Jumpseat Etiquette

diesel9driver

Well-Known Member
Forgive me if this has been done already and I'm new to the JC forums but I felt this is something that needed to be addressed. It seems like so many pilots today take the jumpseat for granted. A lot of people seem to think it's their right to jumpseat but they couldn't be more mistaken. I realize with the upgraded technology we have today including CASS and with gate agents handling most of the requests that the whole process has changed from what it once was, but there are still some rules that I feel should be followed out of professional courtesy.


  • The jumpseat belongs to the Captain. He is the final authority when it comes to who rides and who doesn't (contrary to what a lot of gate agents think :)).

  • The jumpseat is a privilege and a not a right. Remember someone is doing you a big favor by giving you a FREE ride on their airplane. If someone gave you a ride in their car down the street you'd thank them wouldn't you? You wouldn't just hop in the back and put on your ipod, right?

  • You aren't granted the privilege of jumpseating until the Captain says so and signs your jumpseat form (most airlines, I realize some have done away with the tradional paper J/S forms).

  • Even if you have a seat in the back, always introduce yourself to the crew when you board (even if the gate agent says you don't have to) and thank them for giving you a ride .

  • If the Captain has to pull out his jumpseat list to see if your airline is on there, let him. Don't come out and say "I do this all the time". That won't matter much if he can't find your airline on the company's OAL approved jumpseat list. Just wait patiently, if you do it all the time then your airline will be on the list, right?

  • Just because you fill out the jumpseat form first doesn't mean you own the seat. Someone else may have a higher priority than you, even if they showed up after you did. Take the time to learn the protocols of jumpseating.

  • When you hand the Captain your credentials for approval, ask him/her what they would like to see. IE company ID, License, medical. And don't pitch a fit if they do want to see all three, remember you are getting a FREE ride.

  • This one should go without saying but I have had it happen, if you are an FFDO - tell the Captain before you leave the gate.

  • Don't assume if you have a seat in the back that you can "upgrade" yourself to first class. Nothing pisses off the FAs more than a jumpseater who just takes it upon himself to grab a seat in the first few rows because it looks "open up there" without asking first.

  • Don't bring a ton of bags into the cockpit that you know won't fit up there. Ask the lead FA for help finding room to stow your stuff, I think you'll find most of the time they are very helpful.

  • When you deplane, thank the crew again for the ride - let them know that you genuinely appreciate the ride. If the cockpit door is shut during deplaning, ask one of the FAs to thank them for you.

  • Dress appropriately - no jeans, shorts, etc. I have let guys in Hawaiian shirts jumpseat but that was down in EYW (when in Rome).

  • Don't crowd the gate counter, lean on the gate counter with your elbows, or pester the agent any more than necessary to get your jumpseat approval.

  • Don't consume alcohol while you are jumpseating even if you have a seat in the back (you are considered and additional crew member).

  • If the FA makes an announcement that they need people to move for weight and balance, be the first one standing and offering (if you aren't already in the area they are moving people to). You should move before any paying customers have to be inconvenienced.

  • Don't reach over the gate counter to grab your boarding pass or anyone else's. Those boarding passes on under the control of the gate agent until he/she decides to give them to you.

  • If you are pass riding (IE a Coex guy riding on CAL who filled out a J/S form but ended up with a seat in the back) then you don't have to worry about getting a signature from the CA or introducing yourself unless you just want to say hi and thank them for the flight. Know the difference between pass riding and jumpseating.

  • Don't talk on your cellphone while in the cockpit. If you're still at the gate and have some time, step into the jetway and finish your conversation. And turn off your cell phone once the MCD is closed.

  • Last but not least, don't take jumpseating for granted. Be thankful that the privilege exists and treat it accordingly.

Everyone else please feel free to chime in, I've just been noticing a lot of what I would call unprofessional behavior from crewmembers lately.

Fly Safe.
 

Bandit_Driver

Gold Member
Diesel9Driver,

Good post and thank you for bringing this topic backup. As a Jumpseat Coordinator I deal with questions and issues a lot. Believe it or not uniforms and common courtesy are starting to become a problem.

Here's a good article that was published by a UPS captain. I have also attached a pdf that is good reading too.

JUMPSEATING 101

Jumpseating is a professional courtesy among airline pilots, and one of the best benefits of being a pilot. It is used to commute to and from work and for leisure travel.

