Analog From United States of America, joined Jul 2006, 1900 posts, RR: 1 Reply 2, posted (5 years 4 months 3 weeks 1 day 6 hours ago) and read 6427 times:
There need to be some explicit standards as to what is acceptable. At least this way passengers can assume that for a certain flight they will be on the aircraft for no longer than x hours.
Quoting Okie73 (Reply 1): They should be sued. There is no reason to keep people trapped on an airplane that long.
The outrageous thing was not necessarily keeping the passengers on the aircraft for eight hours (there are plenty of longer flights), it was keeping them on an aircraft with no food or toilet facilities.
Unexpected weather is to be expected once in a while. Unless the weather (or other event) is so rare that it cannot be planned for (9-11, for example), an airline should at least have a plan to get people off of its aircraft
RamperMAF From United States of America, joined Jul 2007, 17 posts, RR: 0 Reply 4, posted (5 years 4 months 3 weeks 22 hours ago) and read 5979 times:
I was working as a fueler here at MAF when this all took place. If memory serves me we had some 10 or 11 super 80s, a 738 (the astrojet, which was interesting), and to my utter surprise a 757. Talk about a mess. We had them all lined up and to be honest, do not think we had room for any more on the terminal side of the field. I remember feeling incredibly bad for the pax as many of them were on flights from the west coast, such as PDX, SFO, SAN, etc. At least the Super 80s had the aft stairs as a means to download pax. All the gates were full of WN, MQ, and XE (many of which were diversions themselves) so the 738 could not dock and the the 75' was stuck without airstairs so I had to fuel it multiple times, 3 seperate times, as the crew ran over options on how to find a way for the pax to get off. I had heard that since AUS, SAT, LBB, and maybe a few others were saturated with silver jets, their closest option was OKC just to let the pax off the plane. I believe that is what ended up happening.
Although I can't remember how long each flight was in Midland, I can say that I got to work at 1pm that day and wasn't out until a quater to midnight, and the 75' and a couple md80s were still there. To be honest, I felt the worst for the poor MQ agents. There were 3 on duty that night and they did as best a job as they could, but in a situation like that, it's going to be a catch-22 with every decision you make. I've since moved over and become an MQ agent myself and pray AA never has to send us that many again.
I think it's worth noting that I, however, was on cloud 9 for much of it, being a 19 yr old, small town fueler/airline enthusiast. Also, I was surprised with how all the AA crews went with the flow, although there wasn't much of an option I suppose. Many of them spent some time under the wing with me pumping fuel and talking to me. I loved every second of it.
57AZ From United States of America, joined Nov 2004, 2550 posts, RR: 2 Reply 5, posted (5 years 4 months 3 weeks 21 hours ago) and read 5855 times:
That's another reason that I avoid flying any US airline whenever possible and specifically AA. Never have flown them and don't see any reason to start now. DL is fine by me and NW and US are ok if necessary.
"When a man runs on railroads over half of his lifetime he is fit for nothing else-and at times he don't know that."
Breaker1011 From United States of America, joined Nov 2007, 938 posts, RR: 2 Reply 6, posted (5 years 4 months 3 weeks 21 hours ago) and read 5829 times:
Quoting 57AZ (Reply 5): That's another reason that I avoid flying any US airline whenever possible and specifically AA. Never have flown them and don't see any reason to start now. DL is fine by me and NW and US are ok if necessary.
Must be hard living in Tucson to avoid flying US carriers?
What's your gripe against AA - that's quite a judgement for never having flown them.
Back to topic - bottom line gang, this is not good news for anyone. Borderline frivolous lawsuit in which I promise you the plaintiff was practically bribed to bring to fruition by an attorney with big green eyes and an empty wallet. I agree, it was a ridiculous situation, but not much different than what B6, DL, NW, UA, CO have experienced at one time or another that just didn't have the misfortune of happening on a slow news day like AA did. If some compensatory precedent is set here, there will be trouble, and you'll find airlines in quite a hard spot with cancelations go through the roof to avoid the risk of lawsuits every time it rains or the winds blow too hard. Yes, there needs to be improvement here, and I think there will be. But a lawsuit like this one is a dangerous thing to rally behind if you're an enthusiast.
Life's tough. It's even tougher if you're stupid. J. Wayne
DL Widget Head From United States of America, joined Apr 2000, 2040 posts, RR: 5 Reply 7, posted (5 years 4 months 3 weeks 20 hours ago) and read 5782 times:
Quoting 57AZ (Reply 5): That's another reason that I avoid flying any US airline whenever possible and specifically AA. Never have flown them and don't see any reason to start now.
