boeingforever
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Lights Out At 37,000 Feet!

Tue Dec 18, 2007 11:42 pm

just got home on LY 007 from TLV-JFK. we were on their 777-200er..one of their older ones. around 5 hours into flight, we all smelled an electrical fire in the cabin..everyone was calm,,the F/As and the spare crew members scrambled to find the fire, and they thought they found it in the IFE main section(think swissair md11 crash-yikes) . they ended up shutting all electrical power in the cabin for the remainder of the flight, which included all ife, power seats, galley power(no hot food) and all personnal lights(lucky it was a daytime flight)
i just wanted to say that the cabin crew handled the situation as best as can be expected by a cabin crew. everyone was calm and they kept informing us about the situation. we landed on schedule, and the mechanics were waiting on the jetway to start working. great job ELAL!!
now i was in F class,,should i bother writing a complaint bc we had no hot food or ife, and our seat were all stuck in the position we left them in?? will it get me anywhere?

thanks
 
swiftski
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RE: Lights Out At 37,000 Feet!

Tue Dec 18, 2007 11:46 pm



Quoting BoeingForEver (Thread starter):
the cabin crew handled the situation as best as can be expected



Quoting BoeingForEver (Thread starter):
they kept informing us about the situation



Quoting BoeingForEver (Thread starter):
we landed on schedule



Quoting BoeingForEver (Thread starter):
great job ELAL

All of the above make me surprised at all of the below.

Quoting BoeingForEver (Thread starter):
should i bother writing a complaint bc we had no hot food or ife, and our seat were all stuck in the position we left them in??



Quoting BoeingForEver (Thread starter):
will it get me anywhere?

I don't think you should complain, but yes it probably would get you somewhere.
 
boeingforever
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RE: Lights Out At 37,000 Feet!

Tue Dec 18, 2007 11:48 pm



Quoting Swiftski (Reply 1):
All of the above make me surprised at all of the below.

elal has gotten a lot better in the last couple years..
 
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DocLightning
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RE: Lights Out At 37,000 Feet!

Tue Dec 18, 2007 11:50 pm

Good business practice would be to acknowledge that the passengers were inconvenienced by the mechanical issue and to compensate them for this.

Before a bunch of people jump in and call the OP ungrateful and point out that it would be better to be inconvenienced than to come out of the sky in a fireball...

... YES, HE KNOWS THAT. I seriously doubt he puts IFE before his own life.

However, if a company's mechanical failure inconvenienced an entire 777 full of passengers, the passengers don't owe the company their unending gratitude for not allowing them to die. The company isn't SUPPOSED to let its passengers die! The company was SUPPOSED to provide a certain level of service, too. They were unable to because their equipment was somehow faulty. It's hard to argue that it's not the company's fault. So... if you squeak, you might get greased a bit.

Either way, it costs little to send a letter.
-Doc Lightning-

"The sky calls to us. If we do not destroy ourselves, we will one day venture to the stars."
-Carl Sagan
 
swiftski
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RE: Lights Out At 37,000 Feet!

Tue Dec 18, 2007 11:50 pm



Quoting BoeingForEver (Reply 2):
elal has gotten a lot better in the last couple years..

I still fail to understand your point. You say that did everything right, but you wish to complain still. Would you have preferred a diversion and a long delay, somewhere that you didn't want to be, whilst your seat and IFE got fixed?
 
boeingforever
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RE: Lights Out At 37,000 Feet!

Tue Dec 18, 2007 11:54 pm



Quoting Swiftski (Reply 4):
I still fail to understand your point. You say that did everything right, but you wish to complain still. Would you have preferred a diversion and a long delay, somewhere that you didn't want to be, whilst your seat and IFE got fixed

Im saying they did everything right, but since i paid so much for my ticket and did not have hot food or ife, should i write them a letter. why do u have to be so harsh
 
swiftski
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RE: Lights Out At 37,000 Feet!

Wed Dec 19, 2007 12:05 am



Quoting BoeingForEver (Reply 5):
Im saying they did everything right, but since i paid so much for my ticket and did not have hot food or ife, should i write them a letter. why do u have to be so harsh

On the contrary, I do not feel "harsh" at all. I stated that I think if you write to them, they will help you, but in light on the fact that you feel they did the best they could, without inconveniencing you further by diverting in order to fix your issue, I do not feel that you should complain.

TLV-JFK is what, 10 hours? So 5 hours in you are going to be midway across the atlantic, so where do you want to go to get your IFE and Microwave fixed, that will be less inconvenient than continuing the journey. SNN? DUB? KEF? LGW? Gander?

