NWDC10
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Passengers Trapped On Virgin Atlantic Flight 63

Fri Aug 25, 2006 4:53 pm

 
soups
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RE: Passengers Trapped On Virgin Atlantic Flight 63

Fri Aug 25, 2006 5:10 pm

8.45am Passengers begin boarding flight VS63 from Gatwick to Havana

9.30am Flight due to depart

10.00am Passengers finish boarding. Doors closed

11.00am Crew announce there is a technical problem which will take 15 minutes

11.30am Passengers told they are waiting for a spare part

1.30pm Crew announce the spare part has arrived. Take-off "soon"

2.45pm Passengers told inflight meals may have to be replaced. If not cleared for take-off by 3.30pm crew won't be able to fly

3.25pm Plane begins to taxi for take-off

3.35pm Take-off stopped

3.45pm Captain says plane has a misshapen tyre and will have to go back to the terminal

4pm Flight cancelled. Police board plane amid fears of rioting

4.30pm Passengers are allowed off but told they must wait for their luggag
Next destinations, Suarabaya, beirut, paris, Accra
 
HBJZA
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RE: Passengers Trapped On Virgin Atlantic Flight 63

Fri Aug 25, 2006 5:46 pm

Quoting Soups (Reply 1):
2.45pm Passengers told inflight meals may have to be replaced. If not cleared for take-off by 3.30pm crew won't be able to fly

3.25pm Plane begins to taxi for take-off

3.35pm Take-off stopped

Is it possible that the PIC aborted the take-off because the crew already went over their time duty limitations ?
 
AirWales
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RE: Passengers Trapped On Virgin Atlantic Flight 63

Fri Aug 25, 2006 5:48 pm

If I was on there I certainly wouldnt want to leave with a doubt that something may be wrong with the plane.

But on the other hand I wouldnt want to be stuck on there with no info etc for that length of time! Its bad enough being in economy when you are in the air - at least the the distance between you and your destination is getting less with every minute that passes!

Not good P.R. for Virgin at all!

AirWales.
 
noelg
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RE: Passengers Trapped On Virgin Atlantic Flight 63

Fri Aug 25, 2006 5:49 pm

Dear god. This was on the radio this morning saying they were trapped on the runway. I knew then it was probably blown out of proportion!

Quoting (Thread starter):
Take-off was finally aborted as the Boeing 747 taxied up the runway with a car driving alongside frantically signalling that the jet had an over-inflated tyre.

First I've heard of a car chasing a car along an active runway - somehow me thinks this statement is a little warped.

Quoting (Thread starter):
Passenger Philip Robinson said: "You could feel the plane going bump, bump. God knows what could have happened if it had tried to take off.

Err - how about that was probably the cats eyes?

Gotta love the British tabloids!
 
orlando666
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RE: Passengers Trapped On Virgin Atlantic Flight 63

Fri Aug 25, 2006 5:51 pm

i also think thats due to staff hours. pity - 5mins over!!! poor pax, bet they would have prefered waiting in the terminal.

I remember MH ex-AMS once had a delay only of 3hours, we were all allowed to de-plane and wait in terminal (secure area) and MH crew came with trolleys of drinks and snacks. Now thats more professional I think. VS at its home base cannot provide the same?
 
Gib
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RE: Passengers Trapped On Virgin Atlantic Flight 63

Fri Aug 25, 2006 5:52 pm

Man, these 'happenings' seem to be more & more commonplace. (ie the plane recently that the pax were 'trapped' on where the temperature reached 90F+....ORD?)
 
AY104
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RE: Passengers Trapped On Virgin Atlantic Flight 63

Fri Aug 25, 2006 6:03 pm

Quoting Soups (Reply 1):
10.00am Passengers finish boarding. Doors closed

11.00am Crew announce there is a technical problem which will take 15 minutes

So does that mean the passengers waited an hour after boarding until any announcement at all was made? I don't think so. Someone on board, a passenger, must have been asking some questions.
There must have been something going on during the hour.
Cheers,
AY104
The only thing a customer should expect for his/her loyalty is good service
 
scouseflyer
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RE: Passengers Trapped On Virgin Atlantic Flight 63

