I rarely post on here. I am a frequent flyer, and have been experiencing the trials and tribulations of air travel out of the New York area for some time. I live in Westchester County, NY, so I generally try to time my departures and arrivals out of HPN when I know there is not a lot of traffic. This usually proves to be a successful move. However, sometimes things don't work out as planned. (missed connection, cancelled flight, drive to LGA or JFK for a direct flight, etc...) This past week I had a very interesting flight from ATL to HPN on ASA/Delta. I e-mailed Delta, but I thought maybe some people can shed some light on the situation that happened. I will just attach the e-mail I sent to Delta. (of course I didn't get a useful reply from them.)
The flight in question is: Delta
Flight Number : 4846
Date : 01/21/2007
Departure City : Atlanta, GA
To whom it may concern,
Yesterday I was flying from Houston, Hobby airport to White Plains, NY through Atlanta, GA. My flight from Houston to Atlanta was superb. The flight from Atlanta to White Plains was entirely another story. (Flight 4686 on 1/21). I first must compliment the Flight Attendant on this flight. Even through much adversity, which will be described in this e-mail, she was fantastic.
I shall describe the events of this flight in chronological order of my learning of the facts.
First, we boarded the plane approximately 30 minutes late due to a late arrival of the inbound flight. Once aboard the aircraft, we were sitting in our seats for about another 30 minutes. During this time, the captain and/or first officer informed us that there was a problem with "dispatch". The route he was given was to take our plane over to about Detroit, Mi, across western Pennsylvania, and in to White Plains. This apparently wasn't a satisfactory route, according to the captain. Air Traffic Control granted our captain a route up the eastern seaboard, over New York airspace, and in to White Plains.
Once in the air, we made our way to southern New Jersey, and the captain informed us we must circle, because of traffic in the New York airspace. After about 40 minutes of circling the flight attendant informed us we were in a "low fuel situation and need to land in Atlantic City, NJ. The captain will come on and give us more information."
About 5 minutes after this time, the captain informed us we would be landing in Islip, NY (about 30 miles via air from White Plains.) to refuel. (it is worth noting that it was fairly scary that the plane was capable of making it to Islip, NY, but did not have enough fuel to land in White Plains, NY)
The plane landed in Islip, NY, and the flight attendant said we were refueling, but didn't have any estimate of when we would be departing, and allowed us to use our cell phones to call customer service. Using my wireless-web on my cell phone, I saw that the plane was diverted, and we would be continuing on to White Plains, NY (a bit of information the flight attendant wasn't completely sure of.)
After about 30 minutes on the ground in Islip, NY we proceeded for a 13 minute flight to White Plains, NY arriving at 9:15pm (almost 3 hours delayed.)
After I made my way back to my home in White Plains, I looked online at
flightaware.com and noticed that all other flights departing Atlanta, GA and arriving in White Plains, NY took a route that was originally proposed to the pilot of my flight. (Over to Detroit, and back through Pennsylvania.)
The flights that took this route were:
1. Delta/Shuttle America #6492 - Departed ATL 8:30pm - Arrived HPN 11:03pm
2. Delta/ASA #4774 - Departed ATL 7:00pm - Arrived HPN 9:39PM
3. AirTran #658
4. Delta/Shuttle America #6506
These flights mentioned avoided the New York City area, and did not circle as extensively as we did.
I am not sure if this is the proper forum for this conversation, but feel free to delete the post of flame me if it is not.
So my questions:
1. Why would ATC allow us to take an alternate route to the one originally given?
2. Why would ATC have a small CRJ circle endlessly so it could run out of fuel?
3. Why would we land at ISP, a mere 14 minute flight from HPN, and not just land at HPN?