pelican
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TXL: Police Covinces BA Pilot To Deboard Passengers

Fri Dec 30, 2005 9:34 pm

Because of bad wheather in Berlin a BA aircraft had to wait more than 7 hours for departure. Police officers, who were called by passengers, had to convince the captain to allow deboarding of passengers. The article also speaks of an arguement between passengers and crew, because of the long waiting time in the plane. Why the aircraft didn't return to the gate is unclear.

http://www.spiegel.de/panorama/0,1518,392786,00.html (in German)

That's one strange story. But I can understand the passengers. I wouldn't want to spend more than 5 hours waiting for departure in an A320. Why didn't the captain return to the terminal?

pelican


edit: the aircraft was an A320-200



[Edited 2005-12-30 13:42:34]
 
ANCFlyer
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TXL: Police Covinces BA Pilot To Deboard Passengers

Fri Dec 30, 2005 9:47 pm

So, let me see if I get this right . . .

The aircraft had pushed, and was then sitting on the ground, for seven hours, with the pax onboard??

And the pilot didn't have to good sense, nor did the airline, to return to the gate???

Hmmm, you'd think BA would take lessons from the NW debacle of several winters ago.

Reasonable delay, fine - 7 hours is well past reasonable.

BA needs to be smacked for this . . .
FOR THOSE THAT FOUGHT FOR IT, FREEDOM HAS A FLAVOR THE PROTECTED WILL NEVER KNOW OR UNDERSTAND
 
pelican
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TXL: Police Covinces BA Pilot To Deboard Passengers

Fri Dec 30, 2005 9:55 pm

Yep ANCFlyer, this is the story. Well, the passengers called the ermergency hotline already after 5 hours of waiting. The aircraft was waiting fo deicing on the apron. The captain refused the passengers desire to deboard.
I have to say the wheather in Berlin was really bad (at least for airport operations) yesterday. Tons of snow, last time Berlin had so much snow was in 1987.

pelican
 
ANCFlyer
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TXL: Police Covinces BA Pilot To Deboard Passengers

Fri Dec 30, 2005 10:00 pm

Quoting Pelican (Reply 2):
I have to say the wheather in Berlin was really bad (at least for airport operations) yesterday. Tons of snow, last time Berlin had so much snow was in 1987.

I guess it begs the quesiton why were the pax even loaded in the first place. Ridiculous . . . apparently, they had quite the time at CPH also!
Passengers "trapped" For Ten Hours Onboard Plane (by KaiGywer Dec 30 2005 in Civil Aviation)
FOR THOSE THAT FOUGHT FOR IT, FREEDOM HAS A FLAVOR THE PROTECTED WILL NEVER KNOW OR UNDERSTAND
 
pelican
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TXL: Police Covinces BA Pilot To Deboard Passengers

Fri Dec 30, 2005 10:06 pm

Indeed, the same storm. I already start to fear my return from THF to CPH at Tuesday, because of new snow next week. The difference in both stories is, the aircraft at TXL was able to return to the gate, but the captain refused to do so. At least until police arrived.

pelican
 
iairallie
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TXL: Police Covinces BA Pilot To Deboard Passengers

Sat Dec 31, 2005 12:53 am

When you return to the gate you loose your place in the deicing line and have to start allover again. It is also possible that by returning to the gate the crew timed out legalitywise. This means that that flight would be cancelled unless BA was somehow able to get a replacement crew. Bad weather sucks. I had 2 hour one leg flight turn into a 12 hour day.
Enough about flying lets talk about me!
 
CO7e7
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TXL: Police Covinces BA Pilot To Deboard Passengers

Sat Dec 31, 2005 7:52 am

Quoting Pelican (Thread starter):
I wouldn't want to spend more than 5 hours waiting for departure in an A320

I wouldn't want to spend more than 1 hour waiting for departure in ANY aircraft!! (unless i'm in First Class) lol..

Quoting Pelican (Reply 2):
the passengers called the ermergency hotline already after 5 hours of waiting.

If the dely was 7 hours, and they have already waited 5, then they should've sucked it up and waited 2 more!

Quoting IAirAllie (Reply 5):
When you return to the gate you loose your place in the deicing line and have to start allover again. It is also possible that by returning to the gate the crew timed out legalitywise. This means that that flight would be cancelled unless BA was somehow able to get a replacement crew

This is not an excuse to keep the passengers inside an A320 for 7 hours waiting to depart.

Peace Out
 
moparman
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TXL: Police Covinces BA Pilot To Deboard Passengers

Sat Dec 31, 2005 9:18 am

This is outrageous if it is in fact true. The longest I have ever waited was 1.5 hours in Zurich in early 2001 when my wife and I were traveling on to London while they were repairing one of the runways. We had a late flight, and they were using a single runway. Seven hours is dangerous, and this captain should have to answer some very serious questions from his superiors. He should consider himself fortunate he wasn't fired. How difficult would it have been to have deplaned the passengers when the length of the wait was known in advance?
"Harming a patient is unethical, but I can inflict as much pain as I like" Dr. Phlox
 
airfoilsguy
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TXL: Police Covinces BA Pilot To Deboard Passengers

Sat Dec 31, 2005 10:12 am

I think if a passenger wants to leave a plane that is just sitting on the runway he should be allowed to do so. To not allow it is kidnapping in my book.
It's not a near miss it's a near hit!!
 
pelican
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TXL: Police Covinces BA Pilot To Deboard Passengers

Sat Dec 31, 2005 11:06 am

Quoting Moparman (Reply 7):
This is outrageous if it is in fact true.

