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Anyone Experienced a LONG Delay For a Crew's Meal Break???

Anyone Experienced a LONG Delay For a Crew's Meal Break???

Nov 22nd, 2010, 07:51 AM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 5,525
Just atarted my 38th year of flying last Friday and have NEVER had my airline provide a breakfast for me!If you look around the airport these days you will see more and more flight attendants carrying their thermo lunch bags due in part to never having enough time,money or selection to sit down and have a normal meal. Stouffers spinach souffle is my go to meal flying international along with fresh fruit,pouch of tuna for my salad and a couple sandwiches. Such glamour?
dutyfree is offline  
Nov 22nd, 2010, 09:26 AM
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I can see that you are well-meaning person, but

-- have you been working as an employee during the last, say, 5-7 years?
-- have you acknowledged how many airlines went south during the post 9/11 years?
-- have you noticed the worldwide economic crisis and its impact on (un)employment?

Is this the time that anybody in the airline industry with half a brain thinks that he or she has the muscle to fight for a ... lunch break????

And I didn't say that working as crew is like *any* other job. It's like working in *many* other jobs that require more physical and mental fitness to endure than others. Ask you local hospital how many hours the doctors work in surgery. Or the detective at your police HQ how many times he had dinner with his family.

And yes, my working conditions have changed.
I work more hours, have to take 1-2 flights per week on business (not in business class, of course, but still a €300 same day return), spend a silly "fortune" on airport "food" from my own pocket (no, not in the panorama restaurant but at the concession stands.. €6 for a hot dog?, well thank you, not), and get home by 11pm or midnight. And no, my salary has not risen to those heights that I would not notice those expenditures.

I'm afraid that you have a solid, again, very well-meaning image of the world as it should be. But I don't see this fairytale land when I look around me.
This is not the 1960s anymore when a Ms America style bunch of long-legged "stewardesses" in mini skirts had 3 days in Rio to hang at the pool and flirt with a few hot Latin Lover millionaires before they escorted back three dozen of the happy few to Miami.

Flying is no fun. It's mass transportation. Work max. hours, get min. pay the airline can get away with, BYO lunch. Welcome to 2010.
Cowboy1968 is online now  
Nov 22nd, 2010, 01:40 PM
Join Date: Oct 2009
Posts: 4,075


I guess you missed the 1960's glamour that Cowboy1968 is talking about. If you flew for a major US airline some time in your 38 year career unless it was within the last 10 years then I am sure somewhere along the way you were provided with a crew meal.

Maybe not breakfast but lunch or dinner. The point is this flight crew felt the need for a meal and had a right to do so.

In the end it would have been better for American to provide a $2.00 bagel and a banana instead of inconveniencing it's customers. Afterall, most airlines will at least provide a food voucher to their customer during lenghty delays. I think frontline employees in similar situations deserve the same courteous.

I'll have some Stouffer's instead of chicken or pasta when I am on your flight
DMBTraveler is offline  
Nov 22nd, 2010, 01:52 PM
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Yes, there has been some harsh realities in the airline business since 9/11 but none of them should require a flight crew member to fly hungry or fatigued. Our safety and convenience as passengers is to important for the sake of a $2.00 or less meal that airlines can provide to it's employees when appropriate.

Afterall, even with airlines going south since 9/11 a few airline managers and CEO's have also gone south but with a lot of cash at the expense of employees. For example, after taking NWA into bankruptcy (which some say was unnecessary) its CEO walked away with about $26 Million. So much for the airline struggling when it can afford to pay it's departing CEO millions!

I think I saw him in Rio the last time I was there. I think he is still living in the 60's.
DMBTraveler is offline  
Nov 23rd, 2010, 11:15 AM
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CarolM~ Would you feel justified in asking for a refund of your ticket if the flight was delayed the same amount of time but for a different reason? It seems it it specifically the "meal break for the crew" reason that is making you angry about this?

I don't understand why you care what a flight attendant said to the person in front of you. Perhaps you didn't hear all of the conversation.
suze is online now  
Nov 23rd, 2010, 02:57 PM
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suze, yes, I would feel differently if the delay was for a different reason. My whole point here is that I believe I was delayed due to airline mismanagement (i.e. them not scheduling proper meal breaks for their crew). I'm not upset that the crew asked for a meal break. I've been delayed a zillion times for other reasons beyond an airline's control (weather, repairs, etc, etc.)

You don't understand why I care that the flight attendant cursed loudly while I was boarding the plane? Hmm.
CarolM is offline  
Nov 23rd, 2010, 04:07 PM
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I can honestly say I have never heard a flight attendant swear loudly at a passenger, but I'm sure they have wanted to plenty of times. It's a very difficult job. I just thought what you described seemed more funny than highly offensive.
suze is online now  
Nov 23rd, 2010, 08:52 PM
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Yes, I'm sure being a flight attendant is a hard job! And I'd be terrible at it myself, and probably impatient. But I'll be honest, I was really shocked... not that I don't swear plenty myself. It just was totally NOT a funny moment... the flight attendant was dead serious, and all the passengers got completely quiet. Very awkward!
CarolM is offline  
Nov 23rd, 2010, 09:55 PM
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DMB-my airline has NEVER provided me with a meal in all of the years that I flew domestic.In the years that I have flew international, we have meals put on but if we are short;lose some on the floor,or catering did not put on enough crew meals,etc.-quess who has no meal?

