Why did the captain do this?

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Old Jul 25, 18, 2:31 pm
  #16  
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Originally Posted by gernabae View Post
The Captain might know the least about the cabin, but I promise you he knows more about the external/internal HVAC systems on the aircraft.
Exactly. The Fa's know the temp in the cabin, but only the pilots have the controls to alter it. There's more to this story than it was too warm to board.
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Old Jul 25, 18, 3:17 pm
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Originally Posted by LARobinson View Post
I think the reason the FA was bold enough to "over rule"(her words) the captain was because what is was doing was so absurd and unreasonable and she probably thought she could reason with him.
I thanked her for trying to intercede, and I gave her one of this "exceptional service" slips. I also told Delta when I talked to them on the phone about it that everyone involved, except the captain, acted professionally and did everything they could to make a bad situation better.
Disagree completely with this.

Hierarchy exists within flight crew for very good reasons and if the FA wants to question the captain's decision, that needs to be done privately, behind closed doors, after the fact (unless it's something truly exceptional like Denzel showing up and slamming some vodka before climbing in the left seat). It's not that the FAs don't know anything about the aircraft, it's just that the captain knows more, especially about its most vital systems.

I know nothing about how airplane HVAC works, so for all we know, something could have been wonky that resulted in the A/C pumping APU exhaust straight into the cabin, and the captain needed to empty the plane as quickly as possible without causing a panic.

TL;DR - If the captain says they need everyone off the plane, I'm going to get off the plane.
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Old Jul 25, 18, 3:37 pm
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Originally Posted by gooselee View Post
Disagree completely with this.

Hierarchy exists within flight crew for very good reasons and if the FA wants to question the captain's decision, that needs to be done privately, behind closed doors, after the fact (unless it's something truly exceptional like Denzel showing up and slamming some vodka before climbing in the left seat). It's not that the FAs don't know anything about the aircraft, it's just that the captain knows more, especially about its most vital systems.

I know nothing about how airplane HVAC works, so for all we know, something could have been wonky that resulted in the A/C pumping APU exhaust straight into the cabin, and the captain needed to empty the plane as quickly as possible without causing a panic.

TL;DR - If the captain says they need everyone off the plane, I'm going to get off the plane.
Yes, you are right about the hierarchy. But it goes both ways. Unless it is an emergency using the slides, the captain should confer with the cabin crew (or at least the lead FA) first before "yelling at passengers to leave the aircraft". What the captain did was totally unprofessional IMHO. Actually, unless it is an emergency, the lead FA or GA should make the announcement to deplane with instructions on what to do next (i.e please wait in the immediate gate area for announcement, line up at the podium for reassignment, etc.)
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Old Jul 25, 18, 4:34 pm
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Originally Posted by formeraa View Post
Yes, you are right about the hierarchy. But it goes both ways. Unless it is an emergency using the slides, the captain should confer with the cabin crew (or at least the lead FA) first before "yelling at passengers to leave the aircraft". What the captain did was totally unprofessional IMHO. Actually, unless it is an emergency, the lead FA or GA should make the announcement to deplane with instructions on what to do next (i.e please wait in the immediate gate area for announcement, line up at the podium for reassignment, etc.)
Where does OP mention the captain yelling at pax to leave the aircraft? The closest description I read was "sternly ordered everyone off the plane" and that was only after the FA unilaterally countermanded his original instruction and then challenged him in front of pax, at which point he returned to the aircraft to repeat his original instruction (I admit I may have been a bit ticked off, too, if I were in his shoes).

And nobody on this board knows if there actually was an emergency on board, or even if the captain thought something bad was about to happen and was trying to act as quickly as possible.

There are any number of scenarios that could actually be at play here. At worst, the FA was insubordinate, acting out of turn, and complicating an emergent safety situation. At best, the FA was insubordinate and as unprofessional as the captain, depending on the exact circumstances and how he addressed the pax.