The captain is the final authority as to who rides and is not to be challenged for any reason. If denied a jumpseat, say "thanks anyway" and try a different flight.

A growing number of airlines have been approved to use the Cockpit Access Security System (CASS) to identify crewmembers and will let them sit in their cockpit if the flight is full. Airlines that have not been CASS approved will let you ride in the passenger cabin only if there is an empty passenger seat. To sit in the cockpit, you must be properly dressed (business casual), and present your airline ID and passport to the gate agent who will verify your identity and employment. Know your own airline's code too, as this must also be input into the CASS system. Some airlines will allow multiple, or "unlimited," jumpseaters, while some only allow the amount of jumpseaters equal to the number of jumpseats in the cockpit.

Presently you may not sit in the cockpit of an airline on international flights. You may only obtain a seat in the passenger cabin. Some airlines will give you a first or business class seat, and some won't. Keep in mind that most airlines who allow jumpseating internationally require that you check-in 75 to 90 minutes prior to departure in order to satisfy TSA requirements.

If you have a question or a problem with jumpseating around the system, contact your own airline's jumpseat coordinator. Be prepared with detailed information such as the date, time, airport, gate, name(s), etc.

Common courtesy is a must while jumpseating. Ask the gate agent when they would like you to board. Upon reaching the airplane, introduce yourself to the lead flight attendant and ask if you may ask the captain for a ride. Never bypass asking the captain, even if the agent gave you a boarding pass with a seat assignment. And don't forget to introduce yourself to the first officer and relief officer (if applicable) as well.

If sitting in the cockpit, comply with sterile cockpit rules and offer to help out (monitoring ATC, scanning for traffic, passing beverages, etc). Lastly, give the captain and first officer thanks for the jumpseat ride.

Always be the consummate professional while jumpseating. It is one of the most valuable career benefits we have.

by Brigitte Lakah
UPS 757/767 Captain
 

Attachments

germb747

Well-Known Member
Diesel9driver,

Nothing pisses me off more than folks who think getting a free ride is some kind of entitlement, although I have to admit I didn't realize that wearing a collared Hawaiian shirt was a no-no--I'll keep that in mind for the future.

I couldn't agree with you more about all of your points, and welcome to the forum!
http://forums.jetcareers.com/members/bandit_driver.html


Bandit_Driver,

Thanks for posting that .pdf file; for someone like me who is relatively new to jumpseating, it was a great read.
 

ajf005

Well-Known Member
Whats the etiquette on asking for first class? Ask the capt? Lead FA? I've had many FA's offer it to me and I always graciously accept but I just feel like Im asking for too much if I ask to sit up front.
 

JaceTheAce

Well-Known Member
  • Don't consume alcohol while you are jumpseating even if you have a seat in the back (you are considered and additional crew member).
Well laid out set of rules that we need to follow, except for this one. I totally disagree with not consuming alcohol while riding in the back. When the uniform is off and I am in business casual, I occasionally indulge in alcoholic beverages while sitting in the back (not in the cockpit though). If I want a Jack Daniels on the rocks while I'm riding SWA to gamble in Vegas, I will order one and NEVER expect to get it for free (even though they always insist on me not paying for the drink). Even when I'm on my long 5.5 hour commute flight from JFK to SAN going home, I will occasionally order a drink.
 

Bandit_Driver

Gold Member
Jace you are gambling with your career. If you jumpseating you are considered an Additional Crew Member an required to assist should an emergency happen.
 

CaptBill

Well-Known Member
Well laid out set of rules that we need to follow, except for this one. I totally disagree with not consuming alcohol while riding in the back. When the uniform is off and I am in business casual, I occasionally indulge in alcoholic beverages while sitting in the back (not in the cockpit though). If I want a Jack Daniels on the rocks while I'm riding SWA to gamble in Vegas, I will order one and NEVER expect to get it for free (even though they always insist on me not paying for the drink). Even when I'm on my long commute flight from JFK to SAN going home, I will occasionally order a drink.

Respectfully disagree. When traveling on a pass (not a jumpseat request) you may have a drink. When using a jumpseat request to obtain a seat anywhere on the aircraft you should abstain from alcohol. As a jumpseater, you are considered an additional crewmember (formality I realize); however, if you were needed for whatever reason in the cockpit you would be unsuitable to fulfill that role. Perhaps a customer arrives late after you have enjoyed your pre departure beverage and they now need you to take the actual jumpseat. You are now screwed because the jumpseat is no longer an option for you. I think most captains, myself included, would frown on the fact that their jumpseater was in the back drinking alcohol.
 

