767Lover
Topic Author
Posts: 3254
Joined: Fri Sep 26, 2003 6:32 am

AA: Why No Beverages On (very) Delayed Flight?

Thu Jul 21, 2005 12:56 pm

Was on AA yesterday flying DFW-ATL as a connection from SFO.

Flight was scheduled to depart DFW at 5:19 p.m. Boarding occurred on schedule, and just as we had finally finished loading and were ready to push back, the captain came on and said our departure would be delayed by at least 2.5 hours due to wx in ATL AND we'd have to spend the delay on the ramp because we had to give up our gate at DFW.

It was about 95 degrees outside and the airplane was scorching in the blazing Dallas heat. The crew did their best to keep the jet cool (used an external generator) but regardless the packed plane was an oven.

My main frustration was that they didn't offer to bring any beverages around to help us cool down a bit. The attendants did provide some room-temperature water, but I was expecting that they'd offer softdrinks and ice during the delay.

Is there some policy against doing this? We were offered full beverage service once we were airborne 3 hours later.
 
ANCFlyer
Posts: 21391
Joined: Mon Nov 15, 2004 3:51 pm

RE: AA: Why No Beverages On (very) Delayed Flight?

Thu Jul 21, 2005 1:28 pm

Didn't you see AA turned a profit . . . wonder how much they saved roasting the passengers for 2 1/2 hours?
FOR THOSE THAT FOUGHT FOR IT, FREEDOM HAS A FLAVOR THE PROTECTED WILL NEVER KNOW OR UNDERSTAND
 
theflcowboy
Posts: 357
Joined: Sun Jan 04, 2004 3:44 am

RE: AA: Why No Beverages On (very) Delayed Flight?

Thu Jul 21, 2005 1:29 pm

On all the delayed flights ive been on (mostly DL), I have never been offered anything other than water unless I was in first.

It probably has something to do with the way the plane is catered based on expected flight time. A DFW-ATL flight, they may do 2 cabin services. It adds a lot of extra weight to carry extra cokes for a delay that might not even happen.

MD
A318, A320, A332, A333, B1900, B722, B732, B733, B734, B735, B737, B738, B772, CR1, CR2, CR7, CR9, MD80, MD81, MD82, MD8
 
FLAIRPORT
Posts: 3863
Joined: Thu Oct 26, 2000 10:46 am

RE: AA: Why No Beverages On (very) Delayed Flight?

Thu Jul 21, 2005 1:31 pm

They did worse on my dads flight last week DFW-MIA. the IF Meals for $2...if you can call it a meal...were NOT avialable and they were delayed about 2 1/2 hours on the ground as well. So, my dad did not eat and he got no meal as promised by AA. I'm not sure if he got a drink or not.
NEXT FLIGHT: FLL-ATL-HPN on FL
 
FlyingTexan
Posts: 2998
Joined: Tue Jan 07, 2003 8:30 am

RE: AA: Why No Beverages On (very) Delayed Flight?

Thu Jul 21, 2005 1:41 pm

Typical AA. Still doesn’t beat my DFW-OAK segment in 2001.

After FOUR hours of sitting on the runway ~ NO DRINKS ~ near riot like conditions insinuated in the coach cabin.

And I understand wx.

But at least do something – and don’t blame it on weather – even if that was the initial cause. It was their bad business model.

 spin 
"Wouldn't your boss like to fly home nonstop at 4:30 on a Friday afternoon?" -Airline Exec to Congressional Staffer
 
cwapilot
Posts: 1085
Joined: Mon May 01, 2000 7:10 am

RE: AA: Why No Beverages On (very) Delayed Flight?

Thu Jul 21, 2005 1:45 pm

After having departure time moved back three times (amounting to about an hour), we were told after we had taxied out (and the ominous sound of engine shutdown could be heard) that nobody was leaving O'Hare for at least 90 minutes and then, after that, we were #15 for takeoff. The pilot then said they were going to send planes off one every three minutes, so "you do the math." This was an Eagle flight on a packed CRJ...Surprisingly, all of the buy onboard snacks and beverages were distributed for free...and they did another service in the air, again with no charge. It was quite a pleasant surprise, given that my AA experiences had been consistently abysmal up to that point. So, is this a company policy thing, or is the crew given discretion in such situations, if for no other reason than to prevent a riot?
Southside Irish...our two teams are the White Sox and whoever plays the Cubs!
 
crownvic
Posts: 1762
Joined: Wed Oct 20, 2004 10:16 pm

RE: AA: Why No Beverages On (very) Delayed Flight?

Thu Jul 21, 2005 1:47 pm

If anybody wants to defend AA on this complaint, then they should have their head examined. It is just another way the airlines show their true colors today. It is inhumane to not offer at least water on a delay like this...As for catering, I doubt that was the issue. If the flight was at DFW, there should not have been any issue of getting provisions onboard this aircraft. While I cannot fault any airline for a weather delay (even though some airlines have used this excuse on occasion just to avoid being responsible for their own induced problem), it does not give them the right to abuse their passengers. Shame on AA and other airlines (NW) that have found it perfectly acceptable to treat their customers like animals in a cage!
 
texdravid
Posts: 1397
Joined: Fri May 14, 2004 3:21 pm

RE: AA: Why No Beverages On (very) Delayed Flight?

Thu Jul 21, 2005 2:06 pm

I have flown AA, CO, and UA all within the last month, and for comparable segments, lengths, and times.

I must say that AA comes in DEAD LAST in inflight food. CO gave a hot meal from IAH-PHL, UA gave free snacks IAH-DEN, while AA did not give anything but peanuts on LAX-DFW.

My brother flew HNL-DFW on a flight that left HNL at 6pm and did not receive a meal service!!

I flew KONA-DEN that same evening and received TWO free meals!!

