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Noris
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BA2036 passengers in three-day journey 'hell'

Sun Nov 04, 2018 5:17 pm

British Airways passengers who endured a 77-hour "journey from hell" back to London from Florida, have said they were treated "inhumanly".
Passengers have complained of sleeping on airport floors and holidaymakers crying on the "chaotic" journey home.
BA flight 2036 was supposed to take off from Orlando at 19:25 ET (00:25 GMT) on Thursday and arrive at Gatwick eight hours later - but it arrived in the UK on Sunday after going through New York.

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-wales-46088636

Is this an isolated incident, or representative of British Airways' current customer service standards?

Rgds.
 
KLDC10
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Re: BA2036 passengers in three-day journey 'hell'

Sun Nov 04, 2018 5:27 pm

Noris wrote:
Is this an isolated incident, or representative of British Airways' current customer service standards?


Likely an isolated incident - a comedy of errors.
BA's current customer service standards are non-existent, but operationally they're usually fine.
 
Newbiepilot
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Re: BA2036 passengers in three-day journey 'hell'

Sun Nov 04, 2018 5:37 pm

The series of events sounds entirely pluasible for a mechanical problem at an outstation. Here is the sequence that it sounds like:

  • Passengers boarded
  • Mechanical problem found and mechanics tried to fix it. Passengers wait
  • After 4 hours they cancel flight and put passengers in hotel in Orlando
  • Next day, mechanics replaced a part and think the plane is fixed. Passengers board and airplane departs, but problem returns in the air
  • Airplane diverts to JFK where BA has maintenance and staff
  • No staff available at 3am, so passengers wait for staff to be called and come to work
  • Hotel availability at 7am is limited (this is often true almost anywhere)
  • 18 hours later, BA has a replacement plane at JFK and they leave

That sequence sounds quite plausible and could happen on virtually any airline. The one event that is unusual is the diversion to JFK. Most airlines would go back to the original departure city since passengers may be able to return home, but LGW-MCO flights are mostly British tourists so that probably wouldn’t be all that beneficial. It is easier to accommodate people on the JFK to London route.

The plane descending to 20,000 during the MCO-JFK diversion makes it sound like an air conditioning pack failure. There is no need to divert to nearest suitable airport, but they won’t be able to make it to London at 20,000ft. Air Conditioning and Pneumatic faults are some of the most difficult ones to troubleshoot. Finding duct leaks is very hard and it can be hard to simulate all fault conditions on the ground. BA May outsource maintenance in Orlando. If it is done in house they probably only have two mechanics. There won’t be many parts or experienced mechanics in Orlando for a 777.

As far as the rest of the article goes, diversions and cancellations are stressful on passengers. Sensational reactions are normal. Challenges having adequate staff and hotels is pretty commonplace.
Last edited by Newbiepilot on Sun Nov 04, 2018 5:57 pm, edited 2 times in total.
 
tmoney
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Re: BA2036 passengers in three-day journey 'hell'

Sun Nov 04, 2018 5:40 pm

On the next episode of FWP ... :sarcastic:

On a serious note, yes tech faults do happen. They are machines after all.
Would rather divert to JFK than into the Atlantic.
 
flyguy84
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Re: BA2036 passengers in three-day journey 'hell'

Sun Nov 04, 2018 5:40 pm

Indicative of contract customer service.
 
Indy
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Re: BA2036 passengers in three-day journey 'hell'

Sun Nov 04, 2018 5:43 pm

 
jumbojet
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Re: BA2036 passengers in three-day journey 'hell'

Sun Nov 04, 2018 6:00 pm

[twoid][/twoid]
Newbiepilot wrote:
The series of events sounds entirely pluasible for a mechanical problem at an outstation. Here is the sequence that it sounds like:

Passengers boarded
Mechanical problem found and mechanics tried to fix it
After 4 hours they cancel flight and put passengers in hotel in Orlando
Next day they board and depart, but problem returns in the air
Airplane diverts to JFK where BA has maintenance and staff
No staff available at 3am, so passengers wait
Hotel availability at 7am is limited
18 hours later, BA has a replacement plane at JFK and they leave

.


unacceptable. In this case, BA needs to do more. Other airlines, more options for hotels, waiting 18 hours for a JFK-LHR flight is simply ridiculous. These are two major airports and destinations. Airlines need to be held to higher standards and we need to stop accepting everything they say and do that its their best because in this case its clearly not enough. This is JFK-LAX, the re-route, is not like JFK-CMH or something roundabout like that. These pax should have been stuck at JFK no more than 8 hours. Airlines are given way to much slack,
 
Ryanair01
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Re: BA2036 passengers in three-day journey 'hell'

Sun Nov 04, 2018 6:03 pm

Diversion to JFK makes sense because it's got lots of connections back to UK, plus a large ground staff and partner airline base. I imagine whoever made the call to divert to JFK wouldn't have realised the NY Marathon meant hotels were booked out.

My experience of BA is that they're reasonably good at getting you food and accommodation, but staff become forgetful when it comes to your rights.
 
SCQ83
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Re: BA2036 passengers in three-day journey 'hell'

Sun Nov 04, 2018 6:06 pm

Unbelievable they cannot accommodate all that people from MCO to LON or JFK to LON, specially in the beginning of November.

jumbojet wrote:
unacceptable. In this case, BA needs to do more. Other airlines, more options for hotels, waiting 18 hours for a JFK-LHR flight is simply ridiculous. These are two major airports and destinations. Airlines need to be held to higher standards and we need to stop accepting everything they say and do that its their best because in this case its clearly not enough. This is JFK-LAX, the re-route, is not like JFK-CMH or something roundabout like that. These pax should have been stuck at JFK no more than 8 hours. Airlines are given way to much slack,


You meant JFK-LHR I guess.
 
