DLX737200
Topic Author
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Cold Weather Cancellations in the US

Wed Jan 30, 2019 12:20 pm

I was looking at https://flightaware.com/live/cancelled/ for today and noticed this:

Southwest has cancelled 591 flights
Skywest has cancelled 207 flights
Air Wisconsin has cancelled 191 flights
United has cancelled 129 flights
ExpressJet has cancelled 101 flights
Republic has cancelled 92 flights
Trans States has cancelled 85 flights
American has cancelled 83 flights
Envoy has cancelled 80 flights
GoJet has cancelled 50 flights

And it's only 7:19am eastern time. I know this weather has brought record low temps and windchills to the midwest but this seems a little extreme, doesn't it? For a system that doesn't have much precipitation, just really cold weather and wind, I can't believe how many flights are cancelled.

Thoughts?
 
burnsie28
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Re: Cold Weather Cancellations in the US

Wed Jan 30, 2019 12:37 pm

Considering the temperatures that a lot of these areas are experiencing can cause frostbite in less than 4 minutes, I would say that the safety of their people are more important. It's about the safety of those working the ramp rather than planes being able to fly in it.
 
mcdu
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Re: Cold Weather Cancellations in the US

Wed Jan 30, 2019 12:38 pm

It’s life threatening cold. The folks on the ramp can’t safely work these flights. There will be more valves that don’t operate, seals that won’t seal, lavs frozen, water lines frozen on the airplanes.

Just saw all Amtrak trains to Chicago are canceled. Do you deem that excessive?
 
WeatherPilot
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Re: Cold Weather Cancellations in the US

Wed Jan 30, 2019 12:41 pm

mcdu wrote:
It’s life threatening cold. The folks on the ramp can’t safely work these flights. There will be more valves that don’t operate, seals that won’t seal, lavs frozen, water lines frozen on the airplanes.

Just saw all Amtrak trains to Chicago are canceled. Do you deem that excessive?


The Amtrak cancellations are because the switches on the tracks freeze and have to be heated with blow torches for them to operate correctly.
 
LupineChemist
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Re: Cold Weather Cancellations in the US

Wed Jan 30, 2019 12:42 pm

It's even getting below the freezing temperature of the fuel. It's pretty seriously cold and will be below the temperatures the systems are designed to operate at.
 
burnsie28
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Re: Cold Weather Cancellations in the US

Wed Jan 30, 2019 12:45 pm

LupineChemist wrote:
It's even getting below the freezing temperature of the fuel. It's pretty seriously cold and will be below the temperatures the systems are designed to operate at.


Assuming you are talking about the true temperature? Windchill doesn't have effect on materials like fuel, metal, etc.
 
WeatherPilot
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Re: Cold Weather Cancellations in the US

Wed Jan 30, 2019 12:49 pm

LupineChemist wrote:
It's even getting below the freezing temperature of the fuel. It's pretty seriously cold and will be below the temperatures the systems are designed to operate at.


The windchill is but not the air temperature. Jet fuel freezes below -40°F/C air temperature.

On an interesting side note, -40°F is the same as -40°C.
 
SteelChair
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Re: Cold Weather Cancellations in the US

Wed Jan 30, 2019 12:51 pm

burnsie28 wrote:
LupineChemist wrote:
It's even getting below the freezing temperature of the fuel. It's pretty seriously cold and will be below the temperatures the systems are designed to operate at.


Assuming you are talking about the true temperature? Windchill doesn't have effect on materials like fuel, metal, etc.


The industry is well accustomed to handling cold jet fuel, there are procedures in place. Its more of an enroute problem than a problem on the ground. Perhaps they are having problems with the fuel for the ground vehicles?

I read a number of years ago that UAL had gone to all electric GSE at ORD. I wonder if they stuck with that and if so, how that is working today?
 
