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AirTran Service Meltdown Today At ATL  
User currently offlineATLAaron From United States of America, joined Apr 2006, 1020 posts, RR: 3
Posted (7 years 8 months 1 week 6 days 5 hours ago) and read 10597 times:
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I was at the ATL airport most of today. I had to pick up a friend who flew in on Continental and then my fiance was flying out later in the night on AirTran. When I was there at 7 pm there were tons of people asking questions and trying to get answers from AirTran employees without much satisfaction. I then returned to drop my fiance off for her 11 pm flight to Pittsburgh (Flight 988) and some of the same people were still there asking questions.

We waited in line for literally an hour to check her bag only to be told by the CSA that her flight was delayed till 4:20 am. The board said the flight was delayed till 11:58 pm, the AirTran website said 12:35 am and the next CSA said the flight was at 1 am. It is now 1:35 am and she is there without any answers. The pilot is there with no crew and AirTran has roughly three flights still waiting at each gate.

There are customers furious, crying, and not able to get any answers. Now I am certainly not an a.netter who is anti LCC or anti AirTran, I have actually flown them many times. However I don't get how Delta had no problem completing their schedule today (albeit delayed) and AirTran is having complete chaos at ATL. Has anyone else heard of these problems today 8/10 - 8/11 with AirTran?

39 replies: All unread, showing first 25:
 
User currently offlineTinPusher007 From United States of America, joined Feb 2005, 966 posts, RR: 1
Reply 1, posted (7 years 8 months 1 week 6 days 5 hours ago) and read 10538 times:

Quoting ATLAaron (Thread starter):
However I don't get how Delta had no problem completing their schedule today (albeit delayed) and AirTran is having complete chaos at ATL. Has anyone else heard of these problems today 8/10 - 8/11 with AirTran?

Because Airtran is not Delta and Delta is not Airtran. Sometimes DL has 'meltdowns' and Airtran runs relatively smoothly. There could be a myriad of reasons why Airtran fell apart that could have to do with something other than ATL.



"Flying isn't inherently dangerous...but very unforgiving of carelessness, incapacity or neglect."
User currently offlineJetBlueAtJFK From United States of America, joined Jan 2005, 1687 posts, RR: 3
Reply 2, posted (7 years 8 months 1 week 6 days 5 hours ago) and read 10538 times:

Wow what is the hold up. AirTran needs to just stop, tell people to ask the FA's questions once on board, call in all the FA's they can and pilots to work the flights. And jsut send them out. I mean people can say it is harder than that but no one is checking in now, just go stop waiting. Lol I am getting mad, but they need to get a move on it. Update us....

B6jfk airplane 



When You Know jetBlue, You Know Better
User currently offlineWjcandee From United States of America, joined Jun 2000, 4970 posts, RR: 18
Reply 3, posted (7 years 8 months 1 week 6 days 4 hours ago) and read 10448 times:

Airtran has a lot of flights to the Northeast, and we have had horrendous weather here today. Thunder, lightning, and drenching rain like I haven't seen in at least a year hit Manhattan late this afternoon and into the early evening, then passed slowly through. That means that gigantic storm cells are and were moving throughout the Northeast, limiting flight routes to, say, BOS, HPN, LGA, EWR, PHL, DCA, and maybe even further South. If they can't get into the Northeast and are slow getting out of the Northeast and back to ATL, this causes delays, crews time out, etc.

To say that "Delta is having no problems" is total crap. I looked, for example, at DL's flights to LGA. The 1:45 departure to LGA diverted to BWI and arrived LGA at 10:39pm, six and a half hours late. The 2:45 departure to LGA diverted to IAD and arrived LGA at 11:15pm, six and a half hours late. The 3:45pm flight diverted to PHL and arrived LGA after midnight, over six hours late. The 4:45pm flight to LGA went canx. The 5:45pm to LGA departed at 8:45, the 6:45pm departed 5 hours late; and the final two flights of the night went canx. Airtran, in contrast, flew ALL of their flights, which operated between 1 and 4 hours late. So who had the "meltdown" to LGA? Of course, YMMV as to other cities, but thunderstorms in the Northeast routinely screw up operations for both Atlanta incumbents. There's nothing one can do to make the planes magically appear at the gate. The ops people just put their heads down and do their best.

In case of irregular ops, DL does have some good automation that auto-rebooks pax and allows them to swipe their present boarding pass at a kiosk and get a revised one, which may make things easier for folks.