Add your flight time back to/from this destination, repair time, possibility of needing to go somewhere that El Al can do mx on their 777's, and you lose even more.
 
StarGoldLHR
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RE: Lights Out At 37,000 Feet!

Wed Dec 19, 2007 12:10 am

reminds me of BA flying from LAX to MAN with 3 engines....


who's call was it that it was safe to continue ?

At the end of the day if they were not 100% certain (or in this case lucky) to diagnose the problem...

i'd rather be on the ground and alive, not flying on a wing and a prayer.
So far in 2008 45 flights and Gold already. JFK, IAD, LGA, SIN, HKG, NRT, AKL, PPT, LAX still to book ! Home Airport LCY
 
roseflyer
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RE: Lights Out At 37,000 Feet!

Wed Dec 19, 2007 12:18 am



Quoting BoeingForEver (Thread starter):
now i was in F class,,should i bother writing a complaint bc we had no hot food or ife, and our seat were all stuck in the position we left them in?? will it get me anywhere?

I would complain. Your seat didn't work and you paid a first class fare and expect the full level of service that they advertise. No hot meals, no IFE, no seat recline, etc means that you did not get what they advertised and you paid for. I wouldn't ask for a refund, but I would ask for compensation towards a future flight.

I suggest asking for either a free first class upgrade on your next flight, or ask for a certain amount of money to put towards future travel. I'd ask for 50% of the fare you paid, or the difference between first class and economy. Without electrical power, your flight might not have been any more comfortable than it would have been in economy. El Al had something fail on them, but mechanical failures are the responsibility of the airline. I would ask for retribution if I spent $5000 and did not get what I paid for. That's a lot of money.

The key is to not be too greedy. Don't ask for them to refund your ticket with cash. Ask for comps that don't directly cost them anything. Getting money out of them is a bad idea, but saying that you understand that they had difficulties, but hope that they respect your business and will choose to give you some compensation on a future flight.
If you have never designed an airplane part before, let the real designers do the work!
 
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airportugal310
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RE: Lights Out At 37,000 Feet!

Wed Dec 19, 2007 12:47 am



Quoting Swiftski (Reply 6):
On the contrary, I do not feel "harsh" at all. I stated that I think if you write to them, they will help you, but in light on the fact that you feel they did the best they could, without inconveniencing you further by diverting in order to fix your issue, I do not feel that you should complain.

TLV-JFK is what, 10 hours? So 5 hours in you are going to be midway across the atlantic, so where do you want to go to get your IFE and Microwave fixed, that will be less inconvenient than continuing the journey. SNN? DUB? KEF? LGW? Gander?

Add your flight time back to/from this destination, repair time, possibility of needing to go somewhere that El Al can do mx on their 777's, and you lose even more.

You are being completely irrational and I DON'T CARE if you disagree because you apparently disagree with everything.

That being said,

DocLightning and RoseFlyer are completely correct in their RATIONAL assertion that while the aircrafts on board problems were out of the crew's control, the issues are still El Al's responsibility and need to be addressed as such. The crew's responsibilities lie in getting one from point A to point B with or without a stop at point C (diversion).

After the mechanical issue is addressed, then comes the customer service standpoint (which Swiftski manages to keep avoiding in his argument)
“They bought their tickets, they knew what they were getting into. I say, let 'em crash.”
 
ikramerica
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RE: Lights Out At 37,000 Feet!

Wed Dec 19, 2007 12:56 am



Quoting DocLightning (Reply 3):
The company isn't SUPPOSED to let its passengers die!

Correct. If everytime I flew I was supposed to land grateful I wasn't dead and nothing more, I wouldn't fly because it would imply flying is very, very dangerous. it no longer is.

I am surprised they didn't divert. It seems unprofessional to continue on for 5 more hours when you are not 100% certain what was wrong or what may have been damaged.
Of all the things to worry about... the Wookie has no pants.
 
QantasHeavy
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RE: Lights Out At 37,000 Feet!

Wed Dec 19, 2007 1:35 am

I have received a $300 credit voucher as well as a $250 dinner voucher at a nice restaurant from Qantas, unsolicited as apologies for IFE not working on a MEL-HKG flight in J then later in the month on an LAX-SYD flight in F. Thought that was nice.

I think EL AL would send some sort of note on its own merit, so maybe wait and give them the chance, but if you do not get anything you should bring it to their attention.

