As someone who has flown a few times, you’re likely to have experienced a few flight delays. As the victim of a delay, you’re likely to have questioned their causes, only to be met with answers that didn’t sound very convincing. Well, you wouldn’t be wrong because, Elliot Hester, a former flight attendant, confesses that this happens more often than not. Though Hester claims that airline representatives never really lie, they don’t exactly provide the whole truth either.
Elliot recalls an incident involving a flight that was scheduled to fly from JFK to Zurich, but, was delayed till the very next day. When asked as to why the flight was delayed, passengers were told that there were “crew manning” issues.
The term “crew manning” might evoke images of a sick pilot or a limited crew. However, in actuality, the flight’s captain had been arrested for lewd behavior during his layover. To make things worse, the judge refused to let him go on bond as he believed the pilot posed a flight risk.
The airline was unable to find a replacement and therefore, had to delay the flight by a whole day and put up passengers at a hotel. To put it simply, sometimes airlines are forced to choose between admitting an embarrassing truth and risking the passenger’s wrath. In this case, the airline chose the latter.
In another incident involving a flight from Zimbabwe to Johannesburg, passengers had to sit through a 5 hour delay. Why? Well, the answer provided to them was that there was a security issue. It wasn’t a complete lie actually. But, what really happened was that the captain had a tiff with the security personnel after being asked to remove his belt because the magnetometer wouldn’t stop beeping. In his frustration, the captain decided to strip down to his underwear and launch a tirade of verbal abuse, which led to his subsequent arrest.
The Absent Minded Pilot
A New York to LA flight was delayed because the captain didn’t show up for hours. When he did, he was welcomed with cheer and applause from the passengers in the most sarcastic manner possible, which left him red-faced. However, like a good captain, he had to have his reasons, which ranged from a late start to terrible traffic. It was only at the end of the flight that the truth came out, when the captain confessed to one of the crew members – he had gotten his schedules mixed up and had completely forgotten that he was to fly that day.
It isn’t uncommon to come across excuses such as flat tires, engine failure or computer blackouts. In fact, in most cases, the reasons given could be absolutely true. However, there are occasions where airlines are forced to cut out certain bits of information, especially when the credibility of the person flying the aircraft comes into question. Uttering the truth in such cases can lead to a host of problems; from the airline losing its reputation to a panic-like scenario.