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Why Not Hold The Plane?  
User currently offlineNWAA330 From United States of America, joined Jun 2003, 213 posts, RR: 1
Posted (10 years 11 months 4 weeks 1 day 19 hours ago) and read 4987 times:

My friend was on today's UA flight 644 from BOI to DEN which was delayed due to weather. He and his family were to connect on UA 1050 to DTW but missed their connection. Now 644 arrived in DEN at 9:59 and 1050 departed at 10:07am. The two flights were 1 gate apart (B44/B46) and my friends family is made up of 6 people. Doesnt it seem reasonable that UA could hold the flight for at most 10 minutes to get those six passengers on board? My friend and his family arrived at the gate while the a/c was still there but were not allowed to board and were put on a waitlist for flights later this afternoon. We all know 6 people are not going to make it on to a plane this afternoon as long as they are waitlisted. Doesnt is seem logical that for SIX people UA could hold the flight for a couple minutes? Im not trying to UA bash im sure this happens at all airlines everyday but it doesnt seem like it would make that big of a deal. Any insights?


To Fly is to Live.
56 replies: All unread, showing first 25:
 
User currently offlineTranscon1976 From United States of America, joined Nov 2003, 30 posts, RR: 4
Reply 1, posted (10 years 11 months 4 weeks 1 day 19 hours ago) and read 4933 times:

Unfortunately, you have illustrated yet another example of ridged archaic policy and procedure. One would think that with United in bankruptcy, they would want to do their very best to make everyone's experience on their carrier the best they can. One person or six people are obviously still of little consequence to "THE OPPERATION". I'm sure that the ground staff was just following a page out of their policy and procedure manual. The same one that will take its place next to that of EA/PA/TW and others if they don't change their corporate mentality.

User currently offlineAvt007 From Canada, joined Jul 2000, 2132 posts, RR: 5
Reply 2, posted (10 years 11 months 4 weeks 1 day 19 hours ago) and read 4909 times:

Their bags wouldn`t have made it anyway, so why get to your destination without it? I'm sure that factored into UAs decision. Also, by helping six people they build more delays into the system , affecting hundreds. Realistically, it was probably a snap decision by a CSM who had to consider downstream delays, and possible gate delays for the next flight inbound. They chose the lesser of two evils.

User currently offlinePiedmontGirl From United States of America, joined Nov 2003, 1124 posts, RR: 12
Reply 3, posted (10 years 11 months 4 weeks 1 day 19 hours ago) and read 4871 times:

NWAA330:

Since those folks were at the gate and the plane was still there, they should have been put on it. Ten minutes can be made up in flight.

However, airlines come up with such rigid rules and threaten their employees with termination if they do not follow them that those rules are followed to the letter. It's foolishness and it happens in Legacy Land with alarming frequency.


User currently offlineWhiteguy From Canada, joined Nov 2003, 840 posts, RR: 0
Reply 4, posted (10 years 11 months 4 weeks 1 day 19 hours ago) and read 4802 times:

As was said earlier, yes the pax could have been put on in 10 mins but how long would it have taken to get their bags on to the flight. People seem to forget how long it takes to off load an aircraft. I'm sure there were a few reasons why they were not put on the flight. Friends of mine were not allowed on a flight because there were no TSA agents at the gate, they had already left.

User currently offlineNWAA330 From United States of America, joined Jun 2003, 213 posts, RR: 1
Reply 5, posted (10 years 11 months 4 weeks 1 day 19 hours ago) and read 4756 times:

Of course I understand that their bags could not have been unloaded and loaded in such a short ammount of time, that is out of the question. But I have had similar situations before on NW where they simply fly the bags in on a later flight and ship them from the airport to your hotel or home. If airlines cared about the opinions of their pax then that is what should be done. And as Piedmont girl stated ten minutes could be made up in flight and would not "...build more delays into the system, affecting hundreds".