On a potentially-tragic day of very-enhanced security, for people to be "furious, crying and not being able to get any answers" just reflects what drama queens many passengers are. With the enhanced security, they frankly should relish an hour delay so they can make their flight. But more importantly, here's a clue: sometimes there *are no answers*. ATC makes a lot of decisions in a very fluid environment that can divert, delay, slow flights, open routes, close routes, etc. If you're waiting for an incoming aircraft that has left the gate but is sitting on the runway at LGA waiting for an ATC clearance, the ticket agent isn't going to know anything for sure about when the aircraft will arrive, because nobody freakin' knows when ATC is going to get it into the air. I don't go crazy at airports because of operational difficulties due to thunderstorms en route; I go crazy listening to passengers ask questions to which there are no definitive answers and get pissed when all they are given is the best possible estimate. I kick back, relax, and decide that I want to fly when the captain and ATC are good and ready for me. These "furious, crying" passengers are the same ones who would be peeing on themselves and blaming the airline when they get some moderate chop en route -- do they really want to fly through that thunderhead (that tops out at 55,000 feet) and test the structural integrity of the aircraft while having the most wild ride of their life? I think not.

[Edited 2006-08-11 08:50:54]

[Edited 2006-08-11 08:57:34]

User currently offlinePtcflyer From United States of America, joined Apr 2001, 101 posts, RR: 0
Reply 4, posted (7 years 8 months 1 week 6 days 3 hours ago) and read 10387 times:

Looking at the schedules and flight status....I am amazed Airtran pushed the flights out instead of cancelling.

I am sure that the flights are very full, so the disruption of cancelled service would be difficult for passengers. Would rather arrive 6 hours or 7 hours late in the wee hours of the morning than to struggle the entire next day on stand-by.

Cudos to Airtran to work all night to get the job done. Both Delta and Airtran are working very late. Looks to me like Airtran cancelled fewer flights last night to/from Northeast.

In my opinion, though, Airtran has more trouble recovering from weather disasters than Delta... probably due to the smaller fleet size and more aggressive schedule.


User currently offlineSrbmod From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 5, posted (7 years 8 months 1 week 6 days 1 hour ago) and read 10317 times:

Quoting Ptcflyer (Reply 4):
.I am amazed Airtran pushed the flights out instead of cancelling.

It's cheaper than cancelling. If they cancelled flights, it would really throw things into a mess for the next day. There would have been first flights out of cities that would have had to be cancelled, and not all of them were probably low loads either. Secondly, there may not have been anywhere to park a/c either. I remember in January of 2000 during one of the ice storms, they actually had to resort to parking a few planes behind a/c parked at gates because there was nowhere else to park a/c at.

What also hurt ATL ops last night was the strong storms that hit during the 7 o'clock hour last night. I always know when they're having strong storms at ATL, as we'll get low flying jets over our neighborhood, which is south of the airport.


User currently offlineImperialEagle From United States of America, joined Jan 2006, 2060 posts, RR: 20
Reply 6, posted (7 years 8 months 1 week 5 days 23 hours ago) and read 10186 times:
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Quoting Wjcandee (Reply 3):

You've got that right!

Back in the summer (of '73 or '74?) I was a passenger on a NA B-721 MCO-MIA. There was also an EA B-721 at the gate next to us.
Looking to the southwest I could see the rolling black clouds approaching. I knew we were in for a ride when EA lit the fires and taxied out. (Both NA and EA were fierce competitors and "Florida" airlines. ALL of those pilots "cut their teeth" flying in Florida thunderstorms). Sure enough we spooled up and taxied out. In those days it was all about schedule.

I had the window seat, in the last row of First, on the right side. I could look back and see the outer half of the wing on my side. There was a man with his leg in a cast in the aisle seat next to me. As we turned practically into the storm we began a rolling take-off. I asked the man next to me if he might position his leg-in-the-cast securely under the seat in front of him---as politely as possible of course.

As soon as we were airborne we flew into a wall of water so heavy you could feel the aircraft loose some airspeed. I don't even think the gear was stowed before we were in moderate turbulence---which became severe as we climbed and jockeyed around INSIDE the storm. At one point I turned to look back at the wing and the wing was bent up so high I couldn't see the tip! Most of the time there was a horizontal sheet of water covering my window though, so my visibility was limited. The lightning was terrific. I remember thinking the B-721 was "built like a tank" so I don't think I was as scared, as I was uncomfortable with all the different G-forces going on. It was very unpleasant.

