VC10BOAC From United States of America, joined Feb 2004, 395 posts, RR: 0 Posted (9 years 5 months 2 weeks 5 hours ago) and read 4335 times:
Last Thursday I flew on Northwest from DTW to LGA. The flight was supposed to arrive at 3.30 pm but did not get in until 4.00 pm because of bad weather at LaGuardia - no big deal, those of us that have to fly into LGA regularly expect this sort of thing from time to time.
However the trouble started when we went to claim our luggage. A few bags came out then nothing. It did not take me long to figure out that the bags still going round and round were the same old bags.
After a half hour of nothing new, a group of passengers, myself included inquired at the lost baggage counter. We were informed that there was a "Code Red" alert because of lightning and no bags were being offloaded from the aircraft until the alert was lifted.
Let me describe what the weather was doing at that time... I walked outside the terminal to check... It was raining lightly to moderately but the sun was out at the same time, I could hear the distant rumbling of thunder but I could not detect any lightning.
Went back to the lone lady at the lost baggage area, by now it was 5.00 pm, an hour after the plane landed, still no luggage. A small mob had gathered around her. She kept feeding us the "Code Red" line, saying that it was against FAA rules to offload bags in such "weather", meanwhile Delta passengers were arriving, picking up their bags at the adjacent carousels and going along their merry way. Of course, when confronted about Delta, she had no explanation, saying her supervisor "Ken" would be there soon to clear things up. (no one ever saw "Ken" that day, if I was Ken I might have thought twice about facing those irate passengers too)
Finally at about 6.15, over TWO HOURS after we landed, the bags started coming out. I had originally planned to head into my NY office for a couple of hours of work, but after that fiasco, the closest bar seemed somewhat more appealing.
My question is, is there really such an FAA rule or was Northwest just feeding us BS? If there is in fact such a rule, then why did Delta keep unloading bags? Your input would be greatly appreciated. Over the past couple of years I have been really impressed by improvements in NWA's service, but I cannot stand it when I feel someone is BS-ing me. Thanks!
Hz747300 From Hong Kong, joined Mar 2004, 1627 posts, RR: 1 Reply 2, posted (9 years 5 months 2 weeks 5 hours ago) and read 4280 times:
That's right. Whenever I am inconvenienced I always find a little drinky-drinky to be just the thing.
The only thing I cannot figure out, is what explanation could there have been? Especially if DL was going ahead and unloading bags. She obviously had no answer for that, but it is not like you can climb through that flappy mat and go get your bag yourself. Maybe it was a union slowdown in response for NW announcing they are taking a "hardline" with the unions.
Jafa From United States of America, joined Aug 2003, 782 posts, RR: 4 Reply 4, posted (9 years 5 months 2 weeks 5 hours ago) and read 4256 times:
I work for NWA as a FA, when there is lightning detected with a certain radius of the airport the ramp is closed and ground personnel must stay inside, until a certain amont of time has passed from the last lightning strike. I have arrrived at DTW during a storm and been forced to wait since no one was permitted on the ramp to guide the aircraft in. So such a thing does exist. As a far as Delta, I can't speak for them. I think the FAA rule story is BS. Its more of a company safety policy. Most airline people make it a "FAA rule" when pressed for a explanation.
And thanks for the compliment on our service, I too have noticed it.
N628AU From United States of America, joined Oct 2000, 329 posts, RR: 0 Reply 5, posted (9 years 5 months 2 weeks 5 hours ago) and read 4253 times:
Not really an FAA reg, but many carriers have these rules for employee safety. It's not a lot of fun to be around large metal objects during an electrical storm. Remember, if you can hear thunder, you are close enough to be struck, as lightning can strike as far away as 25 miles from a storm.
When I worked at US in CLT, the airport/US ran a lightning safety system. A computer could detect where lightining struck. If one hit within a certain raius (15 miles?), a system of lights similar to traffic signals around the terminal would change from green to yellow. During this scenario, pushback crews had to work without headsets. If another stike strike were closer (5 miles?), the lights turned red and the ramp was closed. If you came into an express gate with no jetbridges, you were stuck on the aircraft (I saw people stuck fo rhours on aircraft with no APU!).