To Fly is to Live.
User currently offlineSHUPirate1 From United States of America, joined Sep 2003, 3670 posts, RR: 16
Reply 6, posted (10 years 11 months 4 weeks 1 day 19 hours ago) and read 4699 times:

What delays exactly would be built into the system...I can only think of two:

Delays for that gate, which is more likely, especially if that gate has to have a quick turnaround (considering this is at DEN we are talking, likely the case)

Delays for that particular aircraft headed to DTW, which is unlikely, considering time can be made up in-flight, and turnarounds at non-hubs are generally less strenuous, considering nobody is connecting to another flight at DTW (barring the odd Expedia routing from DEN-DTW-IAD or something like that), and it's pretty straightforward that all baggage is going to be off-loaded to the baggage claim, and accepted from the check-in counters, rather than going to or from other flights...plus the flight is likely pre-catered for the turnaround...



Burma's constitutional referendum options: A. Yes, B. Go to Insein Prison!
User currently offlineCkfred From United States of America, joined Apr 2001, 5312 posts, RR: 1
Reply 7, posted (10 years 11 months 4 weeks 1 day 18 hours ago) and read 4663 times:

I have been on a number of AA flights where the flight was held for as few as two people. Once, on a 757 flight from ORD to BOS, my flight was late. It was coming from SNA, but had diverted to MSP due to snow at ORD.

At one point, the gate agent had backed the jet bridge away from the aircraft. Then, several minutes later, the jet bridge was moved up to the forward door, and two more people boarded.

It turns out that the next flight to BOS had gone from half empty to overbooked due to ours being delayed, so the extra passengers had been walked over to my flight.

An interesting one was the case on my in-laws. They were flying DAY-LGW on NW via DTW. The DAY-DTW flight was late. As they taxied into the gate, the captain announced that all passengers who were not connecting for European flights to remain in their seats until those who were connecting had deplaned.

A gate agent met my in-laws and told them to start running, because the London flight was at the other end of the terminal (not the new midfield terminal at DTW).

Turned out that NW held the LGW departure for 5 minutes. Apparently, NW didn't want to spend the money to put my in-laws on the BA flight for LHR.


User currently offlineTranscon1976 From United States of America, joined Nov 2003, 30 posts, RR: 4
Reply 8, posted (10 years 11 months 4 weeks 1 day 18 hours ago) and read 4634 times:

100% baggage/passenger match means that should the passenger not show up for the flight and they have checked luggage, then the bags would have to be pulled before the aircraft blocked. HOWEVER, misconnecting luggage is not subject to the same rule. If it were, then lost luggage wouldn't be legal. The point is that this is the way the "legacy carriers" have always done business and making exceptions to iron clad "Company Policy" is unthinkable. Airlines are measure by the DOT on A-14 arrivals, not D-14 arrivals. The miniscule time that it would have taken for those six people to walk to the gate right next to the one in which they arrived could easily have been made up in the air, and even if it took as long as a 13-minute delay on the ground and made up no time in the air, the flight would still have made A-14 on time arrival. United also provides more time for their staff to turn an aircraft thereby creating another opportunity to make up those few minutes.

Word of mouth is more powerful than any marketing campaign and people love to complain. In an economic climate as unfavorable as ours is now one would logically assume that perhaps its time to change the way business is done. CUSTOMER SERVICE!!


User currently offlinePiedmontGirl From United States of America, joined Nov 2003, 1124 posts, RR: 12
Reply 9, posted (10 years 11 months 4 weeks 1 day 18 hours ago) and read 4577 times:

Transcon1976:

HOWEVER, misconnecting luggage is not subject to the same rule. If it were, then lost luggage wouldn't be legal. The point is that this is the way the "legacy carriers" have always done business and making exceptions to iron clad "Company Policy" is unthinkable.

What's so crazy about this is that even if they had some concern about the contents of the bags, they would have all kinds of time to check them before departure of the next flight. This is not rocket science.

Running an airline is as much art as it is science. When you lose the art, you generally lose the airline, too, sooner or later.


User currently offlineRsmith6621a From United States of America, joined Aug 2005, 194 posts, RR: 2
Reply 10, posted (10 years 11 months 4 weeks 1 day 18 hours ago) and read 4572 times:



Has anyone ever heard of a IFR departure clearence??????

