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Sunwing Passengers Stuck On Plane For 13 Hrs  
User currently offlineYYZatcboy From Canada, joined Apr 2005, 1092 posts, RR: 0
Posted (1 year 10 months 1 week 6 days 21 hours ago) and read 21887 times:
AIRLINERS.NET CREW
CUSTOMER SERVICE & SUPPORT

http://www.thestar.com/news/gta/2013...ac_at_pearson_airport_all_day.html

Aparently a WG aircraft got caught by Mr Murphy and the crew and pax were stuck for close to 13 hours on the plane in YYZ due to some mechanical issues and deice issues all cause by the snow in YYZ yesterday.

Must have sucked...


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153 replies: All unread, showing first 25:
 
User currently offlinePHX787 From Japan, joined Mar 2012, 7959 posts, RR: 19
Reply 1, posted (1 year 10 months 1 week 6 days 20 hours ago) and read 21743 times:

Does Canada have a Pax bill of rights? This is absolutely heinous to allow this to happen.


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User currently offlinezkokq From Australia, joined Mar 2012, 480 posts, RR: 0
Reply 2, posted (1 year 10 months 1 week 6 days 20 hours ago) and read 21721 times:

Quoting PHX787 (Reply 1):

Hold on, the airline did what it could

"At about 10:30 a.m., the cabin crew had handed out water and granola bars — the only refreshments available."

"“No food, no water, except for two packages each, at four-hour intervals, of corn chips, and one half glass of water,” passenger Sherry Tamilia told the Star."

Whats wrong with that? They are not a supermarket, the article says the plane couldnt return to gate because none were available. The aircraft had ice build ups on the cowlings. What should they do? Disembark on the tarmac?

Lets be realistic here.


User currently offlinePHX787 From Japan, joined Mar 2012, 7959 posts, RR: 19
Reply 3, posted (1 year 10 months 1 week 6 days 20 hours ago) and read 21602 times:

Quoting zkokq (Reply 2):
Hold on, the airline did what it could

They could've just brought them back to the terminal until the queues died down a bit.



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User currently offlinebrilondon From Canada, joined Aug 2005, 4414 posts, RR: 2
Reply 4, posted (1 year 10 months 1 week 6 days 20 hours ago) and read 21528 times:

Quoting zkokq (Reply 2):

Quoting PHX787 (Reply 1):

Hold on, the airline did what it could

"At about 10:30 a.m., the cabin crew had handed out water and granola bars — the only refreshments available."

"“No food, no water, except for two packages each, at four-hour intervals, of corn chips, and one half glass of water,” passenger Sherry Tamilia told the Star."

Whats wrong with that? They are not a supermarket, the article says the plane couldnt return to gate because none were available. The aircraft had ice build ups on the cowlings. What should they do? Disembark on the tarmac?

Lets be realistic here.

They should have been brought back to the terminal using all those old buses they have parked that use to transport people to the midfield terminal. Water and granola bars, well that just doesn't cut it. I thought that WG would have more sense then that.



Rush for ever; Yankees all the way!!
User currently offlinezkokq From Australia, joined Mar 2012, 480 posts, RR: 0
Reply 5, posted (1 year 10 months 1 week 6 days 19 hours ago) and read 21449 times:

Quoting PHX787 (Reply 3):
They could've just brought them back to the terminal until the queues died down a bit.
Quoting brilondon (Reply 4):

They should have been brought back to the terminal using all those old buses they have parked that use to transport people to the midfield terminal. Water and granola bars, well that just doesn't cut it. I thought that WG would have more sense then that.

Oh yeah of course! During a snow storm, when ops are limited.

Why didnt I think of that......?

And if you're going to blame WG, surely the airfield should take responsibility too. After all, they run ops.

[Edited 2013-02-09 21:10:32]

User currently offlinemayor From United States of America, joined Mar 2008, 10654 posts, RR: 14
Reply 6, posted (1 year 10 months 1 week 6 days 19 hours ago) and read 21381 times:

Quoting PHX787 (Reply 3):
They could've just brought them back to the terminal until the queues died down a bit.

How did you miss this, in the post above yours??

Quoting zkokq (Reply 2):
the article says the plane couldnt return to gate because none were available.



"A committee is a group of the unprepared, appointed by the unwilling, to do the unnecessary"----Fred Allen
User currently offlinebakersdozen From Canada, joined Nov 2006, 336 posts, RR: 0
Reply 7, posted (1 year 10 months 1 week 6 days 19 hours ago) and read 21366 times:

After 12 hours on the ground there'd probably be a good case for being held against your will... And a good excuse to pull the emergency chute and settle it in court. Can add the safety issue of crews timing out into the argument as well... As im sure they knew they couldnt fly after what the 8th hour? Someone should have got a staircase there to deplane at minimum.

User currently offlinePHX787 From Japan, joined Mar 2012, 7959 posts, RR: 19
Reply 8, posted (1 year 10 months 1 week 6 days 18 hours ago) and read 21110 times:

Quoting mayor (Reply 6):
How did you miss this, in the post above yours??

Quoting zkokq (Reply 2):
the article says the plane couldnt return to gate because none were available.

There is no excuse for not being able to de-plane pax in case of a delay. Honestly, they could've deplaned on airstairs and bussed back to the terminal.



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User currently offlinezkokq From Australia, joined Mar 2012, 480 posts, RR: 0
Reply 9, posted (1 year 10 months 1 week 6 days 18 hours ago) and read 21078 times:

Quoting PHX787 (Reply 8):

And how does one propose that happens when there are things going on like de-icing, planes moving AND a SNOW STORM?


User currently offlinePHX787 From Japan, joined Mar 2012, 7959 posts, RR: 19
Reply 10, posted (1 year 10 months 1 week 6 days 18 hours ago) and read 21048 times:

Quoting zkokq (Reply 9):
And how does one propose that happens when there are things going on like de-icing, planes moving AND a SNOW STORM?

the plane was on the ground for THIRTEEN hours. Plenty of time for the plane to get into an area for de-planing.

The longest flight I've been on was 12 hours. On a 747.

A 738 sitting on the ground for 13 hours during a snowstorm.... that's worse. Especially since the galleys can't get fired up. Holy crap guys there's seriously no excuse.



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User currently offlinejetblueguy22 From United States of America, joined Nov 2007, 2838 posts, RR: 4
Reply 11, posted (1 year 10 months 1 week 6 days 17 hours ago) and read 20886 times:
AIRLINERS.NET CREW
HEAD MODERATOR

I understand no gates were available but for 13 hours? That means no gates were ever free the entire time to move an aircraft to deboard. I'm sure there were plenty of planes just sitting there that could have been moved. Even getting airstairs and busses could have done the trick. Things get busy and I know there was a snowstorm but there is no excuse for this. I understand 2 or 3 hours, but 13? That is beyond excessive. Especially at a time when ops were very limited.
Pat



All of the opinions stated above are mine and do not represent Airliners.net or my employer unless otherwise stated.
User currently offlineMir From United States of America, joined Jan 2004, 21864 posts, RR: 55
Reply 12, posted (1 year 10 months 1 week 6 days 16 hours ago) and read 20716 times:

Quoting zkokq (Reply 2):
the article says the plane couldnt return to gate because none were available.

Actually, they did go back to a gate to clear ice off the engine cowlings. At that point, it should have been obvious that it was going to be a while before they could get off the ground, and that the airline didn't have appropriate provisions on the plane to wait out the time on the ground (they're an LCC, so that's understandable, but then you have to adjust how you deal with delays). And even if they couldn't get the passengers directly into the terminal because of customs issues, it should have been easy to get some stairs to get them off the plane and some buses to get them to a terminal where they actually could get off. That was the time to get the passengers off, since it was clear the airport didn't have the resources to deal with the snowfall and the airplane didn't have the supplies to properly take care of the people during the inevitable extended ground sit.

I'm not a fan of the three hour rule, and if this were five or six hours I'd grudgingly accept it. But thirteen hours? That's too much.

-Mir



7 billion, one nation, imagination...it's a beautiful day
User currently offlineJA From United States of America, joined Dec 2004, 578 posts, RR: 1
Reply 13, posted (1 year 10 months 1 week 6 days 14 hours ago) and read 20375 times:

There is absolutely no way that there were no gates for 13 hours. Someone is going to pay dearly for this one.

User currently offlineDogbreath From United Kingdom, joined Mar 2008, 265 posts, RR: 0
Reply 14, posted (1 year 10 months 1 week 6 days 14 hours ago) and read 20257 times:

This is so entertaining reading posts from those not involved with aviation and their outrage at some airline's misfortune with a major weather event. Like this is some conspiracy by the crew and airline against their passengers. Come on people. I imagine some of you must have an image of the flightcrew doing high fives in the flightdeck, that they're stuck in an ever worsening scenario that is preventing them doing their jobs of 'safely' getting their passengers to destination. That they are getting some perverse pleasure in entombing their pax for hours and hours. I'd be surprised if they weren't working overtime to solve the many issues thrown up yesterday.

Of course 13 hours is an incredible ground delay, but did some of you even read the article? This flight was beset by a number of delays all caused by a major weather, and safety must always come first. Would some of you be happy for the aircraft to depart with ice and snow on the wings, engine cowlings, brakes. Surely not!

I've been in similar situations a number of times in my career and it's not an easy time. These situations are extremely dynamic and frustrating for all concerned (not just the passengers). I certainly don't enjoy sitting on my arse for 2 or 3 hours waiting for a CTOT on a remote stand, which happens from time to time here in Europe.

Also it's not that easy to negotiate to return to the gate. This flight was an international flight with passengers cleared by customs. The airport authorities who incidentally make that decision (not the airline or pilots), are very reluctant to have cleared pax returned to the terminal. It's bad enough if the flight is domestic let alone international.
I recently sat in Greece for 6 hours waiting for a start-up clearance (due to a snap Greek ATC strike). I asked for the pax to be returned to the terminal, but the local authorities refused as it was full of other pax on other delayed flights that hadn't even arrived yet.

Blaming the crew and airline is just pure ignorance.



Truth, Honour, Loyalty
User currently offlinenazgul From United Kingdom, joined Oct 2012, 46 posts, RR: 0
Reply 15, posted (1 year 10 months 1 week 6 days 14 hours ago) and read 20229 times:

Oh sob sob - you only got a granola bar! I feel sorry for the cabin/flight crew though :-P

User currently offlineasctty From United Kingdom, joined Dec 2008, 117 posts, RR: 0
Reply 16, posted (1 year 10 months 1 week 6 days 14 hours ago) and read 20226 times:

Quoting PHX787 (Reply 1):

Hold on, the airline did what it could

"At about 10:30 a.m., the cabin crew had handed out water and granola bars — the only refreshments available."

"“No food, no water, except for two packages each, at four-hour intervals, of corn chips, and one half glass of water,” passenger Sherry Tamilia told the Star."

Whats wrong with that? They are not a supermarket, the article says the plane couldnt return to gate because none were available. The aircraft had ice build ups on the cowlings. What should they do? Disembark on the tarmac?

Lets be realistic here.

Yeah. let's be realistic. No way should PAX be kept on a plane for so long. Both the airline and the airport are at fault here. Even if the plane was allowed to depart, the crew would have been out on hours surely? And no, the plane is not a supermarket, but it is supposed to be a pleasant place to travel.


User currently offlineFabo From Slovakia, joined Aug 2005, 1219 posts, RR: 1
Reply 17, posted (1 year 10 months 1 week 6 days 14 hours ago) and read 20183 times:

Quoting Dogbreath (Reply 14):

That is all fine and dandy, but we are talking thirteen hours. If you cannot arrange for the pax to be offloaded in that amount of time, it is not weather, it is not conspiracy, it is not external problems, it is plain old total incompetence bordering with criminal negligence.



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User currently offlinezkokq From Australia, joined Mar 2012, 480 posts, RR: 0
Reply 18, posted (1 year 10 months 1 week 6 days 14 hours ago) and read 20185 times:

Quoting asctty (Reply 16):
Yeah. let's be realistic. No way should PAX be kept on a plane for so long. Both the airline and the airport are at fault here. Even if the plane was allowed to depart, the crew would have been out on hours surely? And no, the plane is not a supermarket, but it is supposed to be a pleasant place to travel.

I dont think there would have been any airport that would have allowed them back, because they had cleared customs. Otherwise I am sure it would have been done.

I bet the crew was as uncomfortable as the pax, so why would they want to be there any longer than they had too.


User currently offlineMir From United States of America, joined Jan 2004, 21864 posts, RR: 55
Reply 19, posted (1 year 10 months 1 week 6 days 13 hours ago) and read 19969 times:

Quoting Dogbreath (Reply 14):
I certainly don't enjoy sitting on my arse for 2 or 3 hours waiting for a CTOT on a remote stand, which happens from time to time here in Europe.

There's 2 or 3 hours, and then there's 13. There's a huge difference between the two.

Quoting zkokq (Reply 18):
I dont think there would have been any airport that would have allowed them back, because they had cleared customs. Otherwise I am sure it would have been done.

Not buying it. Let's say the weather wasn't an issue, but the plane had encountered a mechanical problem on its way to the runway and couldn't depart. Are you suggesting that the passengers would be kept on the plane for as long as it took to fix the problem, even for a day or two if the plane had to be taken out of service? And if not, then there's no reason that accommodations couldn't have also been made for this situation.

-Mir



7 billion, one nation, imagination...it's a beautiful day
User currently offlineasctty From United Kingdom, joined Dec 2008, 117 posts, RR: 0
Reply 20, posted (1 year 10 months 1 week 6 days 13 hours ago) and read 19966 times:

Quoting zkokq (Reply 18):
Quoting asctty (Reply 16):
Yeah. let's be realistic. No way should PAX be kept on a plane for so long. Both the airline and the airport are at fault here. Even if the plane was allowed to depart, the crew would have been out on hours surely? And no, the plane is not a supermarket, but it is supposed to be a pleasant place to travel.

I don't think there would have been any airport that would have allowed them back, because they had cleared customs. Otherwise I am sure it would have been done.

I bet the crew was as uncomfortable as the pax, so why would they want to be there any longer than they had too.

They wouldn't have had to go through customs as that is before the gate. All they had to do was get the PAX inside the building and give them access to some decent amenities. It's called customer service.

BTW, does anyone know how long the intended flight was supposed to be?


User currently offlineDogbreath From United Kingdom, joined Mar 2008, 265 posts, RR: 0
Reply 21, posted (1 year 10 months 1 week 6 days 13 hours ago) and read 19942 times:

Quoting Fabo (Reply 17):
That is all fine and dandy, but we are talking thirteen hours.
Quoting Fabo (Reply 17):
criminal negligence.

OK then. So for my understanding of the law, can you please inform us of what is the cutoff before we start talking criminal negligence? Is it 4 hours, 6 hours, or what is it?

Quoting asctty (Reply 16):
Even if the plane was allowed to depart, the crew would have been out on hours surely?

If it was a standard crew you are right, they'd have been out of hours. But we don't have enough facts here. Was the crew augmented? Did the aircraft indeed get back to a gate or have transport to allow a fresh crew onboard? Maybe the pax were asked at that time if any wanted to get off the flight and cancel their holiday? Maybe most decided to remain onboard and get the hell of winter and onto the sun baked beaches for their holidays?

Quoting zkokq (Reply 18):
I bet the crew was as uncomfortable as the pax, so why would they want to be there any longer than they had too.

Absolutely 100% correct.



Truth, Honour, Loyalty
User currently offlinezkokq From Australia, joined Mar 2012, 480 posts, RR: 0
Reply 22, posted (1 year 10 months 1 week 6 days 13 hours ago) and read 19897 times:

Quoting Mir (Reply 19):
Not buying it. Let's say the weather wasn't an issue, but the plane had encountered a mechanical problem on its way to the runway and couldn't depart. Are you suggesting that the passengers would be kept on the plane for as long as it took to fix the problem, even for a day or two if the plane had to be taken out of service? And if not, then there's no reason that accommodations couldn't have also been made for this situation.

If there wasn't a blizzard, then there is no issue IMO


User currently offlineYYZatcboy From Canada, joined Apr 2005, 1092 posts, RR: 0
Reply 23, posted (1 year 10 months 1 week 6 days 13 hours ago) and read 19883 times:
AIRLINERS.NET CREW
CUSTOMER SERVICE & SUPPORT

To be fair as well YYZ was totally gridlocked. From the advisories that day...

CTL ELEMENT: CYYZ
ELEMENT TYPE: APT
ADL TIME: 1811Z
GROUND STOP PERIOD: 08/1700Z - 08/1930Z
DEP FACILITIES INCLUDED: (2ndTier) CZM CZU ZAU ZMP ZID CZY ZBW ZOB
ZDC ZNY
PREVIOUS TOTAL, MAXIMUM, AVERAGE DELAYS: 400 / 70 / 22
NEW TOTAL, MAXIMUM, AVERAGE DELAYS: 1368 / 130 / 76
PROBABILITY OF EXTENSION: MEDIUM
IMPACTING CONDITION: WEATHER / SNOW-ICE
COMMENTS: SNOW CONTINUES AND CYYZ IS APPROACHING GRIDLOCK.
081811-082030



And later

CTL ELEMENT: CYYZ
ELEMENT TYPE: APT
ADL TIME: 2025Z
GROUND STOP PERIOD: 08/1800Z - 08/2230Z
DEP FACILITIES INCLUDED: ALL
PREVIOUS TOTAL, MAXIMUM, AVERAGE DELAYS: 0 / 0 / 0
NEW TOTAL, MAXIMUM, AVERAGE DELAYS: 1068 / 129 / 76
PROBABILITY OF EXTENSION: MEDIUM
IMPACTING CONDITION: WEATHER / SNOW-ICE
COMMENTS: AIRPORT IS GRIDLOCKED - NO PARKING SPOTS AVAILABLE
082028-082330


Finally

CTL ELEMENT: CYYZ
ELEMENT TYPE: APT
ADL TIME: 2332Z
GROUND STOP PERIOD: 08/1800Z - 09/0100Z
DEP FACILITIES INCLUDED: (2ndTier) CZM CZU ZAU ZMP ZID CZY ZBW ZOB
ZDC ZNY
PREVIOUS TOTAL, MAXIMUM, AVERAGE DELAYS: 0 / 0 / 0
NEW TOTAL, MAXIMUM, AVERAGE DELAYS: 0 / 0 / 0
PROBABILITY OF EXTENSION: MEDIUM
IMPACTING CONDITION: WEATHER / SNOW-ICE
COMMENTS: SCOPE REDUCED TO TIER 2
082339-090200


Flights were taking 4+ hours to deice. They could only deice 8 aircraft per hour. Thus they could only land 8 flights per hour when gridlocked. A sharp reduction from the normal 56 arrival rate.