The plane did really not leave earlier than 1:30 p.m. , although it was scheduled to leave at 7:35 a.m. - that's what I could read from the airport website.

Quoting CO7e7 (Reply 6):

If the dely was 7 hours, and they have already waited 5, then they should've sucked it up and waited 2 more!

But how should they have known the aircraft will start in two hours, after five hours of waiting?

Quoting Airfoilsguy (Reply 8):
To not allow it is kidnapping in my book.

A friend of mine told me the airline (BA) wants to sue some passengers for using their mobile phone onboard. And these passengers want to sue BA now for keeping them onboard against their will - I'm not sure whether this comes close to kidnapping.

pelican
 
BG777300ER
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TXL: Police Covinces BA Pilot To Deboard Passengers

Sat Dec 31, 2005 11:10 am

This is pretty unbelievable. I don't know about you guys, but being the "movie person" I am, as long as I have IFE in front of me (no matter what class) with good movies and the lights are dimmed I could stay in the aircraft for as long as I have to....well, until I get hungry.  Smile
Koi mi sra v gashtite?
 
ordflier
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TXL: Police Covinces BA Pilot To Deboard Passengers

Sat Dec 31, 2005 11:19 am

Well... in the US, the airlines I think have gotten to the point that they just cancel the flight and let the passengers fend for themselves and try to find alternative flights. Weather delays / cancellations give customers in the US zero rights - the airline will just simply strand them in the airport for hours until they can get them out. Unless that is that the customer can find a hotel (at their expense).

The sad thing is is that I am sure that there are some customers who were onboard the BA flight and were upset that the plane didn't take off because the "weather didn't look all that bad".

I seriously doubt that BA left the gate with the anticipation of a 7 hour delay. They probably were being told by the ground provider that does the de-icing that it would be a "matter of time" and that "time" kept creeping on and on.

So, question is - what if any compensation should be offered?
ORDflier
 
moparman
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TXL: Police Covinces BA Pilot To Deboard Passengers

Sat Dec 31, 2005 11:56 am

ORDflier,

It would be unsafe to second guess the Captain, but lets just be reasonable. After an 30-45min, with the weather not clearing - I am absolutely certain that he (or she) recieved notification of the weather situation. Isn't a preflight weather check necessary?

I am also absolutely certain that the BA crew did not anticipate a 7 hour delay. I feel, not meaning to second guess anyone, that after 1.5-2 hours and no change or anticipated change in the situation or weather, the aircraft should have returned to the terminal, or the passengers should have been deplaned to wait in the terminal via buses and reboarded at the appropriate time.

I agree with BG777300ER on the movie thing. Seven hours is roughly 3.5 full length features. After the first movie, there should have been a move by the crew to have the passengers deplane. I don't know if I would go as far as sueing BA over this, as I doubt it could be considered kidnapping; but I would definately write BA management a nasty letter, and I would never again spend my money with BA depending on BA's response. I used to travel on NW very often in the past, but after a string of negative experiances which NW could have perhaps not prevented, but could have lessened the effect of, I travel with them only when absolutely necessary
"Harming a patient is unethical, but I can inflict as much pain as I like" Dr. Phlox
 
MidnightMike
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TXL: Police Covinces BA Pilot To Deboard Passengers

Sat Dec 31, 2005 12:28 pm

Quoting Pelican (Thread starter):
Because of bad wheather in Berlin a BA aircraft had to wait more than 7 hours for departure. Police officers, who were called by passengers, had to convince the captain to allow deboarding of passengers. The article also speaks of an arguement between passengers and crew, because of the long waiting time in the plane. Why the aircraft didn't return to the gate is unclear.

WOW! That is nonsense, the sad part is that if you argue with the Flight Deck Crew, that is a Federal Offense! 7 Hourse & the Police had to be called, my goodness!  Sad
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ANCFlyer
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TXL: Police Covinces BA Pilot To Deboard Passengers

Sat Dec 31, 2005 12:33 pm

Quoting IAirAllie (Reply 5):
When you return to the gate you loose your place in the deicing line and have to start allover again. It is also possible that by returning to the gate the crew timed out legalitywise.

Screw the deicing line . . . seven hours is assinine.

Appears the crew ran out of legal time regardless doesn't it.

Just how many planes might have been lined up for that deicing job that the wait was seven hours . . . .

No excuse for this. BA screwed the pooch here. Quite simply.
FOR THOSE THAT FOUGHT FOR IT, FREEDOM HAS A FLAVOR THE PROTECTED WILL NEVER KNOW OR UNDERSTAND
 
wdleiser
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TXL: Police Covinces BA Pilot To Deboard Passengers

Sat Dec 31, 2005 12:40 pm

I have been on a CO flight where it was delayed 4 hours on the ground during July at EWR trying to get to IAH when there was a heatwave. Talk about brutal..... the ac wasnt working because the pilot turned the engines off and only the APU was running.... well the ac may have been working but not very well and it got hot real fast.


