Tuesday, 26 August 2008

Ryanair incident prompts communication question

First impressions are that the Ryanair decompression scare over France was handled precisely according to the book. But the incident raise questions which need addressing.

The first consideration when pressure is lost aboard an aircraft at altitude must be to preserve the crew's abililty to function and descend to an altitude at which passengers can breathe normally.

Terrifying though the incident may have been, pilots and cabin crew can hardly reassure passengers when donning and wearing their own oxygen masks.

But apart from the question why decompression occurred the incident prompts me to wonder whether there is some other way to for flight deck or cabin crew to communicate with and calm travellers in such circumstances.

Passengers are already warned of such eventualities in the pre take off safety briefing.

How about a pre recorded message on in flight entertainment screens - which cabin crew could flash up with one touch of a button?

Wednesday, 13 August 2008

Eating out: who gets your tip?

The heads of two large restaurant groups have warned privately that the Government's decision that tips should no longer count towards the minimum wage may force them to take a greater proportion of the service charge as an "administration fee".

While it is well documented that some restaurateurs already divert tips as revenue, such threats, reported today by the Financial Times, are nonetheless outrageous.

A tip should be given to reward service, not as a makeweight for inadequate pay and certainly not to enhance restaurant balance sheets.

Perhaps diners - not least those visiting from other European countries such as France, where tips may be welcome but are not generaly expected - should make a habit of inquiring where their service charge is going.

If they fail to elicit a convincing answer they will be justified in withholding it.