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Ground Delays, Hours On A Plane  
User currently offlineDrgmobile From Canada, joined Aug 2006, 638 posts, RR: 0
Posted (7 years 1 month 3 weeks 4 days 22 hours ago) and read 3291 times:

Does anybody know WHY planeloads of passengers are EVER kept on a plane while it is delayed on the ground for three, four five, etc... hours -- either at the gate or while taxiing?

I was once told that flight crews only get paid for the time while they are on the aircraft with the door closed, but I have never been able to get this confirmed.

34 replies: All unread, showing first 25:
 
User currently offlineMir From United States of America, joined Jan 2004, 21624 posts, RR: 55
Reply 1, posted (7 years 1 month 3 weeks 4 days 22 hours ago) and read 3284 times:

Quoting Drgmobile (Thread starter):
Does anybody know WHY planeloads of passengers are EVER kept on a plane while it is delayed on the ground for three, four five, etc... hours -- either at the gate or while taxiing?

Because if they go back to the gate, they lose their spot in the takeoff line. And then you have to get in line all over again and wait.

As far as waiting at the gate goes, sometimes a plane will be issued a takeoff time, but the airline managers will try and negotiate an earlier one from ATC. If all the passengers are off the plane and the takeoff time is in fifteen minutes, you'll never get everyone back on and out to the runway in time.

-Mir



7 billion, one nation, imagination...it's a beautiful day
User currently offlineRFields5421 From United States of America, joined Jul 2007, 7607 posts, RR: 31
Reply 2, posted (7 years 1 month 3 weeks 4 days 22 hours ago) and read 3272 times:

Quoting Drgmobile (Thread starter):
Does anybody know WHY planeloads of passengers are EVER kept on a plane while it is delayed on the ground for three, four five, etc... hours -- either at the gate or while taxiing?

Jet Blue @ New York last winter - no gates available, ramp too icy to safely taxi, not enough external/ ice covered stairs to deplane passengers onto slick ice covered ramps.

AAL @ KMAF a few months ago - B752 diverted from DFW due to thunderstorms. MAF doesn't have a gate capable of docking with a B752, no external stairs for that high an aircraft.

Frequently in long delays, the crew will go past their allowable time limits and another crew has to be found.

On and on....

Yes, bad planning and stupidity on the part of the airline and airports - quite often - but sometimes stuff happens.

I've been told that general feeling in the airline industry is that if the pax get off the plane, it will take two or three times as long to get them reboarded when a takeoff slot opens back up.

Last month we taxied out to the end of the runway on a flight which was six hours late departing the gate - and the pilot told us that we would have to wait 30-45 minutes for clearance to takeoff and routing around some thunderstorms. He also said he had a choice - leave us at the gate, off the plane. Push the plane back and let the next incoming flight unload, then reboard us and hope there was a clearance window. At least another two to three hours.

BTW one hour of the delay was while the flight crew was driven up to BDL from LGA because the original DFW-BDL crew was past their crew hours and unable to continue the flight.

Quoting Drgmobile (Thread starter):
I was once told that flight crews only get paid for the time while they are on the aircraft with the door closed,

Never heard this. My understanding of crew time limits are based on the reporting time for the start of the first flight of the day and the clock runs continuously no matter if the doors are closed or not.


User currently offlineFlyf15 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 3, posted (7 years 1 month 3 weeks 4 days 22 hours ago) and read 3265 times:

Every situation is different. There are too many variables to sum up in one reply.

And yes, it is correct that we only get paid when the door is closed. But, trust me, us pilots aren't the ones making the decision as to when that door is open and when it is closed (aside from a few minutes plus or minus). If we were caught holding passengers hostage for hours to simply increase our pay, we'd be fired immediately.


User currently offlineArcrftLvr From United States of America, joined Nov 2006, 826 posts, RR: 0
Reply 4, posted (7 years 1 month 3 weeks 4 days 21 hours ago) and read 3222 times:

Quoting RFields5421 (Reply 2):
MAF doesn't have a gate capable of docking with a B752, no external stairs for that high an aircraft.

Just out of curiousity, why would they select an alternate airport that wasn't capable of handling an A/C of that size? What would happen if they had to cancel, would they have just left all the passengers and crew on the plane? What if the crew timed out? How would they get the new crew on and the old crew off? Something is not adding up here.

