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A Cross-Fleeting Observation (Boeing vs. Airbus, pmAS FAs experience)

A Cross-Fleeting Observation (Boeing vs. Airbus, pmAS FAs experience)

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Old Feb 24, 19, 12:12 am
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A Cross-Fleeting Observation (Boeing vs. Airbus, pmAS FAs experience)

So this could almost be written as a trip report, but I'll try to phrase it as more of an experience with unique observations.

Last night on an Intra-California flight (specific details omitted to protect the innocent) I had the opportunity to fly with a pmAS FA crew that was on their 2nd leg of an Airbus trip for their very first time. I was in row 1, and had several lengthy chats with the lead FA who was in charge of our cabin.

Interestingly, he said they had just completed onboard training with this aircraft type within the last 2 weeks and he was explaining the differences in the galley set-ups to me between the Boeing and Airbus carts and how they're stocked. Our flight was double catered (I was on the 2nd leg), and an announcement was made upon reaching altitude that they would begin beverage service shortly, but due to the short length of the flight (1hr17m actual flying time, so that may be a clue as to the flight for those curious) there would only be water/soda and or beer/wine available for purchase, but no spirits.

It turns out that the FAs are claiming (no idea if it's fact) that due to the double catering, they can only offer spirits on the 1st leg, and revert to beer/wine only for purchase on the return leg. So that's interesting. Of course this only applies to the Y cabin, not F, but I had two colleagues in the back who wanted a cocktail after our long work day, and were denied that option.

What was more interesting to me is that mid-flight, the FA stopped by my seat and was in shock that I had extended the PTV from between the seat and was watching a documentary. He asked if those were in every seat as he'd never seen them before. I explained to him that they were only in F, but that all 8 seats had them and then we had a discussion about the Alaska Beyond vs. the former Red system, of which he was interested in since he'd never heard of it before.

So of course I then asked him if they'd briefed him on the other features of the aircraft we were on, like maybe the exit doors, since familiarity with the aircraft you're flying on would seem like an important thing to have covered before leaving the gate.

The amusing part of this story, at least to me, is that I had reclined in flight, and when we began descent, my seat wouldn't return to the upright position (Broken, of course). I told the FA that there is a manual lever that can be accessed between the seat where the PTV is stored, but I didn't know how to actually operate it. The other FAs didn't either, being their first trip on this aircraft type, but the Flight Officer was summoned from the cockpit and she was actually able to execute it. I probably would've rather landed while reclining than summoning 1 of 2 members from the flight deck for this while on descent, but I'm glad she was able to handle it.

So I guess the point of this post is that if you experience confusion with cross-fleeting crews, it's clearly due to a lack of comprehensive training and that we should all try to pitch in and offer them as much help as possible!
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Old Feb 24, 19, 2:40 am
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Originally Posted by NoLaGent View Post

So I guess the point of this post is that if you experience confusion with cross-fleeting crews, it's clearly due to a lack of comprehensive training.
Clearly this is a fantastic generalization on a data point of one. Unless you attended the training and remembered 100% of the materials covered two weeks later when implementing the training live for the first time, I will politely dismiss your statement as speculation.

James on the Oceania Marina enroute to Fakarava.
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Old Feb 24, 19, 7:17 am
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Originally Posted by Flying for Fun View Post
Clearly this is a fantastic generalization on a data point of one. Unless you attended the training and remembered 100% of the materials covered two weeks later when implementing the training live for the first time, I will politely dismiss your statement as speculation.

James on the Oceania Marina enroute to Fakarava.
That's incredibly gracious of you and I will certainly do the same for you should any of the staff onboard the MS Marina not recall which deck the lifeboats are on.
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Old Feb 24, 19, 8:25 am
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So avoid Airbus and the Oceania Marina.

