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AS Fuel Stops Out Of SJO

Posted: Mon Apr 11, 2016 3:29 am
by QXFLYINGCOUG
Saturday evening I was on Alaska flight 283 from SJO-LAX. When I checked in we were all told that because of the winds ins San Jose, we would not be able to take off with enough fuel to fly all the way to LAX. We instead got to make a quick hop over to Liberia where we refueled and then got back on our way. I was wondering how common this has been for AS. Is it a pretty regular problem given the heat and altitude in SJO? I was fine with the fun scenic flight across Costa Rica, but it did make the connection in LAX pretty hectic. Love that AS id flying to Costa Rica!

RE: AS Fuel Stops Out Of SJO

Posted: Mon Apr 11, 2016 3:38 am
by SonomaFlyer
Do you recall the a/c type? I'm guessing it was a 737-900 which struggles with hot/high performance when heavily loaded.

RE: AS Fuel Stops Out Of SJO

Posted: Mon Apr 11, 2016 3:41 am
by QXFLYINGCOUG
It was the Spirit of Seattle livery 737-800.

RE: AS Fuel Stops Out Of SJO

Posted: Mon Apr 11, 2016 4:25 am
by YYZatcboy
The winds in SJO required using a runway with an obstacle limit in the climb that was quite restrictive.

RE: AS Fuel Stops Out Of SJO

Posted: Mon Apr 11, 2016 4:32 am
by AA737-823
Quoting SonomaFlyer (Reply 1):
I'm guessing it was a 737-900 which struggles with hot/high performance when heavily loaded.

Can't be a -900. To get a -900 in and out of Costa Rica, you'll need a runway that starts in Guatemala and ends in Panama.

All joking aside, the -9 struggles with runway performance regardless of hot-n-high or not. It's an airplane I like to fly in, but takeoff rolls can be unnerving.

RE: AS Fuel Stops Out Of SJO

Posted: Mon Apr 11, 2016 5:14 am
by EA CO AS
Quoting QXFLYINGCOUG (Thread starter):
I was wondering how common this has been for AS.

Not common at all; about 6-8 times total since service began. It really depends on the winds and temperature, and it becomes a question of making a quick tech stop at LIR to top off, or weight-restrict the plane by bumping 10-15 customers.

No one enjoys a tech stop, but it's a better overall customer experience than bumping a significant number of customers to operate nonstop.

RE: AS Fuel Stops Out Of SJO

Posted: Mon Apr 11, 2016 2:02 pm
by FriscoHeavy
Quoting AA737-823 (Reply 4):
All joking aside, the -9 struggles with runway performance regardless of hot-n-high or not. It's an airplane I like to fly in, but takeoff rolls can be unnerving.

....seriously, "unnerving"? Give me a break.

RE: AS Fuel Stops Out Of SJO

Posted: Mon Apr 11, 2016 5:26 pm
by hiflyeras
Ever take off in a DC-8 Stretch? Now THAT was unnerving. The fuselage twisted and turned so much going down the runway you swore it would break in two!

RE: AS Fuel Stops Out Of SJO

Posted: Mon Apr 11, 2016 5:32 pm
by bgm
Quoting FriscoHeavy (Reply 6):
....seriously, "unnerving"? Give me a break.

I know, right? The world is round, ya know, so that helps old Guppy get off the ground. She learned from her old protégé, the A340.  

RE: AS Fuel Stops Out Of SJO

Posted: Mon Apr 11, 2016 5:48 pm
by flybynight
As AS stretches it network it seriously needs to look at longer range planes.

A fuel stop like this can screw up someone's connecting flight.

If AS wants to fly these long routes maybe it is time to look at 787's....or maybe those 321's (NEO) coming from Virgin will suffice

RE: AS Fuel Stops Out Of SJO

Posted: Mon Apr 11, 2016 5:58 pm
by joeljack
Quoting flybynight (Reply 9):
As AS stretches it network it seriously needs to look at longer range planes.

A fuel stop like this can screw up someone's connecting flight.