Quoting RFields5421 (Reply 2):
Never heard this. My understanding of crew time limits are based on the reporting time for the start of the first flight of the day and the clock runs continuously no matter if the doors are closed or not.

Someone correct me if I'm wrong, but it has nothing to do with whether the doors are closed or not. I thought each crew member is paid based on the wheels up time until they chock at the gate.


User currently offlineGoldenshield From United States of America, joined Jan 2001, 6027 posts, RR: 14
Reply 5, posted (7 years 1 month 3 weeks 4 days 21 hours ago) and read 3209 times:

Quoting ArcrftLvr (Reply 4):
Just out of curiousity, why would they select an alternate airport that wasn't capable of handling an A/C of that size?

You have to use a legal airport that's within fuel range of the aircraft. If MAF was the best one available, so be it. The airline isn't going to waste precious fuel to ensure that an airstair that fits the aircraft is available at that airport.



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User currently offlineRFields5421 From United States of America, joined Jul 2007, 7607 posts, RR: 31
Reply 6, posted (7 years 1 month 3 weeks 4 days 21 hours ago) and read 3202 times:

Quoting ArcrftLvr (Reply 4):
why would they select an alternate airport that wasn't capable of handling an A/C of that size?

According to TV news reports, the pilot expected DFW to open up and wanted to be as close to the airport and getting in as possible. MAF was the closest that had ramp space.

They were monitoring crew time, and preparing to move the aircraft to ELP when DFW opened up - so the flight did continue to DFW.

The airline has 'supported and defended the pilot's decision to land at Midland' but that sounds like PR BS to me.


User currently offlineArcrftLvr From United States of America, joined Nov 2006, 826 posts, RR: 0
Reply 7, posted (7 years 1 month 3 weeks 4 days 21 hours ago) and read 3169 times:

Quoting Goldenshield (Reply 5):
The airline isn't going to waste precious fuel to ensure that an airstair that fits the aircraft is available at that airport.

Right, but even though MAF was within legal fuel range, it seems the contingency plan when planning the divert would have to take into account if the crew timed out or the flight had to cancel. They would waste more fuel re-positioning to a more suitable airport in this type of event, so it doesn't seem that the airline is all that concerned about fuel consumption. So, in the event of a time out, how would they have planned to extract the crew from the plane without the appropriate airstairs? The A/C would not be able to take off again a without a legal crew, so how would they have gotten the crew into the A/C? Again, something isn't adding up.


User currently offlineArcrftLvr From United States of America, joined Nov 2006, 826 posts, RR: 0
Reply 8, posted (7 years 1 month 3 weeks 4 days 21 hours ago) and read 3166 times:

Quoting RFields5421 (Reply 6):
The airline has 'supported and defended the pilot's decision to land at Midland' but that sounds like PR BS to me.

Complete BS


User currently offlineFlyf15 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 9, posted (7 years 1 month 3 weeks 4 days 21 hours ago) and read 3141 times:

Quoting RFields5421 (Reply 6):
The airline has 'supported and defended the pilot's decision to land at Midland' but that sounds like PR BS to me.



Quoting ArcrftLvr (Reply 8):
Quoting RFields5421 (Reply 6):
The airline has 'supported and defended the pilot's decision to land at Midland' but that sounds like PR BS to me.

Complete BS

etc.....

Wow guys. There is a LOT that goes into a divert. A lot of circumstances, a lot of planning, and a lot of people. Its not just the pilots that make the decision. Customer service is in on it, dispatch, crew scheduling, maintenance control, the diversion station, and most importantly dispatch.

There are a lot of things more important than what kind of airstairs exist at the alternate. Heck, occasionally we'll divert to airports that don't even have airline service or passenger terminals. You know why? Because based on the given set of circumstances, it is the best option available.

Additionally, sometimes things change and plans don't work out. Nobody is perfect. Say you have a great alternate set up and when it comes time to divert... you can't go there. Say you make it to your alternate with plans of only gassing up and departing and you end up spending 8 hours there due to a MX issue. No plan is perfect, but everyone does their best. With the thousands upon thousands of airline flights that go every day without a problem, it is not surprising to see one every once in a while where everything doesn't work out right. You can't do it 100% perfect every time. And, you as passengers, don't really understand what goes into all of it. It might not seem like a good plan, but all things considered, it may be the best option.