Yes it seems logical to hold a plane for a few minutes to get late arriving passengers on board but when you think of the FARs that govern a flight I think things become clear WHY they dont.


If UAL 1050 had been a non originating flight and at the gate for 58 minutes already they would only have 1 minutes to get the PAX,BAGS,Pushback and taxi underway before a new dispatch release would be needed.

To further understand why holding a flight is somtimes out of the question you must remember that that flight has a date with ATC to be enroute to its destination 1 minute can make or break wheather or not the system can handle that aircraft safely.

The airline industry is not perfect and neither are the PAX that fly them. You must remember that missconects are less than .0001 of the total daily ops it is unfortunate though when they happen to you.



Did You Ever Think Freedom Could Be this Bad
User currently offlineTranscon1976 From United States of America, joined Nov 2003, 30 posts, RR: 4
Reply 11, posted (10 years 11 months 4 weeks 1 day 18 hours ago) and read 4518 times:

PiedmontGirl,



It seems that even bankruptcy and the very real possibility that United could cease to exist with tens of thousands out of work, thinking out of the box is still as foreign to them as palm trees in Alaska.

Rsmith6621a, Whiteguy, SHUPirate1,

You have all made valid points as to why delaying this particular flight for 6 people to board would be difficult and there could be further effects form this action in the system. I do not dispute that theoretically a 10-minute delay could turn in to a cascading issue.

The point that I'm trying to make is that instead of coming up with reasons, albeit plausible ones, for saying no and not holding the flight for these six paying customers, all carriers should be coming up with more creative ways to say yes and make it happen.

Here is a scenario for you. Suppose they lost their slot and had to get a new release. Suppose also that they were able to make up not one second of that ground delay. Perhaps knowing that this aircraft is delayed inbound everyone might just have to be ready for it on the ground when it arrives and "HUSTLE" a little.

Worst case scenario, the flight is delayed downline. You have now gone above and beyond for these six people who are now not only grateful and more likely to choose UA over anyone else, each of them will tell 10 people, and so on. You see these six customer's deemed "inconsequential" compared to the greater good of the huge operation of United aren't just 6 people. The represent a loss of 6 revenue passengers and countless others that will hear this story of cold indifference.




User currently offlineNWAA330 From United States of America, joined Jun 2003, 213 posts, RR: 1
Reply 12, posted (10 years 11 months 4 weeks 1 day 18 hours ago) and read 4475 times:

Welcome to my respected users list transcon1976



To Fly is to Live.
User currently offlineRsmith6621a From United States of America, joined Aug 2005, 194 posts, RR: 2
Reply 13, posted (10 years 11 months 4 weeks 1 day 18 hours ago) and read 4465 times:

>>>The point that I'm trying to make is that instead of coming up with reasons, albeit plausible ones, for saying no and not holding the flight for these six paying customers, all carriers should be coming up with more creative ways to say yes and make it happen.<<<

Some of these creative sollutions will have to come from the FAA first.



Did You Ever Think Freedom Could Be this Bad
User currently offlineTranscon1976 From United States of America, joined Nov 2003, 30 posts, RR: 4
Reply 14, posted (10 years 11 months 4 weeks 1 day 18 hours ago) and read 4453 times:

And you to mine NWAA330.

User currently offlineUal747 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 15, posted (10 years 11 months 4 weeks 1 day 18 hours ago) and read 4430 times:

The first time I went to Japan, it was on a youth exchange program. We had about 50 kids with us including several adults. Our bus from Sendai to Narita was late in getting us to AA), Japan">NRT. We called AA and made them aware of the problem and they held the plane for us. Guess if you have 50 plus passengers it makes a difference.

UAL747


User currently offlinePiedmontGirl From United States of America, joined Nov 2003, 1124 posts, RR: 12
Reply 16, posted (10 years 11 months 4 weeks 1 day 17 hours ago) and read 4398 times:

Rsmith6621a:

If UAL 1050 had been a non originating flight and at the gate for 58 minutes already they would only have 1 minutes to get the PAX,BAGS,Pushback and taxi underway before a new dispatch release would be needed.

