Flight delay question

Discussion in 'Flight Following' started by Skyrys62, Dec 23, 2018.

  1. Skyrys62

    Skyrys62 En-Route

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    On our return flight, we sat at MIA for about 40-45 minutes. This caused us to be somewhat late for our next leg at CLT, but we managed to get off the plane, run to the next gate, and get there 5 minutes before the departure time.
    They denied us (about 25-30 people) from getting on the flight. They closed the door as we were talking to them.

    It was very infuriating to everyone. Especially so for these reasons:
    1. Both flights/planes were American Airlines.
    2. They told us someone would be waiting to help rush us over to get on the connecting flight. No one was there.
    3. The reason we were late, was due to waiting for someone's luggage.
    4. They wouldn't wait 5 minutes for 25-30 people, but waited 40 minutes for someone's luggage.
    5. They shut the door as we all stood there watching.

    As we all were standing there asking WTF, they said it wasn't their fault, and there was nothing they could do. Go to customer service.
    Customer service dumped us into another town 45 mintues away on another flight, but offered no compensation for travel back to our own city.
    Only other option was to stay overnight and take a flight the next day. They would pay the motel fee and $12 dining voucher.
    We opted to fly to the other city and got a ride on our dime.

    My question:
    Customer service said the FAA makes the rules about flight delays and their hands are tied. Is that true?
    I call BS.
     
    Last edited: Dec 23, 2018
  2. Greg Bockelman

    Greg Bockelman Touchdown! Greaser!

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    The FAA makes the rules as far as WHAT a delay is (15 minutes) but that is all. What the airline does with it is up to them.

    The FAA doesn’t care about that. The company does.

    They could have. And should have. And if the Captain knew that they were waiting he (She?) should have taken the delay to get the passengers on.

    The caveat is that there wasn’t a good downline reason to run the flight on time. Did the flight actually leave on time or did they already delay it in trying to get you on?
     
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  3. BillTIZ

    BillTIZ Final Approach

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    You may have made the flight, but your luggage would not. Also the departure would have been delayed to get you properly logged onto the manifest, seated and buckled. They had already closed the manifest to compute the W&B and takeoff data. That would all have needed to be reworked.

    One flight delayed now rolls to a second or more flights delayed, which in turn can roll to a third level as those delayed flights are delayed for their return trips. They need to stop the delay from steamrolling their whole schedule.

    FAA grades the airline performance based on “on time” departures. On time departures factor into arrivals and landing time at high density airports. Delayed flights increase the arrival density at the landing airport arriving outside of their window.
     
  4. Greg Bockelman

    Greg Bockelman Touchdown! Greaser!

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    None of this is a given. It is possible that the people and bags could have been loaded and still be DOT on time. Unless this was a regional partner which schedules 30 minute turns.
     
  5. brcase

    brcase Pattern Altitude

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    It easily could be the only thing they told you that was accurate that there was nothing they could do it about it.

    I once had them tell us a flight was cancelled due to weather. Turns out the guy standing in line in front of me was the National Weather Service Guy, His was response was, you got to be kidding I just wrote the weather forecast this morning. My response was he is right, I have the forecast in my flight bag and the approach plate, I could make the flight in a 172. Their response is that is just what we were told and there is nothing we can do.

    Brian
    CFIIG
     
  6. Clip4

    Clip4 Final Approach

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    It is at the descretion of the gate agent and they probably boarded standbys into your seats.
     
  7. Lindberg

    Lindberg En-Route

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    Call customer service and complain. A lot. They'll likely compensate you with something. I don't work for the airlines, but IME they'll give you something unless there delay was weather. Of course AA's customer service had been getting steadily worse for a long time.
     
  8. jordane93

    jordane93 Touchdown! Greaser! PoA Supporter

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    We’ve delayed plenty of flights to get a handful of people on who we’re running late from a delayed flight. If it’s only 1 person, we usually won’t wait but if it’s a decent amount of people, we’ll delay our flight. Also was that one person they waited 40 minutes for the luggage a high value customer? If the other airlines are like Delta, they go through many hoops to make sure their diamond and platinum members are taken care of, even if it sometimes means inconveniencing other pax.
     
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  9. Larry in TN

    Larry in TN Pattern Altitude

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    The FAA does not grade airlines on on-time performance. The DOT collects and publishes on-time data. The most widely reported metric is the on-time arrival rate which counts any flight which arrives within 15 minutes of scheduled arrival time as on-time.