I would not be happy with the fact the flight continued, not just from a "hey where's my TV and microwave", but would be thinking if the problem was bad enough to have to turn off the electrical system in the cabin perhaps it was bad enough to need engineering to look at... NOW. Fire onboard is not something I would take lightly, regardless of whether they thought it was contained as it is hard ot diagnose the full extent of a problem like that when you can't access the various holds and electronics bays fully, the way you could on the ground. Smell smoke? Put her down NOW.
 
ikramerica
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RE: Lights Out At 37,000 Feet!

Wed Dec 19, 2007 1:48 am



Quoting QantasHeavy (Reply 11):
Fire onboard is not something I would take lightly, regardless of whether they thought it was contained as it is hard ot diagnose the full extent of a problem like that when you can't access the various holds and electronics bays fully, the way you could on the ground.

very true. there are many instances of a plane landing only to discover the problem was worse than thought. since even the cockpit crew are not technicians and can't honestly know what the fire damaged other than what their warning systems tell them, I don't think i would be happy they didn't at least divert to have someone look at it.
Of all the things to worry about... the Wookie has no pants.
 
aviateur
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RE: Lights Out At 37,000 Feet!

Wed Dec 19, 2007 2:08 am



Quoting BoeingForEver (Thread starter):
i just wanted to say that the cabin crew handled the situation as best as can be expected by a cabin crew. everyone was calm and they kept informing us about the situation. we landed on schedule, and the mechanics were waiting on the jetway to start working. great job ELAL!!

Well, I'm hoping they knew EXACTLY where the fire was, what caused it, and could be ABSOLUTELY certain that it had not spread or would re-start. As a pilot who flies overwater routes, I am a bit taken aback that the crew proceeded across the Atlantic and did not elect a precautionary landing.

PS
Patrick Smith is an airline pilot, air travel columnist and author
 
silentbob
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RE: Lights Out At 37,000 Feet!

Wed Dec 19, 2007 2:13 am

I don't think it would be unreasonable to expect some type of compensation. You didn't get all of the services and features that you paid for. It seems like you are handling the issue responsibly and fairly. It never hurts to ask for compensation, what's the worst thing that happens? You end up with the nothing that you have now.

I wouldn't rant or rave or threaten the company with a lawsuit, though you don't seem to be going that route and kudos to you. Far too many people go straight to the threats.
 
Kohflot
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RE: Lights Out At 37,000 Feet!

Wed Dec 19, 2007 2:25 am



Quoting Aviateur (Reply 13):
I am a bit taken aback that the crew proceeded across the Atlantic and did not elect a precautionary landing.

You're not the only one! Forget compensation.. get the flippin plane on the ground and make sure something else isn't on fire. This is why US airlines have certificated Dispatchers exercising operational control.. someone on the ground who doesn't have get-there-itis and can say "Hmm.. something's burning.. let's do a little more than just shut off the electrical system."
Ask why..
 
roseflyer
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RE: Lights Out At 37,000 Feet!

Wed Dec 19, 2007 2:51 am

I guess I'm not alone by wondering how they could suspect there could be a fire, but not divert. Maybe it was a warning that happened in the flight deck that went away when the electrical systems were disengaged. Smelling a fire on board should always cause a plane to divert to the nearest closest suitable alternate.
If you have never designed an airplane part before, let the real designers do the work!
 
474218
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RE: Lights Out At 37,000 Feet!

Wed Dec 19, 2007 3:24 am

I am very interested in how they turned off all the the cabin? If you have ever seen a wire bundle in a commerical airline you may have it could be two or three inches in diameter and have a hundred wires the power many different systems, from IFE to FBW. Additionally if there was an actually fire some circuit breakers should have popped long.

If it was me I would write the letter but not complaining about the lack of amenities on the remainder of the flight but that the crew put the passengers, the aircraft and themselves in jeopardy by not diverting to the closest airport where trained and certified mechanics could make the determination that the aircraft was safe.
 
airnewzealand
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RE: Lights Out At 37,000 Feet!

Wed Dec 19, 2007 4:07 am

Folks, Folks, Folks,

It was a SMELL of electrical wires burning. There is NOWAY a crew would tell the passengers their was a fire on the aircraft- if they did i find this VERY surprising, and highly unprofessional on the part of the cabin crew.

In regards to compensation...A stupid question is one not asked...so go for gold. As someone mentioned, you have nothing to lose but more to gain.

