sfoqqaa
Posts: 28
Joined: Sun Aug 19, 2007 9:42 am

LGA ATC & Preferential Treatment For Some Flights?

Sun Aug 19, 2007 12:10 pm

I am continually amazed at the air traffic control system into LGA and how it works. Can someone explain to me why some airlines seem to manage to get their flights out on time (or close to it) and others are forced into lengthy delays. Example: On days were LGA has 60 minute or longer ATC delays, Delta manages much shorter ground delays on their ATL - LGA flights than AA or FL. Why is that? The same can be said for United on their flights from ORD to LGA. They seem to get shorter delays than AA. Does it have anything to do with the size of their operation or particular aircraft types. Just curious.
 
OPNLguy
Posts: 11191
Joined: Tue Jun 15, 1999 11:29 am

RE: LGA ATC & Preferential Treatment For Some Flights?

Sun Aug 19, 2007 3:53 pm

Long ago, when SWA first started serving SFO with our handful of flights from SAN, LAS, and PHX, we ran into the inevitable situation where SFO would drop their ceilings and/or visibilities such that their acceptance rate would get cut in half, and large delays would ensue. Some of our flights at SAN, LAS, and PHX destined for SFO would get "wheels-up" times 60-120 minutes in the future, and crews would complain that United was launching all their flights to SFO pretty much on time. The reason for this was that they had a much larger volume of flights into SFO than we did, especially when the UAX commuters were included. All they had to do was start cancelling some of their flights, and then trade the now freed-up slots with themselves via an ATCSCC substitution program, and the 60-120 minute delays that they too would have received were then whittled down to minmal levels, or no delays at all.

I suspect that Delta has the same ability at LGA given the size of their operation there, as well as Comair's, etc. when compared with FL's.
ALL views, opinions expressed are mine ONLY and are NOT representative of those shared by Southwest Airlines Co.
 
doug_or
Posts: 3138
Joined: Sat Mar 18, 2000 9:55 am

RE: LGA ATC & Preferential Treatment For Some Flights?

Sun Aug 19, 2007 5:09 pm

Quoting OPNLguy (Reply 1):
I suspect that Delta has the same ability at LGA given the size of their operation there, as well as Comair's, etc. when compared with FL's.

Yep. At US, the shuttles, for instance will ususaly launch on time or within a few minutes, while the D-8s will sit on a 4 hour ground stop in SYR. The delay may be 2 hours but they'll sacrafice the 37 seater for the plane full of big wigs and politicos.
When in doubt, one B pump off
 
DLOnur
Posts: 243
Joined: Thu Jun 21, 2007 2:56 pm

RE: LGA ATC & Preferential Treatment For Some Flights?

Sun Aug 19, 2007 6:02 pm

Big planes will always get the better slots at the respective major hubs.

When I was at OO in ACV and we had flow into SFO, we'd sit for hours while the T7's from NRT would get in on time and then off on time to IAD. Same situation in JFK/LGA with DL, ATL with DL, UA in IAD/ORD/SFO, etc.....the major carrier at the hub stations will always be able to better mitigate long flow delays due to their ability to cancel the puddle jumpers and get the big metal off without too much delay.

Basically queue management--how to mitigate the intesity of the queue while effecting the least amount of people.

-o-
What you believe is what you see.
 
IAHFLYR
Posts: 3944
Joined: Sat Jun 25, 2005 12:56 am

RE: LGA ATC & Preferential Treatment For Some Flights?

Sun Aug 19, 2007 9:51 pm

The title of the thread is very misleading....ATC doesn't give preferential treatment to any flights other than emergencies or lifeguard flights for obvious reasons, it is the operators and ATCSCC who work the traffic management initiatives.
Any views shared are strictly my own and do not a represent those of any former employer.
 
AA787823
Posts: 696
Joined: Wed Nov 08, 2006 11:27 pm

RE: LGA ATC & Preferential Treatment For Some Flights?

Sun Aug 19, 2007 11:21 pm

Well not so long a go I was working a flight, and we had a two-hour ATC delay. An off duty airtraffic cotroller, who was flying out on that airplane, made a call and got us an immediate wheels up.
F.U.R.P.....Families Under Reduced Pay
 
N757ST
Posts: 436
Joined: Sat Feb 16, 2002 6:00 am

RE: LGA ATC & Preferential Treatment For Some Flights?

