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Level Strands Passengers in Montreal

Posted: Wed Jul 18, 2018 6:34 pm
by LMFNINJA
https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/montreal ... -1.4749443

Apparently hundreds of passengers are stranded at Montreal's Trudeau airport.

Not good publicity for Willie Walsh and IAG.

Funny thing is that I was going to take one of their flight to Orly for a cheap holiday in Paris. Not anymore!

Re: Level Strands Passengers in Montreal

Posted: Wed Jul 18, 2018 9:05 pm
by Skywatcher
It's been on the local YUL news-800 people from 2 cancelled flights (Sun/Tue I believe it was). Apparently Level did nothing to rebook anybody. All passengers were basically abandoned. Cheapo flights on an airline with only 2 Orly based A-330 aircraft is not a good bet.

Level's operational issues left 800 passengers stranded in YUL

Posted: Thu Jul 26, 2018 2:14 pm
by Thibault973
So it seems like Level's ORY launch is not going as smoothly as they hoped for.

https://www.ctvnews.ca/canada/800-low-cost-airline-passengers-stranded-in-montreal-for-4-days-1.4017250

In fact, 800+ passengers were left stranded for several days in YUL after they had to cancel 2 back to back flights due to operational issues. Apparently, they rebooked the passengers on the next available flight but considering they only flight 3 times weekly and that virtually all their flights were sold out chaos ensued.

In my opinion, this was bound to happen sooner than later since they planned to operate 4 weekly ORY-PTP and 3 ORY-YUL with only one plane in service.

What do you guys think ?

Re: Level's operational issues left 800 passengers stranded in YUL

Posted: Thu Jul 26, 2018 2:23 pm
by Aircellist
Glad I did not book on them.

Re: Level's operational issues left 800 passengers stranded in YUL

Posted: Thu Jul 26, 2018 3:16 pm
by Aisak
gatibosgru wrote:
Why not route pax through BA/IB/EI?


Why not keep at least 1 757 which is perfectly capable of flying YUL-ORY in case of IrOps.....

At least until you can grow up the base

Re: Level's operational issues left 800 passengers stranded in YUL

Posted: Thu Jul 26, 2018 3:56 pm
by Aisak
max999 wrote:
gatibosgru wrote:
Why not route pax through BA/IB/EI?


I guess IAG wants to draw a very clear line in the sand between Level and the rest of the company. To keep everything as cheap as possible at Level, IAG must have decided that Level cannot call for support from its higher cost sister airline like BA, even during a crisis situation.


That's good and typical Ryanair move: I'll get you there as soon as I (and only me) can.

But as a french airline, they are subject to EC261 compensations... That's no cheap.

Re: Level's operational issues left 800 passengers stranded in YUL

Posted: Thu Jul 26, 2018 4:03 pm
by max999
gatibosgru wrote:
Why not route pax through BA/IB/EI?


I guess IAG wants to draw a very clear line in the sand between Level and the rest of the company. To keep Level's operations as cheap as possible, IAG must have decided that Level cannot call for support from its higher cost sister airline like BA, even during a crisis situation.

Re: Level's operational issues left 800 passengers stranded in YUL

Posted: Fri Jul 27, 2018 11:09 am
by oldannyboy
That is bad.

I have flown LEVEL twice (two return trips) and found them to be very good. Crisp, immaculate cabins, lovely professional crews and on-time.

Re: Level's operational issues left 800 passengers stranded in YUL

Posted: Fri Jul 27, 2018 11:19 am
by smi0006
This is the reality of an LCC, the cost savings, aren’t really in your meal, or IFE- but in disrupt management, back of house support, and labour.

Sorry to say but so long as it’s legal & safe- you get what you pay for.

Re: Level's operational issues left 800 passengers stranded in YUL

Posted: Fri Jul 27, 2018 12:20 pm
by LHRFlyer
Isn’t LEVEL part of the AA/AY/BA/IB joint-venture by virtue of the fact their flights are operated by Iberia and the old OpenSkies AOC?

If so, there’s no excuse for not reaccommodating passengers on AA and BA.

