Topic Author
Posts: 526
Joined: Mon Jan 17, 2005 4:16 am

Ice Storms Katl

Sun Jan 30, 2005 6:54 pm


Ok, all here is some nice information and perhaps it will Answer a lot. Formally employed by Delta and worked in KATL... Ok you see my credentials and will hear it straight from the horses mouth.

When weather approaches air lines do their best to prepare for the incoming hell. De/Anti-Icing ops are the most hellish times for airlines and employees. When that kind of operation is under way flights are cancelled consolidated where they can and than all remaining flights departures and arrivals are spread out to keep aircraft from sitting on the active taxiway waiting for a gate to open or take off. Even when flights are cancelled and times are delayed you still have a HUGE BOTTLE neck at the De/Anti-Ice pads.

I do not want to hear another passenger say the airline employee doesn't care. I'm sure there are some out there who are short and tired and irritated. Hell I was in a cherry picker of a De-ice truck for 8 hours straight! I didn't get anything to drink, or eat because I was committed to keep my end of the deal up for the passenger. I was making sure I was doing my part to get my section of the aircraft free and clear of ice so we could get the hulks out. If I had to piss I just did it out the side of the cherry picker. I was covered in snow and ice but maintained my professionalism, and consequentially didn't leave till about 5am the next morning about 4 hours after we deiced the last aircraft because we had to service all the trucks and get them ready for the next morning.

De icing fluid is a premium people. Although I'm sure they didn't run out of de icing fluid, I'm sure the trucks went dry at some point and they had to get a full one over the pad. Depending on the size of the aircraft it can take as much as 1200 gallons to deice. It depends on the aircraft and how much build up of snow and ice. The truck holds about 1200 gallons of fluid. There are 4 trucks per aircraft so each truck will use as little as 100 or as much as 600 to get a plane cleaned. Than you have to go and refill which takes about 15 - 20 minutes. As for aircraft strikes with De/icing I haven't done that or been around one who has. It does happen and although tragic it is better to not dispatch an aircraft that has been damaged at all. Common sense right?

AS for the gate agent, a 763 holds about 250 passengers if not more. So let me see here. ONE gate agent versus 250 passengers. That sounds like a fair fight seeing there is only 3 feet of desk and a computer holding back the horde. I was once in KORF working a gate with 4 aircraft diverted from JFK. I had 500 people sitting in my gate area waiting to get to JFK. I kept them up to date with what flight control was telling us every 15 minutes. I never had the right answer because after ever announcement I had 100 people come up to me and ask me the same questions I hadn't had the answers for. My only answer was there was weather in JFK. We can't let you go yet or you will just end up back here for more fuel, and the airline will put you on another flight but we will not put you up in a hotel because according to company policy we do not put passengers up in a hotel due to weather. (NO AIRLINE PUTS PEOPLE UP DUE TO WEATHER). The last flight left at 1am that day and I was completely whipped. I was one man and 500 people. Does anybody not airline affiliated deal with 500 people like that in a span of 5 hours? I mean c'mon people 500 angry,.tired, upset, distraught passengers. Unless you are a Airline Customer Service Rep you will never see that kind of pressure/stress in your life.

UPS PILOT. The agent your girlfriend was dealing with I'm sure was not rude to her. I'm sure the agent was tired and stressed having dealt with hundreds of other screaming passengers. You become numb after hours of dealing with other people's blow outs. You help the passenger, let them vent and get them on their way to their destinations. You can only do so much, a seat on the next available flight is the most they can do in weather. If the flight cancelled due to a maintenance or airline responsible failure than they should have been given a hotel room. If there are no hotel rooms available (which happens in ATL) than you will not be given that service either due to "NO HOTEL ROOMS"

Finally UPS pilot, SHAME ON YOU. You are an employee of the most complex/expensive non government funded businesses in the US. You should be ashamed to slam fellow members of your community. Further more you should not be blasphemous toward a section of your industry you have no idea how runs. You are a pilot of a Cargo hulk. Not a Airport Customer Service agent or pilot. You have NO earthly idea what they do or how they do it, you just are rated on an aircraft that the airline might fly. You should know better than to slam that airline.

BTW I failed to mention that UPS pilot is entitled to free flights on any airline he chooses if the Cockpit Jumpseat is available he can hop a flight to anywhere. Real nice camaraderie, I hope airline employees find out who you are and deny you your opportunity. Thanks a bunch for your ill factually based thread earlier.
UPS Pilot
Posts: 865
Joined: Tue May 18, 1999 1:17 pm

RE: Ice Storms Katl

Sun Jan 30, 2005 11:13 pm

This is a duplicate post first off. Second thing is yes other airlines were putting up passengers. Even on later flights that came in to ATL after hers. You should know that airlines block rooms for situations. Air Tran did indeed put up people. We bought her clothes last night as well since luggage never made it.
I'm sorry if you people want to take jabs at my personality. I'm sure you all have known me all of my years, spent holidays and birthdays together. People this is a forum that's all. If you can take psych evaluations from this then go ahead.

