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Topic: Inflight "diversion"...to Pick Up Passengers!
Username: Gonzalo
Posted 2012-07-28 13:44:27 and read 26428 times.

The Chilean local carrier Sky Airlines is in the news again. After the close call of the wing smashing the runway a few days ago, and the full audit to the airline by the DGAC, today a report of a passenger winning a case against the airline was made public.
Long story short, about a year ago, a Sky Airline flight departed SCL with destination ANF. Mid-flight, the airline changed the first destination ( ANF ) to IQQ ( more than 200 nm north of ANF ), to pick up a group of passengers, for not very clear reasons. One passenger protested against that decision ( because she was flying to attend a work meeting in ANF and this sudden change will affect her schedule ). After an argument ( where the woman can be seen talking very calm with the crew ) the captain requested the presence of the police and kick the woman out of the plane in IQQ.
She sued and now she won the case against the airline, who will be fined with a U$D 2.000 and should pay a U$D 2.500 compensation to the woman. Personally this is the first time i hear about a "diversion" to pick up a group of passengers, I mean, totally understand the woman's position, when I buy a ticket SCL-ANF, I don't expect a flight SCL-IQQ-ANF, unless there is a safety/weather explanation.


http://www.chilevision.cl/home/content/view/429381/81/

Have you ever heard about similar situations ??

Rgds.
G.

Topic: RE: Inflight "diversion"...to Pick Up Passengers!
Username: xjramper
Posted 2012-07-28 13:57:42 and read 26361 times.

Absolutely. Planes break, and without the possibility of gettin folks to their final desination for days, instead of repoing an aircraft to that city (especially if there are no spares in either the aircraft or crew departments) airlines sometimes flagstop a flight to pick up distressed passengers. Is it a pain for those originally on the AAA-BBB flight, absolutely. But a 45 minute delay for some folks is a lot better than what those other passengers were originally intending to do (2, 3, maybe 4 days).

Topic: RE: Inflight "diversion"...to Pick Up Passengers!
Username: usflyer msp
Posted 2012-07-28 14:13:18 and read 26221 times.

Quoting xjramper (Reply 1):
Absolutely. Planes break, and without the possibility of gettin folks to their final desination for days, instead of repoing an aircraft to that city (especially if there are no spares in either the aircraft or crew departments) airlines sometimes flagstop a flight to pick up distressed passengers. Is it a pain for those originally on the AAA-BBB flight, absolutely. But a 45 minute delay for some folks is a lot better than what those other passengers were originally intending to do (2, 3, maybe 4 days).

True but it is almost always announced before the plane takes off not when you are already halfway to your destination.

Topic: RE: Inflight "diversion"...to Pick Up Passengers!
Username: Gonzalo
Posted 2012-07-28 14:26:40 and read 26087 times.

Quoting xjramper (Reply 1):
Planes break, and without the possibility of gettin folks to their final desination for days, instead of repoing an aircraft to that city (especially if there are no spares in either the aircraft or crew departments) airlines sometimes flagstop a flight to pick up distressed passengers. Is it a pain for those originally on the AAA-BBB flight, absolutely. But a 45 minute delay for some folks is a lot better than what those other passengers were originally intending to do (2, 3, maybe 4 days).

Well, yes, but why don't you pick up the stranded passengers after completing your original route ?? If you look a map of Chile, you will see that ANF is 590 nm north of SCL,and IQQ is 770 nm north of SCL, in a straight line. If you have a broken plane and want to "rescue" the passengers in IQQ, you can do that re-scheduling a flight form Arica to make a short stop in IQQ, or you can delay the return flight ANF-SCL ( 1, 2 hours top ) to pick up the people in IQQ, specially knowing that ANF is mainly a business destination ( leisure or tourism passengers are minority in this route ) .... I mean, there are better ways to do the things, and lately this airline is choosing exactly the worst option...

Rgds.

G.

Topic: RE: Inflight "diversion"...to Pick Up Passengers!
Username: xjramper
Posted 2012-07-28 15:07:08 and read 25680 times.

Without knowing the full details, it is really hard to comment on what really happened. But when you say that ANF is a business destination, what if the folks that needed the rescue needed to be in ANF? That would only work if they are heading to ANF and not away from it.

Topic: RE: Inflight "diversion"...to Pick Up Passengers!
Username: shufflemoomin
Posted 2012-07-28 16:24:00 and read 24315 times.

I've never understood people who complain about missing important appointments due to the action of airlines. If you have something that's important, maybe work a little wiggle room into the schedule where one delay doesn't ruin the plans, huh?

Topic: RE: Inflight "diversion"...to Pick Up Passengers!
Username: strangr
Posted 2012-07-28 16:54:35 and read 23798 times.

Quoting Gonzalo (Thread starter):
Have you ever heard about similar situations ??

2002 I think it was when I flew to Canada, the flight was with Air Pacific (Cheap seats) the initial flight was routed SYD NAN then YVR.

However we ended up flying SYD NAN PPG HNL YVR

The main reason was that the flight from Nadi to Vancouver was supposed to be on a 747, however they down graded it to a 737, all the xtra stops were for fuel, however there was some mail unloaded in samoa, which made me think that the flight was planned that way.

Made for a long trip and due to all the stops very hard to get any sleep, but none the less a one time chance to island hop.

Topic: RE: Inflight "diversion"...to Pick Up Passengers!
Username: Viscount724
Posted 2012-07-28 17:08:53 and read 23562 times.

Quoting strangr (Reply 6):
The main reason was that the flight from Nadi to Vancouver was supposed to be on a 747, however they down graded it to a 737, all the xtra stops were for fuel, however there was some mail unloaded in samoa, which made me think that the flight was planned that way.

As far as I recall FJ never used the 747 to YVR. Their YVR service was always scheduled as a 737-800 NAN-HNL-YVR. They still operate NAN-HNL (once a week) with the 738 but dropped YVR in 2008.

Topic: RE: Inflight "diversion"...to Pick Up Passengers!
Username: OllieJolly
Posted 2012-07-28 17:22:43 and read 23331 times.

"We'd run a perfectly good airline were it not for the damn passengers!"

Topic: RE: Inflight "diversion"...to Pick Up Passengers!
Username: ghifty
Posted 2012-07-28 17:30:52 and read 23224 times.

Quoting strangr (Reply 6):
The main reason was that the flight from Nadi to Vancouver was supposed to be on a 747, however they down graded it to a 737, all the xtra stops were for fuel, however there was some mail unloaded in samoa, which made me think that the flight was planned that way.

That sounds normal and quite necessary, IMO. But whatever happened here, with Sky, was a little strange given what little details are public.

Topic: RE: Inflight "diversion"...to Pick Up Passengers!
Username: RussianJet
Posted 2012-07-28 17:36:24 and read 23145 times.

Mmm, $4,500 in total - that'll learn 'em!   

Topic: RE: Inflight "diversion"...to Pick Up Passengers!
Username: BasilFawlty
Posted 2012-07-28 17:50:21 and read 22945 times.

Quoting Gonzalo (Thread starter):
Have you ever heard about similar situations ??

Saw an old episode of Airline USA a few days ago where they re-routed a flight from MDW to ISP via PVD to bring 18 passengers home. Unlike the PVD pax, the ISP pax were not happy.  
Quoting shufflemoomin (Reply 5):
I've never understood people who complain about missing important appointments due to the action of airlines. If you have something that's important, maybe work a little wiggle room into the schedule where one delay doesn't ruin the plans, huh?

+1   

Topic: RE: Inflight "diversion"...to Pick Up Passengers!
Username: traindoc
Posted 2012-07-28 18:02:25 and read 22778 times.

When traveling, you ALWAYS need to build in some wiggle room to your schedule! Stuff happens! If you don't, then you need to be adult enough about it, and roll with the punches when you miss getting to your destination as expected. And yes, I have gotten angry about delays, etc. But I try to remind myself that things go better if I am nice and gracious.

That said, if the passengers in this instance were not told in advance of the diversion, then they have every right to be angry. And yes the airlines are PERFECT when it comes to giving us pax timely and accurate information.      

Topic: RE: Inflight "diversion"...to Pick Up Passengers!
Username: N766UA
Posted 2012-07-28 18:13:08 and read 22637 times.

Quoting Gonzalo (Thread starter):
Have you ever heard about similar situations ??

Happens pretty routinely. I remember we had a CLE-ATL MD88 take a mechanical and an SYR-ATL MD88 was re-routed west, picked up the pax and some extra fuel, and was on its way again in about 30 minutes.

Topic: RE: Inflight "diversion"...to Pick Up Passengers!
Username: SOBHI51
Posted 2012-07-28 18:33:00 and read 22386 times.

1982 was booked on BA DXB- HKG- Manila.
Plane arrived 3 hours late, carrying a 5th engine, we flew to Delhi to drop the engine, we were delayed a couple of hours so they can get the pax from the day before, then we continued our flight.
I think total delay was over 7 hours when we arrived to Manila.

Topic: RE: Inflight "diversion"...to Pick Up Passengers!
Username: lweber557
Posted 2012-07-28 19:53:13 and read 21503 times.

I remember hearing about something kind of like on the news awhile back in the US. I wanna say it was a America West, but whatever airline it was they operated the charter plane for a basketball team. Apparently the team's plane was unable to fly for whatever reason so the airline had a plane that was already in the air with passengers on board turn around and deplane so it could be used to fly the basketball team to where they we're going.