Inside the cabin was chaos. Ceiling and sidewall panels were popping off and the masks dropped. Those old overhead racks cast their contents everywhere----hand luggage, pillows and blankets went flying. The galley was right behind me and I could hear all sorts of stuff crashing and thrashing around back there----and had great sympathy for those who were seated next to the loo. People were out of control with terror. Screaming, crying, cursing and much vomiting----and I'm sure a few wet themselves. At one point my head hit the side wall so hard it broke the temple on my glasses---and I was lucky it didn't cut my face. The guy next to me was terrified as well and was glad to have his leg-in-the-cast jammed under that seat---as it was, his exposed toes ended up with cuts on them from the seat support structure----a stark contrast on the white plaster of the cast.

We were almost to MIA before we finally flew out of that monster. When we deplaned, people would step out into the jet-way and just sit down on the floor---it was lined with moaning people as I deplaned. The F/A's had been thrashed about as well but with great professionalism were helping people off the plane and checking for injuries, etc. The cockpit crew were helping people in the jet-way. It was very surrealistic and I think I was in shock. I don't remember reading about it in the next days newspaper, but I am sure there must have been something in there. The plane had been full. I'm sure not a few of those folks never stepped another foot on an airplane.

I don't think we were more than about 10 minutes late.

It could have been MUCH worse as in the old days piston powered aircraft that could not get much altitude, were regularly thrashed about inside storms----for hours on end.

Everytime I am at a ticket counter or a gate and overhear people whinning and cursing because they have been delayed by flow-control, due to weather, and/or vastly improved ops. proceedures on the part of the airlines and FAA, I think of that flight so many years ago.
Those whinners need to shut the %*#@ up!



"If everything seems under control, you're just not going fast enough!"
User currently offlinePensacolaguy From United States of America, joined Sep 2004, 539 posts, RR: 1
Reply 7, posted (7 years 8 months 1 week 5 days 22 hours ago) and read 10096 times:

Quoting ATLAaron (Thread starter):
for her 11 pm flight to Pittsburgh (Flight 988)

Airtran flight 988....Departed ATL Fri 02:33AM EDT arrived PIT Fri 03:44AM EDT...Your wife make it ok? Get any sort of compensation?


User currently offlineXkorpyoh From United States of America, joined Oct 2004, 819 posts, RR: 0
Reply 8, posted (7 years 8 months 1 week 5 days 22 hours ago) and read 10057 times:

we also had a strong thunderstorm passing by last night around 7p in Atlanta. I lost power in my building and notice many of the traffic lights on the street in midtonw flashing red. I bet this on top of the security delays created this problem in ATL.
Several of our employees are now renting cars to drive to the nearby states instead of flying.


User currently offlineVivavegas From United States of America, joined Apr 2004, 505 posts, RR: 2
Reply 9, posted (7 years 8 months 1 week 5 days 22 hours ago) and read 10040 times:

Whole bunch of 2,3 and 4am departures....