EWRandMDW
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Re: Cold Weather Cancellations in the US

Wed Jan 30, 2019 12:53 pm

As of about 30 minutes ago ORD had between 900 and 1000 flight cancellations and MDW had well over 300 cancellations. Where I live, about 7 miles west of MDW the air temp is -23 F and it feels like -44 F. That's cold! Local weather people are saying these temps are nearing historical lows. Amtrak has cancelled all train service into Chicago except for trains already en route. The local commuter rail systems, METRA and the South Shore Line are running reduced levels of service. CTA is operating fewer buses and trains because of swithching and other mechanical problems. Many businesses and schools are closed today and tomorrow, which may be a repeat of today weather-wise. US Mail deliveries are even postponed! I guess their motto of delivering the mail through rain, sleet, snow, etc is now just empty words.
 
wave46
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Re: Cold Weather Cancellations in the US

Wed Jan 30, 2019 12:55 pm

WeatherPilot wrote:
LupineChemist wrote:
It's even getting below the freezing temperature of the fuel. It's pretty seriously cold and will be below the temperatures the systems are designed to operate at.


The windchill is but not the air temperature. Jet fuel freezes below -40°F/C air temperature.

On an interesting side note, -40°F is the same as -40°C.


You can confirm this fact with the people in Winnipeg this morning. The air temperature is -40 (insert preferred unit of measurement here).

If you have to be at a decent-sized airport that can do cold weather operations well, Winnipeg or Minneapolis are good ones to learn from.
 
AvroLanc
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Re: Cold Weather Cancellations in the US

Wed Jan 30, 2019 12:55 pm

I think its fair to say its too cold for ramp staff to be exposed for too long. Have you ever tried working outside in -20C with metal equipment and huge mittens, not very efficient. The smart thing for airlines to do, consolidate flights where possible and cancel when not.
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DLX737200
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Re: Cold Weather Cancellations in the US

Wed Jan 30, 2019 1:00 pm

All of you make valid points. I was more surprised by some airlines continuing flights while others cancelled. I guess some just care more about their ramp agents than others?
 
mmo
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Re: Cold Weather Cancellations in the US

Wed Jan 30, 2019 1:03 pm

Not surprising at all. Aircraft don't like to be shutdown and but to bed overnight in temps like they are experiencing now. You have problems with aircraft bleeding to death as the hydraulic seals freeze and start to leak. As soon as hydraulic pressure is applied you start to see the havoc the cold weather has rendered on the various systems.

Just before someone says, "It is colder than that at altitude", you are correct but the systems are up and running, the hydraulic fluid is also warmed up, the fuel is warmer as it's is also used to cool engine oil in many aircraft. On the ground, with power off, the aircraft becomes nothing more than a big piece of metal.
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WeatherPilot
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Re: Cold Weather Cancellations in the US

Wed Jan 30, 2019 1:08 pm

mmo wrote:
Not surprising at all. Aircraft don't like to be shutdown and but to bed overnight in temps like they are experiencing now. You have problems with aircraft bleeding to death as the hydraulic seals freeze and start to leak. As soon as hydraulic pressure is applied you start to see the havoc the cold weather has rendered on the various systems.

Just before someone says, "It is colder than that at altitude", you are correct but the systems are up and running, the hydraulic fluid is also warmed up, the fuel is warmer as it's is also used to cool engine oil in many aircraft. On the ground, with power off, the aircraft becomes nothing more than a big piece of metal.


The heat from the hydraulic lines is also one of the mechanisms used to keep the fuel in the wing from freezing at altitude as well.
 
jumbojet
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Re: Cold Weather Cancellations in the US

Wed Jan 30, 2019 1:08 pm

So what is Delta doing different at MSP and DTW? a total of 0 Delta flights have been cancelled at those two airports and only 35 flights are running delays. Its -28 in MSP which is actually much colder than at ORD and I believe DTW is -10. Does DL have some secret, innovative way to keep the ground staff warm and out of harms way?
 
DakotaFlyer
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Re: Cold Weather Cancellations in the US

Wed Jan 30, 2019 1:12 pm

Fargo and Grand Forks canceled all flights yesterday due to frozen deicing fluid. It seems both are currently operational today with only flights from Chicago being canceled.
 
MIflyer12
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Re: Cold Weather Cancellations in the US

Wed Jan 30, 2019 1:15 pm

DLX737200 wrote:
All of you make valid points. I was more surprised by some airlines continuing flights while others cancelled. I guess some just care more about their ramp agents than others?


It's gear and training. Millions of people see temps of -25F every winter - ask residents of Fairbanks or Winnipeg or Moscow. Weather Underground's forecast low for Chicago tonight is -21F. The tech to deal with wind chill is readily available.
 
