Moderators: jsumali2, richierich, ua900, PanAm_DC10, hOMSaR

 
rhody
Topic Author
Posts: 11
Joined: Thu Jan 30, 2014 5:41 am

Boarding The Wrong Plane

Thu Jan 30, 2014 5:58 am

We've all heard stories about boarding the wrong flight. But what about the RIGHT flight but WRONG plane?

The other day, I was traveling on a very early morning flight from my hometown to the airline's hub. Everybody boarded the 717 like usual, the jetway was pulled away, and just as we were ready for pushback....the pilot announced on the PA that he was sorry, but he just noticed something was amiss in the paperwork....and that we had boarded the wrong plane. In fact, we were supposed to use a different 717 that was parked at a nearby gate.

After some discussion about the options--including the possibility of transferring passengers, crew, and luggage to the correct plane--we continued on our original plane after a bit of delay.

I was wondering about procedures for the ground team or flight crew to correctly identify a specific airplane before getting started. Is that part of some pre-flight routine? Part of a walk-around--identify the correct tail number? Or are airplanes just so simply interchangeable that nobody would notice or care?
 
MesaFlyGuy
Posts: 3916
Joined: Fri Dec 21, 2012 8:36 pm

RE: Boarding The Wrong Plane

Thu Jan 30, 2014 6:02 am

That is something you'd think the crew would notice. But I guess there are worse things that a crew could possibly forget to check than the tail number!  

And by the way, welcome to Airliners.net!!  
The views I express are my own and do not reflect the views and opinions of my company.
 
jmc1975
Posts: 3086
Joined: Mon Sep 18, 2000 10:57 am

RE: Boarding The Wrong Plane

Thu Jan 30, 2014 6:03 am

That should've never been an oversight! Multiple people dropped the ball! Scary stuff!
.......
 
flyiguy
Posts: 1009
Joined: Mon Feb 23, 2004 2:21 pm

RE: Boarding The Wrong Plane

Thu Jan 30, 2014 6:20 am

For WN the ops agent is supposed to verify the aircraft are at the right gates prior to closing the station after the last flight comes in. There have been instances where dispatch will switch aircraft to different flights overnight for maintenance rotations or aircraft needs etc. however the opening ops agent is to verify the aircraft locations in the morning after they open the station up. If they are at the wrong gates, it's their responsibility to notify the ramp and CS sups that gate changes will be made. On very rare occasions will aircraft need to be moved, usually it's just a gate change.

FLY
The opinions I post are of mine and mine alone, not of the airline I work for.
 
Delta777Jet
Posts: 1466
Joined: Tue Jun 13, 2000 6:19 am

RE: Boarding The Wrong Plane

Thu Jan 30, 2014 11:09 am

Why would you communicate this to a passenger? This is very unprofessional . How safe do you feel if they can't even identify the right plane?

Don't know ! Very bad communicated !
I still miss Trans World Airlines and the L-1011
 
71Zulu
Posts: 1932
Joined: Mon Aug 28, 2006 12:42 am

RE: Boarding The Wrong Plane

Thu Jan 30, 2014 12:22 pm

The Comair 191 crew that crashed the plane in LEX initially boarded the wrong aircraft (crew only not passengers) and started it's APU and only noticed it was the wrong plane after being told about it.
 
User avatar
czbbflier
Posts: 866
Joined: Fri Jul 07, 2006 1:28 pm

RE: Boarding The Wrong Plane

Thu Jan 30, 2014 2:44 pm

Happened to us at WD once- at least.

Wardair had a fleet of identical A310s and we referred to them by their last three letters of their registration- no fleet numbers, no special codes.

One night, I was lead agent in charge of our late night arrival from YYZ into YOW.

While I was at the gate, to save time down in our Ops office, I signed into the computer there and printed up the flight plans for the outbound flight.

When the flight came in, I noticed a discrepancy between the registration- the plane on the ramp was "KWD" but the flight plans were drawn up from YYZ Ops for "NWD".

So I called YYZ Ops from the gate and told them of the error. The dispatcher on the phone went off the deep end. Swearing and cursing. I had to assure him I had learned to read, that I was looking though the window at the physical plane and what I saw on the ramp didn't match the flight plan I held in my hand for the only morning flight we had.

In retrospect, he was pretty abusive on the phone- if I had been a little older and mature I would have shared some choice colourful language back at him.

