Social Media strikes again for aviation, this time with passengers filming a Mid-Air party on SpiceJet Airlines celebrating the Indian spring festival of Holi. Those videos went viral on social media and came to the attention of the Indian Directorate of Civil Aviation.
The DGCA found sufficient safety concerns to issue a show-cause notice, which included the question of why they should not suspend the Low-Cost Carrier’s operating license. As reported on Flight Chic on RebelMouse on March 12, the popular Indian Low-Cost Carrier just placed an order for 42 new 737 MAX 8s, worth $4.4 billion USD.
The pilots of the Goa-Banglaore flight on which the dangerous dance took place (who themselves participated in the dancing) have been suspended.
In light of India’s downgrade to a Category 1 safety ranking by the FAA earlier this year, this is trouble the DGCA do not need, and are likely to respond to harshly.
Social Media continues to call attention to a number of safety issues onboard, whether or not those events can be controlled by airlines.
Flight Chic would suggest that airlines consider putting the impact of social media on their cabin safety training program, ensuring crew be mindful that all onboard events are quickly disseminated by passengers equipped with PEDs.
While airlines overall have made strides to improve their social media handling for sales and customer service activities, this particular aspect of social media: the viral dissemination of safety events, also needs to be on the management and PR agenda.
Certainly, part of that effort should include training cabin personnel not to be the SOURCE of viral videos and images which reveal breaches in safety protocols.
Airlines trying to demonstrate their “fun” side should leave the dancing for the Cabin Safety Videos, and focus on safety onboard during the actual flight.
Safety issues, crew training, and compliance will be a focus of IATA’s Cabin Operations Safety Conference in Madrid this May.
Flight Chic will attend and report on the events and the insights shared by industry experts.