Last edited by jsguyrus; Feb 24, 19 at 9:00 am
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Old Feb 24, 19, 9:08 am
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Several times in the past I have seen new FAs being oriented by senior FAs both on Horizon and Alaska. There were times on Horizon where that FA was a “third” FA. It would make sense that this would occur; you can only learn so much in training on the ground to being practical in the air. I wonder with these cross over crews if they have a seasoned Airbus FA along with them as part of the process. That would make sense.
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Old Feb 24, 19, 9:25 am
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I had my first mixed cabin crew last week: I was on a Boeing plane and one of the FAs was wearing a dress that was clearly exVA. I asked in the back galley if she was exVA and she said "how did you know???"
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Old Feb 24, 19, 9:30 am
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Originally Posted by JacksonFlyer View Post
Several times in the past I have seen new FAs being oriented by senior FAs both on Horizon and Alaska. There were times on Horizon where that FA was a “third” FA. It would make sense that this would occur; you can only learn so much in training on the ground to being practical in the air. I wonder with these cross over crews if they have a seasoned Airbus FA along with them as part of the process. That would make sense.
That's what I would've expected as well, but in this case, all of the FAs were pmAS (SEA based) and the Pilot and FO were pmVX.
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Old Feb 24, 19, 9:42 am
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Originally Posted by NoLaGent View Post
That's what I would've expected as well, but in this case, all of the FAs were pmAS (SEA based) and the Pilot and FO were pmVX.
I'd imagine in LAX there is a lot of mixed crews ... but with all the Airbus flying out of SEA these days, no surprise we're seeing all pmAS crews on Airbus equipment.

I'm sure the same thing is happening with pmVX crews working Boeing equipment on transcons out of SFO.
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Old Feb 24, 19, 4:01 pm
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Even several years or more after the United-Continental merger, there was still discussion in the UA forum about "exCO" crews and "exCO" planes. I guess we're in for several years of that in the AS forum!
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Old Feb 24, 19, 4:04 pm
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Originally Posted by AndyPatterson View Post
Even several years or more after the United-Continental merger, there was still discussion in the UA forum about "exCO" crews and "exCO" planes. I guess we're in for several years of that in the AS forum!
That's because those flight attendants were not rostered together until last fall; eight years after the ink dried on the merger paperwork.

With the AS and VX workgroups coming together a little more than two years after the ink dried, this integration should be more akin to DL/NW, and not UA/CO.

When's the last time anyone on the Delta forum said "I had an ex-NW cabin crew" on my flight today?
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Old Feb 24, 19, 5:09 pm
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Originally Posted by northwesterner View Post

When's the last time anyone on the Delta forum said "I had an ex-NW cabin crew" on my flight today?
Well to be fair, being on a flight with an ex-CON cabin crew has a more distinctive ring to it than ex-NW...lol
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Old Feb 24, 19, 5:30 pm
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Originally Posted by NoLaGent View Post
I probably would've rather landed while reclining than summoning 1 of 2 members from the flight deck for this while on descent, but I'm glad she was able to handle it.

So I guess the point of this post is that if you experience confusion with cross-fleeting crews, it's clearly due to a lack of comprehensive training and that we should all try to pitch in and offer them as much help as possible!
Not to make a mountain out of a molehill here, but is this worth reporting to the FAA? Or at least to AS? Fight crew being unfamiliar with the aircraft seems dangerous.

Not being able to raise the seat before landing is technically a safety issue (though with the embarrassment of pitch on the VX planes in F it's really just a technicality -- you are not going to block or delay row 2 from getting out) but I would have serious questions about whether they know how to open the emergency exits or operate the other safety-critical features of the plane.
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Old Feb 24, 19, 6:08 pm
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Originally Posted by sfozrhfco View Post


Well to be fair, being on a flight with an ex-CON cabin crew has a more distinctive ring to it than ex-NW...lol



Somewhere in the neighborhood of three years post UA/CO merger, I recall inflight announcements that included "on behalf of your Continental Airlines flight crew" still occurring on my flights. Not sure the word "ex" was even used.
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Old Feb 24, 19, 7:35 pm
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Originally Posted by northwesterner View Post

When's the last time anyone on the Delta forum said "I had an ex-NW cabin crew" on my flight today?
It may have died down by now, but there was plenty of the pmNW vs. pmDL a few years back.
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Old Feb 24, 19, 10:54 pm
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Originally Posted by northwesterner View Post
I'd imagine in LAX there is a lot of mixed crews ... but with all the Airbus flying out of SEA these days, no surprise we're seeing all pmAS crews on Airbus equipment.

I'm sure the same thing is happening with pmVX crews working Boeing equipment on transcons out of SFO.
Yep - had pmVX crew on a 739 transcon ex-SFO about a week ago.
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