No doubt the inbound flight was supposed to be NWD- and I'm sure the paperwork showed it. I just wonder if that had been the case all day...
 
Goldenshield
Posts: 5026
Joined: Sun Jan 14, 2001 3:45 pm

RE: Boarding The Wrong Plane

Thu Jan 30, 2014 3:07 pm

I've had this happen many times, be it the station got the aircraft in/out order wrong, or an aircraft swapped overnight, or maintenance brings a different plane over than scheduled (due to problems that MX is having trouble fixing, for example) and doesn't tell anyone.

If it's absolutely not neccesary to correct, then it becomes a fairly simple procedure to change the planes around and get them on their way, but it tends to muck up the rest of the airplane(s) day because of maintenance requirements, etc., and THAT is what makes dispatchers hopping mad.
Two all beef patties, special sauce, lettuce, cheese, pickles, onions on a sesame seed bun.
 
FlyDeltaJets
Posts: 1657
Joined: Thu Feb 02, 2006 4:24 pm

RE: Boarding The Wrong Plane

Thu Jan 30, 2014 3:39 pm

It's not common, not un-common at the same time. Usually it never gets to that point. Most cases 1 group will have loaded or boarded the wrong aircraft, but for all groups to have done it is quite unusual.
The only valid opinions are those based in facts
 
n797mx
Posts: 443
Joined: Tue Mar 24, 2009 11:40 pm

RE: Boarding The Wrong Plane

Thu Jan 30, 2014 5:41 pm

A few years ago I was going BUF-MCO on WN. It was an early morning flight that was supposed to be going out of gate 18, but it was an early morning flight on a RON aircraft and the night crew brought the plane into the wrong gate. Me being the avid flyer who always looks up the flight info and tail number before the flight noticed that the plane at the gate wasn't the one we were supposed to be on, while the one we were was at the gate next to us. Curious I asked the ticket agent about it and she basically said "Uh, oh..."

Ended up switching the gates and everyone was right, but the flight was delayed a bit.
Clear skies and strong tail winds.
 
ETinCaribe
Posts: 474
Joined: Tue Dec 15, 2009 11:57 pm

RE: Boarding The Wrong Plane

Thu Jan 30, 2014 8:19 pm

In the larger scheme of things, no big deal, it shows that people and processes can fail. This time, it did not cause any harm, so no biggie IMHO.

Quoting delta777jet (Reply 4):
Why would you communicate this to a passenger?

Exactly my thought too. Does not give you a warm and fuzzy feeling for sure. I would have given some other bogus reason and sorted it out internally only.
 
dwcontroller
Posts: 45
Joined: Mon Nov 19, 2007 7:39 pm

RE: Boarding The Wrong Plane

Thu Jan 30, 2014 8:22 pm

I remember vividly a day at MHT when the ground crew and pilots didn't notice loading and boarding the wrong 6am CRJ200 aircraft to DTW. Not only that but it was dispatched, departed and flew to DTW before anyone noticed. After the arrival in DTW the phone rang in MHT to inform the station they had sent the wrong plane and subsequently had the wrong CRJ200 on the ground with the wrong tail number for the 9AM departure. Its a security issue for the paper work but also means the logs and flight release paper work were improperly filled out. A bigger deal for the in-flight crew who had deferred items, wrong MX logs and things of that nature but still an issue for the entire team.

It was determined the first link in the chain to break was a swap in the tail numbers. So for the RON's the night before it was all set up to be correct for the morning crew but dispatch swapped the aircraft during the night and the numbers went unnoticed on the tail in the AM. Unacceptable for sure but when people get in to a routine of loading the same plane at the same gate every morning I can somewhat see how the mistake can happen.
Best phrase to hear at the airport - "All standbys have been cleared and may board at this time"
 
thrufru
Posts: 117
Joined: Tue Feb 10, 2009 3:48 pm

RE: Boarding The Wrong Plane

Thu Jan 30, 2014 8:46 pm

When I was first flying at a regional airline, I had a captain relay a similar incident to me. On an early morning departure, he and his F/O boarded what they thought was their plane and started the APU. When the F/O went out to do the walk around, he realized that not only was it the wrong plane, it was the WRONG AIRLINE. Darn all those regional planes from different airlines with the same branding.
 
