Saturday, January 21, 2023
Changes to Departure Procedures
The company recently released a communication along with the 1Q23 Web-Based Training (WBT) about changes to departure procedures. Effective April 3rd, 2023, Gate Agents will close the aircraft door.
The new departure procedure will be as follows:
- After scanning the last boarding pass and closing the jet bridge door, the Gate Agent will deliver the final paperwork/passenger count to the Flight Deck.
- Meanwhile, the Flight Attendants in the cabin will ensure proper luggage stowage, close overhead bins, and conduct required briefings. (The three “Bs”: Bins, Bags, and Briefings)
- After all requirements for door closure are met, the Lead Flight Attendant/Purser will confirm with the Captain that it is okay to close the aircraft door by asking, “Cabin secure, okay to close?” Upon verification from the Captain that it is okay to close the aircraft door, the Lead Flight Attendant/Purser will then communicate that to the Gate Agent, who will initiate door closing. The Gate Agent closing the aircraft door is the only exception to the procedures we currently have today.
Should this procedure not be followed correctly, and the aircraft door is closed without verbal confirmation, it would not only be a violation of an AA safety policy but a violation of FAR 121.589.
FAR 121.589 states, “Each article of baggage carried on board an aircraft must be properly stowed prior to closure of the passenger cabin door, surface movement, takeoff and landing of the aircraft.”
The best way to report any violation would be to file a Cabin ASAP, indicating it is due to a recent policy change and a possible FAR violation.
You may also file a CERS utilizing “Operational Issues” as a reporting topic.
We must never deter from our role as safety professionals, first and foremost, even under the pressures of operational reliability. Our top priorities must always be adherence to FAA regulations and safe practices.
The link to APFA Safety and Security Department reporting section, including Cabin ASAP and CERS report links, may be found here.
APFA National Safety & Security Department Interim Chair