Ryanair01
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Re: BA2036 passengers in three-day journey 'hell'

Sun Nov 04, 2018 6:10 pm

jumbojet wrote:
[twoid][/twoid]
Newbiepilot wrote:
The series of events sounds entirely pluasible for a mechanical problem at an outstation. Here is the sequence that it sounds like:

Passengers boarded
Mechanical problem found and mechanics tried to fix it
After 4 hours they cancel flight and put passengers in hotel in Orlando
Next day they board and depart, but problem returns in the air
Airplane diverts to JFK where BA has maintenance and staff
No staff available at 3am, so passengers wait
Hotel availability at 7am is limited
18 hours later, BA has a replacement plane at JFK and they leave

.


unacceptable. In this case, BA needs to do more. Other airlines, more options for hotels, waiting 18 hours for a JFK-LHR flight is simply ridiculous. These are two major airports and destinations. Airlines need to be held to higher standards and we need to stop accepting everything they say and do that its their best because in this case its clearly not enough. This is JFK-LAX, the re-route, is not like JFK-CMH or something roundabout like that. These pax should have been stuck at JFK no more than 8 hours. Airlines are given way to much slack,


The 18 hours starts at 3am, the transatlantic banks don't start until evening. So what flights would you rebook on exactly? Plus the flight was bound for LGW, not LHR. If your car is parked at LGW, LHR is not ideal. If the aircraft were completely broken then maybe it's better than nothing, but as they had a replacement for 2100, it would be quicker to stick with that.

This isn't Sim City with imaginary flights, hotels and staff.
 
Newbiepilot
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Re: BA2036 passengers in three-day journey 'hell'

Sun Nov 04, 2018 6:11 pm

I am not trying to cover up what was likely a terrible circumstance for the passengers.

jumbojet wrote:
[twoid][/twoid]
Newbiepilot wrote:
The series of events sounds entirely pluasible for a mechanical problem at an outstation. Here is the sequence that it sounds like:

Passengers boarded
Mechanical problem found and mechanics tried to fix it
After 4 hours they cancel flight and put passengers in hotel in Orlando
Next day they board and depart, but problem returns in the air
Airplane diverts to JFK where BA has maintenance and staff
No staff available at 3am, so passengers wait
Hotel availability at 7am is limited
18 hours later, BA has a replacement plane at JFK and they leave

.


unacceptable. In this case, BA needs to do more. Other airlines, more options for hotels, waiting 18 hours for a JFK-LHR flight is simply ridiculous. These are two major airports and destinations. Airlines need to be held to higher standards and we need to stop accepting everything they say and do that its their best because in this case its clearly not enough. This is JFK-LAX, the re-route, is not like JFK-CMH or something roundabout like that. These pax should have been stuck at JFK no more than 8 hours. Airlines are given way to much slack,


BA had a 77W rescue plane dispatched to JFK within 6 hours after the diverted plane arrived at JFK. That’s an 8 hour rescue flight plus time needed to find a crew. That is actually quite impressive. Most airlines can’t dispatch a rescue flight that quickly for an outstation diversion. Only larger network airlines can typically do that. Having a crew at an outstation to take the plane back to LGW Can be complicated.

Finding hotel rooms at 7am is difficult anywhere. THe article isn’t clear on what the airline found, but it appears some people found hotels on their own.

The rescue flight was scheduled to leave at 7pm JFK-LHR. There aren’t many options between 3am and 7pm to get from New York to London. Some people may have been reaccomodated on the morning JFK-LHR flights, but there are only 3 daytime eastbound flights.
 
Tristar787
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Re: BA2036 passengers in three-day journey 'hell'

Sun Nov 04, 2018 6:18 pm

[quote="SCQ83"]Unbelievable they cannot accommodate all that people from MCO to LON or JFK to LON, specially in the beginning of November.

It’s the end of half-term (school holidays) for many people in the UK. I reckon that there weren’t many available seats back to London and they had no choice but to put together an ad-hoc rescue flight.
 
SCQ83
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Re: BA2036 passengers in three-day journey 'hell'

Sun Nov 04, 2018 6:22 pm

Tristar787 wrote:
It’s the end of half-term (school holidays) for many people in the UK. I reckon that there weren’t many available seats back to London and they had no choice but to put together an ad-hoc rescue flight.


Not even via MAD, BCN or DUB? It is not ideal but easy for BA to sort out.
 
ltbewr
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Re: BA2036 passengers in three-day journey 'hell'

Sun Nov 04, 2018 6:23 pm

Thrown in time limits reached as to the pilots and crew that likely added to the problem. Still, considering the unique timing situation, it was probably the best BA could do.
 
Bhoy
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Re: BA2036 passengers in three-day journey 'hell'

Sun Nov 04, 2018 9:04 pm

SCQ83 wrote:
Tristar787 wrote:
It’s the end of half-term (school holidays) for many people in the UK. I reckon that there weren’t many available seats back to London and they had no choice but to put together an ad-hoc rescue flight.


Not even via MAD, BCN or DUB? It is not ideal but easy for BA to sort out.

There's no daytime East bound TATL flights to any of those destinations, just red eyes.
 
smi0006
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Re: BA2036 passengers in three-day journey 'hell'

Sun Nov 04, 2018 9:34 pm

I’m sorry I’m not denying BA handled this poorly, although delays and divertions aren’t easy at outstations with limited staff- but people need to start taking charge of their own lives - some horrific tweets by parents;

#BA2036 deplorable service. Cannot believe our children had to sleep on the floor of an airport terminal for five and a half hours whilst you advise that you are looking after us.

