Pilot’s Apology Wins Praise from Passengers, But What Was the Airline’s Reaction?
① Pilot’s Apology Goes Viral
A heartfelt apology from an airline pilot during a significant flight delay has recently garnered renewed attention. On April 19, 2017, an Air Busan flight from Jeju to Gimpo experienced a one-hour delay, understandably leaving passengers disgruntled. However, the pilot’s apology turned the situation around, eliciting applause from the passengers.
The pilot took responsibility for the delay, explaining, “Our plane typically accommodates 155 seats, but we added 220 seats to accommodate more passengers. Unfortunately, the boarding and deboarding processes took longer than anticipated, causing us to fall behind schedule. I take full responsibility for this situation, and I apologize.”
In a display of leadership, the pilot further addressed the passengers, stating, “Our aircraft is currently operating at its maximum speed. I kindly request you to direct your dissatisfaction towards the company responsible, and please consider the hardworking flight attendants who tirelessly convey their apologies.” His empathetic approach extended to showing consideration for the flight attendants as well.
He sincerely apologized to the passengers for the delayed departure, blaming himself. The passengers opened their hearts and applauded the pilot’s sincere apology. The pilot’s in-flight announcement, which moved the passengers, was made known by a passenger on the flight.
② News of Cancelled Flight Schedule Revealed
News has been reported regarding the Air Busan pilot, who had previously garnered attention for an in-flight announcement that led to the cancellation of his flight schedule. Some speculations suggested that this action was taken due to his perceived criticism of the company regarding a flight delay. Air Busan, however, clarified the situation, explaining that the primary cause of the delay was a connectivity issue, as it resulted from the accumulation of delays from previous flights. The pilot, referred to as Pilot A, seemed to attribute the delay to increased seating capacity.
Air Busan emphasized that established guidelines exist for airlines, with a paramount focus on flight attendants’ psychological well-being and safety management. In light of this incident, the airline deemed it necessary to provide some time for reflection and, as a result, cleared the pilot’s schedule for about a week.
The pilot, who had previously attracted attention, became a topic of discussion again. A flight from Fukuoka, Japan, to Busan, was delayed due to rain, causing passengers to disembark late. At that time, the pilot played the song “Rain” by Lee Juck, which suited the rainy situation. He also made witty comments through the in-flight announcement along with the song.
The pilot said, “The reason we’re going so slowly isn’t to listen to this song,” and “We heard from the controller that another airplane is blocking our way. Of course, it’s not our fault this time either. Let’s listen to the song again,” which made the passengers laugh.
③ Controversy Over Joking During In-Flight Announcement
In July 2017, an in-flight announcement made by a Jin Air pilot garnered significant attention. An individual on board the flight shared their amusement, posting, “Jin Air’s pilot is funny,” along with the details of the announcement.
During the announcement, the pilot informed passengers that the departure would be delayed due to the simultaneous takeoff of two other planes. In a lighthearted touch, when delivering the announcement in English, the pilot humorously quipped, “If anyone proficient in English is onboard, please help interpret my words. I’m quite occupied, so I’ll leave it at that.” This humorous approach delighted many netizens who came across it.
However, not everyone viewed it as a joke, as some individuals raised concerns about whether a matter as crucial as providing safety information should be treated humorously instead of strictly adhering to the English manual. They considered it a serious issue that the in-flight announcement was delivered jokingly.
Eventually, Jin Air apologized on its official social media platform to address the situation. The airline expressed, “The pilot involved, who possesses over a decade of experience and is proficient in English, intended to amuse our passengers and alleviate potential boredom during the delay. We sincerely apologize for any unintended controversy that may have arisen.”
Additionally, they humorously acknowledged, “The dad joke didn’t quite land as expected. Following the announcement, we promptly carried out the English broadcast guidance once again.” This sequence of events led to the airline’s apology, stemming from the pilot’s well-intentioned yet misinterpreted in-flight announcement.
By. Sung Min Seo