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Florida Flyer 11-07-2007 02:32 AM

Question About Jumpseating and Dead Heading
I have a question about the proper etiquette involved in jumpseating vs. deadheading. I know that if you JS, you should always politely ask the captain for a ride whether you sit in the front or back. But do the same rules apply to a deadhead leg your scheduling dept. has put you on? Is it necessary or expected that you still ask the captain for a ride?

The reason I ask is that I just finished my sim training and have been released to IOE, and my first day involves a DH from my base to another. Since I've never jumpseated or deadheaded before, I just want to be sure I don't accidentially do something rude on my first day! Thanks in advance for your input.

UnlimitedAkro 11-07-2007 02:45 AM

When you are deadheading you are working. You are assigned the flight and are usually compensated some kind of pay depending on the company you work for. You dont have to say anything to the crew if you dont want to... though most people at least say hello.

When you are jumpseating on another airline you should greet the other captain at a time when he is not busy doing other things, introduce yourself and the airline you fly with and ask if it is ok if you ride along on the flight.Have your ID badge, flight certificates, medical and passport in your hand- some guys will require you show them, some wont. Have them ready anyway.

Good Luck.

bustinmins 11-07-2007 05:20 AM

First off - welcome to the line. I know you've worked hard to get where you are and congrats are in order.

Whether I deadhead or jumpseat, I always make my way to the flight deck.

Jumpseating: Have your certificates ready to view upon request. You'll need to treat the flight attendants with dignity and respect when you show up. The lead flight attendant may simply be called "The Lead" or at some airlines they may be called a "Purser". Regardless, you should introduce yourself and tell them that you're here to request the jumpseat. Then ask if they would mind if you slipped up front to say hello? Some flight attendants may take your certificates to the captain and then invite you up after the captain has looked at them, while others may simply let you walk on up to knock on the door. When you arrive at the flight deck door, don't just knock and barge on in. If you find the crew briefing a departure or something, be patient and wait for them to complete their brief. Then you can simply say: "Hi, my name is ___________. I'm with "_________ Airlines." "If you don't mind, I'd like to catch a ride with you to _________." You should reach forward to shake hands then offer your certificates at that time. Be sure to introduce yourself to both pilots. The captain will review your certificates if he or she desires and will most likely engage you in some simple conversation. Where's home? etc. By the way, if you have some sort of snack for the crew - you get big bonus points here. :) (FedEx guys love that kind of thing. It keeps their blood sugar up to balance against the caffeine.) Once the captain tells you "Welcome aboard - take any seat in the back....he or she might also ask if there are seats up front in first class." The captain may also ask - "Do you know if we're going to be full?" If you know, answer the question. If you get lucky enough to score a first class seat - enjoy it. A First Class ride is getting harder and harder to get with the cheap upgrades these days. If you get the true jumpseat up in the flight deck, be sure you know where all of your emergency equipment is located and how to use it. The crew should provide a brief to you if you are unfamiliar with the aircraft. Some aircraft have tricky procedures to operate the cockpit windows. Make sure you know how to evacuate "on your own" should you have to do so.

Whether I jumpseat or deadhead, I always make my way to the flight deck in the same manner. As a deadhead passenger, I simply introduce myself in the same manner but I don't ask for a ride. I inform the crew that they have a deadheading crewmember from (airline name) on board in seat XX. Good crews will usually thank you for coming forward and make a small note where you're sitting in case they need your help in an emergency.

When jumpseating and you've received a green light to "ride" the easy part is done. If you have a seat assignment, wait for a space in the boarding line and then you work your way to your seat. If you do not have a seat assignment, then you should probably ask for permission to stow your bags. Ask the lead flight attendant what you should do? Some airlines don't want you to stow your bags ahead of the revenue passengers - others won't care. If you don't have a seat, you're going to have to wait for a vacant seat or occupy a flight deck seat if the aircraft fills up. Please keep in mind that passengers don't know if you work for the airline or not. While your jumpseating, look and act the part. Smile and be polite to the paying passengers as they board the aircraft. They don't know you work for someone else. They don't need to know. The lead flight attendant may also ask you to exit the aircraft and wait in the jetbridge while the rest of the passengers board. This is totally acceptable. You'll be doing a lot of "smiling and nodding" at this point. ;) Follow the lead's advice and if you need some advice - request it.

As you work your way back to your seat, if you're in your plain clothes, you should introduce yourself to the flight attendants that you pass on your way back. Inform them you're a jumpseater or deadheading crewmember and give them your seat number. It is important to do this whether you're in uniform or plain clothes. Why? It increases CRM. Now both the flight and cabin crews know you're on board and available to help should it be necessary.

I know this is long winded but if you follow these tips, you'll enjoy many years of good deadheading and jumpseating.