Quote:
TRS439 B712 Kansas City Int'l (KMCI) Fri 04:36AM EDT Fri 05:17AM CDT Fri 05:10AM CDT
DAL468 B752 Philadelphia Int'l (KPHL) Fri 04:33AM EDT Fri 06:05AM EDT Fri 06:03AM EDT
TRS298 B712 Newark/New York Liberty Int'l (KEWR) Fri 04:32AM EDT Fri 06:11AM EDT Fri 05:58AM EDT
TRS131 B712 Tampa Int'l (KTPA) Fri 04:31AM EDT Fri 05:34AM EDT Fri 05:30AM EDT
TRS636 B712 General Mitchell Int'l (KMKE) Fri 04:22AM EDT Fri 04:57AM CDT Fri 04:53AM CDT
UPS1336 B752 Orlando Int'l (KMCO) Fri 04:05AM EDT Fri 05:11AM EDT Fri 05:05AM EDT
TRS96 B712 Raleigh Durham Int'l (KRDU) Fri 04:02AM EDT Fri 09:32AM EDT Fri 04:50AM EDT
TRS406 B737 Indianapolis Int'l (KIND) Fri 04:02AM EDT Fri 04:08AM EST Fri 04:05AM EST
JAL6053 B742 Ted Stevens Anchorage Int'l (PANC) Fri 03:50AM EDT Fri 06:19AM YDT
TRS929 B712 Jacksonville Int'l (KJAX) Fri 03:47AM EDT Fri 04:37AM EDT Fri 04:32AM EDT
TRS314 B712 Charlotte Douglas Int'l (KCLT) Fri 03:46AM EDT Fri 04:27AM EDT Fri 04:23AM EDT
TRS858 B712 Minneapolis St Paul Int'l (KMSP) Fri 03:45AM EDT Fri 04:51AM CDT Fri 04:47AM CDT
USC183 LJ35 Rickenbacker Int'l (KLCK) Fri 03:41AM EDT Fri 04:41AM EDT Fri 04:39AM EDT
TRS182 B712 Ronald Reagan Washington Natl (KDCA) Fri 03:37AM EDT Fri 04:55AM EDT Fri 04:48AM EDT
USC441 BE58 Jacksonville Int'l (KJAX) Fri 03:36AM EDT unknown Fri 04:55AM EDT
TRS527 B712 Memphis Int'l (KMEM) Fri 03:35AM EDT Fri 03:30AM CDT Fri 03:15AM CDT
TRS66 B712 Washington Dulles Int'l (KIAD) Fri 03:32AM EDT Fri 04:55AM EDT Fri 04:49AM EDT
DAL391 B752 Ontario Int'l (KONT) Fri 03:29AM EDT Fri 04:24AM PDT Fri 04:15AM PDT
TRS186 B712 Ronald Reagan Washington Natl (KDCA) Fri 03:26AM EDT Fri 04:44AM EDT Fri 04:37AM EDT
TRS847 B737 Orlando Int'l (KMCO) Fri 03:18AM EDT Fri 04:19AM EDT Fri 04:21AM EDT
ASQ157 AT72 Montgomery Regional (KMGM) Fri 03:16AM EDT Fri 02:55AM CDT
TRS478 B737 Baltimore Washington Int'l (KBWI) Fri 03:16AM EDT Fri 08:26AM EDT Fri 04:28AM EDT
USC801 LJ35 Rickenbacker Int'l (KLCK) Fri 03:14AM EDT Fri 04:19AM EDT Fri 04:21AM EDT
TRS378 B712 Quad City Int'l (KMLI) Fri 03:09AM EDT Fri 03:53AM CDT
TRS129 B712 Tampa Int'l (KTPA) Fri 03:06AM EDT Fri 04:10AM EDT Fri 04:04AM EDT
TRS262 B712 Bishop Int'l (KFNT) Fri 03:03AM EDT Fri 04:33AM EDT Fri 03:03AM EDT
DAL422 B752 Los Angeles Int'l (KLAX) Fri 03:01AM EDT Fri 03:58AM PDT
SNC4886 SH36 Huntsville Int'l Carl T Jones Field (KHSV) Fri 02:58AM EDT Fri 02:44AM CDT
TRS309 B737 Denver Int'l (KDEN) Fri 02:56AM EDT Fri 03:33AM MDT Fri 03:39AM MDT
ASQ116 AT72 Middle Georgia Regional (KMCN) Fri 02:55AM EDT Fri 03:16AM EDT
TRS123 B737 Dallas Fort Worth Int'l (KDFW) Fri 02:54AM EDT Fri 03:35AM CDT Fri 03:33AM CDT
TRS709 B712 Southwest Florida Int'l (KRSW) Fri 02:53AM EDT Fri 04:13AM EDT
FRL6211 E145 Newport News Williamsburg Int'l (KPHF) Fri 02:52AM EDT Fri 04:03AM EDT Fri 04:01AM EDT
TRS414 B712 Pensacola Regional (KPNS) Fri 02:51AM EDT Fri 02:44AM CDT Fri 02:32AM CDT
TRS912 B712 Newport News Williamsburg Int'l (KPHF) Fri 02:50AM EDT Fri 04:03AM EDT Fri 03:50AM EDT
DAL1105 MD88 Greenville Spartanburg Int'l (KGSP) Fri 02:49AM EDT Fri 03:15AM EDT
DAL9593 B763 Portland Int'l (KPDX) Fri 02:47AM EDT Fri 04:18AM PDT Fri 04:21AM PDT
TRS299A B712 William P Hobby (KHOU) Fri 02:45AM EDT Fri 03:20AM CDT Fri 03:10AM CDT
TRS910 B737 Newport News Williamsburg Int'l (KPHF) Fri 02:44AM EDT Fri 03:55AM EDT Fri 03:50AM EDT
ASQ89 CRJ2 Sarasota Bradenton Int'l (KSRQ) Fri 02:41AM EDT Fri 03:48AM EDT Fri 03:45AM EDT
DAL494 MD88 Washington Dulles Int'l (KIAD) Fri 02:40AM EDT Fri 03:56AM EDT Fri 04:01AM EDT
DAL1624 B732 Theodore Francis Green State (KPVD) Fri 02:38AM EDT Fri 04:40AM EDT Fri 04:36AM EDT
FRL6064 E145 Charlotte Douglas Int'l (KCLT) Fri 02:37AM EDT Fri 03:11AM EDT Fri 03:17AM EDT
ASQ289 CRJ2 Southwest Georgia Regional (KABY) Fri 02:35AM EDT Fri 03:03AM EDT Fri 02:35AM EDT
TRS30 B737 Chicago Midway Int'l (KMDW) Fri 02:34AM EDT Fri 02:57AM CDT Fri 02:57AM CDT
TRS988 B712 Pittsburgh Int'l (KPIT) Fri 02:33AM EDT Fri 03:47AM EDT Fri 03:44AM EDT

