Here you'll find various articles relating to problems experienced by Cabin Staff, and ideas to overcome these problems.

You can add your contributions by mailing them to me here at

   Cabin Crew trial for CHIRPS. Email them on . UK FODC 8/2001 refers

From LETTERS section . NUMBER / ORIGIN / DATE : 001 / E-mail / 231095

Why can no-one have the guts to do anything about the excessive amounts of cabin baggage that are allowed onboard flights with high load factors?. Low load flights do not always pose a problem, but often overhead bins are packed full of heavy bags, Duty Free, etc, and people do end up with injuries from these falling out in the normal course of a flight - let alone in an accident.

I have only seen once in my native Denmark a simple but effective device to filter this out... a plywood board with a hole cut in it positioned on the jetty by the main door. If your ONE bag fits through the hole, it goes onboard. If it doesnt it goes in the hold. Simple and effective. If any airline wants to be seen to be doing something to make flights safer, why not start here. Plywood is very cheap !!.

From LETTERS section. NUMBER / ORIGIN / DATE : 003 / E-mail / 231195

I am the only Flight Attendant on a UK registered turbo prop which carries about 30 passengers on each sector. We normally operate sectors of around 1 hour duration, followed by a 30 minute turnaround time. The flight deck are often limited by duty hours after 4 sectors, but I have to carry on and do 6. Why are my allowable duty hours longer, when my primary function is supposed to be passenger evacuation in an emergency?. After 6 sectors I and my colleagues often cannot even count the bar properly!!.

NUMBER / ORIGIN / DATE : 001 / E-mail / 201195

Now the winter weather in approaching, we are often having problems getting the girt bars to work correctly, and the doors to open easily on our ATP aircraft. The engineers put some white lubricant on the door pins and it works for a while but soon they are very stiff again. Can they not be improved, as each time one of us lets off a slide pack they are often demoted even though the lever was set to manual.

NUMBER / ORIGIN / DATE : 002 / E-mail / 261195

Why do so many businessmen insist on carrying on talking or reading the newspaper during the demo before flight. Dont they realise that just because they think they know it all, they are preventing the people around them hearing and seeing the information that may save their lives in an emergency. We used to be able to tell these people that they are causing a distraction, but now my company has told us not to say anything in case we upset them!!.

NUMBER / ORIGIN / DATE : 003 / E-mail / 111296 (CC Letters)

In addition to clogged or otherwise inoperative lavatory smoke detectors, cabin crews should be aware of the latest ruse of smokers to subvert anti-smoking regulations. This was related to me on a cruise ship by a rather flamboyant sort who was not to be denied either cigarettes or booze while in the air. “If you want to smoke on a flight, just go to the lav and press down on the button that empties the water out of the basin! The vacuum created easily sucks out all the smoke, and the detector doesn’t go off! This also works with the vacuum toilets, but you have to keep flushing them and sit on the floor with your head in the bowl to enjoy a smoke.
Cabin crews should be observant of long lavatory visits accompanied by constant sounds of escaping air!

NUMBER / ORIGIN / DATE : 004 / E-mail / 020298

I am employed as a cabin crew member with (a UK operator)
Recently I was called to a meeting with management. After some discussion it was clear the company had decided to take action to dismiss me on the basis of my sickness record, which had amounted to less than one day per month of the period of my employment with the company.
The company's operation demands that cabin crew work long hours with little rest: a typical day can be up to four sectors in an 11.5 hour day, with a late finish. Because we are operating with a legal minimum cabin crew with turnarounds routinely scheduled at 25-30 minutes, it is simply impossible to take rest between sectors. The operation includes consecutive night stops, and none of our hotels can provide food on a late finish. The crew catering is not managed with any regard for Health and Safety Regulations and is often inedible.
With all these factors against us it is very hard to avoid becoming run-down. Therefore sickness across the cabin crew as a whole is high, in comparison to other airlines. (I have been employed with another UK airline without health ever being a problem.)
Other cabin crew members have been dismissed on the same grounds. As a result of this action by the company, cabin crew, who have had time off sick in recent months, (like myself, for perfectly genuine reasons) are very concerned that they will be fired next.
The situation now is that most cabin crew are afraid to call in sick, and will fly when medically unfit, simply out of fear for their jobs. This clearly threatens flight safety. Due to management pressure I have often had to fly with crew members suffering from flu, vomiting, heavy colds and severe toothache. In the event of a major emergency we would effectively have one able person to assist close to 100 passengers. On the one hand the company Operations Manual clearly states we should not operate as cabin crew when unwell, yet the actions of the company make this situation impossible to avoid.
The company makes no provision for health-care. Medical fees when away from base are not reimbursed by the company. We are expected to rely on the EC form E111 for medical cover. This often requires the individual to pay and subsequently seek reimbursement of costs, making a consultation with a doctor unaffordable to many cabin crew. A company doctor exists, but medical assessments have been deemed inappropriate 'due to cost'.
I have called in sick, and been called back within one hour and asked to operate a flight. I am often called on days off and told a flight will not go if I do not work.
The company is an airline that is trying to operate on bare minimum's. All the above illustrates this. My personal situation is not the issue - but it does add pressure to my colleagues to operate in contravention of the Air Navigation Order and to jeopardise flight safety. I am not happy that they should face this dilemma - be professional or lose your job.

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