The BAGS would go on the next flight. The release is sent by computer. And.....the airplane is going to sit there for a few minutes if some little old lady decides to visit the lav at the last minute. Can't leave with her in there.

When stuff like this happens, everyone just hustles a little to get the airplane on time again. The F/As serve a little faster because the airplane is traveling a little faster. The pilots kick the airplane in the butt a little and move it along. When you get to the gate at the next place, the ramp guys get a hustle on to move it out again.

People can work at more than one speed. If the airplane is half full and it's a two hour flight the F/As are not to be moving nearly as fast as if it's a full plane and a 30 minute flight. When it's short and full, the F/A is moving so fast it's a wonder his/her hair doesn't catch on fire.

Transcon1976:

It seems that even bankruptcy and the very real possibility that United could cease to exist with tens of thousands out of work, thinking out of the box is still as foreign to them as palm trees in Alaska.

I don't think these folks even want their employees to know there is an outside to the box.


User currently offline707437 From United States of America, joined Nov 2003, 152 posts, RR: 1
Reply 17, posted (10 years 11 months 4 weeks 1 day 17 hours ago) and read 4384 times:

How do you know that your six friends still had seats left on that flight?

At 10 min to go all the standby pax (and their baggage) would've been cleared. If a standby is ready to go the gate agent has to clear the standby list at some point.


User currently offlineNWAA330 From United States of America, joined Jun 2003, 213 posts, RR: 1
Reply 18, posted (10 years 11 months 4 weeks 1 day 17 hours ago) and read 4361 times:

United should know that they were arriving at the next gate and at what time. It was a UA to UA connection and they know where every plane and passenger is every step of the way. If UA had been on top of things they should have noticed this. I was making a tight delay related connection at KLIA last year with MH and they had personell waiting at the gate who rushed us to our connection which was a full 777 held for 15 minutes. THAT is what SERVICE is about. We then made the lost time up in the air and arrived on time.


To Fly is to Live.
User currently offlineSHUPirate1 From United States of America, joined Sep 2003, 3670 posts, RR: 16
Reply 19, posted (10 years 11 months 4 weeks 1 day 17 hours ago) and read 4336 times:

If I'm not mistaken (and I ran into this last week), if a passenger puts themselves on the standby list for a flight at the check-in counter, the passenger's bags get placed on the earlier flight whether they clear standby for that flight or not...for example, I was confirmed on flight 573 ORD-IAH (I ended up VDB from that flight, but that's another story) and standing by on flight 1401, which left two hours earlier...my bag was tagged for 1401 despite the fact that I was not confirmed on the flight...and as it turned out, I didn't make it on to 1401...


Burma's constitutional referendum options: A. Yes, B. Go to Insein Prison!
User currently offline707437 From United States of America, joined Nov 2003, 152 posts, RR: 1
Reply 20, posted (10 years 11 months 4 weeks 1 day 17 hours ago) and read 4304 times:

As I remember on DL my bags were tagged as standby and were in a bin on the ramp and when I was cleared they grabbed my bags so that my bags & I flew on the same flight.

I think that is how it is supposed to work


User currently offlineSHUPirate1 From United States of America, joined Sep 2003, 3670 posts, RR: 16
Reply 21, posted (10 years 11 months 4 weeks 1 day 17 hours ago) and read 4272 times:

707437-As I remember, my bags were simply checked through, with no notation of 573 on the bags...of course, I was on neither 1401 or 573 (I ended up on 703, which left five hours after 573, a result of a voluntary bump), so I wouldn't know which plane the bags actually arrived on...


Burma's constitutional referendum options: A. Yes, B. Go to Insein Prison!
User currently offlineFA4UA From United States of America, joined Nov 2003, 812 posts, RR: 20
Reply 22, posted (10 years 11 months 4 weeks 1 day 17 hours ago) and read 4273 times:

Just some numbers to back their decision for pushing that plane without the six friends...

For each minute we delay a flight at UA it costs $50 domestically in fuel burn, staffing at the gate, gate rental, possible overtime for ground staffing, starting a domino effect for not getting that staff off to the next gate and next flight, possible domino effect of misconnections and then the terrible expense of reaccomodating passengers.

