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B6JFKSEA
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JetBlue On The Tarmac For 7 Hours @ BDL

Sun Oct 30, 2011 8:56 am

B6 flight 504 (FLL-EWR) was diverted to BDL where the passengers sat on the plane on the tarmac for approximately 7 hours before it was finally canceled during the snowstorm in New England. I wonder how much the fine is going to be.....

http://www.courant.com/news/politics...-stranded-20111029,0,6035066.story
 
nkops
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JetBlue On The Tarmac For 7 Hours @ BDL

Sun Oct 30, 2011 11:11 am

I was listening to LiveATC and 504 was begging for a gate anywhere... so at what point should the airport get fined and not the airline for not being able to get pax off the plane??

There is a whole discussion of flight 504 over at the Snowy in NYC forum going on. 504 wasn't the only one that sat there for hours also.
Turn left heading 080 contact departure
 
richierich
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JetBlue On The Tarmac For 7 Hours @ BDL

Sun Oct 30, 2011 12:36 pm

Quoting B6JFKSEA (Thread starter):
I wonder how much the fine is going to be.....

To the airline, maybe nothing. It's certainly debateable. The fine is quite specific that when safety is an issue the fine is not charged. It clearly was not safe to unload people on to buses or have them walk across the ramp, but I don't know if those were options of course. For those who don't know what happened, the weather in CT yesterday was "historic" and "unprecedented" in terms of October snowfall- BDL probably received 14" of very heavy, wet slushy snow. The real question I have is why these flights, and all the others for that matter, diverted to BDL in the first place, which was forecasted to be right in the line of the storm.

The public backlash could be far worse for B6 than any FAA fine. Most people won't know, understand or even care that the crew was as exasperated as the passengers. Unfortunately it sounds like a bad decision to divert to BDL coupled with an airport ill-equipped to handle so many extra flights on such short notice. When these passengers did get off the plane, they were greeted with CT Governor Dan Malloy basically apologizing for the lack of services including no rental cars, no nearby hotel rooms, or even open restaurants at the airport. BDL already suffers from a lack of reliable public transportation so to compound a bad situation these passengers were basically stuck at the airport.
None shall pass!!!!
 
Mir
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JetBlue On The Tarmac For 7 Hours @ BDL

Sun Oct 30, 2011 2:43 pm

Quoting nkops (Reply 1):
so at what point should the airport get fined and not the airline for not being able to get pax off the plane??

That's a very good question - I think back to the COEX flight that was stuck on the ground in RST a few years ago. That one was the real driver for the implementation of fines (and understandably so - that long on an RJ is nuts), but that one was entirely on the airport, not the airline.

Quoting richierich (Reply 2):
Most people won't know, understand or even care that the crew was as exasperated as the passengers.

Hearing the ATC tapes would go a long way toward making them aware of how the flight crew were feeling.

-Mir
7 billion, one nation, imagination...it's a beautiful day
 
richierich
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JetBlue On The Tarmac For 7 Hours @ BDL

Sun Oct 30, 2011 3:39 pm

Quoting Mir (Reply 3):
Hearing the ATC tapes would go a long way toward making them aware of how the flight crew were feeling.

Perhaps.
For what it is worth, conditions in Connecticut, if not all of the Northeast, were pretty bad. The local utility companies are reporting more power outages than during the peak of Hurricanes/Tropical Storms Irene (August) or Gloria (1985). From an early winter storm, that's highly significant and pretty crazy. Not that BDL was reporting any power outages but one can surmise that some workers didn't report for duty, etc.

Again, I wonder what the thinking was for diverting to BDL, an airport that was ill-equipped to handle that many aircraft and displaced passengers AND in the line of the storm.
None shall pass!!!!
 
hiflyeras
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JetBlue On The Tarmac For 7 Hours @ BDL

Sun Oct 30, 2011 3:45 pm

B6 actually DOES deserve everything that comes their way in this. There was NO reason that flight should have left FLL knowing what conditions it was heading into.
 
coachclass
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JetBlue On The Tarmac For 7 Hours @ BDL

Sun Oct 30, 2011 4:07 pm

Quoting HiFlyerAS (Reply 5):
B6 actually DOES deserve everything that comes their way in this. There was NO reason that flight should have left FLL knowing what conditions it was heading into.

Finally. All the news and weather reports warned of impending bad conditions. I don't know how many times I had to wait in FLL because of ground stops due to fog in SFO. I think in this case they thought that they could beat the storm...sort of like driving around the RXR crossing arms to beat the train with the same results.