Sun Aug 19, 2007 11:27 pm

Quoting DLOnur (Reply 3):
Big planes will always get the better slots at the respective major hubs.

Simply not true. Size of the plane is not a factor, however what is a factor is the place it was coming from. Trans oceanic flights will not be issued EDCT times, and domestic flights will be slotted around them. Sometimes you might see a larger airline "steal" a slot from its regional feed to accomidate a greater number of passengers. As for the original question... there is no favoritism for different airlines. These controllers simply don't have enough time nor enough pavement, especially at LGA, to be playing favorites. Now what you might have seen was ATL on Delta being let go and AA possibly going to DFW or so where they are on different routes. Due to congestion or weather, some routes might be shut down or might be restricted with an enroute seperation. This is one of the reasons runway 13 is preferred for takeoff. Due to the large amounts of concrete with all the taxiways around the five towers area, ATC can more effectively stack airplanes so that they can keep a constant flow of traffic departing. This is also why PHL prefers a 27L over 9R... because of additional access to the runway. Additionally, controllers are human. Two weeks ago they had a controller change they resulted in a major mistake by the contoller. There loss was my gain, they put a delta and my aircraft up to the runway ahead of the pack. While I only waited an hour and delta ahead waited 1.2 hrs, the previous flight to ATL was still in line and had been waiting for 3 hours. So in summary.... no they don't play favorites... but they do make some mistakes.
 
swiftski
Posts: 1837
Joined: Tue Dec 19, 2006 6:19 am

RE: LGA ATC & Preferential Treatment For Some Flights?

Mon Aug 20, 2007 12:22 am

Quoting AA787823 (Reply 5):
Well not so long a go I was working a flight, and we had a two-hour ATC delay. An off duty airtraffic cotroller, who was flying out on that airplane, made a call and got us an immediate wheels up.

I don't beleive that I'm afraid.
 
DLOnur
Posts: 243
Joined: Thu Jun 21, 2007 2:56 pm

RE: LGA ATC & Preferential Treatment For Some Flights?

Mon Aug 20, 2007 1:59 am

Quoting N757ST (Reply 6):
Simply not true. Size of the plane is not a factor, however what is a factor is the place it was coming from.

You are right and I should have been more specific in my example (UAL NRT-SFO will always get priority over OO/UAX ACV-SFO)....

Quoting N757ST (Reply 6):
So in summary.... no they don't play favorites... but they do make some mistakes.

 Smile
What you believe is what you see.
 
Flighty
Posts: 7864
Joined: Thu Apr 05, 2007 3:07 am

RE: LGA ATC & Preferential Treatment For Some Flights?

Mon Aug 20, 2007 2:13 am

Quoting Swiftski (Reply 7):

I don't beleive that I'm afraid.

Maybe a little hard to believe. But imagine you are a dispatcher. Maybe dispatch is not giving the "right" attention to the flights you are on in your opinion. Why couldn't you call them up and melt your own delay down to nothing (such as by activating a spare aircraft). Of course dispatch is in control, but maybe they can be persuaded to change their plans just a little bit to help out a friend.

There may be some room for negotiation with ATC or dispatch, if you know people on the inside and call them up. It's not totally unprofessional either, if your suggestion has some validity and you are a member of the team.
 
lincoln
Posts: 3133
Joined: Mon Nov 01, 2004 11:22 pm

RE: LGA ATC & Preferential Treatment For Some Flights?

Mon Aug 20, 2007 2:19 am

Quoting AA787823 (Reply 5):
Well not so long a go I was working a flight, and we had a two-hour ATC delay. An off duty airtraffic cotroller, who was flying out on that airplane, made a call and got us an immediate wheels up.

IAHFlyr can set me straight, but I was under the impression that doing just about anything that could have the appearence of requesting preferential treatment as a controller/government employee could cause an, ahem, "discussion", with management or significantly worse.
CO Is My Airline of Choice || Baggage Claim is an airline's last chance to disappoint a customer || Next flts in profile
 
OPNLguy
Posts: 11191
Joined: Tue Jun 15, 1999 11:29 am

RE: LGA ATC & Preferential Treatment For Some Flights?