If AS wants to fly these long routes maybe it is time to look at 787's....or maybe those 321's (NEO) coming from Virgin will suffice

Good news is that AS will soon have an A320, which from what I read won't have this issue. I would look for LAX-SJO to move to an A320 in the future.

RE: AS Fuel Stops Out Of SJO

Posted: Mon Apr 11, 2016 6:17 pm
by usflyguy
Quoting joeljack (Reply 10):
I would look for LAX-SJO to move to an A320 in the future.

Hopefully with AS crewmembers, otherwise that's the quickest way to piss off a couple of thousand flight attendants and pilots... Taking your best overnights away and giving them to the new folks on the block.

RE: AS Fuel Stops Out Of SJO

Posted: Mon Apr 11, 2016 6:20 pm
by joeljack
Quoting usflyguy (Reply 11):

Hopefully with AS crewmembers, otherwise that's the quickest way to piss off a couple of thousand flight attendants and pilots... Taking your best overnights away and giving them to the new folks on the block.

Hopefully they are able to integrate everything much faster than UA and AA did...more like WN. This would avoid all these stupid arguments.

RE: AS Fuel Stops Out Of SJO

Posted: Mon Apr 11, 2016 6:22 pm
by caleb1
Quoting usflyguy (Reply 11):

Hopefully with AS crewmembers, otherwise that's the quickest way to piss off a couple of thousand flight attendants and pilots... Taking your best overnights away and giving them to the new folks on the block.




Ask UAL FAs. They know all about that.

RE: AS Fuel Stops Out Of SJO

Posted: Mon Apr 11, 2016 6:31 pm
by 32andBelow
Quoting usflyguy (Reply 11):
Hopefully with AS crewmembers, otherwise that's the quickest way to piss off a couple of thousand flight attendants and pilots... Taking your best overnights away and giving them to the new folks on the block.

Please. The real fun is when AS tries to by A321s on red eye Round trips SEA/ANC/SEA for the extra seats.

RE: AS Fuel Stops Out Of SJO

Posted: Mon Apr 11, 2016 6:31 pm
by BoeingGuy
Quoting joeljack (Reply 10):
Good news is that AS will soon have an A320, which from what I read won't have this issue. I would look for LAX-SJO to move to an A320 in the future.

I thought the 738 outperforms the A320 as far as range and payload. Is that not correct?

RE: AS Fuel Stops Out Of SJO

Posted: Mon Apr 11, 2016 6:39 pm
by joeljack
Quoting BoeingGuy (Reply 15):

I thought the 738 outperforms the A320 as far as range and payload. Is that not correct?

I'm not sure on that, but I thought the A320 was way better with short runway, high elevation, high temperature situations?

RE: AS Fuel Stops Out Of SJO

Posted: Mon Apr 11, 2016 6:40 pm
by 32andBelow
Have they subbed in a 73G on days with light loads?

RE: AS Fuel Stops Out Of SJO

Posted: Mon Apr 11, 2016 6:48 pm
by LAXintl
Quoting EA CO AS (Reply 5):
Not common at all; about 6-8 times total since service began.

According to FlightAware.com it has stopped 8 times since January 1st alone.

The flight which does not operate daily operated 49 times according to FlightAware.com during the period, an to take 8 stops is a truly terrible completion factor.

Reminds me of both TW and AA which got their hands slapped by DOT for advertising schedules which they were unable reliably complete.

RE: AS Fuel Stops Out Of SJO

Posted: Mon Apr 11, 2016 6:50 pm
by 32andBelow
Quoting LAXintl (Reply 18):
Reminds me of both TW and AA which got their hands slapped by DOT for advertising schedules which they were unable reliably complete.

I think you only need 50.01% on block to be legal.

RE: AS Fuel Stops Out Of SJO

Posted: Mon Apr 11, 2016 7:07 pm
by yellowtail
Quoting joeljack (Reply 10):
Good news is that AS will soon have an A320, which from what I read won't have this issue.

Taking off from that particular runway...the 320 will still have an issue

RE: AS Fuel Stops Out Of SJO

Posted: Mon Apr 11, 2016 8:35 pm
by EA CO AS
Quoting LAXintl (Reply 18):
The flight which does not operate daily operated 49 times according to FlightAware.com during the period, an to take 8 stops is a truly terrible completion factor.

