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Increased Turbulence Announcements Before Takeoff

Increased Turbulence Announcements Before Takeoff

Old Feb 18, 20, 10:45 am
  #31  
 
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Originally Posted by cmd320 View Post
So after descending to an altitude where it was nothing worse than a light chop the seatbelt sign remained on? Why?
Because there were reports of moderate/occasional severe turbulence ahead. Just never materialized for us.
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Old Feb 18, 20, 11:38 am
  #32  
 
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Originally Posted by clubord View Post
I recently had a flight to EWR/ZRH where the turbulence forecast over the tracks was horrendous. 3-4 hours of moderate turbulence with no way around it. We briefed the passengers at the gate, before push, and during level off that it was going to be pretty rough for an extended period of time in about 2 hours into the flight.

As we coasted out, our dispatcher sent a report that the lower altitudes (F280-F300) are much better than the planned F350.

Requested lower and ended up flying at F290 where it was nothing worse than light chop here and there the whole way. Meanwhile our iPads kept showing red areas of turbulence nearly the entire ocean crossing. The other airplanes higher were getting beat up pretty bad and unable to descend to get out of it because of traffic like us.

Landed uneventfully in ZRH, after blocking in the three of us debriefed on what a great move that it was to opt to fly lower and adjusting our fuel consumption to make it work out. How this could have been a very long and uncomfortable night if we didnít.

Minutes later as pax were deplaning a ďMulti-Million MileĒ passenger approached and accused me of deliberately lying; completely overdoing the turbulence reports to reduce workload for the flight attendants. ďIím onto your game and rest assured this seat belt sign abuse will be reported to United.Ē

Thereís no winning in a situation like that and I just responded Iíd try to do better next time, sorry about that. I was the one standing by the cockpit door as the other two pilots were packing their things up. They listened to this guyís diatribe and I could hear them quietly laughing behind me.

Bottom line, canít win for trying!

We donít keep the seat belt sign on to create issues...honestly. If itís bumpier than planned, sorry. If itís smoother than reported, sorry. Itís also not a conspiracy against your bladders or a means to impede service.
I just want to give you a sincere thank you for doing what you knew was the best option to give your pax the most comfortable ride.

​​​​​​In those situations I would imagine a pax can go to the bathroom if they need to or go to the galley to ask for food.....
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Old Feb 18, 20, 12:01 pm
  #33  
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Originally Posted by Often1 View Post
It's also liability-limiting. If you choose to disobey a sign (or crew member instruction), DL likely wins a motion to dismiss if you are injured. Can't blame the carriers for this one as those judgments just get factored into the P&L = ticket price.
A good lawyer I bet could overcome the motion. The light is on all the time, even when not needed. Thus passenger has no way of knowing if it's legit or not as to staying seated.
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Old Feb 18, 20, 12:27 pm
  #34  
 
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Originally Posted by clubord View Post
I recently had a flight to EWR/ZRH where the turbulence forecast over the tracks was horrendous. 3-4 hours of moderate turbulence with no way around it. We briefed the passengers at the gate, before push, and during level off that it was going to be pretty rough for an extended period of time in about 2 hours into the flight.

As we coasted out, our dispatcher sent a report that the lower altitudes (F280-F300) are much better than the planned F350.

Requested lower and ended up flying at F290 where it was nothing worse than light chop here and there the whole way. Meanwhile our iPads kept showing red areas of turbulence nearly the entire ocean crossing. The other airplanes higher were getting beat up pretty bad and unable to descend to get out of it because of traffic like us.

Landed uneventfully in ZRH, after blocking in the three of us debriefed on what a great move that it was to opt to fly lower and adjusting our fuel consumption to make it work out. How this could have been a very long and uncomfortable night if we didnít.

Minutes later as pax were deplaning a ďMulti-Million MileĒ passenger approached and accused me of deliberately lying; completely overdoing the turbulence reports to reduce workload for the flight attendants. ďIím onto your game and rest assured this seat belt sign abuse will be reported to United.Ē

Thereís no winning in a situation like that and I just responded Iíd try to do better next time, sorry about that. I was the one standing by the cockpit door as the other two pilots were packing their things up. They listened to this guyís diatribe and I could hear them quietly laughing behind me.

