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flyingdoc
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ATC Cancelled Flights?

Mon Jun 18, 2007 12:06 pm

I flew through ATL last Monday evening; it was a zoo. When we landed, the pilot said there were 60 aircraft waiting for gates. Took us 1.5 hours to taxi to the gate. So, missed the connection. DL put me on the last flight of the day to my destination (LIT), scheduled to leave at 9:30 pm. Waited at the gate until almost midnight when the agent then says that the flight has been cancelled. Go to ticket counter, they say the flight was cancelled by ATC, therefore, DL would not provide housing or any accomodation. I was on a paid TATL business class fare. The agent said that ATC calls DL, tells them they must cancel a certain number of flights "because the airport is too backed up" and because "it is not DLs fault", no accomodation. I have never heard of air traffic control cancelling flights. Do they?
 
AIR757200
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RE: ATC Cancelled Flights?

Mon Jun 18, 2007 12:16 pm

That's often the case at LGA and ORD for AA when ATC is really bad... The airport/operation can only handle so many flights-- usually with AA, many of the Eagle flights are often CXLD.

Our 8 p.m. Eagle flight is often victim, sometimes the wheels up time is between 11 p.m. and 1 a.m. and they'll just go ahead and cancel the flight, obviously, due to "ATC".
 
flyingdoc
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RE: ATC Cancelled Flights?

Mon Jun 18, 2007 12:26 pm

Is it the airline deciding to cancel because the delay is so long or does ATC mandate that the flight be cancelled? We already had waited 2.5 hours at the gate. So waiting another hour or two and getting home that night would have been much better than the 2 hours it took to find and get to a hotel, paying for a hotel, getting to the airport early the next morning after 3.5 hours of sleep (post TATL flight), getting home to find that DL did not put my bag on the flight and it came in on a later flight.
 
IPFreely
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RE: ATC Cancelled Flights?

Mon Jun 18, 2007 12:27 pm

Yes...the same situation happens frequently at ORD as well. The airlines schedule the airport to 100% of capacity, then if there is a glitch -- storm, winds reduce the number of active runways for awhile, even if the winds change and cause a delay while they airport is "turned around" -- there is no way to recover without cancelling flights. Some hub airports --- like DFW, MSP, & DTW -- are scheduled at or near full capacity during "pushes" when lots of flights are scheduled to arrive and depart, but they have slow periods that can be used to make up for delays. Other airports -- most notably ORD & ATL -- are essentially overscheduled. Yes, the airlines make the schedules and yes, they know that most days' operations will result in a number of cancellations, but since ATC is the entity that actually orders flights cancelled, you're on your own.

My guess is you would have been better off renting a car immediately on arrival in ATL and driving to Little Rock? My suggestion for future trips is to fly either WN or NW (thru MEM) to get to LIT.
 
IPFreely
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RE: ATC Cancelled Flights?

Mon Jun 18, 2007 12:33 pm

A side note to what AIR posted --

I used to fly UA a lot, and ran into this situation several times. It is almost always the regional flights -- United Express, American Eagle, Delta Connection -- that get cancelled. I don't think I've ever seen an "ATC cancellation" of a mainline flight. My guess is that the airlines are picking and choosing which flights to cancel based on which affect the fewest passengers.
 
siromega
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RE: ATC Cancelled Flights?

Mon Jun 18, 2007 12:33 pm

Whats wrong with running flights into 1-2AM? If the crew has hours available, the equipment is there, I'd rather get into my airport late (4-5A) instead of having a flight canceled. Unless its like SNA or something where they have restrictions on flight arrivals and departures.
 
P3Orion
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RE: ATC Cancelled Flights?

Mon Jun 18, 2007 12:42 pm

Quoting FlyingDoc (Thread starter):
The agent said that ATC calls DL, tells them they must cancel a certain number of flights "because the airport is too backed up"

Air Traffic Control does not do this. The gate agent made that one up. If the airport gets backed up, do to reduced capacity, the airlines may cancel flights on their own accord; but not becuase ATC forces them.
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WJ
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RE: ATC Cancelled Flights?

Mon Jun 18, 2007 12:43 pm

Quoting SirOmega (Reply 5):
Whats wrong with running flights into 1-2AM? If the crew has hours available, the equipment is there, I'd rather get into my airport late (4-5A) instead of having a flight canceled.

Thats the problem though. Crew hours are managed just as closely as aircraft schedules and flexibility is not really the name of the game, productivity is. most flights, especially express, the crews are cutting it close with legality. 2-3 hour delay and you have likely lost them to rest requirements.
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IPFreely
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RE: ATC Cancelled Flights?

Mon Jun 18, 2007 12:49 pm

Quoting SirOmega (Reply 5):
Whats wrong with running flights into 1-2AM? If the crew has hours available, the equipment is there, I'd rather get into my airport late (4-5A) instead of having a flight canceled

The problem is that the plane & crew that was flying the 9:30 ATL to LIT flight is probably the same plane and crew that is scheduled for an early morning LIT to ATL flight the next day. If they arrive in LIT at 2am, crew rest rules mean that the next morning's departure will be delayed by several hours. This would cause the plane and crew to be out of position for basically all of their flights the next day. Operationally, it's better for the airline to keep the plane and crew in ATL -- from there they can stay on schedule the following day (after cancelling the morning LIT to ATL flight, obviously). It's not so great for passengers on the cancelled flights, but it's common practice, at least with United Express and American Eagle at ORD. I suspect Delta Connection at ATL is no different.
 
