Confidential Human Factors Incident Reporting Programme
Category: Cabin Crew
Report TitleToo high a percentage of inexperienced crew
I checked in briefing a crew of 10 (11 including myself) – I was allocating positions in the economy cabin first as there was 3 crew (3 required) who were only trained in the economy service – during allocation it became aware that these 3 crew members were also on their first trips on long haul having only just joined the company. I considered it risky to have these inexperienced crew potentially on their own during the flight and also having to operate doors…a pair of doors was operated by two crew who were on their first trip.
The company service standard states that there should be no crew operate in either of the premium cabins if they haven’t done the respective courses.
I alerted our cabin crew managers to this dilemma and I was told that because more than 60% of the crew were experienced then it was “ legal”. This ignores the point entirely. The percentage of inexperience being made to operate in economy was 75%.
As the senior crew member I took it upon myself to move one crew member into a premium cabin (against the company’s service standards), but felt it necessary purely on a safety basis. I was confident with my experience I could coach and mentor this crew member to work the cabin appropriately.
UK Retained Regulation (EU) AMC1 ORO.CC.100 states: ‘when scheduling cabin crew for a flight, the operator should establish procedures that take account of the experience of each cabin crew member. The procedures should specify that the required cabin crew includes some cabin crew members who have at least 3 months experience as an operating cabin crew member’.
Some operators stipulate that 50% of the cabin crew on board must have over 3 months experience, some operators do not.
From a safety perspective, experience should be distributed evenly throughout the aircraft and the SSCM did the correct thing in ensuring this was the case. Safety must come before service.