User currently offlineGoldenshield From United States of America, joined Jan 2001, 6027 posts, RR: 14
Reply 10, posted (7 years 1 month 3 weeks 4 days 21 hours ago) and read 3136 times:

Quoting ArcrftLvr (Reply 7):
Right, but even though MAF was within legal fuel range, it seems the contingency plan when planning the divert would have to take into account if the crew timed out or the flight had to cancel.

Dispatch, crew planning (not scheduling,) and and CSC are in the same office for a reason. As was said by RFields (since I never saw said report,) they decided to hold longer to try and get into DFW. I'm positive a further alternate was chosen originally, and as time went on, alternate fuel was exchanged for holding fuel; I've done the same thing several times before. During the time the aircraft was extending its holding, the system coordinators for DFW would have been working with the crew planners to ensure that MAF was indeed a workable, and timely alternate to use (not a legal one—that's the dispatcher's job.)



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User currently offlineRFields5421 From United States of America, joined Jul 2007, 7607 posts, RR: 31
Reply 11, posted (7 years 1 month 3 weeks 4 days 20 hours ago) and read 3113 times:

Quoting RFields5421 (Reply 6):
The airline has 'supported and defended the pilot's decision to land at Midland' but that sounds like PR BS to me.

The part in quotes is the BS part to me. The airline has done everything possible to portary that incident as a single decision by a single pilot/ captain - not a decision made by/ with consultation airline dispatch.

BS

Yes, you are right - you gotta go where you gotta go - and when a big airport like DFW closes for hours - there is chaos and there is not enought capacity anywhere for all the passengers to deplane. Other than returning to origin of all the flights and telling them to reschedule another day.

But don't blame individual pilots.

As far as access to the aircraft, they did bring extra water and food on board with a catering lift truck.

Something we haven't mentioned on this thread is lawsuits.

Airlines are scared to death of taking passengers off aircraft anytime except through jetways or regular stair facilities at those airports where it is necessary. One person slips and turns an ankle, and the airline has a multi-million dollar lawsuit.

If you watch some of the video of people getting off Ryanair and other LCC's in Europe, you know US lawyers would be at such an airport passing out business cards to sue for the 'inconvience and trauma' of having to go down rain slick stairs.


User currently offlineArcrftLvr From United States of America, joined Nov 2006, 826 posts, RR: 0
Reply 12, posted (7 years 1 month 3 weeks 4 days 20 hours ago) and read 3080 times:

Quoting Flyf15 (Reply 9):
And, you as passengers, don't really understand what goes into all of it. It might not seem like a good plan, but all things considered, it may be the best option.

I don't think it's that I don't understand, I was merely questioning the feasibility of an airport that couldn't extract passengers or crew on or off the plane, should the need arise. However, the answer that I received was that an alternate airport is solely selected based on fuel consumption, which I have a hard time with. It seems from a customer service and crew scheduling standpoint, access would be necessary at an alternate airport. Why even involve C/S and scheduling in the equation if their needs cannot be met? It seems that if the airline is selecting an alternate airport solely based on how much fuel will be used, then they are not adequately examining all of the possibilities that could arise. Thus, could end up burning more fuel in the long run rather than saving if they need to re-position to another airport.

Obviously, I understand that in a fuel emergency, ANY airport would be sufficient. Just wanted to put that out there...


User currently offlinePGNCS From United States of America, joined Apr 2007, 2823 posts, RR: 45
Reply 13, posted (7 years 1 month 3 weeks 4 days 18 hours ago) and read 2978 times:

Quoting ArcrftLvr (Reply 12):
However, the answer that I received was that an alternate airport is solely selected based on fuel consumption, which I have a hard time with. It seems from a customer service and crew scheduling standpoint, access would be necessary at an alternate airport. Why even involve C/S and scheduling in the equation if their needs cannot be met? It seems that if the airline is selecting an alternate airport solely based on how much fuel will be used, then they are not adequately examining all of the possibilities that could arise. Thus, could end up burning more fuel in the long run rather than saving if they need to re-position to another airport.

