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Acceptable Excuses For Flight Delays  
User currently offlineAT From United States of America, joined Jul 2000, 1022 posts, RR: 0
Posted (5 years 7 months 3 weeks 2 days 14 hours ago) and read 6000 times:

Just completed a roundtrip JFK- MIA-DCA -JFK trip on American Airlines. On the whole it was fine; nothing remarkable, nothing terrible. Both my JFK-MIA and MIA-DCA flights were delayed, the former by 2 hours, the latter by 1/2 hour. Not too bad in the larger scheme of holiday travel woes.

The JFK - MIA flight was delayed because two of the crew members were coming in from another flight from Raleigh Durham that had been delayed due to bad weather.
The MIA-DCA flight was delayed because there was an unavailability of ground cleaning crew to service the aircraft.


Here's my question:

1) in general, airlines are not responsible for weather related problems. In our case our flight was not delayed due to weather problems per se, but due to crew shortage resulting from an unrelated weather delay elsewhere. So I'm curious would OUR flight delay count as a weather delay?

2) Given that both JFK and MIA are major hubs shouldn't there be back ups? It seems odd to me that there would be no replacement crew members ?


Finally, I have to say that MIA is one of the most hideously configured airports i have traveled through. And the ground staff is also unfriendly and surly compared to other airports.

68 replies: All unread, showing first 25:
 
User currently offlineDelta763 From United States of America, joined May 2008, 287 posts, RR: 0
Reply 1, posted (5 years 7 months 3 weeks 2 days 13 hours ago) and read 5963 times:



Quoting AT (Thread starter):
Finally, I have to say that MIA is one of the most hideously configured airports i have traveled through. And the ground staff is also unfriendly and surly compared to other airports.

I find that the number of flights an airline has going out of a particular airport is directly proportional to the number of people on their ground staff with an attitude problem.

Makes sense if you think about it.

Try dealing with DL or FL ground staff in ATL sometime.

As for horribly configured, I've yet to see anywhere that tops DL's JFK terminals... two Pan-Am-era buildings with not enough gates.


User currently offlineCPDC10-30 From United Kingdom, joined Feb 2000, 4780 posts, RR: 23
Reply 2, posted (5 years 7 months 3 weeks 2 days 13 hours ago) and read 5949 times:

The MIA-DCA delay could have been avoided if AA adopted Ryanair's procedures and had the cabin crew do the cleaning  Smile

Seriously though, I've never seen airlines that have spare crews milling around. As it is a hub, they can either try to call crew in that are on-call, but that will take at least two hours. Otherwise they have to either try to slot in crew coming off another flight that still have enough hours left.

If the projected delay is less than two hours, then it would make sense to wait for the original aircraft to arrive. Even though there may be spare airplanes on the ground, there aren't necessarily crews ready and available.


User currently offlineMir From United States of America, joined Jan 2004, 21552 posts, RR: 55
Reply 3, posted (5 years 7 months 3 weeks 2 days 13 hours ago) and read 5925 times:



Quoting AT (Thread starter):
In our case our flight was not delayed due to weather problems per se, but due to crew shortage resulting from an unrelated weather delay elsewhere. So I'm curious would OUR flight delay count as a weather delay?

Yes.

Quoting AT (Thread starter):
2) Given that both JFK and MIA are major hubs shouldn't there be back ups? It seems odd to me that there would be no replacement crew members ?

I'm pretty sure that the flight your crew was coming in on wasn't the only one that was delayed. Airlines do keep crews on reserve, but not enough to cover a large number of delays. If people payed more for their tickets, then airlines could afford to keep more crews on reserve. But the public has decided that price is first and foremost, so....

Quoting CPDC10-30 (Reply 2):
Seriously though, I've never seen airlines that have spare crews milling around. As it is a hub, they can either try to call crew in that are on-call, but that will take at least two hours. Otherwise they have to either try to slot in crew coming off another flight that still have enough hours left.

Airlines do keep a few crews on "ready reserve", which means they're at the airport ready to go if needed. But only a few, so if they take a lot arrival delays, the ready reserves aren't going to be able to cover them all.