Fri Aug 25, 2006 6:14 pm

As NoelG says - this was a British tabloid paper reporting this - so take it with a UPS frieghter full of salt - the passengers may well of been informed lots but leaving that bit out of the story will make things more interesting!
 
ltbewr
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RE: Passengers Trapped On Virgin Atlantic Flight 63

Fri Aug 25, 2006 7:56 pm

From the article: This ws a flight to HAV; had mx issues that took several hours to deal with; then upon takeoff, it was discovered and confirmed by a following car on the taxiway that there was a 'misshapen' tire (tyre) - that could have caused a blowout on the ground at take off or on landing, a serious possible problem; there was no food offered and only water 2 times. They had to offload the pax meals due to health issues. Of course, pax were pissed as under the latest security rules, no one had any food or water on them. This incident was worsened as duty rules were exceeded to allow for flight time, hense leading to cancellation of the flight.
There should be rules by all airlines that if forced by mx to stay on the groud, and especially in warm weather that on a set schedule that beverages and food be given, heat/airconditioning be provided, that after a set # of hours pax must be offloaded in a secure terminal gate area for their health and safety. Someday a pax with a medical condition will die under one of these situations and lawsuits will ensue.
 
raventom
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RE: Passengers Trapped On Virgin Atlantic Flight 63

Fri Aug 25, 2006 8:06 pm

"Take-off was finally aborted as the Boeing 747 taxied up the runway with a car driving alongside frantically signalling that the jet had an over-inflated tyre."

Yes because a car 'frantically' signals... stupid media
I love the smell of burnt kerosene!!!!!!!!!!!!
 
joffie
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RE: Passengers Trapped On Virgin Atlantic Flight 63

Fri Aug 25, 2006 8:57 pm

MISTAKES ON A PLANE


oh dear god..what a load of crap
 
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HAWK21M
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RE: Passengers Trapped On Virgin Atlantic Flight 63

Fri Aug 25, 2006 11:11 pm

Which Tire was it.
regds
MEL
I may not win often, but I damn well never lose!!! ;)
 
Flyboy14295
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RE: Passengers Trapped On Virgin Atlantic Flight 63

Sat Aug 26, 2006 12:13 am

This has got to be one of the most over-rated media think since the Jetblue landed without its front tire. Its amazing how much people these days need their media spiced up to even listen to it. Also, the car wouldn't be operating on the movement area without a radio so he probably called his dispatcher and they called tower. He frantically signaled, he turned on his hazard lights? Or jumped up and waved?
Greetings from New York. "Take It to the limit." -Eagles
 
aeroperu
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RE: Passengers Trapped On Virgin Atlantic Flight 63

Sat Aug 26, 2006 12:22 am

Quoting Raventom (Reply 10):
"Take-off was finally aborted as the Boeing 747 taxied up the runway with a car driving alongside frantically signalling that the jet had an over-inflated tyre."

Yes because a car 'frantically' signals... stupid media

I guess that the next article should be:
"due to cost cutting measures, VS no longer utilizes radios for communications and just sends cars out to 'frantically' signal aircraft"

Hey, at least the media gives us good stuff to chew on this site....  Smile
Alas peruanas en los cielos del mundo....
 
airtran717
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RE: Passengers Trapped On Virgin Atlantic Flight 63

Sat Aug 26, 2006 1:07 am

Been in this situation myself as a crew member. In LGA, on a double mx. Meaning that our plane broke, then the plane being sent to replace it broke at the gate upon arrival in LGA. We timed out too. NYPD escorted us through the mob at the gate to our hotel van. Our PIC had preflighted the cockpit of our B717-200 out of sequence and caused fault and fail flags all over the cockpit. We timed out for this and all that was needed in the end was a power down, 15 minute wait, a power up and we could have gone. Come to find out, the PIC had just upgraded and flunked the sim ride twice. I would have thought that he would have been given his walking papers based on what I have been told in the past. But I felt very frustrated because he was not giving the crew any info, so I couldn't pass along any word to the pax. They could see I was doing what I could. But pissed is pissed. They almost rioted on us. So, between the pilot and the mechanics, no one caught this minor little glitch. And our last day of a 3-day turned into a 4-day trip.
 
slider
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RE: Passengers Trapped On Virgin Atlantic Flight 63

Sat Aug 26, 2006 1:24 am

Quoting Flyboy14295 (Reply 13):
This has got to be one of the most over-rated media think since the Jetblue landed without its front tire.

