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FlyingDove
Topic Author
Posts: 81
Joined: Tue Jan 18, 2005 1:31 pm

Cancelled Flight Due To Crew Unreadiness

Sun Jan 23, 2005 10:12 am

Hello Y'all,

Just returned from a marathon series on DL: LGA-ATL-IAH-CVG-LGA. I was supposed to fly on Sat. night Jan 15 from ATL to IAH on DL's local Comair affiliate. Ten minutes before flight time, we were informed that the flight was being cancelled due to "crew." Since this was the last flight of the night, all of the pax were given meal and hotel vouchers and a new flight in the morning.

My question is, how often does it happen that an airline cancels a flight due to crew unreadiness? It seems that our pilot didn't have enough hours to fly us. Can someone please explain this to me? Why didn't some airline computer system pick this up?
 
1MillionFlyer
Posts: 1937
Joined: Wed Sep 08, 2004 8:55 am

RE: Cancelled Flight Due To Crew Unreadiness

Sun Jan 23, 2005 10:16 am

It was porbably due to the crew being out of duty time. This happens daily usually it involves flights being delayed but cancellations can occur.



Golf Foxtrot you are cleared for departure
 
Falcon84
Posts: 13775
Joined: Fri Sep 10, 2004 11:52 am

RE: Cancelled Flight Due To Crew Unreadiness

Sun Jan 23, 2005 10:17 am

The FAA sets a limit on the number of hours a crew member can fly each day. Once a crew or crew memeber goes above those hours, they can no longer legally fly that day, without a prescribed 8-hour interval.

It may not be the airline computer system. It could be a crew member was sick, and no replacement was available. If you were on time, I'd have trouble believe it was a crew legality issue. I think it could be more on the lines of an illness.

If it WAS a crew legality issue, and you were on time, then there is a problem that should have been caught.
Work Right, Fly Hard
 
jfkaua
Posts: 972
Joined: Tue Aug 31, 2004 7:42 am

RE: Cancelled Flight Due To Crew Unreadiness

Sun Jan 23, 2005 10:23 am

if you don't mind me asking did you happen to fly the 767-400 on the LGA-ATL leg?
 
lowrider
Posts: 2542
Joined: Wed Jun 30, 2004 3:09 am

RE: Cancelled Flight Due To Crew Unreadiness

Sun Jan 23, 2005 10:24 am

Comair's pilot base (CVG) has had some tough weather over the past week, and crews are probably timing out left and right, not only for the daily limits, but for 30/7. There is also the 16 hour duty day limit and limits if the crew has had reduced rest the previous night. It is sometime impossible to say if the crew will be legal or not until they block in from the previous leg. This has not been a common occurance for me, but it does seem to happen more in the winter.
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isitsafenow
Posts: 3413
Joined: Sun Feb 01, 2004 9:22 am

RE: Cancelled Flight Due To Crew Unreadiness

Sun Jan 23, 2005 10:28 am

What the real problem is that Comair waited until the last minute to crap out the flight when someone in ops knew what was going down in advance. Mesaba is also very very good at announcing a delay right at boading time.
safe
If two people agree on EVERYTHING, then one isn't necessary.
 
Falcon84
Posts: 13775
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RE: Cancelled Flight Due To Crew Unreadiness

Sun Jan 23, 2005 10:35 am

What the real problem is that Comair waited until the last minute to crap out the flight when someone in ops knew what was going down in advance.

What often, which the customer cannot see, is what goes on behind the scene.

-Ops could have been looking for another crew/crew memeber. Sometimes that takes a while to make sure a crew won't be available. So while Ops, and the agents, have a good idea the flight could be cancelled, until the search is exhausted, no decision will be made.

-Once it is determined that there is no crew, all the areas need to get their ducks in the row before announcing the cancellation. Ops needs to tell the gate. Those responsible for rebooking the customers (at a CO hub, that area is called Connect Planning), needs time to reaccomodate the customers. The gate or Customer Service Center needs to ready itself to properly assist the pax.