Sometimes range is compromised to the point that the closest suitable alternate has to be used (MGE for ATL, for instance) even if it is completely undesirable. The alternative is sometimes to either stop for fuel (delays and possible crew duty limitation issues) or kick passengers or their bags off to take more fuel at the origin. In general the airline professionals involved (pilots and dispatchers mostly) are EXTREMELY knowledgeable about the options and are very concerned about making the best decisions possible. It's easy to be a Monday morning quarterback; it's hard to make correct operational decisions in real time.

Quoting ArcrftLvr (Reply 4):
Someone correct me if I'm wrong, but it has nothing to do with whether the doors are closed or not. I thought each crew member is paid based on the wheels up time until they chock at the gate.

You are wrong. Depending on the aircraft involved, ACARS and time reporting normally starts when the beacon is on and all doors are closed, or the beacon is on and the parking brake is released. If you keep manual times all bets are off. Some newer aircraft, BTW, start the clock when motion is detected on pushback with several other parameters met.


User currently offlineArcrftLvr From United States of America, joined Nov 2006, 826 posts, RR: 0
Reply 14, posted (7 years 1 month 3 weeks 4 days 17 hours ago) and read 2942 times:

Quoting PGNCS (Reply 13):
It's easy to be a Monday morning quarterback; it's hard to make correct operational decisions in real time.

I agree that it's extremely easy to sit here and be a Monday morning quarterback and it is tough to make the correct operational decisions. But, it is also the job of all involved to make the correct operational decisions in real time, all the time. For example, if I can't rely on my operations managers to make the right decisions in real time, my business will fail. Certainly any time the incorrect decision is made, I would hope the airline involved works with the team to evaluate why the decision was made and how a better decision can be made in the future. I believe this would help mitigate a lot of the issues that the airlines have been encountering.


User currently offlinePGNCS From United States of America, joined Apr 2007, 2823 posts, RR: 45
Reply 15, posted (7 years 1 month 3 weeks 4 days 17 hours ago) and read 2926 times:

Quoting ArcrftLvr (Reply 14):
Quoting PGNCS (Reply 13):
It's easy to be a Monday morning quarterback; it's hard to make correct operational decisions in real time.

I agree that it's extremely easy to sit here and be a Monday morning quarterback and it is tough to make the correct operational decisions. But, it is also the job of all involved to make the correct operational decisions in real time, all the time. For example, if I can't rely on my operations managers to make the right decisions in real time, my business will fail. Certainly any time the incorrect decision is made, I would hope the airline involved works with the team to evaluate why the decision was made and how a better decision can be made in the future. I believe this would help mitigate a lot of the issues that the airlines have been encountering.

So what's your point? That the pilots and dispatchers don't do a good job? That we don't learn from our mistakes? We first and foremost endeavor to do a SAFE job everytime; whether or not any given decision turns out to be the optimum can sometimes only be seen after the fact. If the forecast for ATL is great for 12 hours from now when I take off from Rome with MGE as my alternate, it is prudent to file MGE as an alternate. The alternative is normally kicking passengers off the 767, especially in the summer. In the extremely rare even that we do have to divert because the weather is completely different than forecast, then maybe it would have been wiser to kick ten passengers off in FCO and put on another 2,000 lbs of fuel to go to BHM. Regardless of the hindsight involved, the decision to keep the passengers on was prudent at the time of departure from FCO. From that point on, the situation is addressed from the standpoint of safety first, passenger convenience and schedule preservation second.


User currently offlineArcrftLvr From United States of America, joined Nov 2006, 826 posts, RR: 0
Reply 16, posted (7 years 1 month 3 weeks 4 days 16 hours ago) and read 2870 times:

Quoting PGNCS (Reply 15):
That the pilots and dispatchers don't do a good job?

Never once did I imply anything of the sort. In fact, you make excellent points. I totally accept your explanation. Had someone provided an explanation like this prior, then I wouldn't have even bothered re-posting. The information that I took away from this discussion (prior to your post) was that the main criteria for a diversion is the closest airport, regardless of services. The reason being, is the airline does not want to 'waste precious fuel' diverting to an airport that can accommodate a certain size aircraft, which didn't seem to make a lot of sense to me. I would think that access (air stairs, jet bridge, etc.) to the particular A/C, coupled with proximity to the destination, would be the two largest factors in determining the diversion airport and those two factors are the main criteria for a diversion airport. I wouldn't think the airline would want one without the other.