I'm not saying that this captain or any other airline pilots are perfect. But if a captain and FA are disagreeing on something regarding the airplane they're about to operate, I'm going to side with the captain.
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Old Jul 25, 18, 4:44 pm
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He was probably just having a bad acid trip or was simply drunk and belligerent
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Old Jul 25, 18, 4:58 pm
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Originally Posted by eastindywalrus View Post
Without knowing the reason why he did it, I don't think saying it wasn't in the best interest of DL or the passenger is a fair statement. The pilot is on charge of that aircraft - he's not going to kick people off without a very good reason. Even if that reason is "it's too warm in the cabin without air," when it comes to the health/safety of passengers and crew, that is in their best interest, and it is in Delta's best interest, as they avoid the potential of someone becoming ill or finding themself in medical distress aboard the aircraft, which would just cause more issues for everyone in the long run.
The captain is not in full command of the aircraft until it has left the gate. He/she can refuse to fly for X reason but the gate agent and dispatch are also in control as long as it now attached to the jetway. Years ago I witnessed a CVG gate agent put a captain in his place. He kept whining about wanting to depart early and the gate agent told him the plane wasn't going anywhere until she said so. ��
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Old Jul 25, 18, 5:08 pm
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Originally Posted by gooselee View Post
Where does OP mention the captain yelling at pax to leave the aircraft? The closest description I read was "sternly ordered everyone off the plane" and that was only after the FA unilaterally countermanded his original instruction and then challenged him in front of pax, at which point he returned to the aircraft to repeat his original instruction (I admit I may have been a bit ticked off, too, if I were in his shoes).

And nobody on this board knows if there actually was an emergency on board, or even if the captain thought something bad was about to happen and was trying to act as quickly as possible.

There are any number of scenarios that could actually be at play here. At worst, the FA was insubordinate, acting out of turn, and complicating an emergent safety situation. At best, the FA was insubordinate and as unprofessional as the captain, depending on the exact circumstances and how he addressed the pax.

I'm not saying that this captain or any other airline pilots are perfect. But if a captain and FA are disagreeing on something regarding the airplane they're about to operate, I'm going to side with the captain.
I'll side with the NTSB and FAA. They were livid with the LGA incident. The captain kept everyone in a very dangerous situation by keeping them onboard a plane that had just crashed. They should have evacuated immediately. That is a very dark stain on Delta and their crews. Not questioning the captain has led to thousands of deaths and that attitude is very dangerous. Air crews are supposed to work as a team. You are supposed to speak up if you think something is wrong.
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Old Jul 25, 18, 5:29 pm
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Originally Posted by readywhenyouare View Post
I'll side with the NTSB and FAA. They were livid with the LGA incident. The captain kept everyone in a very dangerous situation by keeping them onboard a plane that had just crashed. They should have evacuated immediately. That is a very dark stain on Delta and their crews. Not questioning the captain has led to thousands of deaths and that attitude is very dangerous. Air crews are supposed to work as a team. You are supposed to speak up if you think something is wrong.
Ok, but context is everything. In this particular instance:
1. The FA unprofessionally challenged the captain in front of pax because he/she thought the situation was not emergent or dangerous.
2. The captain was attempting to get pax off the plane, not keep them on.
3. Again, at best, both the captain and FA were not acting professionally. At worst, something was going on we don't know about and the FA is the one putting more people in danger.

So, sure, if I'm in a plane crash and the captain is telling me to stay on the plane or not saying anything at all after he just drove it off a runway, I might be more willing to question his/her judgment than when the plane is quietly sitting at the gate but suddenly the captain announces that he needs everyone off. Then again, I have no idea what I would actually do in a plane crash, so maybe not.