In regards to shutting off the systems onboard...YES it is possible. At Qantas their is a one switch for ALL IFE units onboard. If this is flicked to "shut off", all power is stopped to ALL units on the aircraft and it is a strict guideline at Qantas that this is NOT to be turned back on under ANY circumstance (A diversion should occur if this is necessary). There is also a switch for the Laptop/seat power which must be switched off and then Galley power units.
Within my airline, if an electrical smell (i will not use the term fire as it should NEVER be said unless seen) is circulating through the cabin, power is to be shut off and diversion IMMEDIATELY!

ElAl have a serious flaw if this is in fact true that they did indeed carry on to destination when the crew have told passengers a electrical FIRE was onboard.

Thank your lucky socks someone was looking after you that night!

Cheers
 
threepoint
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RE: Lights Out At 37,000 Feet!

Wed Dec 19, 2007 4:23 am

I think what we need to consider is where the airplane physically was when the problem was recognized. No disrespect to the OP, but all we are basing our opinions upon is his account of being "around 5 hours into flight". Spreading my fingers on a globe leads one to assume that the plane was somewhere off the western coast of Ireland, well north of the Azores. It may have been further west, who knows? No doubt the crew knew exactly where they were and decided going forward to JFK was preferable to retreating to SNN or DUB.
Added to the thought process, I would assume the crew made a decision that if the problem was not worsening, they didn't have to land in Newfoundland or somewhere else en route. Of all the airlines flying transatlantic these days, I imagine that given a non-dire situation, El Al is more selective than most about where they park one of their planes with their very carefully-screened passengers.
The nice thing about a mistake is the pleasure it gives others.
 
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DocLightning
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RE: Lights Out At 37,000 Feet!

Wed Dec 19, 2007 4:25 am



Quoting RoseFlyer (Reply 8):
I would complain. Your seat didn't work and you paid a first class fare and expect the full level of service that they advertise. No hot meals, no IFE, no seat recline, etc means that you did not get what they advertised and you paid for.

Better worded than I put it.

Put it this way: if I paid for a suite in the Ritz-Carlton and I got there and the power was out and there was no hot water, would you argue that I should be grateful that the building didn't collapse on me and thus I shouldn't complain? Of course not. If you pay for a luxury, you should get what you paid for.

He paid for a first-class ticket, which means he paid for first-class service. It behooves the airline to take good care of those customers because they earn the airline a LOT of revenue.
-Doc Lightning-

"The sky calls to us. If we do not destroy ourselves, we will one day venture to the stars."
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Kohflot
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RE: Lights Out At 37,000 Feet!

Wed Dec 19, 2007 4:25 am



Quoting Airnewzealand (Reply 18):
It was a SMELL of electrical wires burning.



Quoting Airnewzealand (Reply 18):
ElAl have a serious flaw if this is in fact true that they did indeed carry on to destination when the crew have told passengers a electrical FIRE was onboard.

A burning smell is worse than a fire.. because now you have something burning that you can't see.
Ask why..
 
georgebush
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RE: Lights Out At 37,000 Feet!

Wed Dec 19, 2007 5:05 am



Quoting Kohflot (Reply 21):
A burning smell is worse than a fire.. because now you have something burning that you can't see.

Thats not true. A few wires over-heating can produce that smell. You don't need a roaring blaze to call it a fire. If its just the smell, then yes it obviously needs to be checked out hence an immediate diversion. I don't understand how a the plastic coating on some wires melting is worse than a galley or cargo bin full of smoke and flames...
Al Gore invented global warming.
 
airnewzealand
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RE: Lights Out At 37,000 Feet!

Wed Dec 19, 2007 5:12 am



Quoting Kohflot (Reply 21):
A burning smell is worse than a fire.. because now you have something burning that you can't see.

That was my whole point!

Cheers
 
Kohflot
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RE: Lights Out At 37,000 Feet!

Wed Dec 19, 2007 5:36 am



Quoting Georgebush (Reply 22):
I don't understand how a the plastic coating on some wires melting is worse than a galley or cargo bin full of smoke and flames...

With a galley or cargo compartment fire you (for the most part) know exactly what you're dealing with and you have the equipment necessary to douse the flames. A burning smell without actual fire is extraordinarily hazardous because you may have no real idea what's burning, how much is burning, and where the fire's going next.. most importantly, if you can't find the fire it's likely burning somewhere you're not going to reach to put it out.
Ask why..
 
QantasHeavy
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RE: Lights Out At 37,000 Feet!

Wed Dec 19, 2007 6:46 am

In terms of buring smell, yes and no... yes it is very dangerous and potentially catestrophic, but a raging fire you know about it is equally so. Smoke, fire, etc is all very, very bad stuff.