Mon Aug 20, 2007 2:30 am

Quoting Flighty (Reply 9):
Maybe a little hard to believe. But imagine you are a dispatcher. Maybe dispatch is not giving the "right" attention to the flights you are on in your opinion. Why couldn't you call them up and melt your own delay down to nothing (such as by activating a spare aircraft). Of course dispatch is in control, but maybe they can be persuaded to change their plans just a little bit to help out a friend.

There may be some room for negotiation with ATC or dispatch, if you know people on the inside and call them up. It's not totally unprofessional either, if your suggestion has some validity and you are a member of the team.

1. Activating a "spare" aircraft (if there is even one available) isn't the problem--you could have 10 spare aircraft, but if reduced airspace capacity is the issue, extra aircraft do not automatically translate into extra airspace.

2. As far as dispatch not giving the "right" attention to an aircraft, and calling in for special consideration, that's not an answer either. Nobody likes being delayed, and all 10 crews of aircraft stuck on an airport calling for special consideration is going to get them out any earlier.

3. Sometimes, we can get relief on a specific flight or two due to operational considerations, but that's not always a sure thing. I had a PHL departure a few weeks ago that was way behind schedule, and I had only a short time to get him airborne before the crew timed-out and turned into pumpkins. PHL was able to get him airborne within 30 minutes, and not the 90 minute departure delays they were experiencing at the time.
ALL views, opinions expressed are mine ONLY and are NOT representative of those shared by Southwest Airlines Co.
 
tercer
Posts: 137
Joined: Sat Dec 10, 2005 11:55 pm

RE: LGA ATC & Preferential Treatment For Some Flights?

Mon Aug 20, 2007 2:56 am

Quoting SFOQQAA (Thread starter):
I am continually amazed at the air traffic control system into LGA and how it works

Who isn't, +180 minutes arrival delays on top of gridlock and +300 min departure delays at least a few times a week for the summer SWAP season. The big question is how can the inbound flights penetrate weather that ATC says is impenetrable to outbound traffic???

Quoting AA787823 (Reply 5):
Well not so long a go I was working a flight, and we had a two-hour ATC delay. An off duty airtraffic cotroller, who was flying out on that airplane, made a call and got us an immediate wheels up.

I am not buying this one either, all the Command Center lines are recorded so if anything he was just getting the latest info.... Maybe it was either and airline sub or adaptive compression that helped you out..

Quoting Flighty (Reply 9):
Maybe a little hard to believe. But imagine you are a dispatcher. Maybe dispatch is not giving the "right" attention to the flights you are on in your opinion. Why couldn't you call them up and melt your own delay down to nothing (such as by activating a spare aircraft). Of course dispatch is in control, but maybe they can be persuaded to change their plans just a little bit to help out a friend.

This most likely will not happen either, you can call your buddy in dispatch but they are, for the most part, going to give you the latest info. No one wants to risk their job playing favorites.

Quoting N757ST (Reply 6):
Sometimes you might see a larger airline "steal" a slot from its regional feed to accomidate a greater number of passengers

Unless the larger airlines own the slots there can be no stealing, the program just doesn't work this way.

Quoting OPNLguy (Reply 11):
1. Activating a "spare" aircraft (if there is even one available) isn't the problem--you could have 10 spare aircraft, but if reduced airspace capacity is the issue, extra aircraft do not automatically translate into extra airspace.

Not to mention that if you do activate a spare, are able to crew it and can fill it with passenger you then are considered a pop up in the GDP when you file your new flight number and end up getting the highest delay.
It's politically sensitive, but it's going to happen.
 
ordpark
Posts: 568
Joined: Mon Nov 24, 2003 3:20 pm

RE: LGA ATC & Preferential Treatment For Some Flights?

Mon Aug 20, 2007 3:12 am

As a seasoned veteran of UA....I don't see us getting any preferential treatment at LGA or anywhere else....often wondered why AA's planes get in the air before ours......it's all a matter of perception, I guess....
 