EvanWSFO
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Re: Cold Weather Cancellations in the US

Wed Jan 30, 2019 1:18 pm

DLX737200 wrote:
I was looking at https://flightaware.com/live/cancelled/ for today and noticed this:

Southwest has cancelled 591 flights
Skywest has cancelled 207 flights
Air Wisconsin has cancelled 191 flights
United has cancelled 129 flights
ExpressJet has cancelled 101 flights
Republic has cancelled 92 flights
Trans States has cancelled 85 flights
American has cancelled 83 flights
Envoy has cancelled 80 flights
GoJet has cancelled 50 flights

And it's only 7:19am eastern time. I know this weather has brought record low temps and windchills to the midwest but this seems a little extreme, doesn't it? For a system that doesn't have much precipitation, just really cold weather and wind, I can't believe how many flights are cancelled.

Thoughts?


Do you consider temps such as 27 below in Chicago, worse in Wisconsin, Minnesota even worse "just cold weather"?
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piedmontf284000
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Re: Cold Weather Cancellations in the US

Wed Jan 30, 2019 1:39 pm

jumbojet wrote:
So what is Delta doing different at MSP and DTW? a total of 0 Delta flights have been cancelled at those two airports and only 35 flights are running delays. Its -28 in MSP which is actually much colder than at ORD and I believe DTW is -10. Does DL have some secret, innovative way to keep the ground staff warm and out of harms way?


You might want to check the flight boards again at MSP. There are over 100 cancelations already.
 
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TVNWZ
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Re: Cold Weather Cancellations in the US

Wed Jan 30, 2019 1:47 pm

Major problem people just call in sick. Staffing. Cars won’t start. Pipes freeze. Heaters/furnaces go out. Schools out, so someone has to stay home with the kids It’s not just airport equipment.
 
Dominion301
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Re: Cold Weather Cancellations in the US

Wed Jan 30, 2019 1:53 pm

piedmontf284000 wrote:
jumbojet wrote:
So what is Delta doing different at MSP and DTW? a total of 0 Delta flights have been cancelled at those two airports and only 35 flights are running delays. Its -28 in MSP which is actually much colder than at ORD and I believe DTW is -10. Does DL have some secret, innovative way to keep the ground staff warm and out of harms way?


You might want to check the flight boards again at MSP. There are over 100 cancelations already.


It goes to show how it's all relative and how most parts of the continental US can't handle this type of weather that routinely hit other places in the world. Take Winnipeg for example. It's currently -40C with a -50 windchill, yet not a single flight on their FIDS this morning is showing as cancelled and only a few flights are delayed: https://www.waa.ca/flights/departures

MSP is often similar to YWG. I'd bet most cancellations there are due to inbound aircraft being cancelled from someplace else.
 
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SteveXC500
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Re: Cold Weather Cancellations in the US

Wed Jan 30, 2019 2:13 pm

piedmontf284000 wrote:
jumbojet wrote:
So what is Delta doing different at MSP and DTW? a total of 0 Delta flights have been cancelled at those two airports and only 35 flights are running delays. Its -28 in MSP which is actually much colder than at ORD and I believe DTW is -10. Does DL have some secret, innovative way to keep the ground staff warm and out of harms way?


You might want to check the flight boards again at MSP. There are over 100 cancelations already.


Southwest cancelled ALL but 6 flights out of MSP today.
 
jetwet1
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Re: Cold Weather Cancellations in the US

Wed Jan 30, 2019 2:16 pm

mcdu wrote:
It’s life threatening cold. The folks on the ramp can’t safely work these flights. There will be more valves that don’t operate, seals that won’t seal, lavs frozen, water lines frozen on the airplanes.

Just saw all Amtrak trains to Chicago are canceled. Do you deem that excessive?


Exactly, I got a call from corp security advising me not to head to Peoria due to weather, we had a meeting scheduled to go over 4th quarter numbers, instead we have closed down operations, leaving only security and engineering on site (hotel/casino).

I can't even imagine trying to work on the ramp today.
 
PSU.DTW.SCE
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Re: Cold Weather Cancellations in the US

Wed Jan 30, 2019 2:31 pm

Yes, in certain regions they are more prepared to handle such operations if its more of a normal occurance. They have the equipment, resources, hardiness, and preparations to do so. Sure in regions where they have weeks of these types of conditions, versus areas that may only experience such conditions a handful of days a decade.

