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WN: Policy To Hold Acft. For Late Connecting Pax?  
User currently offline777fan From United States of America, joined Jan 2006, 2492 posts, RR: 2
Posted (6 years 1 month 2 weeks 6 days 16 hours ago) and read 3831 times:

Hey everyone - just returned from a quick weekend jaunt to New England (BWI-BDL) on Southwest during which my wife and I endured what we thought was an unusual occurence. I figured I'd run it by a.nerds in the hopes of getting an explanation.

Our outbound flight (WN698) boarded on-time, albeit a bit slow due to the 100% occupancy rate. FAs made continual annoucements in the hopes of getting everyone seated to guarantee an ontime departure. Everyone - or at least 99% of the pax - accomplished this but began looking around wondering why we hadn't pushed back 15 min after our scheduled depature (1940) time. We were told at 2000 that we were waiting for three connecting pax (one boarded at about 2005) who were supposedly running through the terminal en route to the gate. At 2015, the captain informed us that he, too was getting "sick of waiting" (!) and was ready to leave once he was given the word one way or the other.

We pushed back at about 2025 (45 minutes late) without the two mystery pax and subsequently arrived at BDL 45 minutes late (no big deal other than an irritated father in law).

After watching numerous episodes of Airline years back, I got the impression that WN almost never held flights for pax that were late, be it O&D or connections. What's more...there's another WN flight that runs the BWI-BDL route an hour later.

My question is this: was this occurence out of the ordinary or does WN routinely hold flights? I realize that "anything can happen", but IMO, it didn't seem rational to hold 135 pax (for two) when they simply could've pushed the two mystery pax onto the next flight (which had seats, BTW).

777fan


DC-8 61/63/71 DC-9-30/50 MD-80/82/83 DC-10-10/30 MD-11 717 721/2 732/3/4/5/G/8/9 741/2/4 752 762/3 777 A306/319/20/33 AT
21 replies: All unread, jump to last
 
User currently offlineRFields5421 From United States of America, joined Jul 2007, 7607 posts, RR: 32
Reply 1, posted (6 years 1 month 2 weeks 6 days 16 hours ago) and read 3780 times:

Time of day was probably a factor.

I've found over the years that almost any airline is more likely to hold for a connecting pax for the last flight of the day to a destination.

I don't know the specifics of this route, but was it the last of the day?


User currently offlineAWACSooner From United States of America, joined Jan 2008, 1882 posts, RR: 1
Reply 2, posted (6 years 1 month 2 weeks 6 days 15 hours ago) and read 3732 times:

They nearly ALWAYS do it if it's the last flight of the day. My wife had an unfortunate experience with this at PHX three years ago as they were held for five connecting passengers from ONT. The flight from ONT to PHX hadn't even LEFT yet by the time the flight from PHX to OKC was ready to go...but they held the flight anyways (with all the pax on board waiting) for 1.5 hours for the other flight to arrive.

Holding a plane 10-20 minutes for the connections isn't too bad IMO, but going past 20 minutes is pushing it...1.5 hours is pathetic.


User currently offlineAtrude777 From United States of America, joined Aug 2003, 5692 posts, RR: 52
Reply 3, posted (6 years 1 month 2 weeks 6 days 15 hours ago) and read 3661 times:

When I worked as a CSA, we generally held the flight with permission from dispatch if it was 10 people or more, if it was the last possible connection at the airport to that destination.

If there was another flight behind the one they were going to miss, we usually let the flight continue without the passengers.

One thing that irritated me was flight attendants on SWA flights would "promise" the paxs we were holding the planes and of course we were not, and they would yell and scream at us and said "we promised them" when we as CSA did no such thing but F/A did.

Alex



Good things come to those who wait, better things come to those who go AFTER it!
User currently offlineLGAtoIND From United States of America, joined Jan 2005, 490 posts, RR: 1
Reply 4, posted (6 years 1 month 2 weeks 6 days 15 hours ago) and read 3627 times:



Quoting AWACSooner (Reply 2):
They nearly ALWAYS do it if it's the last flight of the day.

Tell that to US please. A month ago I flew IND-PHL-BDL, and my IND-PHL flight was about 2 hrs late, what else is knew, and I missed my connection by about 20-30 minutes. The PHL-BDL was the last flight of the day, and we had to pay for a hotel room out of pocket.


User currently offlineOPNLguy From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 5, posted (6 years 1 month 2 weeks 6 days 15 hours ago) and read 3607 times:



Quoting LGAtoIND (Reply 4):
Tell that to US please. A month ago I flew IND-PHL-BDL, and my IND-PHL flight was about 2 hrs late, what else is knew, and I missed my connection by about 20-30 minutes. The PHL-BDL was the last flight of the day, and we had to pay for a hotel room out of pocket.

