American Eagle has honesty issues...

Discussion in 'Flight Following' started by MauleSkinner, Feb 3, 2019.

  1. MauleSkinner

    MauleSkinner Final Approach

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    Flight 3124 from KORD to KICT canceled due to weather...”widespread fog at the destination” was the first story...

    Data at: 0408 UTC 04 Feb 2019

    KICT 040353Z 17018G26KT 10SM CLR 16/12 A2951 RMK AO2 PK WND 17026/0346 SLP988 T01610117 $

    KICT 032329Z 0400/0424 18017G25KT P6SM FEW040 FEW150
    FM040200 18014G20KT P6SM FEW180 WS020/19045KT
    FM040700 22011KT P6SM FEW250
    FM041000 30010KT P6SM FEW120
    FM041200 34014G22KT P6SM SCT180
    FM041700 01013G18KT P6SM FEW220


    “Freezing rain in Chicago” was next...

    KORD 040351Z 18004KT 9SM SCT026 OVC033 07/07 A2980 RMK AO2 SLP094 T00720067

    KORD 040314Z 0403/0506 18007KT 6SM BR SCT012 OVC017 WS020/22045KT
    FM041200 19012G17KT 3SM -SHRA BR BKN007 OVC015 WS015/22040KT
    TEMPO 0415/0419 1 1/2SM BR OVC004
    FM042000 25013KT P6SM BKN015 OVC040
    FM050100 28013G20KT P6SM SCT025

    I have a sneaking suspicion we’re being bull***tted.

    BTW...the POA software doesnt actually censor “bull***tted. :rolleyes:
     
  2. Pilawt

    Pilawt Final Approach PoA Supporter

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  3. jordane93

    jordane93 Final Approach

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    When in doubt blame it on ATC:)
     
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  4. labbadabba

    labbadabba Pattern Altitude

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    I flew in Kansas last evening with very similar METARS. Some terminals were fine others were terrible. KLWC was reporting 5SM and CLR with BR 10/12. I knew with the spread that I'd probably find clouds, actual conditions were cigs at 600 ft with LLWS and nasty crosswinds. I got into the clouds at a 30 degree crab on my final segment of the RNAV 15. No moon and soupy low clouds, over a unpopulated wooded area, it was daaaark.

    I was very thankful to have a reliable AP but it was plenty sporty with a high pucker factor.
     
  5. MauleSkinner

    MauleSkinner Final Approach

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    It's very probably the WS part of the forecast that's the problem. If that's why they canceled, fine...I just have issues with the lies.
     
  6. Kansas Flyer

    Kansas Flyer Pre-takeoff checklist

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    I live 10 miles from ICT. There was no fog....
     
  7. timwinters

    timwinters Touchdown! Greaser! PoA Supporter

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    Flight didn't have enough seats booked?
     
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  8. SCCutler

    SCCutler Administrator Management Council Member PoA Supporter

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    IMG_0284.jpg There was that time when AA canceled our flight from Denver to DFW (along with several others), because ..."the FAA had issued a ground stop..."; well, he'll, can't do nothin' about that, right?

    So I was confounded as we trudged down the concourse to find a (staggeringly expensive) hotel room, and saw a Frontier flight, and a Spirit flight, both to DFW, both on their way with no particular issues. So, being the good non-sheep that I am (on occasion), I looked it up.

    Sure enough, there was a ground stop. It applied only to AA. And, it was issued at the request of... AA.
     
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  9. timwinters

    timwinters Touchdown! Greaser! PoA Supporter

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    W.T. and F?
     
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  10. Cooter

    Cooter Ejection Handle Pulled

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    What do you think the real reason was?
     
  11. kayoh190

    kayoh190 En-Route PoA Supporter

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    As I understand it, what happens is the airline is told they can land xx number of airplanes, and the airline gets to choose which ones go and which ones don’t. It then becomes listed as AAL request, or UAL request, or whatver.

    I think they can also issue a ground stop if they run out of ramp space. If weather is impacting the operation they might have had way more airplanes on the ground than anticipated, and ran out of room to put everyone. I see that at LGA a lot.
     
