Welcome to Episode 37 of the #PaxEx Podcast. Our guests for this episode are Sylvester Pittman and Darin Topham, two veteran former flight attendants who now consult for the airline industry, and are widely known as the Airline Guys.
Firstly, Boeing has released its 2016 Pilot & Technician outlook, which sees a collective need for over 2 million crew and technicians over the next 20 years to keep pace with demand. But the airframer has included flight attendants in its outlook for the first time ever, explaining, “they are essential to not only safety and comfort of the passengers, they are true differentiators for airlines and their business models.” The Airline Guys discuss why it’s so important for airlines to be completely honest about what the job of a flight attendant entails as they seek to fill an estimated 800,000 cabin crew positions over the next 20 years. And we consider how crew members play a pivotal role in the passenger experience.
Next, a Kentucky man faces jail time after allegedly assaulting flight attendants on a Lexington-Charlotte flight. Unruly passengers pose a real threat to the safety of flight attendants and fellow passengers, and alcohol is often a contributing factor. Whiskey is understood to have played a role in this particular incident. Co-hosts Max Flight and Mary Kirby talk to the Airline Guys about what airlines and other #PaxEx stakeholders can do to mitigate the problem. Is it time for much stricter penalties? “The slap on the wrist isn’t going to help correct the problem,” notes Darin.
Last but not least, we talk to the Airline Guys about their own latest news – the launch of Quick Turn, a new video series that features casual, personal interviews with industry leaders. “Basically it’s a way for someone who has an impact on a team or organization to tell us who you are in a very quick way. It’s a way for someone to become relatable to the organization in which they lead,” explains Sylvester. The first Quick Turn interview – with none other than Delta CEO Ed Bastian – is quirky and original, and the Airline Guys tell us to expect more of the same.