SkyexRamper
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RE: ATC Cancelled Flights?

Mon Jun 18, 2007 12:51 pm

Quoting FlyingDoc (Thread starter):
The agent said that ATC calls DL, tells them they must cancel a certain number of flights "because the airport is too backed up" and because "it is not DLs fault",

With this being a total crock is BS. Though it is Delta's fault, if they're operation at ATL wasn't sooo dang big there wouldn't be as many planes there...so it is DAL's fault. Big grin

Besides...how many flights can there be at midnight!? This is definately a lack of legal crews so they had to cancel the flight because the crew timed out. So really I'd press DAL for compensation because the airline messed up, not the weather. It was in their control.
Good Luck to all Skyway Pilots! It's been great working with you!
 
burnsie28
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RE: ATC Cancelled Flights?

Mon Jun 18, 2007 12:55 pm

Quoting FlyingDoc (Reply 2):
Is it the airline deciding to cancel because the delay is so long or does ATC mandate that the flight be cancelled?

Actually ATC will call the airlines and ask for help... thus cancelled due to ATC.
 
WJ
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RE: ATC Cancelled Flights?

Mon Jun 18, 2007 12:56 pm

Quoting SkyexRamper (Reply 9):
With this being a total crock is BS. Though it is Delta's fault, if they're operation at ATL wasn't sooo dang big there wouldn't be as many planes there...so it is DAL's fault.

I dont understand if you are trying to be funny here or not... But US ATC is antiquated and therefore cannot handle the traffic a more modern system easily would. The lack of upgrades in that field is costing airlines billions in lost revenues and passenger recovery.
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P3Orion
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RE: ATC Cancelled Flights?

Mon Jun 18, 2007 12:58 pm

Quoting Burnsie28 (Reply 10):
Actually ATC will call the airlines and ask for help... thus cancelled due to ATC.

We do? I've never heard or seen it. Usually, we hear about cancellations from the local news.
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Bridogger6
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RE: ATC Cancelled Flights?

Mon Jun 18, 2007 1:00 pm

Quoting SkyexRamper (Reply 9):
Besides...how many flights can there be at midnight!? This is definately a lack of legal crews so they had to cancel the flight because the crew timed out. So really I'd press DAL for compensation because the airline messed up, not the weather. It was in their control.

That is ridiculous... if there hadn't been air traffic control issues (which is not really directly in DL's control, it's usually caused by poor weather), then they wouldn't have had a lack of crews... furthermore, every airline keeps reserve crews and we don't know that a lack of crew was the ultimate issue.

A lot of times, airlines will cancel an early flight when ATC is expected to be bad in order to bump the slots for all their other flights up so they are not as delayed.
 
P3Orion
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RE: ATC Cancelled Flights?

Mon Jun 18, 2007 1:03 pm

Quoting WJ (Reply 11):
But US ATC is antiquated and therefore cannot handle the traffic a more modern system easily would. The lack of upgrades in that field is costing airlines billions in lost revenues and passenger recovery.

What would "a more modern system" have? What kind of upgrades would help?
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flyingdoc
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RE: ATC Cancelled Flights?

Mon Jun 18, 2007 1:16 pm

Quoting IPFreely (Reply 3):
My guess is you would have been better off renting a car immediately on arrival in ATL and driving to Little Rock? My suggestion for future trips is to fly either WN or NW (thru MEM) to get to LIT.

I was on a trans Atlantic itinerary (LGW-LIT). Last I checked, WN doesn't fly either to ATL or trans Atlantic. And didn't want to drive ATL-LIT after having flown from LGW!!  Smile

I have flown NW via MEM into LIT pretty often, including today, but again, not from ATL at 10 pm at night.
 
flyingdoc
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RE: ATC Cancelled Flights?

Mon Jun 18, 2007 1:18 pm

Quoting WJ (Reply 7):
Crew hours are managed just as closely as aircraft schedules and flexibility is not really the name of the game, productivity is. most flights, especially express, the crews are cutting it close with legality. 2-3 hour delay and you have likely lost them to rest requirements.

But, if the flight is lost due to rest requirements, that is not ATCs fault and it is the airline's responsibility. They are supposed to provide a crew to fly the plane to it's destination.
 
swiftski
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RE: ATC Cancelled Flights?

Mon Jun 18, 2007 1:22 pm

Do ATC not usually cancel weather related flights, by informing airlines that weather is too poor to take off?
 
siromega
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RE: ATC Cancelled Flights?

Mon Jun 18, 2007 1:23 pm

Quoting IPFreely (Reply 8):
The problem is that the plane & crew that was flying the 9:30 ATL to LIT flight is probably the same plane and crew that is scheduled for an early morning LIT to ATL flight the next day. If they arrive in LIT at 2am, crew rest rules mean that the next morning's departure will be delayed by several hours.