[Edited 2011-10-30 09:16:26]
 
Mir
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JetBlue On The Tarmac For 7 Hours @ BDL

Sun Oct 30, 2011 4:13 pm

Quoting HiFlyerAS (Reply 5):
There was NO reason that flight should have left FLL knowing what conditions it was heading into.

Plenty of other flights made it into the NYC airports. There was nothing wrong with leaving FLL - only the diversion ended up being problematic. Whether the ball was dropped with the decision to go to BDL (either because of convenience or because the fuel load wasn't sufficient to go elsewhere), or on the ground at BDL, we don't know - obviously it got dropped somewhere. But one thing is for certain - there are people who will be looking at that in depth.

-Mir
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richierich
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JetBlue On The Tarmac For 7 Hours @ BDL

Sun Oct 30, 2011 4:16 pm

Quoting HiFlyerAS (Reply 5):
B6 actually DOES deserve everything that comes their way in this. There was NO reason that flight should have left FLL knowing what conditions it was heading into.

With all due respect, you don't know what conditions were expected by the time that flight was expected to land. Hindsight has an awesome way of providing us information not available when the decisions had to be made. I can say that by 1PM, the expected arrival time of the flight in question, the snow had barely started where I live (about 75 miles away from EWR) and the accumulation was supposed to be coming down heavier much later in the day, so it is more than conceivable that Jetblue and the other affected airlines assumed they'd be landing close to their assigned time. I'd say the decision to divert to BDL was merely the first step in this problem, and if B6 is to blame for diverting, then so is EVERY AIRLINE that diverted to BDL and elsewhere yesterday. It happens. I wouldn't jump to conclusions.

By the way, several Amtrak trains from New Haven, CT were cancelled yesterday too. Passengers on very delayed trains were unceremoniously dumped in New Haven including a Springfield, MA-bound train terminating at 1AM (it was supposed to be through NHV about 7PM.) I know you can get up and walk around on a train but they sure don't hand out water or food. Naturally this doesn't get the same coverage as at the airports, perhaps because everybody thinks that 'things like this happen on the train' and everybody tends to be more sympathetic to ground transit.
None shall pass!!!!
 
wagz
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JetBlue On The Tarmac For 7 Hours @ BDL

Sun Oct 30, 2011 4:23 pm

Quoting HiFlyerAS (Reply 5):
B6 actually DOES deserve everything that comes their way in this. There was NO reason that flight should have left FLL knowing what conditions it was heading into.

Speak when you actually know the facts. I heard that the ILS's at EWR failed at some point yesterday afternoon during the storm, and the only approaches available were RNAV approaches. Unfortunately EWR was below minimums for them. Its entirely possible that this B6 flight was already in the air on the 2 hour flight when that happened.

PHL took several CO diversions yesterday afternoon as a result. At least one CO B753 was still here when I left around 10PM.
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WNCrew
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JetBlue On The Tarmac For 7 Hours @ BDL

Sun Oct 30, 2011 4:27 pm

Quoting wagz (Reply 9):
Speak when you actually know the facts.

You're asking an AWFUL lot of the public... a task that is nearly insurmountable.
ALL views, opinions expressed are mine ONLY and are NOT representative of those shared by Southwest Airlines Co.
 
wagz
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JetBlue On The Tarmac For 7 Hours @ BDL

Sun Oct 30, 2011 4:35 pm

Quoting WNCrew (Reply 10):
You're asking an AWFUL lot of the public... a task that is nearly insurmountable.

You may be right, but I love how 90% of the members on this forum are lightning quick to criticize everyone and everything for what went wrong, in this case the B6 crew for ever departing FLL. These people forget that pilots are also human and probably enjoyed being stuck on that plane in BDL as much as (or even less than) the pax.
I think Big Foot is blurry... It's not the photographer's fault. There's a large out of focus monster roaming the countryside.
 
tharanga
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JetBlue On The Tarmac For 7 Hours @ BDL

Sun Oct 30, 2011 4:54 pm

Quoting WNCrew (Reply 10):
You're asking an AWFUL lot of the public... a task that is nearly insurmountable.

You know, it doesn't matter. The public doesn't know or care what the details are, nor should they have to.

Breakdowns like this continue to occur. The public doesn't care what the excuses are in each individual case. The burden is on the entire industry (airport + airline) to get it sorted and prevent these occurrences. Do not just give excuses afterwards, and expect the public and passengers to be understanding of how the decision-makers got overtaken by events, instead of having plans in place to overcome those events.
 