Just to be fair, Delta has a few mixed in as well,

Craig
MKE



MKE / EYW / LAS - The true trifecta of aviation!
User currently offlineWjcandee From United States of America, joined Jun 2000, 4970 posts, RR: 18
Reply 10, posted (7 years 8 months 1 week 5 days 21 hours ago) and read 9877 times:

Quoting ImperialEagle (Reply 6):
I'm sure not a few of those folks never stepped another foot on an airplane.

I don't think we were more than about 10 minutes late.

EXACTLY!!! Beautiful story, very well told!


User currently offlineN702ML From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 11, posted (7 years 8 months 1 week 5 days 21 hours ago) and read 9826 times:

Excellent post, WJCandee..... Welcome to my respected user list!

User currently offlineTravatl From United States of America, joined Mar 2001, 2173 posts, RR: 7
Reply 12, posted (7 years 8 months 1 week 5 days 21 hours ago) and read 9803 times:

Quoting JetBlueAtJFK (Reply 2):
AirTran needs to just stop, tell people to ask the FA's questions once on board, call in all the FA's they can and pilots to work the flights. And jsut send them out.

huh?

Ask the flight attendants what, exactly? Flight attendants don't have access to customer service policies, compensation, ever-changing connection information, hotel and meal accomodation, etc. etc. etc.

And as for "calling in all the flight attendants and pilots they can". Don't you think they were? Keep in mind, OVER HALF of the flight attendants and OVER THREE FOURTHS of the pilots don't live in Atlanta - not to mention, people aren't sitting by their phones on their days off waiting to be called to work. Are you?


User currently offlineJetBluefan1 From United States of America, joined Dec 2003, 2937 posts, RR: 14
Reply 13, posted (7 years 8 months 1 week 5 days 20 hours ago) and read 9653 times:

Quoting Wjcandee (Reply 3):
Airtran has a lot of flights to the Northeast, and we have had horrendous weather here today. Thunder, lightning, and drenching rain like I haven't seen in at least a year hit Manhattan late this afternoon and into the early evening, then passed slowly through.

I'm surprised! I could see the lightning from my house - just 20 miles away - but we only got a few raindrops. Very odd, but not surprising.

Perhaps the FL delays had to do with the slowing down at security? Most domestic flights were slightly delayed because of this yesterday, and we all know the domino effect...

JetBluefan1



Most people on a.net hate JetBlue. Get used to it.
User currently offlineTravatl From United States of America, joined Mar 2001, 2173 posts, RR: 7
Reply 14, posted (7 years 8 months 1 week 5 days 19 hours ago) and read 9601 times:

Although many flights departed without the majority of passengers scheduled yesterday morning due to the sudden change security restricitons, A LOT were delayed up to 30 or 45 minutes to get as many folks as they could.

So, you have a huge portion of the fleet starting the day behind schedule, add to that the deteriorating condition in the northeast, and then a hellatious thunderstorm that rolled through the ATL hub between 630P and 8P, and you had an operation that simply couldn't catch up. With numerous crew and aircraft reroutes and reassignments coupled with pendulous ATC changes, departure and arrival estimates were continuously altered throughout the night.

Instead of cancelling a signifcant portion of the operation to play catch up (and continue to strand passengers who would then have no protection on other flights due to high loads), AirTran opted instead to run the operation through the night to get the most number of passengers to their destinations. Smooth? Absolutely not.... but in the end the job got done...