-Mir



7 billion, one nation, imagination...it's a beautiful day
User currently offlineYULWinterSkies From United States of America, joined Jun 2005, 2177 posts, RR: 5
Reply 4, posted (5 years 7 months 3 weeks 2 days 13 hours ago) and read 5909 times:

I would honestly said anything is acceptable as long as the airline maintains clear and honest communication to their pax, and that they do their best to accomodate everybody on other flights if applicable and make sure luggage follows. And yes, this includes weather delays. It may not be the airline's fault if weather is causing problems, but it is neither the pax' fault.
Indeed, there is a certain degree of accuracy in weather forecast which makes most weather delays relatively predictable by at least 1 or 2 days. Therefore, airlines should ensure they are ready to deal with the flow of stranded planes, crews and pax.
Agreements between competing airlines should be improved in case of weather delays. It is just unfair that if one hub is stranded, that one can't be accomodated on the 'rival airline' whose nearest hub is doing fine. Next day, it could just be the opposite situation, why not?

US once tried to make me understand i was lucky to be rerouted on a missed connection at CLT because the delay on the arriving flight (out of YUL) was delayed due to weather and that they had no obligation to do something.
Sorry, but a jet which does not start is not a weather delay. And -20 C on a January morning at YUL is not an abnormal weather. Especially when all other jets nearby were departing on time...



When I doubt... go running!
User currently offlineWN700Driver From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 5, posted (5 years 7 months 3 weeks 2 days 13 hours ago) and read 5909 times:



Quote:

Finally, I have to say that MIA is one of the most hideously configured airports i have traveled through. And the ground staff is also unfriendly and surly compared to other airports.

Spoken like someone who's never spent the day at PHL on standby,  Wink


User currently offlinePlaneguy727 From United States of America, joined Mar 2007, 1244 posts, RR: 1
Reply 6, posted (5 years 7 months 3 weeks 2 days 13 hours ago) and read 5891 times:

I would say that there are not acceptable "excuses;" however, there are more acceptable reasons (in no particular order after #1).

1) Safe operation of the flight - I will take a delay over unsafe operation at any time (including maintenance and weather)

2) Residual Irops - I may not be excited about it, but I understand it happens

3) Crew rest - I understand why this is needed - and while related to #1 - it is frequently a result of #2

Now, some unacceptible reasons:

1) Pushing off the gate with a known wait to maintain the "ontime" stats (not including getting into the queue for de-ice, expected early release wheels up time)

2) Failure to adequately staff ground ops during regular operational conditions

3) OVERSCHEDULING AT LIMITED AIRPORTS (lga, dca, jfk, etc...)

4) Delay for inbound connections to avoid compensating the travelers (usually rare and with limited frequency destinations)

Would you like to add your own acceptible and unacceptible reasons?



I want to live in an old and converted 727...
User currently offlineAirNZ From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 7, posted (5 years 7 months 3 weeks 2 days 13 hours ago) and read 5870 times:



Quoting Mir (Reply 3):
If people payed more for their tickets, then airlines could afford to keep more crews on reserve. But the public has decided that price is first and foremost, so....

One could always point out if senior management didn't have millions in bonuses they could also afford more crew on reserve........public has decided on the latter because that is what the airlines offered. So no, lack of staff is not the public's responsibility!


User currently offlinePilotpip From United States of America, joined Sep 2003, 3150 posts, RR: 11
Reply 8, posted (5 years 7 months 3 weeks 2 days 13 hours ago) and read 5869 times:

Reserve crews can be a tricky situation. Most airlines do not have pilots and flight attendants sitting around the airport waiting to be used. This gets very expensive and requires an insane amount of staffing. As for the pilots, when sitting on reserve at the airport, they're considered to be on duty. Every hour they sit is an hour lost later in the day.

Most airlines will have some sort of time frame from when the crew is called to when they have to be at the airport. It varies. For mine, I have 20 minutes to call them back after an initial call (I don't want to answer the phone in the shower) when they notify me of the trip, I have 90 minutes to be at the airport. Once at the airport we have to have a minimum of 30 minutes to get the aircraft preflighted and ready to go. Using this example, you're looking at a minimum of 2 hours and 10 minutes. Some airlines have a short call like I just described, and a long call where the crewmember might have as much as 24 hours to report. This is often used for people calling out sick in advance, a charter flight or perhaps when the schedule gets so screwed up from weather you end up with a large number of crews out of their originally intended overnight locations.

The crew that was late was still able to fly. By avoiding using a reserve crew they save them for a situation like an illness where a crewmember wouldn't legally be able to perform their duties.