HFW
Posts: 24
Joined: Wed Sep 19, 2007 11:56 pm

RE: Boarding The Wrong Plane

Thu Jan 30, 2014 9:05 pm

...it happens from time to time. I will not forget the day, I was due to fly from MUC to HAM and being transferred by bus to a mobile gate, we all could watch our crew disembarking one plane and running to another plane, which was obviously the one, we should fly with...well they did not qualify for the olympics, but seeing then literally run on the runway (well, actually it was, of course, the tarmac) was a bit of fun for us waiting passengers....
 
eastern747
Posts: 579
Joined: Tue Oct 17, 2006 5:34 am

RE: Boarding The Wrong Plane

Thu Jan 30, 2014 9:28 pm

I personally don't believe this story. Too much paper work that states what is suppose to be right.
 
khpn
Posts: 116
Joined: Mon Sep 27, 2010 3:30 pm

RE: Boarding The Wrong Plane

Thu Jan 30, 2014 9:57 pm

Quoting n797mx (Reply 9):
A few years ago I was going BUF-MCO on WN. It was an early morning flight that was supposed to be going out of gate 18, but it was an early morning flight on a RON aircraft and the night crew brought the plane into the wrong gate. Me being the avid flyer who always looks up the flight info and tail number before the flight noticed that the plane at the gate wasn't the one we were supposed to be on, while the one we were was at the gate next to us. Curious I asked the ticket agent about it and she basically said "Uh, oh..."

Ended up switching the gates and everyone was right, but the flight was delayed a bit.

Classic Buffalo
 
MesaFlyGuy
Posts: 3916
Joined: Fri Dec 21, 2012 8:36 pm

RE: Boarding The Wrong Plane

Thu Jan 30, 2014 10:01 pm

Quoting EASTERN747 (Reply 14):
I personally don't believe this story. Too much paper work that states what is suppose to be right.

What would the OP gain from making up a story to post here?
The views I express are my own and do not reflect the views and opinions of my company.
 
User avatar
b727fa
Posts: 1079
Joined: Sun Jun 12, 2011 8:21 pm

RE: Boarding The Wrong Plane

Thu Jan 30, 2014 10:17 pm

Quoting dwcontroller (Reply 11):
I remember vividly a day at MHT when the ground crew and pilots didn't notice loading and boarding the wrong 6am CRJ200 aircraft to DTW. Not only that but it was dispatched, departed and flew to DTW before anyone noticed. After the arrival in DTW the phone rang in MHT to inform the station they had sent the wrong plane and subsequently had the wrong CRJ200 on the ground with the wrong tail number for the 9AM departure.
Quoting thrufru (Reply 12):
When the F/O went out to do the walk around, he realized that not only was it the wrong plane, it was the WRONG AIRLINE. Darn all those regional planes from different airlines with the same branding.

I was JUST going to mention that in response to Rpy: 11. In their case I'll bet they're happy it happened to be an a/c flown by the same company/airline and not say, OO and EV!
My comments/opinions are my own and are not to be construed as the opinion(s) of my employer.
 
newhaven
Posts: 235
Joined: Sat Nov 30, 2013 9:26 pm

RE: Boarding The Wrong Plane

Thu Jan 30, 2014 10:23 pm

Quoting 71Zulu (Reply 5):
The Comair 191 crew that crashed the plane in LEX initially boarded the wrong aircraft (crew only not passengers) and started it's APU and only noticed it was the wrong plane after being told about it.

Not surprising in this case ... wasn't this the same couple of geniuses that took off on the wrong runway ?
 
MSJYOP28Apilot
Posts: 452
Joined: Tue Jul 21, 2009 2:09 am

RE: Boarding The Wrong Plane

Thu Jan 30, 2014 11:03 pm

This is something that does happen though not incredibly often. Yes, we in dispatch do have to swap planes. Usually the station is told but occasionally the communication isn't what it should be. Regardless, the dispatch release legally must have the aircraft tail number on it. It is supposed to be part of the captains pre-flight check list to review the dispatch release and make sure it everything on it is legal. If he sees a tail number on the release not matching the one he is on, he is supposed to contact dispatch to make sure he has the right release. Sometimes though, crews get complacent and don't review the release and flight plan.

