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View Full Version : Three out of four flights delayed.


mtezel
08-08-2009, 02:00 AM
My trip started with a 15 minute delay in the plane arriving in San Antonio for the flight to DFW. After we finally got on the plane, the pilot announced that we were all set to go, but there had been a shift change in the ground crew, and no one was available to push us back from the gate. During our 20 minute wait to find a ground crew, the captain admitted that it was probably due to cut-backs in staffing at American. When we finally arrived at DFW, we had to wait an other 15 minutes because "our gate wasn't ready." I had to run to make it to my connecting flight to ABQ.

On the trip back, my flight from ABQ went well, until we arrived 15 minutes early at DFW. We taxied to a remote area of the airport where the captain announced that a plane was still at our gate, and we would have to wait a few minutes as it was getting ready to leave. About 30 minutes later the captain informed us that the plane was still there, and they found us another gate.

When I got to my connection, the fun really began. The gate agent informd us that the plane had not arrived yet, and we would be about 15 minutes late in leaving. We finally boarded the planed, and the door was closed when the captain informed us that we would be waiting a few more minutes while the baggage crew finished up loading the plane. About 30 minutes later, in a very warm plane, we finally pushed back and left for the runway. At the beginning of the runway we stopped again. We waited as several planes behind us left, and when we finally entered the runway we taxied only a short distance and then pulled off. The pilot then informed us that there was a warning light for the automatic brakes, and that we would need to return to the terminal for a mechanic to look at it and sign off on the problem. We taxied to the other side of DFW while we waited about an hour for the mechanic to look at the problem, again on the hot plain. To add insult to injuries, the pilot then anounced that we had to refuel before we could take off again. We finally left for San Antonio about 2-1/2 hours late.

If American has really cut-back on ground crews, they are only making a bad situation worse. Wish I could stay away from them, but most of the time my employer makes me fly American.

PHXFlyer
08-08-2009, 03:23 AM
Haven't you ever had a warning light come on in your car? Oil, brakes, check engine? The difference is you can choose to ignore the indicator or wait until you've reached your destination to have it checked out. A pilot can not.

I'll never understand people who complain of a delay when there is a safety issue involved. They gripe about having to return to the gate then they groan about how long it took to fix. Are you an airplane mechanic? I know I'm not nor do I second guess those who are trained to do the work and have been certified and re-certified by the FAA to do so. If it takes an hour so be it. If it takes two, fine by me. I'd rather arrive late than not at all.

jimworcs
08-08-2009, 09:21 AM
I'll never understand people who complain of a delay when there is a safety issue involved.

Another deliberate mis-representation of what the customer complained about. This post did not complain about a safety issue. What the customer highlighted was that at almost every segment they flew, there was a delay which was attributable to shortage of staff.

It was quite easy to figure this out Phx, all you had to do was read the summary of the complaint in the last line

If American has really cut-back on ground crews, they are only making a bad situation worse

It shows your desperation to take a pro-airline stance, when you have to selectively mis-represent what the poster says to make your point.

PHXFlyer
08-08-2009, 10:55 AM
Mis-representation? I don't think so. Dissect the entire post and tell me just how a "cut-back on ground crews" realistically was a major contributing factor in any of the delays.

In the first example 15 minutes waiting on the inbound aircraft, 20 minutes waiting for a new ground crew and finally 15 minutes waiting for a gate at DFW. The OP sated the 20 minute delay was due to a shift change. That's not because of a crew shortage but just bad timing.

Now on the return perhaps the loading of baggage could have gone faster and perhaps if they had another pair of hands that may have helped. Who knows for sure. But as for the mechanical delay I really don't feel that an hour is unreasonable. First the cause of the indicator light has to be determined. Is it just a faulty indicator or is there actually a fault in the system? If so what's wrong and what parts are required? Then they'll have to fetch the parts which may or may not be readily available on the ramp. Then there's the actual work to replace the part and test it. Then there's the paperwork. It's been my experience that sometimes the paperwork phase takes the longest! I believe as a safety check they need to have a supervisory mechanic check the work and sign off as well. Then sometimes the pilot will want or need to inspect everything. Again I'd rather everything be checked and double checked rather than find out in mid-air that the problem wasn't fixed correctly.

Yes there have been cuts across the board of all airline workers at most US airlines. The fact is, though, that there have also been capacity cuts as well. AA has planes parked all over the place and is accelerating the retirement of some older aircraft. When you account for the number of aircraft that remain in active service the cuts to the affected work force has been proportional.

jimworcs
08-09-2009, 12:05 AM
When you account for the number of aircraft that remain in active service the cuts to the affected work force has been proportional.

Any sources or evidence for this or is it just another made up fact to back up your hypothesis?