Here are all the issues associated with the extreme cold:

- Staff Availability: A lot of no-shows and call-ins due to issues at home, children out of school, cars won't start, "sick" , etc. Reduced available staffing
- Staffing: Everything takes longer in the cold, tasks take longer to do, have to limit time outside on the ramp, have to rotate staff in and out more frequently
- Ground Equipment: Issues with getting gas or diesel powered ground equipment to start or operate normally
- Jet Bridges: Not uncommon to have issues moving jet bridges if they have not been properly winterized or routine maintenance
- Aircraft: In particularly cold-soaked aircraft that have RON you will have issues with door seals, sensors, potential for frozen water lines, etc.
- Passenger Demand: Passengers will no-show, cancel due to the cold, short-term business travel will vaporize as many are closed or not wanting to travel in such conditions

Operating a reduced schedule with proactive cancellations is such better for all involved and can focus resources on a smaller schedule to keep the network moving along (e.g, mainline, hub-to-hub, trunk routes, international).
 
mozart
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Re: Cold Weather Cancellations in the US

Wed Jan 30, 2019 2:54 pm

Just looking at the ORD arrivals board. I have the impression that most cancellations are regional jets. Not only, but the proportion of regional jet flights cancelled seems to be higher than that of mainline jets.

Some of the cancellations are due to external reasons (crew not showing up, plane gone tech because of cold, etc) - but some flights could operate but the airline and airport simply don‘t have enough staff to fly all of them. So they select which ones go and which ones get cancelled.

Is it right to assume that airlines tend to prefer keeping flights from/to their hubs and other large cities? For instance, MSP-Chicago has a higher chance of being maintained whilst MSP-Dulut or MSP-Madison would be a candidate for cancellation? Or is it completely random?
 
PSU.DTW.SCE
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Re: Cold Weather Cancellations in the US

Wed Jan 30, 2019 3:08 pm

We used to joke these are the days the NW Diesel-9s thrived in on those arctic cold Upper Midwest January days.
 
United1
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Re: Cold Weather Cancellations in the US

Wed Jan 30, 2019 3:18 pm

jumbojet wrote:
So what is Delta doing different at MSP and DTW? a total of 0 Delta flights have been cancelled at those two airports and only 35 flights are running delays. Its -28 in MSP which is actually much colder than at ORD and I believe DTW is -10. Does DL have some secret, innovative way to keep the ground staff warm and out of harms way?


DL does have a few cancellations out of MSP at least DL2173 (MSP-ORD) being one example. Its worth noting that while AA and UA do have more canceled flights today DL has far more delayed flights today. Would assume DLs secret sauce to operating in cold weather is the usual way they avoid cancellations...delay 6-8-12-24 hours and then operate the flight.

DL does have 15 or 16 mainline cancellations today...most of them in and out of ORD. Yup folks it really is that cold :cold: :cold: :cold:
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jumbojet
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Re: Cold Weather Cancellations in the US

Wed Jan 30, 2019 3:30 pm

United1 wrote:
[. Would assume DLs secret sauce to operating in cold weather is the usual way they avoid cancellations...delay 6-8-12-24 hours and then operate the flight.

:



Don't have to tell you what happens when one makes assumptions! I am pretty sure DL isnt delaying ALL their flights by 24 hours, thats just assinine, Delta just happens to have their game together. They have some of the best operational folks working at DTW and MSP that by all accounts, are more capable to handle adverse weather ops than their counterparts over at CHI.
 
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dik909
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Re: Cold Weather Cancellations in the US

Wed Jan 30, 2019 3:45 pm

DLX737200 wrote:
I was looking at https://flightaware.com/live/cancelled/ for today and noticed this:

Southwest has cancelled 591 flights
Skywest has cancelled 207 flights
Air Wisconsin has cancelled 191 flights
United has cancelled 129 flights
ExpressJet has cancelled 101 flights
Republic has cancelled 92 flights
Trans States has cancelled 85 flights
American has cancelled 83 flights
Envoy has cancelled 80 flights
GoJet has cancelled 50 flights

And it's only 7:19am eastern time. I know this weather has brought record low temps and windchills to the midwest but this seems a little extreme, doesn't it? For a system that doesn't have much precipitation, just really cold weather and wind, I can't believe how many flights are cancelled.

Thoughts?


Gimme a break. These airlines could learn a lot from Finnair. I traveled up into the Arctic Circle just last week, temps -30 Celsius. Planes still flew. No big deal..