The system would stay that way until a period time like 15 minutes would pass. Get to 14 min 55 seconds and another strike? Clock starts over.
SparkyN501 From United States of America, joined Jun 2004, 52 posts, RR: 1 Reply 7, posted (9 years 5 months 2 weeks 5 hours ago) and read 4237 times:
The rules vary from airport to airport, and also from airline to airline. Some airports set the rules, and most airlines have set guidelines for lightning. The general rule is that any lighting within 5 miles of the field, within the past 5-10 minutes will keep the rampees inside. I've seen some airlines pull their people inside - while at the next gate another airline was still out working. I would hope that all airlines have the employees safety first and keep them out of a dangerous situation.
Arguing with a pilot is like mudwrestling a pig. After awhile you begin to think the pig likes it.
FL1TPA From United States of America, joined May 2004, 258 posts, RR: 0 Reply 9, posted (9 years 5 months 2 weeks 5 hours ago) and read 4157 times:
In TPA we have a lightning detector on airside D and when lightning strikes near the field it goes off. The box itself displays a red light and a yellow rotating beacon operates on the roof until the ramp reopens. We are not supposed to go out in the open during this time, but depending on operations, may have to. For instance if a plane has just landed and the ramp closes, we may go ahead and park them at the gate and run inside but not offload baggage. Other airlines sometimes make the decision to go ahead and work while the ramp is closed. Especially if it's still sunny or there aren't any strikes obviously near. This is sometimes bad, though. Our planes will be holding out for the gate because the ramp is closed, but jetBlue is continuing to service their a/c. The Capt. will call on the radio and say "So why is jetBlue working their plane and we can't pull in?" We usually respond that our employees don't like risking thier lives for the pay we receive.
"Looks like I picked the wrong week to stop sniffin' glue."
InnocuousFox From United States of America, joined exactly 10 years ago today! , 2805 posts, RR: 15 Reply 10, posted (9 years 5 months 2 weeks 5 hours ago) and read 4138 times:
Hell, that's the same cute little lightning detector we have at our Little League baseball fields! They yank the kids off the fields when that little dome (about 18" across?) detects strikes up to about 30 miles away or something.
Dave Mark - Intrinsic Algorithm - Reducing the world to mathematical equations!
Neil49 From United States of America, joined Feb 2004, 21 posts, RR: 0 Reply 12, posted (9 years 5 months 2 weeks 5 hours ago) and read 4087 times:
In the last couple of years, there has been widespread installation of lightning-detection technology at U.S. airports, with the intent of reducing the risk to ground workers. There is a light signal device within the operations area that, depending on the degree of threat in the local area, displays a combination of green, yellow, and red lights. It is a proximity-based protocol that determines the sequence of lighting steps, with a single red light indicating the closest, and thus most hazardous, threat. When that is the case, ground workers are not permitted to work in an open area, and this prohibition remains in effect until the lightning threat is determined to have passed. This threat is not assessed by local personnel, but by the detection equipment itself, and it often seems in conflict with what is apparent by simply looking out the window.
In your circumstance, there could be many reasons why your particular flight took so long having its luggage delivered to the terminal, but it must be remembered that any time there is a back-up in ramp activity, it almost always has a cascading effect, and in your case, there were very likely OTHER problems requiring the attention of ground crews, who can be stretched quite thin under such conditions.
How did the aviation industry get by for so long without this wonderful new technology?
RDUDDJI From Lesotho, joined Jun 2004, 1377 posts, RR: 3 Reply 13, posted (9 years 5 months 2 weeks 5 hours ago) and read 4081 times:
When I worked for JI at RDU, the lightning detector in Term C got hit by lightning...how's that for irony.
They used the 5 mile/15minute rule too. Pretty much the industry standard. We didn't have the cool lighting system everyone else has mentioned, we had an automated message that called all of the airline ops phones.
