Signature West at KVNY Sucks!

Discussion in 'Flight Following' started by SoCal 182 Driver, Sep 20, 2020.

  1. SneakyGrouse

    SneakyGrouse Pre-Flight

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    Signature is not a public park, it’s a business.

    Part of their model is to SELL transient ramp space, they don’t try to hide this fact.
     
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  2. MauleSkinner

    MauleSkinner Final Approach

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    So their psychic abilities didn’t work, but yours did.
     
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  3. Lindberg

    Lindberg En-Route

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  4. SneakyGrouse

    SneakyGrouse Pre-Flight

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    They made it very accessible, they didn’t turn him away for race/disabilities/etc however, pinch your nose because here comes the cold water of life, they also expected him to pay his bill.

    This is like driving to a VERY well marked and staffed paid parking lot, parking, and being surprised when the guy asks for you to pay for the minim parking $5 fee.
     
  5. EdFred

    EdFred Taxi to Parking

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    Where is the sign at signatures ramp showing what the fees are?
     
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  6. SneakyGrouse

    SneakyGrouse Pre-Flight

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    The giant neon signature sign lol!

    Requirement for airmen to research all important info before a flight, or the Unicom freq that’s on every signature, or asking ground for their freq etc, or just the fact that obviously a private business.

    I would have been all onboard if this topic was KVNY sucks, and that they would have a free public transient area for the taxpayers who fly into the airport.
     
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  7. Lindberg

    Lindberg En-Route

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    It would be like that if it was a VERY well marked and staffed paid parking lot with any signs at all. But it isn't. I'm far from the most experienced pilot, but I've never in my life seen a sign on a ramp listing parking fees. Nevertheless, if you've read the thread, you know this wasn't the case.
     
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  8. MauleSkinner

    MauleSkinner Final Approach

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    If you’ve read this thread, you also know that the OP was aware that Signature has ramp fees.
     
  9. EdFred

    EdFred Taxi to Parking

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    It is impossible to get all available information before a flight.

    Also a private business != fees. I just landed at an FBO this Saturday, bought no fuel, used the courtesy car, used their bathroom. No fees. So your argument that private business = fees is invalid.

    (did put fuel in the courtesy car, tipped the lineguy, and the FBO owner got plenty of our money from our guitar purchases)
     
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  10. Juliet Hotel

    Juliet Hotel Pattern Altitude

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    Pretty much every large FBO (and most small ones) have a frequency they monitor which can be looked up. Pretty easy to find out what the rate is going to be before you ever roll on their ramp if you're at all concerned about fees.

    The Sweetwater owner owns an FBO?
     
  11. SneakyGrouse

    SneakyGrouse Pre-Flight

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    ?

    [​IMG]
     
  12. EdFred

    EdFred Taxi to Parking

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    I guess you missed the part or conveniently ignoring the part where this was a diversion.
     
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  13. SoonerAviator

    SoonerAviator Final Approach

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    Ugh, geez guys. It's not as if he was planning on being at this airport, he had a last-minute divert. I don't know about everyone, but if I am diverting due to deteriorating conditions and getting set up with new directions, runway/atis info, etc., I am not likely to search out the various FBO unicom frequencies to try and call them up mid-descent. Sure, asking to taxi to transient would have worked out best, but I would think Signature would have dealt with this situation enough that they would give some automatic leeway for those who are simply hanging out in their aircraft for a brief period. Sometimes a little goodwill goes a long way. Everyone knows that Signature (and others) need to charge for services rendered in order to remain profitable, and it is their right to do so. However, being a savvy business means knowing when to give a little rather than cause damage to their reputation for customer service. At a minimum, the line guy could have come back and said, "Sir, they are requesting that you pay amount X or X gallons of fuel. If that isn't acceptable, may I recommend the transient parking down at taxiway Charlie".
     
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  14. EdFred

    EdFred Taxi to Parking

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    Yeah Sweet Aviation at Smith Field.
     
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  15. Juliet Hotel

    Juliet Hotel Pattern Altitude

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    Interesting, did not know that. Do they have instruments hanging everywhere?

    More importantly, if I fly in there and happen to buy 10 gallons of 100LL, am I going to get a random call every 6 months from a guy saying 'hey its Jake your account rep from Sweet Aviation, how's that 10 gallons of 100LL working out for you?'
     
    Last edited: Sep 21, 2020
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  16. EdFred

    EdFred Taxi to Parking

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    Not at the FBO but at Sweetwater, yes.
     
  17. Juliet Hotel

    Juliet Hotel Pattern Altitude

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    Sweetwater is worth an afternoon visit for anyone who gets within a couple hundred miles of it and has even a passing interest in making music.
     