DHC1/3/4 MD11/88 L1011 A319/20/21/30 B727 735/6/7/8/9 762/3 E175/90 CRJ/700/705 CC150. J/S DH8D 736/7/8
User currently offlineMir From United States of America, joined Jan 2004, 21864 posts, RR: 55
Reply 24, posted (1 year 10 months 1 week 6 days 13 hours ago) and read 19781 times:

Quoting Dogbreath (Reply 21):
If it was a standard crew you are right, they'd have been out of hours. But we don't have enough facts here. Was the crew augmented? Did the aircraft indeed get back to a gate or have transport to allow a fresh crew onboard?

All those questions are answered in the article.

No the crew was not augmented. Yes the aircraft did eventually make it back to a gate to get a new crew and the passengers were let off at that point. That still does not excuse sitting on the ground for 13 hours before even getting back to a gate (the flight eventually departed 17 hours behind schedule - this would be a non-issue if the passengers had been waiting in the terminal for the vast majority of the day instead of on the plane, and they would likely have gotten to their vacations at exactly the same time).

Quoting zkokq (Reply 22):
If there wasn't a blizzard, then there is no issue IMO

Why should a blizzard make any difference at all as to whether you can let international departing passengers off a plane after they have cleared customs?

-Mir



7 billion, one nation, imagination...it's a beautiful day
User currently offlineYYZatcboy From Canada, joined Apr 2005, 1092 posts, RR: 0
Reply 25, posted (1 year 10 months 1 week 6 days 13 hours ago) and read 20664 times:
AIRLINERS.NET CREW
CUSTOMER SERVICE & SUPPORT

Quoting Mir (Reply 24):
Why should a blizzard make any difference at all as to whether you can let international departing passengers off a plane after they have cleared customs?

Because the gate was a US pre clear gate. You can't have pax mingle so you can't let them off.

[Edited 2013-02-10 03:26:27]


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User currently offlinezkokq From Australia, joined Mar 2012, 480 posts, RR: 0
Reply 26, posted (1 year 10 months 1 week 6 days 13 hours ago) and read 20546 times:

Quoting Mir (Reply 24):
Why should a blizzard make any difference at all as to whether you can let international departing passengers off a plane after they have cleared customs?

If the airport is at a stand still, then you want to let people out onto the tarmac that could potentially be hurt? Safer on board.


User currently offlineMir From United States of America, joined Jan 2004, 21864 posts, RR: 55
Reply 27, posted (1 year 10 months 1 week 6 days 13 hours ago) and read 20756 times:

Quoting YYZatcboy (Reply 25):
Because the gate was a US pre clear gate. You can't have pax mingle so you can't let them off.

Again, if the plane had had a mechanical, would they have kept the passengers on the plane until it was fixed no matter how long it took (perhaps overnight), or would they have found a way to get them off? And if they would have found a way to get them off in that situation, why should this one be any different?

-Mir



7 billion, one nation, imagination...it's a beautiful day
User currently offlinezkokq From Australia, joined Mar 2012, 480 posts, RR: 0
Reply 28, posted (1 year 10 months 1 week 6 days 13 hours ago) and read 20725 times:

Quoting Mir (Reply 27):
Again, if the plane had had a mechanical, would they have kept the passengers on the plane until it was fixed no matter how long it took (perhaps overnight), or would they have found a way to get them off? And if they would have found a way to get them off in that situation, why should this one be any different?

The airport was at a stand still. You cant force 2 planes into one gate. And they wanted toi guarantee the safety of their passengers crew and ground crew.


User currently offlineDogbreath From United Kingdom, joined Mar 2008, 265 posts, RR: 0
Reply 29, posted (1 year 10 months 1 week 6 days 13 hours ago) and read 20677 times:

Quoting Mir (Reply 19):
Not buying it. Let's say the weather wasn't an issue, but the plane had encountered a mechanical problem on its way to the runway and couldn't depart. Are you suggesting that the passengers would be kept on the plane for as long as it took to fix the problem, even for a day or two if the plane had to be taken out of service? And if not, then there's no reason that accommodations couldn't have also been made for this situation.

There's a big difference between a maintenance delay and a weather delay. As you quite correctly point out a maintenance delay could mean an aircraft change or even a flight cancellation, so yes of course the pax would need to be returned to the terminal and deplaned. Under such circumstances as yesterday that might have meant a long delay whilst the airport finds a spare gate or remote spot for busses.
But in this case the aircraft wasn't unserviceable and was in the queue to be deiced for a safe departure. For various reasons this wasn't possible due to delays encountered with the deicing rig, engine cowl icing, brake icing, etc. So how do you convince the airport authorities to allow this aircraft to return to the gate for the pax to deplane and stretch their legs, go to a restaurant, etc, etc. How long a time do you allow? What's to say that after putting the pax back on the aircraft say 3 hours later, you now find that you're at the back of the queue again and it's another 3 hours on the tarmac awaiting your turn to the delayed deicing rig.
Who can fortell the dynamic nature of the weather and how this is going to effect operations? No-one.

Yes of course the best laid plans can backfire, but is this negligence. Yes, of course 13 hours is excessive. But blaming people and organisations for the problems caused by a weather event is a weak argument.



Truth, Honour, Loyalty
User currently offlinejcwr56 From United States of America, joined Jul 2012, 541 posts, RR: 1
Reply 30, posted (1 year 10 months 1 week 6 days 13 hours ago) and read 20562 times:

Quoting YYZatcboy (Reply 25):
Quoting Mir (Reply 24):Why should a blizzard make any difference at all as to whether you can let international departing passengers off a plane after they have cleared customs?

Because the gate was a US pre clear gate. You can't have pax mingle so you can't let them off.

I'd really love to know if anyone even talked with the U.S CPD chief on duty to see if an exception could be made. In this regards common sense over policy might have won out.

If this article is correct, what a massive fail by YYZ for this to let happen.

Quoting zkokq (Reply 9):
And how does one propose that happens when there are things going on like de-icing, planes moving AND a SNOW STORM?

Because any competent airport that runs winter operations has a plan in place to hande something like this.


User currently offlinezkokq From Australia, joined Mar 2012, 480 posts, RR: 0
Reply 31, posted (1 year 10 months 1 week 6 days 12 hours ago) and read 20354 times:

Quoting jcwr56 (Reply 30):

So you think it was just a normal snow sprinkling? There was meters of snow in some places the news said. That's a challenge I think, considering it last 7 hrs


User currently offlineMir From United States of America, joined Jan 2004, 21864 posts, RR: 55
Reply 32, posted (1 year 10 months 1 week 6 days 12 hours ago) and read 20363 times:

Quoting zkokq (Reply 28):
You cant force 2 planes into one gate.

They didn't have to. They had a gate available on which to park the plane (and park they did). If they can't let the passengers into that part of the terminal via jetway because of US Pre-Clearance rules, that's fine, but there are still ways to get people off the plane and to a different part of the terminal.

Quoting Dogbreath (Reply 29):
Under such circumstances as yesterday that might have meant a long delay whilst the airport finds a spare gate or remote spot for busses.

The plane departed at 7am. At 1030am it was back at a parking stand for refueling and to clear ice from the engine cowling. At that point, it should have been obvious that unless the de-ice line got dramatically shorter, the same result was inevitable on the second attempt, but they still went out into a de-ice line that was longer than it was the first time (in other words, setting themselves up for failure, and fail they did).

Quoting Dogbreath (Reply 29):
So how do you convince the airport authorities to allow this aircraft to return to the gate for the pax to deplane and stretch their legs, go to a restaurant, etc, etc.

Once they were at the gate, they should have told them "we cannot depart in these conditions due to your inability to run the de-ice facility at full capacity, so we are going to get these people off the plane until the line gets short enough; find a way to make it happen".

Quoting Dogbreath (Reply 29):
What's to say that after putting the pax back on the aircraft say 3 hours later, you now find that you're at the back of the queue again and it's another 3 hours on the tarmac awaiting your turn to the delayed deicing rig.

This is why the airline's operations department needs to be calling the de-ice facility, ATC, or whoever would know what the de-ice queue is and asking about it. The PIC could do the same thing. And if the queue is too long to have a reasonable expectation of being able to depart (i.e. as long or longer than it was the last time you tried and ran out of fuel and iced up the engine inlets), then wait until it isn't. ESPECIALLY since you know that your options for returning to a parking stand a second time are limited - if there were a whole slew of gates available with easy access if something went wrong, that would be a different story.

-Mir



7 billion, one nation, imagination...it's a beautiful day
User currently offlineMEA-707 From Netherlands, joined Nov 1999, 4358 posts, RR: 35
Reply 33, posted (1 year 10 months 1 week 6 days 12 hours ago) and read 20262 times:

Quoting YYZatcboy (Reply 25):
Because the gate was a US pre clear gate. You can't have pax mingle so you can't let them off.

But I am sure they can guard the passengers towards the departure area again so they don't enter Canada or leave the US cleared space, then they don't mingle in any different way then they do after they were cleared in the first place. Or am I missing something?



nobody has ever died from hard work, but why take the risk?
User currently offlineltbewr From United States of America, joined Jan 2004, 13198 posts, RR: 15
Reply 34, posted (1 year 10 months 1 week 6 days 12 hours ago) and read 20251 times:

I bet some politicians in Canada, as done here in the USA after some major winter storm delay holds, will put in new laws or require improvements in current laws to prevent such a situation again. We saw mass cancellations of flights in/out of the New York City area and points to the Northeast on Friday and into Saturday morning so airlines wouldn't violate our laws against such problems and the major $$$ penalties from them.

User currently offlineDogbreath From United Kingdom, joined Mar 2008, 265 posts, RR: 0
Reply 35, posted (1 year 10 months 1 week 6 days 12 hours ago) and read 20036 times:

Quoting YYZatcboy (Reply 23):
To be fair as well YYZ was totally gridlocked. From the advisories that day...

CTL ELEMENT: CYYZ
ELEMENT TYPE: APT
ADL TIME: 1811Z
GROUND STOP PERIOD: 08/1700Z - 08/1930Z
DEP FACILITIES INCLUDED: (2ndTier) CZM CZU ZAU ZMP ZID CZY ZBW ZOB
ZDC ZNY
PREVIOUS TOTAL, MAXIMUM, AVERAGE DELAYS: 400 / 70 / 22
NEW TOTAL, MAXIMUM, AVERAGE DELAYS: 1368 / 130 / 76
PROBABILITY OF EXTENSION: MEDIUM
IMPACTING CONDITION: WEATHER / SNOW-ICE
COMMENTS: SNOW CONTINUES AND CYYZ IS APPROACHING GRIDLOCK.
081811-082030



And later

CTL ELEMENT: CYYZ
ELEMENT TYPE: APT
ADL TIME: 2025Z
GROUND STOP PERIOD: 08/1800Z - 08/2230Z
DEP FACILITIES INCLUDED: ALL
PREVIOUS TOTAL, MAXIMUM, AVERAGE DELAYS: 0 / 0 / 0
NEW TOTAL, MAXIMUM, AVERAGE DELAYS: 1068 / 129 / 76
PROBABILITY OF EXTENSION: MEDIUM
IMPACTING CONDITION: WEATHER / SNOW-ICE
COMMENTS: AIRPORT IS GRIDLOCKED - NO PARKING SPOTS AVAILABLE
082028-082330


Finally

CTL ELEMENT: CYYZ
ELEMENT TYPE: APT
ADL TIME: 2332Z
GROUND STOP PERIOD: 08/1800Z - 09/0100Z
DEP FACILITIES INCLUDED: (2ndTier) CZM CZU ZAU ZMP ZID CZY ZBW ZOB
ZDC ZNY
PREVIOUS TOTAL, MAXIMUM, AVERAGE DELAYS: 0 / 0 / 0
NEW TOTAL, MAXIMUM, AVERAGE DELAYS: 0 / 0 / 0
PROBABILITY OF EXTENSION: MEDIUM
IMPACTING CONDITION: WEATHER / SNOW-ICE
COMMENTS: SCOPE REDUCED TO TIER 2
082339-090200

The advisories, such as Airport approaching gridlock, airport is gridlocked no parking spaces available, says it all.

But I suppose for some us on here not involved in aviation, it's just like getting on and off a bus. After 33 years in this industry, I've seen a lot and am always amazed at the ignorance of those that think it's a simple process handling an aircraft and passengers under demanding circumstances, such as was evident yesterday. Good luck to you all.



Truth, Honour, Loyalty
User currently offlineMir From United States of America, joined Jan 2004, 21864 posts, RR: 55
Reply 36, posted (1 year 10 months 1 week 6 days 12 hours ago) and read 19796 times:

Quoting ltbewr (Reply 34):
We saw mass cancellations of flights in/out of the New York City area and points to the Northeast on Friday and into Saturday morning so airlines wouldn't violate our laws against such problems and the major $$$ penalties from them.

Which isn't necessarily better than taking huge delays. Let's say that the plane had come back to the stand at 1030 as it did, and then had to wait an hour for the airport to marshall up some stairs and buses to get the passengers off. They wait around for the rest of the day in the terminal until 10pm, leave again with the new crew, get de-iced and take off at midnight. I'd consider that a perfectly satisfactory result given the conditions, yet in the US there would be fines to pay since they would have been sitting on the plane for 4.5 hours on the first attempt. So the flight would more likely than not have been cancelled, and people would more likely than not have to wait for days to get to where they were going instead of taking a delay of a little less than 24 hours.

-Mir



7 billion, one nation, imagination...it's a beautiful day
User currently offlinetransaeroyyz From Canada, joined Dec 2010, 150 posts, RR: 0
Reply 37, posted (1 year 10 months 1 week 6 days 11 hours ago) and read 19480 times:

What about cracking out the champagne and wine, they need something to wash down those canola bars! Then nap time..

User currently offlineCrj 900 From Canada, joined Mar 2001, 595 posts, RR: 1
Reply 38, posted (1 year 10 months 1 week 6 days 11 hours ago) and read 19382 times:

Ok and so at my previous job, I once worked a flight from YVR-AMS and our aircraft had a mechanical issue and returned to the gate and the flight was cxld. The passengers were released till the next day and your point is........

User currently offlinejcwr56 From United States of America, joined Jul 2012, 541 posts, RR: 1
Reply 39, posted (1 year 10 months 1 week 6 days 11 hours ago) and read 18987 times:

Quoting zkokq (Reply 31):
Quoting jcwr56 (Reply 30):So you think it was just a normal snow sprinkling? There was meters of snow in some places the news said. That's a challenge I think, considering it last 7 hrs

We're not talking about Brisbane, Perth, London, LA, Miami here...we're talking about a major Candanian city that sees snow and usually prepares for this.

Quoting YYZatcboy (Reply 39):
Unless it was a swing gate no way would CBP let them off the plane.

Yet, we'll never know because the article doesn't state if a call was made by GTAA asking for help.

We all backseat manage, but at the end of the day, 13 hours is just insane.


User currently offlinebrilondon From Canada, joined Aug 2005, 4414 posts, RR: 2
Reply 40, posted (1 year 10 months 1 week 6 days 11 hours ago) and read 18946 times:

The flight was boarded at 0630 for a 0700 departure. Why was the aircraft allowed to leave the gate if it had mechanical issues?

Quoting YYZatcboy (Reply 23):


CTL ELEMENT: CYYZ
ELEMENT TYPE: APT
ADL TIME: 1811Z
GROUND STOP PERIOD: 08/1700Z - 08/1930Z
DEP FACILITIES INCLUDED: (2ndTier) CZM CZU ZAU ZMP ZID CZY ZBW ZOB
ZDC ZNY
PREVIOUS TOTAL, MAXIMUM, AVERAGE DELAYS: 400 / 70 / 22
NEW TOTAL, MAXIMUM, AVERAGE DELAYS: 1368 / 130 / 76
PROBABILITY OF EXTENSION: MEDIUM
IMPACTING CONDITION: WEATHER / SNOW-ICE
COMMENTS: SNOW CONTINUES AND CYYZ IS APPROACHING GRIDLOCK.
081811-082030



And later

CTL ELEMENT: CYYZ
ELEMENT TYPE: APT
ADL TIME: 2025Z
GROUND STOP PERIOD: 08/1800Z - 08/2230Z
DEP FACILITIES INCLUDED: ALL
PREVIOUS TOTAL, MAXIMUM, AVERAGE DELAYS: 0 / 0 / 0
NEW TOTAL, MAXIMUM, AVERAGE DELAYS: 1068 / 129 / 76
PROBABILITY OF EXTENSION: MEDIUM
IMPACTING CONDITION: WEATHER / SNOW-ICE
COMMENTS: AIRPORT IS GRIDLOCKED - NO PARKING SPOTS AVAILABLE
082028-082330


Finally

CTL ELEMENT: CYYZ
ELEMENT TYPE: APT
ADL TIME: 2332Z
GROUND STOP PERIOD: 08/1800Z - 09/0100Z
DEP FACILITIES INCLUDED: (2ndTier) CZM CZU ZAU ZMP ZID CZY ZBW ZOB
ZDC ZNY
PREVIOUS TOTAL, MAXIMUM, AVERAGE DELAYS: 0 / 0 / 0
NEW TOTAL, MAXIMUM, AVERAGE DELAYS: 0 / 0 / 0
PROBABILITY OF EXTENSION: MEDIUM
IMPACTING CONDITION: WEATHER / SNOW-ICE
COMMENTS: SCOPE REDUCED TO TIER 2
082339-090200


Flights were taking 4 hours to deice. They could only deice 8 aircraft per hour. Thus they could only land 8 flights per hour when gridlocked. A sharp reduction from the normal 56 arrival rate.

