Funny thing has been happening as we get closer to the DO. With each flight, I imagine myself in the Delta roles that we will be living.
At the gate a couple days ago, I was amused as passengers lined up to ask about their chances for an upgrade, ignoring the GIDS next to them. I saw the anguish from families trying to get re-booked on another flight. And yes, I witnessed the gate lice inching closer as boarding became imminent.
But mostly I observed the gate agent. Through my eyes, the pre-boarding process is often chaos but through theirs, this is just another flight. They are generally courteous, knowing that in a few minutes this flight will be gone only to be replaced by another. I wonder if I will have their patience when it is my turn to serve.
Now in the air on the way home, the aircraft suffers decompression and we sink to below 10,000 feet. Too far out to return, our best option is to make it to the destination.
I imagine the pilot contacting ATC, informing them we are no longer able to continue at 36,000 feet and need to have the airways cleared. Then the pilot makes an announcement to the passengers, a wonderfully simple explanation that keeps everyone from panic.
GoGo Inflight was immediately suspended as was all beverage/food service but the FA’s responded professionally. A brief announcement, then they buckled up as well for the remainder of the flight. I imagined dealing with this in RWT and how easy it seemed for the FA’s to make this quick adjustment.
And I wondered how I would respond in the SIM in a similar situation. How much would the sudden drop in compression and rapid descent change control of the aircraft? How would I keep everyone from panic as we slipped in altitude?
As passengers, we take all of this for granted. Indeed, we are ever so quick to complain when the slightest thing goes awry. It is very different on the other side of the fence and I am looking forward to not only seeing their point of view but having even a little chance to live it. I hope in their eyes, I am a better passenger for it.