Bottom line, canít win for trying!

We donít keep the seat belt sign on to create issues...honestly. If itís bumpier than planned, sorry. If itís smoother than reported, sorry. Itís also not a conspiracy against your bladders or a means to impede service.
You mean airline employees aren't teaming up trying to screw over paying passengers? I AM SHOCKED!

It's almost like you guys have more data than the people on FlyerTalk who googled turbulence.
Originally Posted by flyerCO View Post
A good lawyer I bet could overcome the motion. The light is on all the time, even when not needed. Thus passenger has no way of knowing if it's legit or not as to staying seated.
anyone going into the law suit thinking this happens will be made to look like fools by the airlines and their meteorologist.


Like "chemtrails are real" fools.
Originally Posted by cmd320 View Post
So after descending to an altitude where it was nothing worse than a light chop the seatbelt sign remained on? Why?
Did you read his post?

"Meanwhile our iPads kept showing red areas of turbulence nearly the entire ocean crossing."


Have any of you never stepped outside and its raining, you pull up the weather app on your phone and you see no rain on the radar? Or you see rain on the radar and its not raining?
Technology on this stuff has come a LONG way, but it still is far from perfect.
Oh and as pointed out, the US has become super sue happy. Get up if you want when the light is on but if something happens good luck getting a single cent out of the airline.
Originally Posted by formeraa View Post
For a historical perspective, the seatbelt sign was used much more sparingly before 9/11. In the 80's and 90's, the flight attendants would much more strict about being seated while the selt belt sign was on. Usually, it involved yelling and a stern announcement.

Since 9/11, I think the crew feels "safer" with the seatbelt sign on for the whole flight (or as much as possible). I'm not really sure wjy, bit that's just my observation. It does make it more difficult when you really need to use the lavatory.
Yeah, that is the key that would have stopped terrorism. It was the seat belt sign all along.


Or technology has changed since then and airlines/pilots/crew are getting better forecasting models than they did 30 years ago.
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Old Feb 18, 20, 12:36 pm
  #35  
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Originally Posted by Dawgfan6291 View Post
You mean airline employees aren't teaming up trying to screw over paying passengers? I AM SHOCKED!

It's almost like you guys have more data than the people on FlyerTalk who googled turbulence.

anyone going into the law suit thinking this happens will be made to look like fools by the airlines and their meteorologist.

Almost like youve never taken a law class. If a alert is the standard, it's no longer a warning.
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Old Feb 18, 20, 12:37 pm
  #36  
 
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I rather go without food and no turbulence then go with food and have it all on my 100 dollar shirt than in my fat belly.
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Old Feb 18, 20, 12:37 pm
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Originally Posted by clubord View Post
As we coasted out, our dispatcher sent a report that the lower altitudes (F280-F300) are much better than the planned F350.
You had a great proactive dispatcher. Good chance if they've been @UA for a long time that I know them. I worked for UA @ WHQ in the early 2000s.

Thanks for the perspective from the other side, many times we pax tend to assume the worst. Don't know if UA still has Ch 9., but I guess that MM guy wasn't tuned in.
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Old Feb 18, 20, 1:08 pm
  #38  
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Originally Posted by Dawgfan6291 View Post
Did you read his post?

"Meanwhile our iPads kept showing red areas of turbulence nearly the entire ocean crossing."