Re: Level's operational issues left 800 passengers stranded in YUL

Posted: Fri Jul 27, 2018 12:44 pm
by APYu
Rebooking on the next available service should mean other airlines are used IF there are no other flights by that carrier on that day. EZY lost a case on this last year when they told passengers travelling BRS to VCE that they had to wait a couple of days for their next service. The court ruled that next available service should not be limited to their own.

Re: Level's operational issues left 800 passengers stranded in YUL

Posted: Fri Jul 27, 2018 12:46 pm
by OA940
smi0006 wrote:
This is the reality of an LCC, the cost savings, aren’t really in your meal, or IFE- but in disrupt management, back of house support, and labour.

Sorry to say but so long as it’s legal & safe- you get what you pay for.


Or mayyyyyyyyyyyyybe, just maybe, they just started flying from a new base and daddy IAG wants them to replace another service which can cause quite a bit of confusion. Let's not blame everything on the ticket prices, shall we?

Re: Level's operational issues left 800 passengers stranded in YUL

Posted: Fri Jul 27, 2018 4:37 pm
by yyz717
max999 wrote:
gatibosgru wrote:
Why not route pax through BA/IB/EI?


I guess IAG wants to draw a very clear line in the sand between Level and the rest of the company. To keep Level's operations as cheap as possible, IAG must have decided that Level cannot call for support from its higher cost sister airline like BA, even during a crisis situation.


It seems that way. It keeps the mainline/ULCC operations separate and the cost accounting separate and clean. it also incents the low cost Level to learn to recover ASAP on their own. Sounds like good discipline to me.

Passengers stranded by an LCC/ULCC operation is hardly a crisis, or even an event worth reporting on really. You get what you pay for. Any of the 800 pax who are upset can book BA or IB next time, risk Level again, or not travel -- the choice is theirs.

Re: Level's operational issues left 800 passengers stranded in YUL

Posted: Fri Jul 27, 2018 5:44 pm
by ro1960
VY which offers a decent service for the price is just as bad when disruption occurs. LCC's model relies on tight operation. One little thing goes wrong, it's chaos and poorly handled by staff not trained for such situations.

"Only" 800 people were affected directly. Nobody else will really know except anetters. Business will start again as usual. The ticket price is what matters.

Re: Level's operational issues left 800 passengers stranded in YUL

Posted: Fri Jul 27, 2018 6:45 pm
by tootallsd
I'm still trying to figure out how they are getting 800 passengers into two airplanes.

Re: Level's operational issues left 800 passengers stranded in YUL

Posted: Fri Jul 27, 2018 7:32 pm
by strfyr51
Thibault973 wrote:
So it seems like Level's ORY launch is not going as smoothly as they hoped for.

https://www.ctvnews.ca/canada/800-low-cost-airline-passengers-stranded-in-montreal-for-4-days-1.4017250

In fact, 800+ passengers were left stranded for several days in YUL after they had to cancel 2 back to back flights due to operational issues. Apparently, they rebooked the passengers on the next available flight but considering they only flight 3 times weekly and that virtually all their flights were sold out chaos ensued.

In my opinion, this was bound to happen sooner than later since they planned to operate 4 weekly ORY-PTP and 3 ORY-YUL with only one plane in service.

What do you guys think ?

And they couldn't sub service? I worked for a single plane Charter outfit. It was fine most of the time but every now and then? It was chaos. And those were Charters.
Regular revenue service? Unthinkable. It's always some Newbie in the business that thinks airplanes are never going to break down or take delays.

Re: Level's operational issues left 800 passengers stranded in YUL

Posted: Fri Jul 27, 2018 7:56 pm
by Flighty
Count me for saying a one plane operation with no recovery plan is totally irresponsible and unprofessional. It reflects directly on IAG management.

A crisis is something that blows up on social media and destroys your brand forever. It costs hundreds of millions to fix a damaged brand.

Re: Level's operational issues left 800 passengers stranded in YUL

Posted: Fri Jul 27, 2018 9:46 pm
by jetwet1
600 Euros per person plus food and drink and hotel rooms, that's going to end up being a million euro hiccup.

Re: Level's operational issues left 800 passengers stranded in YUL

Posted: Fri Jul 27, 2018 11:52 pm
by spinkid
Flighty wrote:
Count me for saying a one plane operation with no recovery plan is totally irresponsible and unprofessional. It reflects directly on IAG management.