Thanks, I learn something everyday.
 
flyingdoc
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RE: ATC Cancelled Flights?

Mon Jun 18, 2007 1:25 pm

Quoting SkyexRamper (Reply 9):
Besides...how many flights can there be at midnight!? This is definately a lack of legal crews so they had to cancel the flight because the crew timed out. So really I'd press DAL for compensation because the airline messed up, not the weather. It was in their control.

The airport was badly backed up. There were a bunch of displaced folks trying to find hotels.

I spoke to two supervisors, one that night and another the next morning checking in for the flight the next day. I am Platinum Medallion for several years and was on a paid business class fare. The supervisor said that he had "run out of hotel rooms" and could not provide me with one. They all said it was an "ATC cancellation" (actually the supervisor the next day said that she did not know what happened the night before, but could not help me; she gave me a customer comment card).
 
P3Orion
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RE: ATC Cancelled Flights?

Mon Jun 18, 2007 1:37 pm

Quoting Swiftski (Reply 17):
Do ATC not usually cancel weather related flights, by informing airlines that weather is too poor to take off?

No. ATC will initiate Ground Delay Programs such as DSP/ESP (Departure Spacing Program/Enroute Spacing Program): least severe, EDCT (Expected Departure Clearance Time), AFP (Airspace Flow Program) and Ground Stops: most severe. These types of programs are initiated to meter the traffic to a specific airport or airpace (AFP's) due to volume, weather, etc.
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N2111J
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RE: ATC Cancelled Flights?

Mon Jun 18, 2007 1:56 pm

ATC does not cancel flights!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Anyone that says that is lying, plain and simple.The only thing ATC can do is initiate ground delays, enroute spacing programs, etc. Now these delays may affect crew rest and duty times, but only the airline itself can cancel flights.
 
Delta11
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RE: ATC Cancelled Flights?

Tue Jun 19, 2007 12:42 am

Quoting N2111j (Reply 21):
ATC does not cancel flights!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Anyone that says that is lying, plain and simple.The only thing ATC can do is initiate ground delays, enroute spacing programs, etc. Now these delays may affect crew rest and duty times, but only the airline itself can cancel flights.

So True. Delta runs ATL to heavy. At peak times you may have 40 planes pushing out and two runways , so how many birds can get up and what order are you. Yes DL knows this and to a pasagner, ATC is always teh cause. NO they are not, they place controls but never a cancel. The best is teh crew is timed out or teh machine woudl not be in place. So yes its Delta.

PS as for Customer Service, this is always an issue. I do wish that Delta woudl better train there Domistic Agent to Handle this.

I know I was on a flight from BWI , It was snowing that day and there was limted take off slots. Well teh crew was placed at a hotel 1 hour normal drive, 2 to 3 hours in the snow. The crew was late , so we left late, well my connectation was missed. The airline said it was due to ATC and Weather, I said no as the crew placment in the hotel. Well it was a no win. Onl;y after sending in letters with Weather reports, Trafic reports, Hotel information. Was I given a full refund.
 
5mileBob
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RE: ATC Cancelled Flights?

Tue Jun 19, 2007 1:19 am

In over 25 years of doing this job (ATC) I have never heard of ATC telling an airline to cancel flights. I do know that ATC - Flow Control - has asked airlines if they were going to cancel flights and if so, remove their flight plans from the computer system, but to the best of my knowledge, ATC cannot tell an airline to cancel a flight.
By the way, two cousins of mine who work for major airlines have been told since day one: "Unless the aircraft is visabily damaged, ALL flight delays and cancellations are DUE to ATC."
Still looks like a Ramp Rat
 
OPNLguy
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RE: ATC Cancelled Flights?

Tue Jun 19, 2007 1:25 am

Quoting FlyingDoc (Thread starter):
I have never heard of air traffic control cancelling flights. Do they?



Quoting Swiftski (Reply 17):

Do ATC not usually cancel weather related flights, by informing airlines that weather is too poor to take off?

ATC is responsible for the separation and management of traffic.

The airline is responsible for the operational control of their flights, namely the initiation, conducting, and termination of them.

No disrespect to customer service folks (I was one once), but they don't usually know the specific details of how the airline's flight operations work. The one the OP dealt with may have mis-spoken, having meant to say that the cancellation was due to ATC reasons, and not that ATC themselves cancelled it, the latter not being the case. One wouldn't expect an airline pilot to know how to work a ticket counter position and book/re-book customers, and one shouldn't expect a CSA to know the specifics of what the pilots, local ops, and dispatchers are dealing with.

Another reason some folks might believe ATC cancels flights is that stinker "Die Hard-2" where Fred Dalton Thompson delivers his infamous "Stack 'em, pack 'em, and rack 'em" line from the IAD control tower where they not only provide ATC services, but also do stuff the airline/airport does like run all the arrival/departure monitors.
ALL views, opinions expressed are mine ONLY and are NOT representative of those shared by Southwest Airlines Co.
 
RDUDDJI
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RE: ATC Cancelled Flights?