The above occurred roughly 6 hours after the passengers were put on the aircraft. In the previous 6 hours do you think maybe that the plane could have been deplaned by air stairs and bused back to the terminal. YYZ should have done that. I don't like flying out of YYZ but I also don't like an airport that knew what was coming in terms of weather do what they can for an aircraft full of people. In these unusual circumstances, the GTAA could have brought one or two of their buses to the aircraft, so I say they really did drop the ball on this one. I blame the GTAA for not being prepared for this type of situation. They have no excuse for this. What would have happened if during the 13 hours that a medical emergency was taking place and at that time of the height of the snowstorm, then what? "Oh we can't come out to the plane because there is too much traffic. What traffic are you talking about?

Quoting zkokq (Reply 31):

So you think it was just a normal snow sprinkling? There was meters of snow in some places the news said. That's a challenge I think, considering it last 7 hrs

Frankly the metres of snow piled up after the flight was loaded at 0630. The still could have gone to the aircraft and removed these people. Please, this was obviously an unusual situation and were there other aircraft in the same situation? If not, how did they deal with those passengers.

I don't know why they were not prepared for this storm. They knew about it 2-3 days out and some people seem to think that it was a surprise. Yeah, you can't predict the weather but they had a general idea this was going to happen.



Rush for ever; Yankees all the way!!
User currently offlineABQopsHP From United States of America, joined May 2006, 861 posts, RR: 3
Reply 41, posted (1 year 10 months 1 week 6 days 10 hours ago) and read 18713 times:

Quoting Dogbreath (Reply 14):

Thank you, thank you, thank you, so much!

People need to realize, that those of us directly involved in airport/aircraft operations do not like this any more than pax do. I have had situations where there has been multiple a/c on the ground, with limited staff and equipment to handle it. Some armchair quarterbacks on here are saying....."well get more equipment or people". Well lets see, mine is not the only airline on the airport having a bad day. So I cant go get more equipment from another carrier, let alone my own limited ones. And people. Well all avail. staff were called in and it still was not enough so things started to go from bad to worse. I dont doubt that WG was doing what it could with limited resources. IE: Granola bars and half glasses of water. This is not a full service carrier you know. And the airport getting a bus to take the people back to the terminal? Ok it was an international flight with customers already cleared. That becomes a new issue right there. And where are they going to find the people to drive those buses? It was a major snowstorm. Airport ops was stretched to the limit and people may have had a hard time making it in to help out. There are considerable variations that happen to any situation. Its not just about one airplane, or one persons problem. You are not the only one this is happening to. But alas, this made the news because someone took it to the media. It is very unfortunate that it took 13hrs and I feel for the passengers. But I also feel for the employees that had to deal with not just this a/c but all the other related situations that did not make the news.

JD CRP



A line is evidence that other people exist.
User currently offlinejcwr56 From United States of America, joined Jul 2012, 541 posts, RR: 1
Reply 42, posted (1 year 10 months 1 week 6 days 10 hours ago) and read 18415 times:

Quoting ABQopsHP (Reply 46):
It is very unfortunate that it took 13hrs and I feel for the passengers. But I also feel for the employees that had to deal with not just this a/c but all the other related situations that did not make the news.

The difference is, they are being paid to be out there doing a job, being told not to work (and by the way getting paid) yet those folks in the a/c had zero recourse other than to sit and take it.

To quote...

"You have to picture what was going on at the airport. It was chaos — not just for the flights, but everything happening outdoors. On the aprons, on the runways, at times the snow was so heavy maintenance people and baggage people were told they couldn’t work."

Does the airport authority really want to admit it appears they lost control over what was going on?


User currently offlinemcoatc From United States of America, joined Mar 2009, 199 posts, RR: 2
Reply 43, posted (1 year 10 months 1 week 6 days 10 hours ago) and read 18333 times:

Quoting ABQopsHP (Reply 46):
. And the airport getting a bus to take the people back to the terminal? Ok it was an international flight with customers already cleared. That becomes a new issue right there. And where are they going to find the people to drive those buses? It was a major snowstorm. Airport ops was stretched to the limit and people may have had a hard time making it in to help out.

And if an aircraft had slid off a snowy runway and the passengers needed to be bussed back to the terminal, who would have driven those buses? I guarantee someone would have been found quickly, and it wouldn't have taken 13 hours. Sorry, I'm not buying that excuse.

Quoting ABQopsHP (Reply 46):
There are considerable variations that happen to any situation. Its not just about one airplane, or one persons problem. You are not the only one this is happening to.

And yet it seems that this was the only flight that this was happening to. 13 hours is insane.

Quoting YYZatcboy (Reply 39):
Wether or not they should have cancelled is arguable, but most Canadian Charter ops (Canjet, Sunwing, Transat etc) will not cancel their flights because of the contracts with the vacation providers. They will just keep delaying them. For all we know it looked like they had a decent shot at making it out of there.

Which leads me to believe that like most of the crappy things that happen in the airline industry, this all comes down to money. "We're terribly sorry that you've been imprisoned with almost no food or water and limited restroom resources for 13 hours, but violating our vacation contract terms is terribly expensive. Thanks for flying Sunwing"

Quoting ABQopsHP (Reply 46):
Well lets see, mine is not the only airline on the airport having a bad day. So I cant go get more equipment from another carrier, let alone my own limited ones. And people.

I'd normally agree with you, except:

Quoting jcwr56 (Reply 44):
We're not talking about Brisbane, Perth, London, LA, Miami here...we're talking about a major Candanian city that sees snow and usually prepares for this.

  

Quoting jcwr56 (Reply 44):

We all backseat manage, but at the end of the day, 13 hours is just insane.


User currently offlineF9animal From United States of America, joined Dec 2004, 5122 posts, RR: 28
Reply 44, posted (1 year 10 months 1 week 6 days 10 hours ago) and read 17981 times:

The captain should have raised absolute hell, and demanded a resolution to get passengers off the plane. I cant believe anyone would knowingly allow this to happen. Someone at that airport had the authority to find a solution. As a last resort, I would have deployed a slide.


I Am A Different Animal!!
User currently offlinehoons90 From Canada, joined Aug 2001, 3078 posts, RR: 52
Reply 45, posted (1 year 10 months 1 week 6 days 9 hours ago) and read 17887 times:
AIRLINERS.NET CREW
CHAT OPERATOR

Quoting Dogbreath (Reply 14):
This flight was an international flight with passengers cleared by customs.

Canadian airports don't have border exit controls on international departures, so you do not go through customs at YYZ when you depart for an international flight. You check in, get your boarding pass, go through security and that's it.



The biggest mistake made by most human beings: Listening to only half, understanding just a quarter and telling double.
User currently offlineaerorobnz From Rwanda, joined Feb 2001, 7389 posts, RR: 16
Reply 46, posted (1 year 10 months 1 week 6 days 9 hours ago) and read 17735 times:

In most major airports non-essential ramp movements are restricted in snowstorms and other visibility reduced conditions so 'Just bussing them off the taxiway' is indeed just a pipedream especially with snow all over the place in addition. Horrible for the passengers, but I tend to think no matter what happened they were going to be stuck there.

User currently offlineHiFlyerAS From United States of America, joined Jul 2011, 1016 posts, RR: 2
Reply 47, posted (1 year 10 months 1 week 6 days 9 hours ago) and read 17330 times:

I've worked for a major for 30 years...there's no way a 13 hour hostage situation in this day and age should occur with the focus on this sort of thing. Reading they went BACK to a gate during the storm and still attempted to depart in those horrible conditions was strike number one. Major fail with Sunwing operations in YYZ was strike number two. I'll bet money they contract out their ground service too. The captain of this flight obviously had no balls or they wouldn't have sat there as long as they did. Demand a place to park close to the terminal. Find a friggin' tug with chains on it and tow the plane as close as possible to the terminal. Bring up some stairs and walk the people across the ramp into the terminal. Situation over. Of course I wasn't there but there's no way this should have occured. Heads should roll at YYZ and at Sunwing....but they probably won't.


Next trip...DL RJ SEA-LAX/AM LAX-MEX Dec 23
User currently offlinehoons90 From Canada, joined Aug 2001, 3078 posts, RR: 52
Reply 48, posted (1 year 10 months 1 week 6 days 9 hours ago) and read 17244 times:
AIRLINERS.NET CREW
CHAT OPERATOR

Quoting HiFlyerAS (Reply 53):
I'll bet money they contract out their ground service too.

That's right. Swissport handles both above and below-wing ground operations for Sunwing.



The biggest mistake made by most human beings: Listening to only half, understanding just a quarter and telling double.
User currently offlinethenoflyzone From Canada, joined Jan 2001, 2684 posts, RR: 11
Reply 49, posted (1 year 10 months 1 week 6 days 9 hours ago) and read 17096 times:

"While the 17-hour delay was agonizing, McWilliams said Sunwing has a policy of not cancelling flights, even during long delays."

wrong policy, pure and simple.

WG is entirely to blame. 13 hours on the ground in a plane going nowhere is absurd.

period.



us Air Traffic Controllers have a good record, we haven't left one up there yet !!
User currently offlineGr8Circle From Canada, joined Dec 2005, 3130 posts, RR: 4
Reply 50, posted (1 year 10 months 1 week 6 days 8 hours ago) and read 16624 times:

Quoting PHX787 (Reply 3):
They could've just brought them back to the terminal until the queues died down a bit.
Quoting PHX787 (Reply 8):
There is no excuse for not being able to de-plane pax in case of a delay. Honestly, they could've deplaned on airstairs and bussed back to the terminal.

There was a monster snowstorm raging acrtoss Toronto that day......conditions were very, very bad......


User currently offlinecmf From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 51, posted (1 year 10 months 1 week 6 days 8 hours ago) and read 16581 times:

This is another example of how the aviation industry is failing to apply common sense. I have no issue with passengers having to stay on board for many hours when multiple issues stack up but there is no excuse for not being able to deliver water to a plane in this situation. I'm sure someone will come up with some regulation that is the reason for why they don't do it but that is nothing but a display of the problem, no common sense. After 5 - 6 hours they should have delivered food. Doesn't need to be fancy 3 course meals that takes a lot of time to prepare and you may not have enough raw material when things go wrong. But there are plenty of food you can store for long time and it really isn't that much needed for a days disrupted operation.

I would love to know what happened with other flights. If you only de-ice 8 planes per hour instead of 30 you increase the wait with almost 3 hours/hour. It just doesn't make sense to send out planes with passengers having to wait so many hours just because you need gate space. You need to leave the planes empty and move them so other planes needing to unload can do so.


User currently offlinetribird1011 From Canada, joined Mar 2005, 211 posts, RR: 0
Reply 52, posted (1 year 10 months 1 week 6 days 8 hours ago) and read 16319 times:

Quoting HiFlyerAS (Reply 53):
I'll bet money they contract out their ground service too.

I fail to see the relevance here, or are you implying that if they did their own ground handling the flight would have departed on time?

One other thing that one must take into consideration (and it's not necessarily right, but it is what it is), Sunwing operates from Terminal 1, and there is another airline that operates out of there, and they pretty much "own" the terminal (namely Air Canada), and you can bet that if a gate was requested by this Sunwing flight and any other Air Canada flight, you can bet that gate goes to AC.

This doesn't justify the delay, but it does adds a little insight as to why they can't just


Quoting HiFlyerAS (Reply 53):
Find a friggin' tug with chains on it and tow the plane as close as possible to the terminal. Bring up some stairs and walk the people across the ramp into the terminal


User currently offlineheathrow From United Kingdom, joined Sep 2005, 980 posts, RR: 0
Reply 53, posted (1 year 10 months 1 week 6 days 8 hours ago) and read 16295 times:

Have been having lots of issues in all stations. Had a 14 hour delay on a WG flight in to YOW over the past 2 days (I want to say Friday night/ Saturday morning), and we had a C6 go tech in SNU.

Quoting HiFlyerAS (Reply 53):
I'll bet money they contract out their ground service too

Is this really any surprise? Many airlines if not most contract out their services. This doesn't really say anything to the quality of the handling. Here at YOW, AC is a lot worse than Dryden, and to some extent, even Swissport and Servisair.


User currently offlinemayor From United States of America, joined Mar 2008, 10654 posts, RR: 14
Reply 54, posted (1 year 10 months 1 week 6 days 8 hours ago) and read 16113 times:

Quoting PHX787 (Reply 8):
There is no excuse for not being able to de-plane pax in case of a delay. Honestly, they could've deplaned on airstairs and bussed back to the terminal.

This, from a person that has obviously never worked on the ramp, let alone during a major snowstorm  




I think that WG should have cut their losses and cancelled the flight, put the pax up in a hotel and tried again, the next day.



"A committee is a group of the unprepared, appointed by the unwilling, to do the unnecessary"----Fred Allen
User currently offlinelonghauler From Canada, joined Mar 2004, 5157 posts, RR: 43
Reply 55, posted (1 year 10 months 1 week 6 days 8 hours ago) and read 15933 times:

I don't think people realize how bad the weather was. And, looking at the chain of events, I can see how this can happen.

There were many issues in play here, one being that the de-icing facility was running at 20% capacity, causing most of the problems. Had the de-icing facility been running properly, the aircraft would have encountered a 20 minute de-icing delay and been on its way. But ... everything was stopped where they were, and if where they were was off a gate, then you were SOL. There were long lines of aircraft waiting for gates, as departures were delayed so "just go back to the gate" by then was a physical impossibility. Any gate, any terminal.

Add onto that METRES of snow, drifting with 40 knot+ winds. In fact is was so bad, the decision to re-cater the aircraft with food and water was vetoed. It would be too dangerous for a catering truck beside the aircraft with those winds. Even putting stairs up to an aircraft, then watching a bus navigate metres of snow would have been hellish.

I had to chuckle at the suggestion to pull the slides and walk. Like it was a bright sunny Spring day! People wouldn't have made it 5 minutes and they would have been frozen solid!

Air Canada did have an aircraft in the same boat for 4 1/2 hours. Air Canada, with dozens of gates, hundreds of employees, huge home base infrastructure ... and that aircraft sat for 4 1/2 hours. It was physically impossible to do anything else. However, they were able to hook up a lav truck to empty the lavs, and there was a dead-heading crew on board that put their jackets on and helped with passengers. But when I read the report, they stated most of the passengers just watched movies any way.

Its Canada, and its February, it happens. And when stuff doesn't work, it happens in spades!



Never gonna grow up, never gonna slow down .... Barefoot Blue Jean Night
User currently offlineGr8Circle From Canada, joined Dec 2005, 3130 posts, RR: 4
Reply 56, posted (1 year 10 months 1 week 6 days 8 hours ago) and read 15355 times:

Someone please post some pics of the storm on Friday, so that our armchair ciritcs get an idea of what things were like that day......on the open airport premises, things must have been even worse...high winds, blowing snow and frigid temperatures.......although it must have been bad for the passengers stuck inside the plane, quite a few of them must have looked out of the windows and decided they were much better off inside the plane.....

User currently offlineheathrow From United Kingdom, joined Sep 2005, 980 posts, RR: 0
Reply 57, posted (1 year 10 months 1 week 6 days 7 hours ago) and read 14949 times:

Quoting longhauler (Reply 61):
I don't think people realize how bad the weather was. And, looking at the chain of events, I can see how this can happen.


  

We experienced the same weather front, slightly less severe at YOW and it was quite the storm. All UA flights were cancelled throughout Friday night/ Saturday. Nothing left 'till 18h yesterday. I'm sure other airlines faced problems too.

High gusting winds, especially out on the ramp. Large amounts of snow, lots of drifting. We have 5 foot snow banks in YND where I live.

Quoting longhauler (Reply 61):
Its Canada, and its February, it happens. And when stuff doesn't work, it happens in spades!

  

This is what happens in winter in Canada. The vast majority of travellers do not appreciate the effect winter weather may have on their travel plans.


User currently offlineYYCSpotter From Canada, joined Jul 2012, 196 posts, RR: 0
Reply 58, posted (1 year 10 months 1 week 6 days 7 hours ago) and read 14752 times:

Did the aircraft ever depart?


I
User currently offlineHiFlyerAS From United States of America, joined Jul 2011, 1016 posts, RR: 2
Reply 59, posted (1 year 10 months 1 week 6 days 7 hours ago) and read 14595 times:

Quoting tribird1011 (Reply 58):
I fail to see the relevance here, or are you implying that if they did their own ground handling the flight would have departed on time?

No, of course they wouldn't have left on time if things were as bad as they sounded. But if an airline has it's OWN ops people, ground crews to handle de-icing, pushback, etc they stand a better chance of doing things right. If someone works for Swissport, Menzies, DGS then they don't have as much incentive or maybe pride in their company.



Next trip...DL RJ SEA-LAX/AM LAX-MEX Dec 23
User currently offlinesankaps From United States of America, joined Jan 2008, 2255 posts, RR: 2
Reply 60, posted (1 year 10 months 1 week 6 days 7 hours ago) and read 14612 times:

Quoting Gr8Circle (Reply 62):
Someone please post some pics of the storm on Friday, so that our armchair ciritcs get an idea of what things were like that day......

Many of those who you dismiss as "armchair critics" are actually aviation professionals, including several who actually work the ramp and have experienced similar conditions. Bottom line: this was a major fail by the airport and airline Ops. No one is blaming the flights crew for this, except possibly the captain could have been more forecful with the Ops dept.

I used to work for Nothwest and was there during the infamous 1999 Detroit blizzard debacle. Lots of excuses were made then too, but the fact of the matter is heads rolled at Northwest after that, and processes were put into place to ensure something like that never happened again. Richard Anderson, currently CEO of Delta, was head of NWA Ops then, I remember reading a memo from him where he literally named and chewed up a number of people, threw them out of NWA, and wrote a liist of 10 Commandments to make sure something like that never happened again! Basically did not buy the excuse "these things happen in snowstorms".


User currently offlinemayor From United States of America, joined Mar 2008, 10654 posts, RR: 14
Reply 61, posted (1 year 10 months 1 week 6 days 7 hours ago) and read 14581 times:

Quoting cmf (Reply 57):
You need to leave the planes empty and move them so other planes needing to unload can do so.