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  12. SCCutler

    SCCutler Administrator Management Council Member PoA Supporter

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    There had been very severe weather in the area (although it was not all that bad at DFW, itself), and I have no doubt that operations at DFW, American's biggest hub, had been hopelessly mangled.

    I don't doubt that could happen, but it certainly wasn't the case that day; the airport was receiving traffic without issue. In American's case, it was simply a matter of the compounded effect of poor weather that had earlier existed for a number of hours made it more efficient for them to flush their entire DFW schedule for the day, and restart in the morning. I imagine it reaches a point where trying to preserve one day's schedule can have a disastrous and ongoing effect on the next day and thereafter, and in the aggregate, fewer passengers are affected by this strategy. I envision an unworkable number of crew members timing out, as a result of trying to cling to a broken schedule.

    So I get it, but it is dishonest, because the airline's obligation to compensate passengers is materially different if they do so as a result of a ground stop, then if they simply decide to cancel flights unilaterally.
     
  13. Timbeck2

    Timbeck2 Final Approach

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    Muthuh...:mad:
     
  14. Cooter

    Cooter Ejection Handle Pulled

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    I don’t think it’s sinister, but I’m sure some of what you’re saying is true. One of the problems is that the customer gets their info from the gate agents, who probably have less information than anyone else. They want to give a reason, but often only have bits and pieces of the truth.
    Gate mgmt is another, and that is largely unseen by the public. Arriving flights depend on the departures operating mostly on schedule. Like you said, DFW is American’s hub so delays/disruptions are going to have a much larger effect on them.

    I don’t think people appreciate the coordination required to move that many people. There are ripple effects that can make it appear the airline isn’t being truthful, but the fact is that the answer is complex and beyond most traveler’s understanding.
     
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  15. midwestpa24

    midwestpa24 Cleared for Takeoff

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    The airlines will usually ground their regionals to make way for the mainline aircraft. It is simple logistics. If we can only land 50 aircraft over the next hour, do we land 50 CRJ/ERJ, or 50 757/767/Airbus. Its a matter of inconveniencing and rebooking hundreds of passengers instead of thousands. Not to mention, once the decision is made, many of the mainline aircraft may be coming from halfway around the country or the world and already be airborne and need to be accepted. The regionals are often only an hour or so away and still on the ground. Some of your mainline aircraft may be limited for diversions as well due to their size.
     
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  16. Timbeck2

    Timbeck2 Final Approach

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    Simple logistics? Nah, I agree with the OP. People pay airlines to get somewhere and the airline makes chit up to not fulfill their end of the deal.

    But they pay for a hotel room. That's great but now I've missed the funeral/wedding/ etc.
     
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  17. midwestpa24

    midwestpa24 Cleared for Takeoff

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    To what advantage? Cancelled flights cost money and problems within their system because aircraft and crews are now out of position.
     
  18. MauleSkinner

    MauleSkinner Final Approach

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    That's our assumption.
     
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  19. Timbeck2

    Timbeck2 Final Approach

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    My point is - honesty. If you can't land somewhere because of ramp/gate space, then say so. Don't lie about it.
     
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  20. jordane93

    jordane93 Final Approach

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    The gate agents have limited knowledge which is still no excuse. That’s why I try to do gate announcements whenever we’re delayed. People tend to trust pilots more when they make the announcements. And most of the time I just blame it on ATC;)
     
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  21. Larry in TN

    Larry in TN Cleared for Takeoff

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    If an airline is out of gate or ramp space because of a large weather event then the cause of the delays is still weather.

    Same if the airline cancels a significant number of flights in order to recover the system following a big weather event.

    If a flight is delayed because the inbound aircraft is late due to deicing or other weather then the delay is still due to weather.

    If a flight is delayed or cancelled because the crew timed-out due to weather delays then the delay or cancellation is still due to weather.

    The airline doesn't (legally) owe the passengers anything more than any other weather event.