I further found CO and UA flight attendants were more friendly and courteous.
Tort reform now. Throw lawyers in jail later.
 
A320FA
Posts: 87
Joined: Fri Nov 17, 2000 3:16 pm

RE: AA: Why No Beverages On (very) Delayed Flight?

Thu Jul 21, 2005 2:22 pm

The situation you encounter should have never happen on AA.. At HP we are required (company policy) to provide soft drinks to Pax on delays over 60min another good reason to fly a LCC. If we are away from the gate we still provide soft drinks with the captains approval. (The flight Deck will always approve.)
 
qqflyboy
Posts: 1618
Joined: Sat Oct 25, 2003 1:47 pm

RE: AA: Why No Beverages On (very) Delayed Flight?

Thu Jul 21, 2005 2:37 pm

AA does not serve peanuts... LAX-DFW should be catered with Tostito chips or pretzels, possibly BOB if the flight is blocked at over three hours in either direction. LAX-DFW probably comes in just under that.

The FAA prohibits carts from being brought into the aisle while on the ground. Any service done has to be done by hand. Provisioning is another issue. You either drink on the ground, or inflight. There is not usually enough for both. We do, however, provide water or any other non-alcohol beverage in main cabin upon request. What ever happened to people asking for what they want? FAs are relunctant to begin a full beverage service by hand since take-off times can and do often change.

For those that think the aircraft should just be recatered, you are underestimating the complexities of a hub airport. First, it is highly unlikely the aircraft could get further catering once it has pushed off the gate. Second, those catering trucks are on tight schedules and contain food and beverage only for the flights for which they are scheduled.

Water, at the very least, is always available and may be offered by the flight attendants. However, if you ever feel you need or want it, simply ask. How could we possibly know what you want if you don't ask?
The views expressed are mine alone and do not necessarily reflect my employer’s views.
 
EMBQA
Posts: 7798
Joined: Sat Oct 25, 2003 3:52 am

RE: AA: Why No Beverages On (very) Delayed Flight?

Thu Jul 21, 2005 2:39 pm

I'll tell you exactly why.. Say the Flight Attendants go ahead and give out cold drinks and full drink service. Then just as they finish ATC gives the crew a go ahead to depart. Then what...? They're screwed..!! They can't depart or even move until all the drinks are picked back up and all the tray tables are secured.
"It's not the size of the dog in the fight, but the size of the fight in the dog"
 
AsstChiefMark
Posts: 10465
Joined: Thu Feb 05, 2004 2:14 pm

RE: AA: Why No Beverages On (very) Delayed Flight?

Thu Jul 21, 2005 2:50 pm

That's why I bring a Subway sandwich, a few bottles of Dew, and various snacks in my backpack on all my flights. You'd think others would eventually catch onto the common sense.

Mark
Red tail...Red tail...Red tail...Red tail...Red tail...Red tail...Red tail...Red tail...Damned MSP...Red tail...Red tail
 
rjpieces
Posts: 6849
Joined: Mon Nov 24, 2003 8:58 am

RE: AA: Why No Beverages On (very) Delayed Flight?

Thu Jul 21, 2005 3:01 pm

Hmmm, my last time on the US Airways Shuttle from DCA-LGA, we were held on the ramp for about an hour because of weather at LGA and the F/As did a drink service while on the ground.

Perhaps it is up to the F/As....
"Millions long for immortality who do not know what to do with themselves on a rainy Sunday afternoon"
 
pilottim747
Posts: 1577
Joined: Tue Jul 17, 2001 2:34 pm

RE: AA: Why No Beverages On (very) Delayed Flight?

Thu Jul 21, 2005 3:42 pm

Quoting EMBQA (Reply 10):
I'll tell you exactly why.. Say the Flight Attendants go ahead and give out cold drinks and full drink service. Then just as they finish ATC gives the crew a go ahead to depart. Then what...? They're screwed..!! They can't depart or even move until all the drinks are picked back up and all the tray tables are secured.

Bingo! Pilots rarely know exactly how long the delay will be. ATC can give you estimates but if the weather (or traffic) clears for a minute, you might be given an opportunity to leave with a minutes notice. If you miss your departure slot you might be stuck on the ground for another hour. This is the reason you wait on the plane in the first place, rather than waiting in the gate. If you waited at the gate, it'd be quite easy to miss your slot because of the time it takes to board and push back the aircraft.

pilottim747
Aviation Photographers & Enthusiasts--Coordinate your life.
 
baw716
Posts: 1460
Joined: Thu Nov 20, 2003 7:02 pm

RE: AA: Why No Beverages On (very) Delayed Flight?

Thu Jul 21, 2005 3:58 pm

First a story, then the reality.

I had a similar experience on a Delta flight from JFK-SFO. To start off, there was bad weather all over the midwest, and the captain came on and told us the flight time was going to be 7 hours and 40 minutes. Normal flight time to SFO is 5:30. The extra two hours was due to the fact that he was planning to fly around the weather over Canada and then down over northern Montana and sw into SFO. Due to the extra flight time, they had boarded additional beverages and snacks, but the same meal service was planned for the flight.

We pushed back on time and we were pulled out for startup. We started up both engines and then we taxied out to the inner taxiway parallel to 31L and stopped. Not only did we stop, the captain shut down the engines, at which point he told us all departures to the west have been stopped indefinitely due to weather between Cleveland and Chicago. You can imagine the backup that caused. We sat in that position for one hour. During that time, nothing happened. We just sat. After an hour, the captain came on and told us that the weather had cleared for departures to the west, but we were continuing on our flight plan over Canada, due to the fact that the storms over the midwest were causing signficant turbulence all the way up to FL430. There was no way we could fly through it...so we had to go around it.