WNCrew
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JetBlue On The Tarmac For 7 Hours @ BDL

Sun Oct 30, 2011 7:14 pm

Quoting tharanga (Reply 12):
The public doesn't know or care what the details are

They never do, they don't take ANY responsibility for their OWN choices or circumstances. My statement wasn't speaking just to this incident, but to the general "way of things" if-you-will, today. People do a great deal of making their OWN experiences... though it's never their OWN fault.

If this crew or B6 would've cancelled the flights, you can guarantee there'd be 15 know-it-alls on their smartphones yelling about how "...my sister says it's not even snowing there, this is ridiculous... there's no reason you can't fly.." they ALLLLLWAYS know better, even though they often know nothing.
ALL views, opinions expressed are mine ONLY and are NOT representative of those shared by Southwest Airlines Co.
 
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Tugger
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JetBlue On The Tarmac For 7 Hours @ BDL

Mon Oct 31, 2011 4:38 pm

I would think that the airport where the aircraft is stuck should also be included in penalties for people being stuck to ensure their cooperation with the airline to get the people "unstuck". Ultimately the airport controls the grounds and the access and positioning of the aircraft once it become stuck. By not being liable for the consequences and penalties, the airport has little incentive to expend resources to assist an aircraft.

Tugg
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jfklganyc
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JetBlue On The Tarmac For 7 Hours @ BDL

Mon Oct 31, 2011 4:45 pm

The B6 pilot sounds exacerbated on the radio. His company's operation left him out there to hang. You can hear him telling the tower "we need help, our company can not help us.

In this case, he could have taken emergency actions as necessary and again, would have answered questions later.

Could he have pulled up to a random gate (any gate) and stopped his plane about where the line would be for the jetway and demand some airport worker connect it to the plane? Yeah, maybe. Could he have driven the aircraft to the foot of the terminal and demanded stairs for the short walk in? Yeah. Maybe. However, that's a lot of ifs and it is taking a situation into his own hands. Personally, I think there would have been a lot of questions afterwards, but I think he would have come out of it looking like a leader who did what he had to do.

That said, the Capt followed the rules and courtesy of LiveATC, the nation is hearing that JetBlue couldn't help their Capt in an emergency situation.

As for the other airlines sitting there . . . it doesn't matter. 2 wrongs don't make a right. 3 wrongs don't and 5 wrongs don't.

And believe me, if any other aircraft was on the ground at BDL that day in as bad a situation as the FLL-EWR B6 flight, in the day and age of twitter, fb, and instant media we would know all about it by now.
 
Flyawa
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JetBlue On The Tarmac For 7 Hours @ BDL

Mon Oct 31, 2011 4:55 pm

If the jetways were inoperable due to power outage, didn't BDL have airstairs to off-load aircraft in such an emergency, or perhaps a generator-powered jetway to which they could have brought the stranded aircraft to deplane, then push back to allow all stranded aircraft their turn to deplane?

What were the other alternates for EWR-bound flights?
Better than most, not as good as some.
 
RL757PVD
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JetBlue On The Tarmac For 7 Hours @ BDL

Mon Oct 31, 2011 5:04 pm

I think this is a good example of where the tarmac rule should be fully enforced. Dispatchers saw the weather and BDL was right smack in the middle of it. There were suitable alternatives such as PVD to the east that got nothing and airports like SYR or even BGM/ELM are suitable for a gas-and-go. ACY and BWI to the south also got very little in the way of snow.

According to weather.com

Hartford = 20 inches
New York = 3 inches

Any airline, B6 or otherwise that chose to divert to BDL and got stuck on the tarmac, deserves a fine.
Experience is what you get when what you thought would work out didn't!
 
rfields5421
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JetBlue On The Tarmac For 7 Hours @ BDL

Mon Oct 31, 2011 5:15 pm

Quoting richierich (Reply 2):
To the airline, maybe nothing. It's certainly debateable. The fine is quite specific that when safety is an issue the fine is not charged.

The developments of the law and regulations were quite specific. The airline ops is never supposed to send an aircraft into such a situation. Secondly, if it happens, airline ops and airline management are to devote significant effort to resolving the problems and getting service to the aircraft, up to and including dispatching their own service vehicles from JFK to BDL - no matter how bad the roads are, contacting vendors in the airport area to arrange extra food and lodging.

The CEO of the airline needed to be on the phone to the Governor.

I didn't hear of any of that happening.

What I've seen so far, and it may not be complete, is that the airline basically said "It is the airport operations problem."

The fine and fallout of the CO Express case was very clear - it is never solely the airport's issue to fix.