Have any of you never stepped outside and its raining, you pull up the weather app on your phone and you see no rain on the radar? Or you see rain on the radar and its not raining?
Technology on this stuff has come a LONG way, but it still is far from perfect.
Oh and as pointed out, the US has become super sue happy. Get up if you want when the light is on but if something happens good luck getting a single cent out of the airline.
Of course, which is why I'm somewhat dumbfounded. If you're sitting there in 3 hours of light chop, at some point in that time period I may make the executive decision that we can turn the seat belt sign off for a bit given the actual ride does not match the forecast. A forecast is great, but they're quite often not very accurate and I would take into account the real world conditions as opposed to what was expected. If the iPad shows no icing and yet the airplane is icing up like a popsicle, do you leave the anti-ice off?
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Old Feb 18, 20, 1:21 pm
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Originally Posted by flyerCO View Post
Almost like youve never taken a law class. If a alert is the standard, it's no longer a warning.
Okay, I'll bite.

Lets see the data, actual data, that says this is the case. I'll wait.
Originally Posted by cmd320 View Post
Of course, which is why I'm somewhat dumbfounded. If you're sitting there in 3 hours of light chop, at some point in that time period I may make the executive decision that we can turn the seat belt sign off for a bit given the actual ride does not match the forecast. A forecast is great, but they're quite often not very accurate and I would take into account the real world conditions as opposed to what was expected. If the iPad shows no icing and yet the airplane is icing up like a popsicle, do you leave the anti-ice off?
and then you cut the light out, hit heavy chop, someone (or multiple) people get hurt or worse...........and you just tossed your career right down the drain because you decide not to listen to the meteorologist who, at least at Delta, get paid very well to make that decision.

If the company tells the pilot to turn the light on and the pilot just "makes an executive decision" then that pilot won't be a pilot very long.


PS, the forecasts coming out of Delta's meteorology department are some of the best. Quite a few airlines pay Delta very well for Delta to do it for them.
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Old Feb 18, 20, 1:53 pm
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Originally Posted by Dawgfan6291 View Post
Okay, I'll bite.

Lets see the data, actual data, that says this is the case. I'll wait.

and then you cut the light out, hit heavy chop, someone (or multiple) people get hurt or worse...........and you just tossed your career right down the drain because you decide not to listen to the meteorologist who, at least at Delta, get paid very well to make that decision.

If the company tells the pilot to turn the light on and the pilot just "makes an executive decision" then that pilot won't be a pilot very long.


PS, the forecasts coming out of Delta's meteorology department are some of the best. Quite a few airlines pay Delta very well for Delta to do it for them.
First of all, I doubt OP was working through DLís meteorology department on a flight from EWR to ZRH. With that said, forecasts are just that, predictions. No matter how good one might be at it, it isnít the same as actual conditions. I donít doubt that this centers around the lawsuit culture of the US and not actual safety, however at some point it becomes a double edged sword. There is no reasonable expectation that everyone on the aircraft is going to be able to remain seated for 3+ hours at a time. In fact thereís about a zero percent chance of that being possible. By leaving the sign on continuously people are going to stop observing it, and Iím admittedly one of them.

With that said, Iíll usually do my own research before getting up to make sure weíre not about to fly over a thunderstorm or line of storms ahead of a cold front.
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Old Feb 18, 20, 1:57 pm
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Wait... seatbelt signs on doesn't always mean flight attendants must remain seated right?

I think some people wouldn't know what to do with themselves if they didn't have a conspiracy to conjure up.

You are literally trusting the pilots with your life yet you can't trust their judgement on when the seatbelt signs should be illuminated or when they tell the FA to stay seated? Some people need to seriously give their head a shake.
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Old Feb 18, 20, 2:16 pm
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Smooth flying overseas to AMS on DL, seat belt sign never goes off. FA's are busily running around taking care of business. There is no turbulence. Finally, I can hold it no longer and ask the FA if the there might come a time when the sign is turned off. She looks up at the signs, surprised, and asks me to hold on a minute. While she's gone, seat belt sign is turned off. She comes back and apologizes. The pilot just forgot. Sometimes a cigar is just a cigar.
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Old Feb 18, 20, 2:49 pm
  #43  
 
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On my most recent DL ATL-DCA flights, there has been an announcement that the skies are angry that day, my friends, and FAs will have to remain seated until the coast is clear. On a flight of this length, that has the potential to negatively impact beverage service. FWIW, on all three flights service in first seemed to continue as normal - the FA was up and about the whole flight (and bravo to them for that). In Comfort+ or whatever it's called now, FAs did manage a quick beverage service each time so I got one glass of wine out of it. I assume service in coach was extremely limited. The flights themselves never seemed to be particularly turbulent (and as one who sees turbulence as adding a little spice to a trip, I say that in my most disappointed voice)...