    Gate agents have almost no flexibility on holding a flight. The airport operations can usually hold a flight up to ten minutes but, beyond that, the decision has to be made by the airline's network operations center as longer delays can affect downline flights and connections, crew legalities, gate availability, and aircraft routings.

    The airline's contract of carriage generally require a passenger be present at the departure gate 15 minutes before scheduled departure. This allows for time to release the seats of no-shows, accommodate standby passengers, and do all the things that are necessary to for the airplane to begin its push-back at departure time. When holding for connecting passengers, the time it will take for them to deplane (up to 15 or 20 minutes if seated near the back on their inbound flight) and the time it will take for them to get to the departure gate must be considered. Then, flights such as the one in the OP's example that are inbound to a hub, have to to consider the outbound connections of the passengers who are already on the airplane and ready to go. It doesn't make a lot of sense to hold a flight for some inbound passengers if it's going to result in even more misconnects when it arrives at the next hub. In the OP's case, the flight was a hub-to-hub flight so there were more reroute options available in MIA than their would have been at a non-hub departure station. That likely figured into the decision against holding the flight.
     
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  10. James331

    James331 Ejection Handle Pulled

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    American Airlines is the legacy version of allegiant

    I’d go with Alaska/virgin if you want people who seem they at least give half a F’
     
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  11. Hippike

    Hippike Pre-takeoff checklist

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    https://prefunds.aa.com/refunds/

    Write to AA and request a refund for the out of pocket expense you incurred.
    My boss had United refund him over $100 that he spent on Uber due to some f%ck-up on the airline's part. It's worth a try.
     
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  12. 6t6

    6t6 Pre-takeoff checklist

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    I had the same problem with AA when returning from Colombia. A mechanical out of Medellin made us miss out connect to DFW, after much wrangling I got a $200 X 2 because I didn't give up. Ironic thing is going down there I had a 6 hr layover so I bought a ticket on AeroColombia and called AA to tell them what I was doing. They said if I did fly another carrier there (at my own expense) they would cancel all my reservations coming back and force me to buy a full fare ticket for $900 more. I told the snotty nose agent this why Southwest went from 30 airplanes to 750 airplane because of ****ty customer service always from American.
     
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  13. kayoh190

    kayoh190 Administrator Management Council Member PoA Supporter

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    Yeah, I've waited a lot for inbound passengers as well, but also have been told to go when it seems waiting makes the most sense. As Greg said, a good Captain will try to figure out the situation and hold for a bit if necessary, but as you know (and as Larry mentioned) sometimes it's more complicated than that.
     
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  14. kayoh190

    kayoh190 Administrator Management Council Member PoA Supporter

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    Yeah, I've always been a big fan of Alaska as well, although nobody is immune from dumb s*** antics! My good buddy from my LCC days has been there about 5 years, and we're always bitching about our airlines. His funny story is a deadhead down to LAX to operate a redeye out to the east coast. He got called off reserve and was rushing to his flight, which of course closed up 10 early. Scheduling said they'd hold it for him, but the agents closed the door and told him he was too late, even though the plane was still attached to the jet bridge. He explained that he needed to be on that flight to operate the one out of LAX and for them to call scheduling. They said no time and pushed the flight. His redeye canceled, forcing the company to put up who knows how many folks into hotel rooms that night - all because a gate agent couldn't be bothered to open the door for him.

    Doesn't matter the airline, all of us have stories like this (although granted some more than others!). It's part of being an airline pilot - the only way to stay sane is to be able to at least somewhat separate yourself from the product. :)
     
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  15. jordane93

    jordane93 Touchdown! Greaser! PoA Supporter

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    I’m not a good captain. 99% of the time I call the “red coat” and let them deal with it!
     
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  16. Skyrys62

    Skyrys62 En-Route

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    I can't say for sure if it left on time or not specifically, but when we stopped running, the plane was still just sitting there, and it was 5 minutes before actual departure time, and they just shut the door. I can't believe everyone that had gotten on was even fully seated yet. That's really what made it hard to swallow.
    We argued for a minute, but then left for the customer service desk when they were adamant that it was over...still with about 3 minutes before departure time.

    When I got to customer service, they said we (and another customer) had already been booked for another flight, so they had no intention of waiting, and I think the decision was made before we got there.
    Or maybe that credit card has good perks after all ;)

    I'll say this too....while standing there amidst all the steaming and complaining about it, another AA staff person came up and gave our CS rep a hug and said 'sorry to hear about everything'.
    I asked "rough morning huh?"
    She replied that two family members had passed away the day before.
    I said "sorry to hear that". Then a few seconds later, chuckled and said "by the way, thanks for putting our problem into perspective".
    She smiled, and everyone seemed much calmer after that lol.

