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Cush
Topic Author
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The "Lost" Delta Airlines Flight At PIT

Sat Aug 23, 2014 4:28 am

I read this story on the Post-Gazette and was curious if this has ever happened before. How can a flight get coded as Canceled and no one is around to assist?

http://www.post-gazette.com/local/re...ational-plane/stories/201408230065
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michman
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RE: The "Lost" Delta Airlines Flight At PIT

Sat Aug 23, 2014 4:56 am

Quoting Cush (Thread starter):
I read this story on the Post-Gazette and was curious if this has ever happened before. How can a flight get coded as Canceled and no one is around to assist?

It seems someone screwed up and coded it as canceled. As to no one being there, well what would you expect at 2:30 AM? Of course they would go home if they saw it coded as being canceled and they were past the end of their shift. It's not like there are other DL flights scheduled to arrive in the middle of the night.
 
Flymichael21
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RE: The "Lost" Delta Airlines Flight At PIT

Sat Aug 23, 2014 5:01 am

Looks like a dispatcher at Endeavor made a mistake. I'm sure Endeavor knew the flight was operating, but didn't catch that they listed it as canceled.

If the flight shows canceled, and that is the last arrival for the night shift, then the ground crews are going home.

Not the ground crews fault.
 
Prost
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RE: The "Lost" Delta Airlines Flight At PIT

Sat Aug 23, 2014 9:26 am

Dang. Just when you think you've heard of everything, we come up with a new way to mess up. I hope those customers are taken care of, and the investigation turns up what exactly went wrong. Humans make mistakes, and I hope there will be a way to make certain this doesn't happen again. I'm sure sitting on a plane from 2:30 AM until 3:30 AM was very unpleasant, tired and just wanting to go to bed.
 
wingnutmn
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RE: The "Lost" Delta Airlines Flight At PIT

Sat Aug 23, 2014 2:41 pm

I believe that it is a joint decision through 9E SOC and DL to actually cancel a flight. A dispatcher by themselves can't do it. Knowing this operation, my guess is that the flight was actually cancelled while on an extended taxi at JFK, but operations forgot to inform the flight crew. Then the plane takes off and no one thinks of it until after they land in PIT. Seems far fetched, but definitely seems logical for 9E!

Wingnut
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egph
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RE: The "Lost" Delta Airlines Flight At PIT

Sat Aug 23, 2014 8:53 pm

Reminds me of arriving at EDI on a summer charter flight at 5am local and having to hold off stand for 30 minutes until a ground handling team were available. The excuse that was given: "the senior ground handler slept in". I'm still as confused now as then.
 
nws2002
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RE: The "Lost" Delta Airlines Flight At PIT

Sat Aug 23, 2014 9:00 pm

Quoting wingnutmn (Reply 4):
my guess is that the flight was actually cancelled while on an extended taxi at JFK, but operations forgot to inform the flight crew.

That's totally what I think happened. With it being that late in the day I wonder if someone was close to duty time and 9E told DL they would have to cancel the flight if it wasn't out or off by X.
 
thegoldenargosy
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RE: The "Lost" Delta Airlines Flight At PIT

Sat Aug 23, 2014 9:11 pm

Quoting wingnutmn (Reply 4):
Seems far fetched, but definitely seems logical for 9E!

I believe it too. I used to be a DL CSA who frequently worked the closing shift. ExpressJet/ASA was probably the worst closely followed by Endeavor/Pinnacle. It wasn't uncommon to have to stay 3-4hrs past the end of the shift to meet a plane.
 
iad51fl
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RE: The "Lost" Delta Airlines Flight At PIT

Sun Aug 24, 2014 1:04 am

I have seen that happen before, the airline diverted a plane to the airport I was working at and did not bother contacting their station to make sure agents were there. The agents left early after the last scheduled arrival was actually cancelled.

Being a small airport we know everyone from the other airlines, so we called around and put together a crew of 4 from 3 other airlines to ramp the plane (marshal in, jetbridge, unload and remove jetbridge).

Sometimes you gotta do what you gotta do.

CE
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bhmdiversion
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RE: The "Lost" Delta Airlines Flight At PIT

Mon Aug 25, 2014 1:23 am

Quoting thegoldenargosy (Reply 7):

Would you rather have a cancelled flight to rebook or get a couple of extra hours of pay? Either way, it's part of your job and you bid for that time frame as well.
 
FlyHossD
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RE: The "Lost" Delta Airlines Flight At PIT

Mon Aug 25, 2014 2:37 am

Quoting wingnutmn (Reply 4):
A dispatcher by themselves can't do it. Knowing this operation, my guess is that the flight was actually cancelled while on an extended taxi at JFK, but operations forgot to inform the flight crew.

This was a point I tried several times to make at my former carrier - how do you notify a crew of a cancellation after they've left the gate? How does the Dispatcher revoke a dispatch release?

There were indirect ways to contact the crews, of course, but it wasn't consistent and that was my point. As best as I can recall, the question was really never settled.
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BravoEchoNov
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RE: The "Lost" Delta Airlines Flight At PIT

Mon Aug 25, 2014 2:45 am

So what would happen if the plane crashed? Say for some crazy reason ATC didn't notice it, would the airline even know their plane was airborn?
 
nws2002
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RE: The "Lost" Delta Airlines Flight At PIT

Mon Aug 25, 2014 3:34 am

Quoting BravoEchoNov (Reply 11):
So what would happen if the plane crashed? Say for some crazy reason ATC didn't notice it, would the airline even know their plane was airborn?

If 9E didn't even flight follow the aircraft, there may be a visit from the FAA for violating FARs. I would almost bet that 9E flight followed but there was some breakdown in communication between 9E and DL.
 