I think people don't realize how over-worked and time constrained people that work at the airline are. Dispatchers are so overworked with releases, flight plans and flight following that airlines have a separate group of dispatchers doing just equipment swaps. Stations are short-staffed and have to handle in many cases way too many flights and get multiple flights pushed out at the same time. Pilots only show up to flights 40-45 mins before departure at the earliest and have to run through a million check lists and procedures which can get complicated by any number of issues.
 
User avatar
b727fa
Posts: 1079
Joined: Sun Jun 12, 2011 8:21 pm

RE: Boarding The Wrong Plane

Thu Jan 30, 2014 11:31 pm

Quoting newhaven (Reply 18):

Quoting 71Zulu (Reply 5):
The Comair 191 crew that crashed the plane in LEX initially boarded the wrong aircraft (crew only not passengers) and started it's APU and only noticed it was the wrong plane after being told about it.

Not surprising in this case ... wasn't this the same couple of geniuses that took off on the wrong runway ?

A little harsh.
My comments/opinions are my own and are not to be construed as the opinion(s) of my employer.
 
eastern747
Posts: 579
Joined: Tue Oct 17, 2006 5:34 am

RE: Boarding The Wrong Plane

Fri Jan 31, 2014 12:34 am

First....the caterer is given gate number, aircraft number and departure time. They arent going to cater the wrong plane.
Ground crew.....load the wrong A/C No
Ramp supervisor give me a break....Fuelers won't won't fuel the wrong a/c.
Somebody, in the loop would have done a heads up.

Another bogis story......
 
dwcontroller
Posts: 45
Joined: Mon Nov 19, 2007 7:39 pm

RE: Boarding The Wrong Plane

Fri Jan 31, 2014 12:40 am

Quoting newhaven (Reply 18):
Not surprising in this case ... wasn't this the same couple of geniuses that took off on the wrong runway ?
Quoting B727FA (Reply 20):
Quoting newhaven (Reply 18):

A little harsh.

A little? More than a little. One of many mistakes made that day that the surviving FO will never be able to live with.

To be fair to the COM191 crew and all airline crews who make this mistake. Most if not all crews are let down to the aircraft by a gate crew member who checks their names to a manifest and are told "Good morning, this is your plane, talk to you before we board." No pilot is going to initially question that person and say "Is this definitely the correct plane!?!?" That finding will come later like it did for the Comair 191 crew who noticed the incorrect ship number and correctly fixed the issue.

I don't normally get offended on this site; however, newhaven ...if your'e going to sarcastically bash the pilots responsible for the 49 lives taken on August 27th 2006, at least understand that this was one mistake they caught and fixed and it doesn't make them "geniuses" as you put it...just human. This is no place for comments like that.
Best phrase to hear at the airport - "All standbys have been cleared and may board at this time"
 
dwcontroller
Posts: 45
Joined: Mon Nov 19, 2007 7:39 pm

RE: Boarding The Wrong Plane

Fri Jan 31, 2014 12:53 am

Quoting EASTERN747 (Reply 21):

First....the caterer is given gate number, aircraft number and departure time. They arent going to cater the wrong plane.
Ground crew.....load the wrong A/C No
Ramp supervisor give me a break....Fuelers won't won't fuel the wrong a/c.
Somebody, in the loop would have done a heads up.

Another bogis story......

First - Many airlines at outstations aren't catered. I never worked one catered flight in MHT, every plane came in from the hub catered to go back the next morning or on a quick turn.

Second - Many times fuelers go to the gate in the AM and an airline ops agent says "put XXXXX lbs of fuel on the plane at gate 5". then the fuel slip is filled out after the plane is fueled. Sometimes fuelers just start fueling to a decent base amount so there is less to add later. If they have a good relationship and they do the same flight every day this is not uncommon at all.

Third - It wouldn't be the first time tails number were similar and numbers get transposed. Happens every day N353EV-N535EV etc etc...

Fourth - Crew gets handed the flight paper work, they look at the aircraft number, either forget the number or never remember to double check to whats on the placard in the flight deck or painted on the tail and nose. Its not an acceptable excuse but it happens.
Best phrase to hear at the airport - "All standbys have been cleared and may board at this time"
 
newhaven
Posts: 235
Joined: Sat Nov 30, 2013 9:26 pm

RE: Boarding The Wrong Plane

Fri Jan 31, 2014 1:03 am

Quoting dwcontroller (Reply 22):
A little? More than a little. One of many mistakes made that day that the surviving FO will never be able to live with.

