You need only to scan the headlines in the latest Onboard Updates to realize that things may finally be getting back to normal at Onboard Service since September 11th, 2001.
The April 8th Issue of Onboard Updates contains the following eight articles:
- Safety First: Cockpit Area Barrier -- article on security while the cockpit door is open.
- Airbus Equipment Water Compressors -- article about the potable water compressor on the A319-A320 aircraft. Had to read that one twice to understand it, as the statement "eliminate the system through attrition" went over my head the first time!
- Securing Your Records -- article on how to secure your records via the FDEM and FDUG screens in Unimatic.
- Noise Reduction Headsets Return to United Business -- You know if they are bringing back Noise Reduction Headsets, things must be on the road to normalcy. Although exactly what "creative funding" means is anyone's guess! Pray tell---how about some 'creative funding' with the paychecks?
- Amenity Kits Service -- A small reminder to unwrap the amenity kits before handing them to the passengers. Again, the kind of concern that could only have been written at least 6 or more months after Sept 11.
- Videotapes and "The Blue Seal" -- This is one of those articles that makes the decision (eliminating red seals from videotape boxes) but doesn't provide the 'WHY?'
- Phone Number Updates -- This is a useful article; which explains to flight attendants how they can get something accomplished. Contacting any crew desk can be difficult, so any info on this subject is always a helpful thing. However, will dialing #35 from a Jetway phone in ORD, vs. using the FLTLINE system, reduce the hold time or eliminate dropped connections? Methinks not.
- The Bottom Line -- A regular feature that covers the why/why not of flight attendant feedback. It's a good idea to include it; because if Onboard Service saves $$$$ based on the feedback from flight attendants, those flight attendants deserve at least to know what path their suggestions headed down.
My point with all of this drivel is that the WHAT-WE-NEED-TO-FOCUS-ON pendulum appears to now be swinging back to the land of amenity kits and noise reduction headsets. Cockpit Barrier article aside, this was the kind of pre-September 11 reminders/announcements that we would hear about on a regular basis.
And so, is United headed back in this direction? Has the company: Changed? Grown? Become wiser? Things to ponder as our job continues to evolve...and survive.
So long as they don't head back to the land of pre-Sept 11 overboard policies like Cell Phone Policy: The First Edition!