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Increased Turbulence Announcements Before Takeoff

Increased Turbulence Announcements Before Takeoff

Old Feb 17, 20, 6:31 am
  #1  
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Increased Turbulence Announcements Before Takeoff

In my travels with Delta recently this seems to be happening more and more. Today #2607 and the captain went on for about 2 minutes how he has asked the FAs to remain seated for about the first 45 minutes of the flight.

Last week I got the same announcement on #1460 . No turbulence and FAs finally got up to serve but no main cabin service.

Is this a trend among Delta flights? Is turbulence becoming the new thing?

There are several websites that report turbulence and todays map looks good.
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Old Feb 17, 20, 7:30 am
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I tend to trust the judgment of trained professionals over my own knowledge of meterorology. I also don't have access to the many "ride reports" which are called or sent in by enroute aircraft and provide up-to-the-minute information about conditions in specific locations.

One doesn't have to do too much searching to find the reports of messy accidents involving injured crew and passengers from sudden and unexpected turbulence.

I'd rather wait 5 minutes for my drink.
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Old Feb 17, 20, 7:38 am
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I actually notice this more on UA than I do on DL.... And half the time the turbulence is not too bad.

The obsession with the seatbelt sign in the US has always been there, but it certainly does seem like they're taking extra precautions these days.

On United, it seems like on every long-haul flight with even a hint of bumpy air it's , "Flight attendants. Take your jump seats."

I definitely support safety first, but it's interesting how the rest of the world is able to get up and use the lav as soon as the plane reaches 10K feet and the world hasn't ended.
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Old Feb 17, 20, 7:42 am
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I can't comment on the increased frequency of turbulence announcements, but I will say turbulence forecasting is quite challenging anyway.

The AWC has a map of aircraft reports, and most of them are scattered https://www.aviationweather.gov/airep. Then you have ACARS reports where pilots can send messages down, which mostly aren't public. Otherwise, meteorologists have to look at features on satellite and turbulence models (which aren't super accurate) to identify likely locations of turbulence.

For now, it's gonna be hard to get perfect, but so far, I have yet to second guess the other professionals on their turbulence forecast. I agree with Often1, just be a little patient.

I'm not gonna get into the "Lazy FA" debate though.
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Old Feb 17, 20, 7:44 am
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One of my peeves on Delta is having the seatbelt sign on for almost the whole of a trans-Atl or Pac flight.
Sometimes needed, maybe, but....
Three weeks ago, on MU flying JFK-PVG the seatbelt sign was on for almost the whole flight, this was on a day when we flew the route eastbound over Greenland and northern Scandinavia and Russia.
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Old Feb 17, 20, 7:50 am
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Last week I flew ATL-SNA, the captain mentioned he'd be keeping the seat belt sign on for a while but said also feel free to use the toilets if needed. Not heard that before.
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Old Feb 17, 20, 8:33 am
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Originally Posted by tanglin View Post
Last week I flew ATL-SNA, the captain mentioned he'd be keeping the seat belt sign on for a while but said also feel free to use the toilets if needed. Not heard that before.
I don't really get up during flights, but I pretty much ignore the seatbelt sign if I need to use the restroom unless there are clearly some shenanigans (usually you can tell when they are actually truly concerned versus potentially a bump here and there).

This is a natural consequence of the seatbelt sign being on for the majority of a flight.

Clear air turbulence is a thing and who knows, maybe I'll end up with a broken bone at some point from that.

I don't care if the FAs wanted to stay seated but if I need to go to the bathroom I'll take the one in a million chance of serious injury to relieve my bladder and reduce the 1 in 100000 chance of getting a bladder infection or rupturing my urethral sphincter.