So, how would you propose getting from TUC to say LAX then? Via Mexicana or British Airways?
While I think this ONE incident by AA was not at all handled well, it's not like it occurs with them every day on this scale. I've read some real nightmares on foreign flag carriers like this and worse. Just check out some of the trip reports. I just read one on Royal Jordanian that would rival this. The point is, AA transports tens of millions of passengers every year without incident and so do all of the other US airlines. Your judgement about US carriers is very harsh IMO but then again, you are entitled to your opinion as well.
Abrelosojos From Venezuela, joined May 2005, 4917 posts, RR: 55 Reply 8, posted (5 years 4 months 3 weeks 20 hours ago) and read 5747 times:
Quoting Breaker1011 (Reply 6): If some compensatory precedent is set here, there will be trouble, and you'll find airlines in quite a hard spot with cancelations go through the roof to avoid the risk of lawsuits every time it rains or the winds blow too hard. Yes, there needs to be improvement here, and I think there will be. But a lawsuit like this one is a dangerous thing to rally behind if you're an enthusiast.
= Unfortunately in the U.S., except B6, there really has not been any industry-wide self improvement scheme that guarantees the welfare of the consumer. Many advances in consumer rights have happened as a direct result of government intervention. While I do believe in the markets, I also believe its the moral responsibility of the government to create an environment that facilitates the well-being of the public. If that means higher airfares and weaker carriers going out of business, I am ok with that. There is absolutely no excuse for such crap behavior by AA or any airline for that matter.
DTWAGENT From United States of America, joined Jan 2006, 1283 posts, RR: 0 Reply 10, posted (5 years 4 months 3 weeks 20 hours ago) and read 5740 times:
I have not had anything like this with all of my traveling....Thank God. But, this is just down right dumb on AA's part. I hope these people win. Although I would just be a slap on the hand for AA and nothing will ever change. We have waited for the airlines to make up a pass. bill of rights. And they have not done so. So now maybe the FAA needs to get involved here.
CMHFlyGuy From United States of America, joined Dec 2007, 33 posts, RR: 0 Reply 13, posted (5 years 4 months 3 weeks 20 hours ago) and read 5684 times:
Quoting DTWAGENT (Reply 10): I have not had anything like this with all of my traveling....Thank God. But, this is just down right dumb on AA's part. I hope these people win. Although I would just be a slap on the hand for AA and nothing will ever change. We have waited for the airlines to make up a pass. bill of rights. And they have not done so. So now maybe the FAA needs to get involved here.
I'll echo Chuck on this one - the worst I've had was a 4 hour delay on the tarmac at IAH on a CO flight to IND due to WX. I can't begin to imagine 7+ hours sitting on the ground anywhere with overflowing toilets and little or no food or drink. I would say Congress should get involved, but anymore, we all seem to know what happens when Congress gets involved with anything here...
Ckfred From United States of America, joined Apr 2001, 4654 posts, RR: 1 Reply 14, posted (5 years 4 months 3 weeks 18 hours ago) and read 5327 times:
Quoting 57AZ (Reply 12): One name-Robert Crandall. One of the worst corporate managers in US business history.
I know a number of AA employees who feel that AA is where it is today, as the largest carrier in the world and the only major U.S. carrier to have avoided bankruptcy, because of Bob Crandall.
A friend of mine is a pilot with AA. A relative of his was a captain with TWA and told him to go work for American, because Icahn was killing TWA, and Crandall understood deregulation and what it would take to make American a growing, money-making airline.
You talk about Bob Crandall the way most people talk about Carl Icahn and Frank Lorenzo.
As for the issue at hand, people have to remember that the FAA has limits on the number of hours that pilots can fly any given day. As I understand it, if AA had put the DFW diversions into gates, there was very little liklihood that the flights would have been permitted to depart later, because the pilots would have been "illegal." By keeping the planes parked remotely, the planes were considered enroute and could eventually take off for DFW.
The problem was that thunderstorms in December isn't uncommon in the Metroplex, but these storms were "training.," So a line of storms, instead of moving, say west to east, stalled, and the storms moved along the front. This kept heavy thunderstorms over DFW for several hours.
KL773ER From United Kingdom, joined Nov 2007, 200 posts, RR: 0 Reply 15, posted (5 years 4 months 3 weeks 16 hours ago) and read 5088 times:
I just wanted to clarify something to get an understanding of your remarks below:
Quoting 57AZ (Reply 5): That's another reason that I avoid flying any US airline whenever possible and specifically AA.
You mean when flying *outside* of the US? Flying international, I also avoid US carriers as a personal preference. In America, it's really hard to fly domestic w/o a US carrier, as other responders have stated above.