To be fair to the COM191 crew and all airline crews who make this mistake. Most if not all crews are let down to the aircraft by a gate crew member who checks their names to a manifest and are told "Good morning, this is your plane, talk to you before we board." No pilot is going to initially question that person and say "Is this definitely the correct plane!?!?" That finding will come later like it did for the Comair 191 crew who noticed the incorrect ship number and correctly fixed the issue.

I don't normally get offended on this site; however, newhaven ...if your'e going to sarcastically bash the pilots responsible for the 49 lives taken on August 27th 2006, at least understand that this was one mistake they caught and fixed and it doesn't make them "geniuses" as you put it...just human. This is no place for comments like that

That wasn't sarcasm. Harshness appropriate here.

And the 49 lives "taken" on that day? Well that was directly related to the sloppiness of that very crew. So big deal, they realized they were on the wrong plane and corrected it .. they made a much more serious -and stupid- mistake about 45 minutes later.

Ask the families of the innocent victims on this plane how forgiving they are of these pilots who weren't paying attention.
 
Yakflyer
Posts: 127
Joined: Sun Nov 14, 2010 12:07 am

RE: Boarding The Wrong Plane

Fri Jan 31, 2014 2:32 am

Quoting delta777jet (Reply 4):
Why would you communicate this to a passenger? This is very unprofessional .

I completely disagree. I grant you it is a little embarrassing, but I firmly believe the truth should always be told to passengers. The credibility of many if not all airlines is poor because people know when they are being lied to and it happens far too often.

I once was the captain on a flight that was scheduled to fly from SLC to DFW with a stop in DEN. When we got to DEN I went to buy a sandwich and discovered I had lost my wallet. Since my license was in my wallet it was gone too. Normally the FAA has the ability to fax a temporary copy to you if you make the request through your dispatcher, but this was a Sunday and the FAA system was down for maintenance. Had I not already revealed that I didn't have my license to the FAA by asking for a temporary copy I would have just flown on to DFW and made my discovery there. When I told the gate agent what happened and that the flight would have to be canceled he asked me what to tell the passengers. I told him to tell them the truth. He said I can't tell them that so I said give me the microphone and I told them exactly what happened. It was embarrassing, but more than a few passengers thanked me for just telling them the truth. People can handle the truth, even if it means revealing the airlines are staffed with human beings.

[Edited 2014-01-30 18:34:59]
 
CWAFlyer
Posts: 536
Joined: Tue Mar 15, 2005 3:33 am

RE: Boarding The Wrong Plane

Fri Jan 31, 2014 2:42 am

Quoting EASTERN747 (Reply 14):
I personally don't believe this story. Too much paper work that states what is suppose to be right.

And if you don't bother to look and just assume you are in the right airplane because you left all your crap in it overnight, it's real easy to have happen.
 
rhody
Topic Author
Posts: 11
Joined: Thu Jan 30, 2014 5:41 am

RE: Boarding The Wrong Plane

Fri Jan 31, 2014 3:31 am

Appreciate the many replies. I was genuinely interested in the processes involved.

Quoting EASTERN747 (Reply 14):
I personally don't believe this story. Too much paper work that states what is suppose to be right.

That's harsh. The story is true.

Quoting MesaFlyGuy (Reply 16):
What would the OP gain from making up a story to post here?

Voice of reason! And appreciate the welcome.

Quoting EASTERN747 (Reply 21):
First....the caterer is given gate number, aircraft number and departure time. They arent going to cater the wrong plane.
Ground crew.....load the wrong A/C No
Ramp supervisor give me a break....Fuelers won't won't fuel the wrong a/c.
Somebody, in the loop would have done a heads up.
Another bogis story......

Again, story is true. Just sharing how it unfolded on Saturday, 1/25....DL#2572, JAN-ATL, 6:00 am scheduled departure. First flight of day for DL.

Captain and the GA made 5 PA announcements, each acknowledging the mistake:
1. First announcement began with "Ladies and gentlemen: From the cockpit, this is your Captain. Just when you think you've seen it all...." And he went on to explain the mixup with the 2 planes, even asking us to look out the left side of the aircraft to see the correct plane at the next gate.
2. After jetway returned, GA boarded and made an announcement apologizing for the mixup with the 2 planes.
3. The Captain made a 2nd announcement, explaining that the dispatcher was looking into the planned schedules for the 2 planes to figure out if one could be substituted for the other. He'd get back to us.
4. The Captain made a 3rd announcement, explaining that we would be remaining on the current plane and heading to ATL.
5. Then, during our taxi to the runway, the Captain made yet another announcement to apologize for the mixup with the planes and sharing that our arrival slot for ATL had expired and there would be additional delay.