I've never once had an FA yell at me for this (although again, it's usually pretty clear when the FAs/pilots are actually concerned versus an overabundance of caution situation). I have seen an FA snap at someone to sit down when we were about a minute away from some pretty serious turbulence.
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Old Feb 17, 20, 9:05 am
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Originally Posted by demkr View Post
I definitely support safety first, but it's interesting how the rest of the world is able to get up and use the lav as soon as the plane reaches 10K feet and the world hasn't ended.
It's because the rest of the world doesn't sue like the US does. It's mostly a CYA move, IMO.
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Old Feb 17, 20, 11:35 am
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Originally Posted by demkr View Post
I actually notice this more on UA than I do on DL.... And half the time the turbulence is not too bad.

The obsession with the seatbelt sign in the US has always been there, but it certainly does seem like they're taking extra precautions these days.

On United, it seems like on every long-haul flight with even a hint of bumpy air it's , "Flight attendants. Take your jump seats."

I definitely support safety first, but it's interesting how the rest of the world is able to get up and use the lav as soon as the plane reaches 10K feet and the world hasn't ended.
On many airlines it's not uncommon to have the seatbelt sign off even before 10,000ft if the ride is smooth.

The problem with leaving the sign on constantly is that people then disregard it when there actually is a reason to observe it.

And yes, I was on DL for two flights a little over a week ago and on both there was very little service even in F due to 'weather' as noted by the crew. The reality is that it was really only a light chop for most of the ride and nothing that would really necessitate FAs being in their seats the whole time. I had not problem getting up to use the lav and only on departure and short final was there any kind of notable turbulence.
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Old Feb 17, 20, 11:53 am
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AS is notorious for this on the SEA<-->PDX shuttle trips ... granted those are only ~25 min in the air, at 16-17000 feet on the Q400s and 21-22000 feet on the E75s, but it's more than occasionally irritating
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Old Feb 17, 20, 1:12 pm
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Originally Posted by jrl767 View Post
AS is notorious for this on the SEA<-->PDX shuttle trips ... granted those are only ~25 min in the air, at 16-17000 feet on the Q400s and 21-22000 feet on the E75s, but it's more than occasionally irritating
Oh yes!
believe it or not, I have event heard lead FA and pilot agree to this before boarding starts - they were waiting for GA to open the jet bridge and FA to pilot - "Its turbulent right?" Pilot smiled and answered "Of course!"
And, the announcement came right on cue, before even the safety demo.

Once on an AS Q400 inbound to SEA the ones where everyone gets a beer/wine/soda, the FA announced - after take off - that they are going to stay seated because of turbulence and may be the first officer was not on the same page. He came on right after and gave a detailed update on wind, weather, mountains around and announced a smooth flight!
No love from FA though.
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Old Feb 17, 20, 1:16 pm
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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.
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Old Feb 17, 20, 1:27 pm
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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.
Yes, I'm sure those with ill intentions to a flight will think twice if the seat belt sign is on...
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Old Feb 17, 20, 1:54 pm
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Originally Posted by FlyerWx View Post
Then you have ACARS reports where pilots can send messages down, which mostly aren't public
I'm about 95% sure the meteorological reporting is automated and much of it goes directly to NOSA (the NOAA Observing System Architecture).
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Old Feb 17, 20, 1:55 pm
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Originally Posted by mot29 View Post
One of my peeves on Delta is having the seatbelt sign on for almost the whole of a trans-Atl or Pac flight.
Sometimes needed, maybe, but....
Three weeks ago, on MU flying JFK-PVG the seatbelt sign was on for almost the whole flight, this was on a day when we flew the route eastbound over Greenland and northern Scandinavia and Russia.
In my opinion, the seatbelt light has become a mostly superfluous indicator because the pilots leave the light on for such significant amounts of time even in calm air. People (and I admit I'm among them) are up and down while the light is on, and unless the captain has specifically warned of rough air, the FAs aren't stopping passengers from using the lavatory or getting anything from their bags (thankfully). It's sort of like how speed limits in the USA are often far lower than is safe and prudent in good conditions (since they seem to be set based on poor road conditions or for revenue generation) so there is a social contract to stick to within 10mph.
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