The problem with the BA flight was... if they did go back to the gate and the airport cleared up then theres many many more hours until they are able to take off if say weather screws up again. I am not sure if BA had food on board but if they did it should have been served.
 
ContnlEliteCMH
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TXL: Police Covinces BA Pilot To Deboard Passengers

Sat Dec 31, 2005 1:21 pm

Quoting Pelican (Reply 9):
A friend of mine told me the airline (BA) wants to sue some passengers for using their mobile phone onboard.

In the U.S., you are usually free to use your mobile phone if the aircraft is sitting with its engines off. At least, that's how they do it on Continental when I've had to sit and wait.

Quoting Moparman (Reply 12):
It would be unsafe to second guess the Captain,

I don't get it. Why is it unsafe to second guess the captain? Who's safety is put in jeopardy by saying, "I've been on this airplane for six hours, now let me deplane?"

Quoting ANCFlyer (Reply 14):
Appears the crew ran out of legal time regardless doesn't it.

Yeah, but if they're paid by the block hour, didn't they get paid for the whole seven hours? Screw the passengers! The pilots got paid!  stirthepot 

Quoting Wdleiser (Reply 15):
I have been on a CO flight where it was delayed 4 hours on the ground during July at EWR trying to get to IAH when there was a heatwave.

I had a similar experience on CO at CLE bound for ATL. We pushed back on a full ERJ-145 and ended up in the penalty box. 3.5 hours we sat there. Nearly 90 degrees that day. I must say the ERJ's A/C worked quite well on APU power.

Funny thing is that we took off, and about half way to ATL I saw thunderheads well above our 36,000 foot altitude. We kept turning, and turning -- and wound up in Greenville-Spartanburg for a fuel stop. I was seated across the aisle from two unaccompanied children. The little girl and I talked, laughed, wrote a story, and generally had a good time. The flight attendant handed out free drinks after the first two hours on the ground. Everybody seemed okay.
Christianity. Islam. Hinduism. Anthropogenic Global Warming. All are matters of faith!
 
moparman
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TXL: Police Covinces BA Pilot To Deboard Passengers

Sat Dec 31, 2005 1:34 pm

" don't get it. Why is it unsafe to second guess the captain?"

It's unsafe normally to second guess the captain because normally he knows what is going on and is making the correct decisions on aircraft handling and saftey. Airline captains tend to have excellent judgement. There have been, recently, several captains (and FO) who did not exercise this excellent judgement. I think the BA captain is guilty of that. What I don't understand is why the FO didn't speak up.
"Harming a patient is unethical, but I can inflict as much pain as I like" Dr. Phlox
 
SonOfACaptain
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TXL: Police Covinces BA Pilot To Deboard Passengers

Sat Dec 31, 2005 1:45 pm

Quoting Airfoilsguy (Reply 8):
I think if a passenger wants to leave a plane that is just sitting on the runway he should be allowed to do so. To not allow it is kidnapping in my book.

And that is why you are not running in airline. Employees run the company, not passengers. While the employees should make decisions that are reasonable to passengers, the passenger should never have the final say in a matter. Have you ever watched "Airline"?

-SOAC
Non Illegitimi Carborundum
 
DLKAPA
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TXL: Police Covinces BA Pilot To Deboard Passengers

Sat Dec 31, 2005 1:51 pm

Quoting Moparman (Reply 12):
It would be unsafe to second guess the Captain

Tell that to British Midlands 92

http://www.airdisaster.com/cgi-bin/v...ME&airline=British+Midland+Airways
And all at once the crowd begins to sing: Sometimes the hardest thing and the right thing are the same
 
moparman
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TXL: Police Covinces BA Pilot To Deboard Passengers

Sat Dec 31, 2005 1:55 pm

SOAC:

I think the series "Airline" is a terrible show. Why would any airline show constantly negative things about itself? Because of what I have seen on that show, I refuse to book with Southwest. I will gladly pay extra so I don't have to fly them. I would imagine that you would agree that seven hours is unreasonable. Would you agree that even 3 hours are unreasonable. I certainly would, especially when the situation could have been solved most easily by the BA captain.

Being the "Son Of A Captain", perhaps you should ask your father (or mother) how he would handle the situation. I am certain that the anwser would not include letting the passengers sit on a, I gather, sold-out aircraft for seven solid hours before takeoff, and then continuing for another hour and a half to the UK. That 8.5 hour time frame isn't reasonable.
"Harming a patient is unethical, but I can inflict as much pain as I like" Dr. Phlox
 
SonOfACaptain
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TXL: Police Covinces BA Pilot To Deboard Passengers

Sat Dec 31, 2005 2:03 pm

Quoting Moparman (Reply 20):
Would you agree that even 3 hours are unreasonable.



Quoting Moparman (Reply 20):
Being the "Son Of A Captain", perhaps you should ask your father (or mother) how he would handle the situation. I am certain that the anwser would not include letting the passengers sit on a, I gather, sold-out aircraft for seven solid hours before takeoff, and then continuing for another hour and a half to the UK. That 8.5 hour time frame isn't reasonable.

Heeeellll no, and my dad would agree too. I agree with everybody that the Captain made a wrong decision. You have to remember that pilots are human too, and so naturally, a few of them lack common sense.

