A salute to Capt. Ghinga

 
Old May 19, 09, 2:23 am
  #1  
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A salute to Capt. Ghinga

The departure board at the gate had just showed that CO65 EWR-LAX would push about 20 mintues late. As we all know, the new times are usually guesses at best and the gate agents often have only a vague idea of what is happening.
Instead, Capt. Rick Ghinga took it upon himself to stand in the waiting area and tell everyone that the plane, a 752, had just come in from Europe and was late being serviced and towed from Concourse B to C. He also explained that the flight plan would, correctly as it turned out, get us to the gate at LAX on time. He then took questions about the flight or anything airline related, such as why the pilots can fly faster to make up time but not do it all the time (fuel economy, of course).
Since I can't recall ever seeing a pilot do that, I asked him what prompted him. He explained he was a former Marine who believed in doing what it took, including communication, to accomplish the mission. If that was it or something else, it doesn't matter. If there were more Capt. Ghingas, I can't help but think a lot of passenger complaints would melt away.
I hope that CO recognizes customer relations work like this.
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Old May 19, 09, 3:13 am
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I was on this flight. It was nice that he did this, but it did cause a mild specticle. People from other flights were floating over to see what the crowd was about. Still nice to see him give an impromptu q&a...it was the last flight of a 36 hour MR, but i almost asked why hasn't my upgraded cleared yet, lol
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Old May 19, 09, 6:39 am
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Be sure to send in a letter to CO customer care.
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Old May 19, 09, 8:18 am
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I agree on sending in the kudos.

These types of pilots are great. I've run into this sort of thing a couple times -- once on UA with a seriously delayed flight, the pilot came out, made announcements, and helped get gate info for people's connections. Another time on AA, on a holiday weekend, an off-duty pilot waiting for a delayed flight jumped on the computer to help get people to their flights.

That said, though, the main job of the pilot is to fly the plane, and they're paid good money for their skill and experience to fly the plane safely. So while these sorts of extras are great, you can't fault those pilots who don't like to interact with passengers. It's a technical job, and some pilots are just not people-persons and don't have the personality/temperament/patience/etc. to deal with crowds. That's ok too.
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Old May 19, 09, 10:21 am
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thats great! its always nice to hear a story about a CO pilot/employee going out of their way. Thats why I always choose to fly CO.
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Old May 19, 09, 10:25 am
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Originally Posted by channa View Post
That said, though, the main job of the pilot is to fly the plane, and they're paid good money for their skill and experience to fly the plane safely. So while these sorts of extras are great, you can't fault those pilots who don't like to interact with passengers.
One thing that I've noticed several times on WN and almost never on any other carrier is that deadheading or otherwise off-duty crew will help out the on-duty FAs with their duties, usually in passing out snacks. The first time I saw a deadheading Captain in full uniform going down the aisle passing out peanuts, well, it really catches your attention. I think it's great on any carrier when an employee steps in and helps out where it's not required, especially when it's in the aid of a co-worker in a different job position.
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Old May 19, 09, 10:35 am
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I think it's great and this did happen to me once before years ago when the CO operations facility in TX went down. The captain came to the gate and told us exactly what was happening, why we couldn't fly and provided updates.
Separate but related I was on an EWR-IAH flight last week and the Captain stood at the front of FC and personally welcomed us on the flight giving us brief details such as arrival time, etc. That was great! Passengers truly felt "welcome aboard".
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Old May 19, 09, 11:31 am
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Thumbs up CA Rick Ghigna

last name Ghigna

I've seen few times when Cap would come out and talk to passengers
and it always reassures people better then any flight attendant's announcement

wish it was a company policy.
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Old May 19, 09, 11:48 am
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Originally Posted by EWR Rocks View Post
last name Ghigna

I've seen few times when Cap would come out and talk to passengers
and it always reassures people better then any flight attendant's announcement

wish it was a company policy.
Is this the same captain who asks trivia questions to the first class cabin and throws maltballs when you answer correctly? I had this happen several years ago 752/753 IAH-LAX.
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Old May 19, 09, 1:01 pm
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Originally Posted by EWR Rocks View Post
wish it was a company policy.
I disagree. Requiring non-customer facing people to interface with customers is a recipe for disaster.

It works out well with this guy, but in many cases it won't.
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Old May 19, 09, 1:06 pm
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Originally Posted by Totoro View Post
and throws maltballs
I originally read this as "meatballs" and had a good laugh.
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Old May 19, 09, 1:22 pm
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Originally Posted by channa View Post
I disagree. Requiring non-customer facing people to interface with customers is a recipe for disaster.

It works out well with this guy, but in many cases it won't.
In some instances even requiring customer-facing people to interface with customers is a recipe for disaster.
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Old May 19, 09, 1:54 pm
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Originally Posted by belynch View Post
I originally read this as "meatballs" and had a good laugh.
He he -- that would certainly fit with the old CO logo
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Old May 19, 09, 2:33 pm
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Oops! Disregard my post above as I thought this thread was about the crew of the 757-300 that safely landed their aircraft after an engine failure on takeoff from EWR last week. [Earlier post deleted by moderator as per this request]

Last edited by Xyzzy; May 19, 09 at 2:43 pm
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Old May 19, 09, 2:36 pm
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Originally Posted by Texas757Pilot View Post
Oops! Disregard my post above as I thought this thread was about the crew of the 757-300 that safely landed their aircraft after an engine failure on takeoff from EWR last week.
You can edit it.

This wasn't that case, and it was a pat on the back from clients...about just a normal day.
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