However, there was a new problem. There was only one runway available for departures, 4L. Due to the hour wait, a significant back up of aircraft had occured. We were 78th in line to take off. The captain estimated another two hours before we could get airborne. So we started one engine and began to taxi. We moved onto the parallel taxiway and stopped once again. After 10 minutes of waiting, the captain shut down again. We sat for about 30 minutes, again with nothing happening. After 1:30, the captain started up again and started moving, very slowly, we taxied for about 30 minutes. During the taxi, the f/a's passed headsets around and started a movie in the cabin, considering the fact that the captain said it would be up to two hours before we could depart, they decided to show a movie to keep people occupied and in their seats.

After another 30 minutes of taxiing, the captain pulled to the side and stopped and shut down a third time. Evidently, there were passengers who now needed to use the restrooms and the f/a's were getting quite a number of distress calls from the passengers. We parked for about 30 minutes while everyone who needed a restroom used one. Once everyone was seated, he started up again, and we started taxiing again. Now, we were on the parallel runway for 4L with about 20 aircraft in front of us, and we could see the end of the runway. We crossed 31L and taxied for another 30 minutes before we got to the hold point for 4L. En total, we were on the ground for 3:50 before we reached the hold point. Once we were there, we held for about five minutes, then taxied into position and took off right away and started heading north east toward Boston before we made the turn northwest headed toward Toronto.

During the entire 3 hours and 50 minutes we were on the ground, Delta served water only upon request. They did not make any effort what so ever to do a beverage service, or pass around any snacks. This would make an average passenger quite angry. However, I always pack a liter of water and 3-4 snack bars in my carry on just in case of emergencies, so I was set for a few hours if necessary and in this case, I needed them...so I was not bothered.

However, as an airline manager, I understood why Delta did not do a beverage service, nor feed people on the ground even during the long delay and taxi. Here's why:

1) Safety. The captain was trying to continue moving the airplane as best he could. He stopped the aircraft occassionally for two reasons: a) because it was clear he could not move and b) he knew that the passengers needed to move around, go to the bathroom, etc. So when he could, he stopped, shut down and let people move around for a period of time. During that time, if people went to the galley, they could get water (I know, because I went and they had water out back there).

2) Rationing. If they used up all their water before we departed, we would have had to return to the gate. One of the catering requirements is that the aircraft does not go airborne without an adequate bottled water supply for the length of the flight. They had boarded extra water because of the longer flight plan, but if they had given out water freely, they would have burned through that water supply and would have ended up short halfway through the flight. Passenger dehydration is a real problem at altitude and water must be given to the passengers to keep them hydrated at all times during the flight.
Other beverages cannot be served because carts cannot be used while on the ground (FAA rule). Beverages would have had to have been served by hand and to do that, they would have burned through their ice supply. Running out of ice half way to SFO would have been a serious problem as well.

3) Food service: Why no snacks? The only snacks that could have been given out would have been the pretzel snacks which are bathed in salt brine. The salt increases thirst and would have created an even worse situation vis a vis water usage on the ground. So, no snacks. Plus, when you give people salty snacks and water, they also have to go to the bathroom. We had a full ship (205 passengers), which would have meant more people going to the bathroom which would have delayed us more on the ground, which would have eaten more into the fuel used for taxiing. As the captain had the good sense to use one engine for taxiing and then only used it when we had to move, we were able to conserve enough fuel to not burn into the reserve, which would have meant going back to the gate to be refueled.

So if you can imagine all those scenarios, you might begin to see why in a long delay why flight attendants might not serve drinks or feed you during a long delay. Ideally, they want you in your seats while engines are running. If the captain shuts the engines down, then you should be able to get up and stretch, but only if the seatbelt sign is off.

My advice to you is to carry a liter of water and 3-4 high protein snack bars in your carry on for cases like this. In this way, you have food and water to carry you for up to six to eight hours if you are stuck in an airplane. In my case, I was on that airplane for a grand total of 12:19 minutes (from the moment I got on to the moment I got off) All for what was suppose to be a 5:30 flight. The flight was to arrive at 9:30pm, I arrived at 2:30am...and yes, I was late to the office the next morning.

Some good advice from someone who has fought this battle more than once.
Although, I must admit, this experience was by far my worst. However, once we were airborne, Delta did a good job of taking good care of me, all the way to SFO. Of course, I was in Business Class, so I got a decent meal and some sleep. The only bad thing was my back hurt really bad the next day, from sitting in a meeting all day, then sitting in an airplane all night. So much for the glamour of being a road warrior.

baw716
David L. Lamb, fmr Area Mgr Alitalia SFO 1998-2002, fmr Regional Analyst SFO-UAL 1992-1998
 
PiedmontINT
Posts: 220
Joined: Sun Jul 10, 2005 8:12 am

RE: AA: Why No Beverages On (very) Delayed Flight?

Thu Jul 21, 2005 5:57 pm

Quoting Baw716 (Reply 14):

Right on the money!! Great story and great advice.. Just go by the Boy Scout motto and BE PREPARED! I know that i always take a snack of some kind whether its Mickey D's, or just a pack of Skittles on a flight. Whether I get hungry in the middle of a flight since getting a meal is practically out of the question on a domestic flight, or just in case of a long delay, I bring a water, a soda, and whatever food I choose.

Quoting QQflyboy (Reply 9):
However, if you ever feel you need or want it, simply ask. How could we possibly know what you want if you don't ask?

Very well put, do people really expect the F/A's to read the pax's minds and take their vital signs on the ramp while waiting to see if they need a drink of water? If it is hot and I am feeling crappy, by God I wont sit on my ass and take it! Just asking them politely and I am sure they will be glad to help because it is just as hot for them in there too...
 
dutchjet
Posts: 7714
Joined: Sat Oct 14, 2000 6:13 am

RE: AA: Why No Beverages On (very) Delayed Flight?