I was just responding to the statement of letting the passengers decide what to do.

-SOAC
Non Illegitimi Carborundum
 
moparman
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TXL: Police Covinces BA Pilot To Deboard Passengers

Sat Dec 31, 2005 2:18 pm

SOAC:

Exactly. I fully agree with you about having the passengers run the airline. You just can't get on and off when you please. This goes without saying. I'm not an airline pilot, but as a physician my judgement has to be just as good as that of a captain. Unfortunately, an airline captain cannot tell the passengers:



--- It would be unethical to harm a patient, but I can inflict as much pain as I wish ---

Dr. Phlox (Star Trek: Enterprise)




The BA captain failed in his judgement for one reason or another - but I would certainly not go as far as he lacked common sense. The FO should have spoken up. I would imagine that the flight crew works as a team and it would have been horribly uncomfortable for them.

BA is a superb airline, and something like this should not have happened regardless of circumstance, and even less in the light that it could have been easily prevented. BA is doing itself a disservice and giving itself a gigantic black-eye by threatening to sue the passengers that called the police. After all that time, I would have called the police too. I think BA should provide each and every passenger on that aircraft with a very generous compensation. What would it cost them, to fly them in busiess class, to a Florida, Mexico, Kenya... nothing as they would be just like any other non-revenue passenger; it would give them a huge positive PR image and I would imagine many of the passengers would chose to fly with BA again.
"Harming a patient is unethical, but I can inflict as much pain as I like" Dr. Phlox
 
SonOfACaptain
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TXL: Police Covinces BA Pilot To Deboard Passengers

Sat Dec 31, 2005 2:28 pm

Quoting Moparman (Reply 22):
but I would certainly not go as far as he lacked common sense.

I would.  wink 

-SOAC
Non Illegitimi Carborundum
 
CTHEWORLD
Posts: 463
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TXL: Police Covinces BA Pilot To Deboard Passengers

Sat Dec 31, 2005 3:04 pm

Quoting ContnlEliteCMH (Reply 16):
In the U.S., you are usually free to use your mobile phone if the aircraft is sitting with its engines off. At least, that's how they do it on Continental when I've had to sit and wait.

You can use it as long as you aren't on an active runway

Also, is BA's behavior-flying to LHR from LAX on 3 engines, holding pax for 7 hours etc... reaction to and the result of stupid EU laws that penalize airlines severly for delays, diversions and cancellations? Maybe Brussels should re-think their authoritarian, overly regulation oriented approach to things.
 
ordflier
Posts: 114
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TXL: Police Covinces BA Pilot To Deboard Passengers

Sat Dec 31, 2005 3:06 pm

I think we are all jumping a bit here... We are not privy to the information that was given to the crew regarding the situation at TXL. Specifically, what held the flight up... was it runways being cleared? De-icing? What was the crew being told? Did they depart the gate expecting a multiple hour hold or did they expect a reasonable period of waiting to be de-iced which turned into a ongoing delay for other reasons?

Compensation? I think compensation in the form of a Business Class ticket anywhere far to excessive.

Lets say BA had cancelled the flight prior to departure, what compensation if any would the customers have received? How would the customers have been rerouted?

Again, in the US, customers would have been stranded at the airport until the first available with no compensation.
ORDflier
 
ChiGB1973
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TXL: Police Covinces BA Pilot To Deboard Passengers

Sat Dec 31, 2005 3:17 pm

So, you go back to the gate, then deplane, then the clearance for flying. It is Newton's Law or a Chinese proverb or something. You lost your place in line, you have to round up all the people. The main problem, rounding up the customers that scattered.

7 hours is entirely too long to be on a plane sitting on the ground or in the air if you can help it. I am sure it was one of those deals that you get the "about 30 more minutes," then it turns in to 7 hours.

If the delays were so bad, was there a gate to return to? Was there ground staff?

With the exception of the amount of time to sit on the ground, delays really shouldn't be regulated. Read the small print. I agree the airline shouldn't be responsible for feeding you, putting up in a hotel or on another airline, when the customers should know the possibilities/consequences of air travel. Of course they are going to be pains in the arse about it. Airlines have been controlling the weather for years.

M
 
moparman
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TXL: Police Covinces BA Pilot To Deboard Passengers

Sat Dec 31, 2005 3:18 pm

ORDflier:

It's not that they may not have been able to be rerouted, but that these poor passengers were forced to sit on the plane for 7 hours before departure. That makes no sense at all. The business class tickets: would provide a huge PR value for almost zero cost

U.S. customers... you're missing the point here though. I would much rather sit in an airport terminal for 7 hours than on a crowded plane which isn't going anywhere. That is the point here. It really doesn't matter what they expected the delay to be. If the weather doesn't clear, get the passengers off the plane. The delay isn't the problem, the problem is being forced, and forced being the operative word, to spend seven solid hours on a packed aircraft waiting to take off.
"Harming a patient is unethical, but I can inflict as much pain as I like" Dr. Phlox
 
Grbld
Posts: 349
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TXL: Police Covinces BA Pilot To Deboard Passengers

Sat Dec 31, 2005 5:10 pm

GUYS!!!!!

It's easy to sit here and base your judgements on wrongly interpreted information.