Like hell.

I bet you'd have a different opinion if you were onboard for that long! It's inexcusable.
 
Leezyjet
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RE: Passengers Trapped On Virgin Atlantic Flight 63

Sat Aug 26, 2006 1:30 am

Quoting Noelg (Reply 4):
First I've heard of a car chasing a car along an active runway

A car chasing a CAR ???

Quoting Noelg (Reply 4):
Err - how about that was probably the cats eyes?

Cats eyes are on roads not airfields - do you mean the centre line lights ?.


This story is a typical British gutter press nothing story that has been edited and over dramatised to make it out to be worse than what it is.

Lets put things in perspective here from an Airline point of view :-

ALL airlines have tech delays period - every single one of them do.

A rolling tech delay as happened here is the worst case. You think it will take x amount of time to fix, but as the job goes on, it takes longer and longer, especially when the required parts are not immediately available.

If the pax are in the terminal, it isn't a huge issue, as you can send them back into the departure lounge to wait, however if they are already on the a/c, then you are stuck in a catch 22 situation.

It will take at least 1.5 hours to de-board and re-board a full 747. Remember that not everyone comes through the gate in alphabetical order, and if you are de-planeing and planning to re-board again, you have to give the b/passes and tickets back. This takes time to collate them all back together in alphabetical order to be able to give them back to the pax, as ticket coupons and b/passes will usually be in seperate piles. This takes the most time to do and has to be done before you can let the pax off.

What do you do if the delay is supposed to take 15 mins to fix ?. You keep everyone on the a/c. Then the time to fix it gets put back a while, but unless it is put back by over 1.5 hours min, there is no point taking everyone off, so you leave them on. You also have to get permission from the Airport Authority to de-plane back into the departure lounge, and due to recent security problems, this might not have been given anyway, but the article doesn't mention this. If you do take them off, and then the plane is suddenly fixed, you then have to try and round everyone up again to get them back on to get the flight away ASAP, and it ends up being later than if you left them onboard.

However, you can't serve the food as you they will need to eat on the flight and it isn't possible to just magic up a whole new load of catering for a 747 full of pax. That would need a minimum of 4 hours if your lucky, if the delay is estimated to be less then that then new catering wouldn't be ordered. So you don't serve meals and wait. You also cannot open the bars on the ground, so a limited soft drinks service is all that can be offered - again it will take roughly an hour to get these items replenished from the catering companies - which are no doubt located off airport.

Parts arrive and then get fixed, however by now the meals have been out of cold storage for too long now to be used safely under H and S regulations, so you can't use them - again you can't get anymore either as it would take too long and you think the flight will be going soon and you want to get the pax on their way ASAP.

Then plane is fixed, and goes out for take-off, however the problem isn't fixed after all and they have to return to the gate.

By this time the crew have gone out of hours and the flight has to be cancelled.

The passenger were never "trapped". Any person is free to leave an a/c that is still on the ground at any point if they so wish - however thats where things get complicated. If a pax demands to leave (against what the airline is advising them to do), as they are entitled to do so the airline cannot stop them, but if they do then it is deemed that they left of their own accord so any subsequent insurance claim could be deemed null and void.

So the airline is really stuck between a rock and a hard place in a rolling tech delay situation. They are damned if they do and damned if they don't. It is just an unfortunate situation to be in, and one that will happen again and again in the future to almost every airline at some stage.

The airline really wants the a/c to go as much as the passengers do. The airline could have to spend thousands of ££ and a number of days getting that a/c back on schedule after a delay, so that is the last thing they want, yet they end up with a slating in the gutter press for it regardless.

 Smile
"She Rolls, 45 knots, 90, 135, nose comes up to 20 degrees, she's airborne - She flies, Concorde Flies"
 
YYZSaabGuy
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RE: Passengers Trapped On Virgin Atlantic Flight 63

Sat Aug 26, 2006 1:42 am

Excellent summary and a nice sense of perspective....thanks for the analysis! Good to hear the other side of the story........
 