DMI
User currently offlineDispatchguy From United States of America, joined Jan 2006, 1249 posts, RR: 2
Reply 9, posted (5 years 7 months 3 weeks 2 days 11 hours ago) and read 5770 times:

Quoting YULWinterSkies (Reply 4):
Therefore, airlines should ensure they are ready to deal with the flow of stranded planes, crews and pax.

Airlines are - but when those resources are tapped out, they might as well not exist. Plus, this is the end of the year - there may be a lot of crews who, while they might have been legal - are now maxed out to their annual flight time limitation; again, they may as well not exist.

Quoting YULWinterSkies (Reply 4):
It is just unfair that if one hub is stranded, that one can't be accomodated on the 'rival airline' whose nearest hub is doing fine

That is called rule 120.20 (rule 240 back in the day). However, whether someone can reroute a pax using 120.20 depends on their fare paid. For example, lets say you pay 200 for your transcontinental roundtrip with a ticket that is NONREF/NONEND. Your first leg is cancelled, and ABC Airlines has one an hour later. However, ABC wont get paid the face value of your ticket - they'll get paid a large percentage of their walkup full coach fare; lets say the %-age is $750 against your 200 RT ticket. The NONEND means Non-endorsable, you cant move that ticket over to the new airline because the fare that the new airline will get for a single segment is a helluva lot more than you paid for your RT ticket. If you want flexibility in case of IRROPS - then pay for it with a full fare, or a ticket that is exchangable. When I worked CS eons ago, AA got 75% of the Full Y fare for any Rule 120.20 passenger, or any passenger who was FIMmed over to them.

Quoting YULWinterSkies (Reply 4):
Sorry, but a jet which does not start is not a weather delay. And -20 C on a January morning at YUL is not an abnormal weather

Yeah, it is. When I dispatched at America West, we regularly had problems with our originator A320 coming out of Calgary - where the overnite temps were -20C or colder. Airbus computers dont like it that cold, and they are "temperamental" to say the least when you try to bring it back to life, plus, if someone left water in the lines on that overnite (has happened before) you now have frozen water lines, which isnt good. Temperature problems are weather-related as temperature is a part of weather. The fact that they are not abnormal is irrelevant. Computers dont like cold weather. They may eventually cooperate, but that process is going to take a while until they are back in working order, and on no ones schedule other than the computer's.

[Edited 2008-12-31 11:49:10]


Nobody screws you better than an airline job!
User currently offlineAT From United States of America, joined Jul 2000, 1022 posts, RR: 0
Reply 10, posted (5 years 7 months 3 weeks 2 days 11 hours ago) and read 5718 times:

Thanks all, for the highly informative responses.

Quoting Delta763 (Reply 1):
As for horribly configured, I've yet to see anywhere that tops DL's JFK terminals... two Pan-Am-era buildings with not enough gates.

I frequently fly out of those prehistoric terminals, and while no Changis, they are nowhere near as unwieldy as the Miami terminal.

Quoting Dispatchguy (Reply 9):
Yeah, it is. When I dispatched at America West, we regularly had problems with our originator A320 coming out of Calgary - where the overnite temps were -20C or colder. Airbus computers dont like it that cold, and they are "temperamental" to say the least when you try to bring it back to life, plus, if someone left water in the lines on that overnite (has happened before) you now have frozen water lines, which isnt good. Temperature problems are weather-related as temperature is a part of weather.

But there is a difference: what you are quoting above is an aircraft-related problem resulting from weather; not a weather related problem. Plus temperatures are far more predictable and steady than storms or other inclement weather situations that could adversely impact flights.


User currently offlineAA767400 From United States of America, joined Jan 2001, 2353 posts, RR: 26
Reply 11, posted (5 years 7 months 3 weeks 2 days 10 hours ago) and read 5696 times:

There is never an acceptable excuse for a flight delay. There never has, and never will be. That is because passengers today don't want to hear it. Any excuse will go into one ear, and out the other. People want to get to their destination whether in a blizzard or hurricane. It's just the times we live in.


"The low fares airline."
User currently offlineP3Orion From United States of America, joined May 2006, 544 posts, RR: 3
Reply 12, posted (5 years 7 months 3 weeks 2 days 7 hours ago) and read 5556 times:



Quoting Planeguy727 (Reply 6):
Would you like to add your own acceptible and unacceptible reasons?