True story. My Ex- and the kids were late out of JFK on a Xmas-time flight a couple of years ago, and their connection on Comair in CVG to DFW looked to be close. I was watching both flights on ASD at work, and just as their JFK-CVG flight was about to land CVG, up popped the CVG-DFW flight, so I figured that was that. I left the CVG-DFW flight up on ASD, and when I came back from the can a few minutes later, it's filed route and flown track were headed back to CVG. No answer on the Ex-'s cell, and only later did I found out that as the arrived at the gate for the departed CVG-DFW flight, the damn thing taxied back into the gate! Somebody had forgotten to close a small access door (lav, water, etc.) and it was flapping around so bad that they came back. Everyone made it on, with bags.

I'd never have such luck myself....


User currently offlineJlbmedia From United States of America, joined Jun 2002, 622 posts, RR: 0
Reply 6, posted (6 years 1 month 2 weeks 6 days 14 hours ago) and read 3572 times:
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Quoting 777fan (Thread starter):
We pushed back at about 2025 (45 minutes late) without the two mystery pax and subsequently arrived at BDL 45 minutes late (no big deal other than an irritated father in law).

The biggest problem I see is your father-n-law. If he gets irritated waiting 45 minutes for his own daughter and yourself, you should be glad that you live several states away.  Wink



JLB54061
User currently offline777fan From United States of America, joined Jan 2006, 2492 posts, RR: 2
Reply 7, posted (6 years 1 month 2 weeks 6 days 14 hours ago) and read 3493 times:



Quoting RFields5421 (Reply 1):
I've found over the years that almost any airline is more likely to hold for a connecting pax for the last flight of the day to a destination.

Please read the OP - it was NOT the last flight of the day, WN2041 leaves about an hour later.

Quoting Jlbmedia (Reply 6):
The biggest problem I see is your father-n-law.

If you had to wait at BDL for more than five seconds, you'd be pissed, too!

777fan



DC-8 61/63/71 DC-9-30/50 MD-80/82/83 DC-10-10/30 MD-11 717 721/2 732/3/4/5/G/8/9 741/2/4 752 762/3 777 A306/319/20/33 AT
User currently offlinePITops From United States of America, joined May 2007, 1442 posts, RR: 4
Reply 8, posted (6 years 1 month 2 weeks 6 days 12 hours ago) and read 3345 times:

Normally when we run into a problem with passengers possibly missing flights, if there is no other flights that night, or if capacity doesn't allow us to comfirm them on a later flight, we will call dispatch or CSC and see if they will hold flights for connecting passengers. Today at PIT we had 57 military personel making a connection at MDW to SJC. They held the flight for quite some time for these guys since there was no other way to get them to SJC. Usually if we have just a few, we try and preboard them and give them gate information so they can run to their gate, or we will try and rebook them for the following day if we have no other flights to get them out on. If we have a significant number, usually 6 or more, we try to make arrangements to have flights held.


Ground Ops, Southwest Airlines, CMH
User currently offlineGoingboeing From United States of America, joined Dec 1999, 4875 posts, RR: 16
Reply 9, posted (6 years 1 month 2 weeks 6 days 11 hours ago) and read 3323 times:



Quoting LGAtoIND (Reply 4):
Tell that to US please.

Coming back from SJU on US last spring break, our connection from CLT to MCI was held about 25 minutes because several passengers arriving from Cancun were still in customs.


User currently offlineSilver1SWA From United States of America, joined Mar 2004, 4770 posts, RR: 26
Reply 10, posted (6 years 1 month 2 weeks 6 days 11 hours ago) and read 3268 times:
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Quoting 777fan (Thread starter):
but IMO, it didn't seem rational to hold 135 pax (for two) when they simply could've pushed the two mystery pax onto the next flight (which had seats, BTW).

What was the date?



ALL views, opinions expressed are mine ONLY and are NOT representative of those shared by Southwest Airlines Co.
User currently offlineFlyguyPBI From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 11, posted (6 years 1 month 2 weeks 5 days 14 hours ago) and read 3000 times:

It does happen folks..... also consider the destination and how it affects the aircraft and its schedule for the rest of the day, and if the crew will still be legal if the flight is held. Contrary to the belief of the flying public, airlines don't sit and think of ways to make someones life miserable. Stranded PAX are not something that airline employees secretly pray for.

Example: The last flight to PBI from ATL ( # 1540 for the time being...) gets held often and runs notoriously late. ( I'm not complaining since I commute home on that regularly)

The flight is scheduled to arrive into PBI just past midnight and doesn't head back to ATL until 0530. ATC isn't a problem at that hour, and the AC overnights after this leg....... so it is just easier to hold the flight so folks can make connections. PAX who get held at the gate don't love it and the frequent fliers expect that leg to run late. BUT, the runners sure do smile when the boarding door is open when they get there. I think it is safe to say that happens for a few cities on the east coast, but for some odd reason this flight is late OFTEN.