#BA2036 7 year old cancer survivor sleeping on the floor at JFK terminal 7, thanks for nothing BA. (Now been taken down it appears)

I’m sorry - take control of your own lives people! Book you’re own hotel room, and if you can’t get a room most likely the airline has the same challenge. As a parent you above all else’s have ultimate responsibility for your child’s well being, step up and take some action. Book a room, and call BA reservation from your hotel. Can’t afford it, don’t have travel insurance? Then I’m sorry BA may have put you in this situation, but you are the reason you’re out of options. Can’t afford travel insurance, you can’t afford to travel. Again, not defending BA but people expect airlines to do everything for them, and when they fail often seem to have an inability to problem solve for themselves.
 
Bhoy
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Re: BA2036 passengers in three-day journey 'hell'

Sun Nov 04, 2018 9:50 pm

Just to elaborate, going by the (limited) info available, Ba did the correct thing, operationally.
By diverting to JFK, they assured that even if the crew timed out (almost guaranteed if returning to MCO and looking to repair again), at JFK, they could likely move some other 777 qualified crews around (ie from the scheduled JFK-LHR or LGW who would have had at least minimum, but legal rest) and get the repaired flight out sooner.
Also, going to MCO where as stated they probably only have 1 or 2 engineers on Station, with a very limited portfolio of spare parts that would otherwise have to be flown in (who else regularly flies 777s to MCO? AF and KL, anyone else?), as opposed to JFK where they must have numerous Engineers, and could probably borrow parts from AA or DL on the promise of replacing them with spares already dispatched on any of the multitude of LHR flights once they arrive.
Ok, it's not ideal that Hotels couldn't be sourced quickly in New York, but going back to MCO would have incurred a longer delay, and there are no earlier daytime TATL flights they could be rebooked on, anyway.
 
by738
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Re: BA2036 passengers in three-day journey 'hell'

Sun Nov 04, 2018 10:01 pm

I dont really buy that there was no spare 744 or 777 that couldnt be mustered with a standby crew for 3 days? why not cancel a JFK rotation (as they would easily do with a bit of snow). The PR dept must have known a kid packed Disney flight would have created huge publicity. I dont think even TOM or TCX have encountered such huge delays in similar situations with far smaller fleets. What about Air Belgium, Wamos, AA, QR cover?
Im guessing they thought it would have just quietly gone away unnoticed
 
Newbiepilot
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Joined: Tue Aug 30, 2016 10:18 pm

Re: BA2036 passengers in three-day journey 'hell'

Sun Nov 04, 2018 10:18 pm

by738 wrote:
I dont really buy that there was no spare 744 or 777 that couldnt be mustered with a standby crew for 3 days? why not cancel a JFK rotation (as they would easily do with a bit of snow). The PR dept must have known a kid packed Disney flight would have created huge publicity. I dont think even TOM or TCX have encountered such huge delays in similar situations with far smaller fleets. What about Air Belgium, Wamos, AA, QR cover?
Im guessing they thought it would have just quietly gone away unnoticed


If BA knew the plane would not fly to London for three days, they probably would have sent a rescue flight to Orlando. The challenge is that BA Maintenance Control thought the plane could be fixed in Orlando within a day. My best guess is that maintenance in Orlando needed a part that they thought would fix the plane. They may have flown it in from London the next day or purchased it from a source in the United States (Boeing has lots of parts inventory in Atlanta and Dallas for sale). They were confident that the plane was fixed enough the next day and it flew to London. The plane made it to cruise and two minutes later started descending. It could have been a secondary failure or the plane was not properly fixed.

This is always a challenge in the industry. It is hard to immediately diagnose a problem and know exactly how to fix it and how long it will take. Modern airplanes like 787s and A350s are a lot better at diagnosing faults and giving more diagnostic information, but intermittent faults in wiring, temp sensors or air leaks are often very difficult to fix.
 
maverick4002
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Re: BA2036 passengers in three-day journey 'hell'

Sun Nov 04, 2018 11:00 pm

jumbojet wrote:
[twoid][/twoid]
Newbiepilot wrote:
The series of events sounds entirely pluasible for a mechanical problem at an outstation. Here is the sequence that it sounds like:

Passengers boarded
Mechanical problem found and mechanics tried to fix it
After 4 hours they cancel flight and put passengers in hotel in Orlando
Next day they board and depart, but problem returns in the air
Airplane diverts to JFK where BA has maintenance and staff
No staff available at 3am, so passengers wait
Hotel availability at 7am is limited
18 hours later, BA has a replacement plane at JFK and they leave

.


unacceptable. In this case, BA needs to do more. Other airlines, more options for hotels, waiting 18 hours for a JFK-LHR flight is simply ridiculous. These are two major airports and destinations. Airlines need to be held to higher standards and we need to stop accepting everything they say and do that its their best because in this case its clearly not enough. This is JFK-LAX, the re-route, is not like JFK-CMH or something roundabout like that. These pax should have been stuck at JFK no more than 8 hours. Airlines are given way to much slack,


To be fair, landing at JFK at 3am, there are no other flights to London at that time. I think there is 1 BA morning flight and maybe 1 Virgin morning flight around 8am 830am but I doubt they could fill an entire 777 on those two flights so at that point the next earliest flights would be in the afternoon anyways.
 
kalvado
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Re: BA2036 passengers in three-day journey 'hell'