Often, we will know at the gate 5 or 10 minutes before telling the pax that the flight is cancelled, simply to make sure that everything is in place to properly assist the customers.
Work Right, Fly Hard
 
lowrider
Posts: 2542
Joined: Wed Jun 30, 2004 3:09 am

RE: Cancelled Flight Due To Crew Unreadiness

Sun Jan 23, 2005 10:36 am

Unless you have some first hand information to back that up, safe, I rather doubt that is the issue, expecially since CMR will cancel flights a day or more in advance if they know they cannot make the flight work. Also, I believe that is an ASA flight, but I may be off. Try and stay a little closer to reality if you are going to present info as factual.
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isitsafenow
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Joined: Sun Feb 01, 2004 9:22 am

RE: Cancelled Flight Due To Crew Unreadiness

Sun Jan 23, 2005 10:40 am

First hand info is I worked Ops for two years. Does that fit the mold?
keep smilin..
safe
If two people agree on EVERYTHING, then one isn't necessary.
 
FlyingDove
Topic Author
Posts: 81
Joined: Tue Jan 18, 2005 1:31 pm

RE: Cancelled Flight Due To Crew Unreadiness

Sun Jan 23, 2005 10:45 am

OK to answer everyone's questions:

1) My bad... it was a ASA flight, not Comair. Sorry about that.
2) LGA-ATL was on a MD-88, which I must say was very quiet, but it certainly was no 764.
3)Thanks for everyone's answers!
 
lowrider
Posts: 2542
Joined: Wed Jun 30, 2004 3:09 am

RE: Cancelled Flight Due To Crew Unreadiness

Sun Jan 23, 2005 10:56 am

...if you were not there on the night in question, no.
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OPNLguy
Posts: 11191
Joined: Tue Jun 15, 1999 11:29 am

RE: Cancelled Flight Due To Crew Unreadiness

Sun Jan 23, 2005 11:39 am

>>>What the real problem is that Comair waited until the last minute to crap out the flight when someone in ops knew what was going down in advance.

There's an old saying that goes something like "never attribute to malice that which can be adequately explained by stupidity", and I think "stupidity" can just as easily be swapped out with "stuff that's not our department."

There are scads of variables that could have been in play, but based upon what's info has been posted, I think what might have happened on the last ATL-IAH flight was that the crew was "close on their times" on their inbound XXX-ATL flight, and then may gone over that before they got to ATL, thus making them illegal for the ATL-IAH portion. Last time I looked, ATL was a crewbase for ASA, but at that point of the day, they may have been out of reserves. My point here is that "someone in ops" didn't necessarily know about this hours beforehand, and it may well have been a last minute deal.

In other words, if a crew is inbound to ABC and will be legal to take their next flight ABC-XYZ by a mere :10, what happens if they get stuck in a holding pattern and has their landing unexpectedly delayed by :20? Sometimes you don't find out about the problem until the very last minute...
ALL views, opinions expressed are mine ONLY and are NOT representative of those shared by Southwest Airlines Co.
 
aa777jr
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RE: Cancelled Flight Due To Crew Unreadiness

Sun Jan 23, 2005 11:44 am

My brother works for a company that H.Q. out of MSP and he has had three times since he's been going up there were the flight was cancelled do to the crew not being there. The flights were all on NW. I think weather caused delays and they couldn't get their connections.
A liberal is a man who is right most of the time, but he's right too soon.
 
isitsafenow
Posts: 3413
Joined: Sun Feb 01, 2004 9:22 am

RE: Cancelled Flight Due To Crew Unreadiness

Sun Jan 23, 2005 12:02 pm

OPNLGUY..what you posted is very true and happens daily in the industry. My point is quite simple and non-argumentative..the pax is ALWAYS the last to know and its usually at the very list minute..like right at boarding,which on most RJ's is 15 to 20 minutes before push. Some one yet not everyone in ops knows that there is trouble in river city. The gate agent knows about 20 seconds before 50 people that are staring at ON TIME under their flight does. I mean come on gang.
The board says 8:00 on time and its 7 48 and nothing is happening(no boarding or even an announcement.. The phone rings, the agent answers and guess what? A delay for who cares what reason. Commuication could be better. If its gonna be late, then say so. People can make other plans, like call someone at the other end and say we are delayed, I'll call ya later or head to the bar across the concourse or grab something to eat. Just commuicate WHEN POSSIBLE to the 50 dummies that pay your way.
I don't mean to piss ya off but am showing you the other side. This is a perfect example why alot of people don't trust the poor gate agent who is as much in the dark as the pax.
I worked for three carriers all different jobs with the airlines and am now an air warrior with 15 to 20 trips a year. I think I know "the ropes" better then most other air travelers.
thanks for the two cents worth.

safe
If two people agree on EVERYTHING, then one isn't necessary.
 