User currently offlineKalvado From United States of America, joined Feb 2006, 491 posts, RR: 0
Reply 17, posted (7 years 1 month 3 weeks 4 days 16 hours ago) and read 2870 times:

Quoting ArcrftLvr (Reply 4):

Quoting RFields5421 (Reply 2):
MAF doesn't have a gate capable of docking with a B752, no external stairs for that high an aircraft.

Just out of curiousity, why would they select an alternate airport that wasn't capable of handling an A/C of that size? What would happen if they had to cancel, would they have just left all the passengers and crew on the plane? What if the crew timed out? How would they get the new crew on and the old crew off?

I would imagine that boarding 5-6 airline employers in good physical condition is one thing, and dealing with 200 pax including kids/older guys/sick/disabled is quite different... from insurance standpoint at the very least.


User currently offlineGoldenshield From United States of America, joined Jan 2001, 6027 posts, RR: 14
Reply 18, posted (7 years 1 month 3 weeks 4 days 16 hours ago) and read 2834 times:

Quoting ArcrftLvr (Reply 16):
The reason being, is the airline does not want to 'waste precious fuel' diverting to an airport that can accommodate a certain size aircraft, which didn't seem to make a lot of sense to me.

I know you're poking me here, and I'm sorry I never got back to you, but A.net isn't my life (unlike some people.) If you bothered to read my second reply, you'll see my reasoning reasoning for why I said what I said. I never said that it was the golden rule. Also, if the airport is approved for that aircraft in the FAA approved OpSpecs, then it certainly can handle that aircraft. You as a passenger may not like it that you couldn't get off, but at least the airline got you on the ground, rather than crashing and burning enroute to a place where you could get off and do whatever your heart desired.

Quote:
I would think that access (air stairs, jet bridge, etc.) to the particular A/C, coupled with proximity to the destination, would be the two largest factors in determining the diversion airport and those two factors are the main criteria for a diversion airport.

Whether an airport has airstairs that fit the aircraft is last priority. Hell, even when air airport DOES have them, the equipment may break. Getting the aircraft on the ground to an airport that can handle the aircraft LEGALLY, THAT it is FIRST priority. In the heat of the moment, when you need to get that aircraft down, you don't care what it has. When you have multiple aircraft fighting for your attention, then you DEFINATELY do not care what it has, as long as it's legal to use it. So, to reiterate, the two largest factors for a diversion airport are: 1) is it open, and 2) is it legal.

Quote:
I wouldn't think the airline would want one without the other.

Can we say, " Jetblue, Republic, and American?" These airlines, and several others have had instances where this has happened. And, guess what? It will happen again some time. Until you are out there making the operational decisions, don't think you know how to make them.



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User currently offlineKAUSpilot From United States of America, joined Jan 2002, 1959 posts, RR: 32
Reply 19, posted (7 years 1 month 3 weeks 4 days 15 hours ago) and read 2798 times:

Yes, at almost all airlines, flight crews are payed from the time all aircraft doors are closed and the parking brake is released to the time a door on the airplane is opened again.

What the average passenger does not understand is the difference between "DUTY TIME" and "PAY TIME". Airline crews routinely work for 14+ hours in a day, but cannot work more than 16 by federal regs. This is called "DUTY TIME". Crews are not payed their hourly wage for "DUTY TIME", they are only compensated for "PAY TIME" which I described in the first paragraph of this post.

But the reason why lengthy ground delays are endured has already been stated, if you deplane the passengers you lose your place in line many times. What does this mean? The flight now has a very high liklihood of being cancelled. Why? Well there are probably other flights leaving for the same destination at the same time now, the flight crew cannot be "on duty" for more than 16 hours in a day, etc. Trust me, crews do not enjoy lengthy delays any more than you do.....we are already prohibited from being scheduled for more than 100 hrs of "PAY TIME" per month, so that number is relatively fixed.

So many times it's a choice, go back to the gate and cancel the flight or endure "another hour" and hope that you are able to depart.

