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WN - "flying Under The Radar"?  
User currently offlinedelta777lr From United States of America, joined Jul 2010, 8 posts, RR: 0
Posted (4 years 1 month 2 weeks 3 days 22 hours ago) and read 8524 times:

Just curious - is it my perception, or does WN has fewer maintenance-related delays than our friends at DL?

As a frequent traveler, I can't remember the last time I experienced a maintenance-related delay on WN - rather, at my old reliable - (DL) we seem to have them more often than none.. Is it just that DL decides to tell us everything in efforts to provide better "service/communication" and at WN, they wouldn't dare tell us a thing, because, after all, if a "discount" carrier was to have a problem with an A/C, we might fear that were were going back to ValuJet days....and then,,,,down goes the stock!

Is WN "flying under the radar" with maintenance??

17 replies: All unread, jump to last
 
User currently offlineEWRandMDW From United States of America, joined Jul 2006, 416 posts, RR: 0
Reply 1, posted (4 years 1 month 2 weeks 3 days 21 hours ago) and read 8439 times:

I think you must be living the good life. I've flown with WN quite a few times, most recently earlier this year, and have experienced a handful of delays due to maintenance issues. Mind you, there haven't been many, but when it happened we were told up front what the situation was, how long the delay was expected to last, and what options were available to us. As far as I'm concerned, WN has always acted professionally in that respect.

User currently offlinepar13del From Bahamas, joined Dec 2005, 7153 posts, RR: 8
Reply 2, posted (4 years 1 month 2 weeks 3 days 21 hours ago) and read 8403 times:

Do you really want to compare WN with DL, may be better to use some other carrier, the DL of today is not the DL of pre-Chpt.11. The DL post Chpt.11 is the one that eliminated numerous engineering / mechanic jobs to break a union in the cost lowering venture, the number of "issues" which "could" result in delays did increase when the out-sourcing became effective, a search at this site will reveal threads which were valid and those which were not, no question that issues did increase, will have to search under the NW banner.

WN is not as complicated as the other airlines with multiple a/c within their fleet, yes there are various versions of 737's, but the differences including parts and license requirements are a lot less complicated than if your fleet consisted of MD-88, DC-9, A320, 737, A330, 747, 767, 777 etc. How may mechanic ratings are required for an all 737 fleet versus the others, if a station has staff out sick or vacation, how easy is it to take a mechanic from one station and send them to another in WN's network versus the others?

Aircraft ultimately are maintained according to rules and regulations, regardless of the fleet commonality, if a department is lax and not properly run one can expect the quality of service to be affected. So far WN has only given up such oversight for heavy maintenance, I'm not even sure that has already been put in place, have not been keeping up, they were in negotiations with a vendor in South America.

As for "flying under the radar" all airlines should be doing that as safety should be the main priority, unless you mean the Feds are not doing their jobs and giving certain ailines a break?  


User currently offlinegregarious119 From United States of America, joined Jun 2006, 532 posts, RR: 0
Reply 3, posted (4 years 1 month 2 weeks 3 days 19 hours ago) and read 8266 times:

Quoting par13del (Reply 2):
WN is not as complicated as the other airlines with multiple a/c within their fleet, yes there are various versions of 737's, but the differences including parts and license requirements are a lot less complicated than if your fleet consisted of MD-88, DC-9, A320, 737, A330, 747, 767, 777 etc. How may mechanic ratings are required for an all 737 fleet versus the others, if a station has staff out sick or vacation, how easy is it to take a mechanic from one station and send them to another in WN's network versus the others?

I think this is one of the biggest reasons we don't notice WN maintenance issues nearly as much as the mainline carriers. Because of their fleet commonality, WN can often switch around aircraft and schedules on the fly without the pax even knowing that anything happened. Same thing with crews, ground staff, mechanics and the like, just as par13 stated.


User currently offlinemayor From United States of America, joined Mar 2008, 10399 posts, RR: 14
Reply 4, posted (4 years 1 month 2 weeks 3 days 18 hours ago) and read 8018 times:

Quoting par13del (Reply 2):
The DL post Chpt.11 is the one that eliminated numerous engineering / mechanic jobs to break a union in the cost lowering venture,

   I call BS on this one. This sounds more like what happened at NW, premerger, than at DL. At DL there was no union to break. Where do you get this stuff from?