SJCMSP
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RE: The "Lost" Delta Airlines Flight At PIT

Mon Aug 25, 2014 12:32 pm

Did anyone else see this comment on the story?   

"Delta managers should be charged with kidnapping and false imprisonment.
And WHY didn't the pilot call 911?"
 
tp1040
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RE: The "Lost" Delta Airlines Flight At PIT

Mon Aug 25, 2014 2:32 pm

Strange comment that a cleaning person noticed the plane.

The pilot didn't talk to the company?
The pilot didn't to ground?
Who marshaled the plane?
 
N1120A
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RE: The "Lost" Delta Airlines Flight At PIT

Mon Aug 25, 2014 5:16 pm

Quoting tp1040 (Reply 14):

The pilot didn't talk to the company?

I'm thinking they did, but perhaps company wasn't aware of the issue.

Quoting tp1040 (Reply 14):
The pilot didn't to ground?

What?

If you are asking whether the pilot talked to ground, as in ground control, it is likely that if the PIT ATCT is staffed at that hour, there is only one controller working.

Quoting tp1040 (Reply 14):
Who marshaled the plane?

I'm guessing that they pulled in as far as they were allowed under their SOP and waited.
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Cubsrule
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RE: The "Lost" Delta Airlines Flight At PIT

Mon Aug 25, 2014 5:20 pm

Quoting N1120A (Reply 15):
If you are asking whether the pilot talked to ground, as in ground control, it is likely that if the PIT ATCT is staffed at that hour, there is only one controller working.

Correct, though it seems likely that the pilot would have called PIT ops and that no one would have responded. I don't know how unusual (or not) that is at that hour at that station.
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litz
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RE: The "Lost" Delta Airlines Flight At PIT

Mon Aug 25, 2014 6:02 pm

The comments from the guy who turned on his phone after landing, to discover he'd been rebooked on a 7:30am flight ... priceless ...

Amazing that in today's day and age, esp. with computerization, that something like this can happen.

Truthfully, an example of "Garbage In, Garbage Out"
 
tp1040
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RE: The "Lost" Delta Airlines Flight At PIT

Mon Aug 25, 2014 6:23 pm

I know PIT has lost a lot of traffic, but having the cleaning people spotting planes is a little sad.
 
jetmatt777
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RE: The "Lost" Delta Airlines Flight At PIT

Mon Aug 25, 2014 8:15 pm

The opposite happened to me once while at work.

Dispatch for the regional carrier never entered it in as canceled, and neither did the upline station or the main carrier ops. I finally called at 3am, and couldn't get a hold of any dispatchers. Finally got through to a dispatch manager, who told me the flight was canceled about 2 and a half hours prior to me calling.

So 3 rampers and a gate agent got around 3 and a half hours overtime each to sit and wait for a flight that was never going to come.

This event doesn't surprise me.
 
DeltaRules
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RE: The "Lost" Delta Airlines Flight At PIT

Mon Aug 25, 2014 8:55 pm

My mom was coming into DAB on a US Express/Mesa flight a few years ago & they had to wait for 25 minutes to be brought into the gate despite arriving on time. They were eventually rescued by DL agents.

The US agents and ground crews had gone to dinner, somehow forgetting about their flight inbound just after 6pm.

[Edited 2014-08-25 13:57:26]
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CO953
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RE: The "Lost" Delta Airlines Flight At PIT

Mon Aug 25, 2014 11:42 pm

OK, so I finally get to tell this story I never mentioned, and get some feedback. About 15 years ago, before 9/11, I went to MSY at night to pick up my brother, inbound from Denver on a UA 752. The flight was supposed to come in around 10pm, IIRC, but kept getting delayed. I called UA reservations repeatedly, and was finally told that the flight would be in at about 1 a.m. 12:30 am rolled around and all the ramp lights went off, the last ground crew truck was parked, not a soul to be seen - the gate agents were gone, then our little crowd waiting at the gate started seeing the main terminal lights being turned off in rolling banks. Security came through and asked us what we were doing there - I stepped forward - "we're waiting for flight XXX!": He said - no more flights are coming in - the airport's closing, y'all need to leave. The guy wasn't computing obviously, with about 20 people standing around waiting for a "non-existent" flight.

I picked up the white phone and told someone to get on the stick and call the control tower because they were trying to kick us out and where the heck was my brother's flight?!? They said yes the flight's coming, what do you mean you're being kicked out of the terminal?

About 2 minutes later, all the ramp lights started coming back on, trucks started driving everywhere, workers were rushing through propped-open doors, and a lot of hollering and cursing came from many directions, then the plane came in and they had to wait for wingwalkers.

I wonder what happened? I always just remember it actually was humorous to watch the sudden obvious frenzy, while hearing rampers through open doors loudly cussing a blue streak.
 
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dabpit
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RE: The "Lost" Delta Airlines Flight At PIT

Tue Aug 26, 2014 2:27 am

According to the article Airport Employees marshaled the plane in and connected the jetway. The airport has staff that are able to handle this around the clock
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RDUDDJI
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RE: The "Lost" Delta Airlines Flight At PIT

Tue Aug 26, 2014 4:10 am

Hard to tell whether this flight was cancelled, then un-cancelled (and yes, that actually happens at all carriers), or whether it was cancelled and word just never made it to the crew. Either way, a big screw up.

Quoting litz (Reply 17):
The comments from the guy who turned on his phone after landing, to discover he'd been rebooked on a 7:30am flight ... priceless ...

Not unusual. I get "protected" (layman term: rebooked) all the time when they don't think I will make a connection, even if I have 20+ minutes. It's not "confirmed" until the user agrees to it. In this dude's case, he probably would not have been able to confirm it since his segment was already used.
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