Personally, my rule is 3 hours.....at the 3 hour point I'm going back to the gate and deplaning if I don't have a definite departure time; don't care if the flight will be cancelled or not. Works pretty well for my flights. I will not board the plane if I have an indefinite departure time.


User currently offlineIairallie From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 20, posted (7 years 1 month 3 weeks 4 days 15 hours ago) and read 2780 times:

Quoting ArcrftLvr (Reply 4):
Someone correct me if I'm wrong, but it has nothing to do with whether the doors are closed or not. I thought each crew member is paid based on the wheels up time until they chock at the gate.

It depends on the contract. Some from when the cabin door closes to when it opens again. Others from block out to block in. Some when the engines start to when they shut down. There are all sorts of contractual agreements regarding pay for ground delays. Some crews do not get paid for ground time in a delay.

Quoting ArcrftLvr (Reply 12):
the answer that I received was that an alternate airport is solely selected based on fuel consumption,

It's not solely based on fuel. But that would be one of the more important factors.


User currently offlineArcrftLvr From United States of America, joined Nov 2006, 826 posts, RR: 0
Reply 21, posted (7 years 1 month 3 weeks 4 days 14 hours ago) and read 2744 times:

Quoting Goldenshield (Reply 18):
1) is it open, and 2) is it legal.

Like I said in reply 16, I completely get that. Other than if a fuel emergency arises, it seems that there are several other factors that should be taken into account, without compromising safety, when establishing the diversion airport.

Quoting Goldenshield (Reply 18):
Until you are out there making the operational decisions, don't think you know how to make them.

It seems like you think I'm questioning your ability to do your job, which I am not. However, I don't think you can say that every operational decision made by B6, AA, F9, UA etc. has been the corrrect one. So, am I only allowed to comment on their decisions if I make them? Come on, that's not the point of this forum...


User currently offlineOPNLguy From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 22, posted (7 years 1 month 3 weeks 4 days 14 hours ago) and read 2715 times:

Quoting Goldenshield (Reply 18):
Until you are out there making the operational decisions, don't think you know how to make them.

When I originally released and launched this one the normal route last week, I was using STL and IND as the alternates. Once enroute, the east-west line north of Chicago finally moved south over MDW (It was already hitting ORD), I had this guy head north to DBQ/MSN and come in behind it, once it cleared MDW. I'd changed the alternate to MKE. He held over both DBQ and MSN, and eventually got in, but if I would have had to divert to MKE (which we don't serve), doncha just know there'd be griping about having ended up in MKE and that we should have gone to _____ (fill-in alternate airport of your choice). IND was the line's next target; STL, MCI, SDF, and CMH already had multiple diversions; and a return to OMA was out due to the weather bearing down on them. Hopefully, this demonstrates some of the variables involved.

I guess it's too much to expect folks to make the default presumption that the airline personnel responsible for these kinds of decisions know what they're doing... Nah...  Wink

http://i34.photobucket.com/albums/d143/OPNLguy/SWA94117JUL2007.jpg


User currently offlineOPNLguy From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 23, posted (7 years 1 month 3 weeks 4 days 14 hours ago) and read 2706 times:

Quoting ArcrftLvr (Reply 21):
However, I don't think you can say that every operational decision made by B6, AA, F9, UA etc. has been the corrrect one. So, am I only allowed to comment on their decisions if I make them?

No, but it'd sure help you understand them alot more..  Wink


User currently offlineRJdxer From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 24, posted (7 years 1 month 3 weeks 4 days 13 hours ago) and read 2625 times:

Quoting RFields5421 (Reply 2):
AAL @ KMAF a few months ago - B752 diverted from DFW due to thunderstorms. MAF doesn't have a gate capable of docking with a B752, no external stairs for that high an aircraft.

I bet the dispatcher just about had a stroke when that acars popped up!  laughing 

Quoting RFields5421 (Reply 6):
The airline has 'supported and defended the pilot's decision to land at Midland' but that sounds like PR BS to me.

Sounds like someone still got a free trip to the Chief Pilots office.

Quoting Flyf15 (Reply 9):
Say you have a great alternate set up and when it comes time to divert... you can't go there.

