scouts-l Mail Archive for July of 2000: Re: Stoves on airplanes
Sat Jul 15 2000 - 12:20:15 CDT
In a message dated 7/14/00 8:59:34 AM Mountain Daylight Time,
> First question, what airline do you work for?
Atlas Air. We fly the world's largest fleet of 747 freighters (35 of 'em). We
get LOTS of hazardous materials. Usually, things work out well, and the boss
makes tons of money on hazmat shipments. Sometimes, though, we do have
problems. Without fail, hazmat problems are with shipments that were not
properly packed and declared by the shipper. We have no idea when hazmat is
shipped unless the shipper declares it.
The US and international laws restrict the amounts, types, and package sizes
of hazmat for all forms of shipping (truck, rail, boat, air). Of course, air
is more restrictive than the others. Passenger flights are even more
restrictive. My last job was flying passengers as well as freight in 737s. We
occasionally had hazmat problems on those passenger flights, but never
anything that affected the safety of flight. Some passenger airlines now
refuse all hazmat shipments 'cause they don't want the hassle. When the laws
are followed, safety is not jeopardized.
> Secondly...who can I ask for to get the true, correct answer as to an
> airline's actual policy? Your statement about employees being
> excessively cautious due to ignorance rings very true after a recent
> experience. I don't trust the counter agent...
When making your reservations, ask the reservations agent. You should be able
to get them to mail you a copy of the airline's policies. Having in hand the
written policy on official airline letterhead or airline brochure will give
you the ammo you need when you have to train airline agents. If you get a
choice of check-in agents, a middle-aged agent will likely be more helpful
than someone in their early 20s. If you still have a problem at the counter,
ask for a supervisor.