Geo772
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RE: Passengers Trapped On Virgin Atlantic Flight 63

Sat Aug 26, 2006 2:15 am

Quoting Leezyjet (Reply 17):

An excellent response, describing a situation I have encountered before - as the engineer attending the aircraft rather than as a passenger and this is exactly how things pan out.
Flown on A300B4/600,A319/20/21,A332/3,A343,B727,B732/3/4/5/6/7/8,B741/2/4,B752/3,B762/3,B772/3,DC10,L1011-200,VC10,MD80,
 
ImperialEagle
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RE: Passengers Trapped On Virgin Atlantic Flight 63

Sat Aug 26, 2006 3:01 am

Same old story: LACK OF COMMUNICATIONS=ANGRY PAX!

For heavens sake---tell 'em something!

Situations like that certainly leave me outraged.
"If everything seems under control, you're just not going fast enough!"
 
ikramerica
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RE: Passengers Trapped On Virgin Atlantic Flight 63

Sat Aug 26, 2006 3:06 am

Quoting Leezyjet (Reply 17):
Cats eyes are on roads not airfields - do you mean the centre line lights ?.

Whatever they are called, what caused the bumping was the tire flat spots. A 747 can't sit fully loaded for 7 hours without putting heavy flat spots on the tires, and that'll cause that bumping all the way through take-off. But since pax don't know this, they'll attribute it to a bulging sidewall if you tell them one existed...
Of all the things to worry about... the Wookie has no pants.
 
manu
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RE: Passengers Trapped On Virgin Atlantic Flight 63

Sat Aug 26, 2006 4:22 am

At least there weren't snakes on the plane as well!
 
JakeOrion
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RE: Passengers Trapped On Virgin Atlantic Flight 63

Sat Aug 26, 2006 4:37 am

So, is Virgin trying to pull a United except they had air conditioning and 2 times longer?

7 hours? Thats rediculous. As much as an avaiation lover I am, even my patience would be pushed to the limit.
Every problem has a simple solution; finding the simple solution is the difficult problem.
 
peterinlisbon
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RE: Passengers Trapped On Virgin Atlantic Flight 63

Sat Aug 26, 2006 4:42 am

Why is it necessary to give them their boarding passes back? You could just let them all get off and when they get back on, check their ID against the other part of their boarding passes. Of course, it would still take at least 45m to load the plane again.
 
Glom
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RE: Passengers Trapped On Virgin Atlantic Flight 63

Sat Aug 26, 2006 5:22 am

Quoting Leezyjet (Reply 17):
Cats eyes are on roads not airfields

We have them on the taxiways. Then again our aerodrome lighting is crap.
 
turkee
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RE: Passengers Trapped On Virgin Atlantic Flight 63

Sat Aug 26, 2006 8:30 am

I cannot believe they left the passengers on board the aircraft for a MX problem. Is this normal?

Anything over a 30 minute delay here would see the passengers de-planed.
 
747-600X
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RE: Passengers Trapped On Virgin Atlantic Flight 63

Sat Aug 26, 2006 9:13 am

I was on a Northwest DC-10 in Minneapolis for 3 hours one time... they said that some part of the cockpit had to be replaced (a dial or other superficial device, I assume). Anyway, the crew brought us water and snacks and even let me off of the plane to work things out with a connecting flight (I had no cell phone). One of the flight attendants even joked with me about how they used to say DC stood for Death Cruiser...
 
FiveMileFinal
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RE: Passengers Trapped On Virgin Atlantic Flight 63

Sat Aug 26, 2006 9:49 am

Quoting 747-600X (Reply 27):
I was on a Northwest DC-10 in Minneapolis for 3 hours one time...

I remember back in '97 or so I was on a NW DC-10 from SFO-MSP and we had to divert to DSM because there was a wall of severe storms marching through Minneapolis (typical MN weather in the summer) and we needed fuel. We looped around northern Iowa for about an hour and a half before finally diverting. Once we got on the ground we had a bunch of company! The terminal was closed so we didn't pul up to the gate, they just stuck us on a taxiway. Saw plenty of NW metal - 75s, A320s, DC9s, the whole bit. I remember the captain letting us walk around the cabin and the flight attendants serving drinks and stuff. I walked up to the front and struck up a conversation with the captain, who was pretty cool. Eventually we gassed up and got out of there. There were some people that were mad, but overall it was really nice, for a diversion. Better that than a Delta 191 repeat, to be sure.