You make it sound like the flight cancelled each time. It did not.

Yes, a tech stop to top off is less than ideal, but then again so is denying boarding to 10-15 customers on those one-offs to ensure it's a true nonstop operation.

RE: AS Fuel Stops Out Of SJO

Posted: Mon Apr 11, 2016 9:57 pm
by BoeingGuy
Quoting EA CO AS (Reply 21):
Yes, a tech stop to top off is less than ideal, but then again so is denying boarding to 10-15 customers on those one-offs to ensure it's a true nonstop operation.

It's also better than what AS did to some of us at PVR several years ago. It was a non-ER 737-900 PVR-SEA, which of course is pushing it. So they offloaded a bunch of luggage and sent it PVR-LAX-SEA. Fine, but they didn't bother to tell anyone. We all had to stand in an hour long line at SEA to file a missing luggage claim.

They intentionally offloaded luggage for weight restriction purposes. You think they could have sent a list up to SEA and called us over and told us.

RE: AS Fuel Stops Out Of SJO

Posted: Mon Apr 11, 2016 10:32 pm
by flybynight
Quoting BoeingGuy (Reply 22):
It's also better than what AS did to some of us at PVR several years ago. It was a non-ER 737-900 PVR-SEA, which of course is pushing it. So they offloaded a bunch of luggage and sent it PVR-LAX-SEA. Fine, but they didn't bother to tell anyone. We all had to stand in an hour long line at SEA to file a missing luggage claim.

They intentionally offloaded luggage for weight restriction purposes. You think they could have sent a list up to SEA and called us over and told us.

Living 20 minutes from Everett, WA I really like seeing both AS and Boeing doing well.

But, I find this a pretty sad experience from what you describe above.

Again, if AS want to keep expanding, get the planes that perform the necessary routes. If not, DL will be happy to fly it with a 757 or perhaps an A330.

RE: AS Fuel Stops Out Of SJO

Posted: Mon Apr 11, 2016 11:06 pm
by MIflyer12
Quoting EA CO AS (Reply 21):
You make it sound like the flight cancelled each time. It did not.

Yes, a tech stop to top off is less than ideal, but then again so is denying boarding to 10-15 customers on those one-offs to ensure it's a true nonstop operation.

Rationalize it all you want. Delta's four flights operated from SJO on time Saturday, with a 737-700 and 3x 757s. AA ops were on time 5 of 6, with the laggard an 18 minute arrival delay, so that doesn't suggest a tech stop.

RE: AS Fuel Stops Out Of SJO

Posted: Tue Apr 12, 2016 12:18 am
by rwsea
Quoting EA CO AS (Reply 5):
Not common at all; about 6-8 times total since service began.

Hasn't the flight only operated for a few months anyway? They're still touting it as "brand new service". Even if only 1-2 times a month, that's pretty bad for a flight that isn't daily. And even worse given the late arrival into LAX means connections to SEA are already pushing it.

I wonder if this will lead to a change in the schedule so that the flight leaves SJO at a cooler time of day, especially given the lack of connections at LAX under the current schedule.

RE: AS Fuel Stops Out Of SJO

Posted: Tue Apr 12, 2016 1:18 am
by EA CO AS
Quoting MIflyer12 (Reply 24):
Delta's four flights operated from SJO on time Saturday

And.......?   

Quoting rwsea (Reply 25):
They're still touting it as "brand new service".

Because it's still fairly new.

RE: AS Fuel Stops Out Of SJO

Posted: Tue Apr 12, 2016 1:46 am
by FriscoHeavy
Quoting joeljack (Reply 10):

Sorry bud, the 738 has better performance than a 320.

RE: AS Fuel Stops Out Of SJO

Posted: Tue Apr 12, 2016 2:04 am
by rwsea
Quoting EA CO AS (Reply 26):
Because it's still fairly new.

And that's why saying that it's only happened 6-8 times is a bit disingenuous, in my opinion.

