United Worried About Safe Flying, Norwegian Flies Anyway, and Air India’s Flight Attendants Show Up Whenever They Want..

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Gary Leff is one of the foremost experts in the field of miles, points, and frequent business travel - a topic he has covered since 2002. Co-founder of frequent flyer community InsideFlyer.com, emcee of the Freddie Awards, and named one of the "World's Top Travel Experts" by Conde' Nast Traveler (2010-Present) Gary has been a guest on most major news media, profiled in several top print publications, and published broadly on the topic of consumer loyalty. More About Gary »

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  1. 1) I thought the United story was a non-issue: if anything, I think it shows United really is committed to safety. The WSJ headline was ridiculous and probably means airlines won’t write memos like that in the future. Near-misses and mistakes happen everywhere so the danger is only in NOT pointing it out in a serious way. Read the NTSB accident database for a while if you want the truth – so BRAVO to United for taking these issues seriously.

    2) The Norwegian article was insane – I thought “the pilot is always right” was something modern western airlines abandoned in the 70s (and asian airlines, well, ask them how well “the imperial captain” continues to work out). Captains are not captains because of actual experience but because of airline policy. Everyone is equally qualified to fly the plane, so when four completely qualified pilots walk off the job something is seriously amiss. And for Norwegian to suggest that “the captain has the final word even when four completely qualified transport rated pilots disagree and walk off” is ridiculous. I hope they pay a solid penalty – they certainly treat their pilots like crap.

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