Flashback..... Remember Y2K and all the hullabaloo about flights being in the air at midnight? The last ATL-PBI flight used to arrive at 2355 and it was actually featured with some other flights for a few carriers on some "news" fluff piece about flights that historically run late.


User currently offlineZippyjet From United States of America, joined Sep 2001, 5478 posts, RR: 13
Reply 12, posted (6 years 1 month 2 weeks 5 days 14 hours ago) and read 2974 times:

I know I'm not answering your question directly: I work for FL. Here's are general policy at least out of BWI. Remember, policy can deviate at different stations and different carriers.

  • Thirty minutes prior to Original scheduled departure time the flight is closed!
  • At the gate, at precisely 10 minutes prior to Original scheduled departure time
    gate agent (that is me) heads on down the jet way with load plan and double checks for any missing passengers. Then, we roll. BUT with the following exceptions:
  • There are 10 or more passengers connecting from other flights within a reasonable time to be determined by company flight following/movement.
  • More liberal on this policy if this is last flight of evening and accomidations for misconnecting passengers is more costly and difficult then holding and incurring delays. For example, hotels are full. This happens a lot in the Baltimore Washington area as we are a major tourist attraction.

As with anything else in life I and my fellow crewmembers consult whoever is supervisor, operations and or company dispatch/SOC. Like emany things in our industry it's all based on operational needs. In six years we've had almost all kinds of things that make to hold or not to hold for passengers a mind boggling decision. From a chihuahua that got loose from it's owner and shot through security causing the entire concourse to be dumped to a group of rich school kids sightseeing in Washington DC who got sick from their funky box lunches provided by the tour operator to weather, maintenance and air traffic and I probably forgot some other ramifications.  bouncy 



I'm Zippyjet & I approve of this message!
User currently offline777fan From United States of America, joined Jan 2006, 2492 posts, RR: 2
Reply 13, posted (6 years 1 month 2 weeks 5 days 13 hours ago) and read 2941 times:



Quoting Silver1SWA (Reply 10):
What was the date?

It was this past Friday (6/6).

Quoting FlyguyPBI (Reply 11):
Contrary to the belief of the flying public, airlines don't sit and think of ways to make someones life miserable.

When the captain got on the P.A., it was clear that even he was pissed off.


777fan



DC-8 61/63/71 DC-9-30/50 MD-80/82/83 DC-10-10/30 MD-11 717 721/2 732/3/4/5/G/8/9 741/2/4 752 762/3 777 A306/319/20/33 AT
User currently offlineFlyguyPBI From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 14, posted (6 years 1 month 2 weeks 5 days 13 hours ago) and read 2924 times:



Quoting 777fan (Reply 13):
When the captain got on the P.A., it was clear that even he was pissed off.

LOL I am sure he was!

I didn't mean to imply that those decisions are made flippantly, and YES sometimes the pilots get , how can I say, agitated maybe?


User currently offlineSoxfan From United States of America, joined Mar 2008, 864 posts, RR: 0
Reply 15, posted (6 years 1 month 2 weeks 5 days 13 hours ago) and read 2916 times:



Quoting Zippyjet (Reply 12):
Thirty minutes prior to Original scheduled departure time the flight is closed!

For a flight later in the day--let's say departing at 8p.m.--if the grounds crew at 1p.m. knows that the flight is going to have at least a 2-hour delay, will they still close the flight 30 minutes prior to the original scheduled departure time, or will they give a bit more leeway?



Pilot: "Request push, which way should we face?" JFK Ground: "You better face the front, sir, or you'll scare the pax!"
User currently offlineSilver1SWA From United States of America, joined Mar 2004, 4770 posts, RR: 26
Reply 16, posted (6 years 1 month 2 weeks 5 days 12 hours ago) and read 2850 times:
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Quoting 777fan (Reply 13):
Quoting Silver1SWA (Reply 10):
What was the date?

It was this past Friday (6/6).

According to what I'm seeing here, the next and last flight to BDL (flight 2041) was delayed and overbooked. I'm guessing that had something to do with your plane holding.

[Edited 2008-06-09 19:29:30]


ALL views, opinions expressed are mine ONLY and are NOT representative of those shared by Southwest Airlines Co.
User currently offline777fan From United States of America, joined Jan 2006, 2492 posts, RR: 2
Reply 17, posted (6 years 1 month 2 weeks 4 days 14 hours ago) and read 2667 times:



Quoting Silver1SWA (Reply 16):
According to what I'm seeing here, the next and last flight to BDL (flight 2041) was delayed and overbooked. I'm guessing that had something to do with your plane holding.