Tinpusher007 11-07-2007 05:27 AM

Here's a question. Frequently when I jumpseat on other carriers, Im given a seat assignment because the gate agent knows it will not be necessary for me to have to sit in the jumpseat. In those instances I wind up boarding like a regular pax and don't want to clog up the front of the aircraft by stopping to talk to the crew just to say hi...they are usually busy anyway. If the gate agent has already let me on, do I still NEED the skipper's approval? Do flightcrews find this to be offensive?

bustinmins 11-07-2007 05:59 AM

While I appreciate your good intentions, my advice would be the following. Unless otherwise directed by the captain or documented company policy; you should ALWAYS go up front to introduce yourself to the crew and ask for the ride. The captain has the final say on whether you go or not. Additionally, the captain needs to know what assets are on-board in case of an emergency. This increases CRM and is reason enough to go forward. In short, if a "no-ask" policy DOES exist and you ask anyway, you'll get a "Mulligan" and no one will be upset. If a company "no-ask" policy DOES NOT exist and you just hop in a seat without saying hello - you could be tossed off the plane.

Does that help clear it up?

cyrcadian 11-07-2007 06:25 AM


Originally Posted by Tinpusher007 (Post 259207)
If the gate agent has already let me on, do I still NEED the skipper's approval? Do flightcrews find this to be offensive?


It is not up to the gate agent if you get to ride or not.

Its about courtesy and respect.

Tinpusher007 11-07-2007 11:05 AM

Good enough guys...thanx for the advice. I obviously don't want to go around offending anyone.

FlyerJosh 11-07-2007 11:20 AM

This is a repost from another thread about jumpseating: ~Josh


Formality never hurts when begging for a ride, however it sounds like this guy was just an ass. Too bad- I used to commute on NWA, and found the crews to be quite helpful and friendly for the most part.

Here are my suggestions for getting a jumpseat and appropriate jumpseat ettiquette:

1) Travel in uniform. It always helps identify you as a pilot and often clears some of the bureaucracy. If you're not travelling in uniform, you'd better be travelling in business class attire (slacks/collared shirt), and have a tie available in your suitcase just in case- some places still have tie policies on the books and some captains might hold you to them.

2) Try to catch the crew at the gate when they come up. If that's not possible, ask the gate agent if it's okay to preboard so that you don't interrupt the closing of the flight or get in the way of boarding passengers.

3) If you can't preboard or meet the crew at the counter, when you go down the jetbridge, leave your bags at the door to the aircraft, off to the side and out of the way of boarding passengers. Enter the aircraft and politely introduce yourself to the lead FA. "Hi! My name is Bob, I work with Ragtime Airlines and am trying to jumpseat today. Mind if I poke my head upfront?"

4) Once you get the go ahead from the FA, step up to the cockpit entry way. Double check that you have EVERYTHING THAT YOU NEED TO JUMPSEAT READY. You should have your medical, certificate, boarding pass, and company ID all set to hand to the captain. If you're flying via the CASS system, you should also have your passport out and ready.

Odds are the crew is doing something. If they are running a prestart checklist, WAIT UNTIL THEY ARE DONE WITH IT! If they aren't running a checklist, knock on the cockpit door, extend your hand (to shake) and say "Hello gentlemen" or "Hello, sir/ma'am/captain" "I'm Bob Hoover, and I was wondering if I could ride along with you today."

Most captains at this point will do the once over- some might reach for scab lists or ask for additional verification of some details. If it's not 30 seconds to departure, there's nothing wrong with asking about the latest news at the company or some other mundane detail. If it is getting towards pushtime, thank the crew for the ride, offer your assistance should it be needed and hightail it out of there.

If you need to retrieve your bag from the jetbridge, stand patiently by the exit to the cockpit/galley for a break in the passengers. Most good FA's will ask the boarding passengers to wait for just a second. If they don't you can turn to face the entry and take a step forward (which 99% of the time will cause the passengers to stop), but don't try to push your way out. Also bear in mind that for this particular moment, the people boarding the plane might think that you're one of the pilots, so put on a smile and return any greetings that you get. Inform the lead FA of whatever seat you're in and let them know that they can call upon you if they need you in any manner.

Finally, once you get settled in and the flight gets underway, take a few minutes to WATCH the safety briefing. It's professional courtesy to the flight attendants. Don't put on your ipod or go right to sleep, take the 90 seconds to maintain eye contact and set an example for the rest of the passengers. You'd be surprised how much they appreciate it.

Last step is when you depart. If possible wait for most of the passengers to leave, unless you're in a hurry to connect or meet a showtime. Cross the seatbelts in your row- leave any trash on the seat cushion (unless it will spill), and then work your way to the front. Thank the cabin and flight crew for the ride and be sure to offer your company's jumpseat to them in return.

I followed this policy for 4 years of commercial flying and was never denied a jumpseat due to my behavior, and never had any uncomfortable moments like posted above. Most times I ended up in first class, although I think those days are pretty much over for non-revs with the number of free upgrades that they give out these days...

Have fun- Fly safe!

Florida Flyer 11-07-2007 02:03 PM

Thanks for the detailed replies to my questions guys...I appreciate it very much. I'm really looking forward to starting IOE next week and wanted to get off to a good start on my deadhead leg. Thanks again, and I hope to see you all out on the line someday soon :)

Seatownflyer 11-07-2007 02:51 PM

If you jump on Southwest they like you to board before the pax.

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