Thu Jul 21, 2005 6:22 pm

SO many well thought out and logical excuses for an airline NOT to serve drinks on the ground during an extended delay - lots of rational and intellegent reasons for poor service, I think we have many potential airline execs in this forum.

The flight attendants can take out a tray or 2 and a sleeve of cups and some ice, pour cups of water and cola, and hand them out in say 2 minutes time. If the capatain gets an unexpected earlier clearance, the galley can be locked down in a moments time.

With respect to the DL flight, if the captain shut down the engines for 30 minutes and let pax use the restrooms, the f/a s could have gone around and served some drinks - really?!
 
trekster
Posts: 4319
Joined: Fri Dec 26, 2003 2:47 am

RE: AA: Why No Beverages On (very) Delayed Flight?

Thu Jul 21, 2005 6:30 pm

Flew BA citiexpress to FRA. We had a ground stop in MAN due to FOG in FRA
They came round with juice which was nice
Where does the time go???
 
sk601
Posts: 896
Joined: Sat Jun 11, 2005 11:46 pm

RE: AA: Why No Beverages On (very) Delayed Flight?

Thu Jul 21, 2005 6:56 pm

With KLM, the purser can order extra drinks and snacks from KLM-Catering if the delay is expected to be more then 1 hour (could be 45 min, but I'm not sure). This can be the case when pax are onboard and there is a tec problem just before departure or when the flight will get a long ATC restriction. Catering will bring cups of apple juice and "gevulde koeken" (cookies filled with kind of almondpulp; it's a dutch specialty )  vomit  , also called "delay cookies".
This extra order of drinks and snacks will not effect the regular service during flight.
 
FlyingTexan
Posts: 2998
Joined: Tue Jan 07, 2003 8:30 am

RE: AA: Why No Beverages On (very) Delayed Flight?

Thu Jul 21, 2005 10:21 pm

To AA’s defense, they like to play the wx and ATC excuse. And the pilots are played by that.

But they don’t do you know what or get off the pot like some other airline.

To a lesser extent, I think these silly 3 and 4 hour delays are a by-product of legacy carrier’s super-fortress hub and spoke design.

Quoting Baw716 (Reply 14):
We were 78th in line to take off.

SEVENTY-what!!! Ahhh!



Quoting PiedmontINT (Reply 15):
Just go by the Boy Scout motto and BE PREPARED!

Alas, simper partus! (I believe that is the Coast Guard’s slogan)

I usually have a bottle of water and a flask of illicit substance to kill the pain.

  

[Edited 2005-07-21 15:21:49]
"Wouldn't your boss like to fly home nonstop at 4:30 on a Friday afternoon?" -Airline Exec to Congressional Staffer
 
aa777flyer
Posts: 1017
Joined: Fri Feb 09, 2001 8:45 am

RE: AA: Why No Beverages On (very) Delayed Flight?

Thu Jul 21, 2005 10:42 pm

When I used to work flights, I always checked for ATC delays PRIOR to boarding. I made it VERY clear to passengers that they would be delayed on the ramp for an extended period, and if they want extra, buy it now.
The TSA was created to make the post office look efficient!
 
ckfred
Posts: 4734
Joined: Wed Apr 25, 2001 12:50 pm

RE: AA: Why No Beverages On (very) Delayed Flight?

Thu Jul 21, 2005 11:06 pm

Another reason that there was no service is that AA is now double catering aircraft at the hubs. I've notice at ATL, particularly if there is limited food for First, that the catering truck is not pulling up to the plane upon arrival.

That means that at ORD, MIA, or DFW, they are putting on double loads of beverages and Tostitos. So, if the F/As started serving beverages, there might not be enough for the return from ATL.
 
ltbewr
Posts: 12423
Joined: Thu Jan 29, 2004 1:24 pm

RE: AA: Why No Beverages On (very) Delayed Flight?

Thu Jul 21, 2005 11:23 pm

I recall on a flight 9/10/05 SEA-EWR on CO (737) and a far from full flight, after some confusion we boarded and taxied to one end of the airport and sat their, engines shut down for an hour or so due to scheduled construction on some runways/taxiways at EWR. I believe one could get or they passed out cups of water and or juice, and even started the IFE service. This probably could be done as there was a defined period of time we had to sit, and probably due to the light load had enough provisions. We still had full food/bev/snack service once in the air, including their hot sandwich, chips, dessert meal service. I felt that CO did it well. Even on some majors when delays, I have seen water passed out to the pax.
 
767Lover
Topic Author
Posts: 3254
Joined: Fri Sep 26, 2003 6:32 am

RE: AA: Why No Beverages On (very) Delayed Flight?

Thu Jul 21, 2005 11:38 pm

I (we) did have water with us BUT we had purchased it in SFO before we boarded. Since we had a bottle each left for the DFW-ATL leg (and only a 30 min layover) we didn't purchase any other provisions in DFW except for 2 cookies.

The water eventually became "room temperature" on the flight SFO-DFW and it was very warm on the delay and really of no use as a cooling agent.

BTW, I wasn't expecting them to recater...I figured given the choice people would rather have the beverage during the scorching hot layover as opposed to inflight. However, I didn't realize there was a rule about the cart on the ground and about having enough on board while IN flight.

As a side, we had purchased sandwiches in SFO as well to take on board (which we ate on the way to DFW)...damn lucky we did, because 1) the DFW layover wouldn't have been enough to buy anything, 2) the $3 buy-on-board snack was not substantial (I had purchased the same snack on the outbound--chips, salsa and a cookie) and 3) the delay would have meant not eating anything substantial for almost 10 hours.
 
positiverate
Posts: 1543
Joined: Thu May 05, 2005 10:35 pm

RE: AA: Why No Beverages On (very) Delayed Flight?

Thu Jul 21, 2005 11:39 pm

Crownvic:
Take a pill and relax. They did run a water service. Go re-read the original post.
 