Quoting 57AZ (Reply 5): Never have flown them and don't see any reason to start now.
I used to have this attitude about AA (being that I am a SkyTeam flyer true and blue) until I flew JFK-LAX. I was also afraid of encountering un-notified cancelations, in-cabin strandings, etc. as some of my friends have previously encountered in the US. Even though I still prefer SkyTeam, I have no complaints so far with AA.
TCFC424 From United States of America, joined Nov 2003, 488 posts, RR: 3 Reply 16, posted (5 years 4 months 3 weeks 16 hours ago) and read 5018 times:
Airlines have refused to develop a "passenger bill of rights" huh? I guess this doesn't count then....courtesy of UA
Our Customer Commitment
1. Offer the lowest fare available
2. Notify customers of known delays, cancellations and diversions
3. Provide on-time baggage delivery
4. Provide a fair baggage liability
5. Allow reservations to be held
6. Provide prompt ticket refunds
7. Readily, capably and respectfully accommodate travelers with special needs
8. Meet customers' essential needs during long on-aircraft or in-airport delays, diversions and cancellations
9. Treat involuntarily denied boarding customers fairly and consistently
10. Disclose up-to-date travel itinerary, cancellation policies, frequent flyer rules and aircraft configuration to our customers
11. Work closely with our regional flying partners to deliver responsive customer service
12. Respond quickly, appropriately and courteously to customer questions and complaints
Granted this was painted with a broad stroke brush, but this is what we offer. Any deviation of this is grounds for a complaint. This addresses those concerns indicated by our passengers. When invited to fill out a survey, I recommend you fill it out honestly. This is one of the facilities we utilize to improve and customize our service. Without your input we really do not know what your concerns and desires are. It is similiar to voting...if you vote, you can complain. If you don't vote, you have no right to complain because you didn't feel strongly enough to make a difference.
AFGMEL From Australia, joined Jul 2007, 734 posts, RR: 0 Reply 17, posted (5 years 4 months 3 weeks 15 hours ago) and read 4894 times:
I am not sure why people would put up with this. I don't consider this a frivolous lawsuit. Try and keep me on an aircraft for 8 hours and I will call the police first, my lawyer second and anyone else I can think of. And yes, I do have the money to pay for a lawyer. What ever happened to Habeas corpus? Beware of giving away your freedom too easily.
HAMAD From United Arab Emirates, joined Apr 2000, 1157 posts, RR: 7 Reply 18, posted (5 years 4 months 3 weeks 15 hours ago) and read 4861 times:
well i have nothing against AA, but one time in 2004, we were in phoenix, and they boarded us with an APU that wouldn't start! they had to use a tug. imagine being on the airplane with a non operating APU in the heat of the summer!!!!
Tootallsd From United States of America, joined Apr 2006, 542 posts, RR: 0 Reply 19, posted (5 years 4 months 3 weeks 14 hours ago) and read 4615 times:
Everyone assumes that when you start a situation like this you have perfect knowledge of all the outcomes.
Was it best practice by AA to leave these people in bad conditions for so long? No. Do I think they did it intentionally or without concern for the people's health and well-being: No.
I have been in a similar situation. Sometime in the late 1990s, I had a flight from ORD to STL - normally an hour or less. We departed the gate at ORD at 5:00PM, two hours late and arrived in STL at 1:30 AM. Most of the intermediate time was spent way off in some corner of ORD along with 3 other STL bound AA jets and two TWA jets. The pilot did his best to keep us apprised of the situation -- though I hardly think that he had full knowledge. I doubt that when we hustled over to the 'penalty box' at 6PM, anyone thought we would still be sitting there at midnight! Everyone on board did their best to keep us comfortable.
The alternative would have been to not travel that night. There is the distinct possibility that we would not have flown the following day or not until afternoon or early evening due to the sheer number of passengers that were delayed.
My favorite day, no? Acceptable, barely? Would I have voted to do things differently at 6PM, 8PM? Yes. Do I think an airliners is a democracy on wings, no! Did I survive, yup. Did I every think of a lawsuit, absolutely not.
Life is not risk free. You are often dependent on others. Stop second guessing every minor (and this IS minor) think and move on.
QantasHeavy From Australia, joined Jan 2005, 379 posts, RR: 1 Reply 20, posted (5 years 4 months 3 weeks 13 hours ago) and read 4579 times:
December 2006 in Texas. Incredible thunderstorm system.
I was at IAH waiting on someone to arrive. I had flown into DFW earlier in the week and it was beautiful weather. That soon changed! Even for Texas, this was an incredible thunderstorm system for late December!