Topic: RE: Inflight "diversion"...to Pick Up Passengers!
Username: USAIRWAYS321
Posted 2012-07-28 19:58:23 and read 21443 times.

Only took 5 replies for someone to blame the passenger for missing their meeting because she had the audacity to believe the published routing and schedule.  

Topic: RE: Inflight "diversion"...to Pick Up Passengers!
Username: bos2laf
Posted 2012-07-28 20:52:53 and read 20853 times.

Quoting USAIRWAYS321 (Reply 16):
Only took 5 replies for someone to blame the passenger for missing their meeting because she had the audacity to believe the published routing and schedule.  

Well, guess what? In the words of Forrest Gump, "$hit happens."

It's great when things go according to plan and you get off your plane and hop a cab to whatever business engagement you have planned, but if you have the luxury of building some time into your schedule and fail to do so, you really have no right to complain when things go wrong.

Planes break.
ATC computers break.
Airline computers break.
Weather happens.
Runway construction happens.
Birdstrikes happen.
TSA lines get backed up.
Terminal evacuations happen.

There are tons of what-ifs that cannot be reasonably predicted, so if you have extra time to take an earlier flight but voluntarily take a later flight leaving you minutes to get off the plane and into a cab and off to your business meeting, its nobody's fault but your own for not planning cautiously.

I get that not everyone has the luxury of building a fudge factor into their schedules, but my initial statement still applies, $hit happens.

Topic: RE: Inflight "diversion"...to Pick Up Passengers!
Username: EY460
Posted 2012-07-28 21:20:16 and read 20565 times.

There is a very recent example (23rd July 2012) with Gulf Air. From the Aviation Herald:

"A Gulf Air Airbus A320-200, registration A9C-AG performing flight GF-29 from Bahrain (Bahrain) to Rome Fiumicino (Italy), was descending towards Rome when both left and right hand windscreens cracked within seconds. The crew continued the approach and landed safely on Fiumicino's runway 34L.

The aircraft was unable to perform the return flight GF-28.

Flight GF-26 from Copenhagen (Denmark) to Bahrain (Bahrain) flown by an Airbus A320-200 registration A9C-AM was diverted to Fiumicino to pick up the passengers of flight GF-28 and reached Bahrain with a delay of 3.5 hours (both flights)."

Topic: RE: Inflight "diversion"...to Pick Up Passengers!
Username: Dizzy777
Posted 2012-07-28 22:58:22 and read 19582 times.

Quoting Gonzalo (Reply 3):
Well, yes, but why don't you pick up the stranded passengers after completing your original route ?? If you look a map of Chile, you will see that ANF is 590 nm north of SCL,and IQQ is 770 nm north of SCL, in a straight line. If you have a broken plane and want to "rescue" the passengers in IQQ, you can do that re-scheduling a flight form Arica to make a short stop in IQQ, or you can delay the return flight ANF-SCL ( 1, 2 hours top ) to pick up the people in IQQ, specially knowing that ANF is mainly a business destination ( leisure or tourism passengers are minority in this route ) .... I mean, there are better ways to do the things, and lately this airline is choosing exactly the worst option....

If pax in both places were meant to end up at ANF, you pick up the pax in IQQ and then go to ANF - that removes the need to create an additional flt for the operating aircraft and allows it to continue on its next scheduled flt with a delay of 1 hour or so.. instead of 2 extra legs and the associated ground time, extra costs (extra take off and landing fees, fuel, wages, flt crew hours and so on.) if you have to go to ANF twice instead of single stop before continuing the schedule.

Topic: RE: Inflight "diversion"...to Pick Up Passengers!
Username: skywaymanaz
Posted 2012-07-28 23:09:03 and read 19471 times.

Quoting lweber557 (Reply 15):
I remember hearing about something kind of like on the news awhile back in the US. I wanna say it was a America West, but whatever airline it was they operated the charter plane for a basketball team. Apparently the team's plane was unable to fly for whatever reason so the airline had a plane that was already in the air with passengers on board turn around and deplane so it could be used to fly the basketball team to where they we're going.

I believe it was a sports charter for the Angels out of DFW. If I remember correctly there was some type of guarantee in the contract that made dispatch feel this was the best option. I don't recall what reason was given to the passengers already enroute for why they were turning around. Needless to say a lot of upset deplaned passengers watching their plane turn around and takeoff without them.

Topic: RE: Inflight "diversion"...to Pick Up Passengers!
Username: wjcandee
Posted 2012-07-28 23:17:46 and read 19370 times.

Quoting USAIRWAYS321 (Reply 16):
Only took 5 replies for someone to blame the passenger for missing their meeting because she had the audacity to believe the published routing and schedule
Quoting Gonzalo (Thread starter):
One passenger protested against that decision ( because she was flying to attend a work meeting in ANF and this sudden change will affect her schedule ). After an argument ( where the woman can be seen talking very calm with the crew ) the captain requested the presence of the police and kick the woman out of the plane in IQQ.
She sued and now she won the case

Sigh. From Delta's Contract of Carriage, IGR Rule 80, "Revised Routings Failure to Carry and Missed Connections":

"Delta will exercise reasonable efforts to carry passengers and their baggage according to Delta's published schedules and the schedule reflected on the passenger's ticket, but published schedules, flight times, aircraft type, seat assignments, and similar details reflected in the ticket or Delta's published schedules are not guaranteed and form no part of this contract. Delta may substitute alternative carriers or aircraft, delay or cancel flights, change seat assignments, and alter or omit stopping places shown on the ticket at any time. Schedules are subject to change without notice. Except as stated in this rule or Rule 55, Delta will have no liability for making connections, failing to operate any flight according to schedule, changing the schedule for any flight, changing seat assignments or aircraft types, or revising the routings by which Delta carries the passenger from the ticketed origin to destination."

Pretty much covers this. The rule and Rule 55 do set out various forms of compensation that Delta will pay for certain types of delays under certain circumstances.

Topic: RE: Inflight "diversion"...to Pick Up Passengers!
Username: JayDub
Posted 2012-07-29 01:18:56 and read 18026 times.

Quoting usflyer msp (Reply 2):
True but it is almost always announced before the plane takes off not when you are already halfway to your destination.

I've flagstopped at least two flights that were already enroute in order to pick up pax that, otherwise, would be screwed for days. It's not a normal operation, but it happens more often than you think.

Topic: RE: Inflight "diversion"...to Pick Up Passengers!
Username: thrufru
Posted 2012-07-29 01:50:30 and read 17643 times.

Quoting usflyer msp (Reply 2):
True but it is almost always announced before the plane takes off not when you are already halfway to your destination
Quoting JayDub (Reply 22):
I've flagstopped at least two flights that were already enroute in order to pick up pax that, otherwise, would be screwed for days. It's not a normal operation, but it happens more often than you think.

I'm gonna have to second JayDub's statement. I think the general public is blissfully unaware of how often an enroute diversion to pick up stranded passengers is. As a passenger, it's happened to me on America West and United. As a pilot I've had to do it a couple of times, too. In essence, a contract of carriage is to get you from Point A to Point B. Airlines are afforded a tremendous amount of latitude in not just routing but also timing.

Topic: RE: Inflight "diversion"...to Pick Up Passengers!
Username: kl911
Posted 2012-07-29 02:37:59 and read 17122 times.

Quoting Gonzalo (Thread starter):
this is the first time i hear about a "diversion" to pick up a group of passengers, I mean, totally understand the woman's position, when I buy a ticket SCL-ANF, I don't expect a flight SCL-IQQ-ANF, unless there is a safety/weather explanation.

In summer 2000 I was waiting for an evening flight NCE - AMS with Transavia when a colleague called me from AMS saying that the flight to NCE was cancelled due to technical problems. After a while it was decided to route the half empty BCN - AMS via NCE to pick us up. Total delay was just 90 minutes, job well done. And because it was an evening flight no one missed connections or meetings.

Topic: RE: Inflight "diversion"...to Pick Up Passengers!
Username: skywaymanaz
Posted 2012-07-29 02:45:59 and read 17376 times.

Quoting thrufru (Reply 23):
In essence, a contract of carriage is to get you from Point A to Point B.

Contract of carriage from A to B is probably the basis of her lawsuit in that she never got to B and why she was awarded damages. She was removed from the aircraft at IQQ. I'm guessing if she had been arrested that would release Sky from the contract of carriage. If she wasn't arrested and if Sky refused to transport her onward that could be the problem. If I'm the passenger I wouldn't be happy about a diversion either but that's not something I'd get civil damages for. I've been diverted before, it happens. The last time I was diverted I had a few calm questions for the FA (along the lines of their duty time and possibly timing out). If I'm a passenger and got removed from a flight merely for calmly questioning the FA about the diversion I think I'd get civil damages in court. That may be what happened here as they failed to take her to ANF.

I can read and write Spanish but I have trouble following it conversationally. I can't tell exactly what's going on in that video to say for sure Sky was wrong to have her removed from the plane. That doesn't look like a calm passenger to me though as stated earlier. If I was the Captain I wouldn't question the FA about their motives in wanting a passenger removed. I'd request they meet us at the gate and have the passenger taken off. The PIC absolutely has the authority to have them removed period. Just because they have the authority to take that action at the time that can not be revoked doesn't mean they won't be liable for civil damages later though.

Btw last time I was diverted was due to a severe thunderstorm that parked itself over MCI for hours. I had my Garmin GPSmap 496 in my bag. Got it out to see the storm on the display, it was pretty bad. I think that helped the situation that a lot of passengers not only saw the thunderheads as we were holding but could see on my GPS they weren't moving. So yeah like others pointed out bad stuff happens and if you can build some time in so things work out anyway.