Uh, you do know that gates are also used to LOAD the pax, correct? So you, in your scenario, you unload the plane and pull it off the gate and NOW where do you put it? And because you didn't load the plane, you have a terminal full of disgruntled pax. At some point, the only place to leave an empty plane will be the terminal, so, why not load them and get it out of town, if possible?


As an example of how, just little things can cause a delay in getting off the ground......when I worked at SLC, before they put the western runway in, you'd have a push of a/c, all using one runway, all lined up on the taxiway when suddenly, the wind switches 180 degrees or nearly so. You have all those a/c that have to turn around and go back to the other end of the runway. When the other runway was built, I'm sure it alleviated some of that, but it still messes things up.


Anyway, it sounds to me like it's Toronto's fault, in the main, because of the slow de-icing (I imagine YYZ is responsible for that). If it had been operating at max capacity, they could have been deiced and gone on their way. At the slow rate mentioned, things were backed up to a point that a good many a/c probably needed to be RE-deiced before they took off.



When I worked in the ramp coordinator's office in SLC, during a major snow storm, sometimes I had to coordinate the a/c leaving the gate and going thru the de-icing. We had it set up so when an a/c was done being de-iced (we did it off gate), he would tell us that he was leaving and the next a/c could pull thru......at that point and ONLY at that point would we let another a/c push off the gate, so you would have one a/c leaving de-icing, one being de-iced, one waiting and one just pushing off the gate. Once they pushed off the gate, they would be in radio contact with maintenance (who handled the actual de-icing) and only call us, again when they left deicing.



"A committee is a group of the unprepared, appointed by the unwilling, to do the unnecessary"----Fred Allen
User currently offlinemayor From United States of America, joined Mar 2008, 10654 posts, RR: 14
Reply 62, posted (1 year 10 months 1 week 6 days 7 hours ago) and read 14483 times:

Quoting sankaps (Reply 66):
Many of those who you dismiss as "armchair critics" are actually aviation professionals, including several who actually work the ramp and have experienced similar conditions.

And some of them aren't. I believe his criticism is aimed mainly at those that are not.



"A committee is a group of the unprepared, appointed by the unwilling, to do the unnecessary"----Fred Allen
User currently offlinelonghauler From Canada, joined Mar 2004, 5157 posts, RR: 43
Reply 63, posted (1 year 10 months 1 week 6 days 7 hours ago) and read 14522 times:

Quoting YYCSpotter (Reply 64):
Did the aircraft ever depart?

No.

And what I think a lot of people don't understand is that the aircraft was not "waiting 13 hours" for a gate.

The aircraft departed on time, with full intent on being on its way to its destination when the de-icing facility had its issues. What should have taken less than an hour, actually took 3 hours, then returning for more fuel, and further engine ice issues sent them back to de-ice again, for another 3 hours ... it was after the second de-ice that the brakes froze, causing more delays. It almost looked like they were trying to stay close to the "head of the line" so that when they could, they would leave. But Murphy was against them.

About 9 or so hours into the mission, it became apparent that with duty issues arising, they could not legally complete the round trip. It was then that they tried to find a gate. With the weather as it was, by then going on all day, it was quite a task to find a gate. That took a few hours.

So, no they did not depart, they sure taxied a lot, de-iced twice, then returned without ever leaving the ground.



Never gonna grow up, never gonna slow down .... Barefoot Blue Jean Night
User currently offlineAeroWesty From United States of America, joined Oct 2004, 20822 posts, RR: 62
Reply 64, posted (1 year 10 months 1 week 6 days 7 hours ago) and read 14347 times:

Quoting longhauler (Reply 69):
So, no they did not depart, they sure taxied a lot, de-iced twice, then returned without ever leaving the ground.

Right at the top of the linked story ...

Quote:
Passengers bound for Panama and Costa Rica sat on the tarmac for more than 13 hours at Pearson airport during snowstorm before finally taking off 17 hours late.


(My bolding.) Helps to read the links provided!



International Homo of Mystery
User currently offlineKaiarahi From Canada, joined Jul 2009, 3071 posts, RR: 37
Reply 65, posted (1 year 10 months 1 week 6 days 6 hours ago) and read 13923 times:

Quoting AeroWesty (Reply 70):
Helps to read the links provided!

Careful - that's a respected member. As a pilot, he likely read the question as did they (that crew with that plane and those pax depart). And the answer was "they" didn't. The flight left the next day with a different crew.



Empty vessels make the most noise.
User currently offlinehOmsar From United States of America, joined Jan 2010, 1212 posts, RR: 0
Reply 66, posted (1 year 10 months 1 week 6 days 6 hours ago) and read 13820 times:

I find it interesting that a lot of people are making excuses about customs and border control being the reason, yet nowhere in the article does it mention that the plane had cleared customs.

Further, it's not like this storm came out of nowhere. In the U.S., airlines were proactively cancelling flights ahead of the storm, and even Amtrak began winding down service in parts of the Northeast Corridor and cancelling trains before the storm hit.

But I guess there was nothing anybody could do, and I'd have to see pictures of the snow to realize that.

Other airlines didn't have this problem, but a Sunwing VP admitted they have a policy of not cancelling flights. I guess we'd have to see pictures of the snow to realize there's nothing Sunwing could have done.



I was raised by a cup of coffee.
User currently offlinepliersinsight From United States of America, joined May 2008, 499 posts, RR: 0
Reply 67, posted (1 year 10 months 1 week 6 days 6 hours ago) and read 13847 times:

Quoting HiFlyerAS (Reply 53):
The captain of this flight obviously had no balls or they wouldn't have sat there as long as they did.
Quoting sankaps (Reply 66):
No one is blaming the flights crew for this, except possibly the captain could have been more forecful with the Ops dept.

Of the 71 above replies, I think these two hit the mark. The PIC has the authority and the responsibility associated with the flight from second one. (Yes, for the uninformed, flight includes being on the ground taxiing.) State intentions in a matter of fact manner. Communicate. Make a plan of where your are going to go with the aircraft and what you will do if they ignore or blow you off. When you're in this deep and they've blown you off again, declare an emergency. If they ignore that, you just go and do what you planned....The tale of the tapes will be telling, as will your appearance on the Today show a few days later, if they fire you for it. Get it all on the recordings, make your points to ground, tower, whoever, get their lame excuses on the recording and then do what is right.


User currently offlineAeroWesty From United States of America, joined Oct 2004, 20822 posts, RR: 62
Reply 68, posted (1 year 10 months 1 week 6 days 6 hours ago) and read 13780 times:

Quoting Kaiarahi (Reply 72):
And the answer was "they" didn't. The flight left the next day with a different crew.

The question being answered by the post in question was:

Quoting YYCSpotter (Reply 64):
Did the aircraft ever depart?



International Homo of Mystery
User currently offlinecmf From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 69, posted (1 year 10 months 1 week 6 days 6 hours ago) and read 13594 times:

Quoting mayor (Reply 67):
Uh, you do know that gates are also used to LOAD the pax, correct?

Since we apparently should do this in a disrespectful way. You do know what happens if you load 30 planes per hour but only 8 can be deiced, correct?

Quoting mayor (Reply 67):
So you, in your scenario, you unload the plane and pull it off the gate and NOW where do you put it?

Same place you put it with a load of passengers waiting for deicing. Just without the passengers and without it consuming fuel.

Quoting mayor (Reply 67):
so, why not load them and get it out of town, if possible?

Because you could only get out 8 planes per hour. You work at the pace you can send them out.

Quoting longhauler (Reply 69):
The aircraft departed on time, with full intent on being on its way to its destination when the de-icing facility had its issues. What should have taken less than an hour, actually took 3 hours, then returning for more fuel, and further engine ice issues sent them back to de-ice again, for another 3 hours ... it was after the second de-ice that the brakes froze, causing more delays. It almost looked like they were trying to stay close to the "head of the line" so that when they could, they would leave. But Murphy was against them.

Why I have no issue with them having to stay on board for so long. The failure was to not take on water when they knew they had to wait multiple hours.


User currently offlinemcoatc From United States of America, joined Mar 2009, 199 posts, RR: 2
Reply 70, posted (1 year 10 months 1 week 6 days 6 hours ago) and read 13587 times:

Quoting longhauler (Reply 61):
Its Canada, and its February, it happens. And when stuff doesn't work, it happens in spades!

Longhauler, your background and knowledge on this site are well respected and documented, and I'm certainly not questioning either of them. It doesn't snow in Orlando, but there are torrential thunderstorms and lightning that shut down the field and ramps for hours every summer day. It's certainly a different weather situation, but I have some experience with crippling weather delays and I still don't understand how this happened.

I will relate this story. Several years ago with heavy thunderstorm activity wrapped around much of the airfield, an inbound US crew requested a heading in the event of a go-around. It was a heading I would be unable to issue due to traffic. At that time, there had not yet been any go-arounds but the weather was deteriorating. The crew elected to break off a perfectly good approach and try a different runway not because of any current issue, but rather a potential problem if things went awry. They did not feel that they had an adequate escape plan.

You know more than anyone that part of being an aviation professional is being several steps ahead of a potential problem and having a plan in case things don't go as they should. Just like those of us in ATC are "always planning for the go-around".

I just feel that their were multiple failures here on the part of dispatch, airport authority, the crew, etc. This was in fact a monster storm, as everyone has mentioned. If the possibility existed that conditions would deteriorate in the manner in which they did, then there should have been a plan. How do we handle 40kt blowing snow? If the fire department can't safely deplane us if we get stuck, should we really be leaving the gate again?

We don't get paid for the clear blue days with smooth skies - we get paid when things go wrong, and someone here did not earn their check. Just my
  


User currently offlinelonghauler From Canada, joined Mar 2004, 5157 posts, RR: 43
Reply 71, posted (1 year 10 months 1 week 6 days 6 hours ago) and read 13146 times:

Quoting AeroWesty (Reply 75):
The question being answered by the post in question was:

When people start arguing semantics, I just shrug and move on, as it adds nothing to the thread. However, with regard to that question, I read it differently ... I read it as a question if the aircraft ever did depart during the 13 hours not if the aircraft ever did depart. As of course it departed, its an airplane. Eventually it will!

Quoting mcoatc (Reply 77):
Longhauler, your background and knowledge on this site are well respected and documented, and I'm certainly not questioning either of them. It doesn't snow in Orlando, but there are torrential thunderstorms and lightning that shut down the field and ramps for hours every summer day. It's certainly a different weather situation, but I have some experience with crippling weather delays and I still don't understand how this happened.

I can certaily understand your curiosity. But, in this case, it really was only one aircraft ... and that one aircraft encountered many many delays, that when compounding just kept the aircraft on the ground.

It is interesting at YYZ when the southern departures all leave. There is a huge number leaving from 0600 to 0700, this one departing at 0700, the end of a very large wave. At that point in time, the de-icing issues weren't yet discovered, probably not until they were taxiing out. And, being the end of the wave, the 8 de-ices an hour, meant they were waiting almost 3 hours to be deiced.

That is one of the biggest differences with weather delays here, as opposed to MCO. At MCO after the weather leaves the area, all runways are open, all taxiways are clear and all aircraft can leave. No issues with closed runways or taxiways for snow clearing, or no considerations for Hold Over Time for de-icing fluid. ATC at YYZ is excellent, and they try their best to assist, but sometimes it all just lines up!

Quoting pliersinsight (Reply 74):
The PIC has the authority and the responsibility associated with the flight from second one.

It wasn't a matter of desire, or need. There simply was no physical way to get the aircraft to an open gate. No amount of chest beating or hissy fits is going to open up a gate. And dealing with gate planners, I find that is the worst thing you can do.

It is like when I was corporate flying, with an airport closure ... and the CEO demands you depart immediately! He can yell and scream all he wants ... aint gonna happen.

And remember, it wasn't 13 hours of waiting for a gate, it was only a few hours.



Never gonna grow up, never gonna slow down .... Barefoot Blue Jean Night
User currently offlinemayor From United States of America, joined Mar 2008, 10654 posts, RR: 14
Reply 72, posted (1 year 10 months 1 week 6 days 5 hours ago) and read 12830 times:

Quoting cmf (Reply 76):
Same place you put it with a load of passengers waiting for deicing. Just without the passengers and without it consuming fuel.

And then, you've made the problem worse by clogging up the ramp area with empty a/c and there's your terminal full of pax, looking out the windows and driving the gate agents nuts with questions of why they can't get on their plane that is sitting out there, parked, in full view. Or, worse yet, they see the plane that they were supposed to board, get pushed off the gate, empty.

Quoting mcoatc (Reply 77):
It doesn't snow in Orlando, but there are torrential thunderstorms and lightning that shut down the field and ramps for hours every summer day.

It's different enough to make the comparison invalid. You don't have to de-ice, you don't have to plow to keep the runways opened, there's very little likelyhood that your airport is going to be closed for more than one day because of a thunderstorm, etc.



I may have missed it, but my question in this is, was this particular flight the only one that had any problems like this or was it pretty widespread? Did the fact that WG didn't have as good an infrastructure at YYZ as the other airlines,compound the problem?



"A committee is a group of the unprepared, appointed by the unwilling, to do the unnecessary"----Fred Allen
User currently onlineMaverick623 From United States of America, joined Nov 2006, 5736 posts, RR: 6
Reply 73, posted (1 year 10 months 1 week 6 days 5 hours ago) and read 12561 times:

Quoting Dogbreath (Reply 14):
This is so entertaining reading posts from those not involved with aviation and their outrage at some airline's misfortune with a major weather event

Going on 7 years working the ramp... and you're not gonna like what I have to say about this.

Quoting Dogbreath (Reply 14):
Like this is some conspiracy by the crew and airline against their passengers.

Conspiracy? Nope... just pure and simple incompetence. I've worked in some pretty serious weather before (thankfully, no snow), and I definitely understand that things slow down dramatically when it hits. That said, 13 hours is just plain not caring anymore.

Quoting Dogbreath (Reply 14):
Would some of you be happy for the aircraft to depart with ice and snow on the wings, engine cowlings, brakes. Surely not!

Um, not a single person is suggesting that they took off, but that they go back to the gate.

Quoting Dogbreath (Reply 14):
2 or 3 hours

LOL. The fact that you're comparing 2 or 3 hours to 13 hours is proof that you have no idea what you're talking about.

Quoting Dogbreath (Reply 14):
This flight was an international flight with passengers cleared by customs.

Nobody had been cleared by Customs at that point. Canada does not perform exit controls at their airports.

Quoting Dogbreath (Reply 14):

Blaming the crew and airline is just pure ignorance.

Blaming the crew is, blaming the airline certainly is not. No other flight had such an experience that day. Logically, it follows that nobody at the airline cared to work hard enough to find a gate that could arrange the deplaning of passengers.

Quoting mayor (Reply 79):
And then, you've made the problem worse by clogging up the ramp area with empty a/c

As opposed to clogging up the ramp with full aircraft? As a passenger, I'll take the former, any day and twice on Sunday.



"PHX is Phoenix, PDX is the other city" -777Way
User currently onlinePA727 From United States of America, joined Dec 2011, 82 posts, RR: 0
Reply 74, posted (1 year 10 months 1 week 6 days 5 hours ago) and read 12490 times:
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Don't have a dog in this fight, and I certainly wasn't there, so I can't speak to the realities of the situation. My thoughts are more general in nature.

It seems like society in general loses sight of common sense during uncommon situations. Yes, I understand there are Customs laws and other "policies," but policies are in place to ensure uniform standards. When a situation deviates that far from the norm, people must make judgement calls. It's why we still fly the planes, hear court cases and the like - reasoning rather than computerized logic.

I'm not so presumptive as to assign blame to for a situation I didn't witness first hand, but if I had to hazard a guess, everyone involved most likely tried their level best during an uncommon event. I'm sure there were errors and perhaps some poor judgements made all around, but again, I imagine none of it was done with any malice.

The one change I would like to see in society overall is more freedom to not hide behind policy for fear of lawsuit or recrimination. If Columbus could sail the Atlantic using the starts as his guide, I'm fairly certain a plane could be unloaded in fewer that 13 hours - if that was the safest and most logical call. And oversimplification, sure, but I would also say that 9 times out of 10, we tend to make things much more difficult than they need to be. Clinging to rules and policy is a great general rule of thumb, but failing to use common sense and judgement during times outside the norm is what turns us into the robots and computers we're so afraid will one day displace us.

Again, not targeted to either side in this situation, rather my thoughts on what sometimes makes these bad situation worse.


User currently offlinecopter808 From United States of America, joined Dec 2000, 1132 posts, RR: 1
Reply 75, posted (1 year 10 months 1 week 6 days 5 hours ago) and read 12458 times:

Quoting cmf (Reply 57):
This is another example of how the aviation industry is failing to apply common sense. I have no issue with passengers having to stay on board for many hours when multiple issues stack up but there is no excuse for not being able to deliver water to a plane in this situation. I'm sure someone will come up with some regulation that is the reason for why they don't do it but that is nothing but a display of the problem, no common sense.

This is also one more example of "Not my fault" on the passenger's side. Shouldn't they have some responsibility? After all, this storm just suddenly materialized out of the blue with no warning...

Heck, I've been aware of it for at least a few days. Boarding a flight knowing that a major snowstorm is forcast might just not be the smartist idea. Just as the storm has been billed as "the perfect storm", this event seems to be a perfect set of circumstances leading to an extreme set of delays.


User currently offlineXT6Wagon From United States of America, joined Feb 2007, 3432 posts, RR: 4
Reply 76, posted (1 year 10 months 1 week 6 days 5 hours ago) and read 12296 times:

Quoting Dogbreath (Reply 14):
some airline's misfortune with a major weather event.

You do know that people have gotten decades in prison for less than 12hrs of holding someone against their will. Just because its an airline doesn't make it right.

Tell you what, think how your life would be affected if your local supermarket could detain you for 12hrs whenever its too inconvient to let you back out.


User currently offlinelonghauler From Canada, joined Mar 2004, 5157 posts, RR: 43
Reply 77, posted (1 year 10 months 1 week 6 days 5 hours ago) and read 12249 times:

Quoting Maverick623 (Reply 80):
I've worked in some pretty serious weather before (thankfully, no snow)

And that is what caused the problem ... snow.