- Travis


User currently offlineClipper002 From United States of America, joined Aug 2004, 679 posts, RR: 13
Reply 15, posted (7 years 8 months 1 week 5 days 19 hours ago) and read 9555 times:

Good posts Bill and Travis. Right on target as usual.

Rgd,
Ed



Ed
User currently offlineATLAaron From United States of America, joined Apr 2006, 1020 posts, RR: 3
Reply 16, posted (7 years 8 months 1 week 5 days 19 hours ago) and read 9483 times:
Support Airliners.net - become a First Class Member!

Quoting Pensacolaguy (Reply 7):
Airtran flight 988....Departed ATL Fri 02:33AM EDT arrived PIT Fri 03:44AM EDT...Your wife make it ok? Get any sort of compensation?

She made it, no compensation although I don't think compensation was necessary either.

My only complaint is this . . . like I said in my original post, I was at ATL from 6pm to 1am and being the a.netter that I am I simply stood back and watched. I watched DL having plenty of employees and moving the lines smoothly, I watched them update the boards to keep passengers updated, and most importantly I watched the passengers and the passengers seemed at ease. Perhaps that is because DL has more frequent flyers, I don't really know. BUT yes passengers are dramatic however a good CSA crew can reduce that drama through communication and through how they act. When CSA's are shortstaffed running around like crazy that only fuels the drama and that is what I saw at FL. When issues like this arise and you have storms around the country and the security issues the US faced yesterday, why would you not bump up your staffing?

And to the point that not cancelling a flight is better . . . I don't necessarily agree. Sitting around at the airport waiting for your flight for hours while it keeps getting delayed is not always the best. Having a more definite time to return the next day can sometimes be less stressful.

On a separate note when that storm hit ATL around 7pm I heard them mention they were landing some flights at BHM to wait the storm out. Is that a common procedure?


User currently offlineTravatl From United States of America, joined Mar 2001, 2173 posts, RR: 7
Reply 17, posted (7 years 8 months 1 week 5 days 17 hours ago) and read 9275 times:

Diversions are very common at an airport that has the traffic saturation that ATL has. (See the post about the DL 767 that got stuck in the mud in Jackson, MS yesterday during a diversion).

Cancellations absolutely ARE the best option to get the airline back to schedule IF you have protection on other flights. Unfortunatley, we're in the middle of a peak travel season. So.... if you cancel a flight with 120 people booked on it, and the total number of seats to that destination the following day is less than 50, you have quite a predicament. However, I'm certan people were given the opportunity to rebook for subsequent day's flights, and then standby for earlier flights (that's typically AirTran's policy during irregular operations). At least they had the option to "stick it out" during the long night and arrive at destination.

- Travis


User currently offlineOPNLguy From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 18, posted (7 years 8 months 1 week 5 days 17 hours ago) and read 9223 times:

We had similar weather at BNA and MDW yesterday, including some diversions.

When multiple flights start getting so late (especially the ones that diverted, refueled, and returned to the original destination), lots of other associated things happen, like crews running out of duty/flight time, since they've overflown. Many of these problems can be solved, but sometimes the solutions are less than elegant, and entail additional delay. I had one crew on a diverted flight time-out while on the ground at his alternate last night, and the flight took an additional 1:30 delay awaiting the only crew thad sked could lay their hands on. Yes, it would have been great to have a fresh crew in a glass box labeled "In case of delay, break glass" ready for use, but the airline biz doesn't work that way. Besides, if I'd had the ability to accurately and absolutely forsee the diversion hours in advance, I wouldn't be working, since I'd have long since gone out and used that ability to pick a winning Lotto number (or two) and would be on the beach.  

In a nutshell, when the weather sucks, "feces occurs" and everyone (including the frontline customer service folks) tries to do the best they can. That said, if the answers they give the customers don't satisfy the customers (the facts being deemed "excuses"), that's unfortunate, but it doesn't change the operational realities involved.

[Edited 2006-08-11 19:39:23]

User currently offlineSrbmod From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 19, posted (7 years 8 months 1 week 5 days 15 hours ago) and read 9049 times:

Quoting ATLAaron (Reply 16):
On a separate note when that storm hit ATL around 7pm I heard them mention they were landing some flights at BHM to wait the storm out. Is that a common procedure?

