Monash University Faculty of Medicine, Nursing and Health Sciences
28 Jul 2016 4:37 AM 23 Respondents
+2XPVote NowPoll Board
By David Seedhouse
VX Community
Genius (54749 XP)


'The crude combination of a kitchen timer, paper and cardboard found in a lavatory on an Air France flight could have been a bomb, but the crew didn't tell passengers of that possibility. Instead, people were told the plane had a technical problem and would be landing in Kenya instead of Paris.

Sunday's decision, which was short of the full truth, raises an ethical question about when passengers should be fully informed of problems in the air. But many experts say the crew of Air France Flight 463 did the right thing, avoiding panic and quickly landing the plane. Once on the ground, security officials determined that the device was a hoax, and passengers were told the full story.

'We pay our captains to make good decisions and you've got to back them up,' said Robert Mann, a former airline executive who now is president of R.W. Mann & Company, Inc., an airline consulting firm in Port Washington, New York. 'In this case I think the crew made a really rational decision.'

He said the crew had no evidence that the device was an actual bomb, so telling passengers there was a technical problem was true 'in the sense that they don't know what they have.'

The Boeing 777, originally headed to Paris from the island of Mauritius, was diverted to Kenya's coastal city of Mombasa. Hundreds of passengers left the plane on emergency slides. Afterward, several praised the flight crew for keeping everyone calm.

Most airlines don't have hard-and-fast policies on what to tell passengers, leaving that up to the crew, according to Alan Price, a former chief pilot for Delta Air Lines and founder of consulting firm Falcon Leadership.' Here's the article in full:   www.nzherald.co.nz/business/news/article.cfm?c_id=3&objectid=11564310   

One argument is to not disclose the true nature of an emergency until the plane has landed safely as this will be the best option for keeping the passengers calm, especially given once airborne there is nothing passengers can do to ensure their own safety.

The other argument is that because of this lack of personal control passengers deserve to know the truth, as they ought to know the likliehood of a dire outcome so they can personally prepare, and in some instances where connectivity allows, be able to contact loved ones on the ground.

Most of us have been airline passengers. If an emergency is taking place in the cockpit, would you want to know the truth or something else?

What do you think?

Issue originally created by Amanda Lees.

It is proposed that passengers should be fully informed of problems in the air
Vote Now