Thursday, September 2, 2010

let the pilots pee, for goodness sake!

Now that I am in the world of blogging, I am starting to follow a number of FA and pilot blogs. Yesterday I was reading Bobby Laurie's blog on Flighster and this sparked a conversation between me and Steve.

So, Bobby was recounting a flight where a first class passenger was making a bit of an ordeal about having to wait to use the first class lav. The pilots were in the midst of their pee break and when that happens no one is allowed up there, for security reasons.

I was sharing this with Steve last night and he told me he once had a snide remark from a passenger regarding the pilot-pee-break.

If you have ever been on a flight over a couple hours long, you probably notice that at some point the pilots come out of the cockpit (one at a time, of course) and use the lav. This whole event takes planning and coordination. I don't think I am giving away any industry secrets here...I am just observant. The cockpit door must be locked at all times, and you would never want a lone pilot to be behind a locked door by himself. Why? Remember this story? Imagine a pilot having a medical issue while the other pilot is in the lav. So, you need to have a FA go into the cockpit when one pilot is out. Again, this takes coordination. Steve says this usually happens after the food service, and during a time when the FAs are able to help out easily without disturbing service to the passengers. I am sure in urgent situations the FAs are quick to respond, but Steve says they try to be accommodating to their schedules as much as possible.

Back to the snide remark to Steve. As he was leaving the lav some lady said something to the effect of "oh, so it is my turn now." Steve pretty much just ignored her. He wasn't sure if she was pissed or joking, so he just didn't respond.

My take on the whole situation...respect the rules, cut the pilots some slack and let them pee when it is their turn for goodness sake! Don't give the pilots shit about it. Don't give the FAs shit about it. The whole pee-break process will occupy the lav for five minutes, tops. Probably more like two minutes. Give them that time, and if you yourself have an urgent situation, there are more lavs in the back!

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