So why do they lie about delayed flights?

Old Jan 4, 16, 10:10 pm
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So why do they lie about delayed flights?

I get that stuff happens! I'm not mad my flight was delayed 2 hours (just sat in the MLL) but the gate agents and the FA's onboard all said "We were delayed waiting for a late inbound aircraft from Halifax"

- The aircraft that was scheduled to do the route until a couple hours before departure arrived early in YUL, fully operational. It was switched out by ops to cover a flight to YYZ instead a couple hours before it was supposed to depart for YVR.

- The inbound from Halifax wasn't late, actually it also arrived early.

So the truth was they had to use the aircraft that was planned for this route to cover another route (all 320 swaps) within a couple hours of departure.

But there were no "late" aircraft - not the original one planned and not the replacement.
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Old Jan 4, 16, 10:11 pm
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Because they either a) don't know (unless they call STOC AFAIK) or b) don't give a crap and most customers are stupid anyways.
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Old Jan 4, 16, 10:17 pm
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Originally Posted by Sean Peever View Post
I get that stuff happens! I'm not mad my flight was delayed 2 hours (just sat in the MLL) but the gate agents and the FA's onboard all said "We were delayed waiting for a late inbound aircraft from Halifax"

- The aircraft that was scheduled to do the route until a couple hours before departure arrived early in YUL, fully operational. It was switched out by ops to cover a flight to YYZ instead a couple hours before it was supposed to depart for YVR.

- The inbound from Halifax wasn't late, actually it also arrived early.

So the truth was they had to use the aircraft that was planned for this route to cover another route (all 320 swaps) within a couple hours of departure.

But there were no "late" aircraft - not the original one planned and not the replacement.

Employees in some customer-facing positions either don't know the answer or they do and know the customer won't like it, so they might change the answer to something the customer might accept.


I am reminded of an old voice mail message::

You have reached the Answer Desk -

Just plain answers are $1.00
Correct answers are $2.00
and answers which require thought are $4.00

Please deposit the correct change at the sound of the tone.
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Old Jan 4, 16, 10:28 pm
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Chances are, the agents had no idea. They jump from gate to gate and, from what I can tell, just communicate what they're told.

In the past, I've been told by agents that my flight was cancelled because the inbound for another flight was delayed so they used "my" aircraft to cover that flight (happens on YEG-YYC alot, they consolidate flights in the winter). That being said, the agents RARELY announce this - Its what I'm told when I go to the agent and start asking questions

I don't think agents purposely lie very often. I think its probably misinformation or if it actually a lie, its probably to avoid an angry mob!
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Old Jan 4, 16, 10:36 pm
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While the answers above may be true, fun or wrong........

On time performance is a public metric, which could actually influence stock price, airplace finance terms, etc.

Bonuses for on time performance.
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Old Jan 4, 16, 10:45 pm
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Originally Posted by Sean Peever View Post
"We were delayed waiting for a late inbound aircraft from Halifax"
As I've said many times, late arrival of the inbound aircraft is not, not, NOT the cause of a delay. It is the result of a delay from which AC has not yet recovered.

I've also said many times, all I want is the truth. If the truth is you don't know, please tell me you don't know.

Why in the name of God is that so difficult for these people to grasp?
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Old Jan 4, 16, 10:48 pm
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Originally Posted by Sopwith View Post
Why in the name of God is that so difficult for these people to grasp?
Have you been in a customer facing role before?
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Old Jan 4, 16, 10:50 pm
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Originally Posted by Sopwith View Post
As I've said many times, late arrival of the inbound aircraft is not, not, NOT the cause of a delay. It is the result of a delay from which AC has not yet recovered.

I've also said many times, all I want is the truth. If the truth is you don't know, please tell me you don't know.

Why in the name of God is that so difficult for these people to grasp?
I think you missed the part where none of the aircraft for this flight were ever late inbound. Not the originally scheduled one and not the newly scheduled one.
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Old Jan 4, 16, 11:03 pm
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Originally Posted by Sopwith View Post
As I've said many times, late arrival of the inbound aircraft is not, not, NOT the cause of a delay. It is the result of a delay from which AC has not yet recovered.

I've also said many times, all I want is the truth. If the truth is you don't know, please tell me you don't know.

Why in the name of God is that so difficult for these people to grasp?
Normal people don't care about the details. Most are just satisfied to hear that the airline is aware there is no aircraft at the gate and get some reasonable ETA. Besides, the genesis of the delay can be extremely hard to identify and is in no way worth an agent's time tracking.

An A320 delay could be due to a back log from fin 739 turbulence in YYC requiring narrowbody swaps to cover domestic widebodies in turn allowing for priority international flights to depart on time. No easy way for the agents to find out about that.

If YYZ-PEK is 7 hours late, I don't expect AC to be announcing in PEK that the fleet is stretched due to being down a plane and what they have left is late because of the late arrival of AC31, due to the late arrival of AC873, due to the late arrival of AC872, due to the late arrival of AC34, due to a RTO and tire change in YVR.

And I'm someone who likes knowing how things work, though I don't expect AC to provide any more detail than they do.

I do agree with the OPs complaint that if a reason is given, it should be truthful even when greatly simplified.
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Old Jan 4, 16, 11:08 pm
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Originally Posted by winnipegrev View Post
I do agree with the OPs complaint that if a reason is given, it should be truthful even when greatly simplified.
Absolutely. In OP's case the agent's lies can so easily be identified it begs the question why even bother making up a lie.

I'd prefer an honest "I don't know" if I was in OP's shoes.
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Old Jan 4, 16, 11:08 pm
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Old Jan 4, 16, 11:21 pm
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Originally Posted by superangrypenguin View Post
Have you been in a customer facing role before?
Every day of my career for almost 40 years. I didn't get to where I am without being honest and forthright with my clients.
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Old Jan 4, 16, 11:31 pm
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Originally Posted by Sopwith View Post
Every day of my career for almost 40 years. I didn't get to where I am without being honest and forthright with my clients.
I think that's a good attitude to have in every aspect of life, not just business.
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Old Jan 4, 16, 11:38 pm
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What I hate more are rolling delays.

It's delayed by 20 min then another 20 and another 20.

Meanwhile the inbound flight has not taken off yet.
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Old Jan 5, 16, 12:32 am
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Originally Posted by Sopwith View Post
Every day of my career for almost 40 years. I didn't get to where I am without being honest and forthright with my clients.

Touché.
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