RL757PVD
Posts: 2551
Joined: Fri Dec 03, 1999 2:47 am

RE: LGA ATC & Preferential Treatment For Some Flights?

Mon Aug 20, 2007 3:21 am

The other week i flew into LGA, and we landed early, but the take off queue was out of this world, my friend checked and it was 60-90 min out to off times. Almost EVERY DL connection flight was canceled that evening, so like someone stated above, they probably canceled the RJ flights to get better times for the shuttles and mainline, thus so its not preferential treatment, but rather Delta, minimizing passenger inconvenience as much as possible.
Experience is what you get when what you thought would work out didn't!
 
rjpieces
Posts: 6849
Joined: Mon Nov 24, 2003 8:58 am

RE: LGA ATC & Preferential Treatment For Some Flights?

Mon Aug 20, 2007 3:22 am

Quoting Tercer (Reply 12):
Who isn't, +180 minutes arrival delays on top of gridlock and +300 min departure delays at least a few times a week for the summer SWAP season. The big question is how can the inbound flights penetrate weather that ATC says is impenetrable to outbound traffic???

Is it this bad regularly? The few times I've flown the Delta Shuttle this summer, we've had ground holds but nothing more than 30 minutes...Maybe there is preferential treatment!  Smile
"Millions long for immortality who do not know what to do with themselves on a rainy Sunday afternoon"
 
B777ER
Posts: 431
Joined: Mon Jun 21, 2004 3:35 pm

RE: LGA ATC & Preferential Treatment For Some Flights?

Mon Aug 20, 2007 3:22 am

Quoting Flighty (Reply 9):
There may be some room for negotiation with ATC or dispatch, if you know people on the inside and call them up. It's not totally unprofessional either, if your suggestion has some validity and you are a member of the team.

Your damn right. Its called professional courtesy. Hell, I have heard a NY JFK ground controller tell the crew of an aircraft to say hello to a colleague who was flying out on that plane and telling them over the freq that they would try to get them out quickest. You better believe this stuff happens. Not only in aviation but in law enforcement as well. The grunts who do all the work, i.e., non-managers show each other this courtesy whenever we can and for the most part, managers know better than to question it. And before anyone says, "I don't believe it"...I have done it myself and have had others do it for me many times.

Quoting Tercer (Reply 12):
This most likely will not happen either, you can call your buddy in dispatch but they are, for the most part, going to give you the latest info. No one wants to risk their job playing favorites.

Spoken from someone on the outside looking in.
 
SHUPirate1
Posts: 3428
Joined: Sat Sep 20, 2003 2:53 pm

RE: LGA ATC & Preferential Treatment For Some Flights?

Mon Aug 20, 2007 3:30 am

Quoting Tercer (Reply 12):
Unless the larger airlines own the slots there can be no stealing, the program just doesn't work this way.

Don't most of the mass-network carriers own their feeder airlines' wheels-ups?
Burma's constitutional referendum options: A. Yes, B. Go to Insein Prison!
 
tercer
Posts: 137
Joined: Sat Dec 10, 2005 11:55 pm

RE: LGA ATC & Preferential Treatment For Some Flights?

Mon Aug 20, 2007 3:33 am

Quoting SHUPirate1 (Reply 17):
Don't most of the mass-network carriers own their feeder airlines' wheels-ups?

I can't speak for all but at some yes they do.
It's politically sensitive, but it's going to happen.
 
swiftski
Posts: 1837
Joined: Tue Dec 19, 2006 6:19 am

RE: LGA ATC & Preferential Treatment For Some Flights?

Mon Aug 20, 2007 3:36 am

Quoting Flighty (Reply 9):
It's not totally unprofessional either, if your suggestion has some validity and you are a member of the team.

It is very unprofessional. Imagine being on a flight (further) delayed by ATC giving priority to a friend, then you missing your connection.

Quoting Flighty (Reply 9):
Maybe dispatch is not giving the "right" attention to the flights you are on in your opinion

So let's imagine the flights at the back of these queues have ATC employees onboard.

"Sorry UA/AA/DL/etc, please all pull off the taxiway, I'm letting NWxxx go ahead."


