Old May 9, 14, 1:36 pm
Join Date: May 2004
Location: Night Vale
Posts: 1,870
That must have been a rough day...

Expect more of this over the summer. My list of possible disruptors that will exacerbate outside flow disruptions like weather and mechanical probems include:

1. FAR 117 new duty time limits and rest requirements resulting in more pilots "timing out" after arriving at an intermediate stop following wx delays, or timing out after a long extended taxi when they were already close to the limit.

2. A policy of minimum fueling resulting in more diverts and pilots demanding more fuel before leaving the gate.

3. Inadequate staffing for rampers at major hubs complicated by requirements for mandatory overtime. Result is lower morale and job commitment. Aggravating this are restrictions on swapping gates and requiring aircraft to wait for a gate even though another is open.

4. Inadequate staffing to provide for sensible turn times. There just aren't enough people to unload/load the airplane. The chosen method to improve things is to close the door earlier and not wait for connecting or originating pax even though the gate has been advised of TSA or connecting flight delays. Ground Ops was not augmented to handle the extra demands of the 800.

5. A new attitude of blame the customer - they arrive at the last minute, have too much luggage and carry-on, etc. There will be longer lines at gate podiums and increasing difficulty in trying manage irregular ops.

6. The absorption of Air Tran into the Borg is still causing operational indigestion. A fair number of the former AirTrannies feel like they got a raw deal and will not go the extra mile during difficult times.

7. SWA has always been a low rate payer and this has included IT. Even with the announcement of Amadeus for domestic rez, the cutover will take several years. IT problems and complaints from customers and employees will continue.

8. SWA is struggling to deal with its outstanding labor contract issues. Gary wants "Flat" and the unions are demanding increases. Recent events at JetBlue must be spooking SWA leadership. I have even heard some arguments as to why it would make sense for SWA to acquire JBlu in order to gain gates at slot controlled airports.

9. Used to be that every SWA employee would go the extra mile in a heartbeat for Herb (and the rest of the leadership team). Pilots would figure out a way to get the airplane to the destination, dispatch would come up with something creative, flight attendants would do their thing, mechanics would find a way to get the airplane off the gate, Rampers would help other gates, Ops Agents were truly devoted to Herb and the golden rule. This has changed. Current leadership has replaced common sense and good judgment with more and more rules.

10. So get ready for an interesting summer.

Last edited by nsx; May 16, 14 at 10:17 pm
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