First of all, the people did not have to initially sit in the plane for 7 hours. This is how long it took after a couple of hours when pax started calling the police and the whole ordeal played out, people got off, baggage got off and finally they found a hole in the weather to depart.

On X-mas day 2005, we were in Scandinavia getting ready to depart back to Holland. It was snowing very heavily and we were the only plane there. The braking action on the runway was so poor with the crosswind also out of limits that we couldn't depart, but we boarded the pax anyway.

After about two hours, a few deicing attempts and serving everybody drinks, continually checking the weather from EVERY source we could find, we decided to deplane the pax because the forecast was that it wouldn't clear up enough in the next few hours. I already called home to say that I would miss X-mas dinner with the family. But then all of a sudden, the weather just creeped right within limits, by an inch. So we had to gather everybody in the terminal and kick them on board because this would be our one chance that day.

Luckily, it was a small airport, so no pax to get lost and wander off. The airport staff stayed several extra hours for us, even though officially the airport would've closed earlier for X-mas. Snow ploughers were continually clearing the runway but had an extremely tough time. So we got everybody on board, got another deicing shot and slipped and slided towards the runway and took off into the dark snowy nothing. We left 3.5 hours late.



Now imagine that you're not at a small airport but at a busy one and if you return to the gate, the pax will wander off doing all sorts of things. You'll get into trouble with deicing and slot control. Plus, we just got our break THREE minutes after the last passenger left the plane. Good timing. If we didn't deplane them, it would've saved another 20 minutes and spared us the possibility of boarding everyone and then the weather going bad again.

The pilots are continually listening to weather sources, in contact with base operations, handling and ATC to figure out if and how they'll get out. It's not as if they're just sitting there doing nothing! After such a long while, you've got your fuel burn to consider as well.

So YES I can fully understand why the captain would keep everyone on board. Letting everybody off in TXL would mean cancellation of the flight, and this is not what the vast majority of the passengers want, even though there are a few that are having a hissy fit.


Grbld
 
justplanecrazy
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TXL: Police Covinces BA Pilot To Deboard Passengers

Sat Dec 31, 2005 6:24 pm

i would expect the passengers to be able to sue BA for false imprisonment.7 hours in unreasonable you have to draw the line somewhere .it is inevitable that passengers are going to become angry and agressive if kept on a plane indefinatley.
your pilots today on this 747 flight are captain oliver hardy and assisting will be FO stan laurel.Have a safe flight
 
Toulouse
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TXL: Police Covinces BA Pilot To Deboard Passengers

Sat Dec 31, 2005 6:32 pm

Quoting Grbld (Reply 28):
So YES I can fully understand why the captain would keep everyone on board.

Oh I can understand the reasons as well, but it's bloody awful treatment of his/her paying customers. Had I been onboard, I would have stangled the pilot for not letting us off. Seriously, I could see myself getting quite clautrophobic and panicky in a situation like that... and Grbld... that's not a "hissy fit", it's a medical condition!
Long live Aer Lingus!
 
User avatar
ZSOFN
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TXL: Police Covinces BA Pilot To Deboard Passengers

Sat Dec 31, 2005 8:00 pm

We probably need to consider the actions of TXL airport management and the de-iceing team. It would seem that there were communication problems; why was the captain led to believe they would be ready to depart sooner than they were? If we trust a captain's decision-making ability, there must have been a problem with the information he was receiving.
 
drinkstrolley
Posts: 484
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TXL: Police Covinces BA Pilot To Deboard Passengers

Sat Dec 31, 2005 8:10 pm

Quoting Airfoilsguy (Reply 8):
To not allow it is kidnapping in my book.

False imprisonment it's the one you're after!


Personally, I'd just start getting violent and aggressive - they'd soon have you off. Or throw a fit, or maybe even fake a heart attack?
 
Grbld
Posts: 349
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TXL: Police Covinces BA Pilot To Deboard Passengers

Sat Dec 31, 2005 8:17 pm

Quoting Toulouse (Reply 30):
bloody awful treatment of his/her paying customers

Toulouse, I can certainly understand that you feel confined. Eight (8!) passengers eventually decided they didn't want to fly to the UK anymore on that flight. That's actually just a fraction of the passengers, so the rest had one priority: to get to the UK (home, maybe).

Since you simply don't know if you'll get your chance to take off in the next 10 minutes (you might!), how do you figure that you want to get off? What makes you feel claustrophobic? I mean, a transatlantic flight takes longer than the period these people were on board including the flight, and you can't get out there either, just because you'd rather be somewhere else than in the airplane. Does the fact that you're on the ground give you a reason to start a serious argument on the plane and call the police on the crew that is trying to make the best out of a very difficult situation?

I've seen many a situation like this on board and it usually begins with a loud mouth passenger (sometimes with some alcohol or just in a hurry to get to the destination for a business meeting) that starts shouting at the crew, the crew responds (as they are too stuck in this unlucky situation) and other passengers in the same area (usually in the same party) start being involved in the argument and it escalates. Which in turn makes other passengers feel really uncomfortable being suddenly locked in a tin can with aggressive, shouting, spittle flying, arms flailing passengers (and sometimes crew). But that is the same when you're airborne or on the ground.