AA should also get a heavy fine over sending their CDG flight into an airport where they know there is not Immigration and Customs capacity to off load and process that number of passengers.

(If someone says AA ops didn't know that - then some folks at AA ops need to find new jobs.)
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rfields5421
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JetBlue On The Tarmac For 7 Hours @ BDL

Mon Oct 31, 2011 5:21 pm

Quoting flyawa (Reply 16):
What were the other alternates for EWR-bound flights?

PVD - no diversions (I don't think they have any regular AA or B6 service)

BOS - I don't know how many diversions but it was minimal

PHL - ACY - SYR

BDL works best for B6 and AA because it has regular service and staff. No extra contracting needed. No need to send people from another location to work with the pax. But it was also the wrong decision at this time. Maybe not for the first couple flights - but the information that the airport was being overwhelmed was available before the later flights were diverted.
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RL757PVD
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JetBlue On The Tarmac For 7 Hours @ BDL

Mon Oct 31, 2011 5:24 pm

Quoting rfields5421 (Reply 18):
AA should also get a heavy fine over sending their CDG flight into an airport where they know there is not Immigration and Customs capacity to off load and process that number of passengers.

I believe BDL's customs staff actually comes from the port of Providence (they cover PVD and the international ports in Rhode island). Even though BDL has a primary runway 9,500 vs PVDs 7,100, its not like were talking about a 747.
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Cubsrule
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JetBlue On The Tarmac For 7 Hours @ BDL

Mon Oct 31, 2011 5:30 pm

Quoting rfields5421 (Reply 18):
AA should also get a heavy fine over sending their CDG flight into an airport where they know there is not Immigration and Customs capacity to off load and process that number of passengers.

Did AAL45 violate the 3 hour rule? I show a 1533 wheels up time from BDL and it looks like 1300 or so is about the earliest it ever gets to JFK (I don't see the arrival time at BDL).
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rfields5421
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JetBlue On The Tarmac For 7 Hours @ BDL

Mon Oct 31, 2011 5:40 pm

It is four hours for international flights.

Flightaware's tracking log shows landing at BDL at 1427 EDT Saturday and a departure at 1533 Sunday - 25 hours and 6 minutes at BDL.

News stories say the plane landed at BDL at 2:30 pm EDT and passengers and it was well after dark before they got off the plane. Reports say 7 hours.

EDIT - posted wrong link.

http://www.marketwatch.com/story/jet...nes-2011-10-31?link=MW_latest_news

[Edited 2011-10-31 10:47:35]
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RL757PVD
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JetBlue On The Tarmac For 7 Hours @ BDL

Mon Oct 31, 2011 5:42 pm

Quoting rfields5421 (Reply 19):
but the information that the airport was being overwhelmed was available before the later flights were diverted.

Looking at flightaware, just how many B6 flights diverted to BDL?
Experience is what you get when what you thought would work out didn't!
 
B6JFKH81
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JetBlue On The Tarmac For 7 Hours @ BDL

Mon Oct 31, 2011 5:48 pm

Quoting rl757pvd (Reply 23):
Looking at flightaware, just how many B6 flights diverted to BDL?

Based on my knowledge, 6 B6 flights diverted to BDL and BDL saw over 20 diversions total from all airlines.

[Edited 2011-10-31 10:50:50]
"If you do not learn from history, you are doomed to repeat it"
 
rfields5421
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JetBlue On The Tarmac For 7 Hours @ BDL

Mon Oct 31, 2011 5:50 pm

Quoting rl757pvd (Reply 23):
just how many B6 flights diverted to BDL?

The article I linked above your post says 6 B6 flights - about 700 passengers.

Along with the one AA flight - that leaves 16 other diversions to BDL by other airlines.

I see on Flightaware

JBU139 - BUF-JFK A320 - landed at BDL at 1342
JBU1088 - CLT-JFK E170 - landed at BDL at 1332
JBU1013 - BOS-JFK A320 - landed at BDL at 1329
JBU504 - FLL-EWR A320 - landed at BDL at 1316 * problem aircraft

Normal flights
JBU332 - MCO-BDL A320 - landed at BDL at 1522
JBU324 - FLL-BDL A320 - landed at BDL at 1349

I also see these diversions
AA45 - CDG-JFK B767 - landed at BDL at 1427 * problem aircraft

CO121 - BCN-EWR B757 - landed at BDL at 1335 - required customs
UCA4756 - SYR-EWR Dash8 - landed at BDL at 1315
UCA4852 - ROC-EWR Dash8 - landed at BDL about 1315
BTA4184 - YQB-EWR ERJ-145 - landed at BDL at 1308
FLG4150 - IAD-JFK CRJ2 - landed at BDL at 1307
AA95 - MAD-JFK B757 - landed at BDL at 1220 - maybe required customs - departed BDL for DTW at 1632

The very small separate international terminal at BDL which has only one jetway might have been filled with the pax from CO 121 preventing AA45 from using that facility.