You can get burning smells in flight from oven problems, over-heating wires that cool down when unplugged, and even getting struck by lightning can cause a buring smell as the burned air (around the surface that got hit) gets cycled through the cabin. That scared the crap out of me one time. You think you know what is burning... but you are never quite sure.

Smoke, fire or burning smell is a real emergency and I would think the flight crew should have put the airplane down at the first suitable diversion airfield to have it checked out.
 
Kohflot
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RE: Lights Out At 37,000 Feet!

Wed Dec 19, 2007 7:03 am



Quoting QantasHeavy (Reply 25):
In terms of buring smell, yes and no... yes it is very dangerous and potentially catestrophic, but a raging fire you know about it is equally so. Smoke, fire, etc is all very, very bad stuff.

I certainly agree that any fire on board is potentially catastrophic and should be handled with the utmost seriousness. My point about the burning smell is simply that, with little or no obvious indication, it can be a smell one minute and a disaster the next.
Ask why..
 
CO7e7
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RE: Lights Out At 37,000 Feet!

Wed Dec 19, 2007 7:08 am



Quoting BoeingForEver (Reply 5):
Im saying they did everything right, but since i paid so much for my ticket and did not have hot food or ife, should i write them a letter. why do u have to be so harsh

RoseFlyer and DocLightning said it best:

Quoting RoseFlyer (Reply 8):
The key is to not be too greedy. Don't ask for them to refund your ticket with cash. Ask for comps that don't directly cost them anything. Getting money out of them is a bad idea, but saying that you understand that they had difficulties, but hope that they respect your business and will choose to give you some compensation on a future flight.



Quoting DocLightning (Reply 20):
He paid for a first-class ticket, which means he paid for first-class service.

if the same thing were to happen to me, i would complain, but i would also point out that the crew did everything they possibly could. Don't be too negative, try to add a positive spin to your complaint.

Quoting Swiftski (Reply 6):
TLV-JFK is what, 10 hours?

TLV-JFK is closer to 12 hours.
 
qantas787
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RE: Lights Out At 37,000 Feet!

Wed Dec 19, 2007 7:36 am

I think that there would be much anxiety on that aircraft. I would find my nerves needing to be settled and that alone would deserve some sort of compensation. No need to be silly about it, but definitely good PR is needed by the airline after a flight like this. Personally I think it was a bit gungho flying that many hours with a fault so severe that electrical power to cabins is switched off.
G'day
 
Daihatsu
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RE: Lights Out At 37,000 Feet!

Wed Dec 19, 2007 11:17 am

Personally I would rather be alive then dead, no IFE or creature comforts is a small price to pay. I can amuse myself for 5 hours and go without airline food. Besides you made it to your destination on time, seems like most people flying never make it any wear on time. I hardly see a problem in that.

I was in a Wardair plane that lost an engine on a red eye flight from YYC to YUL in 1987, we diverted to YYZ and made an unscheduled landing. i remember everyone on board clapping because we were down safe. Because of local take off restrictions and noise by laws they could not get a replacement aircraft to fly out until the morning.

The airline took everyone to local hotels in limo's and paid for hotel rooms for the night. Classy airline.
 
sh0rtybr0wn
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RE: Lights Out At 37,000 Feet!

Wed Dec 19, 2007 12:48 pm

Well of course, the original posters F flight was not up to normal F class quality, so I dont think its wrong to ask for compensation of some form.

I think we have all seen the Swiss Air Flight 111 Air Disaster documentary, so maybe its better to be more thankful for safety and somewhat less concerned about compensation. Is the original poster a frequent F customer? I would think it would be standard to give them something in return for the inconvenience. Maybe a free J class ticket.

Its a little creepy how both smoke / fire situations started because of IFE. Or maybe on flight 111 it was the onboard gambling system too.
 
EDICHC
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RE: Lights Out At 37,000 Feet!

Wed Dec 19, 2007 1:53 pm



Quoting Daihatsu (Reply 29):
Personally I would rather be alive then dead, no IFE or creature comforts is a small price to pay. I can amuse myself for 5 hours and go without airline food. Besides you made it to your destination on time, seems like most people flying never make it any wear on time. I hardly see a problem in that.

I think the OP was not questioning that the crew were correct to switch off the systems concerned, but he should be entitled to some kind of compensation/efund. He paid for a first class ticket, due to a tech problem (for which the carrier is liable) he did not receive the standard of service expected in economy never mind first.