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tercer
Posts: 137
Joined: Sat Dec 10, 2005 11:55 pm

RE: LGA ATC & Preferential Treatment For Some Flights?

Mon Aug 20, 2007 3:40 am

Quoting RJpieces (Reply 15):
Is it this bad regularly? The few times I've flown the Delta Shuttle this summer, we've had ground holds but nothing more than 30 minutes...Maybe there is preferential treatment!

Mid-late afternoon and into the evening is when things tend to get bad at all the NY Metros during the summer months. Unless you have a solid frontal boundary driving the weather it is the air-mass/pop up/"it came out of nowhere" (whichever you call it) thunderstorms that cause the most problems (right around peak heating for the day).
It's politically sensitive, but it's going to happen.
 
Flighty
Posts: 7864
Joined: Thu Apr 05, 2007 3:07 am

RE: LGA ATC & Preferential Treatment For Some Flights?

Mon Aug 20, 2007 3:55 am

Quoting Swiftski (Reply 19):
It is very unprofessional. Imagine being on a flight (further) delayed by ATC giving priority to a friend, then you missing your connection.

Yeah if it is a simple me-first request, that's no good.

If it is a request "with a good reason" -- and only ATCers or dispatch really know what those reasons are -- then I bet a little "talk" about the situation can have results sometimes. Like "oh yeah, the system will run better with your flight in front" for some crazy reason. It's gotta happen sometimes.
 
tercer
Posts: 137
Joined: Sat Dec 10, 2005 11:55 pm

RE: LGA ATC & Preferential Treatment For Some Flights?

Mon Aug 20, 2007 3:59 am

Quoting B777ER (Reply 16):
Spoken from someone on the outside looking in.

Wrong!

Quoting B777ER (Reply 16):
Your damn right. Its called professional courtesy. . You better believe this stuff happens. Not only in aviation but in law enforcement as well.

Unless your married that is...

Honey, You're Under Arrest

Quoting B777ER (Reply 16):
Hell, I have heard a NY JFK ground controller tell the crew of an aircraft to say hello to a colleague who was flying out on that plane and telling them over the freq that they would try to get them out quickest.

And that flight still sat in the dept queue, This too is professional courtesy .,.. "Yeah we will get you out quick" means nothing when you number 33 for the runway and ATC is running 20 Miles in trail. I am not saying it doesn't happen but in the NY area were all the users are watching very closely at what is going on to make sure things are being done equitably coupled with the fact that it is NY Tracon taking the hand off from JFK Tower ... Lets just say the dynamics of how business is done when things are bad makes make it difficult to get away with playing favorites.
It's politically sensitive, but it's going to happen.
 
VHNSJ
Posts: 21
Joined: Wed Jun 27, 2007 11:41 pm

RE: LGA ATC & Preferential Treatment For Some Flights?

Mon Aug 20, 2007 9:46 am

whats the point in having all the small commuter flights if they just get cancelled every day,
how abouts replacing all the smaller aircraft flying in with fewer larger aircraft, less delays, happier passengers,
 
OPNLguy
Posts: 11191
Joined: Tue Jun 15, 1999 11:29 am

RE: LGA ATC & Preferential Treatment For Some Flights?

Mon Aug 20, 2007 9:54 am

Quoting VHNSJ (Reply 23):
whats the point in having all the small commuter flights if they just get cancelled every day,
how abouts replacing all the smaller aircraft flying in with fewer larger aircraft, less delays, happier passengers,

I think the point here is that they don't get cancelled every day, just on really bad weather days, when they're considered "expendable" as far as the slots are concerned. Better to utilize the slot for a 150-seater than a 30-seater, since you'll inconvenience fewer people overall.
ALL views, opinions expressed are mine ONLY and are NOT representative of those shared by Southwest Airlines Co.
 
corey07850
Posts: 2335
Joined: Wed Feb 04, 2004 4:33 am

RE: LGA ATC & Preferential Treatment For Some Flights?

Mon Aug 20, 2007 10:01 am

Quoting Swiftski (Reply 7):

I don't beleive that I'm afraid.



Quoting Tercer (Reply 12):

I am not buying this one either, all the Command Center lines are recorded so if anything he was just getting the latest info.... Maybe it was either and airline sub or adaptive compression that helped you out..