Sun Nov 04, 2018 11:13 pm

I assume the outcome is as good as BA could achieve after fixed plane departed MCO and developed a problem for the second time.
Had this happen on Norwegian, though, overall sentiment would be more like "this is what you get when you book for cheap on an LCC with no operational spares and non-existing customer service"
 
kruiseri
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Re: BA2036 passengers in three-day journey 'hell'

Mon Nov 05, 2018 12:08 pm

smi0006 wrote:
I’m sorry - take control of your own lives people! Book you’re own hotel room, and if you can’t get a room most likely the airline has the same challenge. As a parent you above all else’s have ultimate responsibility for your child’s well being, step up and take some action. Book a room, and call BA reservation from your hotel. Can’t afford it, don’t have travel insurance? Then I’m sorry BA may have put you in this situation, but you are the reason you’re out of options. Can’t afford travel insurance, you can’t afford to travel. Again, not defending BA but people expect airlines to do everything for them, and when they fail often seem to have an inability to problem solve for themselves.



Err...

EU has legistlation that specifically states that it is the airlines responsibility to look after you in these cases. That being the case, BA would have no oblication to pay you back for the hotel you managed to book if they had an alternative available.
 
bourbon
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Re: BA2036 passengers in three-day journey 'hell'

Mon Nov 05, 2018 12:34 pm

SCQ83 wrote:
Tristar787 wrote:
It’s the end of half-term (school holidays) for many people in the UK. I reckon that there weren’t many available seats back to London and they had no choice but to put together an ad-hoc rescue flight.


Not even via MAD, BCN or DUB? It is not ideal but easy for BA to sort out.

If flights to MAD, BCN or DUB are full it’s not as easy as you think and there has to be seats open between those three and London too.
 
Galwayman
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Re: BA2036 passengers in three-day journey 'hell'

Mon Nov 05, 2018 12:58 pm

honestly they could have just found their own rooms - BA normally refund very quickly .... last time it happened to me at IAD , while the mob gathered i went downstairs spoke to a local hotel shuttle driver who gave me a great rate and I was comfy in bed within the hour ...BA emiled me proactively the next day and i had a refund of th ehotel fee within 36 hours ....
 
frmrCapCadet
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Re: BA2036 passengers in three-day journey 'hell'

Mon Nov 05, 2018 1:35 pm

Frequent flyers know the ropes, may have status and priority access to customer service , and often have business expense accounts. Of course they know how to take care of themselves. The occasional flyer has none of these advantages.
 
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readytotaxi
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Re: BA2036 passengers in three-day journey 'hell'

Mon Nov 05, 2018 1:54 pm

In the BBC report BA said, " our teams on the ground cared for customers in our First class lounge providing bedding, food and drinks to ensure they were comfortable during their stay."
Wow, I bet that they waited until the morning LHR flight 178 had departed before they opened up the lounge. Can you imagine the faces on the First class passengers if they saw the great unwashed trip in with their bed rolls and set up camp. :rotfl:
 
AA94
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Re: BA2036 passengers in three-day journey 'hell'

Mon Nov 05, 2018 2:37 pm

People are so reluctant to advocate for themselves. If things were truly as dire as people suggest on their social media, start calling around to hotels and find a place for your family. Call BA or visit the rebooking desk and request to be rebooked via another city. It takes a bare minimum of common sense to do these things. The problem is that everyone sits on their hands and whines about how the airline isn't taking proper care of them when in reality there's certain time and space realities on having an aircraft go OOS.

Diverting to JFK is perhaps the one wrinkle here, but better to divert to a station with considerable staff presence, maintenance, and the presence of JV partners rather than heading back to the outstation where the logistical problems will persist. Of course I can't speak to the perceived quality of the customer service provided in-person, but from an operational/logistical perspective this seems to have been handled decently.
 
crownvic
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Re: BA2036 passengers in three-day journey 'hell'

Mon Nov 05, 2018 2:58 pm

United has a fairly decent maintenance operation at MCO occupying 2 large hangars. Mostly 737 and 757 but I have seen the rare 777 and 764 acft there on occasion. Could they have assisted?
 
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aemoreira1981
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Re: BA2036 passengers in three-day journey 'hell'

Mon Nov 05, 2018 3:24 pm

by738 wrote:
I dont really buy that there was no spare 744 or 777 that couldnt be mustered with a standby crew for 3 days? why not cancel a JFK rotation (as they would easily do with a bit of snow). The PR dept must have known a kid packed Disney flight would have created huge publicity. I dont think even TOM or TCX have encountered such huge delays in similar situations with far smaller fleets. What about Air Belgium, Wamos, AA, QR cover?
Im guessing they thought it would have just quietly gone away unnoticed

Those JFK-LHR flights are often packed to the gills and are mostly high-J frames. Would you bump them? As for having another carrier cover, in the winter, they likely have fewer crews and planes parked in storage. What happened here was a perfect storm where there were no rooms because of the NYC Marathon...had that been known, a diversion into BOS would have happened instead.
 
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PITingres
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Re: BA2036 passengers in three-day journey 'hell'

Mon Nov 05, 2018 3:53 pm

I suspect that the one bad decision here was to divert to JFK. Sure, it sounds plausible, but someone should have realized that it was going to be a passenger nightmare. JFK has plenty of operations side resources but essentially zero passenger side resources. Going almost anywhere other than NYC would have been a better choice.