Oh, and we didn't have a gangway.

To boot, at altitude temps reach well below -60 Celsius. I don't buy the "jet fuel freezing" argument for a moment.
Last edited by dik909 on Wed Jan 30, 2019 3:48 pm, edited 1 time in total.
 
Ufsatp
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Re: Cold Weather Cancellations in the US

Wed Jan 30, 2019 3:45 pm

mcdu wrote:
It’s life threatening cold. The folks on the ramp can’t safely work these flights. There will be more valves that don’t operate, seals that won’t seal, lavs frozen, water lines frozen on the airplanes.

Just saw all Amtrak trains to Chicago are canceled. Do you deem that excessive?


Go over to Trainorders.com and see for yourself. The railroad foamers are up in arms over the Amtrak cancellations.
 
United1
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Re: Cold Weather Cancellations in the US

Wed Jan 30, 2019 3:46 pm

jumbojet wrote:
United1 wrote:
[. Would assume DLs secret sauce to operating in cold weather is the usual way they avoid cancellations...delay 6-8-12-24 hours and then operate the flight.

:



Don't have to tell you what happens when one makes assumptions! I am pretty sure DL isnt delaying ALL their flights by 24 hours, thats just assinine, Delta just happens to have their game together. They have some of the best operational folks working at DTW and MSP that by all accounts, are more capable to handle adverse weather ops than their counterparts over at CHI.


DL doesn't seem to be able to operate out of ORD very well though...perhaps they should send some of their MSP/DTW people over there.

DL flights between ORD and LGA for the next 8 hours.
DL 3767 delayed
DL 3757 canceled
DL 347 canceled
DL 3813 delayed
DL 2192 canceled
DL 3804 delayed
DL 3806 canceled
DL 3786 canceled
DL 306 delayed
DL 3779 delayed
DL 658 delayed

P.S. DLs flights from ORD-ATL/MSP/DTW are not looking any better today.

Perhaps it's just the weather in Chicago is just that miserable and disruptive to operations? As UA and AA have hubs at ORD that might just have a bigger impact on them vs anything at DL being so superior.
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SteveXC500
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Re: Cold Weather Cancellations in the US

Wed Jan 30, 2019 3:48 pm

C Concourse Tram at MSP now shut down until temps rise to -22
 
FlyHappy
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Re: Cold Weather Cancellations in the US

Wed Jan 30, 2019 4:04 pm

dik909 wrote:
DLX737200 wrote:
I was looking at https://flightaware.com/live/cancelled/ for today and noticed this:

Southwest has cancelled 591 flights
Skywest has cancelled 207 flights
Air Wisconsin has cancelled 191 flights
United has cancelled 129 flights
ExpressJet has cancelled 101 flights
Republic has cancelled 92 flights
Trans States has cancelled 85 flights
American has cancelled 83 flights
Envoy has cancelled 80 flights
GoJet has cancelled 50 flights

And it's only 7:19am eastern time. I know this weather has brought record low temps and windchills to the midwest but this seems a little extreme, doesn't it? For a system that doesn't have much precipitation, just really cold weather and wind, I can't believe how many flights are cancelled.

Thoughts?


Gimme a break. These airlines could learn a lot from Finnair. I traveled up into the Arctic Circle just last week, temps -30 Celsius. Planes still flew. No big deal..

Oh, and we didn't have a gangway.

To boot, at altitude temps reach well below -60 Celsius. I don't buy the "jet fuel freezing" argument for a moment.


the temperature of liquids gelling/freezing are not a matter of opinion, they are scientifically factual.
Your Arctic circle airport in Scandinavia is a tiny, small scale operation, not a major hub like Minneapolis or Moscow - its a whole bunch easier to turn a few flights a day... there's simply no comparison.
 