A crisis is something that blows up on social media and destroys your brand forever. It costs hundreds of millions to fix a damaged brand.


Agreed. I'm not sure why they haven't called up Hi Fly, or someone similar to help them clean this up.

Re: Level's operational issues left 800 passengers stranded in YUL

Posted: Sat Jul 28, 2018 6:01 am
by smi0006
Flighty wrote:
Count me for saying a one plane operation with no recovery plan is totally irresponsible and unprofessional. It reflects directly on IAG management.

A crisis is something that blows up on social media and destroys your brand forever. It costs hundreds of millions to fix a damaged brand.


But it also costs hundreds of millions to have slack in your fleet, to have disrupt management training for staff, to hire sufficnelty experienced staff, to have reciprocal agreements with other carriers, retail outlets, and hotel providers to have a disrupt management team in place, IT and resvervations tools. All these things only inflate a cost base- it’s a risk LCCs have proven time and time again they are willing to take, and the general public will mostly forget the brand damage. Planning is all good and we’ll, tools and resources cost money that the traditional LCC model can’t afford on their margins.

Re: Level's operational issues left 800 passengers stranded in YUL

Posted: Sat Jul 28, 2018 6:24 am
by mxaxai
smi0006 wrote:
Flighty wrote:
Count me for saying a one plane operation with no recovery plan is totally irresponsible and unprofessional. It reflects directly on IAG management.

A crisis is something that blows up on social media and destroys your brand forever. It costs hundreds of millions to fix a damaged brand.


But it also costs hundreds of millions to have slack in your fleet, to have disrupt management training for staff, to hire sufficnelty experienced staff, to have reciprocal agreements with other carriers, retail outlets, and hotel providers to have a disrupt management team in place, IT and resvervations tools. All these things only inflate a cost base- it’s a risk LCCs have proven time and time again they are willing to take, and the general public will mostly forget the brand damage. Planning is all good and we’ll, tools and resources cost money that the traditional LCC model can’t afford on their margins.

Calling HiFly (or any other similar operator) for one or two return flights would cost a lot less than hundreds of millions. Probably even less than a million.

However, since this "crisis" hasn't found its way into mainstream media yet, or has stayed rather low-profile, I guess Level's decision was the correct one.

Re: Level's operational issues left 800 passengers stranded in YUL

Posted: Sat Jul 28, 2018 6:56 am
by smi0006
mxaxai wrote:
smi0006 wrote:
Flighty wrote:
Count me for saying a one plane operation with no recovery plan is totally irresponsible and unprofessional. It reflects directly on IAG management.

A crisis is something that blows up on social media and destroys your brand forever. It costs hundreds of millions to fix a damaged brand.


But it also costs hundreds of millions to have slack in your fleet, to have disrupt management training for staff, to hire sufficnelty experienced staff, to have reciprocal agreements with other carriers, retail outlets, and hotel providers to have a disrupt management team in place, IT and resvervations tools. All these things only inflate a cost base- it’s a risk LCCs have proven time and time again they are willing to take, and the general public will mostly forget the brand damage. Planning is all good and we’ll, tools and resources cost money that the traditional LCC model can’t afford on their margins.

Calling HiFly (or any other similar operator) for one or two return flights would cost a lot less than hundreds of millions. Probably even less than a million.

However, since this "crisis" hasn't found its way into mainstream media yet, or has stayed rather low-profile, I guess Level's decision was the correct one.


Is there much charter capacity available atm with all the 787 issues? Like all companies charter companies try to ensure their utilisation is high, their capacity is also booked out during peak periods. I don’t know about in the EU, but in AU/NZ charter work requires weeks of regulatory approval and oversight. It’s not as simple as calling them up and the aircraft turns up. Could be different in Europe though with fellow EU operators.