N1120A
Posts: 26468
Joined: Sun Dec 14, 2003 5:40 pm

RE: AA: Why No Beverages On (very) Delayed Flight?

Thu Jul 21, 2005 11:44 pm

Quoting A320FA (Reply 8):
At HP we are required (company policy) to provide soft drinks to Pax on delays over 60min another good reason to fly a LCC.

There is a specific reason for that. HP's hubs are the two hottest major cities in the US
Mangeons les French fries, mais surtout pratiquons avec fierte le French kiss
 
FLAIRPORT
Posts: 3863
Joined: Thu Oct 26, 2000 10:46 am

RE: AA: Why No Beverages On (very) Delayed Flight?

Thu Jul 21, 2005 11:50 pm

Quoting LTBEWR (Reply 22):
I recall on a flight 9/10/05 SEA-EWR on CO (737)

I wish I could recall flights that haven't happened before  Silly
NEXT FLIGHT: FLL-ATL-HPN on FL
 
apodino
Posts: 3030
Joined: Mon Apr 04, 2005 2:11 am

RE: AA: Why No Beverages On (very) Delayed Flight?

Fri Jul 22, 2005 1:50 am

I know at ZW, when something like this happens, the flight attendants are authorized to serve alcohol at no charge at their discretion in situations like this. If one of my flights has a lengthy delay, I often suggest this to the captain.
 
JrMafia90
Posts: 205
Joined: Tue Mar 30, 2004 7:36 am

RE: AA: Why No Beverages On (very) Delayed Flight?

Fri Jul 22, 2005 2:46 am

I was delayed for 4 hours last year on a plane on August 11 due to a bomb scare at FCO. They didn't offer a thing. I think if they offer it they won't have enough for the rest of the flight. They would have to order more. Basically it would cost a lot of more money.
 
positiverate
Posts: 1543
Joined: Thu May 05, 2005 10:35 pm

RE: AA: Why No Beverages On (very) Delayed Flight?

Fri Jul 22, 2005 3:23 am

HP is hardly a LCC...
 
CRFLY
Posts: 175
Joined: Wed Jan 28, 2004 12:06 pm

RE: AA: Why No Beverages On (very) Delayed Flight?

Fri Jul 22, 2005 3:34 am

Oh man... I'm sooooo tired of AA!!!

Last Monday (July 18) I was flying from Miami (MIA) to San Jose (SJO) on the evening's AA Scarebus, scheduled to depart at 6:24pm... they assigned gate A12 and then changed to C7 (concourse C is the worst at MIA, small, crowded) and the plane was coming 1 hour late from JFK... When I finally came to C7, coming from A12, the St. Thomas (STT) plane was late and still boarding... 180 pax on a 757, plus the 256 of the A300 to Costa Rica on the same gate... people on the floor, it was a mess... The A300 finally came but as the flight to STT was late, the A300 had to wait another 30 mins in the taxiway... Finally the 757 to STT pushed back and the A300 came into C7... The departure finally happend at 7:45pm after loading bags... BUT... when they removed the tow bar, the hit the landing gear and the Scarebus literally jumped... a loud BANG was listened in the front of the plane... but the captain continued the taxiing towards the runway...
After 30 mins of the queue for the runway, the captain announced that something happend to the landing gear and we had to return to the ramp... alll the way back to D concourse where they were going to fix the Scarebus... This ended in a 3 hour delay, with no water, 85F outside, almost no A/C and the plane was packed!!! We ended taking off at 11pm, arriving to SJO at 11:25pm, where we had to wait another 15 mins for the gate, as all positions were occupied...
WTF IS GOING ON WITH AA??? I'm so tired of the same excuses and stupidty... I'm an AAdvantage Gold member and that is the only thing that ties me to the airline, but sincerely, I see AA today and it is getting worse and worse... they should reinvent themelves or do something... =(
With Age comes Wisdom...
 
pualani
Posts: 282
Joined: Sun May 02, 2004 12:38 pm

RE: AA: Why No Beverages On (very) Delayed Flight?

Fri Jul 22, 2005 3:42 am

Working a MSP-ACA-MSP charter for HA on a L-1011 late 80's, we were diverted to CLE on the last leg because of weather. We were among many diverted here so we had to wait for a gate . I recall waiting over an hour with passengers on board. We were out of catered items which include food and drinks. Passengers were ready to riot but what could we do as a crew? With no gate availible, there was nothing that could be done. Passengers should try and step back and look at the situation and not blame the airline and the crew.


pualani
 
goomba
Posts: 244
Joined: Wed Mar 10, 2004 11:55 pm

RE: AA: Why No Beverages On (very) Delayed Flight?

Fri Jul 22, 2005 5:04 am

In response to 767Lover's original post.

I was at DFW on 7/11 - one day after Hurricane Dennis reaked havoc on ATL. I too was on the AA 5:30 PM departure for ATL and the very same thing happened to us.

We had to give up our gate for another aircraft, and with the backups in ATL from the previous day's weather...we were told by the gate agent that we were to expect at least an hour on the taxiway before we would be able to take off. She made a general announcement to the gate area that we all should go the bathroom and purchase any food or drinks that we may want beforehand as they weren't sure how long the delays were going to be.

While I am a boyscout by nature and always carry a bottle of water and something to munch on when I travel, I thought it was a considerate thing to do for those other passengers that may not prepare for these types of events.

To tell all of you the truth...it find AA's service to be top notch whenever I fly them. I go out of my way to fly them actually...that's a bold statement from someone who lives in Atlanta aka (Delta and AirTran) land.
 
GQfluffy
Posts: 3072
Joined: Tue Apr 19, 2005 1:25 pm

RE: AA: Why No Beverages On (very) Delayed Flight?