I was seated in 2C, within earshot of the FA's who assembled in the forward galley during our delay at the gate. Each shared that they had never experienced this situation before. There was an airline employee non-rev passenger in 1D who shared in a conversation with one of our FA's that she'd never seen this situation either.

The elderly couple seated behind me in 3C,3D pushed their FA call button to, seriously, ask the FA if the fuel had been loaded on the correct plane.

A coach passenger came to the front of the plane to ask if the luggage had been loaded on the correct plane, wanting the FA to know she had a cruise to catch.

Once airborne, there were several conversations between the FA's and passengers about what an unusual situation it was.

So....to EASTERN747: Either the employees were telling the truth....or it was a rather elaborate ruse on the part of a large cast of DL employees to cover up some other problem. And that seems rather unlikely to this passenger.

Quoting Yakflyer (Reply 25):
I completely disagree. I grant you it is a little embarrassing, but I firmly believe the truth should always be told to passengers. The credibility of many if not all airlines is poor because people know when they are being lied to and it happens far too often.

Agree.

Quoting delta777jet (Reply 4):
Why would you communicate this to a passenger? This is very unprofessional . How safe do you feel if they can't even identify the right plane?

Don't know ! Very bad communicated !

No. Communicated well. And very professional. But yes, it does make you wonder....if they can't identify the right plane....
 
dwcontroller
Posts: 45
Joined: Mon Nov 19, 2007 7:39 pm

RE: Boarding The Wrong Plane

Fri Jan 31, 2014 4:06 am

Quoting newhaven (Reply 24):
That wasn't sarcasm. Harshness appropriate here.

And the 49 lives "taken" on that day? Well that was directly related to the sloppiness of that very crew. So big deal, they realized they were on the wrong plane and corrected it .. they made a much more serious -and stupid- mistake about 45 minutes later.

Ask the families of the innocent victims on this plane how forgiving they are of these pilots who weren't paying attention.

What you said is the definition of sarcasm. You stated they were geniuses when in fact you meant the opposite.That is beside the point though.

The point of this discussion has nothing to do with the mistakes of COM191. Its about boarding the wrong aircraft and if its possible.

Your point simply doesn't make sense. Your'e acknowledging that crew caught the mistake of getting on the wrong plane. This is a fact. My point is that they were most likely brought to that plane and told it was was theirs by a gate crew. They then realized on their own that they were brought to the wrong plane. So how does that relate to the later mistake of lining up on the wrong runway?
Best phrase to hear at the airport - "All standbys have been cleared and may board at this time"
 
dairbus
Posts: 519
Joined: Mon Nov 17, 2003 10:45 am

RE: Boarding The Wrong Plane

Fri Jan 31, 2014 4:10 am

Quoting EASTERN747 (Reply 14):
I personally don't believe this story. Too much paper work that states what is suppose to be right.

Sorry to burst your bubble but this sort of thing, while not common, DOES happen.

I currently work for a mainline carrier. Just last month, a crew on one of the flights I was dispatching took the wrong aircraft on an early morning flight from an outstation to a hub. I only found out when the flight landed at its destination and the Captain called sheepishly and told me what had happened. Previously, when I worked at one of the larger regional airlines, I can recall a few incidents of the same type. Before that, I worked as a Ramp Supervisor on the midnight shift at a medium sized station. There were a few times where the overnight aircraft were switched around and we started working the wrong flight (gate and ramp) before anyone noticed.



Quoting EASTERN747 (Reply 21):
First....the caterer is given gate number, aircraft number and departure time. They arent going to cater the wrong plane.
Ground crew.....load the wrong A/C No
Ramp supervisor give me a break....Fuelers won't won't fuel the wrong a/c.
Somebody, in the loop would have done a heads up.

Let me break this down:

1. Small outstation so no catering.

2. The ground crew is used to the fact that 99% of the time the first flight leaves out of gate X and the second out of gate Y. They proceed with the same routine unless someone tells them different.

