Browsing Tag: FAA

Seatback pocket with BAD, BAD things in it.

Seatback pocket with BAD, BAD things in it.

Recently Joe Sharkey, a columnist for the New York Times, had an interesting experience with regulations, the FAA, and seatback pockets on a flight from Denver to Tucson.

While the flight attendants were doing the safety announcements, they stated something new. Passengers could not put any items in the seatback pockets. No water, garbage, newspapers, phones, personal magazines etc. The only items allowed were the airline materials placed in there before the passengers boarded.

At first Sharkey had a difficult time finding out why this was happening. Was it a new rule the airline was enforcing? Did the FAA start regulating seatbacks? What was going on? When he first contacted the FAA, they didn’t seem to know that the rule existed.
In 2007, the FAA wrote a directive on cabin safety that states, “nothing can be stowed in the seat pockets except magazines and passenger information cards.” This was news to Sharkey and to many passengers who have recently heard this new rule.

The Flying Pinto confirmed with the FAA that they aren’t going to regulate items in the seatbacks and airlines have the ability to choose their own policies. As a flight attendant, she is happy that the airline she works for is not enforcing this suggestion. “I am grateful that my airline has not made this a company policy but I wouldn’t go out and buy the organizer just yet,” stated the blogger.

Alright, so this might become more of the standard in the future but why? There doesn’t seem to be many people out there to answer that question. It has been on the books since 2007, so why start regulating now? I can see where it might encourage people to bring more carry-ons and limit the airline’s profits for checked baggage. It could speed up the deboarding process with passengers not having to look in so many places, as well as decrease an airplane’s turnaround time, since there will be less to clean.

But is this really worth the time and effort to regulate? Flight attendants already have a hard enough job trying to keep passengers happy. Is having to nag folks to remove their personal items in the seatback really going to build a positive rapport with the customer? Probably not. Is this a big enough deal for passengers to pick a different airline (and pay more) to have a seatback pocket? Again, probably not.

Alright, so this might become more of the standard in the future but why? There doesn’t seem to be many people out there to answer that question. It has been on the books since 2007, so why start regulating now? I can see where it might encourage people to bring more carry-ons and limit the airline’s profits for checked baggage. It could speed up the deboarding process with passengers not having to look in so many places, as well as decrease an airplane’s turnaround time, since there will be less to clean.

But is this really worth the time and effort to regulate? Flight attendants already have a hard enough job trying to keep passengers happy. Is having to nag folks to remove their personal items in the seatback really going to build a positive rapport with the customer? Probably not. Is this a big enough deal for passengers to pick a different airline (and pay more) to have a seatback pocket? Again, probably not.

Image: dyobmit

faa-building1In response to suspicion of missed inspections, the FAA is arguing that they are prioritizing needed checks based on “risk analyses” and no critical inspections were missed. FAA spokesperson Diane Spitaliere states, “It is our position that the critical safety issues have been dealt with and are always dealt with first. Some of the less critical ones may not have been accomplished, but we’re currently working to accomplish them.”

The renewed interest in the FAA missed inspections come in the wake of the tragic crash of Continental Express Flight 3407 on February 12th.

The missed inspections are being reported by a government watchdog. They state that the FAA has missed safety inspections at major airlines and that some of the inspections were already two years overdue. Calvin Scovel, the Transportation Department’s inspector general, states, “We have found that these missed inspections were in critical maintenance areas.”  Scovel had previously mentioned missed inspections at Southwest.

Source: AP
 
A Bunch of United Boeing 777 Tails at London Heathrow Airport.

A Bunch of United Boeing 777 Tails at London Heathrow Airport.

For those that have trouble fitting into a standard passenger seat, they will have to prepare to pay double on United Airlines.  They have pretty black and white criteria for those to meet this requirement:

– Unable to fit into a single seat in the ticketed cabin

– Unable to properly buckle the seatbelt using a single seatbelt extender

– Unable to put the seat’s armrests down when seated

A passenger falling under any of these criteria will be relocated or be forced to upgrade to first class or be booted to the next flight.

Of course this is humiliating to those who are in this bracket and no one of course wants that, but it seems to be the only fair solution instead of having to be a full paying passenger and only having half a seat due to someone who is a bit larger next to you.

Ryanair is a little less Politically Correct about the matter and about 1/3 of 100,000 people that voted on their website for “cost-reduction ideas” wanted to impose a “fat tax” for those who can’t fit into a seat.

Source: Pacific Business News & News.com.au Image: matt.hintsa
American Airline's Boeing 767 Tail

American Airline's Boeing 767 Tail

If you will be flying on an American Airlines 767-300, you might have quite a few empty seats around you. It seems American installed additional business-class seats on 58 767-300’s and now there aren’t enough life vests for all the passengers.

American states that no one was ever in danger since they also have life rafts aboard (personally, not as assuring if you are on a plane going down into water and all those around you have life vests on and you don’t).

Source: Chicago Tribune Image: Van-Murph