Quoting Maverick623 (Reply 80):
That said, 13 hours is just plain not caring anymore.

From the time the decision to return to the gate was made, until they arrived at the gate appears to be only about 3 hours. The rest of the time, it appears the crew was trying to get their level best to get the folks to Central America.

Quoting Maverick623 (Reply 80):
Nobody had been cleared by Customs at that point. Canada does not perform exit controls at their airports.

The aircraft departed from a "sterile" area, where duty free goods can and likely were purchased. If they returned to the gate, they would have to clear Canada Customs, even though they did not depart the country. This is the same if there is a cancellation when the passengers are at the gate. They all have to clear Customs.

Quoting Maverick623 (Reply 80):
Blaming the crew is, blaming the airline certainly is not.

The only possible error I can see, (being an armchair quarterback, as I was not there) is that on the initial departure, they did not have taxi fuel for 3 hours of taxiing with two engines running. It would have been a stretch, as by that point, the de-icing bay was assumed to be functioning normally. Three hours of taxi fuel is about 4500 kgs for a B737-800. Maybe they did not have open weight for that, or maybe both the Captain and Dispatcher decided it was not necessary.

Is that an error? Hard to say, I can certainly see arguments for both carrying and not carrying 4500 Kgs of extra fuel.



Never gonna grow up, never gonna slow down .... Barefoot Blue Jean Night
User currently offlinebond007 From United States of America, joined Mar 2005, 5454 posts, RR: 8
Reply 78, posted (1 year 10 months 1 week 6 days 4 hours ago) and read 12075 times:

Quoting cmf (Reply 57):
This is another example of how the aviation industry is failing to apply common sense.


That is really all that needs to be said!

Quoting mayor (Reply 68):
nd some of them aren't. I believe his criticism is aimed mainly at those that are not.

It really does not require ANY knowledge of the aviation industry to see that is a totally unacceptable situation.



Jimbo



I'd rather be on the ground wishing I was in the air, than in the air wishing I was on the ground!
User currently offlinelonghauler From Canada, joined Mar 2004, 5157 posts, RR: 43
Reply 79, posted (1 year 10 months 1 week 6 days 4 hours ago) and read 11606 times:

Quoting bond007 (Reply 85):
It really does not require ANY knowledge of the aviation industry to see that is a totally unacceptable situation.

Respectfully ... did you read the previous 85 posts?

I'll run the time-line by you, as best as I can piece together from the press, the report filed, and talking to a buddy of mine, a Captain at Sunwing.

At 0600, the Flight Crew looks at the flight plan and agree on the fuel carried.

At 0700, they push back on time and head to the de-icing bays. During the taxi there, it is discovered they are having troubles at the de-icing bay, and what is normally a 30 minute wait, now becomes 3 hours.

At ~1030 after de-icing, they feel they do not have enough fuel due to the long unplanned taxi, and they return to the gate be refueled. During that time, they notice ice on the inside of the nacelle which has to be removed before start. (It takes time).

At ~1200 They head to de-icing again, and wait 3 hours in line.

At ~1500 after de-icing, they have issues with the brakes freezing. It takes a while to be sorted out.

During this time, an issue crops up with regard to Crew Duty Day, and this is pure speculation, but I am assuming that a two stop round trip to Central America can not be completed with respect to Canadian Air Regs. (I don't know their contract, but it will never be more than CARs).

At ~1600, the decision is made to return the aircraft to the gate, due to Duty Day Restrictions.

There are no gates, and they are given the next available gate. In fact, they even went ahead of a few AC arrivals, due to the time involved.

It arrives at the gate at 1920, (12:20 ... not 13 hours, but then 13 hours sells more newspapers, accuracy be damned).

So, I say again .... what could anyone have done? Everything just lined up that day!



Never gonna grow up, never gonna slow down .... Barefoot Blue Jean Night
User currently offlinemayor From United States of America, joined Mar 2008, 10654 posts, RR: 14
Reply 80, posted (1 year 10 months 1 week 6 days 4 hours ago) and read 11510 times:

Quoting bond007 (Reply 79):
It really does not require ANY knowledge of the aviation industry to see that is a totally unacceptable situation.

But someone that DOES (or should have, in your case) would realize how quickly and easily things can go south on the ramp. If I didn't know better, I would think that "Murphy's Law" originated in airline operations. Just as this was the "perfect storm", it was also a "perfect storm" of situations and circumstances that led up to this. It looks to me like, if the de-icing operation was only operating at a third of its capacity, that was the biggest part of the problem. If not for that, things MIGHT not have been nearly as messed up.



"A committee is a group of the unprepared, appointed by the unwilling, to do the unnecessary"----Fred Allen
User currently offlinebond007 From United States of America, joined Mar 2005, 5454 posts, RR: 8
Reply 81, posted (1 year 10 months 1 week 6 days 4 hours ago) and read 11419 times:

Quoting longhauler (Reply 80):
Respectfully ... did you read the previous 85 posts?

Yes.

Quoting longhauler (Reply 80):
what could anyone have done?

At almost all of those times you specify, they could have chosen not to continue the flight.

At 0700 they already know the pax will be on the ground for at least another 3 hours...

At 1200 they've already been on board 5hrs and the crew KNOWS it will be at least 8hrs total before they can depart.

It should not take 1600 and 1920 to get to a gate, especially when pax have been on board for 9hrs... yes, I fully understand ramp ops.

So ... I don't understand how you could possibly believe that nothing could be done!



I'd rather be on the ground wishing I was in the air, than in the air wishing I was on the ground!
User currently offlinePolot From United States of America, joined Jul 2011, 2366 posts, RR: 1
Reply 82, posted (1 year 10 months 1 week 6 days 4 hours ago) and read 11307 times:

Quoting copter808 (Reply 75):
This is also one more example of "Not my fault" on the passenger's side. Shouldn't they have some responsibility? After all, this storm just suddenly materialized out of the blue with no warning...

Heck, I've been aware of it for at least a few days. Boarding a flight knowing that a major snowstorm is forcast might just not be the smartist idea. Just as the storm has been billed as "the perfect storm", this event seems to be a perfect set of circumstances leading to an extreme set of delays.

Except that is the airline's fault. They are the ones who didn't cancel the flight. They are the ones who decided to board the flight. They are the ones who decided to push back from the gate and try their hand at taking off. The passengers didn't get a vote in the matter.

What if the flight had left within a reasonable period (i.e. 2-3 hours) but several passengers had decided not the board because they were afraid they were going to be stuck on the plane for hours at end? The airline would have offered no compensation for them- they were the ones who decided not to board. Everyone here would just say "oh well they should have boarded, obviously if the airline thought they weren't going to leave soon they wouldn't have boarded the plane in the first place."

[Edited 2013-02-10 12:51:59]

User currently offlineA346Dude From Canada, joined Nov 2004, 1296 posts, RR: 7
Reply 83, posted (1 year 10 months 1 week 6 days 3 hours ago) and read 11051 times:

Quoting longhauler (Reply 55):
Add onto that METRES of snow, drifting with 40 knot+ winds. In fact is was so bad, the decision to re-cater the aircraft with food and water was vetoed. It would be too dangerous for a catering truck beside the aircraft with those winds. Even putting stairs up to an aircraft, then watching a bus navigate metres of snow would have been hellish.

I had to chuckle at the suggestion to pull the slides and walk. Like it was a bright sunny Spring day! People wouldn't have made it 5 minutes and they would have been frozen solid!

I appreciate your contribution to the thread but according to Environment Canada, YYZ got less than 25cm that day and the max gust was only 50km/hr. A decent storm to be sure but far from metres of snowfall, even when you consider drifting. The min temperature was only -10C; nobody would have died if they theoretically had to walk from a runway to the terminal, even in shorts. It was a pretty average winter storm, the last 4 years excepted.



You know the gear is up and locked when it takes full throttle to taxi to the terminal.
User currently offlinehOmsar From United States of America, joined Jan 2010, 1212 posts, RR: 0
Reply 84, posted (1 year 10 months 1 week 6 days 2 hours ago) and read 10279 times:

Quoting copter808 (Reply 75):
This is also one more example of "Not my fault" on the passenger's side. Shouldn't they have some responsibility?

Responsibility for what? Knowing that they'd be stuck on the plane for hours once they boarded, or risk forfeiting their tickets if they decide not to get on the plane?

The passengers assume that the airline, as the experts in flight and airport operations, know if a flight is ready to go or not. Passengers aren't likely to know what kind of weather is safe to fly in and what isn't, so they depend on the airline to make that determination.

The only other alternative I can see is to force airlines to liberalize their cancellation and refund policies if we're going to tell the passengers to take some responsibility for delays and being stuck on a plane for an hour (or twelve).



I was raised by a cup of coffee.
User currently offlinelonghauler From Canada, joined Mar 2004, 5157 posts, RR: 43
Reply 85, posted (1 year 10 months 1 week 6 days 2 hours ago) and read 10234 times:

Quoting A346Dude (Reply 83):
The min temperature was only -10C; nobody would have died if they theoretically had to walk from a runway to the terminal, even in shorts.

I get what you are saying ... not so sure about the shorts thing ... but I was only going by what ended up in my driveway, and the pictures of YYZ de-icing facility been working properly it would have just been another snowy day at

Never gonna grow up, never gonna slow down .... Barefoot Blue Jean Night
User currently offlineCuriousFlyer From United States of America, joined Oct 2006, 702 posts, RR: 0
Reply 86, posted (1 year 10 months 1 week 6 days 2 hours ago) and read 10094 times:

Absolutely not acceptable. No way this airline should not pay more than the $150 vouchers they gave. If I was a passenger I would sue for the incompetence and contempt, expecting at least $10,000. If I was a regulator I would consider revoking their operating certificate. If I had been on board of this aircraft I would have made it very clear to the staff that if I am not taken back to the terminal after 4 hours I will have a lawyer raise hell afterwards.

Luckily in Europe and the US this is severely punished. There has to be a limit to what an airline and airport authorities can force passengers who are stuck with the tickets they paid for to endure. After three hours, this plane should have gone back to the gate and no plane should have been lined up for departure at the airport if there was no certainty they could take off within three hours.

[Edited 2013-02-10 14:25:47]

User currently offlinelonghauler From Canada, joined Mar 2004, 5157 posts, RR: 43
Reply 87, posted (1 year 10 months 1 week 6 days 2 hours ago) and read 10061 times:

Looks like the edit function is not working, I'll try this again. (I always chuckle about what appears when one tries to edit)

Quoting A346Dude (Reply 83):
It was a pretty average winter storm, the last 4 years excepted.

It really was just a normal winter storm, and had the YYZ de-icing facility been working properly that flight would have had no more than a 40 minute delay.

Quoting A346Dude (Reply 83):
The min temperature was only -10C; nobody would have died if they theoretically had to walk from a runway to the terminal, even in shorts.

We recently had a simulator scenario .... vacation destination, cold winter windy day, and a possible, (but not confirmed) APU fire. One of the points raised was to think twice about evacuating a plane load of passengers into a winter storm, dressed only in vacation attire. The charts say that under the conditions of that day, frostbite would have occurred in as little as 10 minutes.



Never gonna grow up, never gonna slow down .... Barefoot Blue Jean Night
User currently offlinelonghauler From Canada, joined Mar 2004, 5157 posts, RR: 43
Reply 88, posted (1 year 10 months 1 week 6 days 2 hours ago) and read 9909 times:

Quoting bond007 (Reply 81):
At 0700 they already know the pax will be on the ground for at least another 3 hours...

No they didn't know that until they were already in the de-icing line. At the start of push-back and taxi, they assumed things were normal, which is usually about 30-40 minutes to de-ice.

Quoting bond007 (Reply 81):
At 1200 they've already been on board 5hrs and the crew KNOWS it will be at least 8hrs total before they can depart.

Yes, but that would still have been legal ... and I would bet the passengers would still want to go. An 8 hour delay is better than a 24 hour delay, or possibly just cancel the flight.

Quoting bond007 (Reply 81):
It should not take 1600 and 1920 to get to a gate

No, it most definitely should not ... but that is what happened, and they were given priority.

Understand that I am not justifying what happened, I am only explaining how it could have happened.

Whenever I see things like this, I often think about what I would have done differently. And in this case, I can not see anything I could have done. At any time, that Captain could have pulled the plug earlier and just cancelled the flight, and possibly ruined everyone's vacation. But when? Not at 0700, things were normal. Not at 1200 as an operation was still possible. I think it wasn't until the brakes froze and cause an even further delay that the final straw was laid. And then ... the delay back to the gate was inevitable.

I am not saying he was under any pressure, as I am sure he was not ... but its a tough decision to make, when at each stage it looked like other than a delay, the operation was workable.



Never gonna grow up, never gonna slow down .... Barefoot Blue Jean Night
User currently offlinecmf From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 89, posted (1 year 10 months 1 week 6 days 1 hour ago) and read 9448 times:

Quoting copter808 (Reply 82):
This is also one more example of "Not my fault" on the passenger's side.

Is it? How?


User currently offlineYVRLTN From Canada, joined Oct 2006, 2548 posts, RR: 0
Reply 90, posted (1 year 10 months 1 week 6 days 1 hour ago) and read 9376 times:

Quoting ABQopsHP (Reply 41):
IE: Granola bars and half glasses of water. This is not a full service carrier you know

According to the radio ads here in YVR, one is promised full service complete with champagne and hot towels on WG. Hardly LCC.

Quoting mcoatc (Reply 43):
And yet it seems that this was the only flight that this was happening to. 13 hours is insane.
Quoting longhauler (Reply 55):
looking at the chain of events, I can see how this can happen.

Exactly, no other pax were held up for 13 hours and while from Longhaulers explanation I understand why it happened, the reason why it was allowed to happen with this WG flight and not on any of the AC, WS, UA etc etc etc other flight was this :

Quoting thenoflyzone (Reply 49):
"While the 17-hour delay was agonizing, McWilliams said Sunwing has a policy of not cancelling flights, even during long delays."

wrong policy, pure and simple.

WG is entirely to blame. 13 hours on the ground in a plane going nowhere is absurd.

There should surely be a caveat for over riding the policy when mother nature throws something extreme like this.

Quoting longhauler (Reply 55):
Air Canada did have an aircraft in the same boat for 4 1/2 hours. Air Canada, with dozens of gates, hundreds of employees, huge home base infrastructure ... and that aircraft sat for 4 1/2 hours

Which is 8.5 hours less than this WG flight. I am sure even AC would be willing to sacrifice a gate long enough to get the aircraft deplaned and moved to remote if they had been advised of the situation and requested if they could possibly help out by GTAA?

Quoting longhauler (Reply 63):
when the de-icing facility had its issues

Who decides who gets deice priority? Surely after the first return to the gate, now several hours late, would not someone in planning put this aircraft in priority so it would not sit another 3 hours and cause further congestion by allowing the situation to repeat? It raises the question if the smaller or charter airlines get put on the back burner compared to AC, WS and the other big boys?



Follow me on twitter for YVR movements @vernonYVR
User currently offlineMir From United States of America, joined Jan 2004, 21864 posts, RR: 55
Reply 91, posted (1 year 10 months 1 week 6 days 1 hour ago) and read 9034 times:

Quoting longhauler (Reply 55):
There were long lines of aircraft waiting for gates, as departures were delayed so "just go back to the gate" by then was a physical impossibility. Any gate, any terminal.

But they did get a gate initially. A US pre-clearance gate, but it was a gate, and even if you can't let people off into the terminal directly, you can do a lot of things relating to getting passengers off the plane if you're sitting at a gate that you can't do when you're sitting out on a taxiway somewhere.

Quoting longhauler (Reply 79):
So, I say again .... what could anyone have done?

I wouldn't have left the gate the second time just to get in the same de-ice line whose length caused me to have to return the first time. That's about the only decision I disagree with the crew on (and maybe it wasn't their call, maybe airline operations said they had to go). Can't fault them for the brakes freezing and the associated delays with that, can't fault them for the inability to find a gate afterward, but if I return to the terminal once, I'm very reluctant to try departing again unless conditions have drastically changed for the better, either weather-wise or airport congestion-wise, especially if I might have trouble getting back to a gate.

-Mir



7 billion, one nation, imagination...it's a beautiful day
User currently offlineJoeCanuck From Canada, joined Dec 2005, 5478 posts, RR: 31
Reply 92, posted (1 year 10 months 1 week 6 days 1 hour ago) and read 8966 times:

13 hours is inexcusable...full stop. It only takes a half an hour to deplane all the passengers...at the very most. Unload a plane, clear a gate and park another one at the gate to unload then park it in a corner somewhere.

At least in the terminal, people can move around, buy some food and water and maybe even get a nap in a corner. The only reason 13 hours in the air is tolerable is because you're actually moving and making progress towards your destination.

13 hours on the tarmac is obscene.

Quoting Dogbreath (Reply 35):

But I suppose for some us on here not involved in aviation, it's just like getting on and off a bus. After 33 years in this industry, I've seen a lot and am always amazed at the ignorance of those that think it's a simple process handling an aircraft and passengers under demanding circumstances, such as was evident yesterday. Good luck to you all.

Please...in 13 hours they can't find a way to unload a plane. No matter what the conditions, that's incompetence. Gee...a snowstorm shutting down an airport in Canada...who has ever heard of such a strange thing? There's no way they could possibly have come up with any contingency plans for such an inevitability. Horse droppings.

This happens every year, at least once, at every major airport in Canada. Snowstorms in February should not be a real shocker to anybody. And it's not as if there was no warning...this storm was predicted for at least a week. It wasn't an earthquake...it was a snowstorm...in Canada...in winter. Quite a predictable event.



What the...?
User currently offlinemayor From United States of America, joined Mar 2008, 10654 posts, RR: 14
Reply 93, posted (1 year 10 months 1 week 6 days ago) and read 8766 times:

Quoting JoeCanuck (Reply 92):
This happens every year, at least once, at every major airport in Canada. Snowstorms in February should not be a real shocker to anybody. And it's not as if there was no warning...this storm was predicted for at least a week. It wasn't an earthquake...it was a snowstorm...in Canada...in winter. Quite a predictable event.