Blaming ATC is completely unacceptable. Big grin



"Did he say strap in or strap on?"
User currently offlineN505FX From United States of America, joined Aug 2008, 263 posts, RR: 0
Reply 13, posted (5 years 7 months 3 weeks 2 days 6 hours ago) and read 5508 times:

Um, any explanation is an acceptable excuse, because, by definition, if you have paid and are a ticketed passenger - you have to accept the excuse! What are the options? Call up the CEO or head of Ops and say, " I don't accept your excuse!"

Rick


User currently offlineDocLightning From United States of America, joined Nov 2005, 19495 posts, RR: 58
Reply 14, posted (5 years 7 months 3 weeks 2 days 6 hours ago) and read 5468 times:



Quoting Dispatchguy (Reply 9):
. Temperature problems are weather-related as temperature is a part of weather. The fact that they are not abnormal is irrelevant.

Very relevant. You don't pick a plane to operate out of an airport where ambient conditions may overwhelm the plane on a regular basis. You don't try to fly an A330 into ASE and if your plane can't handle -20C (which is odd; it handles it just fine in flight) then you should choose a different plane that can support your ops.

But then again, I was 3 hours delayed JFK-SFO. I watched them open our #2 engine on our 763, stand around it looking puzzled, and then they switched us to a 757. The cause? "Weather."


User currently offlineLegend11 From United States of America, joined Jun 2004, 107 posts, RR: 2
Reply 15, posted (5 years 7 months 3 weeks 2 days 2 hours ago) and read 5369 times:

Let me apologize upfront for an attitude that I may have regarding the "experienced traveler" perspective that seems to pop up in this forum when the country experiences a run of bad weather. I have a perspective that comes from 22 years in airline operations control, and tend to have very little patience for all the instant experts who have never worked in the industry, and have no clue what goes on behind the scenes.

For the most of the airlines, aircraft and crews are scheduled on specific lines that attempt to achieve the highest aircraft utilization per day. Most cases this would involve a schedule of up to 11 hours of utilization per day per aircraft. In my experience, one aircarft might operate 6-7 plus segments in a given day, and might pass thru a hub at least twice. Crews ( pilots and flight attendants) bid for specific lines, and since they can't stay with that aircraft legally for the scheduled utilization, there has to be more crews available than there are aircraft to crew. Since these crews come out of a crew base, and have to be scheduled back at some point, it should be easy to understand why some flights are delayed awaiting another inbound flight.

All that has to happen to create chaos, is to lose just a few aircraft in a schedule to weather or maintenance delays, and the problems start to increase exponentially. Many times you may be able to salvage the day using spare aircraft and reserve crews, if available, but you are gonna fight a losing battle when you start seeing major delays and flight cancellations in major hubs like ORD, ATL, JFK, etc.

Just to make the above scenarios even more fun, you also have to consider the impact of today's decisions on tomorrow's ops. If you run crews out of time, and don't have the ability to get your RON flights to final destination, your operations for the next will already be in the tank. At some point, drastic action, such as cancelling flights, has to happen, or you will find your operation in an endless crisis loop.


Bottom line, I understand and can appreciate the above poster's frustrations over their travel delays, but you will never understand the complexities involved in airline operations till you have walked that mile in our shoes.


User currently offlineShamrock604 From Ireland, joined Sep 2007, 4166 posts, RR: 13
Reply 16, posted (5 years 7 months 3 weeks 2 days ago) and read 5313 times:



Quoting Legend11 (Reply 15):
Let me apologize upfront for an attitude that I may have regarding the "experienced traveler" perspective that seems to pop up in this forum when the country experiences a run of bad weather. I have a perspective that comes from 22 years in airline operations control, and tend to have very little patience for all the instant experts who have never worked in the industry, and have no clue what goes on behind the scenes.



Quoting Legend11 (Reply 15):
Bottom line, I understand and can appreciate the above poster's frustrations over their travel delays, but you will never understand the complexities involved in airline operations till you have walked that mile in our shoes.

Well said Legend!!!!!

While not having quite as much experience in the field as you (10 years as opposed to 22), I can also vouch for all you have said above. It enrages me when I see passengers claiming that every reason given to them for a delay is a lie. Even the starter of this thread refers to these reasons as "excuses".

Operations Control is a whole section of the airline who's very reason for being is to keep the schedule running punctually. It also helps that it is the department which has complete control over the day to day schedule.