(Also FWIW I don't yet have mega-status on Delta or even mini-status, really, so I'm not one to get showered with upgrades - FCM is generally very reasonable, but with drinks gratis in Comfort Schmumfort or whatever it's called now, there doesn't really seem to be much point to paying to upgrade - but if hyper-vigilance over mean-girl clouds starts messing with the free drinks in Extra Special Comfort or whatever it's called now, that whole calculation goes out the window, presumably into possibly very rough air, maybe.
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Old Feb 18, 20, 5:01 pm
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Originally Posted by cmd320 View Post
First of all, I doubt OP was working through DLís meteorology department on a flight from EWR to ZRH.
I never said he did? The original thread is about Delta.

Originally Posted by cmd320 View Post
There is no reasonable expectation that everyone on the aircraft is going to be able to remain seated for 3+ hours at a time. In fact thereís about a zero percent chance of that being possible.
zero percent chance of someone being able to stay seated for 3 hours?


not sure if you are serious.....
Originally Posted by cmd320 View Post
By leaving the sign on continuously people are going to stop observing it, and Iím admittedly one of them.
and I'll ask you the same question I asked flyerCO.
You guys (and/or girls) KNOW this happens all the time, let's see some data.

Originally Posted by cmd320 View Post
With that said, Iíll usually do my own research before getting up to make sure weíre not about to fly over a thunderstorm or line of storms ahead of a cold front.
and this is the rub that I knew was coming.

You are smarter than any pilot in the front of the plane. I just genuinely hope that when you, the million miler the pilot talked about and all the other "smartest person in the room" types are flying you don't get yourself hurt, someone else hurt or worse.

btw, your "research" has nothing to do with turbulence. Thunderstorms *can* produce it but so can many other things a weather radar app isn't picking up. But I'm sure you knew that.
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Old Feb 18, 20, 5:27 pm
  #45  
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Originally Posted by Dawgfan6291 View Post
I never said he did? The original thread is about Delta.
In inferring that the quoted post had something to do with DL's meteorology department, you implied that.

Originally Posted by Dawgfan6291 View Post
zero percent chance of someone being able to stay seated for 3 hours?

not sure if you are serious.....
Someone perhaps, everyone on what I assume was a TATL 767, zero percent.

Originally Posted by Dawgfan6291 View Post
and I'll ask you the same question I asked flyerCO.
You guys (and/or girls) KNOW this happens all the time, let's see some data.
https://www.stuff.co.nz/travel/trave...-belt-signs-on

Scenario like this could easily turn into a lawsuit.

Originally Posted by Dawgfan6291 View Post
and this is the rub that I knew was coming.

You are smarter than any pilot in the front of the plane. I just genuinely hope that when you, the million miler the pilot talked about and all the other "smartest person in the room" types are flying you don't get yourself hurt, someone else hurt or worse.

btw, your "research" has nothing to do with turbulence. Thunderstorms *can* produce it but so can many other things a weather radar app isn't picking up. But I'm sure you knew that.
You're contradicting yourself here. On one had you say this is pretty much a liability issue, on the other you imply that the flight deck is legitimately concerned about turbulence.

I trust the pilot to fly the plane, sure but I'm more than comfortable taking the risk to hop up and have a pee if the seat belt sign has been on for hours on end for no reason. Yes, if the aircraft is actually entering an area of severe weather or known severe to extreme turbulence, I'll hold it as long as I can, otherwise I'm not going to sit around playing that game should there potentially be turbulence two hours later. Virtually every other airline from every other country has no problem managing this issue and I don't see anything that implies there is any higher level of injury due to turbulence on non-US airlines.
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