JaceTheAce

Well-Known Member
Respectfully disagree. When traveling on a pass (not a jumpseat request) you may have a drink. When using a jumpseat request to obtain a seat anywhere on the aircraft you should abstain from alcohol. As a jumpseater, you are considered an additional crewmember (formality I realize); however, if you were needed for whatever reason in the cockpit you would be unsuitable to fulfill that role. Perhaps a customer arrives late after you have enjoyed your pre departure beverage and they now need you to take the actual jumpseat. You are now screwed because the jumpseat is no longer an option for you. I think most captains, myself included, would frown on the fact that their jumpseater was in the back drinking alcohol.
I agree with this part - I never said I'd order a pre-departure beverage in First. If I were to do it, it'd be after the aircraft has long been in the air.
 

skydog

New Member
I take exception to that statement "It's the Captain's airplane."

A previous employer flew mail for the USPS on a scheduled basis. The airplanes had four jumpseats: two on the flight deck, and two outside the flight deck (the old F/A jumpseats). Some Captains had a practice of bumping payload in favor of taking jumpseaters. The company put a stop to that. Their point of view was that the customer was paying for the entire load-carrying capability of the airplane. Putting on 4 jumpseaters reduced the payload by several hundred pounds. Jumpseaters were welcome, payload permitting.

There were a few pilots who took exception to that, arguing "Captain's Authority." The company (correctly, in my opinion) reminded them that it is the certificate holder and the FAA who decides what is allowed on the airplane, and that the Captain has the authority to decide what is taken off the airplane in the name of safety. They did not have the authority to approve what either the FAA or company had not previously approved.

It may be "the captain's airplane" once the door is closed and/or off the gate, but that does not give the captain authority to make up his own rules.

And cue PCL_128...
 

granlistillo

Well-Known Member
So Skydog,
Are you saying that a Captain might exceed his authority if he boots off paying passengers for jumpseaters, and that a company should actually have any say in that?

:sarcasm:
 

granlistillo

Well-Known Member
I agree with this part - I never said I'd order a pre-departure beverage in First. If I were to do it, it'd be after the aircraft has long been in the air.
Why not just nonrev then? Having a drink that important to you? I always thought that it was against FAR in that status. Never even thought about it, as I dont drink even as a passenger.
 

germb747

Well-Known Member
Whats the etiquette on asking for first class? Ask the capt? Lead FA? I've had many FA's offer it to me and I always graciously accept but I just feel like Im asking for too much if I ask to sit up front.
I think you're right. I'd never ask for first class.

Well laid out set of rules that we need to follow, except for this one. I totally disagree with not consuming alcohol while riding in the back. When the uniform is off and I am in business casual, I occasionally indulge in alcoholic beverages while sitting in the back (not in the cockpit though). If I want a Jack Daniels on the rocks while I'm riding SWA to gamble in Vegas, I will order one and NEVER expect to get it for free (even though they always insist on me not paying for the drink). Even when I'm on my long 5.5 hour commute flight from JFK to SAN going home, I will occasionally order a drink.
This statement couldn't be more wrong. Never drink alcohol when jumpseating. Period. Dot. End of discussion. People who do are jepoardizing the privilege for themselves and the rest of us.

I take exception to that statement "It's the Captain's airplane."

A previous employer flew mail for the USPS on a scheduled basis. The airplanes had four jumpseats: two on the flight deck, and two outside the flight deck (the old F/A jumpseats). Some Captains had a practice of bumping payload in favor of taking jumpseaters. The company put a stop to that. Their point of view was that the customer was paying for the entire load-carrying capability of the airplane. Putting on 4 jumpseaters reduced the payload by several hundred pounds. Jumpseaters were welcome, payload permitting.

There were a few pilots who took exception to that, arguing "Captain's Authority." The company (correctly, in my opinion) reminded them that it is the certificate holder and the FAA who decides what is allowed on the airplane, and that the Captain has the authority to decide what is taken off the airplane in the name of safety. They did not have the authority to approve what either the FAA or company had not previously approved.

It may be "the captain's airplane" once the door is closed and/or off the gate, but that does not give the captain authority to make up his own rules.

