2

I've been on a few flights recently, and idly listening to the captain talking to the passengers got me thinking:

The captain's world is very different from the passengers' world. The captain has to fly the plane, talk to ATC, and all the rest of it, which inevitably leads to quite a lot of technical vocabulary being used. The passengers for the most part are on the plane to get somewhere.

However, some of the passengers could well be pilots themselves, or have some interest in aviation. So while most passengers just need to know that the plane is landing in 27 minutes, others may want to know that the plane is currently in contact with the tower at LHR, or that they're landing at 120kts on runway 27L.

So the question is this: when talking to passengers, how technical should airline pilots be? Should they only give basic essential information or should they cater for their more interested passengers? Do the passengers even care? I know many passengers are apt to just ignore announcements. How could this be done best?

3

In this I think they should cater the majority

I'm sure, most people want short layman info they can easily understand

But the pilot could sneak in a short tech line just for fun and curious/interested people

Some pilots actually do that already, but not much more techy than "We are know flying in a speed of 995kmph heading 10 degrees east for Lissabon" etc.

2

Tom Wolf in his book The Right Stuff suggests that the Technospeak and the calm measured tone of the pilot has a psychological function for worried passengers.

It's kind of suggesting

Don't Worry; We are professionals and have LOTS OF TECHNOLOGY; So everything will be alright

The medical profession tends to adopt the same approach.

1

Best thing to do is a small survey for passengers if they really want more technical details. Most passengers would expect updates which can be understood for any lay man. More technical info is unnecessary I believe.

1) how technical should airline pilots be?

As least as possible.

2) Should they only give basic essential information or should they cater for their more interested passengers?

Basic essential info is enough. (% of people who are interested will be less)

3) Do the passengers even care?

Debatable.

I know many passengers are apt to just ignore announcements. How could this be done best? It will be as irritating as if we are listening to the irrelevant ads.

  • I think saying basic essential information might still be fairly open to interpretation, instead I would opt for – relevant information – People are thinking: "Are we on time 'are we there yet', how is the weather, what is the local time, how long will this turbulence last, etc." – CharlesLeaf Aug 10 '14 at 10:09

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.