|by Sean O'Neill||Airlines, Questions and Opinions, Safety and Security||6|
We've received a lot of comments on last week's article "8 Things an Airline Would Never Tell You."
One of the points that sparked a lot of debate is this one:
"We wouldn't tell you right away if there's an emergency."
The FAA leaves it up to the airline to decide if the flight crew wants to tell passengers about an engine failure or other significant crisis. And many opt to keep their lips sealed. The reason? Flight crews don't want to scare passengers or say something they'll regret later.
I have over almost four and a half million miles on Delta and my husband has over six million miles. We also belong to FF programs on three other airlines. So we travel a lot for business and pleasure. I have been on planes that have been hit by lightning, had an engine go out (but restarted), have dropped unexpectedly in altitude, have gone through two crossing aircurrents and survived severe turbulence. I thank God for competent and skilled pilots who were able to land the planes successfully.
My desire is that they stabilize the plane before coming on to tell us what happened.
But make no mistake, I want to be told what happened and what the current situation is. Not knowing makes the imagination go wild.
Flight attendants get a 95 percent rating from me. Only one did something that should never had happened. When we were hit by lightening I was in 1B and she was buckled in her seat. After it happened she said, loudly, "Oh my God, was that a bomb!" I reassured her that it wasn't a bomb and that it was lightning. She was scared but quickly recovered.
Oh heck, we were all scared. In what seemed like a long time but was only a matter of a few minutes the pilot came on to tell us what had happened and that we were returning to Atlanta. Upon deboarding, the pilot, in person, walked through the group to let us know of our new gate assignment and to explain why he and the second officer would not be piloting the plane. What a class act.
[Whether I want to be told about bad news depends on the situation, of course.] I compliment Continental for not telling the passengers that the pilot had died since the co-pilot was okay. I still feel that flying is the safest way to travel.