Sunday, February 08, 2009

Flight Attendants’ Main Responsibility

And you thought it was customer service.

(Spoiler alert: We know, we know. We said we were going to be less grumpy on this blog. But this news got our attention.)

The New York Times recently ran an article about the roll-out of new Wi-Fi services on planes, noting that some travelers appreciate it while others find it a distraction. But the really weird part of the article is a quote from Corey Caldwell, a spokeswoman for the Association of Flight Attendants. Caldwell said the union “views Wi-Fi as a potential threat to flight attendants’ ability to keep order in the cabin.”

“Our duties involve securing the safety of the cabin, not acting as censor police,” Caldwell is quoted as saying. “It just adds another layer of duties inside the cabin, which take away from the main requirement that flight attendants are on board for.”

In addition, Caldwell said the flight attendants’ union also feared that terrorists plotting a scheme on a plane could use Wi-Fi to communicate with others on the plane or on the ground. “Right now, their ability to do that on board is limited,” she said. “But we can see an instance in which this becomes a potential threat.”

What????? Isn’t the TSA supposed to be keeping terrorists off airplanes? Don’t we have air marshals on most flights? Aren’t flight attendants supposed to be on board for customer service? The “MAIN REQUIREMENT” that flight attendants now have is “securing the safety of the cabin”???

The Times article finishes by noting that “airlines in the United States are catching up to many foreign carriers, like Lufthansa, which has offered [Wi-Fi] service for the past several years.”

Oh, sorry, Ms. Caldwell, I guess we forgot about all the terrorist activities on Lufthansa that have occurred since they installed Wi-Fi.

Does anyone wonder why fliers dislike just about everything regarding travel on domestic carriers?