    The airline logs a whole string of data about every flight. It isn't unusual to see several dozen events logged for a single flight. When a flight is delayed, there is often a series of reasons for the delay and each and every one of them gets logged to the flight. The airline uses that data to track the causes of delays, and many other performance metrics, internally. When you look at your app, or the airline's website, it only lists the MOST RECENT delay code that was assigned to the flight. It does not give you a comprehensive history of the flight and the factors affecting its delay.
     
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  22. MauleSkinner

    MauleSkinner Final Approach

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    Unless, of course, they can call it a weather cancellation. Then, as Larry said, they’re not responsible.

    In this case, there probably weren’t enough seats booked on the early flight out of KICT in the morning, either, so it worked best for the airline that way, too.

    I agree...unfortunately the gate agents are put in the position where the company requires them to lie. I’ve had companies try to do that to me...unfortunately I don’t play along. I tell them what I know; if I don’t know anything, I say so; if my story doesn’t match what they heard from the company, most of them know me well enough to know what to believe.

    I’ve done my share of “blaming” ATC, the weather, I forecast headwinds, all that stuff, but what I tell the passengers is what’s actually happening. Probably in large part because I’m such a crappy liar, I learned early on that lying to my passengers doesn’t make things better, and often makes things worse.
     
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  23. Lindberg

    Lindberg En-Route

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    Traveling with my 7-year-old daughter from DCA to DFW, AA delayed and then cancelled our fight when it became clear we wouldn't lift off by 10pm. While they could have flown anyway, they would have paid a fine. The airline CHOSE not to fly. There was zero operational or logistical reason not to fly.

    Rather than delay the flight until morning and have to put the passengers up, AA cancelled it and created a brand new flight the next morning the just happened to use the same plane at the same gate with all the same passengers.

    The gate agents refused to provide any assistance because of a non-existent weather delay. Customer service admitted that their scheduling system showed NO REASON for the cancellation.

    Between endpoints with high frequency flights, on numerous occasions, I've been on flights that have been cancelled for "mechanical reasons" and everyone moved to the next flight, which miraculously has room for everyone.

    I don't believe that I've been present every time AA does stuff like this. I believe they do it regularly.
     
    Last edited: Feb 4, 2019
  24. Gerhardt

    Gerhardt En-Route

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    I'm actually a very good liar. But I won't do it in my job. I won't even sugar coat bad news. It's amazing how much better things are when you're honest with people. They still don't like the answer, but I think most respect being told straight-up why the chips aren't falling their way this time.
     
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  25. jordane93

    jordane93 Final Approach

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    Luckily I haven’t been put in a situation where my employer has told me to lie. Delta wants us to give as much information as possible and that’s what I try to do. During delays we’re expected to keep people updated every 15 minutes with a PA even if there is no update.
     
  26. kayoh190

    kayoh190 En-Route PoA Supporter

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    Same policy at every airline, and never in my career have I been asked (or heard of a pilot being asked) to lie.

    But apparently pilots are ‘regularly’ making up BS maintenance issues so the company can cancel a flight with a bunch of open seats. Oooookay.
     
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  27. Timbeck2

    Timbeck2 Final Approach

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    I hate you with all my hate. :mad:
     
  28. Zeldman

    Zeldman Touchdown! Greaser!

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    I jump seated on a plane out of Anchorage to Minneapolis that had 11 passengers on board. I was concerned about cancellation because of the number of passengers, but as I was told the plane was needed down the line so off we went. Very comfortably.
     
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  29. jordane93

    jordane93 Final Approach

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    I do think there needs to be more training on gate agents’ part to understand more about the operation. They only know what we tell them. I think if airlines do a better job with training gate agents on what to say, there’d be less confusion. They don’t know what they don’t know.
     
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  30. SCCutler

    SCCutler Administrator Management Council Member PoA Supporter

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    You said a lot there - the gate agents (and counter agents, for that matter) are fed nothing but the merest shred of useful information, and to be honest, my heart goes out to every one of them.

    That time in Denver, I saw behavior by some passengers that made me embarrassed to share a species with these people. Yelling at agents as if the agents had, themselves, personally chosen to cancel a flight. I swear that being nice may have been what got us on the "full" flight the next morning. Who knows?

