Monday, 4 January 2016

Lessons Learned from Rocky Ride

One of 22 passengers on AC 088 who was sent to hospital to treat injuries
The Transportation Safety Board of Canada says two investigators are continuing to  look into what happened when severe turbulence hit an Air Canada flight 088 from Shanghai to Toronto where the flight was diverted to Calgary.

Twenty-one passengers were sent to hospital with seriously injuries, while the rest were eventually flown back to Toronto.

Described as "the flight from hell", the 332 passengers and 19 crew experienced 40 minutes of severe turbulence, estimated to be when the plane was over Alaska. Some passengers reported people were thrown out of their seats and hit the ceiling.

At one point oxygen masks came down from the ceiling
If that is the case, then they were the ones who did not wear seat belts. It is believed many of them were probably Chinese.

Several flight attendants have told me over the years how difficult it is to deal with Chinese passengers, particularly from mainland China.

The flight attendants tell stories of parents changing their baby's diapers on the fold down table, or handing plastic cups filled with warm yellow liquid and dirty diapers, and the usual of going to the washroom during turbulence, or jumping out of their seats as soon as the plane touches down.

One who works for a Canadian airline told me today that he has to remind passengers that while he understands they may need to pee, going to the loo while the airplane passes through turbulence puts them at risk.

There was a big mess after the turbulence
He basically said if he was working during severe turbulence like the Air Canada flight, he would not be risking his life to go down the aisle to make sure everyone had their seat belts on. "That's what the seat belt sign is for."

The passengers who were severely injured cannot sue the airline because they were forewarned in Chinese (Putonghua), English and French to wear their seat belts ahead of time.

Hopefully the news of this Air Canada flight will be a strong reminder to all passengers that they really need to buckle up. They aren't necessarily going to fall over, but they might fall out of their chairs and up onto the ceiling...

1 comment:

  1. I have wondered why so many passengers weren't wearing seat belts. On every flight I have been on, there is a warning to keep seatbelts fastened at all times.