Let me know when you fly with me, because I don't want people who go strangling the pilots when they're feeling uncomfortable on the plane. If you have a medical condition, we'll call an ambulance.

Grbld
 
pelican
Posts: 2429
Joined: Mon Apr 05, 2004 9:51 pm

TXL: Police Covinces BA Pilot To Deboard Passengers

Sat Dec 31, 2005 8:21 pm

Quoting BG777300ER (Reply 10):
This is pretty unbelievable. I don't know about you guys, but being the "movie person" I am, as long as I have IFE in front of me (no matter what class) with good movies and the lights are dimmed I could stay in the aircraft for as long as I have to....well, until I get hungry.

Unfortunately the aircraft wasn't equipped with IFE. I flown TXL-LHR many times with BA and the only IFE was the map which shows the position of the aircraft...

Quoting Grbld (Reply 28):

First of all, the people did not have to initially sit in the plane for 7 hours. This is how long it took after a couple of hours when pax started calling the police and the whole ordeal played out, people got off, baggage got off and finally they found a hole in the weather to depart.

According to the article - which quotes the police - some passengers called the police around 12 o'clock. That's about 4 1/2 hours after scheduled departure time.
BTW TXL isn't really a big airport.

pelican
 
fraspotter
Posts: 1971
Joined: Sat May 08, 2004 8:12 pm

TXL: Police Covinces BA Pilot To Deboard Passengers

Sat Dec 31, 2005 11:54 pm

Quoting CO7e7 (Reply 6):
I wouldn't want to spend more than 1 hour waiting for departure in ANY aircraft!! (unless i'm in First Class) lol..

This past summer I was on a UA Express Embraer 170 going from IAD to IAH and we were on the plane on the ground for 1.5 hours and weather wasn't even an issue. There was such a back up of traffic so the captain turned off the power which also included the air conditioning! And an Embraer 170 isn't exactly a large aircraft...
"Drunk drivers run stop signs. Stoners wait for them to turn green."
 
Toulouse
Posts: 2193
Joined: Thu Apr 28, 2005 4:30 pm

TXL: Police Covinces BA Pilot To Deboard Passengers

Sun Jan 01, 2006 12:59 am

Quoting Grbld (Reply 33):
Since you simply don't know if you'll get your chance to take off in the next 10 minutes (you might!), how do you figure that you want to get off? What makes you feel claustrophobic? I mean, a transatlantic flight takes longer than the period these people were on board including the flight, and you can't get out there either, just because you'd rather be somewhere else than in the airplane. Does the fact that you're on the ground give you a reason to start a serious argument on the plane and call the police on the crew that is trying to make the best out of a very difficult situation?

Grbld, don't get me wrong, I understand the crews predicament, I know the last thing you want is to let your pax off, and as in your example, get clearence shortly afterwards, and then loose that slot/clearence/improved weather whatever because some of your pax have disappeared into the duty free shops, bar or whatever in the terminal.
Talking personnaly, what would get me here is the "lack of control", I'd stuck in my seat, told to stay there, and not knowing if I'm going to be there for 2 hours or 20. I certainly wouldn't be louthmouthed as some passengers are according to you, I'd sit like a good boy, but I'm sure I'd reach a stage where I wouldn't be able to handle it anymore. Got tuck once on an LH 320 in Munich going to MAD once during the first gulf war, due to military traffic, we ere delayed and kept on the plane, the pilot immediately informed us that we would be stuck for at least 90 minutes, he would update us if there were further delays and told us to feel free to use our mobiles. We were also served drinks. On another occassion, in CDG during an AF strike an Aer Turas tristar was called in to bring us to MAD, boarded some 6 hours late, then were kept on the plane firstly due to air-control retsriction in Paris, then in MAD, then a technical fault, then a no-show pax with their luggage on board. After about 3 hours some of us were getting quite nervous, I spoke to the crew as they didn't speak a word of English, they were nice, asked me to make an announcement in Spanish to ask pax to deplane (onto the tarmac just to identify our luggage then reboard). As a member of the crew told me they would probably run off duty time, leading to further delays, when we deplaned to identify our luggage at the foot of the stairs, a group of slightly nervous, fed-up and/or tired passengers like myself said this to an AF rep on the ground, and they snuck us away back into the terminal to get us new flights.

Quoting Grbld (Reply 33):
Let me know when you fly with me, because I don't want people who go strangling the pilots when they're feeling uncomfortable on the plane.

I don't worry Grbld, I haven't strangled anyone so far! And if I strangled you, well then there'd just be a further delay while they looked for a replacement pilot/co-pilot!!

Quoting Grbld (Reply 33):
If you have a medical condition, we'll call an ambulance.

For certain conditions, which you as pilots obviously aren't experts in, all that's required is a bit of humane understanding, respect and consideration for your pax, as in the end of the day, if it wsn't for your pax up back, you'd be out of a job...

Happy flying in 2006
Long live Aer Lingus!
 
moparman
Posts: 388
Joined: Sat Dec 31, 2005 6:49 am

RE: TXL: Police Covinces BA Pilot To Deboard Passengers

Sun Jan 01, 2006 3:14 am

Toulouse my friend,

You make perfect sense and I fully agree with you:

"For certain conditions, which you as pilots obviously aren't experts in, all that's required is a bit of humane understanding, respect and consideration for your pax, as in the end of the day, if it wsn't for your pax up back, you'd be out of a job..."