Re: Level's operational issues left 800 passengers stranded in YUL

Posted: Sat Jul 28, 2018 7:05 am
by mxaxai
smi0006 wrote:
mxaxai wrote:
smi0006 wrote:

But it also costs hundreds of millions to have slack in your fleet, to have disrupt management training for staff, to hire sufficnelty experienced staff, to have reciprocal agreements with other carriers, retail outlets, and hotel providers to have a disrupt management team in place, IT and resvervations tools. All these things only inflate a cost base- it’s a risk LCCs have proven time and time again they are willing to take, and the general public will mostly forget the brand damage. Planning is all good and we’ll, tools and resources cost money that the traditional LCC model can’t afford on their margins.

Calling HiFly (or any other similar operator) for one or two return flights would cost a lot less than hundreds of millions. Probably even less than a million.

However, since this "crisis" hasn't found its way into mainstream media yet, or has stayed rather low-profile, I guess Level's decision was the correct one.


Is there much charter capacity available atm with all the 787 issues? Like all companies charter companies try to ensure their utilisation is high, their capacity is also booked out during peak periods. I don’t know about in the EU, but in AU/NZ charter work requires weeks of regulatory approval and oversight. It’s not as simple as calling them up and the aircraft turns up. Could be different in Europe though with fellow EU operators.

BA has been very fast to arrange deals with Titan during strikes. I guess it all comes down to how much you're willing to pay.

Re: Level's operational issues left 800 passengers stranded in YUL

Posted: Sat Jul 28, 2018 8:11 am
by richcandy
Doesn't this sort of thing happen with lots of airlines? I mean not just the LCC.
Its good when the airlines charter an aircraft from Titan etc to get people home, but they don't always do this. Often the pax from the cancelled flight just have be rebooked on what ever availability there is. And in summer that can be a problem.

Re: Level's operational issues left 800 passengers stranded in YUL

Posted: Sat Jul 28, 2018 11:19 am
by JannEejit
tootallsd wrote:
I'm still trying to figure out how they are getting 800 passengers into two airplanes.


Especially when the original article says 100 passengers were stranded at YUL. Did the rest make their own arrangements to fly home ? The article also states that the young Hungarian lady has been staying in a hotel whilst waiting for Level to sort out her flight to Paris ? Who's paying for that ? Would she be better just booking an alternative flight home or hoping that Level will pay for her accommodation and return home eventually ? She says she needs to be back at work, is she willing to hang around Montreal awaiting an outcome and risk losing her job ? I'm not defending Level here but it reads a bit like 'victim' story.

Re: Level's operational issues left 800 passengers stranded in YUL

Posted: Sat Jul 28, 2018 1:54 pm
by a350lover
Very bad publicity indeed.

One of the benefits that has the LEVEL operation in Spain (out of BCN) is the fact that in case any eventualities happen, they can use Iberia’s fleet and crews so that they can sort it out.

Ideally, they could do the same in Paris. Otherwise, they should have some back-up plan.

Re: Level's operational issues left 800 passengers stranded in YUL

Posted: Sat Jul 28, 2018 2:00 pm
by george77300
JannEejit wrote:
tootallsd wrote:
I'm still trying to figure out how they are getting 800 passengers into two airplanes.


Especially when the original article says 100 passengers were stranded at YUL. Did the rest make their own arrangements to fly home ? The article also states that the young Hungarian lady has been staying in a hotel whilst waiting for Level to sort out her flight to Paris ? Who's paying for that ? Would she be better just booking an alternative flight home or hoping that Level will pay for her accommodation and return home eventually ? She says she needs to be back at work, is she willing to hang around Montreal awaiting an outcome and risk losing her job ? I'm not defending Level here but it reads a bit like 'victim' story.



Well the 800 passengers probably includes both ways even if ambiguous in article. Basically there are people stuck in YUL wanting to be in Paris and also half are probably stuck in ORY wanting to be back home in Canada. 2 round trips is 4 flights so makes sense. Around 200 per flight.

Re: Level's operational issues left 800 passengers stranded in YUL

Posted: Sat Jul 28, 2018 2:42 pm
by LJ
smi0006 wrote:
Flighty wrote:
Count me for saying a one plane operation with no recovery plan is totally irresponsible and unprofessional. It reflects directly on IAG management.

A crisis is something that blows up on social media and destroys your brand forever. It costs hundreds of millions to fix a damaged brand.