"The ramp is now closed. Press 9 if you understand"
Sometimes we don't realize the good times when we're in them
VC10BOAC From United States of America, joined Feb 2004, 395 posts, RR: 0 Reply 14, posted (9 years 5 months 2 weeks 5 hours ago) and read 4057 times:
Err.. Azjubilee, actually they DID lie to us by saying it was an FAA regulation. A lot of what happened that day now makes sense after reading these great replies. If NWA had explained it as it really was, I would not have had a problem with that, after all I am a reasonable guy and I am sure most passengers are. However as I said earlier, I hate to be lied to and I had a feeling that the lost baggage lady was either not being entirely truthful, or had not received adequate training to explain and mitigate a situation such as this. No matter how bad the news is, a little customer service goes a long way. NWA just lost two brownie points with me.
Teva From France, joined Jan 2001, 1869 posts, RR: 16 Reply 15, posted (9 years 5 months 2 weeks 4 hours ago) and read 3994 times:
Lucky you, your luggage were on board....
2 colleagues of mine, flying on their business first, didn't find their luggage at the arrival. Official reply: they ha been offloaded for weight restrictions.
Yes.... Of course... When you have a problem, you offload priority luggage. My feeling? A transfer problem in AMS (my colleagues arrived in AMS on the same flt)
And I had the problem again on my return flt. The DTW / AMS arrived early. And my connecting flt in AMS has been delayed for about 2 hours, for technical problem. At my arrival in CDG, I have been called (with all the passengers who had the same connection): my luggage missed the connection. The transit time was too short.... Just over 3 hours, with the delay.
My question is just who is to blame? KLM, NW, or AMS airport?
Ecoute les orgues, Elles jouent pour toi...C'est le requiem pour un con
OPNLguy From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR: Reply 16, posted (9 years 5 months 2 weeks 4 hours ago) and read 3983 times:
>>>actually they DID lie to us by saying it was an FAA regulation
Maybe not. You'd be surprised how many folks (both airline and non-airline) just -assume- that -any- rule or regulation is a -FAA- one, and that there are not any -company- regs out there...
FYI, most of the (company) regs that I'm familar with preclude ramp ops when lightning strikes are indicated within 3-5 miles from the airport. That said, some airlines -don't- have have any internal rules regarding this, hence they'll be unloading etc. while a different airline at the next gate will be undercover.
NWADC9 From United States of America, joined May 2004, 4882 posts, RR: 10 Reply 17, posted (9 years 5 months 2 weeks 4 hours ago) and read 3916 times:
If I was a ramper, I would still go out to at least guide in the airplane. Especially if they have been on that plane for a long time! The lightning would just hit the tallest thing out there, wouldn't it?
Flying an aeroplane with only a single propeller to keep you in the air. Can you imagine that? -Capt. Picard
SparkyN501 From United States of America, joined Jun 2004, 52 posts, RR: 1 Reply 18, posted (9 years 5 months 2 weeks 4 hours ago) and read 3877 times:
"If I was a ramper, I would still go out to at least guide in the airplane. Especially if they have been on that plane for a long time! The lightning would just hit the tallest thing out there, wouldn't it?"
That's an understandable feeling unless you are the ramper who has to go out in that stuff. Stand out there for a few minutes waving your arms in the air during a lightning storm and I bet you will re-think your feelings on that! There have been several documented cases where a ramper, a fueler, or a pilot doing a pre-flight has been struck by lightning.
The staff should have given you a correct answer for the delay of the bags, but as said above - a lot of people think the FAA sets all the rules.
Arguing with a pilot is like mudwrestling a pig. After awhile you begin to think the pig likes it.
Azjubilee From United States of America, joined Apr 2000, 3629 posts, RR: 29 Reply 19, posted (9 years 5 months 2 weeks 2 hours ago) and read 3747 times:
VC10boac - ok - so you got bad information. I still think that you were NOT lied to. Instead, you were just given wrong information. I seriously doubt the agent actually knows ramp agent procedures and as mentioned, probably just assumed it was an FAA reg. Don't be so quick to assume you've been lied to! Lying implies one knows the real truth, but choses to give you other information. In your case, you were NOT lied to.