MD11Engineer
Posts: 13899
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RE: Cancelled Flight Due To Crew Unreadiness

Sun Jan 23, 2005 12:03 pm

I had it once that a flight got cancelled, because the F/O had an accident. Coming out of a restaurant, where the crew had lunch, he slipped on an icy steps and hurt himself in a way that he had to ground himself. Since there was no spare crew available, the flight had to be cancelled.

Jan

[Edited 2005-01-23 04:04:17]
Je Suis Charlie et je suis Ahmet aussi
 
OPNLguy
Posts: 11191
Joined: Tue Jun 15, 1999 11:29 am

RE: Cancelled Flight Due To Crew Unreadiness

Sun Jan 23, 2005 12:17 pm

>>>My point is quite simple and non-argumentative..the pax is ALWAYS the last to know and its usually at the very list minute..like right at boarding,which on most RJ's is 15 to 20 minutes before push.

Can you think of a scenario where the pax is ever the -first- to know? (Excuse me Captain, I'm Joe Blow from seat 1A, and you've got a crew legality problem and you'd better call scheduling...")  Big grin

So, a crew has been delayed inbound, and they call crew sked when they get to the gate (while the folks are deplaning). Crew sked searchs hi/low for another crew, and after a few minutes, concluded that none are available. They tell Dispatch, Dispatch looks at turning another aircraft and crew for the crew-less flight, but concludes they can do that either (MX routings, whatever). So, the outbound flight is starting to board by the time crew sked and Dispatch have exhausted all their options, and the flight then gets axed. It's unfortunate, it's annoying, and it's unprofitable for the airline, but it's also (in some cases) unavoidable, and not indicative that there has been malice aforethought in coming to the decision to cancel. Believe me, that's always a last resort, but it takes at least a few minutes to exhaust the other options (if there are any) before you get to the decision point for pulling the plug and cancelling. In a perfect world, we'd be able to notify paxs of cancellations days/hours in advance, by the real-life dynamics rarely permit that.
ALL views, opinions expressed are mine ONLY and are NOT representative of those shared by Southwest Airlines Co.
 
isitsafenow
Posts: 3413
Joined: Sun Feb 01, 2004 9:22 am

RE: Cancelled Flight Due To Crew Unreadiness

Sun Jan 23, 2005 12:25 pm

I got a big grin out of that one...thanks...
Sometimes you do know in advance. Thursday I checked in at a kiosk at LAN and noticed my connection out of DTW was delayed. This was two hours before the connection was scheduled out to SDF. I was a happy because now I had time for a burger and beer at DTW. Sometimes the delays aren't so bad.
thx again. nite all.........
safe
If two people agree on EVERYTHING, then one isn't necessary.
 
lincoln
Posts: 3133
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RE: Cancelled Flight Due To Crew Unreadiness

Sun Jan 23, 2005 12:47 pm

... and, occassionally, the ops agents will just lie through their teeth when the crew was not ready.

The scene: 2001 (pre 9/11). I arrived DTW at about 5am on an LAX 757 red-eye. I was connecting to PLN on the first flight out -- something like 9:45, on Mesaba.

After wandering the airport for a few hours to keep warm (man, it was FREEZING) and check things out. I sat, as usual, near the podium. Time passes and we're getting really close to scheduled departure with nothing. Then I hear on agent's radio "....uh, the captain is, uh here, but aparently he forgot his ID badge and...uh...security's not sure they want to let him through.". The agent 10-4s this and then gets on the PA and announces...."Due to air traffic control delays, flight xxxx to Pellston will be delayed until further notice. We will keep you apprised and it shouldn't be too long".

Moments later there was a series of "Northwest Airlines is paging John Doe, John Doe, please contact Northwest Airlines Crew Scheduling Immediately..." all calls. John Doe was our captain on that flight  Smile.

Lincoln
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