And cue PCL_128...
Obviously, the Captain should never bump revenue pax/cargo for a jumpseater, and if I were this captain's boss he's be in deep ####. But for the purposes of requesting a jumpseat, the captain is the final say as far as we're concerned.
 

SoCalAprch

Well-Known Member
I was trying to get home one night last March and had to go from CVG to IAD to SAN because a direct flight canceled out of CVG. I get to IAD and of course the plane goes down with a tech issue. 2 hour delay and as I am sitting in the gate area the flight crew of the 757 shows up and asks if I am trying to get home. I said yes and they asked the traditional where you based who ya fly for kinda stuff. The captain learned about my horrible 10 hour commute and told me to go change, take a seat in first class and have a couple drinks. I said thanks and went and changed but couldn't bring myself to have the drink. And if you know me well that was a very hard decision to make. (I like drinks, especially free ones) But I guess when in doubt don't drink. The plane was really empty and once we landed in SAN the flight attendant gave me a bag with about 4 beers and a couple jacks to take home. Many thanks to that IAD based crew...
 

JaceTheAce

Well-Known Member
Why not just nonrev then? Having a drink that important to you? I always thought that it was against FAR in that status. Never even thought about it, as I dont drink even as a passenger.
I guess I'm using "jumpseating" too interchangeably with "nonrevving". If I'm on a pass travel ticket I am not an additional crewmember. I am free to drink. If I filled out the actual jumpseat form and got on that way, I am an additional crewmember and therefore cannot drink.
 

germb747

Well-Known Member
I guess I'm using "jumpseating" too interchangeably with "nonrevving". If I'm on a pass travel ticket I am not an additional crewmember. I am free to drink. If I filled out the actual jumpseat form and got on that way, I am an additional crewmember and therefore cannot drink.
Night and day difference. If you're a nonrev, feel free to get hammered (within reason):nana2:
 

Bandit_Driver

Gold Member
The best way to get a FC seat is simply to board at the end and ask the Lead FA / Purser where he/she would like you to sit. 9 times out 10 they will give you the FC seat if it is open.

The captain may also to tell you to sit in FC when he signs the paper work but to avoid stepping on toe I still has the lead FA where he/she want me.

The captain has the final authority on the jumpseats within reason. Capts shouldn't be bumping paying pax or cargo to get a JS on. I have seen it done and don't believe it is right.
 

MusketeerMan

Well-Known Member
I guess I'm using "jumpseating" too interchangeably with "nonrevving". If I'm on a pass travel ticket I am not an additional crewmember. I am free to drink. If I filled out the actual jumpseat form and got on that way, I am an additional crewmember and therefore cannot drink.
Hence...the reason that the title of this thread is "Jumpseat Etiquette" and not "Nonrevving Etiquette". :p
 

diesel9driver

Well-Known Member
I guess I'm using "jumpseating" too interchangeably with "nonrevving". If I'm on a pass travel ticket I am not an additional crewmember. I am free to drink. If I filled out the actual jumpseat form and got on that way, I am an additional crewmember and therefore cannot drink.
That's why I said in the first post to know the difference between non rev and jumpseating. If you are pass riding (non-reving) then by all means feel free to have a drink. :)
 

SlumTodd_Millionaire

Evil Landlord Capitalist
I take exception to that statement "It's the Captain's airplane."

A previous employer flew mail for the USPS on a scheduled basis. The airplanes had four jumpseats: two on the flight deck, and two outside the flight deck (the old F/A jumpseats). Some Captains had a practice of bumping payload in favor of taking jumpseaters. The company put a stop to that. Their point of view was that the customer was paying for the entire load-carrying capability of the airplane. Putting on 4 jumpseaters reduced the payload by several hundred pounds. Jumpseaters were welcome, payload permitting.

There were a few pilots who took exception to that, arguing "Captain's Authority." The company (correctly, in my opinion) reminded them that it is the certificate holder and the FAA who decides what is allowed on the airplane, and that the Captain has the authority to decide what is taken off the airplane in the name of safety. They did not have the authority to approve what either the FAA or company had not previously approved.

It may be "the captain's airplane" once the door is closed and/or off the gate, but that does not give the captain authority to make up his own rules.

And cue PCL_128...
Why are you cuing me? Bumping revenue to get on a jumpseater is ridiculous. It is certainly the Captain's airplane, and he has every bit of authority to deny whoever he wants, but that doesn't mean you can change the priority boarding system that is in the company manual. Revenue always comes before jumpseaters.
 
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