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Old Dec 20, 09, 10:37 am   #1
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Can DL do a better job resuming flights after WX cancellations?

Why does it always seem that Delta Air Lines seems to be the worst airline in the NY area when it comes to pro-actively cancelling flights and the worst when it comes to resuming flights after the weather has cleared?

A few examples, Delta has cxld all flights from JFK to SFO for today, most flights from JFK to LAX are cxld, JFK to SEA....., I could go on and on with DL cancellations for today. However, most other NYC flights with other airlines always seem to get back to normal, or close to normal, way, way faster then DL.

This is not to bash Delta, I was just curious as to why it always seems this way.

If DL wants to be the leading airline in NYC, there going to have to do a much better job when it comes to WX cancellations and resuming flight operations.

Thank you in advance for your constructive replies.

lieu
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Old Dec 20, 09, 10:40 am   #2
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Ask JetBlue's ex-CEO about the Feb. 2007 ice storm fiasco and the performance of his airline in pre-emptive cancellations and recovery.
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Old Dec 20, 09, 10:45 am   #3
 
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DL may want to be the leader in all areas including cancellations and disgruntled passengers.
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Old Dec 20, 09, 10:47 am   #4
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sfozrhfco View Post
DL may want to be the leader in all areas including cancellations and disgruntled passengers.
Shoot, I'm disgruntled and I'm not traveling till Wed... all these rebookings have dried up all the seats up front on my flight!
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Old Dec 20, 09, 10:50 am   #5
 
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They got scared too quickly with the transcons for today.

I don't think Continental cancelled a single EWR-SFO today -- and most are arriving near schedule. There's decent availability for rebooks later in the week.

Delta on the other hand...

Nothing open for now until Wednesday/Thursday because of the preemptive cancellations. I'm surprised they didn't issue some new flight numbers for ferry flights. Looks like they just completely wrote the day off for the subfleet.

I was booked on the 4:55pm departure today. Got an email notice at 7pm last night saying it was still on time. Then checked on my own about an hour later to see it had since gone cancelled. The online rebook tool offered zero flights. Fortunately I was proactive in calling and got on a Tuesday flight in first that works.

However didn't recieve the 'your flight is cancelled' notification until 11am this morning. Maybe an issue with 012 NW ticket stock on Delta flights?

Either way, not impressed relative to how others are presently handling the same dealt hand.
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Old Dec 20, 09, 10:56 am   #6
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One thing that should be mentioned is that as we get closer to the end of the month and year, crew scheduling becomes an issue for all airlines (NW had this problem some time back). As pilots and FAs reach their monthly and annual limits, it become harder to find crews that are eligible and able to fly. This problem is only magnified with weather delays as deicing, take-off/landing and taxiing all take longer and are counted in those hours. With less capacity and the holidays, recovering from delays such as this weekend's, is more difficult.
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Old Dec 20, 09, 11:29 am   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AndyTLe View Post
One thing that should be mentioned is that as we get closer to the end of the month and year, crew scheduling becomes an issue for all airlines (NW had this problem some time back). As pilots and FAs reach their monthly and annual limits, it become harder to find crews that are eligible and able to fly. This problem is only magnified with weather delays as deicing, take-off/landing and taxiing all take longer and are counted in those hours. With less capacity and the holidays, recovering from delays such as this weekend's, is more difficult.
AndyTLE,

Great argument, but as you said, it is an issue for all airlines, an issue that impacts DL the most. so, what is DL doing wrong?

being a PM with Delta and giving them all my business, its very frustrating that they seem to always be dead last with resuming flights and pro-actively cxling flights after wx related issues.

Try to get a seat on DL from JFK to SFO at all for the rest of this week, NOT gonna happen.

