Crazy Airline Business

Discussion in 'Hangar Talk' started by 455 Bravo Uniform, Nov 15, 2017.

  1. 455 Bravo Uniform

    455 Bravo Uniform Pattern Altitude

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    At PHL awaiting my flight to IND. Delays due to crew not there yet. After a couple more delay announcements, a gate change to new aircraft. WTF?

    New aircraft gets put on maint delay. More and more delay announcements. I ask the gate agent if she knew what the cause was. Said nope. I asked if she could find out, she said no. WTF? Now I'm ****ed.

    I ended up buying a $538 ticket for the next flight within about an hour of its departure, cuz I figured there'd be more delays and maybe cancellation of my orig flt. I ditch the original gate and head over to the next flight.

    I get there and the gate agent announces they are oversold by one (me, lol!). They offer a $300 voucher to someone for the next flight. They made $238 revenue on
    me.

    I was at the gate and got texted that my original flt was cancelled. About 50 people show up at this next flight I'm on. No go for them. A couple people with priority status did get on. I have no status with American so I knew I'd get screwed. Next flight out was 2:30 hrs, screw that.

    Sitting on my plane now and just got texted that I was rebooked on the 5a for tomorrow. Screw that.

    If you don't have status, you are ballast.

    And American ****ed me off by not telling us what was wrong. I've had gate agents and pilots keep passengers informed before (United, Delta). F AAL. Not using them again.

    Rant mode off....
     
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  2. Zeldman

    Zeldman Final Approach

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    I was trying to get on a flight once that was delayed. A PA announcement stating a gate change. The new gate required leaving the secure area and going through security again.

    Some of the folks asked why I wasn't leaving. Just a ploy to get us out of the way for the next flight at this gate.

    About 90 minutes later another announcement changing the flight back to the original gate. 30 minutes later the plane we are waiting for arrives. Fortunately a new crew was waiting with us.
     
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  3. FlyingElvii

    FlyingElvii Pre-takeoff checklist

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    Welcome to the airline business...
    It is organized chaos at the best of times, an uncontrollable hell at it's worst.

    MUCH, MUCH better in the last decade than years before though, especially when it comes to completions and punctuality.
     
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  4. F01LA

    F01LA Line Up and Wait

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    So... time to spare, go by air?
     
  5. mscard88

    mscard88 Touchdown! Greaser!

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    And those gate agents sometimes will blame crews for untrue things, because they can usually get away with it. Some gate agents are very good, but ATL...
     
    Last edited: Nov 15, 2017
  6. Shepherd

    Shepherd En-Route

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    ........ and that's why I NEVER fly commercial.
     
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  7. midwestpa24

    midwestpa24 Line Up and Wait

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    More time yet, fly by jet!
     
  8. GRG55

    GRG55 Final Approach

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    If you insist on maintaining such unrealistically high expectations, you will soon run out of airline companies. And find yourself having to buy a plane and and fly yourself. ;)
     
  9. GlennAB1

    GlennAB1 Ejection Handle Pulled

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    If you absolutely positively have to be there, go early.
     
  10. 455 Bravo Uniform

    455 Bravo Uniform Pattern Altitude

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    The number/percentage of times cancellations or major delays (3+ hr) have occurred in recent years is really quite low historically speaking. But it was the poor communication from gate personnel (who maybe had poor internal communication with crew and/or maint) that launched me into orbit. Add to that my weariness from travel and generally getting to be an older grumpier fart, I'll be a monkey's uncle if I'm gonna be on business travel stuck in a hotel room unplanned one more night with a ridiculous 5a departure just cuz I don't have enough miles on AA to be able to rate and make one of the 2 remaining evening flights. I saw that coming early enough to take matters into my own hands.
     
  11. kayoh190

    kayoh190 Pattern Altitude

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    ^^^ Better communication is one of my biggest gripes - it costs the airline nothing to do this properly. This isn't an issue specific to AA, but to airlines in general. There are tons of moving parts and **** happens, but time and time again the passengers become an afterthought as the airline works to fix the problem.

    It's one of the things I've always tried to be good about any time something goes wrong with my flight*. Even a gate PA can be really helpful. I might not have all the answers, but saying you're still waiting on information from MX or whomever else is better than saying nothing at all.

    * now that I'm back in the right seat, I have less control over this than I used to, unfortunately
     
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  12. mscard88

    mscard88 Touchdown! Greaser!

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    This. I would not give untrue info to passengers, and even though a delay was significant, most of them were content with the being told the truth. There were times I refused a plane for various reasons but they were all safety/comfort related. Sometimes the company doesn't want one to tell the truth but I disagree with that.
     
  13. flyingron

    flyingron Touchdown! Greaser!

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    Welcome to American. They play shenanigans with maintenance all the time. Especially bad if you're at an non-maintenance terminal like SNA.

    I've learned to get rebooked as soon as I get a whiff they're going to play the maintenance shuffle. Those who sit around waiting for word or standing in the customer service line miss out by the time they get to the podium. You would think if the problem was legitimate, they'd have some automated system for shuffling people around, but they're too farked up to have managed that level of customer disservice yet.