But it also costs hundreds of millions to have slack in your fleet, to have disrupt management training for staff, to hire sufficnelty experienced staff, to have reciprocal agreements with other carriers, retail outlets, and hotel providers to have a disrupt management team in place, IT and resvervations tools. All these things only inflate a cost base- it’s a risk LCCs have proven time and time again they are willing to take, and the general public will mostly forget the brand damage. Planning is all good and we’ll, tools and resources cost money that the traditional LCC model can’t afford on their margins.


They already need to pay EUR 480,000 in compensation (though probably not all will request compensation because they don't know they're eligible. If you add rebooking (let's say EUR 500 one way), you can add another EUR 400,000) If you're an EU airline you better have a back-up plan as EU 261 is a very good insurance for those travelling on an EU airline (or from the EU).

APYu wrote:
Rebooking on the next available service should mean other airlines are used IF there are no other flights by that carrier on that day. EZY lost a case on this last year when they told passengers travelling BRS to VCE that they had to wait a couple of days for their next service. The court ruled that next available service should not be limited to their own.


Indeed, however, not many know this. A good lawyer will get more than the EUR 600 in mandatory compesation from this event.

Re: Level's operational issues left 800 passengers stranded in YUL

Posted: Sat Jul 28, 2018 4:29 pm
by JannEejit
george77300 wrote:
JannEejit wrote:
tootallsd wrote:
I'm still trying to figure out how they are getting 800 passengers into two airplanes.


Especially when the original article says 100 passengers were stranded at YUL. Did the rest make their own arrangements to fly home ? The article also states that the young Hungarian lady has been staying in a hotel whilst waiting for Level to sort out her flight to Paris ? Who's paying for that ? Would she be better just booking an alternative flight home or hoping that Level will pay for her accommodation and return home eventually ? She says she needs to be back at work, is she willing to hang around Montreal awaiting an outcome and risk losing her job ? I'm not defending Level here but it reads a bit like 'victim' story.



Well the 800 passengers probably includes both ways even if ambiguous in article. Basically there are people stuck in YUL wanting to be in Paris and also half are probably stuck in ORY wanting to be back home in Canada. 2 round trips is 4 flights so makes sense. Around 200 per flight.



Well if you put it like that ... :bigthumbsup:

Re: Level's operational issues left 800 passengers stranded in YUL

Posted: Sat Jul 28, 2018 4:56 pm
by mjoelnir
For me the main lesson is, you are not better set with an LCC that is owned by a big airline, than any other LCC. I remember when Norwegian had similar troubles and the vitriol than expended. Strange this quite acceptance of Level letting down its passengers.

Re: Level's operational issues left 800 passengers stranded in YUL

Posted: Sat Jul 28, 2018 5:25 pm
by Begues
smi0006 wrote:
This is the reality of an LCC, the cost savings, aren’t really in your meal, or IFE- but in disrupt management, back of house support, and labour.

Sorry to say but so long as it’s legal & safe- you get what you pay for.


The real issue is that LLCs don't have reserve planes in stand by in case off a plane breakdown. 25 years ago when I worked for a smaller flag carrier airline (some 100 planes or so in total), I was astound to realise they had 2-3 reserve planes waiting in the hangar in case a plane would break down. Across the hubs this would total up to 7 or 8 reserve planes in total out of a fleet around 100 planes. They never ever had passengers waiting more than the 15 min it would take to tow the reserve plane from the hangar. And in the case of a breakdown in some other country, they would simply fly in a reserve plane, so you would never have to wait more than the time it would take to fly in the reserve plane. And of cause, airlines back then always booked you in a 4 star hotel if you had to spend the night in the airport, even traveling in tourist class.

Of cause, back then you also paid 4-5 times more for a ticket, tourist was more exspensive back then than business is today.

Re: Level's operational issues left 800 passengers stranded in YUL

Posted: Sat Jul 28, 2018 5:28 pm
by slcdeltarumd11
When you operate fully flights it's basically impossible to reaccomodate passengers when you cancel a whole flight. This is not limited to level it's a 2018 problem for most airlines.