As I recall, WN has had many FAA fines regarding mtc., so their record isn't exactly squeaky clean.



"A committee is a group of the unprepared, appointed by the unwilling, to do the unnecessary"----Fred Allen
User currently offlineWncrew From United States of America, joined Jun 2006, 1458 posts, RR: 10
Reply 5, posted (4 years 1 month 2 weeks 3 days 18 hours ago) and read 8001 times:

Quoting mayor (Reply 4):
As I recall, WN has had many FAA fines regarding mtc., so their record isn't exactly squeaky clean.

Yep, as has AA etc.... The whole WN debacle sparked the FAA to start throwing fines at a lot of the carriers. Plus, the WN situation was sensationalized by the media, though airlines had received fines for similar things before.



ALL views, opinions expressed are mine ONLY and are NOT representative of those shared by Southwest Airlines Co.
User currently offlineSTT757 From United States of America, joined Mar 2000, 16862 posts, RR: 51
Reply 6, posted (4 years 1 month 2 weeks 3 days 17 hours ago) and read 7967 times:

WN does have a much younger fleet than DL, obviously that helps.


Eastern Air lines flt # 701, EWR-MCO Boeing 757
User currently offlinemayor From United States of America, joined Mar 2008, 10399 posts, RR: 14
Reply 7, posted (4 years 1 month 2 weeks 3 days 17 hours ago) and read 7937 times:

Quoting Wncrew (Reply 5):
Yep, as has AA etc.... The whole WN debacle sparked the FAA to start throwing fines at a lot of the carriers. Plus, the WN situation was sensationalized by the media, though airlines had received fines for similar things before.

I never said that no one else got fines. WN's got sensationalized (rightly or wrongly) because the media realized that their favorite air carrier wasn't so lily white. The media loves to sensationalize this stuff. If the pilot has a hangnail, it's all over the internet the next day with the headline "Are Airline Crews Flying While Injured?" It's happened at all the carriers. Join the club.



"A committee is a group of the unprepared, appointed by the unwilling, to do the unnecessary"----Fred Allen
User currently offlineWncrew From United States of America, joined Jun 2006, 1458 posts, RR: 10
Reply 8, posted (4 years 1 month 2 weeks 3 days 17 hours ago) and read 7892 times:

Quoting mayor (Reply 7):
I never said that no one else got fines. WN's got sensationalized (rightly or wrongly) because the media realized that their favorite air carrier wasn't so lily white. The media loves to sensationalize this stuff. If the pilot has a hangnail, it's all over the internet the next day with the headline "Are Airline Crews Flying While Injured?" It's happened at all the carriers. Join the club.

Yes, I agree completely, couldn't have said it better myself!



ALL views, opinions expressed are mine ONLY and are NOT representative of those shared by Southwest Airlines Co.
User currently offlinepar13del From Bahamas, joined Dec 2005, 7153 posts, RR: 8
Reply 9, posted (4 years 1 month 2 weeks 3 days 15 hours ago) and read 7088 times:

Quoting mayor (Reply 4):
I call BS on this one. This sounds more like what happened at NW, premerger, than at DL. At DL there was no union to break. Where do you get this stuff from?

I suggest that you go back and look at the history of DL, you will find that the workers, a/c, out-sourced contracts and all of the infrastructure that was previously NW now operate under and belongs to DL, including any issues that came along with them, if the combined carrier for example now has a lower maintenance record who do you say it belongs to, the non-existent NW or DL? Whether you like it or not, NW is now DL including whatever baggage - good or bad - that they bring, if you have no issue using their resources to proclaim DL as the largest carrier in the USA, then you also get the rest of the package.

Quoting par13del (Reply 2):
a search at this site will reveal threads which were valid and those which were not, no question that issues did increase, will have to search under the NW banner.

Maybe you missed the above portion of the post, or maybe you think the effect of the NW strike and union busting actions have no long term effect, that's debatble but for another thread.


User currently offlinemayor From United States of America, joined Mar 2008, 10399 posts, RR: 14
Reply 10, posted (4 years 1 month 2 weeks 3 days 14 hours ago) and read 6296 times:

Quoting par13del (Reply 9):
I suggest that you go back and look at the history of DL, you will find that the workers, a/c, out-sourced contracts and all of the infrastructure that was previously NW now operate under and belongs to DL, including any issues that came along with them,

How does that mean that DL did it? NW did it, long before there was any DL/NW merger. To blame DL for it is just not right. Just because they are now one airline, doesn't mean you can blame DL for what happened. Will you also blame United or Continental for each other's bankruptcies? Can you blame DL for any failures of WA before they merged?