TWFlyGuy
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Re: Cold Weather Cancellations in the US

Wed Jan 30, 2019 4:09 pm

I have often wondered how feasible it would be to take flights in situations like this and say RIC-ORD has X people bound for beyond ORD. Send the aircraft to CLT/DFW and connect them there. I get capacity on the beyond flights may be an issue but if you can maintain some operational integrity to move those pax today it puts less strain on the system tomorrow and beyond. Especially being a Wednesday, there should be some capacity to connect people. Gate constraints, esp. in CLT for example might be an issue. What would be really interesting is to see AA/UA do some real outside the box thinking and contract with a St Louis or Kansas City which both have a lot of excess gate space to move some people there on a field trip (gate agents, fleet service and some maintenance) and manage a mini-hub there for a day or two. Costs might outweigh the benefits, but it would be really interesting outside the box thinking. Other constraints like TSA may be an issue as well.
 
jbmitt
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Re: Cold Weather Cancellations in the US

Wed Jan 30, 2019 4:09 pm

dik909 wrote:
DLX737200 wrote:
I was looking at https://flightaware.com/live/cancelled/ for today and noticed this:

Southwest has cancelled 591 flights
Skywest has cancelled 207 flights
Air Wisconsin has cancelled 191 flights
United has cancelled 129 flights
ExpressJet has cancelled 101 flights
Republic has cancelled 92 flights
Trans States has cancelled 85 flights
American has cancelled 83 flights
Envoy has cancelled 80 flights
GoJet has cancelled 50 flights

And it's only 7:19am eastern time. I know this weather has brought record low temps and windchills to the midwest but this seems a little extreme, doesn't it? For a system that doesn't have much precipitation, just really cold weather and wind, I can't believe how many flights are cancelled.

Thoughts?


Gimme a break. These airlines could learn a lot from Finnair. I traveled up into the Arctic Circle just last week, temps -30 Celsius. Planes still flew. No big deal..

Oh, and we didn't have a gangway.

To boot, at altitude temps reach well below -60 Celsius. I don't buy the "jet fuel freezing" argument for a moment.


-30C is only -22F FYI
 
slcdeltarumd11
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Re: Cold Weather Cancellations in the US

Wed Jan 30, 2019 4:10 pm

It is Alaska or Siberia could outside.

I visited Siberia once, it's amazing how much engineering, resources,and planning are needed for things to operate in such extreme cold. I don't think anyone can blame the airlines or airports for cancellations, this isn't weather they get everyday in MSP, ORD.
 
sohanb82
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Re: Cold Weather Cancellations in the US

Wed Jan 30, 2019 4:11 pm

UA is supplying ramp workers with frequent breaks, and warm drinks. They have designated warm areas for ramp workers to go on their breaks. They have also flown in temporary ramp works from other hubs to support the ORD operation. It is dangerous to work outside in these conditions in ORD especially since we do not routinely have temperatures as low as this.
 
TWFlyGuy
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Re: Cold Weather Cancellations in the US

Wed Jan 30, 2019 4:16 pm

sohanb82 wrote:
UA is supplying ramp workers with frequent breaks, and warm drinks. They have designated warm areas for ramp workers to go on their breaks. They have also flown in temporary ramp works from other hubs to support the ORD operation. It is dangerous to work outside in these conditions in ORD especially since we do not routinely have temperatures as low as this.


Interesting...so they're over-staffing to offer added breaks. Much needed I'm sure.
 
PSU.DTW.SCE
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Re: Cold Weather Cancellations in the US

Wed Jan 30, 2019 4:17 pm

TWFlyGuy wrote:
I have often wondered how feasible it would be to take flights in situations like this and say RIC-ORD has X people bound for beyond ORD. Send the aircraft to CLT/DFW and connect them there. I get capacity on the beyond flights may be an issue but if you can maintain some operational integrity to move those pax today it puts less strain on the system tomorrow and beyond. Especially being a Wednesday, there should be some capacity to connect people. Gate constraints, esp. in CLT for example might be an issue. What would be really interesting is to see AA/UA do some real outside the box thinking and contract with a St Louis or Kansas City which both have a lot of excess gate space to move some people there on a field trip (gate agents, fleet service and some maintenance) and manage a mini-hub there for a day or two. Costs might outweigh the benefits, but it would be really interesting outside the box thinking. Other constraints like TSA may be an issue as well.

Its almost impossible to be that dynamic due to having staffing in place, equipment/infrastructure, issues with scheduling, and getting airplanes in crews in the right places to reset/resume operations.

Its also not as big an impact as some are making it out to be with the cancellations and delays. This is one of the slowest / lightest demand travel weeks of the year even in relatively normal January weather. There was already ample slack in fleet, crews, and seat availability. Due to the weather, a significant number of passengers are cancelling or postponing travel plans, particularly business travel to places that are impacted to the snow/cold. For example, all the ORD-LGA cancellations above; most business and offices are closed or telling people to work from home other than non-essential employees. All the professional services / financial / consultants that fill the ORD-LGA flights and/or do day trips are cancelling out. The demand is literally vaporizing out of many of these cities so its not a big deal if they cancel or delay many of these flights. Add into that, seats are opening up to flights over less-impacted hubs enabling re-routes and rebookings.
 