No way that'd happen today. I would be surprised if they didn't handcuff us all first...
You goin'? We fly you dere! You been? We done already flew up in dere!
 
B747-437B
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RE: Passengers Trapped On Virgin Atlantic Flight 63

Sat Aug 26, 2006 10:44 am

Quoting Leezyjet (Reply 17):
If a pax demands to leave (against what the airline is advising them to do), as they are entitled to do so the airline cannot stop them

Except that the airline is now stuck with another delay as they have to go diving to remove the pax bag. If the holds are closed up that means getting another loading team and equipment out to the aircraft and a further delay.

Quoting Peterinlisbon (Reply 24):
Why is it necessary to give them their boarding passes back?

This is neccessary to control the re-boarding proces. You must be able to track how many and which passengers are missing when re-boarding.
"The A340-300 may boast a long range, but the A340 is underpowered" -- Robert Milton, CEO - Air Canada
 
cayman
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Joined: Sat Aug 09, 2003 2:28 am

RE: Passengers Trapped On Virgin Atlantic Flight 63

Sat Aug 26, 2006 10:55 am

Quoting Slider (Reply 16):
Like hell.

I bet you'd have a different opinion if you were onboard for that long! It's inexcusable.

There are plenty of very good explanations for what happened and yes the media blows it out of proportion HOWEVER the point is, at some point airlines have to recognize that it is not just undesirable but unacceptable and indeed inexcusable to leave pax stuck on board a non departing a/c for such extended hours.

Of course there are all kinds of issues that delay departures and I anticipate those that will say it is not logistically or economically feasible to dismebark every time-----and I'd agree---but surely there must be some rule of thumb that says after 3 hours or so if there does not appear to be an imminent departure they better bloody well let pax off or have some clear and unequivocal information as to what is happening or will happen.

At a major airport like LGW it is inconceivable that an accomodation could not be made such that pax were allowed to disembark, choose whether to continue the flight or not. I am pretty damned sure that if you said to the majority of those pax at 930AM "we aren't leaving folks and we might be on the tarmac 7 or 8 hours, should we let you out and run the risk of cancelling or delaying the flight further, or would you prefer to remain couped up for an indefinite period of time..." does anyone really doubt what the response would be?

The bottom line is it is not acceptable to be left onboard a non departing a/c for 8 hours or so wiht what was no doubt very little if any information or hopes as to what might happen and when.
 
vaporlock
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RE: Passengers Trapped On Virgin Atlantic Flight 63

Sat Aug 26, 2006 11:38 am

Quoting AirWales (Reply 3):
I wouldnt want to be stuck on there with no info etc for that length of time!

I sure wouldn't have liked being "trapped" on the plane with no info for that length of time either.... I hate being in confined spaces.... if I can't get up and move around.

Phyllis  bouncy 
 
sw733
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RE: Passengers Trapped On Virgin Atlantic Flight 63

Sat Aug 26, 2006 11:54 am

Quoting Joffie (Reply 11):
MISTAKES ON A PLANE

Snakes on a Plane?  Silly
 
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HAWK21M
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RE: Passengers Trapped On Virgin Atlantic Flight 63

Sat Aug 26, 2006 4:44 pm

Quoting B747-437B (Reply 29):
Except that the airline is now stuck with another delay as they have to go diving to remove the pax bag. If the holds are closed up that means getting another loading team and equipment out to the aircraft and a further delay.

Seen this happening often.Security reasons cannot permit Flight with Pax bag & not pax.

Quoting Turkee (Reply 26):
cannot believe they left the passengers on board the aircraft for a MX problem. Is this normal?

Anything over a 30 minute delay here would see the passengers de-planed

Sometimes it difficult to predict Mx time for rectification & it stretches on.

regds
MEL
I may not win often, but I damn well never lose!!! ;)
 
Motorhussy
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RE: Passengers Trapped On Virgin Atlantic Flight 63

Sat Aug 26, 2006 10:00 pm

How angry would you be? Imagine what Richard Branson would have to say if it was a BA flight.

MH
come visit the south pacific

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