The mystery of TAM: ten questions

Discussion in 'Other Airlines | South America' started by excelsior, Apr 24, 2011.  |  Print Topic

  1. excelsior
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    excelsior Silver Member

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    I started flying TAM when I moved to Brazil in Ocotber 2009 which was also the first time in my life I had set foot on South American soil.
    In the past 18 months I have flown TAM --domesic, regional and intercontinental --frequently and am now *G on the airline (Vermelho)
    TAM is one of the strangest airlines Ive had the pleasure of knowing intimately over the years,,, and ive seen some, believe me (MIAT Mongolian only serving vodka by the quart bottle in business class in 1996 is one of my prize experiences to date) Hence this thread

    Ill kick off by querying 10 bizarre/strange/unusual things Ive seen on TAM -- feedback comments most gratefully appreciated

    (1) Why does the one of the pilots stand at the door sneering at incoming passengers until boarding is complete? On other airlines this is a busy time on the flight deck?

    (2) Why do TAM unfailingly make elaborate announcements about boarding when the end result is a melee ?

    (3) Why in Business Class do they serve my apertif, nuts, starter and wine all at once?

    (4)Why do they have a dirty red piece of cloth come rain or shine at the boarding stairs?

    (5) Whose bright idea is the FIdelidade Black Card? Where did this person get their professional degree? More generally, is there a super elite card (180,000 miles required, only on TAM in one year) that is more absurd than Fidelidade Black that someone can point me to?

    (6) More general than TAM, when did Brazilian airlines start issuing till receipts as boarding passes?

    (7) Why does TAM operate domestic flights in the middle of the night (eg depart Belem 0220 arrive Brasilia 0420)?

    (8) Why do the pilots often not make any announcements in English, even on flights to New York and London

    (9) Why do they play Bollywood pop music at boarding on the 1930 GRU-BSB which ive just boarded after a gruelling DEL-DXB-GRU on Emirates, making me feel like I must have crashed and was undergoing an out -of - body experience?

    (10) Despite the chaotic s****y working conditions, weird working hours and extrordinarily and unnecessarily complicated rosters that TAM cabin crew have to tolerate, how is it that they are the most amazingly cheerful good humoured and co-operative bunch of cabin crew I have seen anywhere in the world?
     
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  2. jbcarioca
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    jbcarioca Gold Member

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    This is the most seriously funny thread starter I have seen in a while. I am quite positive that excelsior nows more about this than I do, but those ten questions do deserve serious answers, assuming actually there are any such answers.

    (1) Why does the one of the pilots stand at the door sneering at incoming passengers until boarding is complete? On other airlines this is a busy time on the flight deck?
    We may agree they are meant to be smiling rather than sneering. This dates from the formation of TAM as Táxi Aéreo Marília in 19612 flying Cessna 414. Oddly the group still represents Cessna in Brazil. Back then the pilot was all there was so he (always he back then) loaded the luggage and customers. That ended out being tradition when they began regional flying and later as a mainline carrier. Now the Captain must still stand there bored silly watching passengers board. You asked why, that's it! BTW, it really is not such a busy time on most carriers, but the crew do have things to do.

    (2) Why do TAM unfailingly make elaborate announcements about boarding when the end result is a melee ?
    This is easy to answer. On the side of each TAM aircraft are the immortal words "Orgulho de ser Brasilera" which began with a campaign in 2003. We are proud of "Ordem e Progresso" but are so far a trifle weak on the "ordem" part. Form is more important than substance anyway, isn't it?:cool:

    (3) Why in Business Class do they serve my apertif, nuts, starter and wine all at once?
    I do not understand the question. You wanted them all didn't you?:rolleyes: Seriously, that has not happened to me, but it is not surprising (see answer to previous question, please.)

    (4)Why do they have a dirty red piece of cloth come rain or shine at the boarding stairs?
    Hey, that's the Magic Red Carpet! You want discipline? you want order? you want consistency? You have it; not only the Captain attending your entrance but the Magic Red Carpet too. What more do you want? Your meal in sequence?

    (5) Whose bright idea is the FIdelidade Black Card? Where did this person get their professional degree? More generally, is there a super elite card (180,000 miles required, only on TAM in one year) that is more absurd than Fidelidade Black that someone can point me to?
    The two people in question have MBA's from Stanford and Harvard respectively, or so I assert. What more si there to say? We have lots of uberelite ridiculous offers, but people still pay huge money for the American Express centurion card, the primary benefit of which is to pay more money to American Express and develop imaginary benefits that the suckers customers claim they find to be invaluable. (disclosure: I too have an Ivy MBA and also a PhD inmarketing)

    (6) More general than TAM, when did Brazilian airlines start issuing till receipts as boarding passes?
    I think it was about 2004, but I do not have the exact date.

    (7) Why does TAM operate domestic flights in the middle of the night (eg depart Belem 0220 arrive Brasilia 0420)?
    Seriously, aircraft utilization. People do take those flights.

    (8) Why do the pilots often not make any announcements in English, even on flights to New York and London
    As soon as you can explain why DL and US often have no FA's who speak Portuguese on flights to Brazil and rarely have pilots who do, I'll go search for the answer to this question. Large insular countries have their disinclination to make it easy on people who do not speak the correct language. (I'll never admit how irritated I am that my countrymen so rarely speak any language other than their own. We should never follow the US example in this. Never! But do not expect me to admit that here!)