That would explain it - thanks!

777fan



DC-8 61/63/71 DC-9-30/50 MD-80/82/83 DC-10-10/30 MD-11 717 721/2 732/3/4/5/G/8/9 741/2/4 752 762/3 777 A306/319/20/33 AT
User currently offlineJasp25 From United States of America, joined Aug 2007, 615 posts, RR: 2
Reply 18, posted (6 years 1 month 2 weeks 4 days 5 hours ago) and read 2528 times:

United doesn't hold flights either.

Last month I was connecting from JFK to IAD for the last flight to AOO operated by Colgan Air as United Express. My flight from JFK was late. I ran to the gate for my AOO flight and got there at exactly 9:36PM right on the scheduled departure time. The gate agent was not helpful at all and she umsympathetically said was that the flight just closed and I have to wait until morning for the next flight and that I have to go to the customer service for rebooking. The customer svc agent who was there was just as unhelpful and did not bother to look for any alternate flight that was flying out to any nearby cities. It was terribly ridiculous to see them acting without haste when they know that time is of the essence.

Had it not for my initiative to call United on the phone and have them protect me on a flight that was leaving to PIT at 10:15, I would have slept in IAD overnight. I got an agent from Manila who was helpful and she confirmed me on a flight to PIT.

Fortunately I made it to PIT that night because of my initiative.

I called and complained to UA about it and got a $200 discount voucher for my next flight.

-jasp



-peace and chicken grease!
User currently offlineDTWAGENT From United States of America, joined Jan 2006, 1283 posts, RR: 0
Reply 19, posted (6 years 1 month 2 weeks 3 days 13 hours ago) and read 2402 times:

When my family and I where coming back from FLL on NWA to DTW. We were late in arriving. NWA was holding 3 international flights for our conx pass. The F/A told everyone to stay in their seats except those on the 3 flights being held for them. I counted 20 people that were conxing with these 3 flights. The flights where going to FRA/AMS/LGW. And I have had that done for my conx flights on DL and NW. So I guess it is a normal thing to do.

Chuck


User currently offlineZippyjet From United States of America, joined Sep 2001, 5478 posts, RR: 13
Reply 20, posted (6 years 1 month 2 weeks 3 days 6 hours ago) and read 2304 times:



Quoting Soxfan (Reply 15):
For a flight later in the day--let's say departing at 8p.m.--if the grounds crew at 1p.m. knows that the flight is going to have at least a 2-hour delay, will they still close the flight 30 minutes prior to the original scheduled departure time, or will they give a bit more leeway?

A good rule of thumb to follow. Always be at the airport like your flight is on time! Reasons being, we can always do a tail swap, and or the weather/ATC/delay conditions can lift as quickly as they started. Especially dealing with our quick turn flights. ATL and to a lesser extent BOS can change at the drop of the hat. A lot of passengers sadly learn the hard way when, they figure their flight is late and find out, it left on time without them and is already at their destination city. Reservations and the Internet can tell you anything but again, things change in an instant. I know, hurry up and wait sucks big time for those instances when the delay happens or gets worse. One of those clouds in the otherwise sunny side of flying.



I'm Zippyjet & I approve of this message!
User currently offlineASAFA From United States of America, joined Apr 2005, 168 posts, RR: 3
Reply 21, posted (6 years 1 month 2 weeks 2 days 18 hours ago) and read 2215 times:



Quoting Atrude777 (Reply 3):
One thing that irritated me was flight attendants on SWA flights would "promise" the paxs we were holding the planes and of course we were not, and they would yell and scream at us and said "we promised them" when we as CSA did no such thing but F/A did.

I guarantee you the F/A's did no such thing but probably did make the mistake of allowing the connecting passengers to get off the airplane first (before everyone else) to TRY to make their connections. Unfortunately all the passengers hear is "hurry up your plane will be waiting for you".

In reality the F/A's were simply trying to be nice because chances are they had to sit through hours of people coming up to them and asking "am I going to make my connection? am I going to make my connection?" every 5 minutes. After they arrive and find their flight is long gone it's really easy for a whining passenger to tell a CSA that the F/A's PROMISED their plane would be waiting because they know full well that the F/A's are long gone and you have no way of verifying the information. They are only saying it to get pity and some type of compensation out of the airline. You should know this as a CSA.

I can't stand that so many people EXPECT their connecting flight to be held. It's a courtesy and yes sometimes it happens but don't count on it. If your plans are so inflexible that your life will be destroyed because you miss a connection and have to spend the night somewhere then BOOK AN EARLIER FLIGHT so that doesn't happen.



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