3. The fuelers are used to fueling the aircraft in a certain order. Also, to save time, the fuel sheet may have been filled out ahead of time with the expected ship number and the ops agent did not verify the actual ship number against the fueling worksheet and release. The fueler may have fueled the correct aircraft according to the fuel sheet given.

4. In my example above, no one noticed until the plane landed at it's destination. Not the gate agent, not the ramp crew, not the flight crew. No one gave a heads up. As a matter of fact, the second flight was about 30 minutes from departure and being boarded when I found out the wrong aircraft had departed the station on the first flight. No one had noticed until I called the station and told them what had happened. Fortunately, there was time to change the paperwork to show the correct ship number.


I believe the main issue here is complacency. Doing things according to routine instead of following procedure. It may also be that lack of experience plays a part, particularly at smaller stations.
"I love mankind. It's people I can't stand." - Charles Shultz
 
dwcontroller
Posts: 45
Joined: Mon Nov 19, 2007 7:39 pm

RE: Boarding The Wrong Plane

Fri Jan 31, 2014 4:10 am

Quoting Rhody (Reply 27):
3. The Captain made a 2nd announcement, explaining that the dispatcher was looking into the planned schedules for the 2 planes to figure out if one could be substituted for the other. He'd get back to us.
4. The Captain made a 3rd announcement, explaining that we would be remaining on the current plane and heading to ATL.

This is why you absolutely always come forward from the start and tell the passengers the truth. If they would have tried to cover it up and dispatch then couldn't swap the tail #'s due to MX or aircraft routing and then a greater lie has to be made up and it would have looked much worse for trying to cover it up in the first place.

100% professional to tell the customers whats going on.
Best phrase to hear at the airport - "All standbys have been cleared and may board at this time"
 
dairbus
Posts: 519
Joined: Mon Nov 17, 2003 10:45 am

RE: Boarding The Wrong Plane

Fri Jan 31, 2014 4:31 am

Quoting Rhody (Reply 27):
Rhody From United States of America, joined Jan 2014, 2 posts, RR: 0

Thanks for the post. The same thing happened to the flight in my post except on yours they caught the error before departure.

I now wonder if the adding of mainline RON flts to cities where there was only RJs before may have something to do with it.
"I love mankind. It's people I can't stand." - Charles Shultz
 
jreuschl
Posts: 412
Joined: Tue Jul 28, 2009 3:04 am

RE: Boarding The Wrong Plane

Fri Jan 31, 2014 5:30 am

Well at least the WN pilots flying to Benson were on the right plane!   
 
Jerseyguy
Posts: 2205
Joined: Sun Oct 30, 2005 12:05 pm

RE: Boarding The Wrong Plane

Fri Jan 31, 2014 7:06 am

Quoting jreuschl (Reply 32):
Well at least the WN pilots flying to Benson were on the right plane

Don't you just hate it when you make a smart-ass comment and you screw it up   Its Branson
 
klm672
Posts: 2563
Joined: Mon Oct 04, 1999 6:09 am

RE: Boarding The Wrong Plane

Fri Jan 31, 2014 3:34 pm

I have never had this issue, but always had this fear when I use to fly out of CVG. I use to fly OH all the time and got sent down the "tunnel" and always was worried that I would board the wrong CRJ.

[Edited 2014-01-31 07:37:08]
 
tharanga
Posts: 440
Joined: Fri Apr 10, 2009 3:29 am

RE: Boarding The Wrong Plane

Sat Feb 01, 2014 4:39 am

Welcome to Rhody. I don't understand why people are trying to dismiss the story.

I once experienced something along these lines, but the mistake was caught earlier. A plane pulled up to the gate. I noticed the ship number didn't match that on the UA website. I thought I was somehow confused, and didn't say anything. But sure enough, right before boarding, the gate agent announced they brought the wrong aircraft to the gate, and we waited for the right one to come instead.
 
User avatar
hOMSaR
Moderator
Posts: 2368
Joined: Tue Jan 19, 2010 4:47 am

RE: Boarding The Wrong Plane

Sat Feb 01, 2014 5:38 am

Quoting tharanga (Reply 35):
I once experienced something along these lines, but the mistake was caught earlier. A plane pulled up to the gate. I noticed the ship number didn't match that on the UA website. I thought I was somehow confused, and didn't say anything. But sure enough, right before boarding, the gate agent announced they brought the wrong aircraft to the gate, and we waited for the right one to come instead.