The people there are tasked with running a good, safe and punctual operation and are fully accountable for their actions and frequently have their decisions questioned and analysed. It is not a job for the faint hearted, and you can believe and trust that it is in their best interest to get you to where you want to go, on time!

Airlines do not delay you for fun! There is always a reason!



Flown EI,FR,RE,EIR,VE,SI,TLA,BA,BE,BD,VX,MON,AF,YS,WX,KL,SK,LH,OK,OS,LX,IB,LTU,HLX,4U,SU,CO,DL,UA,AC,PR,MH,SQ,QF, EY, EK
User currently offlineLegend11 From United States of America, joined Jun 2004, 107 posts, RR: 2
Reply 17, posted (5 years 7 months 3 weeks 1 day 16 hours ago) and read 5210 times:

[quote=Shamrock604,]Airlines do not delay you for fun! There is always a reason!

Thanks Shamrock604. Case in point: Last Friday, my sister, who is not an experienced air traveler, was waiting in DAY for an AA flight DFW-DAY bringing her daughter home for the holiday. She called me, and wanted to know why planes could not land in the fog. (DAY was at 100' and 1/4 mile at the time). I was able to explain all those requirements, and when I got home, looked up the flight on flightaware.com. AA 1482 had circled DAY for a bit and diverted to SDF. Sis was on the phone with my niece, and both seemed calm with the delay, as AA had been going thru the options for the diverted flight.

I then noted another AA sched flight enroute DFW-SDF, called my sis and told her I supsected the crew on the diverted flight would time out, and that AA had likely called a reserve crew to take the diverted flight on into DAY, as the aircraft is sched to operate the early go DAY-DFW the next morning. My sis then called me back to tell me that her daughter had called after our conversation, confirming the diversion crew had timed out, and was being replaced. I was able to stay with it until I saw the flight depart SDF and giver her the eta to DAY.

According to my niece, AA was communicating with the pax regaqrding options A thru F, and she was glad to have a family member that actually had a clue as to what may happen. Her flight had departed DFW at around 1400 local, and did not arrive DAY until after midnight local. That is one example of resolving a weather delay. Now try to imagine an airline like AA and multiple that scenrio by a couple of hundred, and you start to see the complexities in trying to keep an op on schedule,


User currently offlineDispatchguy From United States of America, joined Jan 2006, 1249 posts, RR: 2
Reply 18, posted (5 years 7 months 3 weeks 1 day 15 hours ago) and read 5156 times:

I echo what Legend has most aptly stated...

Believe me, there is nothing I want more than to run the schedule ontime as that dramatically decreases my workload, but when that is not possible, something needs to give.

Airplanes and aircrews are not a limitless resource - if they were, this issue would be moot, but since they arent, schedule modifications have to happen. Sometimes u win in those modifications, sometime u lose; just a fact of life.



Nobody screws you better than an airline job!
User currently offlineAFGMEL From Australia, joined Jul 2007, 744 posts, RR: 0
Reply 19, posted (5 years 7 months 3 weeks 1 day 10 hours ago) and read 4992 times:



Quoting Legend11 (Reply 15):
For the most of the airlines, aircraft and crews are scheduled on specific lines that attempt to achieve the highest aircraft utilization per day. Most cases this would involve a schedule of up to 11 hours of utilization per day per aircraft. In my experience, one aircarft might operate 6-7 plus segments in a given day, and might pass thru a hub at least twice. Crews ( pilots and flight attendants) bid for specific lines, and since they can't stay with that aircraft legally for the scheduled utilization, there has to be more crews available than there are aircraft to crew. Since these crews come out of a crew base, and have to be scheduled back at some point, it should be easy to understand why some flights are delayed awaiting another inbound flight.

Hmm, while I completely accept what you say as true, I would like to point out that none of this is my business as a passenger. If the airline is sailing so close to the wind that one little hiccup in this massively complicated business will have a massive knock on effect, then the airline is at fault for not having a reasonable buffer or contingency and trying to extract the last cent.

While I have complete sympathy for the airline when it comes to things like unforecast fog, accidents at airports or things completely beyond their control, I do not think airlines can obfuscate responsibility because their business is complex.

IMO, one of the big problems of the world today is that people think reasons and excuses are the same thing. They are not.