Fri Jul 22, 2005 5:42 am

Quoting Crownvic (Reply 6):
If anybody wants to defend AA on this complaint, then they should have their head examined. It is just another way the airlines show their true colors today. It is inhumane to not offer at least water on a delay like this...As for catering, I doubt that was the issue. If the flight was at DFW, there should not have been any issue of getting provisions onboard this aircraft. While I cannot fault any airline for a weather delay (even though some airlines have used this excuse on occasion just to avoid being responsible for their own induced problem), it does not give them the right to abuse their passengers. Shame on AA and other airlines (NW) that have found it perfectly acceptable to treat their customers like animals in a cage!

More like shame on you for expecting unrealistic things. We who work for airlines aren't Gods. We also just can't bend over and say "Thank you sir, may I have another." to everyone who thinks they can raise their voice and get what they want. Reality just doesn't work that way. If you are thirsty, ASK POLITELY. You say you have your doubts. LoL. Well fine, have them, alot of good they'll do you. Shame on the airlines? More like shame on you.

Quoting FlyingTexan (Reply 19):
I usually have a bottle of water and a flask of illicit substance to kill the pain.

 rotfl   rotfl   rotfl   rotfl 

fluffy
This isn't where I parked my car...
 
AAgent
Posts: 540
Joined: Thu Mar 29, 2001 11:41 pm

RE: AA: Why No Beverages On (very) Delayed Flight?

Fri Jul 22, 2005 6:00 am

Quoting Crownvic (Reply 6):
It is inhumane to not offer at least water on a delay like this...



Quoting Dutchjet (Reply 16):
SO many well thought out and logical excuses for an airline NOT to serve drinks on the ground during an extended delay.

Please note per the original post... water was served.

Respectfully,
AAgent
War Eagle!
 
boeingfever777
Posts: 1990
Joined: Tue Jul 28, 2009 1:35 am

RE: AA: Why No Beverages On (very) Delayed Flight?

Fri Jul 22, 2005 7:12 am

Quoting Crownvic (Reply 6):
If anybody wants to defend AA on this complaint, then they should have their head examined. It is just another way the airlines show their true colors today.

Defend them for what they offered water. You are paying to fly not for a 5star meal here with mineral water etc. Your head should be examined first! Reality is they are providing a flight at the most affordable price why do ppl think they are suppose to be treating like a god on a flight?

Quoting AsstChiefMark (Reply 11):
That's why I bring a Subway sandwich, a few bottles of Dew, and various snacks in my backpack on all my flights. You'd think others would eventually catch onto the common sense.

There is a smart flyer! If there looks to be bad weather on the departure/arrival boards as far as delays why not buy some water/snack before bording.

[Edited 2005-07-22 00:13:39]
Faire du ciel le plus bel endroit de la terre.
 
Palladium
Posts: 264
Joined: Sat Apr 30, 2005 11:35 am

RE: AA: Why No Beverages On (very) Delayed Flight?

Fri Jul 22, 2005 7:45 am

About few years ago, I was flying with Garuda Indonesia from CGK. The plane was having technical difficulties and we got delayed for about 1 1/2 hours. We stayed in the plane while they're fixing the plane. I was sitting on a business class section and one of the flight attendants came to me and every passanger on the seat and talk politely about the delay and was very sorry about the delay and later served each passanger some soft drinks and foods!. It was one of the best service I've ever had. and it seems every passanger in that plane happy with the way they are being treated. Unfortunately we had to change the plane later on....

This is a good example to be followed by all Amercian carriers. They need to know how to treat passengers with best service. Again, no wonder Asian carriers often being called the best in service.
 
jetdeltamsy
Posts: 2688
Joined: Tue Nov 14, 2000 11:51 am

RE: AA: Why No Beverages On (very) Delayed Flight?

Fri Jul 22, 2005 7:51 am

Quoting EMBQA (Reply 10):
I'll tell you exactly why.. Say the Flight Attendants go ahead and give out cold drinks and full drink service. Then just as they finish ATC gives the crew a go ahead to depart. Then what...? They're screwed..!! They can't depart or even move until all the drinks are picked back up and all the tray tables are secured.

EMBQA got it exactly right. There is also the issue of using up the beverage supply before take-off leaving nothing for the duration of the flight.

The AA flight "lost" its gate whent he wx delay came across. While i totally agree that it would be nice (in a perfect world) if the customers were allowed to wait in the terminal, it's not always possible. There has to be an available gate that has no other flights committed to its use for the duration of the delay.

In our efforts to achieve profitability, these gates are scheduled down to the minute.
Tired of airline bankruptcies....EA/PA/TW and finally DL.
 
Skyguy
Posts: 467
Joined: Sat Feb 28, 2004 1:55 am

RE: AA: Why No Beverages On (very) Delayed Flight?

Fri Jul 22, 2005 10:51 am

In a nutshell, what used to be the "full-service" carriers like AA are nothing but airlines run by beggars, they can not afford anything at all so much so they beat people like Jetblue who are supposed to be an LCC at their own game by barely giving out anything that could be called decent sustenance, that too with unhappy and sour-faced F/A's. I would not be surprised if one day I see a plastic cup on exit with F/A's asking for tips like the drivers on Greyhound busses do.
Sometimes I feel guilty for asking for anything at all simply because of their bad attitude with you no matter how courteous and polite you are to them. Why and how does Jetblue provide better service than AA and the others?
I think AA and their friends should be called LSC's, as in "Low Service Carriers".
"Those who talk, do not know, and those who know, do not talk."
 
767Lover
Topic Author
Posts: 3254
Joined: Fri Sep 26, 2003 6:32 am

RE: AA: Why No Beverages On (very) Delayed Flight?

Fri Jul 22, 2005 11:29 am

Just came back to this with fresh eyes.

Really, what is wrong with wanting to be served an iced beverage that's ALREADY on board, to help cool you off when you're sitting there with sweat running down your face?