To Cowboy-yes, the flight crew job is similar to police,nurses,etc. in regards to weird hours and scheduling but those people usually don't start their days away from their homes sometimes upwards to 4 to 7 days on the road.My rollaboard suitcase is my "mobile home" which I don't think they can say?Stopping for a meal? Crew shuttles go from the hotel to the airport-NO stopping in between as there is a time issue and sometimes security.Basically if is if you haven't had anything to eat...tough luck!

Carol-I hope that you will take this in the right way but NO airlines schedules "breaks" for their crews. Our bid sheets(schedules each month) are made up of time on duty;flight time;time away from base and that is how we are paid. The airlines DON"T care if we have eating breaks,coffee breaks or pee breaks-they just want the plane to get from point A to point B with everyone safe,Do you realize the havoc we would have if airline crews had to take breaks? It would be a nightmare. I don't know what the real deal was with your commuter flight but as NO FLY ZONE said above-"don't believe the bus driver".
dutyfree is offline  
Nov 23rd, 2010, 10:28 PM
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Carol - you say you missed half the reason for the trip, yet the flight was 1 hr 15 min late and you say you have been delayed a zillion times in prior travels. A delay of just over an hour should not result in a major disruption of your plans - if that is truly the case then you scheduled the flight too close to the time you needed to be somewhere - regardless of reason for delay.

Secondly, I have read every one of your comments above and I do not see where you can say this is from "mismanagement". A plausible explanation that did not involve rescheduling incompetence is that the crew was delayed coming from somewhere else - which can happen even if it is the first flight of your day. (Such as they got in at 3 AM and are required to have 6 hours to sleep and so your 9 AM flight is a bit delayed).

And is your prime complaint the just over an hour delay or the comments of the FA. I believe you have no case for the former and as far as the latter - yes, it was unprofessional, should not have happened, but do you really want to pursue this? Clearly at least one person on the plane was having a bad day - but if I complained every time I thought a person was rude, I would not have time to lead my life.
gail is offline  
Nov 24th, 2010, 03:59 AM
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>"To Cowboy-yes, the flight crew job is similar to police,nurses,etc. in regards to weird hours and scheduling but those people usually don't start their days away from their homes sometimes upwards to 4 to 7 days on the road."

Ironically, a cowboy's life (a real cowboy, not a wannabe) is closer to flight crews what with long hours often on the "road" (often quite dusty), early starts, sleeping away from homw (often in a tent), and so on.....

>"Carol-I hope that you will take this in the right way but NO airlines schedules "breaks" for their crews."

In fact, I believe most schedules are constructed with maximizing aircraft time in the air. Airplanes are expensive investments and make no money sitting on the ground. The crews are expected to adapt.
NoFlyZone is offline  
Nov 24th, 2010, 04:40 AM
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Interesting working conditions. I know pre-9/11 some airlines like NWA provided it's employees with appropriate crew meals. Airlines like Southwest do not. The point here is airlines can choose whether or not they want to provide their crews with meals when appropriate.

I imagine on a normal work day there is sufficient time to eat. I think the situation here is when a crew has delays through out the day that cuts into the normal free time to eat.

I have been of flights where we are waiting for a crew to land before we can board our flight. Did this crew start their day at 7am without breakfast? Are they going to "rush" over to my flight and continue their day without eating?

There are to many things to spectulate about situations like this and the one CarolM mentioned. However, I think the well being of a flight crews (which can affect safety) is a shared responsibility between the airlines and it's employees.

Management has a responsibility to provide reasonable working conditions, like proper scheduling and rest provisions. The employee, like a flight captain has the responsibility to make management aware of concerns that can affect the safe operation of the flight like maintenance issues or the well being of the crew.

Safe airline operations require not only the airplane to be in decent condition but the flight crew as well. No matter the reason, I do not want to fly with a starving or fatigued crew especially pilots. Buffalo, New York is a sad reminder of the possible results of such situations.

CarolM, has raised our awareness to another issue that can cause delays and should be addressed if we are going to not be frustrated by air travel.
DMBTraveler is offline  
Nov 24th, 2010, 05:00 AM
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My heroes have always been cowboys, real ones

Airlines do schedule "breaks" for flight crews but it is not in regards to what most would think of as breaks. There is no "it's noon" let's go to lunch but there is usually time in between flights.

Normal flight crew schedules are determined weeks in advance and individual crew members fly them based on some type of a senority system.

I think CarolM situation was an abnormal one but it is an issue that needs to be considered when dealing with flight safety and delays.

Yes, keeping the airplane moving is the way to make money. However, just like a cattle drive there is time when you have to give yourself and the cattle a rest or else you'll never make Amarillo by morning
DMBTraveler is offline  

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