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Sunday, 16 October 2016

Why aren't cabin crew getting along with the pilots ?..a repost

There are many reasons why the pilots (technical crew) and cabin crew or flight attendants are not the best of friends. Most stewardesses and pilots get along well but not the stewards.
What I am going to say may not be 100% accurate. However, there are some truth in what I am going to post here.
  • A pilot's educational qualification is about the same as the cabin crew and yet their salaries are wide apart. A co-pilot draws an average salary of about $10,000 and the cabin crew $4,000.
  • The cabin crew in actual fact is not employed to serve the pilots but to serve the passengers.If one argues that part of the cabin crew's duty is to serve the pilots then why aren't they be rostered on the freighter or cargo flights (these flights do not carry passengers)?
  • The cabin crew often feels that the pilots are demanding and unreasonable. An example is the pilots could eat at any time when they are on duty. Cabin crew would have to serve them immediately even if they, the cabin crew are busy serving a full plane of passengers.
  • The cabin crew also feels that the pilots with their fat salary, would not eat before reporting for work. Instead, on boarding the aircraft, would order the cabin crew to serve them food and drinks during this busy period. In short, cabin crew feels that the pilots are miserly people.
  • The male cabin crew or stewards suspect the pilots are interested in the stewardesses. Subconsciously, the stewards are jealous over the pilots' position with the stewardesses. It is a known fact that most stewardesses look forward to getting romantically involved with the pilots. Quite a number in the past married pilots.
  • Many cabin crew feels that the pilots do not respect them and all they want is food,drinks and the girls.
You may also read this>> http://www.bohtong.org/2015/02/a-spat-between-captain-and-cabin-crew-6.html


Man on the spot said...

I think the situation is not all that bad.
It may be 20 years ago.

Serving anyone a meal, pax or staff immediately after airborne or even on ground
is totally possible.

It depends how fancy is the request.
A no frills tray prepared ad hoc can be done while the meal is
being zapped in the microwave. A fork, knife, spoon, serviette is the minimum.
Along with water in glass, plastic tumblers ( pre-cupped or what ).

It gets annoying when there are side orders:

1. coffee /tea /milo / expresso / cuppacino.. etc
2. Perrier / 7Up / coke/ etc
3. Salad with/without dressings,
4. cut chillies/ green chillies / soya sauce /
5. Hard roll / soft roll/ garlic bread
6. Soups
7. Caviar
8. Linen napkin, linen for their laps or foldable table tops in the cockpit.
9. Hot / cold towels ( yes.. they can ask for cold towels! )

If any human being is hungry and need to eat, the basic set up is simple:

1. Tray, cutlery, water, napkin, main course ( EY choice only )
no salt, no pepper, no chilli sauce, no tomato sauce, no soya sauce.

Human life will be preserved along with a romantic relationship.

Oh... no peanuts either please.

Pilots asks " why is it so difficult to serve us ...?"
Crew asks " why is it they cannot accept the basic...?"

There you have it.
Straight and simple.

Boh Tong said...

Good one buddy!

Mike Lim said...

Dear Mr. Luke,

That's a very nice insight to the relationship of the flight team as a whole.

I think SIA used to published the salary of the pilots on its webpage, the 1st officer's pay would be around $7000, not sure if it has increased so much though.

In the pilot's defense, they need to first undergo a training in Singapore which is then transferred to Australia for another 2 years of training using jets. This is much longer than a cabin crew training of four months I believe.

Then again, I also agree with you that there is no need for one to be arrogant for whatever reason even to a stranger because he is richer or higher in the societal hierarchy. This is obviously in the 'ideal world'.

In the ideal situation, pilots and cabin crews are a team to ensure the smooth journey of a flight. Working together is essential to ensure the safety and the smooth operations of the services provided. There are a lot of things which pilots and cabin crews can work together on, such as, in the event of a structural damage, a CC can report to the pilots who can't see from their cockpit, in a cabin commotion, the similar applies as the pilot wouldn't probably want to open the door which may allow the cockpit to be breached; I believe the captain is the highest in authority in terms of safety which cabin crew can rely on for the safety of the flight.

Regardless of which end of the team you are in, there are challenges and responsibilities for both sides. Would a cabin crew want to be incharge of all the flight operations and technical failures? Would a pilot want to handle some misbehaving pax and screaming babies? Both parties have different interests, hence pursuing a different career, there probably isn't any need for anyone to be jealous of another. Enjoying what you do would be the best. I respect pilots who fly us to our destinations, I also respect the cabin crews no less for ensuring a comfortable flight and putting up with a lot of bad behaviours. On an occasion, I had to ask a pax to calm down as he couldn't stop screaming at a steward for waking him up to check if he wanted his dinner. Of note, the pax forgot to place the 'do not disturb' sticker on the seat, so the steward had no idea at all.

But I do agree, a bit of respect, courtesy and politeness here and there would go a long way for both parties to work efficiently and collaboratively as a team.

Thank you.

Best wishes,

Anonymous said...

Some pilots treat the stewardess like their dinner,especially young new stewardess.Some pilots also treat their colleagues like slaves and expect to eat first.They eat like they've never eaten before even though they earn far more than their colleagues.

Anonymous said...

There is a differene between being hungry and greedy. During the industrial dispute in 1981, the authorities stated amongst other things, that the cost of their inflight meals ought to be taken into account in the compputation of their salaries.

No apologies are necesary. Just be thankful that you have a job. It takes one rotten apple to contaminate the whole box.

Enlightend 1 said...

Dear Mike

Management is being staffed by people with university degrees, with
some having PHDs, and specialty diplomas etc.