Tue Jun 19, 2007 1:53 am

Quoting 5mileBob (Reply 23):
In over 25 years of doing this job (ATC) I have never heard of ATC telling an airline to cancel flights. I do know that ATC - Flow Control - has asked airlines if they were going to cancel flights and if so, remove their flight plans from the computer system, but to the best of my knowledge, ATC cannot tell an airline to cancel a flight.
By the way, two cousins of mine who work for major airlines have been told since day one: "Unless the aircraft is visabily damaged, ALL flight delays and cancellations are DUE to ATC."

Well, I am sure that your cousin writes policies for all airlines...  Smile Seriously, airlines cancel flights. Does ATC ask for schedule pulldowns in severe weather...absolutely. Do they require it...no. Most major carriers have an ATC coordinator who works with the FAA to help manage/plan the airline's operation when GDP/GS/MIT programs arise. The ATCSCC and the airlines have a conference call every two hours to discuss what's going on and what to look forward too. I won't go into all the details here, there are plenty of threads on the subject of ATC programs and cancel/subbing.

During severe Irregular Ops, the airlines have to think about schedule recovery. It gets very complicated when you are managing hundreds of airplanes and crews and have a GDP averaging 180 minutes into your primary hub. At some point you cannot operate all of your flights, so the general rule of thumb is to try to at least get your overnight trips covered so you can recover the next day. At some point you have to protect the greater good. Literally, I've seen EDCT's for 7am the next morning (on a 8pm EST dept.) for LGA before.

Quoting SkyexRamper (Reply 9):
Besides...how many flights can there be at midnight!? This is definately a lack of legal crews so they had to cancel the flight because the crew timed out. So really I'd press DAL for compensation because the airline messed up, not the weather. It was in their control.



Quoting FlyingDoc (Reply 16):
But, if the flight is lost due to rest requirements, that is not ATCs fault and it is the airline's responsibility. They are supposed to provide a crew to fly the plane to it's destination.

Thankfully you all don't run an airline. If you really believe the airline should burn all their reserve crews during lengthy WX/ATC delays...then you should have worked at B6 back in February. The airline provided a crew for the above mentioned flight, unfortunately due to WX/ATC the crew became illegal...I'm sure the airline was already well into their reserve compliment or had already exhausted it. That's not the airlines fault. Read their respective "contract of carriage".
Sometimes we don't realize the good times when we're in them
 
bond007
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RE: ATC Cancelled Flights?

Tue Jun 19, 2007 2:08 am

The truth in the matter is very few are ever delayed "because of ATC".

The majority of delays are cause by weather and/or capacity problems, and the capacity problems are usually those created by the airlines themselves, nobody else.

It doesn't matter how modern your ATC system, you will never fit many more planes into airports like LGA, JFK, ORD, PHL, if they are at saturation point anyway. ATC's main responsibility is separation, and it's a physical impossibilty to get 100 arrivals/hr, if the runway can only accept 50 arrivals/hr with required IFR separation.

Actual ATC delays are rare ... yes, perhaps the problem a week or two ago with the flight plan system, and the odd cases where there is a radar outage, but not too many examples.

...and as mentioned, there is a fair amount of communication between ATC and the major airlines, with regular conference calls and such, and recommendations are made ... but as already covered .. the airline cancels the flights.

Quoting WJ (Reply 11):
But US ATC is antiquated and therefore cannot handle the traffic a more modern system easily would. The lack of upgrades in that field is costing airlines billions in lost revenues and passenger recovery.

Please see above .... bear in mind the US ATC system handles more aircraft and more volume than anywhere else in the world ... and extremely safely. Sure, the ATC needs modernizing, but delays into airports like JFK, LGA etc., won't be solved by better technology alone.

Jimbo
I'd rather be on the ground wishing I was in the air, than in the air wishing I was on the ground!
 
RDUDDJI
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RE: ATC Cancelled Flights?

Tue Jun 19, 2007 2:48 am

Quoting Bond007 (Reply 26):
The truth in the matter is very few are ever delayed "because of ATC".

That's a good point. Airlines say ATC because that is who is "regulating" the delay. In actuality, it's most often the weather, or airport conditions. I believe (and I could be wrong) that they report weather and ATC delays together for DOT purposes.
Sometimes we don't realize the good times when we're in them
 
MKP1013
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RE: ATC Cancelled Flights?

Tue Jun 19, 2007 3:40 am

Quoting IPFreely (Reply 3):
My guess is you would have been better off renting a car immediately on arrival in ATL and driving to Little Rock? My suggestion for future trips is to fly either WN or NW (thru MEM) to get to LIT.

Icck no. Just a side note, a good alternative for LIT is FL to MEM, then a 2 hour drive onto LIT. A lot better than paying DL and NW fares.
 
flightopsguy
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RE: ATC Cancelled Flights?

Tue Jun 19, 2007 3:46 am

Quoting OPNLguy (Reply 24):
o disrespect to customer service folks (I was one once), but they don't usually know the specific details of how the airline's flight operations work. The one the OP dealt with may have mis-spoken, having meant to say that the cancellation was due to ATC reasons, and not that ATC themselves cancelled it, the latter not being the case. One wouldn't expect an airline pilot to know how to work a ticket counter position and book/re-book customers, and one shouldn't expect a CSA to know the specifics of what the pilots, local ops, and dispatchers are dealing with.