The lack of hotel rooms isn't necessarily an anomaly, either. I remember sleeping on the floor of a hotel ballroom some years ago during some sort of IROPS, and then being taken for $$$ by the hotel / taxi combine for the ride back to the airport. (The airline bussed us over but we were on our own to get back.)
 
guyanam
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Re: BA2036 passengers in three-day journey 'hell'

Mon Nov 05, 2018 4:09 pm

smi0006 wrote:
I’m sorry I’m not denying BA handled this poorly, although delays and divertions aren’t easy at outstations with limited staff- but people need to start taking charge of their own lives - some horrific tweets by parents;

.



You are defending BA. It isnt as if BA wasn't paid to transport these people or if the problems weren't due to factors within their control. NO passengers have no responsibility for shelling out extra $$$ in a situation where this was BA's fault. Travel insurance is to cover issues like weather, acts of God, local instability, or airport related delays that have nothing to do with the airline, or for travel on a charters. This is why we pay more to use a legacy carrier.
 
Bongodog1964
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Re: BA2036 passengers in three-day journey 'hell'

Mon Nov 05, 2018 5:52 pm

In hindsight, of course BA should have despatched a replacement plane to MCO on Thursday evening when the original went tech, at the time however who would have sanctioned so much expenditure, especially knowing that in any event the rescue plane wouldn't depart until late on the next day once there were rested crew available, and that the original plane would probably be fixed by then.
The additional factor is that the MCO route is now flown by densified 772's, the only airframe in the BA fleet that has more seats is the A380, even the 744 and 773 come up a few seats short. As this was the end of a school holiday week the flight was probably completely sold out. The densification programme is in its early days so frames are limited.

Once it took off, JFK was the logical place to head when a fault developed, BA has more flights, more staff etc at JFK than anywhere else outside of the UK, just unfortunate that it arrived in the middle of the night with few resources available.

Away from home base, it would have been no different for any other long haul airline.
 
smartplane
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Re: BA2036 passengers in three-day journey 'hell'

Mon Nov 05, 2018 6:20 pm

AA94 wrote:
People are so reluctant to advocate for themselves. If things were truly as dire as people suggest on their social media, start calling around to hotels and find a place for your family. Call BA or visit the rebooking desk and request to be rebooked via another city. It takes a bare minimum of common sense to do these things. The problem is that everyone sits on their hands and whines about how the airline isn't taking proper care of them when in reality there's certain time and space realities on having an aircraft go OOS

If you take the initiative and leave the airport, then miss the flight, your insurer invokes 'mitigation' clauses, and you end up with virtually no cover.
 
smi0006
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Re: BA2036 passengers in three-day journey 'hell'

Mon Nov 05, 2018 6:22 pm

guyanam wrote:
smi0006 wrote:
I’m sorry I’m not denying BA handled this poorly, although delays and divertions aren’t easy at outstations with limited staff- but people need to start taking charge of their own lives - some horrific tweets by parents;

.



You are defending BA. It isnt as if BA wasn't paid to transport these people or if the problems weren't due to factors within their control. NO passengers have no responsibility for shelling out extra $$$ in a situation where this was BA's fault. Travel insurance is to cover issues like weather, acts of God, local instability, or airport related delays that have nothing to do with the airline, or for travel on a charters. This is why we pay more to use a legacy carrier.


I’m not saying it’s not the airlines responsibility, I agree they should pay, and as another poster pointed out legally they are required to; but on this night they couldn’t / didnt. So instead of taking action people let their children sleep on the floor, and then flag how inhuman this was, well why did you let that happen? Everything fell apart, and the the carry failed you breaking the law but you still made a choice not to pay to put your child in a bed?

I disagree around travel insurance, it’s there to protect you in any unforeseen circumstance and the failure by the carrier to meet it required care I would consider one, and as its mechanical so would most travel insurance policies.
 
smartplane
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Re: BA2036 passengers in three-day journey 'hell'

Mon Nov 05, 2018 6:58 pm

smi0006 wrote:
I’m not saying it’s not the airlines responsibility, I agree they should pay, and as another poster pointed out legally they are required to; but on this night they couldn’t / didnt. So instead of taking action people let their children sleep on the floor, and then flag how inhuman this was, well why did you let that happen? Everything fell apart, and the the carry failed you breaking the law but you still made a choice not to pay to put your child in a bed?

I disagree around travel insurance, it’s there to protect you in any unforeseen circumstance and the failure by the carrier to meet it required care I would consider one, and as its mechanical so would most travel insurance policies.

We don't know what the airline was telling passengers.

If economy passengers were told not to leave the airport because the flight could be ready to depart at any time, if you disregard that message, and incur additional costs, your insurer won't meet the costs of a separate return flight.

F & J are often told quite a different message if separated from Y.
 
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readytotaxi
Posts: 8537
Joined: Mon Dec 11, 2006 2:09 am

Re: BA2036 passengers in three-day journey 'hell'

Mon Nov 05, 2018 7:18 pm

smartplane wrote:
smi0006 wrote:
I’m not saying it’s not the airlines responsibility, I agree they should pay, and as another poster pointed out legally they are required to; but on this night they couldn’t / didnt. So instead of taking action people let their children sleep on the floor, and then flag how inhuman this was, well why did you let that happen? Everything fell apart, and the the carry failed you breaking the law but you still made a choice not to pay to put your child in a bed?

I disagree around travel insurance, it’s there to protect you in any unforeseen circumstance and the failure by the carrier to meet it required care I would consider one, and as its mechanical so would most travel insurance policies.

We don't know what the airline was telling passengers.

If economy passengers were told not to leave the airport because the flight could be ready to depart at any time, if you disregard that message, and incur additional costs, your insurer won't meet the costs of a separate return flight.

F & J are often told quite a different message if separated from Y.