When it's an international wide-body flight it costs $80 a minute to hold a plane.

The reservation system is designed to allow for enough connection time between flights (usually 40 min or more). The airline has to draw a line at some point and say the flight is closed. We close the door at five minutes prior to push and we have usually done all the weights and balance paperwork at ten till. At some point there has to be a cut-off.

United is trying to keep it's number one on time record for the second year. We're trying to be as accurate as a Swiss clock and the end result is better then pissing off six people that probably bought e-fares... a global airline that is always on time. Millions of people rely on that and buy our tickets knowing they'll be ontime.

FA4UA



The debate continues... Starwood or Hyatt... which is better
User currently offlineCarduelis From United Kingdom, joined Dec 2001, 1586 posts, RR: 10
Reply 23, posted (10 years 11 months 4 weeks 1 day 17 hours ago) and read 4248 times:

. . . the passenger's bags get placed on the earlier flight whether they clear standby for that flight or not . . . for example . . . my bag was tagged for 1401 despite the fact that I was not confirmed on the flight . . . and as it turned out, I didn't make it on to 1401 . . .

Yet another excellent example of Aviation Security in the United States!




Per Ardua ad Astra! ........ Honi Soit Qui Mal y Pense!
User currently offlineJjbiv From United States of America, joined Jan 2001, 1226 posts, RR: 5
Reply 24, posted (10 years 11 months 4 weeks 1 day 17 hours ago) and read 4238 times:

There comes a point when you just have to shut the a/c door, block out, and depart. Misconnects are unfortunate, but from a macro prospective it is more important to move the majority of the folks onboard the aircraft than to wait for the few stragglers -- regardless of the reason for these late arriving customers. The baggage issue is certainly present; no airline wants to separate customers from their luggage. The decision mix changes somewhat if you're dealing with the last flight of the evening, however. Also, keep in mind the strong westerly winds that have predominated of late -- making as close to an on-time departure as possible imperative. It is also possible that another aircraft was holding for the gate that was being tied up by the connecting flight, thus inconveniencing and delaying even more customers and possibly blowing even more connections. Getting a picture for the complexity involved in the decision?

Customers need to learn to be patient; a few hours is not a long time to wait in the big scheme of things. Too many people are self-centered and quick to accuse an airline of poor customer service because they were inconvenienced. While every disservice to a customer is regrettable, it is the airline's job to move as many customer as possible as safely and expeditiously as possible. I realize it is difficult, but try to keep the big picture in mind. Also, the DOT needs to come up with a more realistic way to measure airlines. Airlines are now nearly myopically focused on A+14 timeliness to the exclusion of other important things simply because it is easy to compare OT percentages at the end of the month. Although easy, such a comparison is as meaningless as comparing the circumference of a grapefruit to the length of a banana.

As frustrating as this may be to hear, there are simply too many variables involved to second guess a hold/depart decision after the fact. If you're curious, ask the gate agent after the flight departs. The answer you're likely to get is "ops told me to do it." While that may sound capricious, remember the big picture and trust the airline's actions are in the best interest of the majority of its customers. Whatever you do, don't give the obligatory "I'm never flying X Airlines again. Above all, relax and have patience.