Theginge From United Kingdom, joined Oct 2006, 1110 posts, RR: 0 Reply 21, posted (5 years 4 months 3 weeks 13 hours ago) and read 4546 times:
Sometimes with diversions the best thing is to keep the passengers on the plane. I don't know the full story of this case here but if say a major airport has problems then you suddenly end up lots of aircraft at a smaller airport which simply can;t handle all those passengers at once. Not sure how it works in the states but if you landed at a smaller airport in Europe it is not simply a case of getting passengers off the plane. You have to think about customs and immigration and such like, if they can't handle the additional volume of passengers then they ain't going anywhere fast!
Even in the UK if the intended destination is say LHR and the aircraft lands in Luton it is not simply the case of getting the people off even though it is the same country, again there are immigration and customs issues to take into account.
And often the airline wants to get the aircraft back in the air as soon as possible to its intended destination so if the passengers got off and went wandering the plane might be ready to go again and the crew tight on Flight Duty Hours but some passengers have gone missing! Can result in a cancelled flight which isn;t good to anyone. In a previous job I have told station staff at a diversion airfield not to let the passengers off as the aircraft had an ATC slot which if it came forward which often they do in Europe they wouldn't have the passengers onboard and the flight would miss the slot and be delayed further.
FURUREFA From United States of America, joined Feb 2004, 762 posts, RR: 2 Reply 22, posted (5 years 4 months 3 weeks 9 hours ago) and read 3547 times:
Quoting 57AZ (Reply 12): One name-Robert Crandall. One of the worst corporate managers in US business history.
I actually think quite the opposite. I believe Robert Crandall was, and will continue to be, one of the best airline managers. He stated everything very bluntly ("An airline is a great place to work, but a bad place to invest") and dealt with situations honestly. Yes, he was ruthless; but in capitalism what is wrong with that? When he came to AA in 1973, American was not doing very well. He and Al Casey reformed American, enabled the airline to thrive (instead of die) post-deregulation and grew the airline to the largest in the Western World.
Many employees dislike Bob Crandall, yet many I have spoken with say "He was an a$$ hole, but he was our a$$ hole" and genuinely miss him and wish he was still the head of AA. They believe he would be able to turn around American ( a debatable fact).
Lastly, I fail to see how a diversion due to weather and poor planning is the fault of an airline industry executive who left American in 1998.
Mir From United States of America, joined Jan 2004, 19708 posts, RR: 56 Reply 23, posted (5 years 4 months 3 weeks 9 hours ago) and read 3449 times:
Quoting Tootallsd (Reply 19): Life is not risk free. You are often dependent on others. Stop second guessing every minor (and this IS minor) think and move on.
Sometimes the stuff does hit the fan.
Quoting Theginge (Reply 21): Not sure how it works in the states but if you landed at a smaller airport in Europe it is not simply a case of getting passengers off the plane. You have to think about customs and immigration and such like, if they can't handle the additional volume of passengers then they ain't going anywhere fast!
Obviously, domestic flights in the US don't have the problem of customs and immigration, but crowding is an issue. Nor does the US have an issue with slots the way Europe does. On the other hand, unlike Europe, most smaller US airports do not have a large number of airstairs or buses to get people from the remote parking spots to the terminal when all the jetways are taken. So sometimes there is an issue of simply not being able to get the people off the plane.
7 billion, one nation, imagination...it's a beautiful day
Ckfred From United States of America, joined Apr 2001, 4654 posts, RR: 1 Reply 24, posted (5 years 4 months 3 weeks 8 hours ago) and read 3069 times:
Let's not blame the airlines for every delay. I was on an AA flight from LAS to ORD. Because of weather in Chicago, boarding was delayed 20 minutes, so that the flight could be slotted for an arrival at ORD. Then, as the flight was pushed back, ATC told the pilots that we were going to sit for 1 hour.
As the captain said, if ATC had made the decision 10 minutes earlier, he would have had the plane held at the gate, and allowed passengers to deplane. But with the plane being pushed back, and AA already having a plane on the ground and heading to our gate, we had no choice but to go sit on the maintenance pad.
Then, after an hour, ORD went into a nationwide ground stop, for another hour.
Fortunately, when the pilots go the ok to start the engines, we wound up taxiing past 12 planes in line for take off, because ORD wanted us airborne at exactly 12:18pm.
You can also blame the NIMBY crowd for many of the delays across the country. If the whiney surburbanites around ORD hadn't gone to court time and time again, the third east-west runway would have been opened years ago.
25 Contrails: Delays are unavoidable sometimes, I'm sure we'll all agree on that. Keeping pax on a plane with overflowing toilets is avoidable, however. AA did ind