You would like to think that an airline would take more care of their Premium passenger when a problem arises. In the article there is a quote from a passenger , "Their communication with the passengers - most of whom were beside themselves by the end - was non-existent.
"So much so they put on food for us eventually in the BA business lounge at JFK on Saturday evening but didn't tell anyone. We only found out by luck but most of the passengers didn't know.

Is it possible that the passengers who did know where the Clubworld cabin and only they had been told by staff to prevent a 200 crowd which the lounge could not handle?
 
spacecadet
Posts: 3585
Joined: Thu Sep 20, 2001 3:36 am

Re: BA2036 passengers in three-day journey 'hell'

Mon Nov 05, 2018 7:32 pm

PITingres wrote:
Going almost anywhere other than NYC would have been a better choice.


BA has a large presence at JFK. They have their own terminal, and many daily flights from it. I would guess they have some maintenance capacity, either directly or by contract. The pilots probably assumed, and dispatch would have confirmed for them during flight, that diverting to JFK would be less operationally disruptive than diverting to, say, Charlotte or Pittsburgh.

After all, it doesn't sound as if it was an emergency. So the pilots would have most likely gone where dispatch wanted them to go given the situation.
 
smartplane
Posts: 1897
Joined: Fri Aug 03, 2018 9:23 pm

Re: BA2036 passengers in three-day journey 'hell'

Mon Nov 05, 2018 7:39 pm

readytotaxi wrote:
smartplane wrote:
We don't know what the airline was telling passengers.

If economy passengers were told not to leave the airport because the flight could be ready to depart at any time, if you disregard that message, and incur additional costs, your insurer won't meet the costs of a separate return flight.

F & J are often told quite a different message if separated from Y.

You would like to think that an airline would take more care of their Premium passenger when a problem arises. In the article there is a quote from a passenger , "Their communication with the passengers - most of whom were beside themselves by the end - was non-existent.
"So much so they put on food for us eventually in the BA business lounge at JFK on Saturday evening but didn't tell anyone. We only found out by luck but most of the passengers didn't know.

Is it possible that the passengers who did know where the Clubworld cabin and only they had been told by staff to prevent a 200 crowd which the lounge could not handle?

I used to be a BA fan. I can recall instances where we diverted due to medical or mechanical problems, where there was no J or F lounge. BA staff would circulate, separating J & F passengers from Y, so we could be advised to use another airline's lounge, or get taken to a hotel. Not something you can broadcast, without causing problems.

In this instance, BA didn't presumably have on ground staff, or competitor 'friends' to assist.

In NZ, used to be a retailer that made the claim, 'it's the putting right that counts', and another with 'Rule number 1 - the customer is always right, Rule number 2, if in doubt, re-read rule 1'.

Unfortunately, in this day and age, management are more likely to do a high five, and boast how clever they are minimising compensation to passengers, than how they made lemonade when lady luck served them lemons (in this case creating loyal customers for life). ALL passengers are entitled to good service and communication.
 
smi0006
Posts: 2908
Joined: Wed Jan 16, 2008 7:45 am

Re: BA2036 passengers in three-day journey 'hell'

Mon Nov 05, 2018 8:09 pm

smartplane wrote:
smi0006 wrote:
I’m not saying it’s not the airlines responsibility, I agree they should pay, and as another poster pointed out legally they are required to; but on this night they couldn’t / didnt. So instead of taking action people let their children sleep on the floor, and then flag how inhuman this was, well why did you let that happen? Everything fell apart, and the the carry failed you breaking the law but you still made a choice not to pay to put your child in a bed?

I disagree around travel insurance, it’s there to protect you in any unforeseen circumstance and the failure by the carrier to meet it required care I would consider one, and as its mechanical so would most travel insurance policies.

We don't know what the airline was telling passengers.

If economy passengers were told not to leave the airport because the flight could be ready to depart at any time, if you disregard that message, and incur additional costs, your insurer won't meet the costs of a separate return flight.

F & J are often told quite a different message if separated from Y.


Very true. Valid point.
 
dtw2hyd
Posts: 9100
Joined: Wed Jan 09, 2013 12:11 pm

Re: BA2036 passengers in three-day journey 'hell'

Mon Nov 05, 2018 9:27 pm

Can't imagine between BA and AA, they couldn't rebook one canceled flight. Granted every pax may not get a non-stop to LHR, but desperate passenger will take any route.

Also, airside pod/capsule hotel should be mandatory at all major international airports.
 
peterinlisbon
Posts: 1987
Joined: Wed Feb 01, 2006 3:37 am

Re: BA2036 passengers in three-day journey 'hell'

Mon Nov 05, 2018 9:45 pm

Actually that doesn't sound too bad... I was told when I was young that hell was being fried for all eternity, but it turns out that it's actually just a couple of days at a hotel in Orlando and then a flight on BA with a stopover in New York.
 
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PITingres
Posts: 1397
Joined: Fri Dec 21, 2007 1:59 am

Re: BA2036 passengers in three-day journey 'hell'

Mon Nov 05, 2018 10:32 pm

spacecadet wrote:
PITingres wrote:
Going almost anywhere other than NYC would have been a better choice.


BA has a large presence at JFK. They have their own terminal, and many daily flights from it. I would guess they have some maintenance capacity, either directly or by contract.....


None of which helped the passengers on this flight at that time of day, which was my point. Yes, BA have a large presence on the air side, but they forgot to think about the pax when choosing a divert.
 