    Like I said above, the carrier was probably doing what they had to do to impact the fewest people. It's a poop sandwich, and sometimes, we're all at the buffet. And (in the case I mentioned) perspective's a good thing to have - my family and I were inconvenienced, while that same night, several people died in tornadoes in north Texas.
     
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  31. unsafervguy

    unsafervguy Pattern Altitude

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    and totally wrong.
    the airlines do not cancel because of low passenger counts. the logistics cost way more than flying an empty airplane. especially regionals. most operate under fee for departure, so they only get paid from the name holder if the flight flys. trust me, the last thing they want to do is cancel a flight at an outstation, the downstream effects can last for days and cost big big money. as for getting the run a round, the only one that knows what is really happening is dispatch and in a weather event, with aircraft everywhere on bingo fuel, talking to a gate agent in ict is their last priority.
     
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  32. MauleSkinner

    MauleSkinner Final Approach

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    Chicago is an outstation?
     
  33. Busflyer

    Busflyer Pre-takeoff checklist

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    What he said. I know the average passenger thinks this is common but it just isn’t.
     
  34. midwestpa24

    midwestpa24 Cleared for Takeoff

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    Not to mention the DOT keeps track of airline delays and cancellations. In over a decade of working at a commercial airport, I've never seen a flight cancel due to passenger load. Seen several fly empty, but there is almost always passengers on the return leg.
     
  35. Eric Stoltz

    Eric Stoltz Line Up and Wait

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    It may have been as simple as not having a crew to operate the flight. 14 years, 10 months and 9 days as a regional pilot so that's my first thought.
     
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  36. Lindberg

    Lindberg En-Route

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    On a route with 8 round trips a day, how much $ would an airline save if it could cancel a round trip without stranding any passengers?

    Whenever it's contract renewal time, all we hear is how greedy management is and willing to sacrifice customer service and safety for money...
     
  37. MauleSkinner

    MauleSkinner Final Approach

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    How is that a "weather" cancellation?

    Like I indicated earlier, I don't really have an issue with the cancellation itself...it's the obvious lies I got to try and justify it.
     
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  38. Gerhardt

    Gerhardt En-Route

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    I get that cancellations are going to happen. Weather, mechanical issues, crew problems. I think in most cases people understand that and many are ok being late. But people want closure. Their main concern is KNOWING when they're going to get to their destination, and that the details have been wrapped up and all they have to do is wait. <= == Airlines may do a lot of things right, but this isn't one of them.

    I've had only half a dozen or so cancellations in my life, a variety of carriers. Maybe I just got the bad luck of the draw each time. But in every case no one seemed to give a flip.

    As for the horrible behavior of passengers, I've seen some of the worst. As for behavior of airline employees, I've seen some of the worst of that too. Of all the attitudes... I can take rude and belligerent, etc. But the absolute worst, by far, is someone who just doesn't care.
     
  39. midwestpa24

    midwestpa24 Cleared for Takeoff

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    I am unfortunate enough to fly commercial a fair amount, and too have experienced my share of delays and cancellations. I have only been angry at the airline once though.

    Our aircraft was diverted from a hub to a remote out station due to t-storms impacting the hub. Understandable. Once on the ground at the alternate field, crew timed out. Ok, still somewhat understandable.

    Ground crew at said out station were not prepared for, nor willing to, handle a mainline aircraft at their usual regional station. Technically it isn't their aircraft, they work for the regional. Aggravating at this point, but I get it.

    We finally get a fresh crew and make it to the hub and have missed all connections for the rest of the day. It happens. The final straw was getting to the hub, along with at least a dozen other diverted flights, to find one customer service station with three agents to handle the hundreds of displaced passengers needing to be rebooked, claim luggage, get hotels, etc., etc.

    The airline really dropped the ball at that point. I even approached an agent at a nearby gate that had just finished a flight, and was told it was not their problem. Haven't flown that airline since.
     
  40. Eric Stoltz

    Eric Stoltz Line Up and Wait

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    That's easy. They need to cover for PPP of crews and make the statement, "whether we get a crew or not we are going to blame the weather for not having enough crews"