joe


25 Transcon1976 : LOL PiedmontGirl, Vie have only da box...De box is your world...Do not question de visdom of de box...any attempt to do so vill be considered a hostil
26 SHUPirate1 : Doesn't it then cost several thousand dollars though, because you now have a downline flight to DTW that is overbooked by six people...and generally,
27 Kurt : You people sound so naive. "Me, me, me." Missing a connection at 10 in the morning is no big deal when there are plenty of flights leaving later. A bi
28 Transcon1976 : By simplifying fare structures and rules and by simply making NON-REFUNDABLE tickets NON-REFUNDABLE the seat is paid for regardless of the no-show fac
29 NWAA330 : Kurt, I can assure you that thse pax are extremely experienced flyers, two of which hold platinum status with NW. They informed me that they will keep
30 SHUPirate1 : Transcon-These passengers missed their UA flight because they were on another UA flight...not because they were walking from Boise to Denver...if DEN
31 Post contains images PiedmontGirl : Transcon1976: Vie have only da box...De box is your world...Do not question de visdom of de box...any attempt to do so vill be considered a hostile th
32 Kurt : 330: It sounds to me like there's a built-in bias against UA in this case, based on their (and your) preference for NW. This situation is in no way un
33 Transcon1976 : SHUPirate1, I couldn't agree with you more. These issues are inherent problems plaguing the hub and spoke carriers. Yield management is a challenge, b
34 PiedmontGirl : Transcon1976: With a weather delay, once that aircraft was cleared to depart, one of the Customer Services Agents or Supervisors should have started c
35 SHUPirate1 : Transcon-While I couldn't agree with you more about that first paragraph, if I was running an airline, I would oversell, simply because there are a lo
36 NWAA330 : Kurt, As you may have noticed in my thread starter..."Im not trying to UA bash im sure this happens at all airlines everyday..." I have absolutely not
37 PiedmontGirl : NWAA330: Its like you guys are talking to a blank wall. Don't worry I hear exactly what your saying. Thanks for saying so. That's basically how it is.
38 M404 : If all the later flts were booked solid it's probable that this one was too. Most likely it was oversold. Perhaps UA (or any carrier) agents decided t
39 PiedmontGirl : M404: If all the later flts were booked solid it's probable that this one was too. Most likely it was oversold. Perhaps UA (or any carrier) agents dec
40 Alphascan : The sad part about this thread is that we only have one side of the story, in third person. There could be multiple satisfactory reasons why that jetw
41 AWA22 : The goal of an airline is to piss off as few as possible, so allowing the hundred or so on board to depart ontime is far more important then making 6
42 M404 : PiedmontGirl Unfortunatly what you said changes nothing but the perspective and I quite agree with you from strictly a customers viewpoint. Again I am
43 PiedmontGirl : M404: I completly agree with you it is a wonderful culture to cultivate for a loyal happy employee and passenger but those of us who have "grown up" c
44 AA777MIA : The policy of dispatching a flight when passengers are just a few mins away is very archaic, however.... There are a few things that come into play wi
45 Post contains images PiedmontGirl : AA777MIA: There are a few things that come into play with this. First off, it is NOT the agents final decision, at least not at AA. The agents are und
46 InnocuousFox : If you delay one flight, you delay others that are assigned that tail number until such time as you encounter "slack time" in the schedule... usually
47 Rydawg82 : If the delay was due to weather out of BOI, then why did the agents in BOI not see this coming. They could have left the six seats protected on their
48 SHUPirate1 : Innocuous-We're talking about a DEN-DTW flight on UA here...the only passengers making connections on this flight are the odd passengers headed to IAD
49 Airdude66 : Maybe it is just me.....but why not hold the plane Why should I be inconvenienced sitting onboard a hot stuffy plane waiting just because your friends
50 Chi-town : NWAA330, This also happened to me on AA. I was flying BGI-SJU-ORD. Our BGI-SJU flight was late and we arrived at SJU 5 min. before our flight to ORD.
51 DAirbus : This phrase sums up my view on holding or not holding flights: "Dammed if you do, Dammed if you don't." I once held a flight from ATL to ORF for six o
52 AA777MIA : Chi-town: Sorry that you missed your flight, and that you father was unhappy. It is very frustrating, but when you look at the big picture, there were
53 Boo25 : Delays cost £$£$£$£$£$£$£$ -simple . Why inconvenience 200 pax for the sake of 6? I'm sorry but if every airliner waited for every late passeng
54 Spark : As a paying passenger, who has a lot of experience flying, but I don't fly enough to qualify as Elite Passenger, I wouldn't expect the plane to be hel
55 M404 : PiedmontGirl PLEASE.. Take a deep breath and read what I've said again. You and I ARE saying exactly the same thing about corporate cultures but perha
56 Thunder9 : The point to consider that I'm about to make might sound like I'm defending Upper management/Corporate Policy, but believe me, I'm not. Rather, I'd li
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