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Need Facts Around Recent AirTran Flight  
User currently offlineJMV From United States of America, joined Jan 2000, 241 posts, RR: 1
Posted (9 years 3 months 3 weeks 1 day 16 hours ago) and read 1705 times:

Based on a conversation with a coworker this morning, I'm looking for facts around FL 251 from FNT to ATL the morning of April 30. Apparently the flight was diverted to MCN due to weather in ATL. According to my coworker, the diversion didn't sound routine so I thought I would turn to the folks here for more information.

Can anyone confirm conditions in ATL early on 04/30? Can anyone confirm the diversion to MCN? If so, can anyone confirm when the flight finally arrived in ATL?


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8 replies: All unread, jump to last
 
User currently offlineSwaluvfa From United States of America, joined May 2002, 277 posts, RR: 6
Reply 1, posted (9 years 3 months 3 weeks 1 day 15 hours ago) and read 1659 times:

As an AirTran flight attendant I can say that we divert to Macon, Chattanooga, Greenville/Spartanburg, and Columbia, ALL the time due to weather. That flight was probably a pretty routine diversion due to weather at good old Hartsfield! Gotta love the world's busiest airport! LOL  Smile

User currently offlineJMV From United States of America, joined Jan 2000, 241 posts, RR: 1
Reply 2, posted (9 years 3 months 3 weeks 1 day 15 hours ago) and read 1619 times:

Well, I'm trying to avoid LCC bashing by getting specific information about this flight. She had to spend a lot of additional money to reach her cruise ship while it was in transit due to missing her connecting flight in ATL to MIA.

And although I might agree a diversion due to ATL weather may be routine, the landing in MCN apparently was not as she states there was emergency equipment positioned along the runway for their flight.



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User currently offlineTravatl From United States of America, joined Mar 2001, 2173 posts, RR: 7
Reply 3, posted (9 years 3 months 3 weeks 1 day 15 hours ago) and read 1586 times:

First, I know this is an aside to the conversation at hand. BUT WHY do people do this to themselves when booking cruises? You spend so much money on airfare and the cost of the cruise, why not fly down the day before and spend an extra $80 on a hotel just to give yourself peace of mind? Flights get delayed....weather happens, machines break, etc.

Now, back to the topic:

A) I'm a crew member for AirTran, and have heard nothing about any emergency landing recently. (When anything like that happens, the news typically spreads through the system like wildfire).

B) Did her aircraft eventually fly back to ATL? If so, then probably highly unlikely that there was anything mechanically wrong with it.

C) MCN was receiving a LOT of diversions that day... the emergency equipment may have been there for another flight. Or it could have been there for nothing more than an unruly pax (small towns tend to over do it when it comes to drama like that).

D) Anything in the local news sources? (I searched the Macon newspaper and found the last mention of AirTran was in an editorial on February 18).

E) Anything in the national/regional news sources (Found nothing on CNN or the ATL news stations and newspapers).


Unless somebody has some other insider info, I think this was probably just a simple diversion.

Travis


User currently offlineJMV From United States of America, joined Jan 2000, 241 posts, RR: 1
Reply 4, posted (9 years 3 months 3 weeks 1 day 14 hours ago) and read 1573 times:

I agree that people who spend any amount of money on a cruise should do some additional planning. Frankly, I would have taken a direct flight from DTW to MIA. But they were on tight budgets and tried to stretch their money as much as possible.

She was told that the emergency equipment was in place because the plane was low on fuel, and there was some speculation around whether they would make it or not. Now, I know that there are reserve limits, and that a diversion needs to be executed before fuel really becomes an issue. This is why I turned here for information. I was looking for some flight tracking data that might indicate how long the flight was in transit and when it was diverted.

Additionally, they had to remain on the plane in MCN for 4 hours that morning before they were permitted to deplane. They remained in the terminal for an additional 4 hours while waiting for the plane to be refueled and a fresh crew bussed down from ATL.