AirTran737 From United States of America, joined Apr 2004, 3661 posts, RR: 13 Reply 20, posted (9 years 5 months 2 weeks 2 hours ago) and read 3728 times:
You know, if an airline tells the F.A.A. that they will do something, (such as close the ramp during lightning on the field) and that airline puts it into its Operations Manual, the F.A.A. can fine them for breaking their own rule. So in a round about way, airline rules in the Ops Manual are indeed F.A.A. rules.
Nice Trip Report!!! Great Pics, thanks for posting!!!! B747Forever
OptionsCLE From United States of America, joined Jun 2004, 467 posts, RR: 1 Reply 21, posted (9 years 5 months 2 weeks 1 hour ago) and read 3712 times:
I work for Flight Options in Cleveland, Ohio. If lightning is determined to be within 5 miles of the field we stop all fueling, but we have no rules other than common sense when it comes to removing baggage or servicing aircraft. If a storm is violent or the lightning is coming down all around, we certainly won't be out on the ramp. I would highly doubt the existence of an FAA regulation on the subject. Although we only deal with Part 91 and 135, I'm sure the same rules would apply to us as the 121 guys.
Dutchjet From Netherlands, joined Oct 2000, 7864 posts, RR: 58 Reply 22, posted (9 years 5 months 2 weeks 1 hour ago) and read 3694 times:
The baggage agent was almost right: due to weather conditions, Northwest baggage handlers were prevented from off loading bags from your aircraft - the issue of whether it was an FAA regulation or a NW contract rule only arrises since DL pax were receiving their luggage (and, as pointed out, different airlines have different work rules) and NW pax were not. Maybe the agent thought it was an FAA reg, maybe he/she misspoke, etc.......but I am sure that the agent was having an awful day and just trying to keep everyone under control by repeating information that was being relayed from the field. I wouldnt say that Northwest actually and purposely lied to you in this case.....at least you received some information that was basically correct - think of all the times one is told that "there is no information available, the computer is down, therefore there is nothing that I can do for you at the moment."
Aa777mia From United States of America, joined Aug 2003, 686 posts, RR: 3 Reply 23, posted (9 years 5 months 2 weeks 1 hour ago) and read 3677 times:
I think that it was crappy that the person was not correct in the information that they gave you, however, I do not think they lied to you intentionally. They probably did not know the difference between company policy, and FAA Regulations. To be real honest, I am not even sure how well trained gate agents, ground personnel are trained on FAR's themselves. Can anyone elaborate who works on the ground. I would imagine that they would have training that would directly impact their day to day job, IE: boarding intoxicated customers... Sorry you got bad info...
Azjubilee From United States of America, joined Apr 2000, 3629 posts, RR: 29 Reply 24, posted (9 years 5 months 2 weeks 1 hour ago) and read 3631 times:
Airtran737 bring up a great point... regardless of union rules, if it is in the stations Ground operations manual (sometimes known as the station operations manual) which was approved and enforced by the FAA, then the agent was correct in his/her answer. There may not be an FAR that outlines this. but airlines are subject to the rules and procedures in their manuals... of which the FAA has approved and enforces.
For example, at Mesaba, the ground a/c is required when the temp reaches a predetermined point outside. This is found in the GOM and therefore must be followed, or the FAA can issue warnings or even fines.
The point is again... you were not lied to.
25 Nlink: I believe if our manual says if you hear there thunder and it is less than 30 seconds before the second one sounds then we clear the ramp.
26 CanadianNorth: When we flew into New York (Air Canada from YVR-JFK, operated by A319) on approach and landing there was a fair ammount of lightning in the area and w
27 Daedalus: In TPA we have a lightning detector on airside D and when lightning strikes near the field it goes off. The box itself displays a red light and a yell
28 VC10BOAC: Thanks for your replies, great information and I learned quite a bit. I agree that the agent probably did not intentionally lie, but when they tell yo