As far as ill facts. You are right I'm getting the information via cell phone every 10 minutes. She even had her cell phone turned on so I could hear the gate agent. I'm going off of her word. Why didn't Delta route her out of CVG to FL instead of going to CVG to ATL?

I was a little upset in the original post. I forgot to realize that ATL doesn't get hit with ice too much. But when people attack me for what I wrote, that's too much.
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Joined: Tue Dec 30, 2003 5:30 am

RE: Ice Storms Katl

Sun Jan 30, 2005 11:21 pm

I've been put up in free hotels with meals many times due to weather.
Posts: 3261
Joined: Mon Apr 05, 2004 3:47 am

RE: Ice Storms Katl

Sun Jan 30, 2005 11:54 pm

I guarantee that AirTran didn't pay for the hotel. We may tell a hotel that we need a block of rooms, but in a weather event, you the passenger will be buying your room. If the agent did give out a hotel voucher, then I hope that he/she is spoken to about it.
Nice Trip Report!!! Great Pics, thanks for posting!!!! B747Forever
Posts: 888
Joined: Wed Jul 28, 2004 9:29 am

RE: Ice Storms Katl

Mon Jan 31, 2005 12:02 am

As passengers, there are things that we can do to help too -- call the airlines 800 number, and rebook ourselves, costs us nothing, and saves the gate agent time and trouble -- those of us with cell phones can also help other passengers, and again, save the gate agent time

But, most important, realize that the whole issue is our safety -- why oh why would we fuss and complain about an icing situation? Isn't it much better to be in a terminal (relatively warm and dry) than out in the elements? To say nothing of the possible dangers of flying on a plane with ice on it

Come on people, work with the situation, not against it, and don't blame an airline for a weather situation
Posts: 73
Joined: Sat Nov 13, 2004 12:29 pm

RE: Ice Storms Katl

Mon Jan 31, 2005 12:26 am

I would like to add that even with all the pre-planning done before the storm there are simply thing you just don't plan on occurring. We did not plan on our two De-icing trucks breaking down and having to borrow one from AA only to watch the heating unit in that truck die and watch the type I freeze to the wing, nothing like using 800 gallons on a ERJ 145. Then you have to plan some employees not being able to make it in. So even with all the planning you sometimes just have to go with the flow. Last off I would just like to say Stay Safe to all my fellow comrades at all airlines whether it be in CS, Ramp or maintenance!
Posts: 12923
Joined: Thu Jan 29, 2004 1:24 pm

RE: Ice Storms Katl

Mon Jan 31, 2005 12:37 am

Most people don't realize how aircraft fly, so don't understand why they can't fly through a ice/snow/thunder storm. Where the problem comes in is when there has to be cancellations and it causes difficulties in their lives. In some cases people have business deadlines, maybe they cut the flight time too short to depart for a cruse they booked months before, maybe they just want to get home after being away too long from family and friends. You have people with limited financial resources and cannot afford a motel room or additonal meals. Somethimes the airport facilities get overwhelmed from security to food stands to bathrooms, adding aggervation. Some have medical conditions where significant delays may be a serious problem for them. Many people just believe if you delay/hassle them, well, they want to be given special treatment even if it is 'God's' fault. Far too often people expect the airlines to have God like powers to clear the weather. I have no problem with even a substantial delay in service if there is weather or mechanical problem as I don't want my body or others at risk. Then you get those Agressive types who believe they can bully and extort an airline to give them something they are not entitled too.
Sometimes, as with Airtran did here, they realized it was there fault that they didn't give their passangers enough notice of the delays before they got to or at the airport. This is probably the complaint of UPSPILOT. Where there is an honest arguement is when airlines try to hide or hold back information or creat confusion. I realize that situations are fluid, but sometimes airlines should make it understood what the worse case senerio is, what the procedures and rules are, perhaps with printed handouts to passangers to let them know what they are. There is also a need for more open electronic systems of distribution of information and rebooking as to alternatives. In the post-9/11 world, for economic and security reasons, many more liberal policies of the past gone.
Topic Author
Posts: 526
Joined: Mon Jan 17, 2005 4:16 am

RE: Ice Storms Katl

Tue Feb 01, 2005 2:22 am

Hey UPS, i think the reason she went from CVG - ATL - PBI was maybe you paid a cheap ticket and received that route!


She was routed with confirmed seating from CVG - ATL - PBI. All in all I'm sure your girlfriend was upset that she was spending the night somewhere she didn't anticipate, as many were, but as a former airline employee I can tell you that NO air carrier puts people up in a hotel room due to weather. There has to be some fault to the carrier before such an event would occur.

UPS, I'm sorry if you had a rough experiance flying on an airline during a very busy ground time like winter. Maybe in the future things will be less hectic, but don't you dare take it out on people who are trying to make the skys safer by sitting in a cherry picker for 8 hours freezing and de/anti icing aircraft. It isn't professional or right... BTW I once had to deice a UPS 757. It tooke 40 minutes to do it with one truck, and about 600 gallons of Type I. It takes time and effort to do that job, and maybe you should be thankful that people do that job or airlines would not function at all in a snow storm.

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