If you paid $1500 for a luxury hotel suite only to find no electrical supply...no TV, no hot meals from room service, your electical postural bed stuck in semi-recumbet position etc etc you would certainly expect a rebate, if not a full refund. Being grateful to the crew is one thing, but it is a bit like thanking the architects of the hotel builing for it not collapsing.
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georgiaame
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RE: Lights Out At 37,000 Feet!

Wed Dec 19, 2007 2:06 pm

5 hours out of TLV puts in the vicinity of the UK, 7 hours, you are still only 1 hour away from Shannon on a 2 engine aircraft. I don't understand why the plane didn't land.
"Trust, but verify!" An old Russian proverb, quoted often by a modern American hero
 
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Faro
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RE: Lights Out At 37,000 Feet!

Wed Dec 19, 2007 2:12 pm

Economically and legally, you can probably get something back from them, especially if you put enough nuisance value into your claim.

Morally, that's a whole different ball game. If I were on that flight I would thank heaven I can back alive, and perhaps write the company thanking them for the quality of the flight and cabin crew.

Faro
The chalice not my son
 
EMB170
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RE: Lights Out At 37,000 Feet!

Wed Dec 19, 2007 2:22 pm

I agree with others on this board. LY is supposed to provide you with a certain product and level of service, and they didn't deliver. You can compliment the company in your letter if you would like for their attention to safety, but by all means, WRITE THAT LETTER!

I too wonder about why LY would not divert under the circumstances, that being said, LY is almost (understandably so) paranoid about security. I can imagine how they're none too keen on having a plane make an unscheduled stop with security measures that may or may not be to their standards...
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max999
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RE: Lights Out At 37,000 Feet!

Wed Dec 19, 2007 2:52 pm

Quoting BoeingForEver (Thread starter):
just got home on LY 007 from TLV-JFK. we were on their 777-200er..one of their older ones. around 5 hours into flight, we all smelled an electrical fire in the cabin..everyone was calm,,the F/As and the spare crew members scrambled to find the fire, and they thought they found it in the IFE main section(think swissair md11 crash-yikes) . they ended up shutting all electrical power in the cabin for the remainder of the flight, which included all ife, power seats, galley power(no hot food) and all personnal lights(lucky it was a daytime flight)
i just wanted to say that the cabin crew handled the situation as best as can be expected by a cabin crew. everyone was calm and they kept informing us about the situation. we landed on schedule, and the mechanics were waiting on the jetway to start working. great job ELAL!!
now i was in F class,,should i bother writing a complaint bc we had no hot food or ife, and our seat were all stuck in the position we left them in?? will it get me anywhere?

If you're very keen on getting compensation from them, your letter should threaten them with a lawsuit saying that they endangered your life by not diverting immediately to another airport after a burning smell was detected. Then say you'll not sue if they give you whatever compensation you wanted (i.e. free ticket). Letters that threaten a lawsuit usually merit immediate attention from customer service departments at any company.

I wouldn't be surprised if other passengers might already be considering a lawsuit because I personally think it was dangerous of them not to divert under the circumstances you described.

[Edited 2007-12-19 07:01:29]
All the things I really like to do are either immoral, illegal, or fattening.
 
474218
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RE: Lights Out At 37,000 Feet!

Wed Dec 19, 2007 3:29 pm



Quoting Kohflot (Reply 24):
With a galley or cargo compartment fire you (for the most part) know exactly what you're dealing with and you have the equipment necessary to douse the flames.

I thought cargo compartments had fire detection systems, not fire extinguishing systems?
 
musapapaya
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RE: Lights Out At 37,000 Feet!

Wed Dec 19, 2007 3:38 pm

What I would do is write a letter to them for compensation. Most importantly, I would like to know why the hell they did not land the plane somewhere if there is such a big problem but elect to carry on across the pond..... I personally concern this more than a coupon or whatever compensation, but I think you have the right to ask for it.
Lufthansa Group of Airlines
 
jsquared
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RE: Lights Out At 37,000 Feet!

Wed Dec 19, 2007 5:52 pm

I would expect the airline to offer the passengers something for the inconvenience - its simply good customer relations. For example, last year I was flying NW out of JFK, and the plane pulled up to the gate 2 hours late. Yeah, it sucked to be sitting in a hot stuffy terminal for an extra 2 hours, but I didn't really expect anything but an apology as these things tend to happen. You can imagine my surprise when I received a letter from NW a few days later apologizing for the delay, and offering 1,000 World Perks miles for the inconvenience. Sure, 1,000 miles isn't a whole lot, but the gesture sure went a long way to keeping me a happy customer.
 
aviateur
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RE: Lights Out At 37,000 Feet!