And it was only ONE flight, from what I gather. That particular flight, had just the right type of problems and circumstances surrounding it for this to happen. No matter HOW prepared the airport or the airline is, I would bet that even in Canada, that this happens at least once a year, if not more. The same in the states.



"A committee is a group of the unprepared, appointed by the unwilling, to do the unnecessary"----Fred Allen
User currently offlinelonghauler From Canada, joined Mar 2004, 5157 posts, RR: 43
Reply 94, posted (1 year 10 months 1 week 6 days ago) and read 8605 times:

Quoting Mir (Reply 91):
I wouldn't have left the gate the second time just to get in the same de-ice line whose length caused me to have to return the first time. That's about the only decision I disagree with the crew on (and maybe it wasn't their call, maybe airline operations said they had to go).

I see what you mean, but ... at that point in time, they still had a workable operation, even with another 3 hour delay for de-icing. Not ideal, but as I said above, I would bet the passengers would have chosen to keep trying, than just cancel the flight.

Quoting JoeCanuck (Reply 92):
Please...in 13 hours they can't find a way to unload a plane.

I was 3:20. You didn't read the whole thread, right?

Quoting YVRLTN (Reply 90):
Which is 8.5 hours less than this WG flight.

No, they only had to wait 3:20 for a gate.



Never gonna grow up, never gonna slow down .... Barefoot Blue Jean Night
User currently offlineyowviewer From Canada, joined Jun 2010, 59 posts, RR: 0
Reply 95, posted (1 year 10 months 1 week 5 days 23 hours ago) and read 7784 times:

Quoting JoeCanuck (Reply 92):
At least in the terminal, people can move around, buy some food and water and maybe even get a nap in a corner. The only reason 13 hours in the air is tolerable is because you're actually moving and making progress towards your destination.

Tolerable to a point maybe. There were other horror stories that day I'm sure - we just haven't heard about them.Take the inbound Emirates flight from Dubai.Close to 13 hours in the air, only to spend another hour doing circles south of Lake Simcoe.Decision made to divert, but the usual alternate is YOW and it was no better. Head to Washington ! for fuel and a return flight to YYZ.Another couple of circles before finally landing, and I have no idea how long for a gate once the A380 was on the ground.I haven't added up all the hours involved, but those passengers must have spent well over 20 hours onboard getting to their destination.Not a peep from that crowd. I'm not saying the WG story isn't brutal, but even if you tack on the 5-hour flight the next day they still spent less time on board than the Emirates passengers. PIA was not much better either in a 777. No news from them. Just unfortunate circumstances for everyone.


User currently offlineJAGflyer From Canada, joined Aug 2004, 3582 posts, RR: 4
Reply 96, posted (1 year 10 months 1 week 5 days 22 hours ago) and read 7663 times:

It never amazes me how many passengers decide they have to wear shorts and t-shirts either into or out of Canada when going on vacation. They then remark how "it's freezing" when they get to the unheated part of the jet-bridge. Does one not think to perhaps pack a jacket in their carry-on and wear pants? You are not going directly to or from the beach or a climate were you'd overheat in pants. It's hilarious to watch 90% of passengers deplaning from Mexico/Cuba flights into -10 degree cold wearing shorts and tank tops.

In hindsight, one question I must ask is why did they not shut down the engines during the extended waiting times? Running two CFM56's for hours doesn't seem necessary when the APU can provide more than enough electricity/conditioned air. In a perfect world they would have gone to the North Lounge (Landmark FBO) and deplaned there if the gate was not available in due time. There is no difference between the WG flight and any domestic flight at this point as the pax have not left Canada. Putting them onto a US arrival only gate (non-swing) would not have been permitted since the hallways funnel directly into the Canadian customs area and at that point the passengers will be mixed with passengers who have not yet entered Canada.



Support the beer and soda can industry, recycle old airplanes!
User currently offlinemayor From United States of America, joined Mar 2008, 10654 posts, RR: 14
Reply 97, posted (1 year 10 months 1 week 5 days 22 hours ago) and read 7601 times:

Quoting yowviewer (Reply 95):

I have an experience similar to that........back before '85, when DL just had a small op at SLC, we had a 767 divert into SLC because DEN (Stapleton) was closed because of snow.......He hung around for about 2 hours but we let him leave under pressure from the captain (flight control wanted a call before we let him go). He then flew back to DEN held in the air there for another hour and flew all the way back to ATL. So, here's the timeline......3 hours ATL-DEN.....1 hour hold......fly on to SLC...1 hour.....on ground SLC 2 hours.....1 hour SLC-DEN.....hold for 1 hour and 3 hours back to ATL. 12 hours to end up back where you started. I hope the gate agent that met the flight was wearing armor, that day.



"A committee is a group of the unprepared, appointed by the unwilling, to do the unnecessary"----Fred Allen
User currently offlinelonghauler From Canada, joined Mar 2004, 5157 posts, RR: 43
Reply 98, posted (1 year 10 months 1 week 5 days 22 hours ago) and read 7603 times:

Quoting JAGflyer (Reply 96):
one question I must ask is why did they not shut down the engines during the extended waiting times?

Taxiing on one engine when the taxiways are slippery would be very difficult. It is recommended to run both engines.

Quoting JAGflyer (Reply 96):
There is no difference between the WG flight and any domestic flight at this point as the pax have not left Canada

Because of possible duty free purchases, and "mixing" with other international passengers in the departure lounge, they would have to clear Canada Customs upon return to a gate, even though not having left Canada.



Never gonna grow up, never gonna slow down .... Barefoot Blue Jean Night
User currently offlineslowroll From United States of America, joined Feb 2011, 21 posts, RR: 0
Reply 99, posted (1 year 10 months 1 week 5 days 22 hours ago) and read 7574 times:

Quoting mayor (Reply 61):
When I worked in the ramp coordinator's office in SLC, during a major snow storm, sometimes I had to coordinate the a/c leaving the gate and going thru the de-icing. We had it set up so when an a/c was done being de-iced (we did it off gate), he would tell us that he was leaving and the next a/c could pull thru......at that point and ONLY at that point would we let another a/c push off the gate, so you would have one a/c leaving de-icing, one being de-iced, one waiting and one just pushing off the gate. Once they pushed off the gate, they would be in radio contact with maintenance (who handled the actual de-icing) and only call us, again when they left deicing.

This basically seemed to be the way they were doing it the other morning at SLC. However, I believe they had at least 4 lines going (each with two deicing trucks) and were doing 737s in about 5 minutes, so WAY more than 8 an hour. We were gate delayed for about 15 minutes then another 10 or so waiting for deicing and the actual deicing, so plane took off about 30 minutes late in a fairly heavy snowstorm.


User currently offlineYVRLTN From Canada, joined Oct 2006, 2548 posts, RR: 0
Reply 100, posted (1 year 10 months 1 week 5 days 22 hours ago) and read 7524 times:

Quoting longhauler (Reply 94):
No, they only had to wait 3:20 for a gate.

Only... which is inexcusable after almost 10 hours already and is the issue here, I am very sure someone somewhere could and should have pulled some strings to make a gate available in far less time than that for the 30 mins or so it would be required to deplane the pax after being on the plane for 10 hours already. Even if it meant holding another aircraft for 30 mins, that would be better planning than making this one wait for 3h20.



Follow me on twitter for YVR movements @vernonYVR
User currently offlineouboy79 From United States of America, joined Nov 2001, 4616 posts, RR: 23
Reply 101, posted (1 year 10 months 1 week 5 days 22 hours ago) and read 7387 times:

Held on board an aircraft, on the ground, for 13 hours is just ridiculous and no excuses can cover it up. If it exposes flaws in the system, then they need to be addressed. Understand the weather conditions and such, there still isn't any excuse to not deplane pax. If any small airport likely has air stairs sitting around to use, I would imagine YYZ has plenty. Pull up to a gate (or close to if none are open), roll out the stairs and get people off the aircraft.

There are needs to be a better solution when it comes to traffic management. Ground delays and traffic flow programs are there for a reason. If departing aircraft are going to be held for a significant time, you don't allow in new arrivals. That way there isn't any worry about not enough gates being available to unload. No aircraft get released from the gate unless they'll be in the air in under 30 minutes (giving time for de-icing if needed).


User currently offlinePolot From United States of America, joined Jul 2011, 2366 posts, RR: 1
Reply 102, posted (1 year 10 months 1 week 5 days 22 hours ago) and read 7376 times:

Quoting yowviewer (Reply 95):
.I haven't added up all the hours involved, but those passengers must have spent well over 20 hours onboard getting to their destination.Not a peep from that crowd.

Its not just about how long they were on the plane. It is about how long they were on the plane versus expected to be on the plane. DXB-YYZ is a 14 hour flight, so being on the plane 20 hours is just 6 hours longer than expected (still a long delay, but not as extreme as the Sunwing flight). And of course the Emirates flight was catered with a 14 hour flight in mind (so presumably during those 20 hours on board the passengers got two meals plus possibly snacks).

Meanwhile the Sunwing passengers where stuck 13.5 hours on a plane catered for a 5 hour morning flight (so they just got snacks). And of course after those 13.5 hours they had to eventually get back on the plane again for the actual flight to Panama (after an hour long delay between boarding and actually taking off). So they were, in the end, also on a plane for ~20 hours. Except there plane was equipped for a relatively quick hop to Central America, not a long haul intercontinental flight.


User currently onlinemjoelnir From Iceland, joined Feb 2013, 1553 posts, RR: 3
Reply 103, posted (1 year 10 months 1 week 5 days 22 hours ago) and read 7158 times:

Perhaps I do not enough about ground operations, but I do blame the Airport.

I already read that it was not 13 hours but only 12.20 what a difference.

Was the next longest wait 12 hours or 4.5 hours?

The faulty de-icing facility was the main factor, the airports responsibility, so the airport staff has a responsibility for this happening.

The Airport staff knew that the plane was out there and planes were arriving and departing.
The Airport was not closed down.

At some time the plane having the PAX on board who have waited the longest gets priority in de-icing, take of and so on, or it gets a gate.

In this thread are given a lot of explanations I call it excuses.


User currently offlinemadviking From Canada, joined Jul 2003, 197 posts, RR: 0
Reply 104, posted (1 year 10 months 1 week 5 days 20 hours ago) and read 6641 times:

Pearson has what is know as the "Infield Terminal" that has 11 gates capable of parking a variety of wide body and narrow body aircraft. It was used extensively by Air Canada and it's Star partners while the new Terminal One was in it's initial construction stage. It has no link to the main terminals so busing was used to move pax. Now because of cost cutting the GTAA has basically mothballed it, and keep the heat low or off and even uses the immediate ramp area to dump snow. This could be the ideal location to accommodate or even park aircraft during such periods of bad weather or peak summer ops when arriving aircraft wait for gates to open. Many aircrew who were waiting in the ques on Echo taxiway were enquiring to Ground as to why these gates were vacant and open. ATC's answer was they are under the GTAA's control. This storm didn't "pop up out of the blue"; it was forecast days before its impending approach and warnings of it's severity. Maybe some day the monopolized GTAA will act and plan ahead and take preventive measure to expect another similar scenario and possibly open up the Infield TML 24 to 48 hours prior to forecast poor weather systems, but I would bet this will not happen. A perfectly functioning new build will sit idle until someone will suggest to knock it down since they have no use for it, and it costs too much to heat and cool!

User currently offlineMir From United States of America, joined Jan 2004, 21864 posts, RR: 55
Reply 105, posted (1 year 10 months 1 week 5 days 20 hours ago) and read 6620 times:

Quoting longhauler (Reply 94):
I see what you mean, but ... at that point in time, they still had a workable operation, even with another 3 hour delay for de-icing. Not ideal, but as I said above, I would bet the passengers would have chosen to keep trying, than just cancel the flight.

If there really were only 8 planes per hour being deiced and the line was as long as the article says it was (or even somewhat shorter), it wasn't going to be three hours - it was going to be six or more. I wouldn't consider that to be workable under normal conditions - after already sitting on the plane for three hours it wouldn't even be a possibility in my mind. So at that point the right thing to do would have been to make arrangements to get the passengers off the plane and wait for the line to die down (which it was eventually going to do as more and more flights canceled). And if you have to sit at the gate for an hour or so waiting for buses and stairs so that the passengers get be moved to an appropriate part of the terminal, that's fine - it's still a whole lot better than sitting out on the taxiway.

I completely understand and agree with the desire not to cancel the flight, but the choice was not between that and sitting on the plane for hours on end in a futile effort to depart. The best option would have been to wait out the de-ice line with the passengers in the terminal. As I said before (and I've had several posts in this thread deleted for referencing other deleted posts, so I hope I'm not repeating myself too much), if this had been a story of a 17-hour delay with the passengers spending 13 hours of it in the terminal instead of on the plane, it would be a complete non-issue, and it would be a feather in Sunwing's cap to have gotten the flight out at all given the conditions. But instead, we got this.

-Mir



7 billion, one nation, imagination...it's a beautiful day
User currently offlinemayor From United States of America, joined Mar 2008, 10654 posts, RR: 14
Reply 106, posted (1 year 10 months 1 week 5 days 19 hours ago) and read 6577 times:

Quoting slowroll (Reply 99):
This basically seemed to be the way they were doing it the other morning at SLC. However, I believe they had at least 4 lines going (each with two deicing trucks) and were doing 737s in about 5 minutes, so WAY more than 8 an hour. We were gate delayed for about 15 minutes then another 10 or so waiting for deicing and the actual deicing, so plane took off about 30 minutes late in a fairly heavy snowstorm.

Well, during the time I mentioned, we only had one line set up......this was the first winter after the DL/WA merger........maintenance did the de-icing but later, the ramp covered it.



"A committee is a group of the unprepared, appointed by the unwilling, to do the unnecessary"----Fred Allen
User currently offlineStarAC17 From Canada, joined Aug 2003, 3410 posts, RR: 9
Reply 107, posted (1 year 10 months 1 week 5 days 19 hours ago) and read 6543 times:

Quoting longhauler (Reply 98):
Because of possible duty free purchases, and "mixing" with other international passengers in the departure lounge, they would have to clear Canada Customs upon return to a gate, even though not having left Canada.

WG operates out of T1 so couldn't they make sure that the passengers at a US gate which is no different from an international gate in terms of arrivals be sent to one of the Customs B checkpoints with all of their carry on luggage and be ferried back into the international concourse such as a connecting pax would do if flying say ORD-YYZ-LHR on AC. This makes the most sense.

The passengers could have stayed there where they left from initially until the airline figures out what to do.

If this aircraft went to T3 then its a different story.



Engineers Rule The World!!!!!
User currently offlinejjsilver From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 108, posted (1 year 10 months 1 week 5 days 19 hours ago) and read 6529 times:

I have not read it discussed that there were 5 police officers involved at some point when the airline read a statement. I am assuming this is to the passengers. This seems heavy handed and intimidating. If you were not in the wrong and had done nothing unreasonable to your customers then this seems puzzling why you would need police involved. On the other hand if you feel you treated your customers unfairly then you would be defensive and in this case feel you need police support.
As understanding as i could be as a passenger for the airline and the situation, if you choose to show up with 5 police officers and treat me like a potential criminal my empathy would vanish.

There also seems to be some misinformation in this thread about customs. I have been on several cancelled international flights and I have never had to clear Canadian customs when deplaning. The same with US precleared flights. They escort the passengers through or around customs to baggage claim. Duty free was never an issue. I am sure this is not always the case, but for me personally it has never been an issue. The only issue is when you check back in the next day US pre clearance officers may look puzzled that they just admitted you 12 hours earlier and then ask if you were on a cancelled flight.

There is never a right decision in any of these delays and obviously if somebody thought at the beginning it would be a 13 hour delay they would have deplaned the passengers. It is like choosing a grocery line where they need to do a price check. You keep looking at the other lines wondering if you should get in them. If the flight had taken off at any of the earlier times when they thought they had resolved the issues then of course it made sense to stay on the plane.

There really is no finger that can be pointed at one person here. Calling the police when talking to passengers though is not a way to make nice so I put the blame on the airline. If you think you may need them, ask them to be invisible...a visible police presence is not the way to thank your customers for their patience.


User currently offlineJA From United States of America, joined Dec 2004, 578 posts, RR: 1
Reply 109, posted (1 year 10 months 1 week 5 days 18 hours ago) and read 6486 times:

Dogbreath and Longhauler, let me point out something to you as an armchair QB.

I run a ground transportation business that transports people. Every time something goes wrong, it has the potential to cost ME a lot of money. Right now, all I see is lots of excuses because it has not cost anyone any money yet. If Canada slaps Sunwing with a $1M fine, I guarantee this will never happen again. Why? Because people like me will say "Get it fixed or I'll get someone who can". We won't care about what it takes. The only thing we care about is whether fixing the issue is cheaper than the fine and/or the public fallout. It is why the fine here for such an occurence is $27,500 per PASSENGER. I am not a fan of lots of regulation, but this rule now makes doing the right thing cheaper.

In my world, such a serious mistake bankrupts me. That is my view and it is also the view of every single American airline management team. If Canada does the right thing, it will soon be Sunwing's view. So, someone at Sunwing better figure out how to fix this...fast.


User currently offlinelonghauler From Canada, joined Mar 2004, 5157 posts, RR: 43
Reply 110, posted (1 year 10 months 1 week 5 days 2 hours ago) and read 5921 times:

Quoting Mir (Reply 105):
If there really were only 8 planes per hour being deiced and the line was as long as the article says it was (or even somewhat shorter), it wasn't going to be three hours - it was going to be six or more. I wouldn't consider that to be workable under normal conditions - after already sitting on the plane for three hours it wouldn't even be a possibility in my mind. So at that point the right thing to do would have been to make arrangements to get the passengers off the plane and wait for the line to die down (which it was eventually going to do as more and more flights canceled).

That's the problem ... the line never "dies down" you either get in it, or go home. (I have spent many hours in the de-icing line).

Quoting jjsilver (Reply 108):
I have not read it discussed that there were 5 police officers involved at some point when the airline read a statement. I am assuming this is to the passengers. This seems heavy handed and intimidating. If you were not in the wrong and had done nothing unreasonable to your customers then this seems puzzling why you would need police involved.

I think this thread says it all. Even with patient explanation, people here still say ... "Why didn't they just make it happen?"