When severe storms are forecasted to be over ATL for more than a certain amount of time (a/c are fueled with a set amount of extra fuel just in case they have to circle, and if the amount of fuel starts into that area, they have to divert), a/c have to divert to other cities due to fuel issues. BHM, MGM, HSV, CHA, MCN, AGS, CAE, GSP, MCN, JAN, and GTR are some of the common ATL diversion airports. I've seen ATL be closed for over an hour due to severe storms in the area.


User currently offlineB777ER From United States of America, joined Jun 2004, 548 posts, RR: 0
Reply 20, posted (7 years 8 months 1 week 5 days 15 hours ago) and read 8811 times:

Quoting ImperialEagle (Reply 6):
Ceiling and sidewall panels were popping off and the masks dropped. Those old overhead racks cast their contents everywhere----hand luggage, pillows and blankets went flying. The galley was right behind me and I could hear all sorts of stuff crashing and thrashing around back there----and had great sympathy for those who were seated next to the loo. People were out of control with terror. Screaming, crying, cursing and much vomiting----and I'm sure a few wet themselves. At one point my head hit the side wall so hard it broke the temple on my glasses

Sound like a fun flight....now thats what I call flying "ontime"!


User currently offlineRoseFlyer From United States of America, joined Feb 2004, 9378 posts, RR: 52
Reply 21, posted (7 years 8 months 1 week 5 days 14 hours ago) and read 8526 times:

Quoting ATLAaron (Reply 16):
I was at ATL from 6pm to 1am and being the a.netter that I am I simply stood back and watched. I watched DL having plenty of employees and moving the lines smoothly, I watched them update the boards to keep passengers updated, and most importantly I watched the passengers and the passengers seemed at ease. Perhaps that is because DL has more frequent flyers, I don't really know. BUT yes passengers are dramatic however a good CSA crew can reduce that drama through communication and through how they act. When CSA's are shortstaffed running around like crazy that only fuels the drama and that is what I saw at FL. When issues like this arise and you have storms around the country and the security issues the US faced yesterday, why would you not bump up your staffing?

Airtran and Delta are different. Delta does deserve accolades for its technology. They use technology well to deal with passengers. The plasma screens display a lot of useful information. But all this costs money. Airtran is often less expensive and with that you have to deal with them not being staffed as well.

Honestly when Chicago goes through severe thunderstorms that put ORD and MDW in ground stops, I personally would prefer to be dealing with AA or UA instead of WN. Yes it is a hellish mess on all sides, but UA and AA probably are better able to handle the situation, especially because they have premium services like lounges and dedicated phone lines to deal with elite passengers when there is trouble rather than wait in hour long lines at customer service stations. Since every airline goes through situations where there are 2 customer service agents to deal with a line of 100 people that all had their flights cancelled or missed connections.



If you have never designed an airplane part before, let the real designers do the work!
User currently offlineIH8B6 From United States of America, joined Apr 2006, 203 posts, RR: 2
Reply 22, posted (7 years 8 months 1 week 5 days 13 hours ago) and read 7702 times:

Quoting Pensacolaguy (Reply 7):
Airtran flight 988....Departed ATL Fri 02:33AM EDT arrived PIT Fri 03:44AM EDT...Your wife make it ok? Get any sort of compensation?

Weather...why get compensation?

Quoting ATLAaron (Reply 16):
And to the point that not cancelling a flight is better . . . I don't necessarily agree. Sitting around at the airport waiting for your flight for hours while it keeps getting delayed is not always the best. Having a more definite time to return the next day can sometimes be less stressful.

With loadfactors this summer it is not easy to get people flights the next day.....

Quoting ATLAaron (Reply 16):
On a separate note when that storm hit ATL around 7pm I heard them mention they were landing some flights at BHM to wait the storm out. Is that a common procedure?

Very common.....

The rest of the story.....

The whole ATL operation went to hell last night: Airtran and Delta and anyone else that flys to or close to ATL. Some my have handled better then others but no one had a leg up. Thunderstorms north of ATL first caused ground holds on all departures to the north. First while flights were stuck on the ground, landings continued. Then all four arrival fixes had storms causing holding everywhere. I believe there were close to 70 diversions in a two hour period for all airlines coming inbound to ATL. Then while those departures were still being held on the ground there was near gridlock. Finally diversions got airborne and gridlock flights got to take off but they still had to return to ATL for the last push, thus pushing the operation into the 4a.m. range!

Regarding the Manhattan storm…yeah, the NYC operation went to hell too. Thunderstorms at EWR and LGA caused many diversions everywhere and held flights on the ground in JFK. Then the storms hit JFK causing more diversions. About 40 diversions for NYC area last night and 5-6 hour departure delays from JFK.