    Of course, when United booted me for weather, I got vouchered back my seat upgrades immediately. American kept promising and promising a refund and I finally gave up and protested every seat upgrade I had on the flight (because the billing was so screwed up I couldn't tell which ones were for the canceled legs). I finally protested it with their own (citibank) credit card. American never even answered Citi's inquiry, so City refunded them all.
     
  14. Pilawt

    Pilawt Final Approach

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    "Well, you see, sir, there are air traffic control delays because of all those private planes flying around ... "
     
  15. jordane93

    jordane93 Final Approach

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    Delta is harping on us to make gate announcements and interact more with the passengers. Our company even added in our FOM that our welcome PA is to be made in the front galley whenever possible.
     
  16. paflyer

    paflyer Final Approach

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    FTFY
     
  17. Larry in TN

    Larry in TN Line Up and Wait

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    Situations, like the OP describes, are often caused by multiple issues. The app/website/computer typically will only show the most recent reason for the delay. The whole history is recorded and used for internal tracking but that's not what the passengers, or even the gate agent, sees. The agents are rarely "lying", they are given out information which is incomplete or out of date though they usually don't know that at the time.

    So perhaps the flight was delayed due to a crew that arrived late the previous evening and who now need their report time delayed to get the FAA minimum rest time on their layover or they were inbound on a flight was delayed due to some other reason such as maintenance or ATC flow control. Meanwhile, another flight has a mechanical problem and the estimated repair time (really just a guess at that point) is going to cause it to be delayed but the OPs airplane is sitting there waiting for its crew. It would make sense to swap the two airplanes so that you'll have one delayed flight instead of two. Reshuffle the available resources to get at least one flight out at, or near, it's scheduled time. Later the repair on the first airplane doesn't go as quickly as originally thought so that flight cancels.

    All the agent knows is that the flight is delayed until XX:XX and the reason is "AWAITING CREW". Later that changes to YY:YY and "MAINTENANCE". Still later it changes to cancelled due to "MAINTENANCE".

    The OP, of course, is due a full refund for the unused segments to the original payment source due to the flight cancellation and him not needing the alternate flight(s) that the airline attempted to provide. Same would be true if the original flight operated but with a significant delay.
     
  18. skier

    skier Pre-takeoff checklist

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    How about the time I was told the flight was cancelled by ATC due to weather? I said I didn't believe ATC has the ability to cancel individual fights, never mind the skies were bright blue, no clouds, and minimal wind.

    Just to be an a-hole, I called ATC at the airport who told me they couldn't cancel flights. All they could do was close an airport.

    So back to the AA I go and I reiterate what ATC told me.

    Yup the AA agent argues with me and keeps telling me that ATC cancelled the flight.

    Maybe I should have tried calling ATC back with the agent standing right there and had her speak on the phone with ATC.

    Of course they blame ATC and weather as a scape goat so they don't have to pay for extra time with a rental car, extra day in a hotel, extra meals, and a day of missed work. Since the flight the next day wasn't full, I'm guessing the flight was undersold so the some computer algorithm rearranged the flights such that some flight somewhere on the planet that was delayed (or cancelled) due to weather was the aircraft scheduled for our flight.
     
  19. Kritchlow

    Kritchlow Final Approach

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    Keep in mind the gate agent is not particularly savvy on certain topics. There could be weather at the destination with ATC departure delays, so the airline cancelled the flight. "Flight cancelled due to ATC delays" can easily be interpreted by a layperson as ATC cancelled the flight.
     
    Last edited: Nov 17, 2017
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  20. Cap'n Jack

    Cap'n Jack Final Approach

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    Back in August, UAL actually re-routed me, before I even left home, because weather left them short a plane at KLNK. I actually got to BeiJing an hour earlier than my original ticketing via KSFO as opposed to KORD. I hope they continue to be pro-active with problems.
     
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  21. Zeldman

    Zeldman Final Approach

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    I was #19 and a jumpseater on a standby list once. Everyone in front of me was traveling couples.

    The one seat left was in 1st class..... Happy camper..!!!
     
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  22. Pilawt

    Pilawt Final Approach

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    dilbert_airline01.JPG
     
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  23. Larry in TN

    Larry in TN Line Up and Wait

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    The agent looks at the FLIFO (flight information display in the CRS computer) and it says "CANCELLED ATC". Not all agents will understand that that means that the flight was cancelled because of ATC restrictions and not that ATC has cancelled the flight.

    Of course, the difference doesn't really matter to the agent and it doesn't matter to the passenger, other than to those of us who are interested in how the system works, as the options and compensation available to the passenger are the same.

    Why are flights cancelled due to "ATC"?

    When airports, or enroute airspace (common in the northeast), are impacted by weather (usually), or ATC system failures (occasionally), overall system capacity is reduced. The FAA implements ground delay or ground stop programs. You can see the current status of the National Airspace System at the following link. Click the [Help] buttons for a key to the abbreviations and the ADVZY links for the text of the current advisories.

    https://www.fly.faa.gov/ois/

    Once capacity is reduced it is up to the airlines to decide how their schedule will be reduced to meet the available capacity. This often includes a combination of delays and cancellations.