  18. MauleSkinner

    MauleSkinner Final Approach

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    This is where I disagree...assuming that a company will have a policy to ignore their standard policy seems rather a bold assumption (although “bold” isn’t the word I’d use in person. I’m being polite.)
     
  19. Llk

    Llk Pre-takeoff checklist

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    It’s a cute attempt at moving the goal post but....hmmm ....no. This is exactly the kind of attitude that screws up general aviation for all, and will eventually result in us moving to a more European model of paying fees to use the system.

    As someone else mentioned, we are talking about PUBLIC airports.

    A pilot had to inadvertently park somewhere for a period of time.

    He did so after landing at a PUBLIC facility.

    There is a predatory trend by businesses to monopolize public assets to charge for otherwise free services or services provided to the public by the municipality, county or state. Corrupt, lazy or idiotic politicians allow it.

    I shouldn’t be FORCED to use any FBO at ANY airport if I don’t feel like it, regardless of what a business wants me to do.

    If an airport opts you lease, charge fees, whatever - ok, we have to deal with it. Paying money to the well funded Catalina Conservancy is always something I’ve never liked and reluctantly pay for. I pay hangar leases and tiedown fees at airports - that’s a space I rent. But an FBO leasing space and subleasing it to the public in absence of the airport providing the same space to the public as an option eventually leads to monopolization of assets without a tangible benefit to the private pilot short of increased fees.

    I can provide dozens of examples.

    Let FBO’s sell fuel, lease space to airplane owners, charge for their conference rooms and rent a cars- I’m not opposed to that. But to ridiculously charge a pilot because idiotic airport management released all public space to them foregoing any public access without a fee? Pound sand. This kills general aviation. I’ve seen entities lease complete airports and nothing good comes from it. This is akin to freeways moving to charge tolls. We are already taxed to the max, have been re-taxed to pay for NEW roads, the money gets siphoned off to the general fund, and we find ourselves paying for the same road many times over without maintenance or repair.

    Airports like Camarillo and Oxnard are great because they don’t allow subleasing of assets. Businesses have their piece, GA has their piece, and aviation thrives.

    A dot com played games at Santa Monica, leased all the nice hangars, surreptitiously lobbied activist citizens to shut down the airport, and look where we are today.

    Hawthorne is a different and similar issue; in just a few years, where dozens of GA pilots parked their planes, they were all evicted - and now only Elon Musk and Harrison Ford have planes, hangar rents have quadrupled, GA continues to take the hit, and now the people who lease the entire airport want to charge landing fees- it is essentially now a private airport, even though the city still the same staff or more as before.

    I shouldn’t be forced to use an FBO if I just happen to be moved somewhere by ground, so no. If you like paying user fees and enjoy the higher rates charged by FBOs at public airports, by all means. I don’t, and I think most people don’t either.
     
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  20. SoonerAviator

    SoonerAviator Final Approach

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    An addendum to the fee schedule policy that allows employees to use discretion? I'm not sure that implies that they ignore their own policy, just that they give leeway to their own staff to accommodate potential customers as they see fit.
     
  21. Juliet Hotel

    Juliet Hotel Pattern Altitude

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    This pilot was not FORCED to use this FBO. There were several others available on the field and this pilot chose of his own free will to use the FBO in question knowing full well the FBO in question had a reputation for charging exorbitant fees and knowing full well other FBO's existed on the field which might not charge such exorbitant fees. The pilot in question had lots of opportunity to inquire to all of those private businesses via radio while inbound and even after landing so as to determine what their policies were before choosing to make use of their services and yet chose of his own free will not to do so.

    If that is what counts as moving the goal post in your world well then sorry to break it to you brother but you're probably never going to win because yeah, by that measure everyone is going to be out to get you and you're probably going to lose every time. I would say sorry 'bout your luck but I don't really think it has to do with luck at this point.
     
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  22. MauleSkinner

    MauleSkinner Final Approach

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    Ok...what level of staff should be allowed to make that decision? What level of psychic ability is required, and how is it trained/evaluated?
     
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  23. 3393RP

    3393RP En-Route

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    I guess I've been too complacent. Next time I go through a National Park or a public lake entrance, I'm going to throw a tantrum at the gatehouse.
     
  24. 3393RP

    3393RP En-Route

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    Where exactly does this type of policy exist in the real world?
     
  25. EdFred

    EdFred Taxi to Parking

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    In 1000s of businesses in the US alone.
     
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  26. EdFred

    EdFred Taxi to Parking

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    Don't they have fees posted at the gate before you enter? They did at the last two NPs I went to.
     
