America's newest frequent flyer

whymeworry?

Well-known member
Joined
Sep 17, 2005
Posts
701
Total Time
12000+
Posted on Avweb last week. Discuss.


AVMAIL: NOVEMBER 16, 2009
Letter of the Week: Whining Pilots

In a given week, my career responsibilities may take me to two or three cities across the US. On more than one occasion, I've seen both the Atlantic and Pacific coasts on the same itinerary. Airline travel is not without annoyances, but in recent weeks, a particular thing has started working its way to the top of my list of travel peeves; whining airline pilots. I can guarantee with 95 percent certainty that if two or more people with white shirts and epaulettes are chatting together in an airline terminal, they're probably complaining about their jobs.

Airline flying is among the most respected of all professions, and the outwardly negative demeanor I see detracts tremendously from the well-earned image. As a private pilot who strives to maintain the utmost professionalism in my flying, I'm heretofore going to do my own part to restore prestige to the role of commanding the big iron. From now on, whenever I see pilots complaining in the terminal, their names and an account of their actions will be sent to airline customer service at my earliest convenience. I'd encourage the rest of my travel companions to do the same.

Airline pilots, I know the job ain't what it used to be, and it's not likely to change for the better. Ruminate all you want in private, but when wearing your uniform in view of passengers who entrust their lives to you, provide the modicum of professionalism the people expect. If that's too much to ask, please turn in your stripes and earn your pay on the ground like the rest of us.

Matthew Sawhill
 

regionalcap

Well-known member
Joined
Jan 27, 2002
Posts
903
Total Time
8000
Then a great follow-up letter.....

Letter of the Week: Pilot Complaints Send Signal

I invite every airline passenger to follow Matthew Sawhill's lead and write up all airline crews to their employers' customer service departments immediately. That's a great idea, actually! Maybe THAT will get management's attention, since nothing else seems to work.
I know this is an argument I cannot win, but here's my two cents.
The attitude displayed by Mr. Sawhill is just another data point to add to the already burgeoning pool a data points that clearly illuminate just how troubled the industry is: all parties are unhappy. That is the grand achievement of deregulation.
I know it may seem puzzling, Mr. Sawhill, that people with such a seemingly enviable job as flight crew actually feel a need to complain. Maybe the level of negativity you refer to is a valid indication that something is deeply wrong in the industry. Maybe, Mr. Sawhill, you should spend a year riding around with crews, living their work lives, and listening to their accounts of the insidious destruction of a once-prestigious industry before issuing such a foolish edict. It sounds to me like you need to listen more.
Maybe unhappy employees at any company are the proverbial miner's canary.
Larry Wertsch
 

whymeworry?

Well-known member
Joined
Sep 17, 2005
Posts
701
Total Time
12000+
Hmmm... good response. I am sure mine would've been so sugar-coated.
 

machaf

L.B.C.
Joined
Oct 21, 2005
Posts
189
Total Time
/0
Know it all Private Pilots.. Cute how he's a private pilot and professional in his flying. Big difference between work and play.
 

CA1900

Big Member
Joined
Mar 17, 2002
Posts
5,436
Total Time
11000+
Sawhill is probably the same jackass I flew a few years ago. He walked up front as we were taxiing out in the 1900 and said, "You forgot to start the other engine."

:uzi:
 

Bullitt

McQueen is THE MAN
Joined
Feb 18, 2007
Posts
117
Total Time
3500+
Sawhill is probably the same jackass I flew a few years ago. He walked up front as we were taxiing out in the 1900 and said, "You forgot to start the other engine."

:uzi:
You gotta be kidding me! It would be hard to respond nicely to such an idiotic statement. Gotta love the weekend warrior.
 

flyguy75000

Well-known member
Joined
Jan 7, 2005
Posts
283
Total Time
5700
Sawhill is probably the same jackass I flew a few years ago. He walked up front as we were taxiing out in the 1900 and said, "You forgot to start the other engine."

:uzi:

Did he call you out on forgetting to do the magneto check as well?
 

Bluestreak

Fitty-Six F100's rock
Joined
Nov 26, 2001
Posts
375
Total Time
Miller
One morning,we had to de-ice due to frost.At the gate at the destination,the gate agent says "A passenger has a question,is that ok ?" Yeah,sure.This doofus with thick glasses and a bad comb-over says "I want to know why we de-iced when there were no clouds ? "...
 

whymeworry?

Well-known member
Joined
Sep 17, 2005
Posts
701
Total Time
12000+
Guys like that ruin it for everybody. I was written up by a passenger for showing another passenger the flight deck. Not like they had anything on me but I had to waste my precious time off explaining why I left this young aviator see the cockpit. For the next month every time someone asked to see the flight deck I said NO. Just didn't want to deal with the bs. Now I've backed off and let anyone up there on the ground but still. It takes one guy to ruin it for everyone.

A buddy told me how he was written up by a passenger for announcing a FAs b-day on the PA. Was told to call the CP and explain within a half-hour of landing. Now he doesn't do any more PAs. So who was the tool who had a problem with his announcement? We'll never know.
 

CA1900

Big Member
Joined
Mar 17, 2002
Posts
5,436
Total Time
11000+
Did he call you out on forgetting to do the magneto check as well?
We actually did get a complaint from a passenger about that. The pilot said we were "careless and reckless" for neglecting the magneto check before takeoff. These people should not be allowed to operate motor vehicles...
 

waveflyer

Well-known member
Joined
Jan 9, 2005
Posts
10,005
Total Time
12000
I used to like private pilots until I spent a few years in the D model with the doors open.
 

dispatchguy

Dad is my favorite title
Joined
Nov 30, 2001
Posts
1,569
Total Time
NIL
Private Pilots shouldnt be allowed on airplanes, except their own or their rented aircraft.
 

crj567

Well-known member
Joined
Sep 20, 2008
Posts
2,052
Anyone else think "Sawhill" is just an alias for some upper mgmt. guy at American? These guys troll all the boards nowadays.
 

PsubS

Well-known member
Joined
Feb 17, 2004
Posts
137
Total Time
K's
Do any of you Einsteins realize that this guy is right about pilots bitching in front of the customers?


If you bitch (and, true, that is our God-given right as pilots, eh?), do so in private!

I admit that he's a bit righteous about writing the bosses about your crappy attitude, but the solution is simple. Don't air your dirty laundry in public...they're paying your salary, and they don't want to hear it.

It's not too much to ask of a professional.
 

GogglesPisano

Pawn, in game of life
Joined
Oct 20, 2003
Posts
3,939
Total Time
enough
Don't air your dirty laundry in public...they're paying your salary, and they don't want to hear it. .
My employer pays my salary, negotiated by my union. My employer derives its income from passenger revenue (overwhelmingly business class) and cargo revenue. The flying public does not "pay my salary." If they did, I'd be asking each and every one of them for a raise as I walked through the terminal.

I am a Bank of America customer. Do I pay BofA's CEO salary? If so, I want a refund.
 

Axel

Well-known member
Joined
Dec 3, 2003
Posts
1,132
I got this story second-hand:

A female Jetstream FO boarded the pax, shut the door, did a quick "welcome aboard" and went up and took her station. About a week later she got a call from the CP about a passenger complaint.

One of the pax had written a nasty-gram to the company fussing that the stewardess didn't even give him a drink. She just shut the door then went up front and talked to the pilot for the whole flight.

If ignorance is bliss, why aren't there more happy people?

However, I do agree with PsubS. Not for public consumption.
 

Axel

Well-known member
Joined
Dec 3, 2003
Posts
1,132
Whatever. I don't even care if it's true.
 
Top