Wed Dec 19, 2007 6:35 pm



Quoting 474218 (Reply 36):
I thought cargo compartments had fire detection systems, not fire extinguishing systems?

Both, usually, though some planes have only detection systems. For an ETOPS route, I believe an extinguishing system is mandatory.
Patrick Smith is an airline pilot, air travel columnist and author
 
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DocLightning
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RE: Lights Out At 37,000 Feet!

Wed Dec 19, 2007 6:53 pm

Actually the question of why they didn't divert is a good one. At first I thought, "Well maybe the closest airport was in the direction of flight and landing there wouldn't have appreciably shortened the flight." Then I used Google Earth to check the Great Circle route from TLV to JFK and also reminded myself that a 777 must always be within 3 hours of a suitable airport...

...so it doesn't make sense to me why they wouldn't divert. After all, an electrical fault on an aircraft screaming along at 500 kt at 38,000 feet is not exactly a reassuring thing. I mean what else could POSSIBLY go wrong?  Yeah sure

I do agree, however, that you should make a BIG DEAL of praising the crew for their handling of the situation. It's more likely to get you a positive response from the airline if you seem pleasant and reasonable. AND, it will make the crew's day when their customer relations department tells them that a positive letter is being put in their employee files.

Oh, and just in general, the next time any service employee (airline, healthcare, hotel, or otherwise) goes that extra mile to help you out, take their name and at least fill out a comment card. It encourages good service.
-Doc Lightning-

"The sky calls to us. If we do not destroy ourselves, we will one day venture to the stars."
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baguy
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RE: Lights Out At 37,000 Feet!

Wed Dec 19, 2007 7:21 pm



Quoting 474218 (Reply 17):
I am very interested in how they turned off all the the cabin? If you have ever seen a wire bundle in a commerical airline you may have it could be two or three inches in diameter and have a hundred wires the power many different systems, from IFE to FBW. Additionally if there was an actually fire some circuit breakers should have popped long.

There is a switch in the cockpit called 'CABINBUS' it switches off ALL electrics rear of the cockpit. This is one of the factors which contributed to Swissair 111, the aircrafts F class IFE was not wired into the CABINBUS system, and continued to overheat causing a fire.

BAguy
 
roseflyer
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RE: Lights Out At 37,000 Feet!

Wed Dec 19, 2007 7:41 pm



Quoting DocLightning (Reply 40):
Then I used Google Earth to check the Great Circle route from TLV to JFK and also reminded myself that a 777 must always be within 3 hours of a suitable airport...

There aren't any points over the Atlantic Ocean that are more than three hours from a suitable alternate airport. I don't know what rating EL AL has for ETOPS, but North Atlantic flights can be flown with only ETOPS 120.

Quoting 474218 (Reply 36):
I thought cargo compartments had fire detection systems, not fire extinguishing systems?

The 777 has Class C cargo compartments that require both fire detection and supression systems. Fire supressions are not required on all aircraft, but since the Valujet crash in the 1990s was caused by a fire in the cargo compartment, the FAA banned Class D cargo compartments and made airlines at least add fire detection systems. Every Boeing airplane made in the last 10 years has a fire suppression system in the cargo compartments. However most of the McDonnell Douglas planes do not.

Quoting EMB170 (Reply 34):
I can imagine how they're none too keen on having a plane make an unscheduled stop with security measures that may or may not be to their standards...

I can't imagine El Al thinking security is more important than safety. Canada and the UK are not places that pose huge threats for an El Al plane that is diverted.
If you have never designed an airplane part before, let the real designers do the work!
 
Bofredrik
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RE: Lights Out At 37,000 Feet!

Wed Dec 19, 2007 8:01 pm

Same thing happen to me on a Air France A320 flight between Geneva and Paris. Late DARK evening.
 
wjcandee
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RE: Lights Out At 37,000 Feet!

Wed Dec 19, 2007 8:13 pm



Quoting Threepoint (Reply 19):
No doubt the crew knew exactly where they were and decided going forward to JFK was preferable to retreating to SNN or DUB.
Added to the thought process, I would assume the crew made a decision that if the problem was not worsening, they didn't have to land in Newfoundland or somewhere else en route.

