Toronto a few years back. After a normal landing. the plane ran off the runway and crashed into a ditch, starting a fire. Every passenger escaped within 2 minutes...before the plane was completely engulfed. The reports from the passengers credited the FAs for basically shoveling everyone out of the plane as quickly as possible.

    So yes, they may appear to have an easy job and the profession seems to attract the young, unattached drifter type, but they're probably going to be the ones helping people in a crash or emergency while half the passengers are running around in circles screaming how they're going to die or livetweeting the accident.

  • They should have those rules written so ALL people on a plane have to follow those rules. Nothing like a flight attendant bitching at you for your device being out, only to see them texting during descent!

  • by tipo159 ( 1151047 ) on Tuesday October 14, 2014 @12:58PM (#48141889)

    One basis for the lawsuit is that the FAA did not follow the rules for changing its guidelines, because, for example, there was no public comment period before the change was made. Saying that the "new rules violate federal regulations requiring passengers to stow all items during takeoff and landing" is non-sensical because the new rules are federal regulations.

    Note that this was a change in the rules for what the airlines can allow, not what the public can carry on and use on the airline. It does not give you the right to play Angry Birds during taxi; it allows the airline to verify you playing Angry Birds will not interfere with the operation of the aircraft and, if it doesn't, allow you to play Angry Birds during takeoff and landing.

    Here is the FAA notice on expanded electronics use [faa.gov] in case you want to read more about how the change was made and what the change was.

  • Going backwards... (Score:4, Interesting)

    by JeffOwl ( 2858633 ) on Tuesday October 14, 2014 @01:13PM (#48142061)
    Maybe they are on to something. Maybe we should go backwards to the old flight attendant rules...

    "During Pan Am’s heyday in the 1960s, there were strict requirements for stewardesses: They had to be at least 5-foot-2, weigh no more than 130 pounds, and retire by age 32. They couldn’t be married or have children, either. As a result, most women averaged just 18 months on the job."

    No? Don't want to do that?

  • Some years back I had the pleasure of flying Qantas, the Australian airline. Since we left from LAX, we were subjected to the American routine anyhow. Despite already being a seasoned traveler, I clearly remember elements of the brief - because it was entertaining, not formulaic, and loaded with real useful information. For example, even though I am an aerospace engineer with Aviation Physiology training in a high altitude chamber for government test flights, this tidbit was news to me:

    If you see those silly yellow masks fall down in front of your face, you may be tempted to help little Johnny put on his mask first. Here's the problem: we're cruising at 35,000 feet today. If the plane loses cabin pressure, you'll have about 12 seconds of useful consciousness left. Now how useful do you think you'll be to little Johnny if he's sitting there with his mask on and mom and dad are both unconscious? So do us all a favor. Be selfish. Put your own mask on first. Then you'll have plenty of oxygen to help the people around you wake up again from their little unexpected nap, just in time to enjoy the rest of the emergency.

    Wow. I never knew that. I've NEVER forgotten it. Oh, and thanks, I don't need to hear it five or six times a year again to remember it either... so that's why I'm not paying strict attention...

There must be more to life than having everything. -- Maurice Sendak

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