MaksFly
Posts: 374
Joined: Fri Jun 24, 2016 5:50 am

Re: BA2036 passengers in three-day journey 'hell'

Mon Nov 05, 2018 10:44 pm

peterinlisbon wrote:
Actually that doesn't sound too bad... I was told when I was young that hell was being fried for all eternity, but it turns out that it's actually just a couple of days at a hotel in Orlando and then a flight on BA with a stopover in New York.


LOL....

I think this would be fine 20 years ago when airline travel was still not as prevalent and more of an "adventure..."

But in a time when taking a flight is scheduled like a train, you do not expect to be 3 days late flying across the pond, between two MAJOR cities.

Let me also add this... there was a quote in that article...

""One mother asked where she could get formula for her seven-month-old baby and the reply was 'it would be difficult to find anywhere at this hour'. She was in tears."

This is simply unacceptable! You DO NOT plan on 3 days worth of food when planning a flight. lol.

Beyond that, what if you have special needs, or on strict diets such as diabetics? Do you carry 3 days worth of insulin any time you go outside?

As a frequent flyer yes I would be livid and ask to be rebooked on a competitor airline to somewhere in my area, you can then get around by bus, train or rental car... you just want to go home!

I.e. Delta flight out of DAL was 3 hours late and I would miss connection back home through ATL. Delta rebooked anyone interested via DFW on direct, non stop flights to final destination, and provided taxi or car service from DAL to DFW.... I would get home around same time.
Another time, brand new 737-900 non stop from JFK to LAS, engine issue and diverted to PIT. By the time we were on the ground there were no other flights however Delta had reps greeting pax with snacks and drinks, along with vouchers for food, they even kept a McDonalds open. A replacement jet from DTW arrived shortly thereafter.
THAT is why I fly Delta.

The vast majority of fliers however are not frequent flyers and tolerate the BS, initially focused on saving expenses rather than creating long term loyalty.
Would I fly BA after this? Knowing I could be stranded for 3 days? HELL NO!
 
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Crosswind
Posts: 2715
Joined: Sat Nov 25, 2000 4:34 am

Re: BA2036 passengers in three-day journey 'hell'

Mon Nov 05, 2018 11:50 pm

Did anyone read the original story?

I worked as Operations Control for a major airline before becoming a pilot and these stories boil my blood to some extent...

The flight was delayed overnight in Orlando due to a technical defect with the aircraft. Could happen to any airline. Since nobody appears to having a meltdown on Social Media about that part it seems to have been reasonably well-handled. And can only assume that the following day the engineers and crew thought the aircraft was fixed and ready for service. One of the most difficult tasks for airline engineering is replicating faults on the ground.

So aircraft gets airborne and the fault re-occurs. According to Av Herald a Brake Temp sensor issue - basically telling you that you have an overheating brake, resultant risk of explosion, Nationair DC-8 scenario. So gear lowered following QRH somewhere off the East Coast. Now aircraft not going to be able to continue to London with the gear down, so diversion required.

Flight diverted to JFK in early hours of the morning, presumably as highest chance of dealing with rebooking and staff availability. However, I’m not sure any airline has many staff on station at 3am. So no doubt some delay in having staff on station to deal with the unplanned diversion. Even at their largest overseas stations no airlines have full teams sitting around in the middle of the night just in case an aircraft diverts.

So aircraft now on the ground AOG in JFK. Crew out of hours. So your staff are trying to book hotels for 300 people, but at lets say 5am on the weekend of the Marathon. There is going to be limited availability. Day Rooms are always tricky, having spent years as corporate pilot I know that first hand. But that early, even if they are available they won’t be available for several hours.

So rebooking? How many flights from East Coast to Europe departing before the evening? Not many. So even via other airports and using other airlines, you’re not going to get many people out of JFK in the early hours of the morning on any given day, you could get them to another hub, but they’ll still have to wait til the evening. And given that I’m sure most airlines aren’t in the business of flying empty aircraft around there will only have been a few spare seats anyway. So for the majority had to wait for the empty 77W to fly in from LHR them back to LGW.

I’m not saying this was perfectly handled. But there were a lot of logistical challenges here, and you have to look at the timeline. In terms of what time things were happening in local time.

In reality, would any airline diverting an already delayed flight from Florida off the East Coast for technical reasons have a quicker response? Or more staff at 3am at the diversion airport? Or a spare aircraft ready to go from their hub?

Now for a personal experience, when I was the man making these decisions...

Aircraft AOG on a Caribbean island for a flight back to the U.K, anti-ice fault. Being worked by local engineers (a US major airline) Passengers held in hotels, as were crew. Info received that repairs looking good, passengers brought to airport. Engineers advise aircraft almost ready, crew brought in. As crew arrive at aircraft, Captain phones to say leading edge of the wing still in pieces. Call to engineering, and they advise expected fix hasn’t worked. Immediate descison to send crew back to hotel, as they have now become critical path to departure time with minimum rest. Local staff said “Passengers are going to riot” Passengers sent back to hotels, and another aircraft diverted in on way to another destination with more spare parts. Main passenger feedback afterwards? When flight was further delayed, crew while polite and apologetic, unable to assist with customer issues. They were “keen to get to their hotels”

In this scenario. The quicker the crew got back to their hotel, the quicker the passengers would depart. Decisions were made with the best information at the time. Luckily this was before Twitter existed.

But in reality, hindsight is a wonderful thing. However aircraft are complex, and aviation is tightly woven complex web of factors that all interact.

In the modern generation, with Twitter and Facebook, these situations are never going to be pretty.

And it’s never going to be anything other than an unpleasant situation for the passengers.

However, passengers rarely appreciate the complexities of the logistics of a middle of the night diversions. At the end of the day, they will all be compensated for their delay. And the flight was operated safely at all times. As has been sadly shown this week, safety can’t be taken for granted, even if it causes inconvenience.

