Matt D
Topic Author
Posts: 8907
Joined: Fri Nov 19, 1999 6:00 am

Have The Shuttles Carried Just One Pax?

Mon Jun 03, 2002 9:10 pm

I have a question about the Northeast shuttles (USAir, Delta). From what I understand, they are "guaranteed" seating. From what I've heard, that means that even if they are overbooked by just one person, they'll roll out an extra plane for that one person.

Has that ever actually happened?

And now some follow up questions:

Since US and DL presumably have planes "standing by", they must also have standby crews as well. Do those crews get paid to be on standby, or do they only get paid if they actually get called for a flight?

I would imagine that running a plane with just one passenger would be pretty expensive, to say nothing of all the empty seats.

Would US and DL actually run the plane, or would they attempt to dissuade the one extra passenger from taking that flight? Perhaps they will dangle a free, nonstop first class ticket to anywhere as compensation. Wouldn't that still be far cheaper than running a 727, a 737-600, or an Airbus with exactly one passenger?

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Joined: Wed Jan 30, 2002 10:53 pm

RE: Have The Shuttles Carried Just One Pax?

Mon Jun 03, 2002 9:28 pm

Eastern, who operated the original shuttle, ran a few extra sections for just one person over the years but not many. As the computer systems became more sophisticated they were better able to predict loads and plan accordingly. The first "Passenger 96," named so because the SuperConstellation used on the Shuttle in the early days carried 95 passengers, thought everyone was crazy when Eastern tried to fly him alone and he refused to go. The first time a plane was used for one Passenger 96 was two-months after the Shuttle started in 1961 and garnered Eastern much publicity. By the jet-era, Passenger 96s had all but disappeared. I believe the standby crews do get paid but, as mentioned, whether or not they fly is pretty well known in advance.
I work for Southwest, but the views expressed are my own and do not necessarily represent those of Southwest.
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Joined: Thu Dec 13, 2001 8:27 pm

RE: Have The Shuttles Carried Just One Pax?

Mon Jun 03, 2002 9:47 pm

Funny- I was about to ask the EXACT same question.
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