Topic: RE: Inflight "diversion"...to Pick Up Passengers!
Username: JONC777
Posted 2012-07-29 03:06:24 and read 17053 times.

Quoting Gonzalo (Thread starter):

Ive seen wn do this. Usally its a very underbooked flight in the first place that lands somewhere to pick up stranded pax from another lightly booked flight. And, its usually weather or maintance related.

Topic: RE: Inflight "diversion"...to Pick Up Passengers!
Username: whisperjet
Posted 2012-07-29 03:50:37 and read 16654 times.

Not that uncommon. Some charter airlines in the European market add additional stops if they cannot fill the planes for two separate flights.

Stefam

Topic: RE: Inflight "diversion"...to Pick Up Passengers!
Username: MD11Engineer
Posted 2012-07-29 04:10:28 and read 16437 times.

As one ex-military guy once told me: "If you are on time, you are too late. Always plan for the worst case".
So if the meeting was that important, I would fly there on either the earlier flight or one day earlier.

BTW, I had aircraft held up for me several times. Usually I was sent downroute into the boonies to fix an aircraft, which went AOG at some remote destination.
The crew of the aircraft I came with had orders to wait until I was finished to take me back to my own base (not getting stuck there for a few days with tools and spare parts, but without a change of clothes). I worked as fast as I could and the captain explained it to the passengers, who usually applauded (at least in Italy) when I came back on board.

Jan

[Edited 2012-07-29 04:15:03]

Topic: RE: Inflight "diversion"...to Pick Up Passengers!
Username: Markam
Posted 2012-07-29 04:54:02 and read 15902 times.

Quoting MD11Engineer (Reply 28):
As one ex-military guy once told me: "If you are on time, you are too late. Always plan for the worst case".
So if the meeting was that important, I would fly there on either the earlier flight or one day earlier.
Quoting shufflemoomin (Reply 5):
I've never understood people who complain about missing important appointments due to the action of airlines. If you have something that's important, maybe work a little wiggle room into the schedule where one delay doesn't ruin the plans, huh?

Good advice, but try doing that when having a busy schedule, and you will soon realize that you can only go to two or three meetings a week... airlines run tight schedules, and people run tight schedules, too, why should the latter be to blame? Perhaps it is the airlines who should build more buffer time into their schedules to account for unexpected (but not so uncommon) delays, "huh"?

Quoting bos2laf (Reply 17):
It's great when things go according to plan and you get off your plane and hop a cab to whatever business engagement you have planned, but if you have the luxury of building some time into your schedule and fail to do so, you really have no right to complain when things go wrong.

Good qualification: "IF you have the luxury of building some time into your schedule". That is a big if, and perhaps the passenger didn´t. At the very least, we don't know whether she did, and in any case, again, why it is always the passenger who is advised to allow for more buffer time by default, and not the airline?

Quoting bos2laf (Reply 17):
There are tons of what-ifs that cannot be reasonably predicted

Yes, and so are there in many other industries, yet airlines seem to believe in some kind of exceptionalism shared with some regulators, which allows them to include in their contracts of carriage very abusive terms for the passenger which would be unthinkable of in other contexts. For example, I believe that the logistics involving express air freight are as convoluted, if not more (cargo does not self-sort, as passengers do) and yet express air freight companies consistently deliver packages on time to their destination, and compensate the customer if they fail to do so.

Perhaps it would involve raising ticket prices, as if buffer times increased airlines would not be able to operate so many hours as they do now with the same aircraft, but the current system, in which all the blame is put on the passenger by default, only incentivates sometimes reckless, sometimes not conservative enough scheduling by airlines, and amounts to many many millions of dollars in lost meetings, lost hours of work, lost hours of holiday time, etc. by passengers delayed by the airlines. The European Union offers some specific protection for their consumers in the Air Passenger Rights Act (although it seems that it may not be so effective de-facto), and it also seems that the FAA is concerned about delays and stranded passengers on the tarmac (although it might be argued that perhaps their way to deal with the problem is not the most adequate, since some see it as only fostering cancellations instead of delays), so things seems to be moving in the right direction, but in my view there is still a long way to go until airlines share their fair burden of the "$hit happens".

  

Topic: RE: Inflight "diversion"...to Pick Up Passengers!
Username: wjcandee
Posted 2012-07-29 05:36:30 and read 15379 times.

So much whining....

The market has spoken. You may be able to marginally increase travel time reliability by doing the banal things some have mentioned here, at perhaps the doubling of ticket prices. If Ms. Important Executive REALLY has that "tight a schedule" and she or her company is willing to pay more so she can get another two hours at home or work before leaving for her meeting, then let her charter a biz jet.

Otherwise, let the rest of us benefit from the lower fares that the flexibility afforded the airlines affords us.

However, my guess is that despite her own self-importance, her company would likely make her do that meeting by teleconference if the fares got much higher...

Topic: RE: Inflight "diversion"...to Pick Up Passengers!
Username: bristolflyer
Posted 2012-07-29 06:59:02 and read 14390 times.

Ok so it's been determined that the airlines do this occasionally. And the pax should have left more margins in her timescales. But she has a right to complain and state her opinion. without the airline hearing complaints they're never going to improve their service. I haven't read all of the article but it seems like the airline was fined for what they did to her as a punishment for her complaints, which sounded out of proportion.

Topic: RE: Inflight "diversion"...to Pick Up Passengers!
Username: krisyyz
Posted 2012-07-29 08:35:53 and read 13162 times.

This incidents reminds me of a TAP flight that recently returned to BUD due to some forgotten passengers left at the airport by mistake.

http://avherald.com/h?article=452f6a17&opt=0

KrisYYZ

Topic: RE: Inflight "diversion"...to Pick Up Passengers!
Username: Markam
Posted 2012-07-29 09:11:48 and read 12655 times.

Quoting wjcandee (Reply 30):
So much whining....

The market has spoken. You may be able to marginally increase travel time reliability by doing the banal things some have mentioned here, at perhaps the doubling of ticket prices.

Oh, my apologies, if "the market" has spoken, it is settled, then, and I am just whining... but, you know, just to make sure that you are not one of those economic analphabets just parrotting words without actually knowing their meaning, who thinks that it is only costs which determine prices, in order to support your claim could you please show me any study that shows such a high elasticity of price with respect to time reliability, that improving the latter just marginally would double prices? Also, could you please enlighten and reasure me by showing me an study that shows that the current regulation and carriage contracts, is superior to a more demanding one in terms of punctuality, and not just convenient for airlines in detriment of the flying public?

Quoting wjcandee (Reply 30):
If Ms. Important Executive REALLY has that "tight a schedule" and she or her company is willing to pay more so she can get another two hours at home or work before leaving for her meeting, then let her charter a biz jet.

Otherwise, let the rest of us benefit from the lower fares that the flexibility afforded the airlines affords us.

Sure, and why not benefit from even lower fares not only by not enforcing higher punctuality standards, but also by lowering the expensive security standards? I am sure that since you seem to suggest that only cost determines price, and being things like price elasticity of demand so unimportant as you seem to think they are, the good airlines will be so kind to lower the fares instead of pocketing the money they would save if they could. That way some would not make it to their business meetings altogether, but hey, if that meeting is so important the travellers and their companies should think in advance and send more than one representative in different flights, to ensure that at least one arrives safely, or get a business jet, shouldn't they?  

Topic: RE: Inflight "diversion"...to Pick Up Passengers!
Username: SJUSXM
Posted 2012-07-29 10:37:38 and read 11637 times.

Back in the day when you saw half empty widebodies routinely flying around the US this was even more common, especially in the Northeast. My dad tells me of several times when DL would cancel the last ATL-PHL and all the passengers would simply get on the BOS L1011 and the flight would fly ATL-PHL-BOS. Sometimes there might even be a few passengers that would get on the PHL-BOS leg, even though it was unscheduled until a few hours before it ran.

Topic: RE: Inflight "diversion"...to Pick Up Passengers!
Username: ckfred
Posted 2012-07-29 10:40:45 and read 11583 times.

Back in the early 1980s, my parents were flying on the original Ozark from JLN to ORD, with a stop in STL. The flight they were scheduled on was canceled due to the aircraft going tech.

So, another flight, that was departing TUL for STL was diverted to JLN to pick up the passengers.

Now, there are a few differences. First, the diverted flight was picking up passengers who were stranded because of a maintenance issue.

Second, JLN is pretty much under the flight path on TUL-STL. The only lost time is for descent, landing, loading baggage and passengers, take off, and climb back to cruising altitude.

Third, some of the passengers on the TUL-STL non-stop were scheduled to connect to the second segment (STL-ORD) of the flight with the maintenance problem. OZ found a spare airplane to fly the STL-ORD segment.

Topic: RE: Inflight "diversion"...to Pick Up Passengers!
Username: wjcandee
Posted 2012-07-29 11:37:56 and read 10969 times.

Quoting Markam (Reply 33):
high elasticity of price with respect to time reliability

Don't think you're using the word "elasticity" correctly here.

What there certainly is in this business is high price elasticity of demand. As proven by the overall traffic increases following deregulation, and the dramatic reductions in travel that occur when prices rise, both on the business travel side (alternative goods) and the leisure travel side. Few are captive to air travel, which all the people forget who think that everything would be wonderful again if we would just let monopolistic prices reign again.