[Edited 2011-10-31 11:24:10]

[Edited 2011-10-31 11:47:01]
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Cubsrule
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JetBlue On The Tarmac For 7 Hours @ BDL

Mon Oct 31, 2011 5:52 pm

Quoting rfields5421 (Reply 25):
Along with the one AA flight - that leaves 16 other diversions to BDL by other airlines.

AA had at least one other at BDL, though AAL95 ultimately departed and went to DTW.
I can't decide whether I miss the tulip or the bowling shoe more
 
ridgid727
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JetBlue On The Tarmac For 7 Hours @ BDL

Mon Oct 31, 2011 6:18 pm

Back in the day when the 37's and the Dc9s and 27's etc had their own built in airstairs, diversions to airports that had no way to accomodate them by jetway or otherwise were really no problem.

We go over this scenario every year in the Northeast. Maybe airlines should decide that built in airstairs are not such a bad idea.
 
Cubsrule
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JetBlue On The Tarmac For 7 Hours @ BDL

Mon Oct 31, 2011 6:27 pm

Quoting rfields5421 (Reply 25):
AA95 - MAD-JFK B757 - landed at BDL at 1220 - maybe required customs - departed BDL for DTW at 1632 * problem aircraft

Why is AA95 a problem? Seems like they had a plan and executed it on that one.
I can't decide whether I miss the tulip or the bowling shoe more
 
izbtmnhd
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JetBlue On The Tarmac For 7 Hours @ BDL

Mon Oct 31, 2011 6:47 pm

Quoting rl757pvd (Reply 17):

I agree, the GFS model was pretty clear in predicting the severity of this storm on Wednesday night so there was plenty of warning.

I understand B6 has staff at BDL but if one can't analyize what was going to happen to the interior of New England from a rapidly deepening coastal Atlantic low pressure system his/her Dispatch License should be revoked. No joke.

So I don't buy the "it wasn't snowing yet" idea being thrown around here.

[Edited 2011-10-31 12:33:39]
 
rfields5421
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JetBlue On The Tarmac For 7 Hours @ BDL

Mon Oct 31, 2011 6:47 pm

Quoting Cubsrule (Reply 28):
Why is AA95 a problem?

None - my error - changed the problem aircraft to AA45.
Not all who wander are lost.
 
BooDog
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JetBlue On The Tarmac For 7 Hours @ BDL

Mon Oct 31, 2011 6:54 pm

Looks like JetBlue may be off the hook for this one...

http://overheadbin.msnbc.msn.com/_ne...pleaded-for-help-from-conn-airport
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STT757
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JetBlue On The Tarmac For 7 Hours @ BDL

Mon Oct 31, 2011 7:06 pm

Quoting BooDog (Reply 31):
Looks like JetBlue may be off the hook for this one...

Did you read the article, Jetblue is definitley not off the hook with recorded comments like this from the pilot;

Quote:
"We can't seem to get any help from our own company,"


Again from the recording, Jetblue pilot talking about his own company;

Quote:
Thank you very much ... for helping us out," said the pilot. "I think we got more help from you guys than our own people."


[Edited 2011-10-31 12:10:49]
Eastern Air lines flt # 701, EWR-MCO Boeing 757
 
contrails15
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JetBlue On The Tarmac For 7 Hours @ BDL

Mon Oct 31, 2011 7:49 pm

I was shocked to hear our flights were being diverted to BDL knowing what the conditions were up there. We were wondering why not divert too ACY like we do most of the time or anywhere other then BDL. That area got the most snow out of anyone in the northeast.
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av8orwalk
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JetBlue On The Tarmac For 7 Hours @ BDL

Mon Oct 31, 2011 8:06 pm

Quoting BooDog (Reply 31):
Looks like JetBlue may be off the hook for this one...

I don't think we read the same article.

Cheers,
Drew MCO
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Flighty
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JetBlue On The Tarmac For 7 Hours @ BDL

Mon Oct 31, 2011 8:21 pm

Quoting STT757 (Reply 32):

Just what exactly is B6 dispatch / corporate supposed to do?


This is something for airport / tower and flight crews to handle. Of course if a bill is generated, B6 will pay it.
 