A couple of thoughts here: (1) Since the SR accident and the Alaska MD80 accident, the general consensus in the US is that you put the thing on the ground as soon as reasonably practicable, and troubleshoot it there. Unless you find a completely-self-contained failure like a burned-up coffee pot, you really don't know what else is happening. And if the presumed source is serious enough that you're going to turn out all the lights, etc. in the cabin, then you're basically admitting that you don't know what the source is.
(2) There are plenty of places to land between SNN and JFK. These are places that don't have any institutionalized hostility towards Israel.
(3) If they continued, as they did, to JFK and got there on time, as they did, I guess they wouldn't owe the idiotic 600-euro-per-passenger penalty that some kid in another thread said "makes airlines maintain their planes better". If ElAl is subject to that kind of compensation scheme, I think this raises some serious questions about whether that penalty affects safety judgment, even a little.
 
jettaknight
Posts: 96
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RE: Lights Out At 37,000 Feet!

Wed Dec 19, 2007 8:27 pm

Quoting BoeingForEver (Thread starter):
just got home on LY 007 from TLV-JFK. we were on their 777-200er..one of their older ones. around 5 hours into flight, ....... they ended up shutting all electrical power in the cabin for the remainder of the flight, which included all ife, power seats, galley power(no hot food) and all personnal lights(lucky it was a daytime flight)

If the OP's description read as above (filling in the ..... with some less-severe symptoms), there would be no question that he should ask for compensation. Does the fact that the issue was potentially more severe preclude him from this?

Having supported him on that point, I think it's fair to question this description:

Quoting BoeingForEver (Thread starter):
we all smelled an electrical fire in the cabin..everyone was calm,,the F/As and the spare crew members scrambled to find the fire, and they thought they found it in the IFE main section(think swissair md11 crash-yikes) .

There are many extremely minor electrical problems that can result in some pretty nasty smells. Was the cabin crew really 'scrambling to find a fire', or did they have a handle on a minor situation that warranted nothing more than a shutdown of the affected systems? Only the OP was there, but I think we all can relate to the fact that at 35,000 feet over the ocean, it's easy for a group of now-nervous passengers to exaggerate the situation (if I were there, you could easily count me within that group). Scary? Yes. Life-threatening? Doubtful.

Many people are taking his description as gospel and questioning the crew's decision not to divert. My money is on a well-trained crew that knew exactly what they were dealing with and followed proper procedures by continuing.

[Edited 2007-12-19 12:28:05]
 
musapapaya
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RE: Lights Out At 37,000 Feet!

Wed Dec 19, 2007 8:32 pm



Quoting JettaKnight (Reply 45):
Was the cabin crew really 'scrambling to find a fire', or did they have a handle on a minor situation that warranted nothing more than a shutdown of the affected systems?

Only the Thread Starter knows, but the crew shut off everything in the cabin, even the reading lights, suggesting they dont know what went wrong.

Quoting JettaKnight (Reply 45):
My money is on a well-trained crew that knew exactly what they were dealing with and followed proper procedures by continuing.

I would have hoped so, hope someone can convince me on this.
Lufthansa Group of Airlines
 
twambassador
Posts: 19
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RE: Lights Out At 37,000 Feet!

Wed Dec 19, 2007 8:38 pm

This is a customer service issue and most airlines will give out miles or future credit/upgrades for something like this. You don't always have to complain. I have seen airlines contact passengers directly when something like this happens to disrupt their normal service. I had a client that had a problem with a delayed CX flight once and the airline contacted me to let me know they were giving him enough Advantage miles for a free domestic ticket on AA. Here is the info for LY customer care. This is also on their website.

The Customer Care Department deals with all service aspects of your flight experience.

You can contact the Customer Care Department at:
fax. 03-7602233
or
by e-mail:
[email protected]

Our postal mail address:
EL AL – Israel Airlines
Customer Care Department
POB 41
Ben-Gurion Airport
70100
Up Up And Away...
 
soon7x7
Posts: 2267
Joined: Thu May 04, 2006 10:51 am

RE: Lights Out At 37,000 Feet!

Wed Dec 19, 2007 8:46 pm

Where their is smoke, their is fire, ....consider the alternative to your lack of comforts...I'm trusting the alternative is not pleasing...be thankful youre crew knew how to trouble shoot the issue and remedy the problem...otherwise your flight would have made headlines...keep cool...keep quiet!
 
LXA340
Posts: 1155
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RE: Lights Out At 37,000 Feet!

Wed Dec 19, 2007 9:23 pm

Why even take the slightest risk. Under those cirumstances the plane needed to land at the closest possible airport. Then the fire can not necessarely be seen at first and by the time you do it spread out so far that you can't stop it eg SR111. Maybe something else was wrong, something really minor however the whole electronics in the cabin broke down (except cockpit) . No danger at all and the crew made panick unnecesarely. Then if there really was a fire this plane would've been burning and not made another 5 hours of flight.

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