BA Chain of Command OnboardBack to Forum
Anonymous3 Jun 2016
So there I was, sitting on the Heathrow-Manchester shuttle, having taken in the captain’s short announcement, when on comes the ‘Customer Service Manager’ to ‘add my welcome and that of my crew.’
So is it either:
– A new chain of command – SCCM, Capt, FO etc.
– mixed fleet incompetence, in either not understanding how it works or not engaging brain before talking to 180 customers?
Seriously, the chain of command needs to be crystal clear for the efficient operation of the flight.
Capt, FO, SCCM.3 Jun 2016
Good god is that something that would really bother you?
As you pointed out, knowing full well the answer to your question and what the chain of command is on a commercial aircraft, why would this irritate you so much?
Worth mentioning though, yes the Captain has overall command and if he is taken ill on a flight then the First Officer would be in charge.
The CSM has overall accountability for his or her crew in the cabin and when away from base.
Who do you think is going to get you out in an emergency? The Captain or First Officer? I don’t think so! It would be the crew. Who else will put out a fire onboard? The Captain or the First Officer? Again, I don’t think so. If things like this get you so upset, there is a possibility that you may suffer a heart attack and guess who it will be giving you CPR? You’re right! It will be 1 of the crew NOT THE CPT OR FO. And frankly, have you nothing better to do with your time? and for the record i’m not airline crew but my wife is and she is great at what she does but it infuriates me when people get so uptight about minor thing.3 Jun 2016
macbook – 03/06/2016 15:34 BST
travelworld2 – 03/06/2016 15:49 BST
The same airline experienced problems in the 2000s, arising from confusion over this issue and took internal action to reaffirm the chain of command, after a cabin crew member declined to execute an instruction from the captain.
Sorry, but if it does not concern you, it is because you probably don’t have a background operating aircraft and in particular, macbook, your comments about the crew roles are somewhat uninformed.
The problems will not arise from who takes command in an emergency, but from a breakdown in communication and efficiency in operating the ship.3 Jun 2016
I guess what the CSM was getting at s/he was in charge of what goes on in the cabin and the cabin crew report to s/he and s/he in turn reports to the captain whom has overal command of the aircraft and all the crew. It’s most common for the CSD/CSM to refer to the rest of the cabin crew as ‘their’ crew in the after take off PA. ‘I’d like to introduce the other senior members of my crew….’ etc. I’ve never given it a second thought as the Captain has always made his PA first naming the CSD/CSM and including ‘the cabin service will be led by xxx and s/he will be leading the cabin crew’. So despite what the CSD/CSM says afterwards the Captain has already introduced him/herself as the captain and mentioned the pecking order.3 Jun 2016
rferguson – 03/06/2016 16:06 BST
I can’t remember the exact form of words, but seem to recall on short haul phrases like ‘add my welcome and that of the cabin crew’ or add my welcome and that of my team’ (both of these are clear and correct.)
The only person aboard who can legitimately refer to ‘my crew’ is the captain (although I don’t recall ever hearing this exact phrase), so it would be wise (especially when dealing with a pool of crew who have a high churn rate and where many are in their first flying job) not to cause any ambiguity about the chain of command.3 Jun 2016
I honestly don’t think that the use of “the” instead of “my” in those circumstances will make any difference, still less “my team” instead of “my crew”. It’s too subtle a distinction to cause any ambiguity. The cabin crew either know that the captain is in charge of the aircraft or they don’t.3 Jun 2016