Also, FWIW, during that LGA incident, the NTSB also partially faulted the FAs for abandoning their posts, which complicated the crew's ability to communicate as the intercoms had failed.
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Old Jul 25, 18, 5:32 pm
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Originally Posted by readywhenyouare View Post


I'll side with the NTSB and FAA. They were livid with the LGA incident. The captain kept everyone in a very dangerous situation by keeping them onboard a plane that had just crashed. They should have evacuated immediately. That is a very dark stain on Delta and their crews. Not questioning the captain has led to thousands of deaths and that attitude is very dangerous. Air crews are supposed to work as a team. You are supposed to speak up if you think something is wrong.
Yup, and this "mindset" is what led to many bad disasters, including Tenerife, Korean Air Cargo 8509, and Air France 447.
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Old Jul 25, 18, 6:14 pm
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Former ramp/CS/ops agent here. Used to see behavior like this around contract negotiations. All the sudden crews start finding trivial things to write up or just dragging their feet to delay/cancel flights. Contract gets approved, and viola, everything goes back to normal.

Its possible something else was going on, but if so, the pilot should have clearly communicated this (either to crew or pax). From my experience this is most likely what happened: Captain was pissed that the PCA (pre-conditioned air) hose wasnt hooked up (even though it was before they started deplaning), so he decided to make a delay out of it and inconvenience a bunch of people (including his or herself) to make a point. When I worked in the tower, we would remember these crews and look up their routings. Wed make sure they got the gate farthest from the terminal when they came back (especially on RONs).

If I were the OP, Id file a complaint if this caused you to be late or misconnect.

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Old Jul 25, 18, 6:51 pm
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Originally Posted by LARobinson View Post
My wife and I boarded DL 1608 ATL-DTW and settled in to F and noticed that the aircraft was a little warm, but not unbearable, When zone 1 was just starting to board the captain stopped people in the jet bridge and then told everyone to collect their belongings and get off the plane because it was too hot. Moments after that the air came on. The captain went up the jet bridge turning people around and one of the flight attendants told everyone to stay seated, that she was going to over rule the captain. She went up the jet bridge, apparently to try to reason with the captain but she was unsuccessful, the captain stormed back from the jet bridge and sternly ordered everyone off the plane.

It was chaos with everyone having to scan off, and about 20 people lined up at the counter trying to rebook flights because they were going to miss their connection. Despite all of the chaos the gate agents and flight attendants performed great and made the best of the really bad situation that the captain created.

I had to call and get re-booked and we ended up having to go through AMS to get to CDG.

Im sure the captain had a reason for what he did but it clearly wasnt in the best interest of DL or the passengers. Does anyone have any ideas of why he would do this?

I boarded a flight last week from PHL to LAS (A330-200). Boarding was delayed due to the cabin being too warm (ironic that we were headed TO LAS). After a 20 minute delay, I was boarded in my Priority group. The plane was hot, indeed. Almost brutally so. Got wrapped up in my newspaper and podcasts only to realize they stopped boarding. A half an hour later they started boarding those without status. They roll on commenting how the heat wasn't so bad. Damn peasants.
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Old Jul 25, 18, 7:13 pm
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Originally Posted by DCP2016 View Post
Yup, and this "mindset" is what led to many bad disasters, including Tenerife, Korean Air Cargo 8509, and Air France 447.
Non sequitur. A flight attendant not challenging a captain's decision to deboard an aircraft parked at the gate is not going to result in a catastrophe of any sort whatsoever.
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Old Jul 25, 18, 7:18 pm
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Originally Posted by HDQDD View Post
... When I worked in the tower, we would remember these crews and look up their routings. Wed make sure they got the gate farthest from the terminal when they came back (especially on RONs).

If I were the OP, Id file a complaint if this caused you to be late or misconnect.

So your sense of justice was to punish the passengers?
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Old Jul 25, 18, 7:28 pm
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Originally Posted by glob99 View Post
So your sense of justice was to punish the passengers?
They are just collateral damage. Nobody actually cares about the passengers.
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Old Jul 25, 18, 7:35 pm
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Originally Posted by eastindywalrus View Post
Non sequitur. A flight attendant not challenging a captain's decision to deboard an aircraft parked at the gate is not going to result in a catastrophe of any sort whatsoever.
No it's the mindset of "I'm the Captain, I'm a God, I listen to no one, my decision is final and mine alone". Also during labor negotiations nitpicky things are using magnified by the pilots.
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