B 727-44/200 732/3/4/8/9 767-3 742/3/4, 772/3, A319/20/21 332/333 342/3 , DC3/4/10, F28/50/100, ATR72
User currently offlineADXMatt From United States of America, joined Jul 2006, 950 posts, RR: 2
Reply 20, posted (5 years 7 months 3 weeks 1 day 10 hours ago) and read 4991 times:



Quoting AT (Thread starter):
So I'm curious would OUR flight delay count as a weather delay?

If your a/c was in but missing a crew i would code it as "awaiting crew"

Quoting AT (Thread starter):
2) Given that both JFK and MIA are major hubs shouldn't there be back ups? It seems odd to me that there would be no replacement crew members ?

At CO we do "re-crewing" all the time to avoid or minimize a delay. example... take the pilots that are sitting in the airport waiting for their next leg and put them on a different flight to get it out on-time and use the delayed crew to do the leg that we just took the pilots off of.

If the delay is not going to be that long and we're waiting for flight attendants we can sometimes use a airport reserve crew to board the aircraft and when the regular crew gets there we're already boarded and ready to go.


You also have to condsidor the crew's qualifiactions as well. You can't put a MD80 pilot onto a B737 but you usally can swap a B767 pilot for a B757.
Usually the F/A are trained all equipment but not always. There are alot of variables. Especially as the day moves on with crew legality and duty days.


User currently offlineDispatchguy From United States of America, joined Jan 2006, 1249 posts, RR: 2
Reply 21, posted (5 years 7 months 3 weeks 1 day 9 hours ago) and read 4950 times:



Quoting AFGMEL (Reply 19):
Hmm, while I completely accept what you say as true, I would like to point out that none of this is my business as a passenger. If the airline is sailing so close to the wind that one little hiccup in this massively complicated business will have a massive knock on effect, then the airline is at fault for not having a reasonable buffer or contingency and trying to extract the last cent.

So what is your fix - to have a bevy of spare crews and aircraft scattered all amongst the airline to have coverage for every conceivable problem?

Passengers wont pay the airfares required to do that.

For example, at Chicago O Hare, airlines build their schedules assuming that the airport can accept 100 aircraft per hour (112 per hour now, but the 100 was when I worked ORD ops). That is their perfect world acceptance rate - low winds, decent visibility, good weather, no rain, etc.

Now throw something into the mix that makes you lose such a high rate, such as a bad crosswind, wet runways, etc., your 100/112 acceptance rate just went to an 84 rate, or worse. Now, youre talking of delays, because the airport cant accept the max acceptance rate.

So what would u have them do - the passengers demand, by the high load factors - not the high yields, that there is hourly service everywhere; would u cap the # of schedulable operations at ORD to say a 75 rate, to deal with the possibility of an irregular operation on any given day? The passengers demand the network coverage from any city with an airport to any city with an airport. What if you capped the ops to 84, but the conditions are such that the max acceptance rate is 64 on any given day, or worse - now you have 20+ ops per hour that cant be accommodated. Heres a fix, schedule to 20 per hour - 20 arrivals per hour regardless of weather - there will be no delays that way...

In a perfect world, no delays would ever happen - in a perfect world - but we all know, the world is far from perfect. And yes, a little hiccup can have a helluva effect on a major network operation - the major network operation that passengers demand. Dont want to deal with the possibility of a delay - fine - dont fly. Your car ops only on your own schedule; wanna go transcontinental in 5 hours, well then u gonna have to fly, and unless your resources are limitless that u can afford to own your own G-5, you're going to have to recognize that hiccups do happen, this is the winter (at least in the northern hemisphere) and winter loves to screw with airline schedules.

Airline resources are limited, crews, mechanics, deicing fluid, aircraft, fuel, and everything else that goes into flight operations are limited. You want perfect world coverage for every conceivable contingency - fine - then be ready, willing and able to pay the air fares required for such a requirement, to pay for all those reserve airplanes, crews, fuel, etc.

At the major US carrier whose Ops Control Center I work in on a daily basis, we do have SOME reserve airplanes, SOME reserve crews - but when those reserves are used, well, theyre used.



Nobody screws you better than an airline job!
User currently offlineShamrock604 From Ireland, joined Sep 2007, 4166 posts, RR: 13
Reply 22, posted (5 years 7 months 3 weeks 1 day 9 hours ago) and read 4928 times:



Quoting AFGMEL (Reply 19):
Hmm, while I completely accept what you say as true, I would like to point out that none of this is my business as a passenger. If the airline is sailing so close to the wind that one little hiccup in this massively complicated business will have a massive knock on effect, then the airline is at fault for not having a reasonable buffer or contingency and trying to extract the last cent.