Travel time reliability increases have negligible effects on a given airline's traffic, as evidenced by the fact that the best-performing airlines in that metric don't have a disproportionate share of the market. Only when it really, really sucks, and everyone knows it, does it peel off a bit of traffic, but most FF members just stay behind and bitch.

The market as to choice of a particular carrier is highly-distorted, particularly with regard to business and frequent travellers, because of frequent flyer programs and contracts between employer and carrier that require a commitment to a certain airline on a certain route. Travel time reliability barely moves the needle here.

The babyish things being proposed here -- crews that sit around waiting to go rescue stranded travelers and aircraft with lighter utilization and such -- I'm here to tell you they ain't gonna happen. It's a huge expense in a business driven by the savings of pennies, and there is no meaningful way to recover those costs.

apology accepted.

Topic: RE: Inflight "diversion"...to Pick Up Passengers!
Username: Maverick623
Posted 2012-07-29 11:48:06 and read 10830 times.

Quoting USAIRWAYS321 (Reply 16):
Only took 5 replies for someone to blame the passenger for missing their meeting because she had the audacity to believe the published routing and schedule.

The truth hurts sometimes.

Topic: RE: Inflight "diversion"...to Pick Up Passengers!
Username: Tomassjc
Posted 2012-07-29 12:01:16 and read 10706 times.

Never forget riding MEX-Cozumel on a Mexicana 727 in the 80s. We started our decent at what I thought was rather early into the flight. Shortly thereafter, an announcement came from the Flight Deck that we would be making a quick unscheduled stop in Merida. We touched down, rolled out to the end of the runway, rear air stairs dropped, engines still running, a mechanic popped up from an aisle seat with his tool kit and deplaned down the back stairs into a waiting truck. Stairs up, cabin secure, we made a 180 and we were airborne again. We arrived in CZM just a few minutes late!

Tomas SJC

Topic: RE: Inflight "diversion"...to Pick Up Passengers!
Username: AAIL86
Posted 2012-07-29 12:08:34 and read 10584 times.

Quoting Markam (Reply 29):
Yes, and so are there in many other industries, yet airlines seem to believe in some kind of exceptionalism shared with some regulators, which allows them to include in their contracts of carriage very abusive terms for the passenger which would be unthinkable of in other contexts.

Aviation is indeed an exceptional industry. Some of the challenges airlines face on a daily basis would leave some of their counterparts working in other industries in tears. Most of these controversial decisions that I've ever witnessed are made with a very high degree of professionalism - not indifference. These events are very frustrating for all involved to be sure, but in the long run a safe transportation system is more important then a few missed meetings.

One example I remember from my own career(very similar to the OP's) was back in the days when AA flew TUL-STL. That particular day the fleet was running very short of available aircraft due to a few weather events in the northeast. At TUL, a fully loaded MD-80 was about to depart for STL with 140 passengers (100%) on board. Meanwhile, a 763 with a light load(80 booked of 225 seats) had been subbed on DFW-STL to make up for a 757 delayed back east.

While that particular 763 was preparing to depart for STL, the MD-80 was taken out of service due to excessive leakage from the forward lavatory. Due to the aircraft shortage that day, the flight was at risk to be canceled. However it was decided to to route the 763 DFW-TUL-STL and pick up those 140 passengers. So that aircraft ground interrupted back to the gate so the pilot could could pull the new flight plan. Needless to say, the 80 passengers going to St. Louis found this to be a major inconvenience, but in the end it was the right decision..

Topic: RE: Inflight "diversion"...to Pick Up Passengers!
Username: AAIL86
Posted 2012-07-29 12:22:08 and read 10439 times.

Quoting Markam (Reply 33):
Sure, and why not benefit from even lower fares not only by not enforcing higher punctuality standards, but also by lowering the expensive security standards?

In the USA, ALL the majors have an average punctuality of 75%-82%. I'm pretty sure that down in Chile, LAN is close to that as well. When one considers that the majority of delayed flights are caused by weather and ATC problems, the airlines have generally done a good job in most situations. If I may ask, what level of on-time performance would meet your expectations?

Topic: RE: Inflight "diversion"...to Pick Up Passengers!
Username: cmf
Posted 2012-07-29 13:02:08 and read 9923 times.

All who claim airlines will delay passengers on one flight to take care of other passengers are obviously wrong. It doesn't happen. At least that is what several people insistently told me in the PVG delay thread.   

Topic: RE: Inflight "diversion"...to Pick Up Passengers!
Username: shufflemoomin
Posted 2012-07-29 13:43:47 and read 9481 times.

I'd forgotten about this, and not an in-flight diversion, but on an SAS flight from CPH-EWR in January 2011, we were delayed for a while at the gate because the EWR flight from ARN (I think) was cancelled so they were flying in those passengers to join our flight. My point is that although this happened in flight, it's irrelevant. Delays of any kind can happen at any time and the general point of a delay is that it's unexpected. Anything hugely important shouldn't be left to fate in hoping that things run smoothly.

Topic: RE: Inflight "diversion"...to Pick Up Passengers!
Username: Markam
Posted 2012-07-29 14:00:47 and read 9374 times.

Quoting wjcandee (Reply 36):
Don't think you're using the word "elasticity" correctly here.

Keeping it simple, "elasticity" in economics refers to the ratio of the percentage change in one variable with respect to the percentage change in another (it is not exactly so, as this is only an approximation, but in the limit as the change in the reference variable becomes infinitesimal the approximation is exact, and it is much easier to think of it in this terms). Then, for example, the price elasticity of demand refers to the percentage change in demand with respect to an infinitesimal change in price. This is a standard concept, but again, "elasticity" can refer to the relationship between any two variables, so with "high elasticity of price with respect to time reliability" I referred to the percentage change in price that would be caused by (the measures needed to obtain) an infinitesimal change in time reliability. You can argue that the use is non-standard, or that I should have been more specific, but definitely a "correct" use of the word.

Quoting wjcandee (Reply 36):
What there certainly is in this business is high price elasticity of demand.


Again, to keep things simple, I understand what you mean and will say that you are correct, demand for air travel is considered to be very price elastic, but mind that elasticity varies along the curve, so unless demand is thought of as linear, it will vary. This is important because as equilibrium price changes, so will the price elasticity of demand. So saying that there is "high price elasticity of demand" works for a dicussion like this in which the use of economics is just for support purposes, but such a claim is really something vague, as the elasticity will vary along the demand curve. Moreover, there is not a single elasticity, as there is not a single market for air travel, and therefore not a single demand or supply curve, so the price elasticity of demand may be higher in some markets than in others, etc. Thing are even more complicated since the fact that airlines offer connections makes it possible for the same seat to be sold in different markets, etc., but I will stop here.

Quoting wjcandee (Reply 36):
As proven by the overall traffic increases following deregulation, and the dramatic reductions in travel that occur when prices rise, both on the business travel side (alternative goods) and the leisure travel side.

No, as proven by rigorous studies which take into account the very complex relationship between the two variables (price and demand), taking into account factors like reverse causality and others, and using econometric techniques that allow to isolate the causal effect of price on demand, and therefore the "true" elasticity. Again, your example is ok for anecdotical purposes, to support the discussion in this forum, but mind that measuring elasticities (of any kind) is generally far from simple.

Quoting wjcandee (Reply 36):
Few are captive to air travel, which all the people forget who think that everything would be wonderful again if we would just let monopolistic prices reign again.

In order to answer this question you need to look at cross-price elasticity of demand, not at price elasticity of demand. This is, you need to find out what is the effect of the increase in the price of air travel, in the demand for other means of transportation. For example, some people may not travel at all if the price of air travel is high, and in that case they would be considered as "captive" to air travel, and you would only detect this by looking at the cross-price elasticity of demand for other means of transportation for the same market.

Quoting wjcandee (Reply 36):
Travel time reliability increases have negligible effects on a given airline's traffic, as evidenced by the fact that the best-performing airlines in that metric don't have a disproportionate share of the market. Only when it really, really sucks, and everyone knows it, does it peel off a bit of traffic, but most FF members just stay behind and bitch.

Anyone who has taken one lecture in econometrics will tell you that correlation, my friend, does not imply causality. The fact that you mention may well be so, but it doesn't mean that punctuality doesn't matter, its effect may be masked by many others, and you will not be able to tell it apart just by pure anecdotical observation. In any case, here it would be more relevant to look at the effect of punctuality (perceived, since there may be informational considerations) in the overall demand for air travel, and the elasticity of substitution between airlines, neither of which are, again, not even remotely as trivial to infer as you suggest.

Quoting wjcandee (Reply 36):
The market as to choice of a particular carrier is highly-distorted, particularly with regard to business and frequent travellers, because of frequent flyer programs and contracts between employer and carrier that require a commitment to a certain airline on a certain route. Travel time reliability barely moves the needle here.

Again, this has more to do with elasticity of substitution between airlines than with price elasticities, but yes, frequent flyer programs, product differentiation, etc., create heterogenous and therefore not perfectly substitutable products, giving airlines market power. This makes the air travel markets (and many others) not perfectly competitive, which has many implications in the discussion of whether regulation, if any, is advisable.

Quoting wjcandee (Reply 36):
The babyish things being proposed here -- crews that sit around waiting to go rescue stranded travelers and aircraft with lighter utilization and such -- I'm here to tell you they ain't gonna happen. It's a huge expense in a business driven by the savings of pennies, and there is no meaningful way to recover those costs.

I will not go into the methods proposed, and I agree that it will not happen if the status quo does not change, but I can guarantee you that if airlines were made more responsible for delays, punctuality would go up, as airlines would take into account that delays would be even more costly for them, as they would have to compensate passengers unless the delay was clearly not their fault (say, weather).