RE: AS Fuel Stops Out Of SJO

Posted: Tue Apr 12, 2016 2:38 am
by EA CO AS
Quoting rwsea (Reply 28):
And that's why saying that it's only happened 6-8 times is a bit disingenuous, in my opinion.

As opposed to saying what? "Gosh folks, I know you wanted to fly here, but since we've had to make the occasional tech stop we're just gonna scrap the whole route. But hey, Omaha's nice this time of year!"

RE: AS Fuel Stops Out Of SJO

Posted: Tue Apr 12, 2016 2:44 am
by bgm
Quoting EA CO AS (Reply 29):
As opposed to saying what? "Gosh folks, I know you wanted to fly here, but since we've had to make the occasional tech stop we're just gonna scrap the whole route. But hey, Omaha's nice this time of year!"

Touchy touchy!  

Emotional dramatics aside, would it make more sense maybe to operate the 73G on this route?

RE: AS Fuel Stops Out Of SJO

Posted: Tue Apr 12, 2016 2:47 am
by mingocr83
Local here, living close to the airport. Between November and May gets pretty windy due to the storms up North and very hot and humid. AS departure time is late afternoon around 4.30-5.30pm, temperatures are lower which may not affect performance that much but altitude, yes, airport is at 3000ft ASL. The catch here is the terrain East of the Airport, which can make the departure quite difficult if you have EFATO at MTOW. Friday and Saturday was quite windy...around 15kts average gusts up to 25kts. WestJet's YYZ flight due to winds, I think on Saturday used COCOS4 departure saving quite a lot of fuel, departure is E/NE and not as hard on the climb like CACAO4 or POAS 4 SIDs.

RE: AS Fuel Stops Out Of SJO

Posted: Tue Apr 12, 2016 3:27 am
by rwsea
Quoting EA CO AS (Reply 29):
As opposed to saying what? "Gosh folks, I know you wanted to fly here, but since we've had to make the occasional tech stop we're just gonna scrap the whole route. But hey, Omaha's nice this time of year!"

As opposed to a) putting a suitable aircraft on the route, or b) telling passengers at booking that there is a good chance that there may be a late arrival into LAX due to use of a non-suitable aircraft for the route, and thus connections should not be booked/plans should be made for this?

RE: AS Fuel Stops Out Of SJO

Posted: Tue Apr 12, 2016 3:29 am
by 32andBelow
God good thing you guy don't know about AS marketed route to DUT. You would think they are committing a war crime.

RE: AS Fuel Stops Out Of SJO

Posted: Tue Apr 12, 2016 3:58 am
by LAXintl
They could always hold seats back and not sell them especially if this is more a seasonal issue.

Copa for example at times holds seats on PTY-SFO to minimize chances of fuel stop or payload offloads at last minute.

RE: AS Fuel Stops Out Of SJO

Posted: Tue Apr 12, 2016 4:51 am
by F9Animal
Quoting AA737-823 (Reply 4):
All joking aside, the -9 struggles with runway performance regardless of hot-n-high or not. It's an airplane I like to fly in, but takeoff rolls can be unnerving.

You obviously never flew on Allegiant or Valujet!

Quoting rwsea (Reply 32):
As opposed to a) putting a suitable aircraft on the route, or b) telling passengers at booking that there is a good chance that there may be a late arrival into LAX due to use of a non-suitable aircraft for the route, and thus connections should not be booked/plans should be made for this?

What would be a suitable aircraft? I am certain Alaska isn't the only airline that has this issue on the route. It's still a fairly new route, and I can assure you that teething problems are being discussed. Like others have mentioned, the other option is taking bags and passengers off the plane. Gotta give AS props for at least doing the right thing. My dad was on this flight by the way, as he lives there. He didn't have a problem with it at all.

RE: AS Fuel Stops Out Of SJO

Posted: Tue Apr 12, 2016 2:02 pm
by travelin man
I remember when AA did BUR-DFW with an MD80. In the Summer the afternoon flight would often hop BUR to ONT to pick up fuel (I experienced it several times). It wasn't that big of a deal, and kind of cool to cruise over the LA basin at 6000 feet.

I'd love to cruise over Costa Rica from SJO to LIR!