Totally concur. I've been in flite ops for more than 20 years, often with the direct responsibility of dealing with ATC on a tactical basis...they do not cancel or require a carrier to cancel. The FSM (Flight Schedule Monitor) software will ration arrivals to an airport that is constrained by weather or other factors. This could generate multi-hour delays, and then it is the airline's call as to whether to run late or cancel. Cancellations allow the airline to move other flights up into that now unused slot, thus improving the delay mins. on remaining operating flights. Typically CSR personnel receive little or no training regarding flite ops.
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atct
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RE: ATC Cancelled Flights?

Tue Jun 19, 2007 4:17 am

Quoting IPFreely (Reply 3):
ATC is the entity that actually orders flights cancelled,

Never seen it happen

Quoting Burnsie28 (Reply 10):
Actually ATC will call the airlines and ask for help...

No that isnt true. At the Command Center in DC the airlines have people there. They see where the delays are and act accordingly within their own company. I know CO will many times "Swap EDCTs" on some of their planes going to EWR in order to make sure the majority of passengers will make their connections. We do not ask "Hey, we're going to be swamped today, Can you cancel some flights" Thats just ludacris.

Quoting Bridogger6 (Reply 13):
ATC is expected to be bad

So let me get this straight....Im trying to keep two planes from hitting each other in the midst of level 5 and 6 weather...now im bad?

Quoting Swiftski (Reply 17):
Do ATC not usually cancel weather related flights, by informing airlines that weather is too poor to take off?

We have no limitations as to who can and cannot take off in bad weather. The airlines have SOP (Standard Operation Procedures) that limit say the RVR needs to be greater than 3,000ft in order to take off etc. In the middle of a blazing t-storm and granted we havent stopped departures due to airspace congestion...if some idiot wants to take off...I'll give him the current weather wind etc. and clear em.

Quoting RDUDDJI (Reply 25):
Does ATC ask for schedule pulldowns in severe weather...absolutely

Again read above. We do not go "Hey CO Ops, can ya cancel some flights man? Were packed!".

We adhere EDCT's, Ground Stops, and AFP's and the airline reps at the Command Center (Traffic Managment) sit down and figure out what to do to better their company regarding the situation. We let them know whats going on weather wise and the edcts n such, but we dont go "Hey Joe at AA, I need 5 of your flights canceled now, let me know which ones" etc


It comes down to numbers people. If XYZ Airline wants to land 60 airplanes on one runway in 5 minutes..it just aint happening. Add to this when we get thunderstorms or bad vis and we need to increase spacing thats what causes major delays...no amount of "Modernization" as the ignorant forerigners keep saying will help.

ATCT
Pilot, ATC
(and former CSA - Ramp Rat, Delta Airlines)
Trikes are for kids!
 
RDUDDJI
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RE: ATC Cancelled Flights?

Tue Jun 19, 2007 6:33 am

Quoting ATCT (Reply 30):
We have no limitations as to who can and cannot take off in bad weather. The airlines have SOP (Standard Operation Procedures) that limit say the RVR needs to be greater than 3,000ft in order to take off etc. In the middle of a blazing t-storm and granted we havent stopped departures due to airspace congestion...if some idiot wants to take off...I'll give him the current weather wind etc. and clear em.

That may be true, but on the flip side I've also listened to ATC let planes sit for hours at IAD with the explanation of "MOL/GVE is shutdown". Now, I looked at the weather and I see there are some cells in the line of flight. They could have picked their way through them, but whatever. After sitting for a while, pilot contacts his dispatcher to have him refile over some other fix only to have it rejected by ATC because it's not an "accepted route". So we sit in the RWY 30 RU for four hours. Finally, ATC offers a reroute of the exact same FP that company filed 2.5 hours ago. However, now there is not enough fuel for the extra burn and the crew will time out if we go back to the gate. Crew gets creative and asks company if they can come out and fuel them at one of the remote spots (because if they go back to the gate, the flight is canceling). Company declines because it's against policy to fuel with the doors closed. We go back to the gate and cancel. This was a 1705L departure from IAD which returned to the gate at 2118L. After we get back to the gate, I find out that the 1930L departure left the gate ontime and took right off (11min taxi) over MOL. That's just one story, I've seen many more instances of poorly handled situations (esp. in the DC area). If people are arguing that ATC system doesn't need an upgrade, then it must just be very poorly managed.

I was, however, happy to hear that ATC is working with the carriers now to allow re-routes around TS cells. Admittedly I am no longer in the ATC biz, but this is good news nonetheless.

Quoting ATCT (Reply 30):
Again read above. We do not go "Hey CO Ops, can ya cancel some flights man? Were packed!".

As I stipulated before, airlines work with the TMU to strategize during flow programs. And again, it's up to the airline to cancel, but I've heard ATC strongly suggest cancel/subs in markets where they expect conditions to degrade.
Sometimes we don't realize the good times when we're in them
 
flyingdoc
Topic Author
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RE: ATC Cancelled Flights?

