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In-flight Issue
COMPLAINT: Drip drop!

 
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  #1  
Old Sep 10, 2010, 3:30 AM
SweetPeaPhotography SweetPeaPhotography is offline
 
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I was on a Delta flight from Jacksonville Florida to Detroit Michigan on 9/8/2010 returning from a work trip. I boarded the plane on time, and the flight was completely full. There was only 1 flight attendant for that many people, which I really do not understand. Her name was Betsy. She was older, and looked frantic trying to get things ready. Before we were even on the runway, I felt something splash the back of my neck. I thought it might have been the woman behind me, and I didn't want to be rude and turn around. It quickly happened again, and this time I turned around to find that the overhead light strip above my seat was dripping water (I hope). I was not only splashing me, but both of the people behind me because it was hitting the top of the leather seat. The woman behind me pressed the call button, and it took about 10 minutes for the attendant to actually answer. When the attendant came, the woman said "There is something dripping from here and I'm not sure what it is, and we're getting wet. Can we have a paper towel or something?". The attended didn't only not answer, she actually gave a dirty look, and didn't even look at where the water was coming from. A few minutes later she came back with 2 paper towels, and I then had to stuff them into the crack. Not very safe I'd say because the light strip was right there. The whole flight, the paper towel was hanging down from the crack. I was very disappointed because I don't fly often, and had a bad experience. I will consider taking another airline next time.
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  #2  
Old Sep 10, 2010, 11:18 AM
cortney cortney is offline
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i think i may know what it is. when its so hot outside and the a/c is on, it forms condensation and starts dripping. its happend to me quiet a few times on all airlines, nothing dangerous. she shouldnt have been rude and not defending her in anyway but she may have been putting things away and locking things down in the galley. it also sounds like you were on a regional jet which with only 50 people on board they only have 1 flight attendant since there is only 1 flight attendant jumpseat, this is with any regional airplane with 50 seats no matter what airline. we have water drip quiet often when were in kuwait with a/c blasting. its really nothing.
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  #3  
Old Sep 10, 2010, 1:33 PM
The_Judge The_Judge is offline
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I too would like to comment on the f/a issue as that is the only real complaint it seems. The water dripping in condensation, as mentioned, as should have been taken care of at the next "hub" stop.

The number of flight attendants is regulated by the FAA. This is not something ANY airline has control over. 1 FA per 50 seats on an aircraft. And adding another is just about impossible. There is only 1 jumpseat (seat where the FA sits) on these regional jets so there is nowhere for an extra to sit unless they start blocking 1 seat on every single flight. Never happen.

So, your complaint is misdirected and should be pointed towards the lawmakers instead of the airline.
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  #4  
Old Sep 14, 2010, 7:38 PM
pilot2fly pilot2fly is offline
 
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The posts above me are correct. You were most likely on a regional jet, which is NOT Delta Airlines, by the way (look at your ticket). It sucks that you had that experience, but you'd be surprised how miniscule that was compared to many other things that happen at the regionals. Ever heard of speed tape? You'd be surprised.
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Old Sep 14, 2010, 9:16 PM
jimworcs jimworcs is offline
 
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You know, it is common for Delta employees and occassionally others, to put forward the defence that "franchises" are not Delta. If the plane is painted in Delta colours and the ticket is purchased through Delta or their agents, to the customer, it is Delta.

If I go into McDonald's and order a BigMac, I expect to get the standard McDonald's service and a BigMac which conforms to the McDonald's standard. I could care less if the restaurant is directly owned and operated by McDonald's Corp or a franchisee. When I go in McDonald's, as far as I am concerned, I am in McDonalds period. The same applies to Delta.
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  #6  
Old Sep 14, 2010, 9:35 PM
pilot2fly pilot2fly is offline
 
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To the customer it may be Delta. But it in fact is NOT Delta Airlines that flies the jet. Look at the side of the jet near the cockpit. That usually shows the regional airline that flies the plane. And look at the ticket. It will say (usually in small print) Operated By so-and-so Airline. The airlines flying the regional jets are completely separate airlines (except for American Eagle, which is owned by American Airlines). The only thing they have in common is that their tickets can be purchased from the Delta website, and the paint scheme looks the same. The regionals just bid to receive these routes that Delta (or any other major airline) doesn't want to fly, or can't fly, sometimes due to size limitations (i.e. jet is too big to land at a certain airport). Other times there is no market for major airlines and the feeder airlines (regionals) fly to these destinations.

If people are shocked by this, they obviously haven't read their ticked correctly. This has been happening for many, many years. Filing a complaint with Delta Airlines about something that happened on a regional jet with a regional airline will get you nowhere. The regional airlines are not franchises. They are literally their own airline.

I invite you to check out www.raa.org. It is the Regional Airline Association and may help you better understand the role of regional airlines.

Last edited by pilot2fly; Sep 14, 2010 at 9:39 PM.
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  #7  
Old Sep 14, 2010, 10:24 PM
jimworcs jimworcs is offline
 
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I understand perfectly how the regional airlines operate. (Incidently, Comair is still a wholly owned subsidiary of Delta. Perhaps not for long, and Compass and Mesaba were also owned until recently).

However, they are in fact operating to standards set by Delta and they are flying under Delta branding. It is ridiculous to suggest that a customer has no complaint with Delta if they buy a ticket from Delta.com, for a journey on mainline Delta, via Atlanta and then take a Delta branded regional connection, staffed by people in Delta uniforms, operating to Delta standards and to the terms and conditions of Delta's ticketing rules.