Then someone wasn't paying attention because the alternate(s) is/are always supposed to be legal.

Quoting Goldenshield (Reply 10):
During the time the aircraft was extending its holding, the system coordinators for DFW would have been working with the crew planners to ensure that MAF was indeed a workable, and timely alternate to use (not a legal one—that's the dispatcher's job.)

That sounds good and maybe it did happen that way, me thinks though someone made a command decision without a whole lot of consultation.

Quoting KAUSpilot (Reply 19):
Personally, my rule is 3 hours.....at the 3 hour point I'm going back to the gate and deplaning if I don't have a definite departure time; don't care if the flight will be cancelled or not. Works pretty well for my flights. I will not board the plane if I have an indefinite departure time.

That is a damn good plan!

Quoting OPNLguy (Reply 22):
but if I would have had to divert to MKE (which we don't serve), doncha just know there'd be griping about having ended up in MKE and that we should have gone to _____ (fill-in alternate airport of your choice).

Not to mention the immediate and ceaseless rumor that would have begun about how WN was "opening" MKElaughing 

There is so much that goes into holding a plane out that it would just take too much bandwidth to cover it all here. First of all you have to decide whether you are talking about an FAA groundstop or a weather hold or even a company self imposed delay program to mention but a few. Then there are the ground delay programs, ESP, playbooks, and so forth and so on. If an aircraft blocks out with a wheels up time of say 1500z and the groundstop is continued with an update at 1530z, does it make sense to bring the aircraft back, no. But what if that update then gets pushed back to 1600z, then 1630z, then 1700z each time at the half hour? Do you stay out or come back and risk having the ground stop lifted and you are caught out of position. I've had it go both ways. I''ve had the aircraft just parked on a gate return when the gs was lifted, sent them back out without the jetway even being brought up to the ac, only to have the gs reinstated before the ac could make it to the end of the runway. Talk about frustrating. I've also had the satisfaction os seeing that the weather was dissipating and asking the crew to hold out a little longer, and low and behold the gs was lifted 5 minutes later. It's not only the passengers that feel put out, the employees have to work a lot harder when things like that happen as well. There is more than enough stress to go around. If it is a weather delay, and the weather is over the field you're at, the ramp may be closed due to dangerous conditions. The hardest weather delay to get across to the public is the enroute weather delay because as sure as the sun comes up the person at airport A is talking to whomever is meeting them at airport B and they become very suspicious since neither airport has a storm going on. When I workd at hub ops I knew a lot of gate agents that would come into the weather room and ask for a print out of the latest satellite picture so they could post that behind the podium and point to it when the passenger, sure in their own mind the airline was just screwing with them, came up and loudly proclaimed they could board up and leave now because they had first hand knowledge that whatever weather the airline was worried about at point B was gone now. Some days you just can't win.


25 Post contains images OPNLguy : Hey, a JAX-HOU flight "re-started" BPT a couple of weeks ago....
26 JayDub : In regards to the DFW-bound AA flight that diverted to MAF...what makes you say this? Based strictly on the info I have, I see nothing that happened
27 Post contains images OPNLguy : Concur. What's a pain is when an E-W or SW-NE line is headed this way, and suddenly changes sppede, either slow and speeds up, or fast an slows down.
28 ArcrftLvr : That's the reason why I asked the question initially!!
29 RFields5421 : The point of the MAF example is that the airline - American - has gone to some lengths to convince the public that the decision to land at that airpor
30 Post contains images RJdxer : Experience. I have seen nothing that says anything different. But diverting to a field that does not have all the necessary facilities suggests a lac
31 Post contains images Goldenshield : I'd hate to burst your bubble, but since you're a dispatcher, you should know that planes don't hold OVER the airport of destination to wait to get i
32 Post contains images OPNLguy : Before TAFs replaced FTs here, I remember the old days.. DFW nn1616Z CLR 20 SLGT CHC 1/4 T+RW+ 04030G50.. (If memory serves, that's pretty much what
33 Post contains images RJdxer : You're not, that's why I qualified the statement with: and: You may be right and MAF may have been the closest field available but I find it odd that
34 JayDub : Gotta love "aftcasting". Ya gotta hand it to the Canadians, though. They really cover all the bases. Hahahaha...
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