I don't think that's asking much. The attendants could have prepped a variety of iced cups and sodas/waters/juices and handed them out without the cart.

I have resigned myself to paying nearly $300 for a plane ticket with no meal because that's the way things are now. I have resigned myself to delays because sh*t happens. I have resigned myself to having to remove my shoes in an airline terminal so I can walk through the security checkpoint without it buzzing. Stop getting defensive about my wanting refreshments when I REALLY need them.
 
deltaguy767
Posts: 639
Joined: Tue Jun 14, 2005 8:32 am

RE: AA: Why No Beverages On (very) Delayed Flight?

Fri Jul 22, 2005 12:55 pm

Quoting Dutchjet (Reply 16):
SO many well thought out and logical excuses for an airline NOT to serve drinks on the ground during an extended delay - lots of rational and intelligent reasons for poor service, I think we have many potential airline execs in this forum.

With all due respect you seem to be the only individual who has not agreed with Baw716's astute post-situation analysis. Although it may seem to you that wasn't the service that you are used to, or maybe because you have never experienced that kind of delay before there is no need for that hostility. I bid you a good day/night sir or maddam.

DeltaGuy767
A Good Landing is one you walk away from!
 
GOAQ
Posts: 31
Joined: Tue Jul 12, 2005 9:09 am

RE: AA: Why No Beverages On (very) Delayed Flight?

Fri Jul 22, 2005 1:10 pm

It's sad that you didn't get more than water on your delay. Nowadays you can't depend on ANY airline to give you something JUST BECAUSE!!!

Some of these comments are right on the ball. Like QQFLYER. AA does double provision flights at hubs and non-hubs. For example if a flight 001 was originating out of SFO to DFW and on to ATL it could be double catered. With DFW-ATL as a beverage service only flight, it's cheaper for the airline to do this kind of stuff.

With the cutbacks in place...yeah yeah yeah..here we go again with the cutback issue, but believe it, hear it and write it down, these cutbacks have come even with the smallest item not noticeable to the general flying public. For example ice. Ice provisioning has decreased now. Most of the time I get an insert with a bag of ice in it that looks like it's half of what we used to get. So if I were to put the 2 half bags together, it would equal only 1 bag of ice. Soda provisioning. Coke, Diet coke. Recently was reduced from 3 cans of coke in each insert to 1 can of coke in each insert. It went from having 12 cans of coke in a beverage cart to now 4 cans of coke. Same with the diet coke but have changed since the beginning of the month. It has increased but not to what we used to have.

Think of your next flight this way. Think of it as the airline NOT providing the passengers ANYTHING for the flight and be prepared. Bring your OWN stuff. That way you have what you want to drink and what you want to eat and when you want to drink and when you want to eat. REGARDLESS of what airline you fly on. That's the sign of the times and it is NOT GOING TO CHANGE!!! Don't mean to sound sarcastic here but just realistic.  Big grin

When I travel I always bring with me a frozen bottle of water, snacks or fruits and some other food in my food bag. Because even if the weather is fine and perfect, you never know when your gonna divert to an airport and be stranded for hours with no food or drinks around.

Just My 2 cents.

later
 
GOAQ
Posts: 31
Joined: Tue Jul 12, 2005 9:09 am

RE: AA: Why No Beverages On (very) Delayed Flight?

Fri Jul 22, 2005 1:22 pm

As far as the heat, yeah I hear you. I hate it myself. But here is another part of the cutbacks. Not running the APU at the gate regardless if it's 100 degrees outside. It's stupid. They say that the air from the ground hookup is sufficient. MY ASS!!! And now that your NOT at the gate and waiting on the tarmac with a FULL load of passengers only makes matters worse. Because I assume here that BOTH engines were shut down. So again, hardly any air coming from the vents. And it wasn't even COLD right? It was warm air.

It's a lose lose situation for ALL if you look at the bottom line. If fuel wasn't so high and tickets prices weren't so low, and AA was making profits for a while, maybe, just maybe you would have gotten a more comfortable, cool cabin all the while it was HOT outside. And than again, we are talking about AA here. Sometimes I wonder on the dumb decisions they make.

I hope your experience will be better on them or for that matter on another airline next time.

Ciao
 
gman3
Posts: 249
Joined: Fri Jun 24, 2005 11:13 am

RE: AA: Why No Beverages On (very) Delayed Flight?

Fri Jul 22, 2005 2:01 pm

Amazing how many posts to this issue. They were offered water on the ground. If you wanted something different you should have gone back and asked. It's that simple. With ATC delays, one really never knows how long you actually can sit. Wheels up time can change.
 
nonrevman
Posts: 1258
Joined: Mon Nov 19, 2001 6:33 am

RE: AA: Why No Beverages On (very) Delayed Flight?

Fri Jul 22, 2005 2:09 pm

In AA's defense, I will say that it was probably necessary to shut engines down because of the anticipated delay. We had this happen going to and from ATL. The plane pushes out and taxis in order to get in line to await the takeoff. Then, the big ATC or weather problem hits. As a result, most of the aircraft waiting shut engines down to conserve fuel. As planes are allowed to take off, the front 5 aircraft will be instructed to start engines and get ready. As they leave, the next group is instructed to start engines and so forth. It is definitely a measure to conserve fuel, not just because of the cost, but also to ensure there is enough to reach the destination. After all, there have been some lengthy ground delays as of late.
 
reins485
Posts: 125
Joined: Fri Jul 22, 2005 2:50 pm

RE: AA: Why No Beverages On (very) Delayed Flight?

Fri Jul 22, 2005 3:08 pm

This is my first time posting on Airliners but I have read the forums for a while. Anyway in defense of AA, the FAA has rules that state the all service items must be picked up before an airplane can take off. And you never know when you will be able to takeoff so it is smarter to be as close to ready to go as possible.

