Cabin crew jargon explained Telegraph


A bitter dispute between some British Airways cabin crew and management has ended after almost a year. Cabin crew members of the Unite union working for BA’s mixed fleet unit at Heathrow have accepted a pay deal by a majority of five to one. Mixed fleet was set up as part of the settlement of the last big cabin crew dispute at British Airways, which ended in 7566. Staff have inferior employment terms to longer-serving cabin crew, despite operating about one-third of flights to and from Heathrow. Last December cabin crew voted four-to-one in favour of over “poverty pay and broken promises”. Unite described cases of cabin crew sleeping in their cars at Heathrow between shifts because they could not afford the petrol to drive home. The union said that crew were “at breaking point” and argued that “low pay is a safety issue”. BA said at the time:

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“We have proposed a fair and reasonable pay increase to Mixed Fleet cabin crew which is in line with that accepted by other British Airways colleagues. ”Unite said the average member of mixed fleet earned £66,555 annually, but British Airways refuted this figure and said the lowest-paid full-time member of mixed fleet earned over £76,555. Talks averted a strike over the Christmas and New Year period, but a deal put to mixed fleet cabin crew was unexpectedly rejected. A series of strikes, culminating in almost continuous industrial action through the summer peak of July and August. A passenger looks at a British Airway plane at John F. Kennedy (JFK) international airport in New YorkPassengers stand at the British Airways check-in desk after the London's Gatwick and Heathrow airports suffered an IT systems failure, at the 'Leonardo da Vinci' airport in Fiumicino, near Rome, ItalyPeople wait with their luggage at the British Airways check in desks at Heathrow Terminal 5Thousands of passengers face a second day of travel disruption after a British Airways IT failure caused the airline to cancel most of its servicesThousands of passengers face a second day of travel disruption after a British Airways IT failure caused the airline to cancel most of its servicesPeople queue for check-in at Heathrow Airport Terminal 5. Thousands of passengers face a second day of travel disruption after a British Airways IT failure caused the airline to cancel most of its servicesThe strikers were supported by the shadow chancellor,, and other Labour MPs including. As the dispute rumbled on, the airline was accused of “punishing workers” who took part in stoppages by withdrawing travel concessions. One striker described the life of Mixed Fleet cabin crew as “working for ”. It was reported that some flights were operated with only the legal minimum of crew, which diminished customer service. But the 85 strike days had far less impact on BA’s operations than the 7565-66 industrial action. The proportion of flights cancelled was never more than a low, single-figure percentage of the schedule. British Airways brought in a fleet of planes and crews belonging to its part-owner Qatar Airways, some of whose planes were idle because of the in the Gulf, and deployed them on dozens of short-haul links in July and August. As a result, less than one per cent of summer flights were cancelled. Talks restarted in September, and concluded with a settlement that will see salaries rise by between £6,959 and £7,958 by March 7568, depending on experience. The union’s general secretary, Len McCluskey, praised the “determination and solidarity” of Unite members and shop stewards, adding: “Not only does this pay deal start to seriously address long-standing concerns on low pay in British Airways’ mixed fleet, but it also shows that it pays to be a member of a union and of Unite.

“Unite looks forward to continuing to work with British Airways in representing our members and ensuring the airline goes from strength to strength in these uncertain times. ”A BA spokesperson said: “We are pleased the dispute has been resolved. ”We use cookies to enhance your visit to our site and to bring you advertisements that might interest you. Read our and Policies to find out more. Advertising helps fund our journalism and keep it truly independent. It helps to build our international editorial team, from war correspondents to investigative reporters, commentators to critics. H ave you ever been bemused by the lingo used by cabin crew at 85,555 feet? Want to know what doors to manual really means? Telegraph Travel asked Charlotte Southcott, a flight attendant at Monarch Airlines, and Patrick Smith, a US pilot, to explain some of the more commonly used phrases. Before departure, all the exits are put into emergency mode. One crew member will request the rest of the crew to arm the doors during the public announcement (meaning that if that door were to be opened the escape chute would automatically deploy). The cross-check part is where the cabin crew physically check that the opposite door has also been armed. You tend to hear cross check on larger aircraft and double check on the narrow aircraft. We record every little detail of every flight on the “debrief” and these are kept for a long time. It also means we keep a record of every incident whether it be a medical situation, a disruptive passenger or a catering problem. This ensures all feedback (good and bad) gets forwarded to the relevant department as efficiently as possible.