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User currently offlineJjbiv From United States of America, joined Jan 2001, 1226 posts, RR: 5
Reply 5, posted (9 years 3 months 3 weeks 1 day 13 hours ago) and read 1503 times:

There's no way a part-121 flight would be dangerously low on fuel during a diversion. Contingencies are planned and fuel loads calculated for such a scenario before the aircraft leaves the gate at the origin city. It would take incompetence by at least two people for the system to fail. If that was the case with respect to the specific flight you mention, I don't think anyone here would admit to it! More than likely, the bad weather led to a "routine" diversion.

User currently offlineFlyinryan99 From United States of America, joined Feb 2001, 2001 posts, RR: 13
Reply 6, posted (9 years 3 months 3 weeks 1 day 9 hours ago) and read 1435 times:

Quoting JMV (Reply 4):
Additionally, they had to remain on the plane in MCN for 4 hours that morning before they were permitted to deplane. They remained in the terminal for an additional 4 hours while waiting for the plane to be refueled and a fresh crew bussed down from ATL.

Well...that sucks, but it's happened to a lot of people on bad weather days. I've seen planes stay almost a day and a half at TOL when DTW is just a 55 minute drive. I hate to say it, they just got unlucky.


User currently offlineGroundStop From United States of America, joined Jun 2003, 611 posts, RR: 6
Reply 7, posted (9 years 3 months 3 weeks 1 day 8 hours ago) and read 1412 times:

I was actually working the Pax Mvmt Desk that morning here in AirTran SOC when that diversion occurred. Unforutnately, I can't go back and pull the wx for that date but I can give you an idea of what it looked like. A strong to severe line of TSTMS moved into the ATL terminal area around 0700 EDT. Initially, it cut off both the RMG and LGC arrivals from northwest and southwest respectively. As it moved toward the airport, multiple microbursts were reported and wind shear alerts of up to +/- 30 knots were reported below 1000 feet. Consequently, very few aircraft were accepting the approach which caused inbounds to be held as far north as MOL VORTAC in Virginia and as far west as MEI VORTAC in Mississippi. I believe we ended up diverting four flights that morning; 2 to CHA, 1 to GSP, and 1 to MCN (TRS251). By the time the aircraft had reached MCN, the storms had passed ATL to the southeast but were now between ATL and MCN. During this period, ATL was on a second-tier ground stop to help alleviate airborne holding and move toward some sort of recovery. By the time the stop had lifted, the storms were passing overhead MCN. As soon as we were able to get permission from the Macon Airport Authority, we deplaned the pax and moved them to the terminal. We bussed down a crew and CS agents from ATL to pick up the recovery leg back to ATL. This process took some time as you can imagine it might. We were able to accomodate all pax on later flights out of ATL. As far as the fuel, I obviously can't post internal information of that nature. But I will say that the arrival fuel is well above the published safe minimums. Facilities-wise, MCN is not the ultimate choice as an alternate. However, its close proximity to ATL along with having an ILS and a tower makes it a good choice logically. It's unfortunate that your friend had to alter her plans but I will have to echo the sentiments above in regards to planning for the worst case. Travelling the day before your cruise is highly recommended.

JP


User currently offlineJMV From United States of America, joined Jan 2000, 241 posts, RR: 1
Reply 8, posted (9 years 3 months 3 weeks 1 day 7 hours ago) and read 1376 times:

Groundstop,

Thanks for the information. I had my doubts about the fuel "emergency" as I indicated in a previous post. Late this afternoon I was talking to her more about the trip. I learned she was told by a fellow passenger why the emergency equipment followed the plane down the runway (something she personally observed). I told her there are regulations on the books to prevent that sort of situation, and to chalk it up to a fellow frustrated traveler trying to make it appear worse that it was.

I'll be sure to share the info with her. Regrettably, the experience has turned her off of FL for future travel needs. Maybe with time, and your reply, she will reconsider.



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