Would this increase the price? Well, maybe, but mind that if as you yourself have claimed, the demand for air travel is so price elastic, it would be difficult to increase price for the same product, as demand would go dramatically down. This is, when price elasticity of demand is high, it is the suppliers, in this case, the airline, who has to bear most of the cost, not the consumer. So airline profits would maybe take a hit, but the consumer would not necessarily have to pay more, and in any case they would be paying for a higher-quality product.

Quoting wjcandee (Reply 36):
apology accepted.

Which apology? In my first post I tried to make you understand that "the market" is way more complicated that you seemed to think, and that the cheapest air travel is not necessarily the most efficient, and since you didn't seem to understand, I have elaborated a bit more on this second one. I will not go further because it is not my role to lecture you in economics (at least not for free), but I hope that you have understood that you cannot tell the intricate mechanisms of air travel apart by mere anecdotical observation of correlations, and that tolerance with inpunctuality by airlines is more the result of historical developments and lobbying than of economic thought, and that a more even distribution of the burden of the $hit that happens everyday in air travel would not necessarily translate into higher prices, and, as far as we can tell, may decrease delays by making airlines more aware of their cost for the consumer.

I certainly do not expect you to apologise, but a "thank you" would indeed be nice...  

Topic: RE: Inflight "diversion"...to Pick Up Passengers!
Username: Markam
Posted 2012-07-29 14:16:09 and read 9312 times.

Quoting AAIL86 (Reply 40):
In the USA, ALL the majors have an average punctuality of 75%-82%. I'm pretty sure that down in Chile, LAN is close to that as well. When one considers that the majority of delayed flights are caused by weather and ATC problems, the airlines have generally done a good job in most situations. If I may ask, what level of on-time performance would meet your expectations?

You are certainly very welcome to ask:

1) I would make airlines 100% responsible for any delays on their side caused by anything else than "force majeure" and "act of god" delays, i.e. anything that is not a natural, outside of human control, or third party event, as it is standard practice for other industries such as insurance. The passengers are 100% responsible for any delays of their own in these cases, for example if they do not arrive on time at the airport, so I really don't see why it cannot be the same for airlines, let everyone take responsibility for their delays.

2) As for "force majeure" and "act of god" delays, I would salomonically make the airlines and the passengers share the cost, which keeping things simple would translate into the airline providing transportation as soon as it is feasible, i.e. I would leave things more or less as they are now in this second case.

With this any technical delays, aircraft of crew scheduling problems, etc. would be the full responsibility of the airline, and I would expect the airline to refund the ticket and/or offer compensation to the passenger, depending on the lenght of the delay, just a passenger should expect to pay for another ticket if they arrive late to the airport. Also, to avoid the airlines claiming "force majeure" or "act of god" in any single delay case, I would put the proof burden on the airlines, i.e. the airline should expect to refund and/or compensate the passenger in the event of a delay, unless it can prove that the delay was due to "force majeure" or an "act of god".

Topic: RE: Inflight "diversion"...to Pick Up Passengers!
Username: Markam
Posted 2012-07-29 14:29:16 and read 9250 times.

Quoting AAIL86 (Reply 39):
Aviation is indeed an exceptional industry. Some of the challenges airlines face on a daily basis would leave some of their counterparts working in other industries in tears.

So they say, but again, I really do not think that the logistics involving, say, express air freight, are less challenging, and express air freight companies are expected to deliver on time and to compensate if they do not fulfill their promises. Also, punctuality is not everything, nor are the physical challenges. For example, insurance companies are expected to pay, unless it is a case of "force majeure" or an "act of god", and I do not find the calculation of insurance premiums, which involve many forecasted probabilities, any easier than devising the schedules for an airline. The same could be said for supply chain logistics at most firms of some size, etc., so I really cannot see the exceptionalism claimed by the airlines.

Quoting AAIL86 (Reply 39):
Most of these controversial decisions that I've ever witnessed are made with a very high degree of professionalism - not indifference. These events are very frustrating for all involved to be sure, but in the long run a safe transportation system is more important then a few missed meetings.

I am sure that decisions are made in a very professional way, I have never doubted that. However, if airlines are not responsible for delays, even if they are not "force majeaure" or "act of god" related, and they do not need to refund or compensate passengers in those cases, they will not make avoiding them such a high priority. Incentives matter, and they matter a lot.

Quoting AAIL86 (Reply 39):
One example I remember from my own career(very similar to the OP's) was back in the days when AA flew TUL-STL. That particular day the fleet was running very short of available aircraft due to a few weather events in the northeast. At TUL, a fully loaded MD-80 was about to depart for STL with 140 passengers (100%) on board. Meanwhile, a 763 with a light load(80 booked of 225 seats) had been subbed on DFW-STL to make up for a 757 delayed back east.

While that particular 763 was preparing to depart for STL, the MD-80 was taken out of service due to excessive leakage from the forward lavatory. Due to the aircraft shortage that day, the flight was at risk to be canceled. However it was decided to to route the 763 DFW-TUL-STL and pick up those 140 passengers. So that aircraft ground interrupted back to the gate so the pilot could could pull the new flight plan. Needless to say, the 80 passengers going to St. Louis found this to be a major inconvenience, but in the end it was the right decision.

Good for them, but since arguably a leaking forward lavatory was not the fault of the STL or the TUL passengers, nor "force majeure" or an "act of god", in this case I would expect Delta to be held liable and compensate all passengers for their delays. Also, my way I bet you that next time Delta would be way more careful with lavatories when inspecting the plane.

Topic: RE: Inflight "diversion"...to Pick Up Passengers!
Username: USAIRWAYS321
Posted 2012-07-29 16:21:02 and read 9035 times.

Quoting wjcandee (Reply 21):
Sigh. From Delta's Contract of Carriage, IGR Rule 80, "Revised Routings Failure to Carry and Missed Connections":

"Delta will exercise reasonable efforts to carry passengers and their baggage according to Delta's published schedules and the schedule reflected on the passenger's ticket, but published schedules, flight times, aircraft type, seat assignments, and similar details reflected in the ticket or Delta's published schedules are not guaranteed and form no part of this contract. Delta may substitute alternative carriers or aircraft, delay or cancel flights, change seat assignments, and alter or omit stopping places shown on the ticket at any time. Schedules are subject to change without notice. Except as stated in this rule or Rule 55, Delta will have no liability for making connections, failing to operate any flight according to schedule, changing the schedule for any flight, changing seat assignments or aircraft types, or revising the routings by which Delta carries the passenger from the ticketed origin to destination."

Sigh. You read that and think it sounds reasonable and fair? You may like bending over again and again and then thanking them for the privilege, but I sure don't.

The terms in that Contract of Carriage wouldn't last more than a week in any other industry. Airlines are the only companie who are allowed to blatantly say "we don't give a shit what we advertised or what you paid for - sit down and quit bitching." It's obviously ridiculous to those with common sense, but not to some blind apologists around here.

Quoting bos2laf (Reply 17):
Well, guess what? In the words of Forrest Gump, "$hit happens."

It's great when things go according to plan and you get off your plane and hop a cab to whatever business engagement you have planned, but if you have the luxury of building some time into your schedule and fail to do so, you really have no right to complain when things go wrong.

Planes break.
ATC computers break.
Airline computers break.
Weather happens.
Runway construction happens.
Birdstrikes happen.
TSA lines get backed up.
Terminal evacuations happen.

There are tons of what-ifs that cannot be reasonably predicted, so if you have extra time to take an earlier flight but voluntarily take a later flight leaving you minutes to get off the plane and into a cab and off to your business meeting, its nobody's fault but your own for not planning cautiously.

I get that not everyone has the luxury of building a fudge factor into their schedules, but my initial statement still applies, $hit happens.

Wonderful list, but none of those instances are what happened here. Of course weather or unforeseen mechanical problems can delay a flight, and then the passenger really doesn't have a reason to complain. But that's not this debate. This was a case of an airline changing the itinerary without notice to serve their own purposes. Nothing about this was a "what-if." She has absolutely every right to complain.

Topic: RE: Inflight "diversion"...to Pick Up Passengers!
Username: wjcandee
Posted 2012-07-29 16:33:12 and read 8999 times.

Hey, USAIRWAYS. First of all, thanks for the personal attack. Thought that wasn't permitted around here.

But anyway, here's the point: That's the contract. It also protects against activities that airline has to take for Safety reasons as well. You want an airline that guarantees or takes responsibility for those things, such a thing could certainly exist, and if the market could support it, it very well might exist. However, the reason the market doesn't deliver it is that you could never run the business profitably if you didn't have a contract provision like this. (And high-service airlines that don't even go that far have all failed.)

So let's not talk about "common sense", unless you really like to lead with your chin.

Topic: RE: Inflight "diversion"...to Pick Up Passengers!
Username: USAIRWAYS321
Posted 2012-07-29 16:39:01 and read 8950 times.

Quoting wjcandee (Reply 47):
Hey, USAIRWAYS. First of all, thanks for the personal attack. Thought that wasn't permitted around here.

There was no personal attack, come on.

What I said, and I stand by, is that it's beyond absurd for airlines to be able to wipe their hands clean of every single aspect of the service they advertise and charge for, without any justifiable reason. That's clear common sense.

Topic: RE: Inflight "diversion"...to Pick Up Passengers!
Username: bellancacf
Posted 2012-07-29 17:38:35 and read 8853 times.