Tue Jun 19, 2007 7:41 am

I thought that the supervisor's explanation of an "ATC cancellation" was not true (a nice way to say "a lie"). I do understand that sometimes those things happen. I have flown hundreds of thousands of miles each year for the past several and have experienced such delays. I understand there had been thunderstorms in the ATL area earlier that evening, but when we landed, the skies were clear and remained that way the 3-1/2 hours I waited for the last ATL-LIT flight, which was then cancelled. I know they could have been backed up, but the weather at that time was not bad.

I would not be unhappy if DL had provided accomodations, but to just dump a business fare customer who spends literally tens of thousands of dollars on their airline at 1 am in the morning with no place to stay after they have cancelled the flight made me awfully unhappy. And then, my bag was delayed to boot. It was just an awful experience. I've had similar kinds of delays on other airlines and was treated much better.
 
GPIARFF
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RE: ATC Cancelled Flights?

Tue Jun 19, 2007 8:25 am

The question I have relating to whether or not an airline will compensate for a cancellation is if the ATC delay extends out long enough that the flight can't realistically proceede (i.e. crew rest, or later flight segment issues) and this causes the airline to cancel the flight, is this completely outside the airlines ability to have planned for/controlled therefore removing their responsibility to compensate?
Pa chiye ladan dlo ou bwe ( don't crap in your drinking water )
 
atct
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RE: ATC Cancelled Flights?

Tue Jun 19, 2007 9:16 am

We do close down Departure corridors, but you are still welcome to depart. If you want to go out VFR, all power to ya.

If you want to use the IFR system and get Radar Guidance, thats when you must play along. The reason we close down departure corridors is due to airspace. I as a controller cant have you go busting my neighbor controllers airspace just so you can navigate on your own around a cell. Their airspace is meanwhile full of inbound traffic descending through your altitude...while you're trying to up upstream. Nose to nose airliners dont make for pretty pictures. Thats why we reroute out other corridors. If you cant carry enough fuel, tough. I told a pilot the other day after argueing with me that if he couldnt accept the route I gave him (it was the only way out of dodge at that time) then he was going to have to sit for a few hours. After he called the tower and talked to the supervisor, he finally found out that some of us upstairs have a small incling of what we're doing. My goal is not to screw the pilot. (im a pilot myself). Im just make sure that some idiot who has no idea whats going on, doesnt go smack right into some innocent pilot who had no idea what was going on.

You can complain all ya want about the current "ATC" system etc. etc. etc., but our job is to provide for the Safe, Orderly, and Expeditous flow of Air Traffic. I am Safe first, then we as controllers create order, and when possible, we expeditously sling metal.

ATCT
Trikes are for kids!
 
OPNLguy
Posts: 11191
Joined: Tue Jun 15, 1999 11:29 am

RE: ATC Cancelled Flights?

Tue Jun 19, 2007 9:28 am

Quoting ATCT (Reply 34):
After he called the tower and talked to the supervisor, he finally found out that some of us upstairs have a small incling of what we're doing.

Funny, but if they'd just visit the facility when the weather's crappy, they'd see this kind of thing for themselves (just like they would if they visited their airline's dispatch office.)  Wink
ALL views, opinions expressed are mine ONLY and are NOT representative of those shared by Southwest Airlines Co.
 
flightopsguy
Posts: 299
Joined: Tue Jan 04, 2005 9:51 am

RE: ATC Cancelled Flights?

Tue Jun 19, 2007 9:46 am

Quoting GPIARFF (Reply 33):
The question I have relating to whether or not an airline will compensate for a cancellation is if the ATC delay extends out long enough that the flight can't realistically proceede (i.e. crew rest, or later flight segment issues) and this causes the airline to cancel the flight, is this completely outside the airlines ability to have planned for/controlled therefore removing their responsibility to compensate?

ATC delays are similar to weather delays: defined as uncontrollable by the airline. The airline could choose to cancel flights, therefore operating the remaining flights with less delay, but that usually does not help as there are often no empty seats for the pax off the cancelled flights, sometimes for days.

Now maybe you could make an argument for the type of ATC delays we have every day at EWR/LGA/JFK, when there is no weather. Those airports have become overscheduled by the airlines, as there are no longer any slot restrictions. The result is usually a ground delay program or rolling groundstops until the volume gets pushed into later hours when there is less scheduled volume. The only penalty the airlines incur is having the late flights maybe go on the DOT list of shame (flights that arrive more than 14 mins late 80% of the time or more).

Each airline's Contract of Carriage defines what is a controllable delay or cancel. By purchasing a ticket, you agree to the terms of the COC.

This is going to be a lousy summer: witness ORD tonight. Any little blip in the system, especially east of the Mississippi will cause the system to fall apart.
A300-330 BAC111/146/J31/41 B99/1900 CV580 B707-777 DC8/9/10 L188/1011 FH227/28/100 SB340 DO228 EMB2/170 CR2-900 SH330-60
 
N766UA
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RE: ATC Cancelled Flights?

Tue Jun 19, 2007 9:49 am

ATC never cancels flights. They can restrict the number of flights being accepted at a particular airport or along a particular route, but the cancellation is always the airline's call. ATC is just the scapegoat.
 
P3Orion
Posts: 382
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RE: ATC Cancelled Flights?