They are fully aware of the relationship paramenters between divisions.
They allowed kingdoms, fiefdoms to blossom and exist.Of course without approvals.
How could they approve!

Yet these small power circles exists in any organisation inlcuding yours.
It is within these circles that dictate mirco policies. Rank and seniority plays
an important influence here.

A economy class meal tray is a reflection of micro policy in a visible material state.
It is also the same tray used to serve the pilots with.
The powers in the circle decided that it is THE TRAY.
Cabin crew was also given the same tray set up, but it was "negotiated" away by the
cabin crew union of past. Again decided by the power circles.

The basic concept here is:

There must not be any equality between Tech & Cabin staff

Why?.. basic management theory and structure.
There is no such thing as an upside down pyramid, or flat organistaion.
Its a fallacy designed for mass media consumption, to give people hope.

Cabin crew has the most rules within the company.
From leave allocation to colour of watch straps.
It is designed by people within a power circle.

Anonymous said...

Talk about Pilots and Cabin Crew. Sad. I lost my Fss in San Francisco. Cabin crew two CC.Chief one more C.Cap Four Bars and two more C.How to fight with the Flight Crew ? That's why I never apply.She thinks , not good, no security, long term prospect dim.Lost her.Now beer,red wine. Lost my girl in San Francisco. Please Don't Play That Song for me.

Anonymous said...

Cabin crew are not a respected lot within the company
Neither are the managers, executives.
Inflight Service's words carries more weight comparatively.
Cabin crew is right at the bottom of the food chain...

... sometimes even abandoned.

Mike Lim said...

Dear Enlightend 1,

Thank you for the info. I haven't a clue about how the culture is in SIA. I didn't make it through for the CC interview unfortunately.

But I believe there is always nice people who would wanna share their experience and skills. However, I do agree with you that there will always be a distinction between groups. In the end, it is up to the individuals how they want to treat each other.

You know, many don't practise what they preached. For e.g., when I was at the SIA interviews, they told us they were looking for a genuine smile. But if you were there, you would noticed that one of the lady interviewer had a very awkward smile as though she was very frustrated seeing us. We were only number 200+. And they were various groups of interviewers running concurrent sessions. So, it really shows that SIA doesn't always practise what they preach.

Then again, maybe I'm naive, I would still believe that there are nice ones in there who would be kind and treat everyone respectfully and politely, flight or cabin crew. If everything is too superficial, SIA will continuously spend $100m per year for training while their nett profit is only $800m per year, with most resigning after 2-5 years service, hopping to other airlines or other career, which doesn't make sense. Reading around forums and blogs, I get the feeling that many will be leaving soon as Emirates is recruiting on 6th Nov. Haha.

With unemployment rising and job-reentry low with 40% of the retrenched/resigned workers successfully getting another work. There has been rising pressure to only employ Singaporeans rather than foreigners. But with a 7,500 strong CC population with 10-20% leaving every year, it will be tough for SIA to continue to save money and getting truly passionate CC (only from Singapore) who would stay in the organisation unless they can have better recruitment processes and internal cultures.

Thank you.

Best wishes,

Anonymous said...

Cabin Crew trays were not negotiated away by the old Union or any other union of the day. After agreeing to provide trays for CC, Mgt carried out random checks and found that many of these trays had not been consumed. So, the trays had to be taken away. The comments by Mike are very gracious and edifying. But sadly, the CC culture is far from mature.

The PhD people in the Company have not been that impressive either. They would have been better off in a university.

Anonymous said...

Worked so hard on board, walk from Sin To Lon.Tummy full of air ,bloated a condition because pressurisation. Suddenly hungry when on way to hotel. Don't have a heart says so .Should write survey,confirm this condition and convert to allowance. Somebody is daft to understand this.

Anonymous said...

Crew are given specific hours of uninterrupted horizontal rest for long flights. Cockpit Crew always consume their meals and trays, not CC.

Anonymous said...

Pilots are spoilt babies expecting stewardess to pamper them.

Anonymous said...

CC are given specific hours of uninterrupted serving on board for long flight. Due to fatigue may not consume their meals.Observation.

Anonymous said...

6 years flying senior says:

There is indeed a big gap between the benefits of being a TC vs a CC. There is no point in being sour about it and then start to blame them for being greedy or thirsty. Nothing can be changed, 10years 20 years down the road it will still be the same. The only element that you can change is yourself. If you dont like it, make changes, improve yourself, tell yourself you are going to be TPPS and they are going to be your driver. If you are still thinking of promotion and extension, then dont bicker. Because even you become an IA, you are still sour lol....

Anonymous said...

Money buys lots of things.

The company buys services from people..
- buy time
- buy labour
- buy leave

Crew are being paid allowances for working through lunch/dinner/bfast
Crew are being paid for losing sleep overnight flights
Crew are being paid per hour
Crew are being paid extra if duty hours exceed 14 hours.

During the periods that crew receive payment, they have obligations..
feed the pax
feed the drivers
talk nonsense with each other


Anonymous said...

On being TPPS.....they are going to be your driver. Yes...of course. Feels so good to pick up these positive vibes! A good number of airline employees who have resigned for greener pastures have become very successful. Some have even become frequent flyers and still so humble, including those from Mgt positions. There used to be a CC Manageress who left to join OUB. She became a member of the Board. Former TM, Dr Goh now commands an attractive salary. An ex-SM has become the Country Manager of UA; another became a successful manager of Esso.

EX-crew had successful careers in property, law, insurance, business, opened up restaurants and enjoying their fruits of success. Cabin crew have also crossed over to Flight Ops and Marketing became commanders and SMs respectively. Lots more........even the DMDC who has retired rose from behing the check-in counter to become the top director of the Company.