I like to remember that the stranded people who were picked up also had paid for their tickets and had places to get to. They were, in other words, passengers, just like the people in the diverted plane, and presumably they had become passengers before the ones in the plane that picked them up.

There is a certain calculus involved, I imagine, one that tries to maximize overall welfare, even at the cost of spreading inconvenience around among more people.

Topic: RE: Inflight "diversion"...to Pick Up Passengers!
Username: Maverick623
Posted 2012-07-30 05:25:32 and read 8392 times.

Quoting USAIRWAYS321 (Reply 46):
The terms in that Contract of Carriage wouldn't last more than a week in any other industry.

And most other industries would fold within a week if they had to work with the conditions airlines do.

Quoting USAIRWAYS321 (Reply 46):
This was a case of an airline changing the itinerary without notice to serve their own purposes.

Oh, my! The horror of helping out dozens of stranded passengers!

Quoting USAIRWAYS321 (Reply 48):
without any justifiable reason.

Just because you have unrealistic expectations, doesn't make it unjustifiable.

Topic: RE: Inflight "diversion"...to Pick Up Passengers!
Username: ss278
Posted 2012-07-30 14:24:19 and read 7997 times.

Twenty-five or so years ago I was on a late-evening United DC-10 flight operating ORD-LGA. Before we pushed back the captain announced we would be stopping in Cleveland to pick up passengers from a CLE-LGA trip that had cancelled. There were no more flights that night and everything was apparently full the following morning.

We land in Cleveland, everyone is asked to stay in their seats since we would be leaving as soon as the pax were boarded, twenty minutes, no more. Twenty minutes came and went. Everyone was on board. We waited. And we waited. After about forty-five minutes we were told that a minor technical problem had cropped up. Maintenance would have us out of there in fifteen minutes.

To make a long story short, two hours later we cancelled. Now instead of forty-five pissed off people in Cleveland they had 200 and change.

Stuff happens.

Topic: RE: Inflight "diversion"...to Pick Up Passengers!
Username: OB1504
Posted 2012-07-30 20:21:50 and read 7681 times.

Quoting USAIRWAYS321 (Reply 46):
Sigh. You read that and think it sounds reasonable and fair? You may like bending over again and again and then thanking them for the privilege, but I sure don't.

The terms in that Contract of Carriage wouldn't last more than a week in any other industry. Airlines are the only companie who are allowed to blatantly say "we don't give a shit what we advertised or what you paid for - sit down and quit bitching." It's obviously ridiculous to those with common sense, but not to some blind apologists around here.

Whether or not the terms of the contract are reasonable and fair is not the question being debated here. If Sky Airline had similar language in its contract of carriage, and the passenger accepted them regardless of the fact that they basically entitle the airline to pull a camel up to the gate without the passenger being able to complain, then she has only herself to blame. If she didn't like the terms of the contract (which she likely never read in the first place), then she shouldn't have agreed to them by buying the ticket.

Topic: RE: Inflight "diversion"...to Pick Up Passengers!
Username: trex8
Posted 2012-07-30 21:14:50 and read 7643 times.

Quoting bos2laf (Reply 17):
Quoting USAIRWAYS321 (Reply 16):
Only took 5 replies for someone to blame the passenger for missing their meeting because she had the audacity to believe the published routing and schedule.

Well, guess what? In the words of Forrest Gump, "$hit happens."
Quoting MD11Engineer (Reply 28):
As one ex-military guy once told me: "If you are on time, you are too late. Always plan for the worst case".
So if the meeting was that important, I would fly there on either the earlier flight or one day earlier.

US naval academy midshipmen returning from leave are expected to book flights to arrive at BWI at least 4 hours before their leave ends and they are supposed to report back at their dorm at Annapolis to cater for "routine" delays. If you can't plan well enough not to be late back for duty on something as simple as returning from leave, you won't be planning well enough to be fit to be a future naval officer in charge of a ship/sub/plane etc !!

Topic: RE: Inflight "diversion"...to Pick Up Passengers!
Username: USAIRWAYS321
Posted 2012-07-30 22:44:29 and read 7558 times.

Quoting Maverick623 (Reply 50):
Just because you have unrealistic expectations, doesn't make it unjustifiable.

How can you POSSIBLY call expecting to arrive on-time, and without visiting a city not listed on the itinerary, unrealistic? Are you kidding me?

[Edited 2012-07-30 22:44:59]

Topic: RE: Inflight "diversion"...to Pick Up Passengers!
Username: wjcandee
Posted 2012-07-30 23:10:36 and read 7498 times.

Expecting to arrive by airline exactly in accordance with the published schedule, particularly where there are significant consequences for failing to arrive (e.g. a court appearance, a cruise ship departure, a wedding that you are in, etc.) is, in fact, completely unrealistic.

Topic: RE: Inflight "diversion"...to Pick Up Passengers!
Username: vfw614
Posted 2012-07-31 01:09:14 and read 7402 times.

Quoting whisperjet (Reply 27):
Some charter airlines in the European market add additional stops if they cannot fill the planes for two separate flights.

I remember that when WOW Air, this new Icelandic LCC, opened its seasonal routes to Germany a few weeks ago, they combined three flights into one, flying KEF-BSL-STR-CGN-KEF instead of KEF-BSL, KEF-STR and KEF-CGN.

Topic: RE: Inflight "diversion"...to Pick Up Passengers!
Username: Markam
Posted 2012-07-31 06:03:40 and read 7228 times.

Quoting OB1504 (Reply 52):
Whether or not the terms of the contract are reasonable and fair is not the question being debated here. If Sky Airline had similar language in its contract of carriage, and the passenger accepted them regardless of the fact that they basically entitle the airline to pull a camel up to the gate without the passenger being able to complain, then she has only herself to blame. If she didn't like the terms of the contract (which she likely never read in the first place), then she shouldn't have agreed to them by buying the ticket.

On the contrary, whether or not the terms of the contract are reasonable and fair is central to the question, because there are such things as "abusive clauses", which have been deemed invalid in court. This is, that the companies can get away with draconian clauses in their contracts because of lobbying and obsolete international treaties and national legislation, does not mean that they will be valid in court, as was the case here (remember that the passenger in the OP story has won her case). To give you an extreme example, according to your way of reasoning, if Sky or other airlines include a "if we like it so you will have to surrender to us your first-born child" clause in their contracts, passengers should give them their first born child, or not fly them at all, in the first place, shouldn't they?

Legislators often exceed their duty and pass overreaching laws, and I will be the first one to object in that case, but the case of airlines getting away with not compensating passengers for failing to deliver the advertised product is so blatant that I honestly cannot understand how some defend them here in this respect, either saying that it is fair (which it isn't, because passengers are responsible for their lack punctuality, but airlines are not for theirs), or that if it is in the contract it is the law. It is not the law, it is a contract, and the role of the law should be, and is in many other industries, to protect parties from abusive contracts imposed upon them.

Quoting bellancacf (Reply 49):

I like to remember that the stranded people who were picked up also had paid for their tickets and had places to get to. They were, in other words, passengers, just like the people in the diverted plane, and presumably they had become passengers before the ones in the plane that picked them up.

There is a certain calculus involved, I imagine, one that tries to maximize overall welfare, even at the cost of spreading inconvenience around among more people.

The problem, at least for me, is not Sky picking up stranded passengers, which is all very good, is refusing to compensate the stranded passengers and the regular ones for their delays. We can argue what compensation is adequate, or in what circumstances, but as mentioned in more detail in one of my previous posts, for me it is crystal clear that if Sky or any other airline fail to deliver the advertised products to the rerouted passengers, they need to compensate.

Quoting wjcandee (Reply 47):
That's the contract. It also protects against activities that airline has to take for Safety reasons as well. You want an airline that guarantees or takes responsibility for those things, such a thing could certainly exist, and if the market could support it, it very well might exist. However, the reason the market doesn't deliver it is that you could never run the business profitably if you didn't have a contract provision like this. (And high-service airlines that don't even go that far have all failed.)

Really, could you please leave the market out of this? I thought that by now I had already shown you that it has nothing to do with the status-quo, as there are market frictions that may sustain an inefficient equilibrium, or even if the equilibrium is efficient, it may not be desirable, etc. I certainly do not find it desirable that airlines can fail to provide the product the advertise and just walk away without compensating for it, irrespective of abusive contracts imposed upon the customer, which for me and others, such as the Chilean judge who awarded compensation to the passenger, mean nothing. Consumer protection is higher in Europe, and airlines still operate there. And maybe you will argue that European Airlines are in trouble, but so are the American ones, or were until very recently, it has nothing to do with consumer protection, which, by the way, may well benefit all parties by increasing passenger numbers due to increased reliability of air travel. And no, that will not happen via just the market, since the airlines have market power and a degree of collusion, and there are information problems and many other frictions, so, again, please leave the market out of this, it is just not like that, I'm sorry.

Quoting Maverick623 (Reply 50):
And most other industries would fold within a week if they had to work with the conditions airlines do.

Nice statement, but could you please show me how running a health-care system, running an express air freight company, running a stock market, running a logistics center, running a supply chain, running an automated factory, etc., are less challenging than running at the airline? I understand that there are unforeseen, unavoidable circumstances such as weather or war that there is no way that an airline could have avoided which cause delays, and for which it is fair that no one needs to compensate or be compensated in first instance. However, for operational decisions, technical failures, etc., all those are things that are within the scope of the airline activities, and which affect the quality and characteristics of the service, so I really do not understand why it is such an outrage to some that in those cases, as for example in the one discussed in this thread, the airlines need to reasonably compensate passengers, as customers in other industries are compensated when something goes wrong. Again, we can discuss the amount and circumstances in which compensation is reasonable, but to just blindly refuse to acknowledge that passengers have the right to be compensated, irrespective of abusive carriage contracts, that I honestly cannot understand.