    There were no Uber/Lyft cars available when we arrived, but managed to have my daughter drive and pick us up. About an hour and a half round trip, which I of course paid her for, but have no receipt to turn in, so I will probably chalk it up as a family visit and call it a day. Doesn't seem worth any more hassle at this point.
    Plus I learned a few things.

    One being I am waaaaay out of shape..

    Thanks for all the replies.
     
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  17. kayoh190

    kayoh190 Administrator Management Council Member PoA Supporter

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    Nah - I’m sure you are! 99% of the time that’s the right call anyway, and I suppose since you’re (hopefully) not at your final airline, you need to be a little more careful about your battles. :)
     
  18. jordane93

    jordane93 Touchdown! Greaser! PoA Supporter

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    If they waited every until the actual departure time to close out the flight, no flights would get out on time. A lot of airlines, if not all of them will also release your seat to other pax (standby, nonrev, jumpseaters) if you don’t show up within 15 minutes of departure. Keep in mind, the gate agents still have to print out final paperwork for the pilots and FAs, secure the door, move the jetbridge out of the way, etc which can take some time. At my airline, the jetbridge is pulled at 5 minutes prior to departure, which means the gate agent is closing out the flight at D-10 most likely.
     
  19. eman1200

    eman1200 Touchdown! Greaser! PoA Supporter

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    Dude, you were coming to CLT and u didn’t give eman a shout? Sheeeeeit.
     
  20. SkyDog58

    SkyDog58 Touchdown! Greaser!

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    Fo shizzle, my feelings are hurt as well.
     
  21. jordane93

    jordane93 Touchdown! Greaser! PoA Supporter

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    The book says the call the red coat for like 99% of the issues. I’m just up there for show lol.
     
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  22. Skyrys62

    Skyrys62 En-Route

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    Heh, I actually told my Jenny if I had your number I would call. Screw that mess, we'd go Bonooney style.

    Although weight and balance may be an issue... She likes shoes ;)
     
    Last edited: Dec 24, 2018
  23. Shawn

    Shawn En-Route

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    That is BS and why I hate the legacy carriers. Too big to care. Another reason I love Southwest...while not perfect and not without their own issues they will hold to make sure people get where they need to go.
     
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  24. Ghery

    Ghery Touchdown! Greaser!

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    I remember many years ago (2006?) I had a trip from Tel Aviv to Portland, OR with a transfer at FRA. We had 1 hour in FRA. The plane was 40 minutes late getting out of TLV and couldn't make up any of it in transit. So, this 1 hour connection turned into 20 minutes. Getting off the plane they announced that any passengers connecting to PDX or LAX were to step over "here". They put us on a shuttle bus, ran us down to the last entrance before secondary screening for US bound flights and HELD OUR FLIGHTS for us. Oh, yeah, this was LH. I don't like their lack of legroom in cattle car, but I will NEVER complain about their service. Of course, there were probably enough people that they would have been hard pressed to find seats for us on the next flights, and that many hotel rooms in Frankfurt would have cost them an arm and a leg, but I won't complain.
     
  25. weilke

    weilke Touchdown! Greaser! PoA Supporter

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    Normal behavior for american. 'We are not happy until you are unhappy'.
     
  26. N53KL

    N53KL Pre-takeoff checklist

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    Last week was a mess after the weather in the midwest delayed and cancelled flights. On Thursday (Dec 27th) our Envoy flight was cancelled due to no aircraft. This made our American connection flight in DFW undoable. The system sent me a text saying they rebooked us on the next flight to DFW but no seats available out until the next morning. We took the flight to DFW and went to one of American's help desks located in the terminal. I politely explained our situation and asked why our 1st class seats were converted to main cabin seats the following morning and to an airport 200 miles away from our desination? She looked at the reservation and the flights and rebooked us on a flight that left in 5 hours later. Now that we had that fixed I wondered about our baggage. To make a long story short, they were at DFW baggage claim (assumed we were on the morning flight). The agent told me where to find the bags and that we would have to claim them and process them back into the system. We ended up getting home 12 hours late but at least we were home.

    The only reason we got home that evening was by actively managing the trip, being polite and using the tools available to us (agents and the AA app).
     
  27. Mtns2Skies

    Mtns2Skies En-Route

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    I find American to really be not a huge step above spirit in a lot of ways. Having recently moved to the Midwest I've flown some new airlines I normally wouldn't have like American and Delta.

