TPI - 728 x 90 - February 2024
Avoya Travel - 232x 90 - February 2024

Sponsored – Protecting the Pilot

Moving Fiercely Forward to a New Landscape in Travel, we ALL must Protect our Pilots


Written By: Jenn Lee, VP Industry Engagement and Support – Travel Planners International


I fly a lot. Like over 100 days a year!

Most of the time, my eyes are either focused on my computer, buried in my emails, watching a movie, or playing a game on my phone. I look up to say please and thank you to the flight attendants when prompted (I’m a prosecco and cranberry gal when I fly), and these actions get me to my destination with ease and a sense of accomplishment.

Today, I was paying closer attention to the flight attendants at the front of the plane for some reason. Specifically when they pulled out the cart to block the passage to the cockpit. Have you noticed this before? They position the drink cart sideways to block and protect the cockpit and pilots if they come out for any reason. Pay attention. The flight attendant DOES NOT take their eyes off the aisle the entire time a pilot is outside the cockpit. They are watching for ALL moves that may encroach on this safe space.



This maneuver started post-September 11th when terrorists stormed cockpits and, well, you know what happened. The importance of protecting the cockpit became CRYSTAL CLEAR, and these new procedures were put into place to add another layer of protection.

Clearly, protecting the pilot is crucial to all of us getting to our destination safely.
Isn’t it interesting that all the safety features built into the plane itself can come down to trusting that the flight attendant is keeping a keen eye on potential threats?

Like a momma bear protecting their young, you can see the sense of importance in their eyes. “Don’t you dare! I have my eyes on you, and I mean business! You aren’t going to make it past me.”

Staying safe while in the air is a team effort. Pilot and flight attendant.

The same is true in any business.



Over the past few years, we’ve made many changes – protecting what we know to be superbly valuable in our businesses, our assumptions, our processes, what we say yes to, and more importantly, what we say NO to. We were forced to examine every potential threat and partner with others to help us protect it.

Now that things seem to be heading back to “normal,” how are you keeping your guard up to keep danger out?

  • Are you doggedly determined to make sure your business is protected against threats? You can’t fly on auto-pilot with this business, ever!
  • What processes have you changed or added from the lessons you’ve learned? Don’t take your eye off these – otherwise, they become threats again!
  • Are you partnered with someone who will stand behind the cart, guarding and looking for threats that may be coming toward you without you knowing it? At TPI, we look at the relationship with our advisors and agency owners this way. In other words, we’ve got your back!

We’re in this together, and we must take turns behind the cart to protect one another!

Let’s keep moving Fiercely Forward, together