AFGMEL,

I do see your point from the perspective as a passenger. However, you cant understand unless you have spent a day in our shoes. My employer has one spare aircraft for every ten in active service, builds time into the schedule to accomodate the more typical ATC slot delays (some flights are just prone to getting them each and every day here in Europe, so you build some extra time in), and also significant gaps in the schedule so we can shuffle aircraft around when things get difficult. In addition, we have a significant compliment of spare crew on a daily basis.

I really dont see what else we can do!!

If our customers want the reassurance of having one spare aircraft for each aircraft actively flying, a spare crew for each flight operated etc etc, then they had better be willing to pay at least quadruple the airfare!

No.... I thought not!  Wink



Flown EI,FR,RE,EIR,VE,SI,TLA,BA,BE,BD,VX,MON,AF,YS,WX,KL,SK,LH,OK,OS,LX,IB,LTU,HLX,4U,SU,CO,DL,UA,AC,PR,MH,SQ,QF, EY, EK
User currently offlineAFGMEL From Australia, joined Jul 2007, 744 posts, RR: 0
Reply 23, posted (5 years 7 months 3 weeks 1 day 9 hours ago) and read 4903 times:



Quoting Shamrock604 (Reply 22):
I do see your point from the perspective as a passenger. However, you cant understand unless you have spent a day in our shoes. My employer has one spare aircraft for every ten in active service, builds time into the schedule to accomodate the more typical ATC slot delays (some flights are just prone to getting them each and every day here in Europe, so you build some extra time in), and also significant gaps in the schedule so we can shuffle aircraft around when things get difficult. In addition, we have a significant compliment of spare crew on a daily basis.

Please don't misunderstand me. I am in no way blaming the good folk that are working in dispatch or on the coal face. At the end of the day, it's the airline management that decide how hard they work the crews and the aircraft.

There must be a reason why some airlines manage to get very high on-time rates and some low. Case in point being HA at 92% on time in 2008 and AA and UA being 68 and 69% respectively. "LCC" WN managed 80%. Source : Here

They all have more or less the same complexities.



B 727-44/200 732/3/4/8/9 767-3 742/3/4, 772/3, A319/20/21 332/333 342/3 , DC3/4/10, F28/50/100, ATR72
User currently offlineORDflier From United States of America, joined Jan 2005, 174 posts, RR: 0
Reply 24, posted (5 years 7 months 3 weeks 1 day 8 hours ago) and read 4883 times:

Comparing HA's "complexities" with AA or UA's is a bit of a stretch... HA doesn't have the vast majority of their operations in a environment which changes with the seasons...