Again, if DL wants to be NY's leading airline, I'd think they better come up with a better, a more up to date plan, in dealing with these problems.
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Last edited by DL2SXM; Dec 20, 09 at 11:34 am..
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Old Dec 20, 09, 12:13 pm   #8
 
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I don't understand the excessive cancelling either... It seems that everyone made a huge deal out of this storm and it's not as bad as I thought (they even said top ten storm of all time on the radio)... Driving in my car now, and aside from the random idiot speeding along as if everything is fine, it's alright as long as you're careful. Can't imagine the airports are having a problem with the runways, as the storm started later and ended earlier than they predicted.. It's even relatively sunny today! Please open some more flights delta (is that even possible?) and get these people where they want to go (and off of my flight)!
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Old Dec 20, 09, 12:54 pm   #9
 
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Is DL too big to Succeed?
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Old Dec 20, 09, 1:09 pm   #10
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According to ifly.com, all NYC area airports look to have delays and cancellations from all airlines.

How much snow did you all get up there?
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Old Dec 20, 09, 1:43 pm   #11
 
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I live very close to LGA

and we got about a foot of snow. It was nasty last night, but not so bad today. Right now the blue sky is breaking the clouds. As with every weather event in NYC, the trains did a good job of rolling and most of the bus service didn't stop.
That being said I agree that Delta jumped the gun a bit here. A quick look at the Port Authority of NY website shows that while most Delta flights from LGA are cancelled (and I think all of the NWA flights), the other airlines still have plenty of flights. Not everything is right on this list, but its pretty good.

http://www.panynj.gov/airports/fligh...?view=&apt=LGA
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Old Dec 20, 09, 1:49 pm   #12
 
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A big part of JetBlue's problem, and Delta's problem now, is that they get too creative when it comes to trying to maximize aircraft usage. They keep capacity too high too be flexible, and they have planes flying all over the place. When one flight gets canceled, it affects completely different cities because those aircraft are now unable to continue on to further destinations.

Sure, they could fix it, but that would take a major change in thinking - getting away from looking at stats and figures and starting to look at passenger and aircraft flows. I don't think Delta would have the corporate mindset to do that.

Keep in mind that Delta is heavy in the Northeast, so this really impacts them alot.
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Old Dec 20, 09, 2:00 pm   #13
 
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Is this really a symptom of a bad decision? We certainly have 20/20 hindsight but are not aware of all of the data points that went into the decision to preemptively cancel flights. I bet DL will take a look at this decision to see if it could've been handled better. We armchair quarterbacks, though, have no visibility whatsoever into their process.

Other airlines' decisions may even have been gambles, played against the odds. In this case the decision to not cancel (some) flights may have paid off. If the situation was a teeny bit worse, it could've bit them BIG, and then we'd be crying out at their "poor decision making" and lauding Delta. I bet a big chunk of this was luck and probabilities: on a long enough timeline, for every time there's a "wasted" preemptive cancellation there is one that was appropriate. A single incident does not a pattern make.

DL is the biggest airline in the world and in this case, economies of scale may have hurt the air line. Deciding to "wait and see" could backfire the more flights that are unexpectedly canceled. 10 canceled flights into LGA is much easier to reschedule than 100.

Moreover, clearing an airport isn't as simple as shoveling off some snow into the grass. Have you seen the removal process at BWI, DCA, etc? Where do you think the snow goes? It's not as if it evaporates. They have to put the snow somewhere -- just because the snow stops falling at 11PM doesn't mean the airports can start accepting flights at 11:01.
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Old Dec 20, 09, 3:27 pm   #14
 
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Just checking the NYC airports, it looks like CO came out of this really well-- there are tons of delays and some cancellations, but they seem to be about as good as can be expected. JetBlue did OK also. Delta appears to have canceled just about all their domestic flying out of LGA and JFK for the second day in a row-- not really sure what's going on.
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Old Dec 20, 09, 3:33 pm   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by amejr999 View Post
Just checking the NYC airports, it looks like CO came out of this really well-- there are tons of delays and some cancellations, but they seem to be about as good as can be expected. JetBlue did OK also. Delta appears to have canceled just about all their domestic flying out of LGA and JFK for the second day in a row-- not really sure what's going on.
well, as far as the international cancellations go, there shouldnt be to many concerns as DL can off-load much of there TATL to Air France, Alitalia, KLM.

Domestic is a mess. JFK to LAX, SEA, SFO, LAS, SAN, DEN, PHX, very little if anything is flying.
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