|Quoting codc10 (Reply 49):|
Quoting N1120A (Reply 39):
A plane definitely should have been available - RONing somewhere. You're telling me they couldn't find 2 pilots and 3 FAs who were willing to earn overtime and help some people? Out of their NYC or EWR bases? LOL. Of course they could. They just didn't.
... what happened next was an unmitigated disaster and a symptom of the underlying problem this airline has in its complete inability to get out of first gear in the post-merger process. Too many layers of management, a culture of fear, lack of common sense, poor coordination and too much emphasis on trying to do things on the cheap. For all intents and purposes, company is still, operationally, two airlines (maybe 1.5 if one is inclined to be generous).
There's plenty of blame to go around, but the real question is why are these operational meltdowns continuing to occur years into the process? I don't see similar instances happening with such regularity at Delta.
The airplane landed at Goose Bay at 11:30pm. United had a plan for a 767 at 9am the following morning at EWR ready to fly to YYR. That is pretty good planning. The problem was that for various mechanical and operational reasons, the airplane was delayed by 5 hours.
I haven’t heard of this happening on Delta recently, but I provided two links to very similar incidents with Lufthansa and Air France in Goose Bay. United is not the only airline that has diversions to airports they don’t service. The most I could have expected is the plane to leave EWR at 9am, and then fly to YYR, pick up the passengers and continue to LHR. For various reasons they could not do that. Some is United’s fault because the plane didn’t leave EWR until 2pm. At that point, they had to go back to EWR because they could not wait around long enough with duty time restrictions to get to LHR after curfew the next morning.
I don’t know if it is because people love one airline over another, but I don’t think you understand the challenges of recovering an airplane at a remote station that is not supported in a foreign country. United has to not only get crew, but also ensure that maintenance, fuel and cargo loading are all available on the ground in YYR and that the plane at least has basic catering. United can fly a mechanic on the airplane, but they have to also be able to retrieve the cargo & get the plane fueled, etc. Dispatch files YYR as an alternate so they have contracts for fuel, but not necessarily the logistics for how to process 180 people on to the airplane. Immigration can be a challenge as well since YYR does not receive many international passengers.
I don’t think you can say that this is an unmitigated disaster. I agree that there are plenty of operational problems at United, but that doesn’t mean that this was an inability to get out of first gear in the post merger process. Delta had a 747 divert to Midway Island. The airplane landed before dark, but the passengers were forced to stay on the airplane until 5am the next morning when a different plane picked them up. http://www.eturbonews.com/23506/delt...ency-landing-remote-pacific-island I would say spending 27 hours stuck inside an airplane is worse than going to an Army Barrack, getting a cot to sleep on and also being provided two meals. I’m not bringing this up to slam Delta or defend United, but rather comment that diversions are very difficult to manage when they go somewhere remote.
[Edited 2015-06-15 07:56:26]