Tue Jun 19, 2007 10:11 am

Quoting RDUDDJI (Reply 31):
They could have picked their way through them, but whatever

And mix with the streams of other enroute traffic? Or, the arrival corridors to the DC metro's? It is not as cut and dry as you think. J6, J48 and J75, in that part of Washington ARTCC's airspace, are very close to each other; weather deviations can and do create havoc with the flow of their sectors. On a side note, it has always amused me that pilots always want to deviate towards their destination. No matter what picture the controller paints for them.
Baker's 7 year, Carpano Antica, Luxardo, Bittercube cherry bark vanilla bitters
 
sccutler
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RE: ATC Cancelled Flights?

Tue Jun 19, 2007 10:20 am

Quoting WJ (Reply 11):
I dont understand if you are trying to be funny here or not... But US ATC is antiquated and therefore cannot handle the traffic a more modern system easily would. The lack of upgrades in that field is costing airlines billions in lost revenues and passenger recovery.

Utter buncombe.

US ATC requirements do not way cause delays, and there is nothing envisioned in the way of upgrades and modernization which would or could improve the ability of controllers to pack more aircraft into a finite-capacity airport, one which has had its capacity constrained by bad weather.

The hold-ups are in terminal areas and near-capacity hub airports.
...three miles from BRONS, clear for the ILS one five approach...
 
RDUDDJI
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RE: ATC Cancelled Flights?

Tue Jun 19, 2007 10:36 am

Quoting P3Orion (Reply 38):
And mix with the streams of other enroute traffic? Or, the arrival corridors to the DC metro's? It is not as cut and dry as you think. J6, J48 and J75, in that part of Washington ARTCC's airspace, are very close to each other; weather deviations can and do create havoc with the flow of their sectors. On a side note, it has always amused me that pilots always want to deviate towards their destination. No matter what picture the controller paints for them.

I neglected to mention that the flight was to RDU (which is typically filed around FL220). I don't disagree that DC has complicated airspace. I believe and I might be 1 fix off, that they refiled for AML.LYH.ROA.SBV4..RDU instead of the standard MOL/SBV4. I don't really have a problem with the fact that it was declined, I understand your constraints. My frustration comes from the fact that we waited over 4 hours, while a flight 2 hours later was allowed to fly the same planned departure with no delay.

Now, since I was on Shuttle America (I don't believe they have an ATC coordinator) I guess they had no advocate to work with at ATC on getting that flight released. But IMO, they shouldn't need to. ATC shouldn't just "forget" (or let sit) about a flight that has been sitting for over 3 hours.

And as a PSA: Anyone who hasn't toured the ATC command center in Herndon, should check it out. I sincerely enjoyed my trip back in 2004. I think you might have to be an airline employee these days.

We actually had some guys from the CC come visit us in our dispatch to see how it works on the other side. I think those types of relationships are important.
Sometimes we don't realize the good times when we're in them
 
SHUPirate1
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RE: ATC Cancelled Flights?

Tue Jun 19, 2007 11:18 am

Quoting IPFreely (Reply 8):
The problem is that the plane & crew that was flying the 9:30 ATL to LIT flight is probably the same plane and crew that is scheduled for an early morning LIT to ATL flight the next day.

Tell me this...is it possible there could have been a crew on reserve that could fly the ATL-LIT leg, do a stand-up overnight (ie. not a crew rest period), then fly the return LIT-ATL leg and still stay legal from the previous night? Obviously, this is not always the case, but I would have to think that sometimes it would be.

Certainly, of course, there comes a time where the carrier has to cut its losses, for instance, the comment that one person made where he has seen wheels-up times of 7:00 AM the following morning for an 8:00 PM departure. If that happens, the plane itself is cutting into its following duty-day... Wink
Burma's constitutional referendum options: A. Yes, B. Go to Insein Prison!
 
IPFreely
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RE: ATC Cancelled Flights?

Tue Jun 19, 2007 11:46 am

Quoting SHUPirate1 (Reply 41):
Tell me this...is it possible there could have been a crew on reserve that could fly the ATL-LIT leg, do a stand-up overnight (ie. not a crew rest period), then fly the return LIT-ATL leg and still stay legal from the previous night? Obviously, this is not always the case, but I would have to think that sometimes it would be.

Sure. A reserve crew could have flown the plane to LIT then the morning return flight to ATL while the regular crew could have stayed in ATL and met the plane there to resume the next day's schedule. Or the reserve crew could have dead-headed ATL to LIT and flown the next morning's flight(s).

So why didn't a reserve crew fly this particular ATL to LIT leg at 2am? Maybe a reserve crew wasn't available (they cost money)...but in reality we have no way of knowing. Those decisions are made by real airline dispatchers, not message board wanna-be's.  Smile

The point is that simply "running out of duty time today" is not the only issue in delayed & cancelled flights -- the crew's ability to operate on schedule the following day is also a big factor.
 
RDUDDJI
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RE: ATC Cancelled Flights?

Tue Jun 19, 2007 11:54 am

Quoting IPFreely (Reply 42):
Sure. A reserve crew could have flown the plane to LIT then the morning return flight to ATL while the regular crew could have stayed in ATL and met the plane there to resume the next day's schedule. Or the reserve crew could have dead-headed ATL to LIT and flown the next morning's flight(s).

