iPhone-equipped Passenger Takes on Flight Crew over Weather Delay

By | November 20, 2007

When we saw a recent commercial for the iPhone where a member of the flight crew uses his iPhone to find out the weather was not what he was told, and, breaking the news to the apparently clueless rest of the airline, air traffic control, and others involved and thus leaving early.

Planebuzz has a story on a passenger who was influenced by this…

“Some guy with an IPhone says the weather is good, and wants to know what the real reason is for the delay. Is something wrong with the plane?”

So, the pilot gets on the PA and responds…

“If the passenger with the IPhone would be kind enough to use it to check the weather at our alternate, calculate our fuel burn due to being rerouted around the storms, call the dispatcher to arrange our release, and then make a phone call to the nearest Air Traffic Control center to arrange our timely departure amongst the other aircraft carrying passengers with IPhones, then we will be more than happy to depart. Please ring your call button to advise the Flight Attendant and your fellow passengers when you deem it ready and responsible for this multi-million dollar aircraft and its passengers to safely leave.”

Not exactly good customer service, and very embarrassing for the passenger, but true. Ask the Pilot has a good rundown of what is wrong with this ad…and revealed some interesting facts. The person pictured is not an actor, but an actual co-pilot for a U.S. carrier.

As they point out:

The shrewdness of the captain’s comeback makes for a fantastic script, and ought to be copied into every crew member’s manual for quick reference. Not because it’s arrogant and snarky, which it is, but because it reminds people that contrary to what Apple Computer might lead them to believe, flight delays are neither simple nor instantly solvable.

And they aren’t. It shows a lack of understanding of the complexity of air travel. It does not have only to do with the storm, but the backup caused by the storm, other planes, etc. Airlines and Air Traffic Control have their problems, but a passenger in the back looking at the weather is not getting the correct picture.

Author: Guru

Guru is the Editor of Flight Wisdom and a long time aviation enthusiast.