    A particular flight can be affected by ATC restrictions if the airspace or airport is affected, the crew is affected on a previous flight, or if the airplane is affected on a previous flight.

    Here's an example of a FLIFO for a flight delayed by an FAA ground delay program. This is what the agent sees when they're answering your questions.

    P XYZ/OUT 226P L02.30 EST OFF 245P AIR TRAFFIC CONTROL
    F ABC/ETA 527P L02.26
    D EWU/XYZ/PROPOSED FAA ATC WHEELS UP 255P(ABC GDP)
     
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  24. Greg Bockelman

    Greg Bockelman Administrator Management Council Member

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    Wow. Really? I started doing my preflight announcement like that on my own recently. The passenger seem to appreciate it.
     
  25. Omalley1537

    Omalley1537 Line Up and Wait

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    That would be horrible! I mean who buys a plane just to...oh, wait a minute...never mind...
     
  26. mscard88

    mscard88 Touchdown! Greaser!

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    Actually Delta has been that for a long time for mainline as well as connection flights. And I left over 4 years ago.
     
  27. SkyDog58

    SkyDog58 Touchdown! Greaser!

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    Yep. It always amazes me when someone will buy a ticket on the latest possible flight to a meeting or event that they absolutely think they must be at. Then when that flight is delayed or cancelled, they think their missing the event is entirely the fault of the airline.
     
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  28. mscard88

    mscard88 Touchdown! Greaser!

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    Flew a flight to Valdosta Ga, and back to ATL. Had a couple who were connecting on Japan Airlines to Tokyo at noon. ATC delays enroute. Taxing in we saw the JAL 747 (only flight to Tokyo) taxing out. I mentioned to the FO it that had been me I would have flown in the day before and got a room.
     
    Last edited: Nov 17, 2017
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  29. Salty

    Salty Pattern Altitude

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    Yeah, those bastard passengers that don't leave a week before their meetings so the airline can cancel their flights for days without impacting them. I should take 3 weeks of vacation so I can take a week to get there, enjoy it for a week, and another week to get back.

    Sometimes I wonder about you guys.
     
  30. Wingsofglass

    Wingsofglass Pre-takeoff checklist

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    In reality though this is complete BS. If I pay $500 for a round trip ticket and my return leg is cancelled due to a mechanical issue and I ask for a refund, my refund will be far less than $250. The airline will say something like of the $500 I spent, $400 was for the outbound leg and only $100 was for the return so my refund is only $100. I'm using a hypothetical example here but your chances of getting back half your money are very low. Perhaps this is legal but it's moral fraud. This of course assumes you have the financial resources to cancel the ticket and buy a new last minute ticket on a different airline.

    The only time you will get a fair refund is if the problem occurs on the first flight of your ticket and you cancel the whole thing.
     
    Last edited: Nov 17, 2017
  31. Kritchlow

    Kritchlow Final Approach

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    You wonder about us??
    Who said a week early? As far as I've read only you.
     
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  32. Salty

    Salty Pattern Altitude

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    Exaggeration to make a point is hard to understand. Sorry.
     
  33. Clark1961

    Clark1961 Touchdown! Greaser!

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    If exaggeration is needed then there isn’t a point.
     
  34. Salty

    Salty Pattern Altitude

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    Nonsense.

    It's a technique used by virtually everyone, everyday, and is universally understood by people not being obstinate.
     
  35. Clark1961

    Clark1961 Touchdown! Greaser!

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    I know where the nonsense is. And I know where the obstinate one is in this exchange.
     
  36. Kritchlow

    Kritchlow Final Approach

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    There is really no comparison between leaving on an earlier flight vs taking a week to get there.

    I see this quite often as well. People are going on a cruise and take the last possible flight to get there. Makes zero sense.
     
  37. Ravioli

    Ravioli Final Approach

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    I'll never fly _______________ (fill in the blank) airline again.

    Would be so awesome if everyone who says it were true to their word.
     
  38. Salty

    Salty Pattern Altitude

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    IMO,you just did what you complained about me doing. Flying in a day before and renting a room is a LONG stretch from taking the last possible flight. And that is what I was referring to. Expecting people to essentially wait a day for each leg of a half way around the world trip isn't much of a stretch to say a week early.
     
  39. Kritchlow

    Kritchlow Final Approach

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    Taking an evening flight vs early morning flight seems reasonable to me. Leaving a week early seems, well....
     
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  40. mscard88

    mscard88 Touchdown! Greaser!

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    You know, we didn't make the couple miss their Tokyo flight. Common to get delays flying into ATL, the world's busiest airport. Most likely their travel agent booked the flights and there really wasn't enough ground time between the flights, to get from concourse to course, accommodate delays, etc, probably 45 minutes if I had to guess. I was saying what I would done, ME, not what YOU or anybody else had to do. Pilots don't intentionally make it inconvenient for passengers. It's airline management and the FAA who really make all the decisions. We just "fly the plane".

    We fly you there safely and hopefully on time.

    You need to get off your soapbox Salty.
     
    Last edited: Nov 17, 2017
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