ORDflier
25 Ckfred : When it gets toward the end of the month, especially with bad weather and holidays, it's often easier to deal with late crew than try to get reserve c
26 Shamrock604 : Oh absolutely there are reasons. For one, your main base can be prone to bad weather. In that case, one would always imagine that spare resources wou
27 IAHFLYR : Oh so correct! Witnessed the very thing 12/31/08 at BOS during the nice mid day snow storm. A few passengers I overheard complaining about the delay
28 P3Orion : Nose wheelin'! I enjoy the ERJ, whose destination is JAX, who requires 13000' of RWY (even though the heavies are taking T10),then the crew gets "sni
29 AT : These are most informative responses, showing all sides of the situation with greater clarity. I understand, esp after reading the many responses on t
30 Ikramerica : No. This is not an acceptable weather delay excuse to avoid compensation, though airlines are increasingly trying to claim otherwise. It can result f
31 Dispatchguy : Maybe they dont have the required data to accept the intersection. Assuming this is ORD, 32L-T10 is 8800 ft available for takeoff, maybe they do need
32 P3Orion : We've been told the airline "tankers up" their RJ's to JAX. I understand operational requirements, I just find it amusing when the crew has a special
33 Shamrock604 : I can understand your amusement. Anyone operating into airports like ORD should know that anything out of the ordinary should be requested of ATC as
34 P3Orion : We've talked about this at work. I think its due to the fact they fly late at night/early morning and are use to getting their way. I understand thei
35 Shamrock604 : I'll probably get flamed for this, but what the hell! I do notice that some crews can be unaware of the kind of things that go on outside their own f
36 Threepoint : I honestly believe most passengers have a glimmer of understanding that airline operations is a complex juggling act. They may not realize all the va
37 P3Orion : It's not a big deal. The crew has different considerations/concerns than ATC. I'll do my best to accomodate them, sometimes, the operation just won't
38 Mir : And that's a lot. I don't think the major US carriers keep those kind of reserves. They can't afford to. AA and UA have hubs at ORD, which is subject
39 Shamrock604 : Never said they were... just illustrating a point.
40 IAHFLYR : I'll second the box hauler issue but not all of them just a select one or two of them. Or when the unable comes, I love the crew that believes they'r
41 Smcmac32msn : I have to agree with AT and DocLightning a lot more than DispatchGuy. If an airline (AWA) had problems on a CONSISTENT basis with Airbuses in Calgary
42 Dispatchguy : Here is the definition of a weather delay from UA: Why didnt we send an airplane that was more weather capable for an overnite - well, nearly all airc
43 IAHFLYR : Or a B727-100...only computer I ever heard of was the Flight Engineer!
44 ADXMatt : We still do.
45 Legend11 : "There must be a reason why some airlines manage to get very high on-time rates and some low. Case in point being HA at 92% on time in 2008 and AA an
46 AirNZ : Well said Threepoint, and exactly correct! I've repeatedly tried to reject the popular a.net myth of pasengers always being the 'cheapskates'........
47 MSYPI7185 : They have to when the pax show that they will not pay $5 more to fly one airline over another, in general. I have over the years observed pax leave o
48 Shamrock604 : Exactly. I cant understand why people have such a problem with this. We are trying to not give people an unrealistic expection of when they will arri
49 Falcon84 : I consider that a weather delay. Your schedule crew was late inbound because of weather. If no other crews are available, that isn't necessarily a "s
50 Spinner145 : Has anybody ever heard "slow refueling" as an excuse for not taking off on time? I was recently on a Hong Kong Airlines flight from HKT to HKG, and th
51 Falcon84 : It can happen. On the ERJ's, there is a high-pressure fueling system that allows for very fast fueling. If that system is not operating, you can open
52 Smcmac32msn : If the fueler falls asleep, is acting stupid, not listening, etc. sure there can be delays based on them. If the plane is over fueled, yes, there can
53 Jhooper : There can be multiple reasons for a delay; the first occurance that starts the chain of events that lead to the delay is usually the reason I'll cite
54 Shamrock604 : Same here. It just doesnt enter into the equation. Well said. It might help if TV shows like "airline" actually spent some time with the Ops guys as
55 Jhooper : you beat me to it.
56 Shamrock604 : Maybe the fuel company didnt send the truck in time? Maybe they didnt have enough drivers? Perhaps one of them went sick? All the things that can hap
57 Hamad : that passenger might have been a rude a** , but your friend was also in the wrong for replying to him like that. the best thing to do in customer ser
58 Spinner145 : Thanks to everybody for the explanations. I actually wasn't meaning to accuse the crew of slacking off. It seemed more like there was some kind of a
59 Falcon84 : I disagree. He was educating the customer, and, sorry, the customer is not always right in this business. He never raised his voice to him, but just
60 Glacote : Two issues here: 1) the actual level of service is lower than expected by Joe-the-Traveller, since people don't factor in the numerous delays when the
61 Threepoint : No argument from here. Yes, the airlines are responding to customer demand, but at some point, some brave (foolish?) airline is going to have to take
62 HAMAD : no where i have indicated that the customer was right, infact my comment were suggesting that the pax was having attitude issues. my point was that i
63 Richierich : Awesome post, by the way. very informative - for those of us who do not normally dispatch flights, its very interesting to hear this. I think weather
64 Ckfred : In the delay that I mentioned on AA at MIA, we taxiied back to the gate, after sitting out on the hold pad for about 30 minutes while the pilots tried
65 IAirAllie : How do you expect this to be accomplished? The things that delay flights are not predictable. One cannot give exact or precise timeframes. The only t
66 AFGMEL : Hmm, ATC delays within reason. Reason in this case not because airlines try and have too many departures and arrivals at an airport instead of lower f
67 Ckfred : You have to remember that people think the term weather refers to the weather at an airport and impairs the ability of aircraft to take off and land
68 PP705 : Pilot forgot the keys.
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