RE: AS Fuel Stops Out Of SJO

Posted: Tue Apr 12, 2016 5:11 pm
by flybynight
Quoting travelin man (Reply 36):
remember when AA did BUR-DFW with an MD80. In the Summer the afternoon flight would often hop BUR to ONT to pick up fuel (I experienced it several times). It wasn't that big of a deal, and kind of cool to cruise over the LA basin at 6000 feet.I'd love to cruise over Costa Rica from SJO to LIR!

From an aviation point of view I agree with you. That's why we are on this website.

From a practical point of view I dislike it very much. Missing a connection is an issue, especially since most of the passengers going to SJO are likely coming from SEA or PDX.


The 737MAX will likely solve the issue (maybe?)

I really would like to see AS seriously start thinking about 787's if they keep expanding. Or maybe some 757's.....they serve Icelandair nicely across the Atlantic (granted with a stop in Iceland). Wouldn't it be nice to fly direct to SJO from SEA for example, or even all the way from ANC (which the 787 could do, not sure about the 757(.

RE: AS Fuel Stops Out Of SJO

Posted: Tue Apr 12, 2016 5:43 pm
by 32andBelow
Quoting flybynight (Reply 37):
I really would like to see AS seriously start thinking about 787's if they keep expanding. Or maybe some 757's.....they serve Icelandair nicely across the Atlantic (granted with a stop in Iceland). Wouldn't it be nice to fly direct to SJO from SEA for example, or even all the way from ANC (which the 787 could do, not sure about the 757(.

They have 321s coming!

RE: AS Fuel Stops Out Of SJO

Posted: Tue Apr 12, 2016 6:11 pm
by Maverick623
Quoting joeljack (Reply 10):
Good news is that AS will soon have an A320, which from what I read won't have this issue. I would look for LAX-SJO to move to an A320 in the future.

It will still be an issue.

Basically when the winds don't cooperate aircraft have to take off uphill towards the mountains. AA has to make fuel stops with A319s every time this happens SJO-PHX, usually going to MZT to do so.

RE: AS Fuel Stops Out Of SJO

Posted: Tue Apr 12, 2016 7:12 pm
by flybynight
Quoting 32andBelow (Reply 38):
They have 321s coming!

Through Virgin, yes, NEO's I believe.
But size and range isn't very different on the Airbus vs say the 900ER or 900MAX.

To me at least it seems it is time to look at bigger plane with dedicated long range capabilities. But I am no expert, so I will leave that up to AS.

But it sure would be cool to see AS order, say, 20 787's or A350's.

While the 788 is certainly bigger than the 739, it isn't that much bigger. I believe about 170 passenger vs 240

RE: AS Fuel Stops Out Of SJO

Posted: Tue Apr 12, 2016 7:54 pm
by EA CO AS
Quoting flybynight (Reply 40):
But it sure would be cool to see AS order, say, 20 787's

It was seriously looked at not long ago.

RE: AS Fuel Stops Out Of SJO

Posted: Tue Apr 12, 2016 7:57 pm
by BoeingGuy
Quoting EA CO AS (Reply 41):
Quoting flybynight (Reply 40):
But it sure would be cool to see AS order, say, 20 787's

It was seriously looked at not long ago.

And what happened?

I do know AS seriously looked at the 757 about 15-20 years ago.

RE: AS Fuel Stops Out Of SJO

Posted: Tue Apr 12, 2016 8:18 pm
by F9Animal
Quoting EA CO AS (Reply 41):

It was seriously looked at not long ago.

Stop it!!! Are you trying to make me pee myself?!!! LOL! I had no idea. How close did they come to making it a reality? I wonder if it is still a possibility in the near future? Perhaps AS is waiting for the right time?

Quoting Maverick623 (Reply 39):
It will still be an issue.

Basically when the winds don't cooperate aircraft have to take off uphill towards the mountains. AA has to make fuel stops with A319s every time this happens SJO-PHX, usually going to MZT to do so.

They get some crazy winds at SJO. My sister was living with my dad in SJO, and she told me some of the windstorms they get are insane. Granted, they live in Grecia which is a ways from SJO. However, they are used to tech stops. This isn't just AS that has to do this.