RL757PVD
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JetBlue On The Tarmac For 7 Hours @ BDL

Mon Oct 31, 2011 8:43 pm

Quoting Flighty (Reply 35):
Just what exactly is B6 dispatch / corporate supposed to do?

I think its pretty clear that flight should not have been diverted to BDL when there were better alternatives

Quoting Flighty (Reply 35):
This is something for airport / tower and flight crews to handle

Airports really have nothing to do with it besides keep the airport open, its really on the airline and handling station staff.
Experience is what you get when what you thought would work out didn't!
 
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STT757
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JetBlue On The Tarmac For 7 Hours @ BDL

Mon Oct 31, 2011 9:11 pm

Quoting Flighty (Reply 35):
Just what exactly is B6 dispatch / corporate supposed to do?

I don't know exactly, I'm going by the transcript of the pilot's own words.
Eastern Air lines flt # 701, EWR-MCO Boeing 757
 
bennett123
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JetBlue On The Tarmac For 7 Hours @ BDL

Mon Oct 31, 2011 9:20 pm

I wonder just how bad it was on the apron.

Given that most passengers probably did not have suitable clothing or footwear, pulling up steps could have resulted in more problems.
 
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zippyjet
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JetBlue On The Tarmac For 7 Hours @ BDL

Mon Oct 31, 2011 9:28 pm

I'm surprised the flight didn't divert to BWI. B6 has gate D-2 and not many flights at BWI. Our airport in many cases is a favorite diversion city for flights to the NY/and BOS airports.
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Tugger
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JetBlue On The Tarmac For 7 Hours @ BDL

Mon Oct 31, 2011 9:30 pm

Quoting rl757pvd (Reply 36):
Quoting Flighty (Reply 35):
This is something for airport / tower and flight crews to handle

Airports really have nothing to do with it besides keep the airport open, its really on the airline and handling station staff.

Don't the airports control who gets on the airport property and what can move where and do what? Is the airport allowing whatever is needed to get the people off the plane?

Tugg
I don’t know that I am unafraid to be myself, but it is hard to be somebody else. - W. Shatner
There are many kinds of sentences that we think state facts about the world but that are really just expressions of our attitudes. - F. Ramsey
 
spacecadet
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JetBlue On The Tarmac For 7 Hours @ BDL

Mon Oct 31, 2011 9:43 pm

Quoting Flighty (Reply 35):
Just what exactly is B6 dispatch / corporate supposed to do?

Well, first, here is what JetBlue themselves say they are supposed to do:

JetBlue will provide customers experiencing an onboard ground delay with 36 channels of DIRECTV®*, food and drink, access to clean restrooms and, as necessary, medical treatment. JetBlue will not permit the aircraft to remain on the tarmac for more than three hours unless the pilot-in-command determines there is a safety or security-related reason for remaining on the tarmac or Air Traffic Control advises the pilot-in-command that returning to the gate or another disembarkation point elsewhere in order to deplane would significantly disrupt airport operations.

This policy is based on the DOT's rules:

U.S. airlines operating international flights to or from most U.S.airports must each establish and comply with their own limit on the length of tarmac delays on those flights. On both domestic and international flights, U.S. airlines must provide passengers with food and water no later than two hours after the tarmac delay begins. While the aircraft remains on the tarmac lavatories must remain operable and medical attention must be available if needed.

So JetBlue, by establishing their policy, must comply with it. There are really no exceptions at all except in cases where the pilot judges it a safety hazard to park. Obviously, that wasn't the case here because he was pleading for any help in getting these people off the plane, either with a gate or air stairs.

As for what they were supposed to do as a practical matter, it's also left up to the airlines to figure out contingency plans for this situation, but there is a rule that contingency plans must exist. So if JetBlue did not have servicing vehicles ready to be dispatched so they arrived in the area at least 3 hours after the plane landed, they never should have diverted to this airport. They apparently had no workable contingency plan, which is against the regulations also. (And remember, they don't need to have their own vehicles do the servicing, they can always contract it out.)

Any way you slice it, this is JetBlue's fault and they'll pay for it. The responsibilities for this situation are clearly defined, and they fall pretty much entirely on the airline.
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bennett123
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JetBlue On The Tarmac For 7 Hours @ BDL

Mon Oct 31, 2011 10:09 pm

Given that they were trying to evacuate a paraplegic, in this sort of weather, they might have been safer on board.