That coupled with the new security measures made one very bad day for Airlines in ATL, NYC and everywhere! The good ol' ripple effect!

[Edited 2006-08-12 00:18:48]


Over-moderation sucks
User currently offlineStealth777 From United States of America, joined Feb 2006, 369 posts, RR: 0
Reply 23, posted (7 years 8 months 1 week 5 days 12 hours ago) and read 7471 times:

I flew with FL last night via ATL. I do agree with the original post in terms of lack of information being provided by FL. While from what I saw at DL in the same concourse was order. It appeared that those customers were informed. My flight to EWR was delayed and I was at the airport for close to 5 hrs with only being informed of two things. one was at midnight when I just flew in from IND and was told my flight was schduled to go out at 2am from C11 and the next was at 230am when I was told the gate changed from C11 to C2. after that no other information was given nor a time of departure. The only way we knew when we were to depart was once they started boarding the aircraft. However once we did that we still sat on the plane for another 45-60 mins until we actually pushed back. In the end I cancelled my return on FL back to the west coast and booked on a DL flight back.

User currently offlineIH8B6 From United States of America, joined Apr 2006, 203 posts, RR: 2
Reply 24, posted (7 years 8 months 1 week 5 days 12 hours ago) and read 7404 times:

I actually had a friend passing through ATL last night on FL and he pretty much echos the statements here: no information and just standing in long lines. I am glad the DL operation appeared in order.

I always figured gate agents that don't announce the delays and the info are afraid to tell the truth and being bombarded with customers. What they don't realize is that stringing everyone along with no info pisses them off more than knowing the truth about what's going on.

When I was on the frontline I would rather tell you the truth than hide it. Saying "Ladies and Gentlemen this flight is delayed 4 hours for the bad weather and we are looking for a crew to fly it. There may not be one. If there isn't one unfortunately the flight will cancel at the end of all this." The info, while not pretty is the truth as opposed to: "Ladies and gentlemen we are leaving when are crew is here in 4 hours" and then four hours later: "Ladies and Gentlemen it is 4 hours later...we were afraid this would happen but now we don't have a crew, the flight is canceled". Not good!



Over-moderation sucks
25 Wjcandee : Well, maybe you will or maybe you won't encounter weather like this on your return. You never know in ATL. But what you are saying, which is interest
26 Post contains images TPAnx : Don't stand in line. Get on the phone to reservations....or call your "elite" number..or, if you're a member, head to your airline's lounge.... TPAnx
27 MSYtristar : Extended weather delays are commonplace in ATL during the Summer. Trust me, it doesn't just affect AirTran. As soon as ATC says "ground delay program
28 DTWAGENT : It is the same at all airports yesterday. Everything was late or canceled because of the TSA/HSA new rules. It looks like everything is running smooth
29 Stealth777 : just to clarify a couple of things from my earlier post. the DL flight is a non-stop flight back to SFO and the ordeal I experienced with FL had multi
30 MSYtristar : That happens at other airlines as well. Sorry for your bad luck this go around. No airline is perfect, and I can assure you that FL,DL,AA,CO,WN, etc.
31 Srbmod : Which is why I try to not pack too much so I don't have to check any bags in. Having worked on the ramp in the past, I know what goes on. You're just
32 OttoPylit : Ah yes, ignorance abounds in some of these posts. First of all, allow me to make a couple of corrections. Wjcandee, DL runs flights to LGA every hour
33 Srbmod : Regarding the lack of information, the gates agents in general aren't really given too much info (At least that's how it was when I was working there
34 Post contains images Outlier : Good post all the way around.
35 Stealth777 : in terms of the gate agents not having the current info.. well sometimes yes that is true but I found out about the gate change for my flight from a p
36 Post contains images Outlier : Might surprise you that the "chickens with their heads cut off" are often the ones on the cells phones, constantly yammering questions, constantly be
37 MSYtristar : All of the FL crews that i've ever met have been outstanding...I'd rank FL and F9 crews at the top of the industry...well ahead of the likes of DL, A
38 TVNWZ : In my personal experience, when severe weather happens in ATL, the south end of Concourse C is a lot more confused and more unhelpful than DL. True,
39 Post contains images Outlier : Well when I relax at an airport, its an "active" sort of relaxing... We're not far off each other, probably just some nuances in explaining our posit
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