I said almost the same earlier, and it is simply amazing to me that there are so few on this thread that actually agree. Why is it that so many side with the BA Captain that suffered from an obvious lack of judgement? This person had absolutely no consideration for his passengers.



Grbld:

Your statement:

"If you have a medical condition, we'll call an ambulance."

This is absolutely draconian! Not to mention totally devoid of compassion. I am sure you heard of that 3 month old baby girl in Iraq that was discovered by the 101st with the giant tumor on her back that is currently being flown to Atlanta for surgery. What would you have said to her parents? Ohhh sorry, but if she gets any worse we will see about calling an ambulance. It's a sad state of affairs Grbld when it comes down to that.

I feel that the BA captain needs to be either fired or possibly recieve a severe repremand (based on the infractions in his file). Demotion is another possibility. What he did, is open a gigantic can of worms for BA, and give them a PR disaster of titanic proportions. It's just unfortunate that BA doesn't want to admit to things by wanting sue it's passengers for calling the police. What a glorious airline they are - BA: service like in the dark ages!
"Harming a patient is unethical, but I can inflict as much pain as I like" Dr. Phlox
 
wdleiser
Posts: 865
Joined: Thu Apr 22, 2004 9:32 am

RE: TXL: Police Covinces BA Pilot To Deboard Passengers

Sun Jan 01, 2006 3:36 am

Quoting Moparman (Reply 27):

U.S. customers... you're missing the point here though. I would much rather sit in an airport terminal for 7 hours than on a crowded plane which isn't going anywhere. That is the point here. It really doesn't matter what they expected the delay to be. If the weather doesn't clear, get the passengers off the plane. The delay isn't the problem, the problem is being forced, and forced being the operative word, to spend seven solid hours on a packed aircraft waiting to take off.

The BA pilots had no idea there was to be a 7 hour delay when they pushed back. I am sure they were being told that it will only be a little while longer until it is time to go. The BA pilots did not want to lose their place in line in the likely hood the weather cleared up and flights could begin departing again. Had they gone back to the gate, let people off and weather cleared up they would be at the end of the line, so once they got the passengers back on the aircraft and ready to taxi again then there would be the chance the weather would get nasty again. Had the airport been completely closed down, meaning no traffic moving whatsoever.... happends some times here in the US at ORD and EWR and JFK then aircraft wouldnt even leave the gate. The ATC must have thought that the weather would clear somewhat soon and told the aircrafts that their best option was to stay put as there could be a slight chance of weather clearing up and allowing the aircraft to takeoff.
 
moparman
Posts: 388
Joined: Sat Dec 31, 2005 6:49 am

RE: TXL: Police Covinces BA Pilot To Deboard Passengers

Sun Jan 01, 2006 5:39 am

I'm all for being reasonable Wdleiser, and I am certain that the BA flight crew had good intentions. The bottom line is: 7 hours. That is outrageous and unreasonable. You have to think about your passengers, even if it means egress and canceling the flight. While they wouldn't have been happy, I am certain that they would have been far happier in Berlin than stuck in a cramped plane.

I would like to know the following:
1. Were there any problems with the facilities as this isn't a long-haul aircraft?
2. Catering?

I guess we will just have to have a gentlemen's disagreement here and take opposite sides of the issue. I believe that BA was totally out of line, and acted in complete disregard of the passengers.
"Harming a patient is unethical, but I can inflict as much pain as I like" Dr. Phlox
 
AerospaceFan
Posts: 6990
Joined: Thu Dec 22, 2005 1:43 am

RE: TXL: Police Covinces BA Pilot To Deboard Passengers

Sun Jan 01, 2006 10:00 am

Wow! Reading the story and reactions in this thread changes my opinion about British Airways a little bit. I still think it's a blue-chip airline, but why this kind of wait was allowed by BA is puzzling to me. It's certainly been rather negative from a press point of view.

Perhaps we will get a follow-up telling us BA's side of the story. I certainly hope so. I wonder where the BA spokespeople have been.

[Edited 2006-01-01 02:03:42]
What's fair is fair.
 
ikramerica
Posts: 13730
Joined: Mon May 23, 2005 9:33 am

RE: TXL: Police Covinces BA Pilot To Deboard Passengers

Sun Jan 01, 2006 10:13 am

Most long delays on the tarmac (3+ hours) are thunderstorm related, not snow related. In thunderstorms, if the ground crew is not allowed to be outside, you are stuck. I've seen it a lot, and those who were stuck in the USA in this thread were experiencing this problem.

In this case, it is a matter of safety, and understandable.

In the BA case (and the CPH one the same day) it was not a matter of safety but of convenience for the airline. Not a good excuse. And for the CPH incident, it became a safety issue when the doors froze shut, caused by the crew not by the weather.

If the weather is so bad that we are delayed hours in snow, as a pax, I don't want to take off anyway. I want the option of getting off the plane and not risking my life. This is likely one reason the BA customers were so upset. They felt BA was holding them against their will and gambling with their safety at the same time.