Also it says "U.S. airlines operating international flights to or from most U.S.airports must each establish and comply with their own limit on the length of tarmac delays on those flights". FLL to EWR is not an international flight.
 
ilovepabst
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JetBlue On The Tarmac For 7 Hours @ BDL

Mon Oct 31, 2011 10:45 pm

Quoting Flighty (Reply 35):
Just what exactly is B6 dispatch / corporate supposed to do?
Choose a better alternate. I haven't looked at a single TAF for any airport in that area but I'm guessing the weather at BDL was not going to get better and was marginal at both destination and alternate. If that's the case, I would suggest that dispatcher reread 121.619
 
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STT757
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JetBlue On The Tarmac For 7 Hours @ BDL

Tue Nov 01, 2011 12:42 am

My Wife and I were driving back from Lake Placid to New Jersey Saturday, we passed by Albany airport around 2pm and there was no snow. Flights were landing as we passed by on 87. We started hitting the snow just South of the Kingston exit of the NY State Thruway, it was horrendous conditions as we past Newburgh. That's probably the same band that hit Hartford. Albany was fine though, they should have gone to Albany. Or even Atlantic City which got nothing.
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rfields5421
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JetBlue On The Tarmac For 7 Hours @ BDL

Tue Nov 01, 2011 2:33 am

Quoting Flighty (Reply 35):
Just what exactly is B6 dispatch / corporate supposed to do?

This is something for airport / tower and flight crews to handle.

At most airlines, including B6, in a situation like this, the flight crew does not make a decision about where to divert without consulting with ops/ dispatch. They are the ones responsible for knowing the conditions at the destination airport, when it might reopen, what the conditions are at various possible diversion airports. What services are available, etc.

Most importantly, after the CO incident, corporate/ ops/ dispatch is responsible for making sure the airport is able to handle the flight, deplane the aircraft and accommodate the passengers before diverting the aircraft.

In the event a flight does get into a trapped on the ramp situation, corporate/ ops/ dispatch is responsible for working with the airport and any other local vendors to get additional assets to the airport to assist with the problems.

By the time a flight gets to a three hour delay point - if the airline wants to avoid a huge fine, the CEO better be on the phone to the highest authority over the airport, possibly even the governor of the state.

Airlines must have an escalation process that gets upper management involved early, 24/ 7.

If necessary, the corporate/ ops/ dispatch division needs to contact and contract for extra food to be delivered to the airport, ground transportation, etc.

All this will be very costly, but less costly than the potential fines.

B6 had TWO aircraft which could not be accommodated at BDL under the three hour threshold. B6 was able to accommodate two regularly scheduled flights at their normal gates which arrived after JBU 504.

B6 ops/ dispatch put more flights into BDL than the local B6 facilities could handle. B6 ops/ dispatch should have been aware of 1) the increasing difficult moving about the ramps at BDL due to heavier snow than EWR, JFK, BOS, PVD, ACY, etc.; and 2) power problems were causing the terminal and other airport facilities to lose power several times.

After the CO Express issue - the law and regulations make it very plain that the airline must demonstrate how they worked to avoid sending the aircraft to an airport which was unable to handle the flight, and what actions the airline corporate did to mitigate the amount of time the passengers were unable to deplane.

If the airline cannot demonstrate their actions were above and beyond normal, the law and regulations say they should be fined, heavily.
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N62NA
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JetBlue On The Tarmac For 7 Hours @ BDL

Tue Nov 01, 2011 2:54 am

I truly hope this will be the last of these kinds of incidents.

It's 2011 for goodness sakes! It should be possible to figure out some way to get passengers off of an airplane and into a terminal.

I leave it to the "professionals" to work out all the intricacies and advanced algebra that certainly is needed to accomplish this.
 
nkops
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RE: JetBlue On The Tarmac For 7 Hours @ BDL

Tue Nov 01, 2011 10:35 am

Quoting rfields5421 (Reply 19):
PHL - ACY - SYR
Quoting contrails15 (Reply 33):
We were wondering why not divert too ACY like we do most of the time

We actually got 3 diversions from B6, and all 3 were in and out in about 2 hours... we were expecting more but they never came.
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delta2ual
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RE: JetBlue On The Tarmac For 7 Hours @ BDL

Tue Nov 01, 2011 2:24 pm

Quoting tharanga (Reply 12):
The burden is on the entire industry (airport + airline) to get it sorted and prevent these occurrences.

I agree and would add one more: The FAA should also play a part in this type of situation. If they need to "encourage" airlines to cancel and/or divert to airports to accommodate them-so be it.
From the world's largest airline-to the world's largest airline. Delta2ual
 
richierich
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RE: JetBlue On The Tarmac For 7 Hours @ BDL

Tue Nov 01, 2011 3:25 pm

Quoting delta2ual (Reply 48):
I agree and would add one more: The FAA should also play a part in this type of situation. If they need to "encourage" airlines to cancel and/or divert to airports to accommodate them-so be it.