As you didn't like my McDonald's example, let me give you another one. If I send a package via FedEx from Detroit to Glasgow, the package may be handled from London to Glasgow by a non-FedEx aircraft. If the package was lost on this part of the journey, would the customer have no compliant against FedEx. Could FedEx simply say sorry, that portion of the journey was not operated by FedEx?

If Delta put their brand on the side of the plane, customers are entitled to expect that Delta accept responsibility for the service that is provided.
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Old Sep 14, 2010, 11:07 PM
pilot2fly pilot2fly is offline
 
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I understand what you're trying to say, but that's just not the way it works. Ask any regional pilot and they will tell you the exact same thing.

The flight crews on regional airlines sometimes come in with as little as 250 total hours, though that is about to change with the new 1,500 hour rule. They have to work their way up to Captain to start making any real money. A lot of them then, after 4 or 5 thousand hours, try to get in with the majors. The regionals and majors all operate under the same FAA rules, but you'll rarely get the sort of "quality" you get in a regional that you get with a major. There are no in flight movies or meals with regional airlines. They are, again, separate airlines. Yes, mainline complaints should be filed with the mainline company, but regional complaints to any major airline will fall on deaf ears if it is a regional flight. It is not ridiculous at all. The major airline has NOTHING to do with the regional flight. After you buy the ticket and check in, you're now under the responsibility of the regional airline. It is, however, designed to be seamless and many people think they are flying a mainline flight.

If you have a complaint you should complain to the actual operator of the flight. The flight crews for regionals do NOT work for any major airline. If you file a complaint for a regional problem to a major, they won't know any of the names of the personnel that caused the problem and will not have any record of them. Thus you won't get anywhere, unfortunately.

I understand what you are saying and it would be great if that were the way it worked. It would be nice if all the regionals were owned by the majors. I'm sure the level of quality would go up at least a little.

Last edited by pilot2fly; Sep 14, 2010 at 11:10 PM.
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Old Sep 14, 2010, 11:19 PM
jimworcs jimworcs is offline
 
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Well, I don't think we will get an agreement on this. It is wrong to say

Quote:
The major airline has NOTHING to do with the regional flight.
The regionals operate under contract to the mainline carrier. The mainline sets the standards of service, and the regional operates under license of the major. I am deeply unhappy at some of the practices of the regional airlines, and I have said before that I am concerned about the very low rates of pay for pilots which may compromise safety (Colgan) and some practices which I consider unsafe, including effectively selling the right hand seat by offering training slots. However, the mainline will not be aware of customer satisfaction with their affiliates unless you complain to them.

Delta is a bad example, because the standards of customer service in Delta are appalling. However, better I would expect the better carriers, such as Continental, to engage with their affiliates to ensure higher standards of customer service.

Incidently, it is not necessary for the regionals to be owned by the majors for this to work... I eat at a Subway regularly.. it is not owned by Subway, it is a franchise..but Subway ensure that the standards are met and are consistent. Furthermore, I can complain via their website and they will address any issue with the individual store. It is not for the customer to work through the labrynth of subcontracting companies and employees...
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  #10  
Old Sep 14, 2010, 11:30 PM
pilot2fly pilot2fly is offline
 
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I agree completely. There are still many safety issues with the regionals. The flights are indeed contracted out by majors to regionals, there is no denying that. But once you get on a regional jet, you're no longer flying actual mainline. Many people think they are. The airlines make it seemless which is nice, but many passengers don't know they're not flying with actual mainline employees.

You do make a good point about contracts and licenses for the routes and your analogies are good too.

I do agree there needs to be more communication between mainline and regional and better training on both levels. The Colgan Dash-8 flight is just one example. I also think pilots should be paid much more. $18/hr at Mesa is that a joke? Nope. They may have raised that figure recently, but not by much. I seriously believe, based on the people I see and know, that if pilots were paid more, they would care more about their jobs and their company. I know plenty of regional pilots who constantly badmouth their company and say how much of a hell hole it is...but that's another topic for another forum.
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  #11  
Old Sep 14, 2010, 11:42 PM
jimworcs jimworcs is offline
 
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My concern about the pay rates are this. Pilots often have to work more than one job to make ends meet. This drives a coach and horses through the "opportunity to rest" hours prior starting work. I don't want the pilot who, after working a shift at McDonalds, changes uniform in the toilets and reports for duty at the airport, ready to fly 6 sectors. It frightens me to think that a fatigued, low hours pilot having flown 5 sectors is landing in a thunderstorm at a small regional airport. The workload, pressure and responsibility are identical to that of a mainline pilot. There is no justification for paying these pilots such low wages that they face working more than one job and often commuting very long distances to get to work. Some are even sleeping in "hot beds" near airports, which hardly provides ideal conditions to get good rest. It is shocking and very surprising that it is allowed in the US, which boasts the safest airline standards in the world. Thank god the FAA is beginning to look at this scandal.
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  #12  
Old Sep 14, 2010, 11:50 PM
pilot2fly pilot2fly is offline
 
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The problem is, many pilots are willing to fly for such little pay. That is how the airlines get away with it! They then get crapped on every day by the airline. If one day all of the pilots stood up and said enough is enough, I bet the airlines would be frantic and start doing something (paying better possibly? lol).
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Old Sep 14, 2010, 11:56 PM
jimworcs jimworcs is offline
 
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They exploit the desire of young pilots to build a career and try and get into the majors. These young pilots are vulnerable to such exploitation. What is required is regulation. The FAA should mandate that pilot's can only work a set number of hours before duty, regardless of where they are worked. So second jobs count.

Paying for "training" hours on revenue services should be illegal.

Commuting hours should not count as rest hours.

That will reduce the pool of available pilots and the wages will go up... REGULATION IS THE ANSWER.
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