Crisis Team

drifterreno

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Aug 21, 2002
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I understand from reliable sourses that the "Team" did not work. First of all, calls were coming into general sales in reservations--they were not immediately transferred to the team. Employees with under 2 years experience were trying to help passangers and failing. The phone line set up for such emergency did not work for quite a while. Incident reports were not at every position. Then Phx took over all of the calls. They should have known how to handle them but seems people were calling back to get Int. Phx needs to rethink this--who else has had more experience in trauma calls rather than Int?? There should be a mini team at each major airport. Don't limit it to Phx. Or at least an east and west team--no not refering to airlines. This needs to be looked at again. EVERY res agent should be trained in what to do and how to do it. I know my first experience was mind blowing but if I had to do it again you bet I'd know how to calm the public and get the information they needed for them.
 

reznc

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Apr 19, 2004
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Everyone in INT is trained and we were all OK with doing what we needed to do.
 

tadjr

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Aug 19, 2002
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For at least two hours after the incident the flifo was still showing arriving in CLT about 25 mins late. I was wondering what it would have been like to call in and get someone in Manila who had no idea what had happened halfway around the world telling everyone that the plane was only going to arrive in CLT 25 mins late. They pulled the name list rather quickly, but flifo wasnt changed for a long time. This should have been changed as soon as the name list was pulled and replaced with a prompt in flifo to have the customers call the special number (or transfer them to a special number). It should have also had the number for the ATO to give to the press listed immediately instead of in theBuzz. Lessons learned (and hopefully not have to be used...)
 

URPIUSHPUS

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Oct 16, 2007
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Lets not turn this into a complete negative. Yes, there are things we could do better, but the CARE team was deployed quickly and not just from PHX. Care team members from BOS, SYR, PNS, DCA, LGA, PHL, ALB and more were on site at LGA in two locations (at Customer Care Center across the street from airport ready for matching with pax as well as at the airport itself). CARE members were immediately matched upon arrival with passengers, whether continuing their travel, staying at the hotel, or hospitalized. We were trained, knew what needed to be done and did it. The Family Service Center line was down for approximately 5-10 minutes but it was quickly recognized and rectified. Communication between groups could have been better, but we did what we were trained for and feel proud of what was done. Let's not turn this into a bashing of this fine group.

Again, it was not perfect and we know it. The group will have a debrief to identify shortfalls and, trust me, we already have a list of items to be addressed.

This is from a reliable source - one of those deployed - me.
 

AIRWOMAN

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Oct 20, 2005
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Kudos to the Care Team, the Go Team, HEART team...........ALL the teams.

Remember, these are VOLUNTEERS!! Kudos to the volunteers for their service.....above and beyond.
 

NCFL

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Jan 9, 2004
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Through advance planning, rehearsal and repeated testing, US (East) had an accident response plan that was a well-oiled machine. It didn't hurt, unfortunately, that it had been refined by real-life application of those dry runs. In other words, experience with actual crashes.

INT (Consumer Affairs and INT RES) was the nucleus of East's accident response plan. When East Consumer Affairs closed, a lot of people who knew what they were doing left the company and things were dismantled and moved under the management of the relatively inexperienced HEART team in PHX. It was loudly argued that doing so was a mistake. Tempe ignored that.

I had a chance to work with HEART from the Express side of things before I left the company in an accident response planning capacity and in an actual emergency situation (HEART was activated for the VA Tech shootings, and I was on-site in ROA to assist families). Not jabbing East/West, just stating opinion, the difference in organization, polish and savvy was night and day. It was as if Tempe had fired the Marines and hired the Keystone Cops. ROA didn't even get pax names or flight info until after flights (and pax) had come or gone. We had to resort to holding a homemade sign on a clipboard so families would know we were even there to help them. I could go on, but I'll leave it at that. Suffice it to say we were totally in the dark.

I can't speak to what's happened since I left the company, but I do know that some time later (more of their "FIRE...oops...AIM...oops...READY?" way of doing business) they gave the heave to the HEART folks in PHX and brought back the brains behind the accident response plan in the East.

During the execution of any emergency response, there are always things that don't go 100% correctly. That's what drills are for. I know the person in charge now, and you can bet - once the heat is off - there will be a full review of what went right and what went wrong.

Tadjr - that FLIFO wasn't locked out is just wrong. Somebody, I suspect, will be in deep doo doo for not locking that out.
 

Bambi

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Sep 17, 2005
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I know that as soon as they heard about this, the calls should've been stopped completely into MNL. I already heard from people at rez who said family members were very upset at MNL responses. All calls should've been immediately diverted to the states...period! Secondly, training on AOG (or should I say AOW in this case) has been limited, yes, there has been some training, and a few dry runs with supervisors...but I totally do believe that needs to be enhanced greatly, and I'm sure they've learned that at this time.