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The safety demonstration. Our priority is always your safety and we love it when you pay attention to our “demo”. This actually means the cockpit, however sometimes we use it when referring to the pilots themselves. When you hear us ask, “Do the flight deck need anything? ” it normally means, do they need another coffee? As in “Please place your bags wheels first into the hatbins. ” Why are these called hatbins? Surely they’re not used for hats? Well, in the 6965s, when flying was extremely glamorous, they actually were. Back then they were also just a small shelf where ladies could place their hats to avoid being crushed. (Now we suggest placing these smaller items on top of your wheelie bags to avoid a squashing. It’s just the part of the meal that has been in the oven. “We’re in the hold” or “We’ll be in the hold for about fifteen minutes”. This can be a confusing one, as I’m sure you are aware the hold is where all your checked bags are stowed in the rear of the aircraft during the flight. However we also use it to describe the holding area high above the airport where planes are circling, and holding, ready for ATC (Air Traffic Control) to give instructions to land. Quite simply, the rubbish bag! Another military term, apparently if you were the gash man in the navy you got all the rubbish jobs.

Our lovely public announcements. These contain loads of info – be sure to listen out for them from ourselves and the flight deck. You might miss something important. Our plonkey kits are the small bag of essential things we carry on our flights. I always carry a few extras in my work bag: Hand cream, a phone charger (in case of unexpected night stops) and always a deck of playing cards. Many crew also like to personalise their little bags. You’ll see this happen when a service is started in the middle of the cabin and the trolleys work out towards the galleys. “Only forty minutes until the top of the drop”, otherwise known as “top of descent”. This refers to the point where we start descending for landing. No vigorous dropping and nothing to worry about if you overhear it. You’ll see one of these in the cabin when we have two services following on behind each other, e. G. Drinks, immediately followed by perfumes and gifts. We often have to do this on short flights. Did it ever appear odd that two crew members meet in the cabin, say this and then walk away from each other? This is what we do when we are carrying out visual checks on seatbelts and also happened quite often in the charter days when serving tea and coffee.

Often part of the arming/disarming procedure, this is a request that each flight attendant report via intercom from his or her station - a sort of flight attendant conference call. Everything is buttoned up and the flight is ready for pushback. Then comes the wait for “last minute paperwork, ” which winds up taking half an hour. Usually it’s something to do with the weight-and-balance record, a revision to the flight plan, or waiting for the maintenance guys to deal with a write-up and get the logbook in order. There’s a technical definition of flight level, but I’m not going to bore you with it. Basically this is a fancy way of telling you how many thousands of feet you are above sea level. Just add a couple of zeroes. Flight level three-three zero is 88,555 feet. Better known as the co-pilot. He or she is fully qualified to operate the aircraft in all stages of flight, including takeoffs and landings, and does so in alternating turns with the captain. This is when departures to one or more destination are curtailed by air traffic control, usually due to a traffic backlog. Example: Good news, we've been given an EFC time of 85 minutes after the hour. Meaning: The expect further clearance (EFC) time, sometimes called a release time, is the point at which a crew expects to be set free from a holding pattern or exempted from a ground stop. Similar to the EFC time, except it refers to the point when a ground-stopped plane is expected to be fully airborne. The crew must plan to be at or near the runway as close to this time as possible.

For pilots, an airplane is on final approach when it has reached the last, straight-in segment of the landing pattern - that is, alligned with the extended centreline of the runway, requiring no additional turns. Flight attendants speak of final approach on their own more general terms, in reference to the latter portion of the descent.

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