I completely agree with this. What happened at BDL on Saturday is because of breakdowns by the FAA, the airline and the airport. All three. You can probably point fingers at any one and say "Your fault!" but the only way these issues can be properly addressed is by looking at the role all three parties played in this event. I would bring Mother Nature in to the fold too but she seems to be a tough mistress to nail down!

Along those lines, the weather in northern CT was unbelieveably bad on Saturday. I know a few people who live in northern New Haven County and in the Hartford suburbs and they all are without power as I write this (November 1st). School is out for many towns through Friday. This weather event single-handedly caused the most power outages in Connecticut history, beating the previous record of TS Irene in August and Hurricane Gloria in 1985. So this was not a small event. While getting stuck on a plane for hours is disgustingly bad, I'm ultimately glad that nobody was hurt, at least anything worse than emotionally.

Which again had me asking the same question as several others on here...why divert to BDL in the middle of a snowstorm? I think the answer lies with the simple fact all of these diversions were supposed to be 'fuel-and-go's, which meant landing, refueling, de-icing, and getting back into the air. With EWR and JFK both down due to technical issues, this meant that literally hundreds of flights were diverting up and down the East Coast.

Hartford is used to seeing JFK diversions, it happens quite frequently (I think Concorde diverted there on a few occasions) and, in theory, it can handle multiple widebody international aircraft. JetBlue diverted dozens of flights (I heard about a hundred), so it is not too surprising that they sent a relatively small number (6) flights to BDL, bringing the total to about two dozen flights at BDL that wouldn't normally be there. Not ideal but within reason, I would think.

And that is where it all the plans went to pot. With all the gates occupied, several flights were left waiting in remote areas, and then there were the power outages meaning boarding bridges were inoperable and empty planes were not pushing back. With the heavy slushy snow coming down, this went from a less-than-ideal situation to a major problem very very quickly. This was also the opportunity for somebody (airline, airport, you tell me) to find buses and make the decision to unload the aircraft using stairs. I know that using air stairs in slippery, snowy conditions is a big high-risk no-no due to the potential of lawsuits, but given the alternative I would think it should have been an option. It sounds like several parties dropped the ball here and it will be interesting to see the outcome. I'm sure the FAA will graciously not accept any blame, however....it is always easier to blame the airline.

Quoting bennett123 (Reply 42):
Given that they were trying to evacuate a paraplegic, in this sort of weather, they might have been safer on board.

Nine times out of ten, it is safer on board than unloading onto stairs in icy or snowy weather, especially with the hope(?) or promise of a gate becoming open in the near future. Regardless of the three hour rule, safety should always remain the top priority of course. If JetBlue had unloaded passengers and somebody fell or got hurt, I bet you a lot of a.net posters would be blaming the airline for making such an unwise decision. With that said, I am also quite aware that sitting on a plane for 7 hours (after a 2.5 hour flight) is unacceptable, probably made worse by the lack of communication or broken promises. I'd have been very frustrated and annoyed too. As well dealing with this event under a microscope, I think these types of issues need to be examined on a broader level so that it doesn't happen again to B6 or any other airline.

Quoting spacecadet (Reply 41):
Any way you slice it, this is JetBlue's fault and they'll pay for it. The responsibilities for this situation are clearly defined, and they fall pretty much entirely on the airline.

See above, I disagree with such a blanket statement. Having the very entity that caused the delay fine the airline for the same delay just doesn't make sense.
If the goal is to eliminate these delays, then a far better approach is for the FAA, airlines and airports to have plans in place for unexpected events. I don't think the current plans are very solid.

Quoting rfields5421 (Reply 45):
By the time a flight gets to a three hour delay point - if the airline wants to avoid a huge fine, the CEO better be on the phone to the highest authority over the airport, possibly even the governor of the state.

With all due respect, I'm sure the Governor of CT had far bigger issues to deal with than a couple of hundred people stuck on a plane. There were nearly a quarter of a million taxpayers without power in his state, trees and limbs were blocking roads and there was at least one fatal car accident attributed to the weather. So while this event may be a big deal for the B6 CEO Barger, it was not the top of Gov. Malloy's list during the height of the storm. Nor should it have been. In time, yes, I agree that BDL's readiness and preparedness should be examined so that there is no 'next time'.

[Edited 2011-11-01 08:47:21]
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