Believe it... It happens regularly, some ways more ethical than others...

For instance our company subscribes to the NBAA GA Desk at the ATSCC. If one of our planes has a wheels up time a few hours from now we call them up and see if they can help out. They walk over to the respective rep from the FAA and 'ask' them to reduce the delay or offer any other solutions. 9 times out of 10 they will get the EDCT reduced, and many times get the EDCT erased. There was a situation where we had a plane scheduled to leave an airport at 5pm but the airport was scheduled to close at 6pm for snow removal or something but our plane had a wheels up time of 7pm. Call up the GA Desk and ask for help... Minutes later we get the call to have the plane taxi out.

I've personally known people on a B6 flight from JFK that are good friends with some people at ZNY and have had them taxi past 40 planes in line for take-off during SWAP... Again, it happens.

Most people won't believe this excpet those involved, but there is a company that will send 10 pizzas to the tower with an aircraft's tail # on each box the day of departure. When the plane calls for engine start, the conversation goes something like this:

A/C: Nxxxxx ready for engine start
ATC: Do you have the number for the tower?
A/C: Yes sir
ATC: Give us a call
10 minutes later they taxi out... (Rumor has it they ask the plane to switch to an alternate ground freq and taxi them out on that... surely against FAA regs).

ATC isn't a machine, they are people. Like anything else, knowing certain people can get you places
 
IAHFLYR
Posts: 3944
Joined: Sat Jun 25, 2005 12:56 am

RE: LGA ATC & Preferential Treatment For Some Flights?

Mon Aug 20, 2007 8:18 pm

Quoting Tercer (Reply 12):
I am not buying this one either, all the Command Center lines are recorded so if anything he was just getting the latest info.... Maybe it was either and airline sub or adaptive compression that helped you out..

Believe it, it happens. I personally know of a situation where a controller off duty on a trip called back to the local facility where the delays were happening, poof, a few minutes later the 3 hour delay was gone and the plane was boarded.

Quoting B777ER (Reply 16):
Its called professional courtesy

Exactly!
Any views shared are strictly my own and do not a represent those of any former employer.
 
qqflyboy
Posts: 1619
Joined: Sat Oct 25, 2003 1:47 pm

RE: LGA ATC & Preferential Treatment For Some Flights?

Tue Aug 21, 2007 8:08 am

Quoting Swiftski (Reply 7):
I don't beleive that I'm afraid.

It absolutely happens. Not often, likely, but it does, and I have first hand experience. I am a Purser or AA. A couple of years ago I was working a flight JFK-LAX when a controller on his honeymoon boarded the a/c. He told me he talked to his buddies in the tower and that he was headed to LAX to make a connection to HNL. He didn't want to miss his connection. We were cleared to back taxi on the runway and by-pass at least 20 a/c (that I could see) awaiting takeoff. We avoided what was estimated to be an hour long line and was airborne within 15 minutes of pushing off the gate.

The controller asked me to tell the pilots to expect special treatment. When I told the pilots, they were glad to hear it and commented they wished controllers flew more often. The controller, without question, got us special treatment. Perks of the job, I guess, and I can tell you every person on that airplane was thankful for it.
The views expressed are mine alone and do not necessarily reflect my employer’s views.
 
PHLapproach
Posts: 1057
Joined: Tue Mar 23, 2004 6:37 am

RE: LGA ATC & Preferential Treatment For Some Flights?

Tue Aug 21, 2007 2:17 pm

I can only reiterate what some of the guys have already said. I can not count how many times I have told friends at Philly when I'm flying out and they'll write my flight down on a strip (AWE252, USA955 etc) and put it at FLM (Supe) watch desk since I guess thats the code for 'people will be on this flight that knows someone here'. I remember one morning it was fairly busy, just the typical backups at PHL. No SWAP, GDPs. Say I was # 5 for the Woodstown sequence. Rather than sending me Yankee, Sierra. I got crossed at Kilo 3 to Mike and wound up being # 3 for departure behind a few Pottstown and Modena guys leaving other Woodstowns behind - sitting on Sierra  Smile

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