Quoting Maverick623 (Reply 50):
Oh, my! The horror of helping out dozens of stranded passengers!

There is nothing wrong with helping dozens of stranded passengers, what is wrong is to argue that the passengers who were delayed because of that operational decision have no right to be compensated accordingly.

Quoting Maverick623 (Reply 50):
Just because you have unrealistic expectations, doesn't make it unjustifiable.
Quoting wjcandee (Reply 55):

Expecting to arrive by airline exactly in accordance with the published schedule, particularly where there are significant consequences for failing to arrive (e.g. a court appearance, a cruise ship departure, a wedding that you are in, etc.) is, in fact, completely unrealistic.

It is not USAIRWAYS321 or the passengers who have unrealistic expectations, it is the airlines. They expect to fail to provide a service in the negotiated terms (and again, I do not care about the terms in the contract of carriage, they are clearly abusive) and walk away without compensating the customer, as it occurs in many other industries with also very tricky logistics. What is amazing is that they are still getting away with that, not that the passengers expect to arrive more or less on time to their destination, unless weather or something similar prevents it, or otherwise be compensated.

Topic: RE: Inflight "diversion"...to Pick Up Passengers!
Username: acontador
Posted 2012-07-31 07:17:45 and read 7143 times.

It seems somewhere in this thread some part of the information was lost, and/or some don't really understand what happened in this case. This was not a diversion or a delay.

Just to make it easier for everybody to understand, this is like a flight originally from Miami to New York, where in flight (roughly midway to NY) it was announced to the passengers that the flight would continue straight to (unscheduled) Boston and then fly back to NY. There is no excuse for the airline not to land at NY as per schedule and then continue to Boston (they evidently did it in order to save one landing, as otherwise they would have had to stop again at NY to pick up the passengers for the return leg to MIA). Now only change the names of the cities as MIA=Santiago, NY=Antofagasta and Boston=Iquique.

Unfortunately, our local consumer legislation in this respect is much weaker (that is less protective of consumer rights)than for example in Europe, and as a passenger you have no special rights or guarantees as any other consumer of any good or service, which means in any dispute you have to go to court and prove all your damages.

Cheers,
Andres

Topic: RE: Inflight "diversion"...to Pick Up Passengers!
Username: AM744
Posted 2012-07-31 07:20:19 and read 7143 times.

When I was a kid, several years ago, our late night AM flight MEX-ZIH took a detour to ACA to drop a crew for a stranded company DC-8. Nobody was pissed, but this was a touristic destination and flights were really short.

Topic: RE: Inflight "diversion"...to Pick Up Passengers!
Username: jpyvr
Posted 2012-07-31 12:27:08 and read 6955 times.

When I lived in Malta, I took what was supposed to be a day excursion by high-speed catamaran to Sicily. On the evening return the ship began to pitch wildly as soon as we left the safety of the Sicilian harbor, so the captain high-tailed it back to the port. All the passengers were given pizza and slept all night on board. In the mroning the winds on the Mediterranean still hadn't died down. We spent all day in port, until about 4 pm, when the captain announced that an Air Malta flight from Hamburg to Malta would be putting down in Catania, Sicily to pick us up on its way to Malta.

There were plenty of stunned expressions on the faces of passengers who'd boarded in Hamburg to be seen when we embarked on the KM flight in Catania. A quick 25 minutes later we were in Malta, only 24 hours behind schedule.

In this case, I was extremely happy that KM made an unscheduled stop for stranded passengers. The shipping line was only able to return the empty cataman to Malta three days later!

Topic: RE: Inflight "diversion"...to Pick Up Passengers!
Username: AM744
Posted 2012-07-31 13:33:08 and read 6881 times.

Quoting AM744 (Reply 59):
When I was a kid, several years ago, our late night AM flight MEX-ZIH took a detour to ACA to drop a crew for a stranded company DC-8. Nobody was pissed, but this was a touristic destination and flights were really short.

But I concede to the OP that we were told we'd go to ACA before the doors closed, rather than inflight, so anybody could get out if so they wished.

Topic: RE: Inflight "diversion"...to Pick Up Passengers!
Username: Markam
Posted 2012-07-31 14:15:33 and read 6797 times.

Quoting jpyvr (Reply 60):
In this case, I was extremely happy that KM made an unscheduled stop for stranded passengers. The shipping line was only able to return the empty cataman to Malta three days later!

Again, at least for me, the problem is not to make a diversion to help other passengers, is the fact that the airlines do not acknowledge the right to compensation in those, and other cases, for the inconvenienced passengers.

Topic: RE: Inflight "diversion"...to Pick Up Passengers!
Username: bennett123
Posted 2012-07-31 14:37:24 and read 6756 times.

IMO, the airline may still up in pocket hers.

The court option cost $4,500, how much would it cost to put all those passengers in a Hotel overnight?.

Topic: RE: Inflight "diversion"...to Pick Up Passengers!
Username: Gonzalo
Posted 2012-07-31 16:55:46 and read 6619 times.

Quoting bennett123 (Reply 63):
The court option cost $4,500, how much would it cost to put all those passengers in a Hotel overnight?.

The question is how much would cost an additional landing and take off, since that was really the only saving they had passing over ANF and continue to IQQ to pick up the stranded passengers. And the real "damage" to the airline here is the legal precedent, this give other passengers more chances ( and will ) to fight for compensation if they suffer some inconvenience as a consequence of an Airline decision.

Rgds.

G.

Topic: RE: Inflight "diversion"...to Pick Up Passengers!
Username: exFWAOONW
Posted 2012-07-31 17:19:01 and read 6596 times.

And just what would your opinions be if YOU were the ones stranded?

I'd think that you'd tell the unhappy campers on your rescue flight to f* off, this is the best airline in the world.

Topic: RE: Inflight "diversion"...to Pick Up Passengers!
Username: Gonzalo
Posted 2012-07-31 19:30:38 and read 6477 times.

Quoting exFWAOONW (Reply 65):
And just what would your opinions be if YOU were the ones stranded?

I'd think that you'd tell the unhappy campers on your rescue flight to f* off, this is the best airline in the world.

That is a very, very selfish way to see the things. The load factors in the flights to the North of Chile, specially Antofagasta, are always high. I don't have the exact numbers for this particular case, but I'm sure the number of people "rescued" was only a small fraction of the passengers already on board and "diverted" to IQQ, probably no more than 10 or 20 passengers were "rescued". Is not reasonable to think that 100 or 110 people must throw into the garbage their schedule and make their relatives wait for 2 hours in the airport ( in winter time ), because the airline doesn't want to pay the cost of the fuel and landing fees of the additional landing necessary to avoid this situation ( we´re not even talking about the cost of the hotel and food for 10 or 20 stranded passengers in other city, we are talking about saving ONE additional Landing / Take Off ).

Rgds.

G.

Topic: RE: Inflight "diversion"...to Pick Up Passengers!
Username: AY104
Posted 2012-07-31 19:46:15 and read 6463 times.

In the early 90's, I was on a DL flight to SLC from YVR. Routing YVR - GEG - SLC. During the stop in GEG, someone popped the emergency chute, and the flight was cancelled. There was a flght SEA - SLC that diverted to pick us up. The folks onboard only found out about it when dinner was being served. It filled up the plane, but we folks were sure glad that we didn't have to spend the night in GEG! Didn't hear a word of complaint from any of the other pax on the flight either.
I was working for DL at the time, and ended sitting between two businessmen. We three got talking, and I mentioned that I worked for DL. They actually complimented DL for stopping to pick up the stranded pax!
I don't think the plane was on the ground for more than 15 min. They didn't even need fuel. The agents in GEG were organized, there was a great crew, and everyone was happy, as unusual as that may sound.
It turned out to be a very pleasant flight. I even noticed a great camaraderie amongst all of the pax.
Thought I would share a positive story with all of you. Not all these irregular operations turn out badly!
Cheers,
AY104

Topic: RE: Inflight "diversion"...to Pick Up Passengers!
Username: Maverick623
Posted 2012-08-01 08:02:39 and read 6198 times.

Quoting USAIRWAYS321 (Reply 54):
How can you POSSIBLY call expecting to arrive on-time, and without visiting a city not listed on the itinerary, unrealistic?

No, no, no. You wanted to bash airlines for not performing up to the standards of other industries. I called that an unrealistic view.

You seem to have a mind that airlines enjoy screwing people over. That is simply not the case.

Quoting Markam (Reply 57):
Nice statement, but could you please show me how running a health-care system, running an express air freight company, running a stock market, running a logistics center, running a supply chain, running an automated factory, etc., are less challenging than running at the airline?

For starters, not a single one of those industries (save for the air freight company) have as strict of rules as airlines do regarding employee rest and mechanical issues. A stock exchange doesn't close down because there's a bit of rain. An automated factory doesn't have to cease operations when a computer isn't working properly. And when you do the repairs, the FAA isn't breathing down your neck.

Quoting Markam (Reply 57):
what is wrong is to argue that the passengers who were delayed because of that operational decision have no right to be compensated accordingly.

I'll concede that in the OP's story, since the airline made a decision of it's own volition, compensation is reasonable and should have been given out.