I do hope that not only the crews response is good training for other crew members, but also the lessons learned through res as well will help to enhance, God forbid, for the next time.

Still, overall, congratulations to a job well done to all..despite setbacks, I believe US Airways shined through this as a whole.
 

URPIUSHPUS

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Oct 16, 2007
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All of the people on the US side who assisted in the aftermath are the true unsung heroes. I hope they get the credit that they deserve.

We should use this as a step towards one cohesive airline - less east vs. west. The CARE team was manned by employees trained by both prior emergency program and is now headed by Deborah Thompson (former East). Members of the team have a wide variety of emergency experience and we are/were there to help one another while taking care of passengers. All teams: CARE, GO Investigatory, Management response, Family Service Center, etc. should be given the credit they deserve. As stated before, yes - there are things that can be improved and I know that these things will be addressed by Deborah. Overall, we should all be proud of our teams and hold our heads up high. This does not deserve to be an east versus west issue.
 

Phoenix

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Apr 16, 2003
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For at least two hours after the incident the flifo was still showing arriving in CLT about 25 mins late. I was wondering what it would have been like to call in and get someone in Manila who had no idea what had happened halfway around the world telling everyone that the plane was only going to arrive in CLT 25 mins late. They pulled the name list rather quickly, but flifo wasnt changed for a long time. This should have been changed as soon as the name list was pulled and replaced with a prompt in flifo to have the customers call the special number (or transfer them to a special number). It should have also had the number for the ATO to give to the press listed immediately instead of in theBuzz. Lessons learned (and hopefully not have to be used...)

The last time I was in Manila I don't recall being overly concerned about arrival times of USAir jets in CLT. Maybe I lead a sheltered life. I should expand my horizons. :lol:
 

SS255

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Aug 10, 2004
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We should use this as a step towards one cohesive airline - less east vs. west. The CARE team was manned by employees trained by both prior emergency program and is now headed by Deborah Thompson (former East). Members of the team have a wide variety of emergency experience and we are/were there to help one another while taking care of passengers. All teams: CARE, GO Investigatory, Management response, Family Service Center, etc. should be given the credit they deserve. As stated before, yes - there are things that can be improved and I know that these things will be addressed by Deborah. Overall, we should all be proud of our teams and hold our heads up high. This does not deserve to be an east versus west issue.

I think that it's virtually impossible in a situation as chaotic as a plane going down (I refuse to say "crash" in this instance) for everything which has been rehearsed to go exactly according to plan. While those doing the planning may have prepared for every contingency (as no doubt Deborah did), they are relying heavily upon people keeping their cool and remembering specifically what to do, when, how, and in what order. Thankfully, all five crew members on board 1549 came through.

I'm sure that if any leaks remain unplugged, Deborah will plug them......and hopefully it will be for naught, because hopefully this is the last time that US will be in the news for anything remotely like this. I still give a ton of credit to those at US who volunteered their time and their efforts, and those who put in long hours away from home to assist with the aftermath. These people won't be getting book or movie deals, or a front row seat at the Inauguration......but they are the nuts and bolts of the operation, and their roles are nonetheless very important.

Now if US only got rid of that gosh-awful Manila res center.....if this incident was not a good justification for bringing all reservations back stateside, I have no idea what is.
 

Dog Wonder

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Jan 1, 2004
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The last time I was in Manila I don't recall being overly concerned about arrival times of USAir jets in CLT. Maybe I lead a sheltered life. I should expand my horizons. :lol:

That guy who says it is Tempe. not PHX, is clueless needs to network.
 

nycbusdriver

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Dec 19, 2002
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I have some difficulty with the vilification of our employees in Manila over this incident.

First, they have equal access to what is going on around the world that we do. They have internet and satellit feeds in Manila. They have CNN in Manila. I think folks here have some misconceptions that the res office there is housed in thatched huts in the jungles. The res office in Manila is in the area known as Makati City. It is a modern, high-rise business and residential center that looks like any modern city in the U.S. Personally, I was geographically about a mile from where 1549 touched the water when the incident occurred. I didn't know about it for about 90 minutes when my phone started ringing. Why does being in the U.S. make any difference?

Second, the staff in Manila holds what is considered among the elite jobs in that country. They are the creme de la creme, as these are among the best paid hourly workers in their country. All the candidates are fluent in English when they walk in the door to apply. Why? Because all schooling in the Philippines is conducted in English, and has been for decades. They may all speak Tagalog, or another dialect, to each other, but it is virtually impossible to visit Manila and find anyone over the age of 7 and under the age of 60 who is not perfectly capable of speaking fluent English.

Third, if the calls had immediately been transferred to the U.S. res offices, what would that have accomplished other than rewarding everyone with a busy signal because these res centers are not magically staffed to handle the load when something like this happens?