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aemoreira1981
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Re: Cold Weather Cancellations in the US

Wed Jan 30, 2019 4:19 pm

More a tech ops question, but does Jet A fuel tend to gel over as diesel would in temperatures this cold? Railroads will usually leave diesel engines idling all day and night if there isn’t a feature to periodically turn them on and off, and ground vehicles powered by diesel fuel will be periodically started in their yards. That could also be a problem.
 
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hOMSaR
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Re: Cold Weather Cancellations in the US

Wed Jan 30, 2019 4:21 pm

TWFlyGuy wrote:
I have often wondered how feasible it would be to take flights in situations like this and say RIC-ORD has X people bound for beyond ORD. Send the aircraft to CLT/DFW and connect them there. I get capacity on the beyond flights may be an issue but if you can maintain some operational integrity to move those pax today it puts less strain on the system tomorrow and beyond. Especially being a Wednesday, there should be some capacity to connect people. Gate constraints, esp. in CLT for example might be an issue. What would be really interesting is to see AA/UA do some real outside the box thinking and contract with a St Louis or Kansas City which both have a lot of excess gate space to move some people there on a field trip (gate agents, fleet service and some maintenance) and manage a mini-hub there for a day or two. Costs might outweigh the benefits, but it would be really interesting outside the box thinking. Other constraints like TSA may be an issue as well.


There's probably no need to. Passengers who were scheduled to connect through ORD to other cities have already been rerouted via other hubs on existing flights. No need to spend tons of money and put a bunch of resources out of place to set up a temporary mini-hub in a city that's normally a small outstation for a one- or two-day disruption. Granted, it doesn't cover 100% of the cases (there are some cities that may only have flights to ORD and not to other hubs), but those cases aren't going to be worth the trouble anyway.

It may seem like a fun thought experiment, but the "outside the box" cliche is often more a euphemism for an operational and logistical nightmare that makes recovering from the disruption that much more difficult once you realize that now you have a lot of personnel and equipment out of place.
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Re: Cold Weather Cancellations in the US

Wed Jan 30, 2019 4:22 pm

TWFlyGuy wrote:
sohanb82 wrote:
UA is supplying ramp workers with frequent breaks, and warm drinks. They have designated warm areas for ramp workers to go on their breaks. They have also flown in temporary ramp works from other hubs to support the ORD operation. It is dangerous to work outside in these conditions in ORD especially since we do not routinely have temperatures as low as this.


Interesting...so they're over-staffing to offer added breaks. Much needed I'm sure.

Yep, you have to have additional staff available in these conditions. This could be accomplished by either calling-in additional staff and/or overtime OR consolidating the staff down to work fewer flights. Everything takes longer in the cold and you need more people available to work a a given flight.

Outside ground employees need more breaks, need to rotate out of the cold more frequently, thus you need more people to cover and turn a given flight.

In DTW for example, they are parking vans and min-buses at gates to uses as warming stations for ground crews at a gate to go in and out of so they can limit the time out in the cold. In may take 2 sets of crews to turn a given flight in these conditions since after 15 minutes or so, they need to warm-up.
 
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Re: Cold Weather Cancellations in the US

Wed Jan 30, 2019 4:24 pm

dik909 wrote:
DLX737200 wrote:
I was looking at https://flightaware.com/live/cancelled/ for today and noticed this:


To boot, at altitude temps reach well below -60 Celsius. I don't buy the "jet fuel freezing" argument for a moment.


Tell that to the crew of BA038 that crashed in LHR .
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Re: Cold Weather Cancellations in the US

Wed Jan 30, 2019 5:02 pm

dik909 wrote:

Gimme a break. These airlines could learn a lot from Finnair. I traveled up into the Arctic Circle just last week, temps -30 Celsius. Planes still flew. No big deal..

Oh, and we didn't have a gangway.

To boot, at altitude temps reach well below -60 Celsius. I don't buy the "jet fuel freezing" argument for a moment.