    Now I really enjoy:
    Alaska, Delta, United, Southwest (in that order)
    I'll no longer fly:
    Frontier and American. Just more bad experiences than good with both airlines.
     
  28. sarangan

    sarangan Cleared for Takeoff PoA Supporter

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    You are lucky they offered you hotel and meal vouchers. In most cases, they tell you that the delay is due to ATC or weather, so they are not responsible for it. At least in CLT you can get a cheap hotel. I've been stuck in larger cities on my own dime, due to "ATC delays".
     
  29. Skyrys62

    Skyrys62 En-Route

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    We didn't feel lucky.
     
  30. kayoh190

    kayoh190 Administrator Management Council Member PoA Supporter

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    With airline travel, you rarely do!
     
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  31. 6t6

    6t6 Pre-takeoff checklist

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    Like I’ve said before the only reason Southwest went from a 40 plane commuter airline is because of poor, poor customers service from the monopoly legacy airlines of the time and people finally said, enough! It’s apprears not all remember the lesson
     
  32. 455 Bravo Uniform

    455 Bravo Uniform En-Route

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    Is it possible that the aircraft door had been shut much earlier, and the jetway door shut as the jetway bridge was pulling back or finished pulling back? In other words, the door you saw shut was closed after the aircraft door was shut? I don’t know if it’s rule or policy, but once the aircraft door is shut it seems like an almost impossible act to reopen it unless they wanna kick someone off or let maintenance on.
     
  33. 35 AoA

    35 AoA Pattern Altitude

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    This. I guarantee this is what happened, probably only minutes before you arrived. I've found AA to normally be better than this, but I've seen it countless times on UAL. The gate agents will then lie through their teeth to convince you that is not what just happened, even after you watched them quietly usher the standbys into the jet bridge as you were standing there trying to get your situation sorted out. They will still lie when you call them out on it. I get that they are running a business, and empty seats = lost money in basic airline financial theory, but nothing makes people not want to fly your airline ever again like this sort of treatment.
     
  34. RyanB

    RyanB Administrator Management Council Member PoA Supporter

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    Yeah I hear ya. What was once a top tier airline, American no longer is the gold standard that it used to be.

    Southwest and Delta are two best imo. United is okay, but I’m not a fan of some of their luggage policies.
     
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  35. aggie06

    aggie06 Pre-takeoff checklist

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    AA has gone downhill in the last decade. SWA is unfortunately having the same problems. I fly every week on SWA and find that I am running into more and more unhelpful gate agents and FAs. Still better than AA, but I’m becoming convinced they’re worried more about margin than customer service, which will make them just like the others.

    For the record, AA is shortening seat pitch to less than Spirit’s cheap seats. Definite race to the bottom.
     
  36. Tarheelpilot

    Tarheelpilot Final Approach PoA Supporter

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    It’s a race to meet customer demand.
     
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  37. iamtheari

    iamtheari Administrator Management Council Member PoA Supporter

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    A family member flew American last week. The flight went out about 2 hours behind schedule. The gate agent said that the delay was because they needed another flight attendant and had to wait for the control tower to assign them one. What phraseology does the AIM suggest for that? I want to try it.
     
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  38. aggie06

    aggie06 Pre-takeoff checklist

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    I don’t begrudge any business for trying to meet customer demand. My point with that example is that AA is competing with Spirit in one of the areas I hear people complain about Spirit. The other things like paying extra for checking bags or carrying on a bag or for boarding early are out there in some way or another at all the majors.

    Spirit owns the low cost identity. AA is trying to compete there but doesn’t want to be seen as a low cost provider. That makes people angry when they realize they are paying more and not getting what they perceive as a better experience.

    But this is all off topic. I agree with whoever said they’re going to call the tower for an FA.
     
  39. Hacker

    Hacker Pre-takeoff checklist

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    Since neither the National Weather Service, nor you in your 172, have operations limited by 14 CFR Part 121 or an FAA-approved company-specific Flight Operations Manual, neither of those things are at all related to if that particular flight could have gone or not.
     
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  40. Tarheelpilot

    Tarheelpilot Final Approach PoA Supporter

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    I guess I don’t see it. Are there any us flag carriers left that actually go above and beyond on a regular basis? I thought they were all about profits. Some just hide it a little better than others but none of them truely care anymore. Southwest was the last one to care. They care less with every day that passes after the founder left.

    Talking to AA gate agents they will tell you they are waiting to hear from tower for just about any information relevant to your flight... in some hubs. At least the ones where AA runs the ramp. They are not talking about the ATC tower.