Lawsuits have already been filed, I believe.
Of all the things to worry about... the Wookie has no pants.
 
pelican
Posts: 2429
Joined: Mon Apr 05, 2004 9:51 pm

RE: TXL: Police Covinces BA Pilot To Deboard Passengers

Sun Jan 01, 2006 12:31 pm

Quoting Ikramerica (Reply 41):
Lawsuits have already been filed, I believe.

Indeed 6 passengers filed a lawsuit.

Six British Airways Passengers File ‘false Impriso (by Beyauty Dec 31 2005 in Civil Aviation)

pelican
 
VHXLR8
Posts: 487
Joined: Wed Feb 09, 2005 6:58 pm

RE: TXL: Police Covinces BA Pilot To Deboard Passengers

Sun Jan 01, 2006 2:18 pm

Quoting Grbld (Reply 33):
Let me know when you fly with me, because I don't want people who go strangling the pilots when they're feeling uncomfortable on the plane. If you have a medical condition, we'll call an ambulance.

Well said buddy!! I'm so bloody sick of people using supposed 'medical conditions' as an excuse for totally unacceptable behaviour.
Grbld, welcome to my RR list dude

Quoting Toulouse (Reply 36):
For certain conditions, which you as pilots obviously aren't experts in, all that's required is a bit of humane understanding, respect and consideration for your pax, as in the end of the day, if it wsn't for your pax up back, you'd be out of a job..

Ok, pax with air sickness, chest pains, headaches, blocked ears, food poisoning etc etc etc are all deserving of humane understanding due to their medical condition.
Pax who's 'medical condition' cause them to start attacking flight crew deserve the exact opposite.
Should the crew of the QF 717 give more understanding to the guy who stabbed the F/A in the head with a wooden door-stop?? Or how about the woman who took a baby from its parents on a QF 744 to LAX and refused to give it back and eventually attacked several crew and pax, does she deserve humane understanding?? These two people both claimed medical conditions.
 
moparman
Posts: 388
Joined: Sat Dec 31, 2005 6:49 am

RE: TXL: Police Covinces BA Pilot To Deboard Passengers

Sun Jan 01, 2006 2:23 pm

VHXLR8:

You too missed the point completely. Keeping passengers on a plane for 7 hours while it's sitting on the runway is unreasonable. How would you like to spend 7 hours on a cramped aircraft sitting on the ground? There is no justification for attacking the flight crew. There is also no justification for keeping a plane full of people sitting for 7 hours waiting to take-off.
"Harming a patient is unethical, but I can inflict as much pain as I like" Dr. Phlox
 
VHXLR8
Posts: 487
Joined: Wed Feb 09, 2005 6:58 pm

RE: TXL: Police Covinces BA Pilot To Deboard Passengers

Sun Jan 01, 2006 2:29 pm

Moparman,

I was not making reference to the fact that pax were on the aircraft for 7 hours. I only referring to the ridiculous situations in which some people believe that unacceptable behaviour is okay when backed up by so-called medical conditions.
 
moparman
Posts: 388
Joined: Sat Dec 31, 2005 6:49 am

RE: TXL: Police Covinces BA Pilot To Deboard Passengers

Sun Jan 01, 2006 4:58 pm

VHXLR8,

In that case, I misunderstood what you said and I appologize. I have seen lots of lame medical excuses while traveling. What makes it worse, is as a physician I know many of them are phoney. My favorite one is: "My blood pressure is 350 / 210. and I had to check it before boarding"  rotfl  Much of the behavior is unacceptable, and I find completely rude not only to the crew but to the passengers as well.
"Harming a patient is unethical, but I can inflict as much pain as I like" Dr. Phlox
 
pelican
Posts: 2429
Joined: Mon Apr 05, 2004 9:51 pm

RE: TXL: Police Covinces BA Pilot To Deboard Passengers

Sun Jan 01, 2006 8:44 pm

Quoting VHXLR8 (Reply 45):
There is no justification for attacking the flight crew.

And nothing of this kind happened in this case...

pelican
 
GBan
Posts: 488
Joined: Thu Jun 16, 2005 5:10 pm

RE: TXL: Police Covinces BA Pilot To Deboard Passengers

Mon Jan 02, 2006 11:51 pm

Quoting Wdleiser (Reply 38):
The BA pilots had no idea there was to be a 7 hour delay when they pushed back.

But after 4 hours they knew that the delay would be more than 4 hours for a flight of less than 2 hours. While for some passengers it does not make much difference whether the delay is 4, 6 or 7 hours for some others a delay of 4 can mean that the whole flight does not make sense any more. This is why I think they should take the risk of loosing a slot.

I have had similar situations several times flying out of Munich with LH. After some time we were always given the option to deboard. We once returned from de-icing to the gate.
 
pelican
Posts: 2429
Joined: Mon Apr 05, 2004 9:51 pm

RE: TXL: Police Covinces BA Pilot To Deboard Passengers

Tue Jan 03, 2006 9:02 am

The Berlin airport operator (BFG) couldn't explain the delay according to the German newspaper 'Berliner Morgenpost'. The BFG spokesman said the average delay was 30 minutes on the day in question. Passengers said the reason they were given by the crew was that the aircraft was too heavy to depart. What could they refer to? Looks to me like the bad weather wasn't the reason.

http://morgenpost.berlin1.de/content/2005/12/31/berlin/801591.html

pelican

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