But to conclude that, as USAIRWAYS321 does, that any deviation from the published schedule is unreasonable, is itself unreasonable and lacks any sort of operational knowledge of aviation.

Quoting Markam (Reply 57):
It is not USAIRWAYS321 or the passengers who have unrealistic expectations

Except they do. Planes break. Weather happens. ILS systems go down. Routes become unprofitable. It sucks, but that's life.

Topic: RE: Inflight "diversion"...to Pick Up Passengers!
Username: USAIRWAYS321
Posted 2012-08-01 15:43:18 and read 5787 times.

Quoting Maverick623 (Reply 68):
No, no, no. You wanted to bash airlines for not performing up to the standards of other industries. I called that an unrealistic view.

You seem to have a mind that airlines enjoy screwing people over. That is simply not the case.

No, no, no yourself. Your inability to rationally defend a blatantly predatory Contract of Carriage isn't an excuse for giving up and resorting to putting words in my mouth. What I said is that it's ridiculous for airlines to be able to get away with charging for one thing, and delivering something completely different. The only unrealistic view is thinking that there's nothing wrong with that concept.

Next time you go buy a car, how would you feel if the dealership advertised and collected money for a Corvette and then handed you the keys to a Malibu? Then, upon your complaint, pointed out a deliberately hidden addendum that said they had the right to modify the vehicle delivered for any reason, without repercussion. I bet you would be pretty angry if the manager called you unrealistic for having a problem with this arrangement.

Quoting Maverick623 (Reply 68):
Except they do. Planes break. Weather happens. ILS systems go down. Routes become unprofitable. It sucks, but that's life.

I don't know how many times you need to be told this, but those instances aren't being debated on this thread. Nobody is arguing that some things are out of the airlines' control. Changing the routing of a flight without prior notice is completely different.

Topic: RE: Inflight "diversion"...to Pick Up Passengers!
Username: ytz
Posted 2012-08-01 16:15:53 and read 5768 times.

Quoting trex8 (Reply 53):
US naval academy midshipmen returning from leave are expected to book flights to arrive at BWI at least 4 hours before their leave ends and they are supposed to report back at their dorm at Annapolis to cater for "routine" delays. If you can't plan well enough not to be late back for duty on something as simple as returning from leave, you won't be planning well enough to be fit to be a future naval officer in charge of a ship/sub/plane etc !!

Here in Canada, it was drilled in to you during Basic Officer Training. For any timing given, on any exercise, the individual or the platoon was expected to be at said co-ordinate, two minutes prior, ready to go. The standard phrase was, "If you're not two minutes early, you're four minutes late." It's a phrase that's very true.

Topic: RE: Inflight "diversion"...to Pick Up Passengers!
Username: Maverick623
Posted 2012-08-01 16:34:49 and read 5728 times.

Quoting USAIRWAYS321 (Reply 69):
resorting to putting words in my mouth.

Oh, really?

Quoting USAIRWAYS321 (Reply 46):


The terms in that Contract of Carriage wouldn't last more than a week in any other industry.

Topic: RE: Inflight "diversion"...to Pick Up Passengers!
Username: USAIRWAYS321
Posted 2012-08-01 16:49:04 and read 5705 times.

Quoting Maverick623 (Reply 68):
But to conclude that, as USAIRWAYS321 does, that any deviation from the published schedule is unreasonable, is itself unreasonable and lacks any sort of operational knowledge of aviation.

Scroll through the thread. You'll find no post where I said what you claim here. In fact, you'll find 2 instances where I acknowledge the exact opposite - certain things are obviously beyond control of the airline. This wasn't one of them, a reality which you continually fail to grasp.

You absolutely put words in my mouth. You can't win an argument on merits, and resort to crap like this.

[Edited 2012-08-01 16:50:15]

Topic: RE: Inflight "diversion"...to Pick Up Passengers!
Username: Markam
Posted 2012-08-02 01:16:09 and read 5403 times.

Quoting Maverick623 (Reply 68):
A stock exchange doesn't close down because there's a bit of rain.

Sure they don't, but weather is not the only challenge. In any case, as I have mentioned, I am reasonable and do not expect that airlines compensate passengers for delays due to weather or other "act of god" or "force majeure" (although I would expect that airlines also accomodate whenever a passenger is in distress due to those causes in reciprocity).

Quoting Maverick623 (Reply 68):
An automated factory doesn't have to cease operations when a computer isn't working properly.

I would say they do, if the failure is important enough, just as in an airline or aircraft.

Quoting Maverick623 (Reply 68):
For starters, not a single one of those industries (save for the air freight company) have as strict of rules as airlines do regarding employee rest and mechanical issues.

Air freight is the most easily comparable, so I would say that it is a big exception. Nonetheless, my point is that although operating an airline is without doubt challenging, other industries also face challenges of their own, and that they compensate whenever they screw up and it is their fault. In any case, again, no one expects, or at least I don't, that airlines compensate if weather or other even out of their control causes a delay, for example ATC, etc. However, I find it very unreasonable that they expect to walk away without further compensation to the passenger even when the delay is their own fault, such as in the case of technical problems, crew problems, schedule problems not directly related to an out-of-control event, etc.

Quoting Maverick623 (Reply 68):
But to conclude that, as USAIRWAYS321 does, that any deviation from the published schedule is unreasonable, is itself unreasonable and lacks any sort of operational knowledge of aviation.

I cannot speak for him, but from his comments I would say that USAIRWAYS321's position is very similar to mine. This is, that the airlines stance and their contracts of carriage are abusive not because they exempts the carriers from compensation in case of delays due to events which are out of their control, but, de facto, in ANY case.

Quoting Maverick623 (Reply 68):
I'll concede that in the OP's story, since the airline made a decision of it's own volition, compensation is reasonable and should have been given out.

Then we agree, don't we?   

Topic: RE: Inflight "diversion"...to Pick Up Passengers!
Username: ytz
Posted 2012-08-02 11:23:15 and read 5108 times.

Quoting Gonzalo (Reply 64):
The question is how much would cost an additional landing and take off, since that was really the only saving they had passing over ANF and continue to IQQ to pick up the stranded passengers. And the real "damage" to the airline here is the legal precedent, this give other passengers more chances ( and will ) to fight for compensation if they suffer some inconvenience as a consequence of an Airline decision.

Rgds.

G.

If you were an airline, why would you not now rewrite the contract of carriage to ensure you don't have to pay compensation in the future.

I think, the only reason, she got anything, was not for the incovnenience, but because she got booted. Had they flown her on, she would have got nothing.

I really see no point, arguing with the aircrew, in these situations. They aren't going to change their minds. And in her case, it got her kicked off the airplane, resulting in her missing her meeting anyway.

Topic: RE: Inflight "diversion"...to Pick Up Passengers!
Username: exFWAOONW
Posted 2012-08-02 15:47:44 and read 4946 times.

Quoting Gonzalo (Reply 66):
That is a very, very selfish way to see the things.

There's more than enough selfishness on two sides of this story to fill a couple of 747s. Those on-board "inconvenienced" by the rescue, and the airline for for the way they handled it. Unless I missed something, I don't see any selfishness on the part of the stranded pax.

Topic: RE: Inflight "diversion"...to Pick Up Passengers!
Username: USAIRWAYS321
Posted 2012-08-03 16:22:09 and read 4434 times.

Quoting Markam (Reply 73):
I cannot speak for him, but from his comments I would say that USAIRWAYS321's position is very similar to mine. This is, that the airlines stance and their contracts of carriage are abusive not because they exempts the carriers from compensation in case of delays due to events which are out of their control, but, de facto, in ANY case.

Absolutely right!

Topic: RE: Inflight "diversion"...to Pick Up Passengers!
Username: lewis
Posted 2012-08-06 07:00:24 and read 3867 times.

Quoting shufflemoomin (Reply 5):
I've never understood people who complain about missing important appointments due to the action of airlines. If you have something that's important, maybe work a little wiggle room into the schedule where one delay doesn't ruin the plans, huh?
Quoting traindoc (Reply 12):
When traveling, you ALWAYS need to build in some wiggle room to your schedule!

You probably do not hold job positions where such last-minute travel arrangements are the norm.

Topic: RE: Inflight "diversion"...to Pick Up Passengers!
Username: cmf
Posted 2012-08-06 09:45:10 and read 3753 times.

Quoting lewis (Reply 77):
You probably do not hold job positions where such last-minute travel arrangements are the norm.

If you hold such a position then you know that it frequently fails to fly last minute. Flights are delayed, it is fact of life. If you fly with any frequency you will experience it and know to plan for it.

Topic: RE: Inflight "diversion"...to Pick Up Passengers!
Username: neutrino
Posted 2012-08-06 10:55:37 and read 3664 times.

Quoting cmf (Reply 78):
Quoting lewis (Reply 77):
You probably do not hold job positions where such last-minute travel arrangements are the norm.

If you hold such a position then you know that it frequently fails to fly last minute. Flights are delayed, it is fact of life. If you fly with any frequency you will experience it and know to plan for it.

It is a fact of life that significant delays are a minority occurance as measured against the total number of flights. It is also another fact of life that in business or in personal matters, last-minute is last-minute, meaning there could be no luxury of trying to build in any buffer whatsoever. Yeah, Man Proposes; Heaven Disposes, but what if an aunt or other closer relatives or friends is on her/his deathbed and express a dying wish to meet for the last time, and you hopped onto the next scheduled departure that ended up being diverted for the reason stated in this thread. How? Text the Grim Reaper to slack a little?


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