Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Just missed it!


Our flight took off at 10:12 PDT from LAX. The earthquake occurred at 11:42 PDT. Our dispatchers sent us a message that a major earthquake occurred in LA - no word on injuries or damage. We have an airplane full of people traveling from Los Angeles. You're the Captain. Time for a decision. Do you tell the flight attendants, passengers, both, or keep it to yourself? I'll tell you what we decided after I see some responses.

10 comments:

MWest said...

Need more details - Where are you going from LA and what is the flight time? Also, how long after the earthquake occurred before they contacted you? You may want to go ahead and give the correct answer since we're the only ones who respond on each other's blog. :)

Brodad Unkabuddy said...

None of your questions are relevant and I'll tell you why because you're right about the responses. It wouldn't have mattered how long after or where we were going when we got the message. The first officer and I decided to keep it to ourselves, because if we told the flight attendants they wouldn't be able to keep it quiet. If we made an announcement to the passengers, they would have all been trying to use their cellphones in flight. We knew as soon as we landed they would be making and receiving phone calls and getting much better information than we had. Thanks for your response. :-)

Brodad Unkabuddy said...

P.S. I believe there are thousands out there reading our blogs. They're just too shy to post anything.

vwatt said...

1)Buzz the lead flight attendant and ask if there are any leftover first class meals. 2) After eating, make PA and announce you have good news, "We left before the earthquake and if you live in MSP you have no worries other than mosquitoes tonight", and bad news, "Free drinks for anyone living in LA!"

vwatt said...

1)Buzz the lead flight attendant and ask if there are any leftover first class meals. 2) After eating, make PA and announce you have good news, "We left before the earthquake and if you live in MSP you have no worries other than mosquitoes tonight", and bad news, "Free drinks for anyone living in LA!"

MWest said...

Sounds like a great decision. My answer was going to be that you might make an announcement during descent "if" you had been given the news that no injuries were being reported.
Interesting dilemma. It reminds me of the decisions I had to make when I was running the radio station when 911 hit. Do we dump completely out of our format and do our own commentary. Do we stay partially in format while adding our own commentary or do switch over immediately to a network news feed from NBC.

MWest said...

I like Vance's answer best! (both of them)

Brodad Unkabuddy said...

Our lead flight attendant was a real "air nazi". We jokingly thought what we should do is make an announcement to the effect of, "Ladies and Gentlemen, we have just been informed there has been a major earthquake in Los Angeles. Thank you." Then let her deal with the call buttons, cell phone calls, hysteria, etc. BTW, Vance, leftover first class meals for the pilots is a nonevent for this lady.

MWest said...

that is hilarious

J Dub said...

I don't think anything good can come of you telling them. They'll find out soon enough, and FL350 is not the best place to potentially put hundreds of strangers in an enclosed place in a panic.