    (9) Why do they play Bollywood pop music at boarding on the 1930 GRU-BSB which ive just boarded after a gruelling DEL-DXB-GRU on Emirates, making me feel like I must have crashed and was undergoing an out -of - body experience?
    Have you not seen Caminho das Indias? chicisimo!! http://caminhodasindias.globo.com/

    (10) Despite the chaotic s****y working conditions, weird working hours and extrordinarily and unnecessarily complicated rosters that TAM cabin crew have to tolerate, how is it that they are the most amazingly cheerful good humoured and co-operative bunch of cabin crew I have seen anywhere in the world?
    There may not be any real answer for that, but we have beautiful weather, a rich and vibrant culture, rules and procedures that cannot be served by the word "bureaucracy", but we all vote and know who won a few hours after the election is finished, we are happy to be alive, and life is constantly getting better. Those aren't the answers either, but we'd rather be nowhere else, except that any self-respecting Paulista knows they'd rather be in Rio.

    I hope these answers help. Enjoy your Fidelidade Black, whatever that is.:D:D
     
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  3. excelsior
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    excelsior Silver Member

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    The above is absolutely the best value added response I could have hoped for!!! It unlocks a hidden door to secrets, in understanding this irritating fascinating complex country, which I strive so hard. to do at work (as you may have guessed from my profile pic) and at leisure

    One thing i have learnt from this: TAM is truly Brasilian!!!
     
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  4. excelsior
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    excelsior Silver Member

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    (1) Why does the one of the pilots stand at the door sneering at incoming passengers until boarding is complete? On other airlines this is a busy time on the flight deck?
    We may agree they are meant to be smiling rather than sneering. This dates from the formation of TAM as Táxi Aéreo Marília in 19612 flying Cessna 414. Oddly the group still represents Cessna in Brazil. Back then the pilot was all there was so he (always he back then) loaded the luggage and customers. That ended out being tradition when they began regional flying and later as a mainline carrier. Now the Captain must still stand there bored silly watching passengers board. You asked why, that's it! BTW, it really is not such a busy time on most carriers, but the crew do have things to do.

    This is most interesting a real piece of history... I seriously thought they were sneering at me the couple of times i made eye contact:oops:

    (2) Why do TAM unfailingly make elaborate announcements about boarding when the end result is a melee ?
    This is easy to answer. On the side of each TAM aircraft are the immortal words "Orgulho de ser Brasilera" which began with a campaign in 2003. We are proud of "Ordem e Progresso" but are so far a trifle weak on the "ordem" part. Form is more important than substance anyway, isn't it?:cool:

    A door unlocked!
    (3) Why in Business Class do they serve my apertif, nuts, starter and wine all at once?
    I do not understand the question. You wanted them all didn't you?:rolleyes: Seriously, that has not happened to me, but it is not surprising (see answer to previous question, please.)

    (4)Why do they have a dirty red piece of cloth come rain or shine at the boarding stairs?
    Hey, that's the Magic Red Carpet! You want discipline? you want order? you want consistency? You have it; not only the Captain attending your entrance but the Magic Red Carpet too. What more do you want? Your meal in sequence?

    Whats the:confused: MAgic Red Carpet?????
    (5) Whose bright idea is the FIdelidade Black Card? Where did this person get their professional degree? More generally, is there a super elite card (180,000 miles required, only on TAM in one year) that is more absurd than Fidelidade Black that someone can point me to?
    The two people in question have MBA's from Stanford and Harvard respectively, or so I assert. What more si there to say? We have lots of uberelite ridiculous offers, but people still pay huge money for the American Express centurion card, the primary benefit of which is to pay more money to American Express and develop imaginary benefits that the suckers customers claim they find to be invaluable. (disclosure: I too have an Ivy MBA and also a PhD inmarketing)

    A second door unlocked:)disclosure: I have a PhD in economics so I have difficulty understanding simple things!

    (6) More general than TAM, when did Brazilian airlines start issuing till receipts as boarding passes?
    I think it was about 2004, but I do not have the exact date.

    (7) Why does TAM operate domestic flights in the middle of the night (eg depart Belem 0220 arrive Brasilia 0420)?
    Seriously, aircraft utilization. People do take those flights.

    Is that not because of l;ack of choice?

    (8) Why do the pilots often not make any announcements in English, even on flights to New York and London
    As soon as you can explain why DL and US often have no FA's who speak Portuguese on flights to Brazil and rarely have pilots who do, I'll go search for the answer to this question. Large insular countries have their disinclination to make it easy on people who do not speak the correct language. (I'll never admit how irritated I am that my countrymen so rarely speak any language other than their own. We should never follow the US example in this. Never! But do not expect me to admit that here!)
    Hear Hear!

    (9) Why do they play Bollywood pop music at boarding on the 1930 GRU-BSB which ive just boarded after a gruelling DEL-DXB-GRU on Emirates, making me feel like I must have crashed and was undergoing an out -of - body experience?
    Have you not seen Caminho das Indias? chicisimo!! http://caminhodasindias.globo.com/

    Im Indian and please warn the Carioca lady who produced this programme that i know where she lives on Copacabana.. When we moved to Brasilia we were shown a house with a courtyard with 8 fountains.. the estate agent in all seriousness thought we would like it and take it because we liked running around fountains singing.. this is true!!!

    (10) Despite the chaotic s****y working conditions, weird working hours and extrordinarily and unnecessarily complicated rosters that TAM cabin crew have to tolerate, how is it that they are the most amazingly cheerful good humoured and co-operative bunch of cabin crew I have seen anywhere in the world?

    There may not be any real answer for that, but we have beautiful weather, a rich and vibrant culture, rules and procedures that cannot be served by the word "bureaucracy", but we all vote and know who won a few hours after the election is finished, we are happy to be alive, and life is constantly getting better. Those aren't the answers either, but we'd rather be nowhere else, except that any self-respecting Paulista knows they'd rather be in Rio.

    ANd vice versa my Paulista friends tell me!:p
     
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  5. jbcarioca
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    jbcarioca Gold Member

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    Thanks. I appreciate that! I am an immigrant to Brazil myself if you had not guessed.
     
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