I was on a scheduled flight last fall out of DCA on UA where (according to the announcement) the captain parked the plane at the wrong gate, and thus we had a gate change (the plane that wound up parking at our gate was the same type, but it still makes sense that they'd keep the planes on their original rotation and just have the two flights' passengers trade gates).

Quoting tharanga (Reply 35):
I don't understand why people are trying to dismiss the story.

Sometimes people have a hard time believing that their colleagues can occasionally make a mistake. I had a similar situation in another thread where I was on a newly refurbished UA A320 where a couple of seat markers had been swapped, and one person just couldn't believe that such a thing could ever possibly happen (as if there would be any reason for me to make up such a story).
I was raised by a cup of coffee.
 
traindoc
Posts: 356
Joined: Thu Mar 06, 2008 11:35 am

RE: Boarding The Wrong Plane

Sat Feb 01, 2014 5:50 am

Darn humanity! This world would be perfect if it weren't for us humans.   
 
MH017
Posts: 1475
Joined: Tue Apr 26, 2005 4:17 am

RE: Boarding The Wrong Plane

Sat Feb 01, 2014 8:35 am

Me thinks, it was a last-minute aircraft-change, literally, maybe even when pax were boarding/boarded already...crew will also be notified at the very last moment and were at the original tail-number before they were advised.

Could have been necessary for paperwork-reasons, as mentioned...
Happens quite often for technical reasons, when all boarded already and still need to change of aircraft, when repairs might take too long !

Boarding the wrong plane, as stated, is possible for reasons outlined above and is nothing to worry about.  
don't throw away tomorrow !
 
FlyboyOz
Posts: 1764
Joined: Tue Nov 21, 2000 10:05 am

RE: Boarding The Wrong Plane

Sat Feb 01, 2014 10:07 pm

Boarding at the wrong gate...

In FCO, I arrived at the gate and could not see any aircraft. Then I walked around the terminal and found out that our aircraft (international low cost airlines) is in another gate which at the very end of the terminal. I thought that it was so strange or it might be for another destination. Then I return to the gate and wait for my flight. I saw a ground staff was at the counter and ready to prepare paperwork and then went to the pax bridge. He discovered that there was no aircraft there. lol. Then he went back to counter to check where the aircraft is. Then he changed the gate for the departure screen and announced us that we had to move to another gate. I was wondering why pilots and flight attendant didn't tell the ground staff that the gate had been changed. Both of them were inside the aircraft and were having a break or cleaning the aircraft.
The Spirit of AustraliAN - Longreach
 
A346Dude
Posts: 1161
Joined: Tue Nov 30, 2004 11:23 am

RE: Boarding The Wrong Plane

Sun Feb 02, 2014 2:44 am

Quoting EASTERN747 (Reply 21):
First....the caterer is given gate number, aircraft number and departure time. They arent going to cater the wrong plane.
Ground crew.....load the wrong A/C No
Ramp supervisor give me a break....Fuelers won't won't fuel the wrong a/c.
Somebody, in the loop would have done a heads up.

Another bogis story......

I know for a fact this has happened at a well-respected airline I used to work for. It shouldn't happen, but with thousands of flights every day, once in a while a mistake like this slips through the cracks.
You know the gear is up and locked when it takes full throttle to taxi to the terminal.

Popular Searches On Airliners.net

Top Photos of Last:   24 Hours  •  48 Hours  •  7 Days  •  30 Days  •  180 Days  •  365 Days  •  All Time

Military Aircraft Every type from fighters to helicopters from air forces around the globe

Classic Airliners Props and jets from the good old days

Flight Decks Views from inside the cockpit

Aircraft Cabins Passenger cabin shots showing seat arrangements as well as cargo aircraft interior

Cargo Aircraft Pictures of great freighter aircraft

Government Aircraft Aircraft flying government officials

Helicopters Our large helicopter section. Both military and civil versions

Blimps / Airships Everything from the Goodyear blimp to the Zeppelin

Night Photos Beautiful shots taken while the sun is below the horizon

Accidents Accident, incident and crash related photos

Air to Air Photos taken by airborne photographers of airborne aircraft

Special Paint Schemes Aircraft painted in beautiful and original liveries

Airport Overviews Airport overviews from the air or ground

Tails and Winglets Tail and Winglet closeups with beautiful airline logos