RE: AS Fuel Stops Out Of SJO

Posted: Tue Apr 12, 2016 9:37 pm
by EA CO AS
Quoting BoeingGuy (Reply 42):
And what happened?

It didn't materialize.

Quoting BoeingGuy (Reply 42):
I do know AS seriously looked at the 757 about 15-20 years ago.

I so wish we'd gotten those. I had a long talk with Irv Bertram a few years back about the B757 and he said at that time the B737-800/900 could do so much of the B757 missions that it just wasn't practical.

Quoting F9Animal (Reply 43):
Are you trying to make me pee myself?!!!

Hey now, let's not get crazy here...  

RE: AS Fuel Stops Out Of SJO

Posted: Tue Apr 12, 2016 9:41 pm
by N1120A
Quoting joeljack (Reply 10):
Good news is that AS will soon have an A320, which from what I read won't have this issue. I would look for LAX-SJO to move to an A320 in the future.
Quoting joeljack (Reply 16):
I'm not sure on that, but I thought the A320 was way better with short runway, high elevation, high temperature situations?

Incorrect. The 738 actually has better payload and range performance.

Quoting travelin man (Reply 36):

I remember when AA did BUR-DFW with an MD80. In the Summer the afternoon flight would often hop BUR to ONT to pick up fuel (I experienced it several times). It wasn't that big of a deal, and kind of cool to cruise over the LA basin at 6000 feet.

That would be because of Santa Ana Winds changing the runway configuration. Even a 73G has issues then.

Quoting 32andBelow (Reply 38):
They have 321s coming!

Which is completely irrelevant. They would have a worse situation than now.

RE: AS Fuel Stops Out Of SJO

Posted: Tue Apr 12, 2016 9:46 pm
by BoeingGuy
Quoting EA CO AS (Reply 44):
Quoting BoeingGuy (Reply 42):
And what happened?

It didn't materialize.

I assumed that. I was asking more details. What would AS have done with them? Why didn't it materialize?

RE: AS Fuel Stops Out Of SJO

Posted: Tue Apr 12, 2016 10:28 pm
by flybynight
Quoting EA CO AS (Reply 41):
It was seriously looked at not long ago.

And they should look at it again! Think they could offer NYC to Hawaii for example from the Virgin hub.
It would also make some cross-country flights more comfortable and range would not be an issue regardless of where AS might expand. Plus the capacity would be welcomed on flight like SEA - EWR.

RE: AS Fuel Stops Out Of SJO

Posted: Wed Apr 13, 2016 12:08 am
by spinkid
Quoting EA CO AS (Reply 5):
or weight-restrict the plane by bumping 10-15 customers.

Much better than offloading them at an out station that is likely outsourced. SJO also isn't usually the final destination for most travelers in Costa Rica, so you'd likely have several tourists outraged that they had to spend the night in the "big bad city" of SJO

Quoting BoeingGuy (Reply 22):
They intentionally offloaded luggage for weight restriction purposes. You think they could have sent a list up to SEA and called us over and told us.

One of those no brainer things that someone was probably told "can't be done" so no one tried to make it happen.

Quoting F9Animal (Reply 43):
They get some crazy winds at SJO. My sister was living with my dad in SJO, and she told me some of the windstorms they get are insane. Granted, they live in Grecia which is a ways from SJO. However, they are used to tech stops. This isn't just AS that has to do this.

IIRC from my visit to San Jose. The airport has nearby Mountainous terrain and weather conditions could vary drastically from one area to the next. I can remember dense fog and just a short drive away, it was all clear.

RE: AS Fuel Stops Out Of SJO

Posted: Wed Apr 13, 2016 12:18 am
by EA CO AS
Quoting spinkid (Reply 48):
Quoting EA CO AS (Reply 5):or weight-restrict the plane by bumping 10-15 customers.
Much better than offloading them at an out station that is likely outsourced.

And realistically, this would look like revenue management blocking 10-15 seats from being sold. But that also means 10-15 seats worth of unsold inventory on every single flight, when not every flight is impacted by winds.