After the scandal involving a crew member and flight attendant performing sexual acts in the cockpit, another mishap took place where a pilot was photographed while sleeping during a flight from Dubai to Hong Kong. Although pilots are allowed to take a break during certain cases on long-haul flights, taking photographs of them while on a power nap is certainly prohibited.
To many passengers, whose lives are in the hands of the captain and his co-pilot, the offending photo, complete with bright clouds in the background, is a sign of blatant disregard. The face in the photo was blurred to hide the identity of the sleeping pilot but a flight captain realized it was him. He lodged a complaint, and the colleague who took the picture is now facing disciplinary action. The photo allegedly first appeared in an article about about pilot fatigue in China Daily.
Earlier this year, photographs of Cathay Pacific flight crew engaging in sexual acts also circulated on the Internet. Although the two were already fired from their jobs, the impact of such lewd act could still haunt the company. For instance, the incident delayed the second phase of its international advertising campaign which, ironically, highlights its service staff.
One might ask the award-winning airline to review its operating procedures. But maybe similar things happened in the past, but did not make it onto the Internet. Other incidents have also brought public relations disaster to well-known brands such as Domino’s Pizza, Langham Hotels, Kenneth Cole and yes, fellow airline corporation Southwest.
Although the blame is put at the hands of an overeager photographer who took a snap in the cockpit, the fact that the pilot took a power nap may reveal tell-tale signs of stress at work that must be addressed.