Quoting jjsilver (Reply 108):
I have been on several cancelled international flights and I have never had to clear Canadian customs when deplaning. The same with US precleared flights. They escort the passengers through or around customs to baggage claim.

And the only way that can be ... you answered yourself ...

Quoting jjsilver (Reply 108):
Duty free was never an issue.

If the international flight departed from the domestic area (some airlines do this), then as long as duty free was not offered, then yes, they are just led to baggage. But, Sunwing departs from the international section of T1.

Quoting JA (Reply 109):
Right now, all I see is lots of excuses because it has not cost anyone any money yet. If Canada slaps Sunwing with a $1M fine, I guarantee this will never happen again. Why? Because people like me will say "Get it fixed or I'll get someone who can". We won't care about what it takes.

This is actually kind of funny, and it is what basically happens in the States. The solution is that if there is any chance of any delay exceeding guidelines then the flight is cancelled. "Here's your $106 back, sorry about your vacation ... next."

With many years of airline flying, I have found that the passengers just want to get where they are going, even with a delay. We just keep trying and trying, until it becomes illegal, as in this case.



Never gonna grow up, never gonna slow down .... Barefoot Blue Jean Night
User currently offlineouboy79 From United States of America, joined Nov 2001, 4616 posts, RR: 23
Reply 111, posted (1 year 10 months 1 week 5 days 1 hour ago) and read 5842 times:

Quoting longhauler (Reply 110):
With many years of airline flying, I have found that the passengers just want to get where they are going, even with a delay. We just keep trying and trying, until it becomes illegal, as in this case.

Yeah, until you tell them they will be sealed in a metal tube on the ground for 13 hours. Try to sell that to them and you'll get a deserved punch in the face.


User currently offlineJA From United States of America, joined Dec 2004, 578 posts, RR: 1
Reply 112, posted (1 year 10 months 1 week 5 days 1 hour ago) and read 5749 times:

Quoting longhauler (Reply 110):
We just keep trying and trying, until it becomes illegal, as in this case.

That is the thing with hauling people. Simply put, they don't usually care about the effort. They expect you to perform as advertised and if you can't do that, they want to know as early as possible so they can make alternate arrangements. Unfortunately, this is one of the lessons I have learned the hard way. It does less damage to hand the $106 back.


User currently offlinemayor From United States of America, joined Mar 2008, 10654 posts, RR: 14
Reply 113, posted (1 year 10 months 1 week 5 days ago) and read 5723 times:

Quoting JA (Reply 112):
They expect you to perform as advertised and if you can't do that, they want to know as early as possible so they can make alternate arrangements.

Unfortunately, in a weather event such as this, there are often NO alternate arrangements available and the pax often don't understand that. I'm reminded of a story about a customer driving 5 hours for a normal 1 hour trip to ORD in a blinding snowstorm and when they arrived at the airport, were surprised when they found out their flight was cancelled.



"A committee is a group of the unprepared, appointed by the unwilling, to do the unnecessary"----Fred Allen
User currently offlineJAAlbert From United States of America, joined Jan 2006, 1624 posts, RR: 1
Reply 114, posted (1 year 10 months 1 week 5 days ago) and read 5710 times:

Quoting zkokq (Reply 9):
And how does one propose that happens when there are things going on like de-icing, planes moving AND a SNOW STORM?
Quoting zkokq (Reply 18):
I dont think there would have been any airport that would have allowed them back, because they had cleared customs. Otherwise I am sure it would have been done.
Quoting mayor (Reply 54):
This, from a person that has obviously never worked on the ramp, let alone during a major snowstorm

Good grief, it's not like critics are demanding the airline fly the passengers to the moon or something equally impossible. The passengers needed off the plane. Period. Find something, anything to get them off safely. Sure, standard operating procedures don't cover this sort of situation - that's why you have contingency plans for those unusual situations that do occur. And its not like this is the first time it's ever happened to an airline or airport. Jetblue at JFK, that AA aircraft in Texas a few years back anyone?

Review the customs policies and implement something that allows people to re-enter the terminal in times of whether or other emergencies. Sit down and figure it out. That's what the airport and airline folks are paid to do.


User currently offlineMir From United States of America, joined Jan 2004, 21864 posts, RR: 55
Reply 115, posted (1 year 10 months 1 week 4 days 20 hours ago) and read 5548 times:

Quoting longhauler (Reply 110):
That's the problem ... the line never "dies down" you either get in it, or go home. (I have spent many hours in the de-icing line).

Except that in this case, it did die down - if the article is to be believed, when they departed that evening the de-ice line wasn't that long.

-Mir



7 billion, one nation, imagination...it's a beautiful day
User currently offlinemayor From United States of America, joined Mar 2008, 10654 posts, RR: 14
Reply 116, posted (1 year 10 months 1 week 4 days 19 hours ago) and read 5451 times:

Quoting Mir (Reply 115):
Except that in this case, it did die down - if the article is to be believed, when they departed that evening the de-ice line wasn't that long.

I doubt if that was predictable, though.



"A committee is a group of the unprepared, appointed by the unwilling, to do the unnecessary"----Fred Allen
User currently offlineDocLightning From United States of America, joined Nov 2005, 20336 posts, RR: 59
Reply 117, posted (1 year 10 months 1 week 4 days 18 hours ago) and read 5431 times:

Quoting zkokq (Reply 2):
Whats wrong with that? They are not a supermarket, the article says the plane couldnt return to gate because none were available. The aircraft had ice build ups on the cowlings. What should they do? Disembark on the tarmac?

Yes. They should have been disembarked on the tarmac and bussed back to the terminal.


User currently offlineMir From United States of America, joined Jan 2004, 21864 posts, RR: 55
Reply 118, posted (1 year 10 months 1 week 4 days 17 hours ago) and read 5317 times:

Quoting mayor (Reply 116):
I doubt if that was predictable, though.

Logic would say that if you wait long enough, any line will eventually dissipate. That's especially true as the day goes on, as many flights cancel, and the spots that those flights would use end up vacant.

-Mir



7 billion, one nation, imagination...it's a beautiful day
User currently offlinezkokq From Australia, joined Mar 2012, 480 posts, RR: 0
Reply 119, posted (1 year 10 months 1 week 4 days 15 hours ago) and read 5231 times:

Quoting DocLightning (Reply 117):

In the snow storm? You're crazy.


User currently offlineKaiarahi From Canada, joined Jul 2009, 3071 posts, RR: 37
Reply 120, posted (1 year 10 months 1 week 4 days 13 hours ago) and read 5152 times:

Quoting DocLightning (Reply 117):
Yes. They should have been disembarked on the tarmac

It was considered too dangerous (snow + wind + ice - windchill was around -30C) to cater the aircraft. Having pax use MX airstairs would have been an invitation to personal injury.

Quoting DocLightning (Reply 117):
bussed back to the terminal.

And then what? The only way to get them into the sterile side of T1 would have been up the stairs used by rampers on the side of a bridge (or putting them on the checked baggage conveyor belts).

Quoting longhauler (Reply 110):
I think this thread says it all. Even with patient explanation, people here still say ... "Why didn't they just make it happen?"

   Or "the government should do something about it". I think:

1. Airports should be completely covered with a huge dome with retractable openings to let planes fly through
2. De-icing facilities that fail to provide McDonald-like drive thru service should be fined $1M per hour
3. All aircraft should be required to have a 24 hour supply of hot food on board at all times
4. All aircraft should be required to have sufficient snowsuits and mukluks for all pax on board
5. The meteorological service should be fined $1M for every blizzard
6. Airports should be required to have 20% more gates than are needed for regular ops
7. The pilot of any plane that slides off a runway or taxiway on ice should be castrated
8. The aircraft manufacturer should be required to cover the engine nacelles / cowlings with snowsuits
9. The aircraft manufacturer should be required to cover brakes with snowsuits



Empty vessels make the most noise.
User currently onlinemjoelnir From Iceland, joined Feb 2013, 1553 posts, RR: 3
Reply 121, posted (1 year 10 months 1 week 4 days 10 hours ago) and read 4961 times:

I do not understand the guys finding more and more excuses for keeping Passengers for more than 12 hours on an air-plane on a airport.

The reason for this is not the weather but a de-icing line that is not working properly everything else is a result.
That is the airport, or is de-icing done by the airlines?

What was the second longest wait on that day for any other air-plain?
Air-planes were taking of and landing all the time

When one air-plane has the longest wait it should get priority from the guys managing the Airport.


User currently offlineouboy79 From United States of America, joined Nov 2001, 4616 posts, RR: 23
Reply 122, posted (1 year 10 months 1 week 4 days 9 hours ago) and read 4933 times:

Quoting mjoelnir (Reply 121):
I do not understand the guys finding more and more excuses for keeping Passengers for more than 12 hours on an air-plane on a airport.

When you don't have a solution and refuse to take responsibility for someone, you make up an excuse. Human nature.


User currently offlinexero9 From Canada, joined Feb 2007, 155 posts, RR: 0
Reply 123, posted (1 year 10 months 1 week 4 days 9 hours ago) and read 4879 times:

Quoting madviking (Reply 104):
Pearson has what is know as the "Infield Terminal" that has 11 gates capable of parking a variety of wide body and narrow body aircraft.

Is this the satellite terminal that's on the east most side of the field by the 427?


User currently offlineMir From United States of America, joined Jan 2004, 21864 posts, RR: 55
Reply 124, posted (1 year 10 months 1 week 4 days 9 hours ago) and read 4878 times:

Quoting Kaiarahi (Reply 120):
The only way to get them into the sterile side of T1 would have been up the stairs used by rampers on the side of a bridge (or putting them on the checked baggage conveyor belts).

That there would be no way to get people from buses to the sterile side of the terminal would seem to be quite a design flaw. But if that's really the case, then it wouldn't be the end of the world to drop them off outside the sterile area and have them reclear security.

-Mir



7 billion, one nation, imagination...it's a beautiful day
User currently offlinebueb0g From United Kingdom, joined Jul 2010, 672 posts, RR: 0
Reply 125, posted (1 year 10 months 1 week 4 days 9 hours ago) and read 4839 times:

Quoting DocLightning (Reply 117):
Yes. They should have been disembarked on the tarmac and bussed back to the terminal.

Given the wind, snow, and ice, this was not possible. It would have been too dangerous to move airstairs up to the a/c.

Quoting Mir (Reply 124):
But if that's really the case, then it wouldn't be the end of the world to drop them off outside the sterile area and have them reclear security.

Sure, if you can get them off the plane without getting to a gate. As has been explained about 6 times now, this was not possible due to the wind.



Roger roger, what's our vector, victor?
User currently offlinesankaps From United States of America, joined Jan 2008, 2255 posts, RR: 2
Reply 126, posted (1 year 10 months 1 week 4 days 8 hours ago) and read 4774 times:

Quoting JAAlbert (Reply 114):
Good grief, it's not like critics are demanding the airline fly the passengers to the moon or something equally impossible. The passengers needed off the plane. Period. Find something, anything to get them off safely. Sure, standard operating procedures don't cover this sort of situation - that's why you have contingency plans for those unusual situations that do occur. And its not like this is the first time it's ever happened to an airline or airport. Jetblue at JFK, that AA aircraft in Texas a few years back anyone?

Review the customs policies and implement something that allows people to re-enter the terminal in times of whether or other emergencies. Sit down and figure it out. That's what the airport and airline folks are paid to do.

Exactly! And it appears this was the only flight that held its pax captive for such an extended period. Which, together with the VP's statement that they don't like to cancel flights, I think proves withoutout much room for doubt that this was a operartional decision-making failure specific to this airline and flight.

Heads WILL roll, like they did at Northwest after the 1999 Detroit snowstorm debacle, have no doubt about that. And all of the excuses being made here for why this was unavoidable or the best possible situation for the pax involved are really now bordering on desperation and denial. Just answer me one question: WHY did this not happen to any other flight? That's all I want to know!


User currently offlinemayor From United States of America, joined Mar 2008, 10654 posts, RR: 14
Reply 127, posted (1 year 10 months 1 week 4 days 7 hours ago) and read 4732 times:

Quoting sankaps (Reply 126):
WHY did this not happen to any other flight? That's all I want to know!

Apparently, WG didn't have the infrastructure at the airport to take care of problems like this.



"A committee is a group of the unprepared, appointed by the unwilling, to do the unnecessary"----Fred Allen
User currently offlineMir From United States of America, joined Jan 2004, 21864 posts, RR: 55
Reply 128, posted (1 year 10 months 1 week 4 days 7 hours ago) and read 4740 times:

Quoting bueb0g (Reply 125):
Sure, if you can get them off the plane without getting to a gate. As has been explained about 6 times now, this was not possible due to the wind.

And as I've mentioned several times, they were at a gate after they returned from the de-ice line the first time.

-Mir



7 billion, one nation, imagination...it's a beautiful day
User currently offlinesankaps From United States of America, joined Jan 2008, 2255 posts, RR: 2
Reply 129, posted (1 year 10 months 1 week 4 days 6 hours ago) and read 4678 times:

Quoting mayor (Reply 127):
Apparently, WG didn't have the infrastructure at the airport to take care of problems like this.

Exactly! Therefore it was an operational contingency planning and decision making failure at *one* airline. And for that they are responsible and heads WILL roll, it is as simple as that! Everything else, all excuses, justifications, etc are at this point just irrelevant noise.

[Edited 2013-02-12 11:22:38]

User currently offlinemayor From United States of America, joined Mar 2008, 10654 posts, RR: 14
Reply 130, posted (1 year 10 months 1 week 4 days 6 hours ago) and read 4667 times:

Quoting sankaps (Reply 129):
Everything else, all excuses, justifications, etc areat this point just irrelevant noise.

And all my posts (as well as posts of others) ,though they may seemed to be "excuses" , were just pointing out how quickly things can go south in situations like this, no matter the best intentions of those involved in it.



"A committee is a group of the unprepared, appointed by the unwilling, to do the unnecessary"----Fred Allen
User currently offlinebrilondon From Canada, joined Aug 2005, 4414 posts, RR: 2
Reply 131, posted (1 year 10 months 1 week 4 days 5 hours ago) and read 4540 times:

Quoting Kaiarahi (Reply 120):

Quoting DocLightning (Reply 117):
Yes. They should have been disembarked on the tarmac

It was considered too dangerous (snow + wind + ice - windchill was around -30C) to cater the aircraft. Having pax use MX airstairs would have been an invitation to personal injury.

Quoting DocLightning (Reply 117):
bussed back to the terminal.

And then what? The only way to get them into the sterile side of T1 would have been up the stairs used by rampers on the side of a bridge (or putting them on the checked baggage conveyor belts).

Q

You are an apologist for a failed system that was not up to snuff when it was needed. Generally, the system works well, but obviously like the city it serves, they can't handle less than a metre of snow. Should have called out the army.

Quoting xero9 (Reply 123):
Is this the satellite terminal that's on the east most side of the field by the 427?



No, I believe that the terminal in question is the unused terminal in the middle of the airfield north of the cargo facilities. It was used when they were building the T1 and they bused out the international passengers.



Rush for ever; Yankees all the way!!
User currently onlineViscount724 From Switzerland, joined Oct 2006, 25999 posts, RR: 22
Reply 132, posted (1 year 10 months 1 week 4 days 5 hours ago) and read 4515 times:

Tried to edit reply 131 to correct a minor typo and it became seriously corrupted with much of the text disappearing. That happens frequently and is very annoying. Repeating the reply with correction here:

Virtually all carriers serving Toronto had passengers stranded on aircraft for several hours on Friday. Maybe not 13 hours but much longer than acceptable. AC's COO has stated that the performance of the GTAA (the airport authority) was unacceptable.

Excerpt from one AC item on Friday's situation:

Automated Guidance System failed at the GTAA’s Central Deicing Facility (CDF) resulting in severe constraints at the de-icing facility, gridlock on the ramp, multitudes of flights whose aircraft were in the de-icing queue canceling after several hours of waiting, and further delayed waiting for available gates. All airlines operating at Toronto were affected. An unprecedented ground-stop in Toronto occureed in the afternoon, leading to the cancellation of virtually all flights to Toronto.


User currently offlineStratofish From Germany, joined Sep 2001, 1055 posts, RR: 5
Reply 133, posted (1 year 10 months 1 week 4 days 4 hours ago) and read 4413 times:

Quoting sankaps (Reply 60):
Many of those who you dismiss as "armchair critics" are actually aviation professionals, including several who actually work the ramp and have experienced similar conditions. Bottom line: this was a major fail by the airport and airline Ops. No one is blaming the flights crew for this, except possibly the captain could have been more forecful with the Ops dept.

  

I have read most repelies though not all of them... so please bear if this has been posted already:
http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/toront...3/02/09/toornto-sunwing-delay.html

My two + x cents:
I guess Sunwing execs were too busy averting a looming strike so the upcoming storm was out of their sight.

If the deicing machine stops working at acceptable levels - and 8 a/c per hour instead of 30 is nowhere near acceptable - YYZ needs to have a working contingency or needs to shut down all outbound ops PERIOD

Quoting longhauler (Reply 88):
which is usually about 30-40 minutes to de-ice.

40 mins for deicing in normal conditions? Didn't know YYZ handles winter no better than LHR.

Heads must roll! At least one at Sunwing and at least three at GTAA.

Quote:
When the Sunwing plane finally got to the front of the line, the de-icing crew noticed that ice had built up on the engine cowlings (the covering) and the de-icing machine cannot handle that.

"So [the aircraft] had to return to the gate for what we thought would be a fairly quick fix there. We would get our maintenance people to come out and remove the ice from the cowlings."

Do you always need maintenance ppl to deice engine cowlings? Why can't a de-icing machine do that?



The Metro might be the Sub(optimal)way
User currently offlineKaiarahi From Canada, joined Jul 2009, 3071 posts, RR: 37
Reply 134, posted (1 year 10 months 1 week 4 days 3 hours ago) and read 4359 times:

Quoting brilondon (Reply 131):
You are an apologist for a failed system that was not up to snuff when it was needed.

Yep, the airline needs to make sure that snow + wind = blizzard doesn't happen.

Quoting sankaps (Reply 129):
heads WILL roll, it is as simple as that

Will they? We'll see.