[Edited 2010-07-18 11:37:05]


"A committee is a group of the unprepared, appointed by the unwilling, to do the unnecessary"----Fred Allen
User currently offlinechrisair From United States of America, joined Sep 2000, 2104 posts, RR: 3
Reply 11, posted (4 years 1 month 2 weeks 3 days 11 hours ago) and read 4896 times:

Just from my experience on WN this year--I'm right around 75 flights with them. Only two flights (coincidently enough in the last two weeks), have had maintenance delays. One was an engine problem on an originating flight that I was connecting to, which resulted in a 2 hours delay at MDW. The other was a light problem on a 733 in SFO which, coupled with ATC flow to LAX due to Joe Biden resulted in a 4 hour delay and an overnight at LAX.

No airline is immune and it's all perception. If I had two WN flights this year and they were both delayed due to mechanicals, I'd say "WN has a lot of mechanical delays."


User currently offlineMikelive From United States of America, joined Jan 2007, 30 posts, RR: 0
Reply 12, posted (4 years 1 month 2 weeks 3 days 10 hours ago) and read 4751 times:

The only time I've had a mx-related delay on WN was back in October 2009 while flying PHX to SAT on a 735.

They apparently discovered an issue with the forward lavatory during boarding (or just prior to) and worked to repair it while we all waited on board. After about a 20-minute delay, the loo was fixed and we were on our way.

I remember thinking at the time that some passengers must've felt crappy at having to wait in a fully loaded plane for a broken toilet to be repaired.   


User currently offlineTomassjc From United States of America, joined Jan 2010, 868 posts, RR: 2
Reply 13, posted (4 years 1 month 2 weeks 3 days 6 hours ago) and read 3444 times:
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I always thought WN had fewer mx related delays because they defer most everything that they are able to MEL until the aircraft reaches it's overnight check. True?

Tomas SJC



When once you have tasted flight, you will forever walk the Earth with your eyes turned skyward -Leonardo DaVinci
User currently offlinewn700driver From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 14, posted (4 years 1 month 2 weeks 3 days 4 hours ago) and read 2899 times:

Quoting Tomassjc (Reply 13):
always thought WN had fewer mx related delays because they defer most everything that they are able to MEL until the aircraft reaches it's overnight check. True?

They are far from being the only airline to do this.

Quoting par13del (Reply 2):
How may mechanic ratings are required for an all 737 fleet versus the others, if a station has staff out sick or vacation, how easy is it to take a mechanic from one station and send them to another in WN's network versus the others?

One, and that's for either airline. So that's really not the problem there...


User currently offlinepitops From United States of America, joined May 2007, 1442 posts, RR: 4
Reply 15, posted (4 years 1 month 2 weeks 3 days 2 hours ago) and read 2470 times:

I can definately say that WN has it's fair share of mechanical delays.


Ground Ops, Southwest Airlines, CMH
User currently offlineMKE22 From United States of America, joined Nov 2007, 1141 posts, RR: 2
Reply 16, posted (4 years 1 month 2 weeks 3 days 2 hours ago) and read 2389 times:

Quoting delta777lr (Thread starter):
r does WN has fewer maintenance-related delays than our friends at DL?

You have no idea what DL's expectations for "maintenance" are.. My friend works for an aviation company here in MKE, and does business with DL there. He says they ask for new tires for a various array of planes at the drop of a hat, and if they don't get them, they cancel flights left and right and wonder why their tires weren't delivered.. Negligence is the word you use to describe a business practice like that, DL is unrealistic with their expectations..



If Your not pissed, your not trying
User currently offlineDesertAir From Mexico, joined Jan 2006, 1461 posts, RR: 0
Reply 17, posted (4 years 1 month 2 weeks 2 days 7 hours ago) and read 1529 times:

I recall only one mechanical delay...I was flying from PDX to TUS with a stop in LAS. In LAS their needed to fix the air circulation unit...luckily in LAS there is a flock of mechanics and parts. One reason for no red-eye flying is to better maintain their fleet. It would be interesting to know what fix-it-quick structures the various airlines have.

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