  27. SoonerAviator

    SoonerAviator Final Approach

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    Ever had a delay in your food order and they comp it or give you a free dessert? That's where it exists. When you bring your car into the local tire shop because of a slow leak and they patch it for free and send you on your way, even though the posted price is $20. That's where it exists. When you get a free upgrade at a hotel because they had the room available. That's where it exists. All sorts of decisions like that can be delegated to front line staff. It doesn't mean they have to offer it to every patron, or that one should expect it. It just means that it's pretty common in companies to allow customer-facing employees some leeway in order to facilitate customer service/goodwill.
     
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  28. SoonerAviator

    SoonerAviator Final Approach

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    Obviously that would be up to the individual business owners wouldn't it? Not sure where you are going with psychic ability, I believe OP mentioned to the line guy that he just need to wait out the storm for an hour or less. No need for mind reading there.
     
  29. N1120A

    N1120A Pattern Altitude

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    There's no question that discretion could have and should have been used here. Either that, or let him know he'd be charged a ramp fee if he stayed and where he could go to park free.

    Of course, the OP didn't seem to give them an opportunity to use that discretion and just fired up and found The Park.

    So, ultimately:

    1) The OP didn't pay the fee.

    2) The OP did find the well published place for non chargeable transient parking.

    3) This thread stated a bunch of pretty outdated, unfounded misconceptions reinforced by Aviation Folklore and the kind of ingrained foolishness that keeps much of our industry in relative dark ages.

    Got it.
     
  30. MauleSkinner

    MauleSkinner Final Approach

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    “I just need to wait out the storm” is not anywhere near the same as “I don’t have to pay the ramp fee, right?”

    the OP’s entire situation might have changed had he decided to actually communicate instead of just assume.
     
    Last edited: Sep 22, 2020
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  31. smv

    smv Pattern Altitude

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    I think we found the Signature share holder.
     
  32. Vance Breese

    Vance Breese Line Up and Wait

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    I have always been treated well at the Signature FBOs I have visited and I am not flying a jet.
     
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  33. N884

    N884 Pre-Flight

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    Last time I was at Van Nuys, there was a hotel there with some parking. Seems like would be a great place to hide from weather and grab a cup of joe. Don’t recall the hotel charging to park.
     
  34. MooneyDriver78

    MooneyDriver78 En-Route

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    In my limited experience, Cutter is the best FBO out there for us little guys.
     
  35. edo2000

    edo2000 Pre-takeoff checklist PoA Supporter

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    Good arguments on both sides of this, I guess. But I definitely agree that private businesses(e.g. FBOs) should not be given full control of an entire publicly funded airport. I recently flew from Durango to Grand Junction with my son who was visiting. He wanted to do a quick landing at Telluride(KTEX) to see the area. So we did. Talked to a lady on CTAF/unicom. There was no one else communicating on CTAF during our approach or later, departure, very quiet at KTEX that day. We landed, and immediately taxied back for departure. Never even rolled onto the ramp. The lady on unicom (at the Atlantic FBO there) hears me prepping for departure and informs me that I need to report back to the FBO to pay fees. At this point, I am a 1/2 mile from the FBO and ready to go. I asked her if it was necessary for me to taxi all the way back there for a simple stop and go. She was a little indignant, but did finally say that since I was ignorant of the fees and she did not mention them, that she would let me go THIS time... I thanked her for that ... told her I would remember the rules next time. I had flown in to KTEX before, parked at the ramp, paid the fees, got the t-shirt... but was very surprised that I would incur the liability just for touching down. Always several jets on the ramp there, I don't think they really want us little guys around.
     
  36. N1120A

    N1120A Pattern Altitude

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    Out at VNY? They aren't there. Generally? They are very nice. I'm also a big fan of ACI for the chain FBOs.
     
  37. MooneyDriver78

    MooneyDriver78 En-Route

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    I was thinking they’re in entire southwest, but just CO,NM,AZ.
     
  38. N1120A

    N1120A Pattern Altitude

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    Yeah, I used them a couple years ago at KABQ. Super nice and treated piston singles the same as heavy iron.
     
  39. EdFred

    EdFred Taxi to Parking

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    I would have told her to go to Tractor Supply get a hammer and a bag of silicon dioxide.
     
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  40. Groundpounder

    Groundpounder Pattern Altitude

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    I'm amazed at people that are probably in the 5% of income earners in the US, flying a $100,000ish piece of machinery that burns gas that costs $4 a gallon, and getting to do something that many people can only dream about, bitch about having to possibly pay a $30 fee. Have some perspective man!