Fly safe

CROSSWIND
 
LAXLHR
Posts: 512
Joined: Sat Dec 03, 2016 10:07 am

Re: BA2036 passengers in three-day journey 'hell'

Tue Nov 06, 2018 12:10 am

I feel its unfair to beat up BA, sounds like they did an overall decent job. These airlines need to just say "look, would you rather have lost your life to the Atlantic Ocean?". That would shut people up...people take for granted how things can go south very quickly. JFK is a big outstation for BA, but they are not going to cancel a 744 (as someone suggested) and give to the LGW passengers, when that is a very premium high yield flight. I'm sure they were able to accommodate some passengers on to the 2 daytime JFK-LHR BA and AA metal (does BA still run the JFK-LGW fligh?t). These options would have gone to the highest paid fare first.

BA mentioned it was the NYC marathon so hotels were sold out. Having stayed in NYC 2 years ago during the marathon its true, you cannot get a room over this particular weekend.
 
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NeBaNi
Posts: 501
Joined: Sun Dec 20, 2009 10:45 am

Re: BA2036 passengers in three-day journey 'hell'

Tue Nov 06, 2018 2:00 am

Crosswind wrote:
So rebooking? How many flights from East Coast to Europe departing before the evening? Not many. So even via other airports and using other airlines, you’re not going to get many people out of JFK in the early hours of the morning on any given day, you could get them to another hub, but they’ll still have to wait til the evening. And given that I’m sure most airlines aren’t in the business of flying empty aircraft around there will only have been a few spare seats anyway. So for the majority had to wait for the empty 77W to fly in from LHR them back to LGW.

I’m not saying this was perfectly handled. But there were a lot of logistical challenges here, and you have to look at the timeline. In terms of what time things were happening in local time.

Agree with most of your post, but what boggles me about the delay is that BA had to know there would be no maintenance staff on duty/ customer service staff in the middle of the night.
I also don't understand why the NYC staff has to deal with booking the hotel for the affected pax, couldn't this be done from their headquarters? Also, why not send the empty 77W from LHR right after the original flight decided to divert, instead of after several hours, as the timeline suggests?
 
AA94
Posts: 788
Joined: Fri Aug 19, 2011 1:37 am

Re: BA2036 passengers in three-day journey 'hell'

Tue Nov 06, 2018 2:52 am

NeBaNi wrote:
Agree with most of your post, but what boggles me about the delay is that BA had to know there would be no maintenance staff on duty/ customer service staff in the middle of the night.
I also don't understand why the NYC staff has to deal with booking the hotel for the affected pax, couldn't this be done from their headquarters? Also, why not send the empty 77W from LHR right after the original flight decided to divert, instead of after several hours, as the timeline suggests?


There's not likely to be staff on hand at any outstation -- even a large one -- at 0300. You have to imagine that they picked the city where they deemed it most likely to assemble some mass of critical support, even if not hand at that very moment.

The one oversight here appears to be Marathon weekend, so it's no surprise NYC hotels were near capacity. That said, Boston is a challenging hotel market on a good day and I can't imagine maintenance at BWI/IAD is any better equipped to deal with technical faults than MCO staff. Point being that it's tough to get it 100% right, especially when you're thinking on the fly.
 
maint123
Posts: 415
Joined: Sun Nov 04, 2018 4:18 pm

Re: BA2036 passengers in three-day journey 'hell'

Tue Nov 06, 2018 3:32 am

So many "understanding" posters here flying the flag for BA makes me think that some have been sponsored by BA.
A 8 hour flight takes 77 hours, ie nearly 10 times normal and people here are blaming the passengers for complaining ? And actually complimenting BA ? Wow.
Just imagine it was a Indonesian airlines(favourite of some nowadays) , taking 77 hrs for a 8 hr flight?
Also I like how some people are even more understanding of the difficulty the ground maintenance crew faces , who let a defective plane take to the air multiple times .
No aim at the competence of the maintenance crew of BA.
No wonder I take all these airlines ratings , in which BA is always near the top , with a heavy dose of scepticism , since these agencies are all UK based or near their. You scratch my back and I will yours.
 
FlyHappy
Posts: 1172
Joined: Sat May 13, 2017 1:06 pm

Re: BA2036 passengers in three-day journey 'hell'

Tue Nov 06, 2018 4:23 am

I've got no flags to fly.... all out.

I can't find any fault with BA in this particular situation (whilst acknowledging that having not been there, I don't know what was said/communicated to the pax).
I can say that BA made the correct move with hotels the first night at MCO, they made the attempt to return the following day. I cannot greatly blame the choice to divert the JFK, though in retrospect, a less congested city would have worked out better for pax, but this isn't necessarily obvious to decision makers at the time.

Yes, its no fun to spend 18 hours in an airport terminal, and certainly not with kids.... but BA did pretty well, given the realities - the only thing I think they could have done better was a quicker dispatch of the rescue flight from LON... no way to know what time (in London already daytime) an authoritative decision was made, and if a TATL capable rescue craft was immediately available (possibly not).

It unfortunate for the pax, and its human nature to complain, but BA committed no egregious offence. I can't see other carriers doing much better.
 
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gatibosgru
Posts: 1836
Joined: Thu Oct 18, 2007 2:48 pm

Re: BA2036 passengers in three-day journey 'hell'

Tue Nov 06, 2018 4:49 am

Why not get them on another flight out of either MCO/JFK to LHR/LGW instead of having to deal with the PR nightmare and eventual lawsuits/complaints? Ah, yes, profits.

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