So why didn't a reserve crew fly this particular ATL to LIT leg at 2am? Maybe a reserve crew wasn't available (they cost money)...but in reality we have no way of knowing. Those decisions are made by real airline dispatchers, not message board wanna-be's.

Actually, those decisions are made by dispatch managers and/or crew schedulers. Typically, dispatchers only manage their active or near future flights and flight planning (route of flight, fuel, WX, etc.). The crew scheduling dept. is tasked with providing crews for each flight. In my recent experience, I haven't seen as many stand up lines as there used to be. I guess this is a cost savings thing for airlines...but even if there were, it would only solve a small fraction of the problems at a hub like ATL during an operation like the one described above...Remember, airlines don't have hundreds of pilots sitting around with no assignments... Once you exhaust your reserve compliment, that's about all she wrote. It becomes about preserving the future operation at that point.
Sometimes we don't realize the good times when we're in them
 
IAHFLYR
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RE: ATC Cancelled Flights?

Tue Jun 19, 2007 1:07 pm

This has been answered by great numbers.......LOCK IT
Any views shared are strictly my own and do not a represent those of any former employer.
 
PHLapproach
Posts: 1069
Joined: Tue Mar 23, 2004 6:37 am

RE: ATC Cancelled Flights?

Tue Jun 19, 2007 1:58 pm

Quoting WJ (Reply 11):
But US ATC is antiquated and therefore cannot handle the traffic a more modern system easily would

I saw this and just had to pull it. Don't talk out your  butthead  now, you seem to be reading that BS site ATA site too often http://www.smartskies.org/ Do you have the slightest clue if any of what systems are currently operating in the NAS? Even an older system such as DSR or ACD that has a number of years under its belt would put EuroCAT and even TAAATS to shame. You would be right in your statement if this was 1955 and shrimp boats were still being pushed. Otherwise, dead wrong and just stop watching the videos on smartskies
 
atct
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RE: ATC Cancelled Flights?

Tue Jun 19, 2007 11:44 pm

Quoting IAHFLYR (Reply 44):
This has been answered by great numbers.......LOCK IT

I think we've all got in what we wanted to say. Good show old chap, good show!

ATCT
Trikes are for kids!
 
SHUPirate1
Posts: 3428
Joined: Sat Sep 20, 2003 2:53 pm

RE: ATC Cancelled Flights?

Wed Jun 20, 2007 12:43 am

Quoting IPFreely (Reply 42):
Sure. A reserve crew could have flown the plane to LIT then the morning return flight to ATL while the regular crew could have stayed in ATL and met the plane there to resume the next day's schedule. Or the reserve crew could have dead-headed ATL to LIT and flown the next morning's flight(s).

So why didn't a reserve crew fly this particular ATL to LIT leg at 2am? Maybe a reserve crew wasn't available (they cost money)...but in reality we have no way of knowing. Those decisions are made by real airline dispatchers, not message board wanna-be's.

The point is that simply "running out of duty time today" is not the only issue in delayed & cancelled flights -- the crew's ability to operate on schedule the following day is also a big factor.

IPFreely-I wasn't asking that in any sort of specific scenario, I was just throwing another option out there...regardless, I would bet that, were the reserve crew available, it would cost far less than cancelling the flight, not so much in terms of actual cost, but more in terms of residual costs such as reprotecting the passengers (either on other airlines, costing yourself real money, or on your own airline, preventing you from selling that all-important walk-up fare on a future flight to Little Rock), as well as the obviously-unknown variable known as passenger loyalty (maybe just a couple of passengers per flight, but if those are high-value passengers who, irate with the service that Delta or DCI provided, started booking away, Delta would obviously feel the pocketbook pain).
Burma's constitutional referendum options: A. Yes, B. Go to Insein Prison!
 
IPFreely
Posts: 2630
Joined: Sun Dec 24, 2006 8:26 am

RE: ATC Cancelled Flights?

Wed Jun 20, 2007 9:39 am

Quoting SHUPirate1 (Reply 47):
IPFreely-I wasn't asking that in any sort of specific scenario, I was just throwing another option out there...regardless, I would bet that, were the reserve crew available, it would cost far less than cancelling the flight, not so much in terms of actual cost, but more in terms of residual costs such as reprotecting the passengers (either on other airlines, costing yourself real money, or on your own airline, preventing you from selling that all-important walk-up fare on a future flight to Little Rock), as well as the obviously-unknown variable known as passenger loyalty (maybe just a couple of passengers per flight, but if those are high-value passengers who, irate with the service that Delta or DCI provided, started booking away, Delta would obviously feel the pocketbook pain).

I'm sure that's a factor in the decsion. If the ATL-LIT flight (and following day's LIT-ATL flight) were booked at or over capacity and the manifests were loaded with Premier or Elite fliers, they would probably find a reserve crew even if it meant cancelling a different flight. On the other hand, if those flights were going to be half empty and had few high-value frequent fliers and there weren't enough crews to go around, those flights would likely be cancelled.

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