There is a huge difference getting extremes regularly vs once 5 year. If you get these temp 5 time a year it is your routine. Think about Finland get a heatwave 45 Celcius. It is routine for dubai but I am sure that Finnair peps break down at that temperature.

Regarding fuel freeze point, read carefully previous posts.
 
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Re: Cold Weather Cancellations in the US

Wed Jan 30, 2019 5:09 pm

burnsie28 wrote:
Considering the temperatures that a lot of these areas are experiencing can cause frostbite in less than 4 minutes, I would say that the safety of their people are more important. It's about the safety of those working the ramp rather than planes being able to fly in it.


+1 Times like these where a bit of perspective is needed.
 
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Re: Cold Weather Cancellations in the US

Wed Jan 30, 2019 5:35 pm

MeCe wrote:
dik909 wrote:

Gimme a break. These airlines could learn a lot from Finnair. I traveled up into the Arctic Circle just last week, temps -30 Celsius. Planes still flew. No big deal..

Oh, and we didn't have a gangway.

To boot, at altitude temps reach well below -60 Celsius. I don't buy the "jet fuel freezing" argument for a moment.



There is a huge difference getting extremes regularly vs once 5 year. If you get these temp 5 time a year it is your routine. Think about Finland get a heatwave 45 Celcius. It is routine for dubai but I am sure that Finnair peps break down at that temperature.



Huge difference between heatwave and cold temperatures. When its cold outside, all you need to do is put couple extra layers of clothing, gloves, hats and etcand you will be fine. with a heat, even if you take off your clothes you still will be hot :) sorry, don't meant to sound like captain obvious. Lots of airports in Canada and Russia have -30C temperatures for months and life is not over there.
 
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Re: Cold Weather Cancellations in the US

Wed Jan 30, 2019 5:41 pm

WN texted me Monday afternoon that my Thursday am flight MDW-BOS was cancelled. Were they just expecting an avalanche of problems from the snow over weekend and low temps today? As of this minute the UA flight I rebooked myself on from ORD for tomorrow AM is still operating. Go figure!
 
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Re: Cold Weather Cancellations in the US

Wed Jan 30, 2019 5:41 pm

ikarlson wrote:
MeCe wrote:
dik909 wrote:

Gimme a break. These airlines could learn a lot from Finnair. I traveled up into the Arctic Circle just last week, temps -30 Celsius. Planes still flew. No big deal..

Oh, and we didn't have a gangway.

To boot, at altitude temps reach well below -60 Celsius. I don't buy the "jet fuel freezing" argument for a moment.



There is a huge difference getting extremes regularly vs once 5 year. If you get these temp 5 time a year it is your routine. Think about Finland get a heatwave 45 Celcius. It is routine for dubai but I am sure that Finnair peps break down at that temperature.



Huge difference between heatwave and cold temperatures. When its cold outside, all you need to do is put couple extra layers of clothing, gloves, hats and etcand you will be fine. with a heat, even if you take off your clothes you still will be hot :) sorry, don't meant to sound like captain obvious. Lots of airports in Canada and Russia have -30C temperatures for months and life is not over there.


Heat waves and cold freezes are entirely different types of issues.

Also, there are zero airports in these northern regions that are -30 that operate 500 flights a day like ORD or MSP.
Its a big difference to turn 1-2 flights an hour versus 75+ hub departure banks in this type of weather.
 
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Re: Cold Weather Cancellations in the US

Wed Jan 30, 2019 5:45 pm

I feel for outside workers. Brrr..

Ummm... Southern California is miserable too. Don't move here. ;)

To think a NASA scientist predicted a very cold winter. It was just time for a pause in sun spots:

http://www.wnd.com/2018/11/lack-of-suns ... scientist/

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Re: Cold Weather Cancellations in the US

Wed Jan 30, 2019 5:49 pm

piedmontf284000 wrote:

You might want to check the flight boards again at MSP. There are over 100 cancelations already.


Curious if you've got different data than Flightaware... Flightaware shows 46 flights cancelled out of MSP today. 56 inbounds cancelled.

The bulk of them are Southwest flights. Looks like Spirit and Frontier bowed out too. A few United flights (generally chicago), a few American Flights (Chicago). 2 Mainline Delta flights - both to Chicago. And a smattering of Skywest/Republic flights cancelled.

No Sun Country, and no bulk Delta Mainline cancellations.

Considering the weather, not too shabby....

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