I had a similar situation out of btv on AA they cancelled a fully full CR9 to CLT and Initially said they would not book on other airlines problem was all AA flights was basically full for like a week , people went crazy as pretty much every other airline had seats that day. The agents annoyingly were trying to rebook people for like a week away insitng they just stay on AA. Didn't stay to see how it ended there is bad customer service with cancellations everywhere it's not limited to level

Re: Level's operational issues left 800 passengers stranded in YUL

Posted: Sat Jul 28, 2018 6:12 pm
by geoshina
tootallsd wrote:
I'm still trying to figure out how they are getting 800 passengers into two airplanes.


They should hire the Hi Fly A380 to take these people to ORY. :)

Re: Level's operational issues left 800 passengers stranded in YUL

Posted: Sat Jul 28, 2018 6:25 pm
by aemoreira1981
Two other things to note:

1. One should always buy travel insurance, especially when booking with a non-IATA operator.
2. Why not configure the existing B763 in a Y273 configuration? (It’s limited to 276 passengers). That could be a LEVEL standby plane until it’s time for the next heavy check in 2020.

Re: Level's operational issues left 800 passengers stranded in YUL

Posted: Sat Jul 28, 2018 7:58 pm
by Aliqiout
richcandy wrote:
Doesn't this sort of thing happen with lots of airlines? I mean not just the LCC.
Its good when the airlines charter an aircraft from Titan etc to get people home, but they don't always do this. Often the pax from the cancelled flight just have be rebooked on what ever availability there is. And in summer that can be a problem.

You certainly can get screwed on any airline, but non LCC have other options so it rarely gets to the point where 800 people are stranded for days. Generally, a non LCC will only get to that point when there is some sort of disaster (historical weather event, terrorism, Icleandic volcanoes, exct..).

Re: Level's operational issues left 800 passengers stranded in YUL

Posted: Sat Jul 28, 2018 10:06 pm
by spinkid
This happened about about 10 days ago. Does anyone know how Level ended up clearing out this backlog? Sounds like everyone just waited or bought new tickets on another carrier.

Re: Level's operational issues left 800 passengers stranded in YUL

Posted: Sat Jul 28, 2018 10:07 pm
by BA174
aemoreira1981 wrote:
Two other things to note:

1. One should always buy travel insurance, especially when booking with a non-IATA operator.
2. Why not configure the existing B763 in a Y273 configuration? (It’s limited to 276 passengers). That could be a LEVEL standby plane until it’s time for the next heavy check in 2020.


1. Correct, especially with a low cost airline that’s just started operations with limited resources.
2. The 763 is 28 years old and the only BA long haul 767 still flying, it’s not changed internally since it’s LHR days and I would imagine reconfiguring costs and keeping an oddball frame until 2020 when the rest of LEVEL is flying A330s is probably cost prohibited and not required. I presume G-BNWI/F-HILU will be following it’s sisters to St Athan or Victorville in the not too distant future. I notice none of the OpenSkies 757s seem to be active in the fleet anymore.

Re: Level's operational issues left 800 passengers stranded in YUL

Posted: Sat Jul 28, 2018 11:24 pm
by AIR MALTA
The Canadian Authority for Transportation has issued some guidance to LEVEL stranded passengers and encouraged them to sue the airline if they couldn‘t reach their representatives. They have provided a link for the complaints.

https://twitter.com/otc_gc/status/1019620451885244416?s=21

Well done I have to say. IAG need all the battering they can get. They have become a pile of rubbish airlines.

Re: Level's operational issues left 800 passengers stranded in YUL

Posted: Sun Jul 29, 2018 12:39 am
by B727skyguy
According to the Level website, all Level flights are operated by either Iberia or OpenSkies. The website states that the operating carrier's conditions of carriage apply.

I assume that the cancelled flights were operated by OpenSkies. Here is what their conditions of carriage say for cancellations and delays:

9.2 Remedies for delays and cancellations

(a) The Carrier may decide, in particular to avoid the cancellation of or delay to a flight, to carry the Passenger on a different flight operated by another aircraft, and/or by another airline.

Source: https://www.flylevel.com/en/about-us/co ... f-carriage

Why are they not protecting on other carriers? They have a legal obligation to do so based on their conditions of carriage. At the very least, they could easily protect on BA. That would keep the revenue in-house.