Quoting Mir (Reply 124):
That there would be no way to get people from buses to the sterile side of the terminal would seem to be quite a design flaw.

YYZ doesn't have remote stands for embarking/deplaning pax.

Quoting sankaps (Reply 126):
WHY did this not happen to any other flight? That's all I want to know!

It happened to almost every flight, but not for as long.

Quoting sankaps (Reply 129):
Therefore it was an operational contingency planning and decision making failure at *one* airline

Yep - small(ish) charter airlines should be banned and pax should pay full freight on scheduled carriers.

Quoting mayor (Reply 130):
And all my posts (as well as posts of others) ,though they may seemed to be "excuses" , were just pointing out how quickly things can go south in situations like this, no matter the best intentions of those involved in it.


      Let's fire every poster on this site who has ever made a decision that seemed right at the time, but with 20/20 hindsight could have been done differently.



Empty vessels make the most noise.
User currently offlinesankaps From United States of America, joined Jan 2008, 2255 posts, RR: 2
Reply 135, posted (1 year 10 months 1 week 4 days 3 hours ago) and read 4309 times:

Quoting Kaiarahi (Reply 134):
Will they? We'll see.

Yes we will. And the airline will likely face civil penalties / fines.

Quoting Kaiarahi (Reply 134):
It happened to almost every flight, but not for as long.

And that is the key difference. Of course delays happen in adverse weather situations. But a 13 hour on-board imprisonment is not just a delay, it is something completely different. How about some data on how long the second worst on-board delay was?

Quoting Kaiarahi (Reply 134):
Yep - small(ish) charter airlines should be banned and pax should pay full freight on scheduled carriers.

Nope. But disruption handling standards should be set and enforced, with stiff financial penalties, like in the US after similar incidents a few years ago.

Quoting Kaiarahi (Reply 134):
Let's fire every poster on this site who has ever made a decision that seemed right at the time, but with 20/20 hindsight could have been done differently.

20/20 hindsight is not what we are seeing here. What we are seeing is excuse after excuse that this was simply an unavoidable delay, which suggests that if this situation were to occur again, then the airline and people involved would make exactly the same decisions. Rather than acknowledge this was a major and avoidable screw-up where poor decisions were made, learn from this, and put process fixes in place.

[Edited 2013-02-12 13:44:35]

User currently offlineKaiarahi From Canada, joined Jul 2009, 3071 posts, RR: 37
Reply 136, posted (1 year 10 months 1 week 4 days 2 hours ago) and read 4238 times:

Quoting sankaps (Reply 135):
But disruption handling standards should be set and enforced, with stiff financial penalties, like in the US after similar incidents a few years ago.

And the result of that is vastly increased flight cancellations, so that the airlines don't risk getting close to a penalty situation.

Quoting sankaps (Reply 135):
And the airline will likely face civil penalties / fines.

Under what statute?



Empty vessels make the most noise.
User currently offlinesankaps From United States of America, joined Jan 2008, 2255 posts, RR: 2
Reply 137, posted (1 year 10 months 1 week 4 days 2 hours ago) and read 4210 times:

Quoting Kaiarahi (Reply 136):
And the result of that is vastly increased flight cancellations, so that the airlines don't risk getting close to a penalty situation.

Yup. I think most passengers would prefer that to being held against their will on an aircraft on the ground for 13 hours with insufficient food and water, not to mention what must have been horrendoues lav conditions as the hours ticked by.

Quoting Kaiarahi (Reply 136):
Under what statute?

I'll leave that to the lawyers to figure out.

Incidentaly as I had never heard of Sunwind until this incident, decided to look into their past history with delays and customer handling, and in a word: disastrous! This airline will not be in business 2 years from now is my prediction!

[Edited 2013-02-12 14:28:39]

User currently onlineViscount724 From Switzerland, joined Oct 2006, 25999 posts, RR: 22
Reply 138, posted (1 year 10 months 1 week 3 days 23 hours ago) and read 4087 times:

Quoting sankaps (Reply 137):
Incidentaly as I had never heard of Sunwind until this incident, decided to look into their past history with delays and customer handling, and in a word: disastrous! This airline will not be in business 2 years from now is my prediction!

It's Sunwing (not Sunwind). I think you're wrong. Reports I've seen indicate that most passengers are happy with their service. They've been giving Air Transat a lot of problems.


User currently offlineMir From United States of America, joined Jan 2004, 21864 posts, RR: 55
Reply 139, posted (1 year 10 months 1 week 3 days 23 hours ago) and read 4029 times:

Quoting Stratofish (Reply 133):
If the deicing machine stops working at acceptable levels - and 8 a/c per hour instead of 30 is nowhere near acceptable - YYZ needs to have a working contingency or needs to shut down all outbound ops PERIOD

Or just only let 8 aircraft per hour taxi out. Those airlines that don't want to keep people waiting around all day or just can't logistically do it will cancel flights, and eventually those who do have the patience and capability to wait things out will get their turn in line.

The fact that planes were piling up in the de-ice line when the de-icers knew they had a capacity issue is a major failure in communication, either between the de-icers and ATC, or between ATC and the aircraft and airlines.

Quoting Kaiarahi (Reply 134):
YYZ doesn't have remote stands for embarking/deplaning pax.

Still a design flaw - what's the contingency plan if an aircraft couldn't get back to the gate and the passengers needed to get off (let's take the weather out of the equation for the moment, just consider a disabled aircraft, or perhaps an evacuation)? How are they supposed to get back into the terminal?

-Mir



7 billion, one nation, imagination...it's a beautiful day
User currently offlineJAGflyer From Canada, joined Aug 2004, 3582 posts, RR: 4
Reply 140, posted (1 year 10 months 1 week 3 days 21 hours ago) and read 3939 times:

Back when the IFT was in use, passengers were bussed to the terminal. There are doors which passengers could enter/exit through one floor below the departures level at the curb (airside) just for this reason. I am not sure if this would have been a possible idea as the buses were probably not running considering the ground conditions nor is there the required security presence available at the entry/exit doors.


Support the beer and soda can industry, recycle old airplanes!
User currently offlineFly2yyz From Canada, joined Jan 2006, 1046 posts, RR: 2
Reply 141, posted (1 year 10 months 1 week 3 days 21 hours ago) and read 3943 times:

Quoting Viscount724 (Reply 138):

They will be around because of their enormous financial backing from Sunwings part European owners TUI.


User currently offlinesankaps From United States of America, joined Jan 2008, 2255 posts, RR: 2
Reply 142, posted (1 year 10 months 1 week 3 days 16 hours ago) and read 3810 times:

Quoting JAGflyer (Reply 140):
I am not sure if this would have been a possible idea as the buses were probably not running considering the ground conditions.

It is interesting that apparently it was too dangerous for buses or stairs to be used because of the weather, yet mechanics and ground workers were able to fix frozen brakes, de-ice the cowlings, etc etc during this period. So some activities were definitely taking place, its not like nothing and no one could move.


User currently offlinelonghauler From Canada, joined Mar 2004, 5157 posts, RR: 43
Reply 143, posted (1 year 10 months 1 week 3 days 10 hours ago) and read 3661 times:

Quoting sankaps (Reply 135):
20/20 hindsight is not what we are seeing here. What we are seeing is excuse after excuse that this was simply an unavoidable delay, which suggests that if this situation were to occur again, then the airline and people involved would make exactly the same decisions.

Given that just about everything that could happen, did happen, it is very unlikely the same set of circumstances would occur again in the same sequence. As each hurdle occurred and was overcome, the airline made the decision to continue when it was legal to do so. Take any one of those "hurdles" out, and the airplane would have departed.

Quoting Stratofish (Reply 133):

Do you always need maintenance ppl to deice engine cowlings? Why can't a de-icing machine do that?

The issue, referred to as "barrel ice" is snow or ice that has accumulated on the inside of the cowling at the bottom, just ahead of the fan blades. It can, and will cause blade damage if the engine is started with that snow/ice there. (Last year AC had 11 A320 engines damaged with this issue.) It is caused by the aircraft sitting in snow conditions without the engines running, and sometimes even when the engine is running.

As there are many delicate issues in the area, maintenance usually is the best to fix it, or oversee the de-icing. Normally hot air is blown into the engine to melt/evaporate the snow/ice.

Quoting sankaps (Reply 142):
It is interesting that apparently it was too dangerous for buses or stairs to be used because of the weather, yet mechanics and ground workers were able to fix frozen brakes, de-ice the cowlings, etc etc during this period. So some activities were definitely taking place, its not like nothing and no one could move.

The barrel ice was removed at the gate, when the aircraft returned for re-fueling, in the shelter of the terminal. The brakes were inspected by mechanics when sending a truck out to the taxiway where the aircraft sat. Very different than opening doors in gusty conditions and placing stairs next to the aircraft. The door wind limit was not exceeded, but I understand that mobile stairs are wind limited due to their design.

Quoting JAGflyer (Reply 140):
Back when the IFT was in use, passengers were bussed to the terminal. There are doors which passengers could enter/exit through one floor below the departures level at the curb (airside) just for this reason. I am not sure if this would have been a possible idea as the buses were probably not running considering the ground conditions nor is there the required security presence available at the entry/exit doors.

This is what I thought. As you note, there used to be doors right into Customs from the ramp, from the IFT days. I assume they are still there, as under better conditions a stair/bus operation may be necessary sometimes.



Never gonna grow up, never gonna slow down .... Barefoot Blue Jean Night
User currently offlineMir From United States of America, joined Jan 2004, 21864 posts, RR: 55
Reply 144, posted (1 year 10 months 1 week 3 days 8 hours ago) and read 3565 times:

Quoting longhauler (Reply 143):
The barrel ice was removed at the gate, when the aircraft returned for re-fueling, in the shelter of the terminal.

So it would seem that stairs could be pulled up to the plane in the shelter of the terminal as well.

-Mir



7 billion, one nation, imagination...it's a beautiful day
User currently offlinesankaps From United States of America, joined Jan 2008, 2255 posts, RR: 2
Reply 145, posted (1 year 10 months 1 week 3 days 8 hours ago) and read 3523 times:

Quoting Mir (Reply 144):
So it would seem that stairs could be pulled up to the plane in the shelter of the terminal as well.

-Mir

Exactly. If that is what the airline's ops people wanted to have done, or if the flight crew demanded it be done, it could have been done. Just poor judgment and decision-making, thats the bottom-line.


User currently offlinemayor From United States of America, joined Mar 2008, 10654 posts, RR: 14
Reply 146, posted (1 year 10 months 1 week 3 days 8 hours ago) and read 3512 times:

Quoting sankaps (Reply 135):
20/20 hindsight is not what we are seeing here. What we are seeing is excuse after excuse that this was simply an unavoidable delay, which suggests that if this situation were to occur again, then the airline and people involved would make exactly the same decisions. Rather than acknowledge this was a major and avoidable screw-up where poor decisions were made, learn from this, and put process fixes in place.

It's all 20/20 hindsight on here, especially from those that have never worked the ramp or operations, especially in adverse conditions. It's not excuses on our part, but to explain how things can go bad, in a hurry. I'm not making excuses for those that were involved in this.......they know what they did wrong and what went wrong. Quite often, after a flight has left, you hash over what mistakes were made and what could have been done to eliminate those mistakes, but there ARE mistakes made, on almost every flight.....none are perfect as much as we would like them to be. Trust me, NOBODY wants to take a delay or be responsible for it.

It sounds to me that this isn't the fault of the ground crew or aircrew but they WERE hampered by managements policy of not wanting to cancel flights. Most of the blame can be put at the feet of airport management for not having the de-icing up to snuff. Then it all went downhill from there, not just for Sunwing, but all of the other airlines, too.



"A committee is a group of the unprepared, appointed by the unwilling, to do the unnecessary"----Fred Allen
User currently offlinesankaps From United States of America, joined Jan 2008, 2255 posts, RR: 2
Reply 147, posted (1 year 10 months 1 week 3 days 7 hours ago) and read 3495 times:

Quoting mayor (Reply 146):
It sounds to me that this isn't the fault of the ground crew or aircrew but they WERE hampered by managements policy of not wanting to cancel flights. Most of the blame can be put at the feet of airport management for not having the de-icing up to snuff. Then it all went downhill from there, not just for Sunwing, but all of the other airlines, too.

I fully agree Mayor. I don't think most people think it is the fault of the ramp or ground staff at all. I think we are all saying it was a policy and decision-making screw up, and an ops management screw up. THAT is where heads need to roll.

Having said that, the Captain could have demanded that his crew and passengers be let off, but perhaps Sunwing culture makes that difficult for him or her to do?


User currently offlinelonghauler From Canada, joined Mar 2004, 5157 posts, RR: 43
Reply 148, posted (1 year 10 months 1 week 3 days 7 hours ago) and read 3459 times:

Quoting sankaps (Reply 147):
I fully agree Mayor. I don't think most people think it is the fault of the ramp or ground staff at all. I think we are all saying it was a policy and decision-making screw up, and an ops management screw up. THAT is where heads need to roll.

I imagine that just about everyone in Sunwing is under scrutiny right now, and every decision right from the very beginning .... starting with, how much taxi fuel was boarded ... will be reviewed.

Quoting sankaps (Reply 147):
Having said that, the Captain could have demanded that his crew and passengers be let off, but perhaps Sunwing culture makes that difficult for him or her to do?

Sunwing is a very well run airline. A lot of their management came from Wardair, (another airline you likely haven't heard of), and they have a good reputation. But demanding something to happen when it physically can not will garner no results. The only thing the Captain could have done, is made sure their company operations was aware of timing. Namely, the request for a gate was made at 1600, and received at 1855, arriving at the gate at 1920. He would have made sure the company was aware that while the request was made at 1600, the passengers were in the airplane since 0700.

If you read above, you read that I was reviewing a report about this incident. That report was not about this aircraft, but an AC aircraft that had to wait 4 1/2 hours for a gate. Mentioned in this report is that the Sunwing aircraft, which while asking for a gate after the AC aircraft, was given priority due to timing and went to the head of the line. With limited resources, namely all gates were filled with delays, they did the only physical thing the gate planners could do.

Mentioned in this report, is that the air-side ground entry into Customs (the bus/stairs scenario) was not available, as the GTAA could not staff it, as they were short staffed as people could not make it into work.



Never gonna grow up, never gonna slow down .... Barefoot Blue Jean Night
User currently offlineKaiarahi From Canada, joined Jul 2009, 3071 posts, RR: 37
Reply 149, posted (1 year 10 months 1 week 3 days 7 hours ago) and read 3454 times:

Quoting sankaps (Reply 147):
THAT is where heads need to roll.

Lessons learned are more productive. If you fire everyone who makes a mistake or error in judgement, no lessons are ever learned.

Interestingly, there's much more baying for blood on this site than amongst the affected pax (there have been no follow-up stories about lawsuits or suggesting anyone be fired). As Longhauler has noted, most pax are happy to get to their destination - if this flight had been cancelled, the pax would have lost their week in the sun.



Empty vessels make the most noise.
User currently offlineXT6Wagon From United States of America, joined Feb 2007, 3432 posts, RR: 4
Reply 150, posted (1 year 10 months 1 week 3 days 7 hours ago) and read 3426 times:

Quoting mayor (Reply 146):
but to explain how things can go bad, in a hurry

in a hurry? 13 hours says no hurry was found.

most troubling is the time it took from when the flight was cancled till the time passengers were offloaded. I'm not assigning blame to the ground workers as they don't make the decisions... but someone at the airport wasn't exactly rushing things along.


User currently offlinemayor From United States of America, joined Mar 2008, 10654 posts, RR: 14
Reply 151, posted (1 year 10 months 1 week 3 days 7 hours ago) and read 3416 times:

Quoting longhauler (Reply 148):
Mentioned in this report, is that the air-side ground entry into Customs (the bus/stairs scenario) was not available, as the GTAA could not staff it, as they were short staffed as people could not make it into work.

This statement would seem to dispute what was mentioned about this storm, earlier, that this was just a run of the mill, midwinter snowstorm.



"A committee is a group of the unprepared, appointed by the unwilling, to do the unnecessary"----Fred Allen
User currently offlinelonghauler From Canada, joined Mar 2004, 5157 posts, RR: 43
Reply 152, posted (1 year 10 months 1 week 3 days 6 hours ago) and read 3409 times:

Quoting mayor (Reply 151):
This statement would seem to dispute what was mentioned about this storm, earlier, that this was just a run of the mill, midwinter snowstorm.

One thing I have noticed with winter operations, is that when the airport is working smoothly, and it usually is, the issue is not air-side, but land-side .... getting employees to the airport. Highways can be hellish, and transit systems grind to a halt.

When a major winter storm is forecast, AC starts bringing in aircrew the night before and putting them in hotels at the airport, hoping to alleviate the crewing delays.



Never gonna grow up, never gonna slow down .... Barefoot Blue Jean Night
User currently offlinesankaps From United States of America, joined Jan 2008, 2255 posts, RR: 2
Reply 153, posted (1 year 10 months 1 week 3 days 6 hours ago) and read 3342 times:

Quoting Kaiarahi (Reply 149):
Lessons learned are more productive. If you fire everyone who makes a mistake or error in judgement, no lessons are ever learned.

There are mistakes, and there is gross incompetence bordering on serious negligence. I think this situation falls into the latter category. Though I am glad the tone has now started to come around to "mistakes were made" rather than "nothing possibly could have been done differently".

Quoting Kaiarahi (Reply 149):
Interestingly, there's much more baying for blood on this site than amongst the affected pax (there have been no follow-up stories about lawsuits or suggesting anyone be fired). As Longhauler has noted, most pax are happy to get to their destination - if this flight had been cancelled, the pax would have lost their week in the sun.

The pax are in Costa Rica or wherever. Lack of news from them does not reduce the seriousness of how poorly the situation was handled. And the only other option was not cancellation of the flight. It could have been re-scheduled to the next day (which is what eventually happened), as presumably the aircraft had to get to Costa Rica anyway to get the return load back. Which is precisely how BA handled one of the flights from LGW to CAI last year that I was on -- snow hit LGW, BA re-scheduled the flight for 12 hours later (from 7pm to 7am the next morning).

[Edited 2013-02-13 10:43:51]

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