Alex
 
baw716
Posts: 1460
Joined: Thu Nov 20, 2003 7:02 pm

RE: AA: Why No Beverages On (very) Delayed Flight?

Fri Jul 22, 2005 4:55 pm

GOAQ
Just an observation, but why would American overcater the flight ex SFO for a beverage service from DFW-ATL? To me that sounds really penny wise and pound stupid. Here's why:

As a general rule, you cater for what you need for the sector that you are flying. The exception to this rule is when you are operating a shuttle type operation or like Southwest, where they fly "turns", where they will send an aircraft from, let's say OAK to LAX, fully catered with beverages and peanuts for a flight down and back. This decreases the ground time at LAX. They can save about 10 minutes in catering the aircraft, all they do is off load the trash. When the aircraft returns to OAK, it is restocked and sent out to its next destination. At its next stop, it is not restocked, then flies to its next "stocking" station, say LAS, and so forth.

American cannot operate in this manner. The flight from San Francisco to DFW is about 3 hr 30 mins. To provision that flight, there are so many beverages boarded per passenger, plus if meals for purchase are boarded, those have to be placed on board and accounted for as well. This stuff is heavy. A single coke can weights 1 lb. Figure one beverage per passenger per hour of flight is boarded (roughly), plus one meal. For practical purposes, there is about 4 lbs of catering supplies for each passenger on board. So if you have 150 passengers, you have 600 lbs of catering supples to board on the flight. If they double cater, then they have to stock for the DFW-ATL portion as well, that sector is almost two hours. Assuming that flight is full as well, then another 300lbs. So, leaving SFO, AA is taking on 900lbs of catering supplies, 300lbs of which is unusable. A 737-800 flying from SFO-DFW burns 21000lbs of fuel, including taxi and reserves. This means to carry the catering supplies, costs 70lbs of fuel to carry 1lb of catering supplies. The current price of Jet A is about $1.26 per gallon. The weight of jet A is about 6lb per gallon, so the extra 300lbs of beverages costs 11.66 gallons at $1.26 per gallon. The ancillary cost of carrying those beverages is $14.69. If we multiply that by 365 days per year, the cost in fuel to carry that pop is $5362.43 per year. This is not counting the cost of the beverages, or the extra weight of he carts they must be carried in.

It seems to me if the caterers at DFW are going to pull off catering trash, they can provision the aircraft for the sector between DFW and ATL, based on the actual load of passengers being boarded for the flight. Instead of guessing at what they willl need at DFW, once the aircraft arrives, the gate will have a very good count and the catering truck (which is usuallly loaded with beverage stock anyway) can load the aircraft with what it needs for that flight. This would save AA about $5000 per year in fuel costs just by not carrying dead weight it does not need for the flight it is operating.

It may be convenient to board the beverage cart at SFO, but in this day of containing costs, we have to way cost over convenience and if every flight is over catered like this, AA is spending more in Jet A than it needs to.

"Fuel for thought"

baw716
David L. Lamb, fmr Area Mgr Alitalia SFO 1998-2002, fmr Regional Analyst SFO-UAL 1992-1998
 
ikramerica
Posts: 13772
Joined: Mon May 23, 2005 9:33 am

RE: AA: Why No Beverages On (very) Delayed Flight?

Fri Jul 22, 2005 5:36 pm

Quoting Crownvic (Reply 6):
If anybody wants to defend AA on this complaint, then they should have their head examined. It is just another way the airlines show their true colors today

Yep. All airlines behave this way... not.

It's AA, and it's not just "today" as they did the same sort of crap in the 80s and 90s on delayed flights I was on with them. No beverages if door is shut but still on ground, no matter how long.
Of all the things to worry about... the Wookie has no pants.
 
flflyguy
Posts: 191
Joined: Sun May 30, 2004 7:26 pm

RE: AA: Why No Beverages On (very) Delayed Flight?

Fri Jul 22, 2005 8:09 pm

This has been discussed to death. Not having been on the original flight, I will neither defend nor criticize the crew for what they did/did not serve.

But be aware. There are FAA rules here. You cannot take a beverage cart in the aisle on the ground (blocks egress in case of an emergency). That rule make sense.

Now for the stupid, stupid rule. Any "service item" such as a beverage which is served by the carrier must be picked up prior to takeoff or landing. That means that if I serve you a cup of water, I'm supposed to pick that up before we can take off. If you bring a Big Gulp on yourself, you can keep it. The logic behind this escapes me, but there you have it.

On a weather delay, if we suddenly get clearance, the aircraft cannot take off (according to FAR's) until all service items have been picked up. Bam...there goes your slot. I have been burned on this more than once and believe me it isn't pretty.

Now, as to what other carriers do, I don't know. If they choose to ignore FAR's, it is at their own peril. For instance, I have never understood the rumored Southwest PA (never heard it in person) about "if you don't know how to fasten your seatbelt, you should get off the plane". FARs state the seatbelt demo must take place. At AA, we choose to follow the rules. And that is why we don't do a beverage service on the ground unless we KNOW (and the captain has verified) that we will be sitting there long enough to complete it.

And of course, foreign carriers are not subject to the same rules that American ones are....so if a foreign government allows it, I suppose those carriers can provide it.

But please trust me on this. We do not sit in the galley and think "I know, let's make the passengers miserable! We'll dehydrate them until they turn into pretzels, and then serve them on the next leg".

I think the best advice has been given several times. 1. Bring emergency supplies yourself, and 2. If you need something, just ask for it!
The views expressed are my own, and not necessarily those of my employer.
 
flyingbronco05
Posts: 3484
Joined: Fri May 10, 2002 11:43 am

RE: AA: Why No Beverages On (very) Delayed Flight?

Fri Jul 22, 2005 10:13 pm

If you people don't like the way the airlines are treating you, charter a jet next time.  Yeah sure
Never Trust Your Fuel Gauge