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Flight 471 San Diego to Seattle, no pilots to be found

Flight 471 San Diego to Seattle, no pilots to be found

Old Aug 26, 18, 4:41 pm
  #16  
 
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Originally Posted by FN-GM View Post
What is it with people on this website wanting compensation for every inconvenience?
Unfortunate it appears, in my view, a trend towards, I want more for less, me NOW! society.

Perhaps a better approach would be to increase fares 25% and the give everyone 20% back after the flight, "just in case!"

~​​​​​​36,000 flights a month and a pilot and crew or two who might have got caught up traffic or wasn't feeling well last minute and AS Pilot Management requirs an immediate overhaul? Really?

James
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Old Aug 26, 18, 5:40 pm
  #17  
 
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Originally Posted by PVDtoDEL View Post
The same thing happened to me a few months ago - airplane fully boarded on SEA-LAS, and they realised that there's no flight crew. We ended up all disembarking and reboarding an hour later once a reserve crew made it to the airport.

Sounds to me like AS needs a better crew tracking system - they should be able to tell when they're short a crew well in advance of departure..
While I certainly am *NOT* asking for compensation, it does disturb me that nobody would notice that the pilots were AWOL until they tried to push. I would have hoped they had a better pilot tracking system, indeed. Yes, pilots are late all the time for various reasons, but one would presume they would inform somebody and/or the airline was aware (because, e.g., they are inbound on a delayed flight). Pilots are supposed to do a bunch of stuff preflight (walk arounds, get NOTAMs, flight plans, talk to dispatch, etc., etc.). The fact that absolutely nobody noticed (or at least did not communicate it to the GA dispatching the flight) was disturbing to me.
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Old Aug 26, 18, 10:00 pm
  #18  
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I've had this happen several times, both on AS and on other carriers.

NW was epic... was on a redeye SEA-MSP and ended up with nearly 3 hours of a delay when there was no pilot. (called in sick) so they had to wake someone up and drive up.

Bottom line, this does happen from time to time, and is unfortunate when it does. But rest assured, the aircraft won't push back without its cabin crew.
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Old Aug 26, 18, 10:09 pm
  #19  
 
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Originally Posted by beckoa View Post
I've had this happen several times, both on AS and on other carriers.

NW was epic... was on a redeye SEA-MSP and ended up with nearly 3 hours of a delay when there was no pilot. (called in sick) so they had to wake someone up and drive up.

Bottom line, this does happen from time to time, and is unfortunate when it does. But rest assured, the aircraft won't push back without its cabin crew.
Really? You've had the GA close out the flight and say they are "OK to close" without any crew in the cabin? I've had pilots late for all kinds of reasons, but I have never before had an instance where the ground crew was clearly completely unaware they were not aboard the plane.
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Old Aug 26, 18, 10:21 pm
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But it's not the gate agents' job to track pilots or replace pilots if they are AWOL... Just like it's not their job to track the weather and make judgments about whether to board a flight based on weather conditions

They have a hundred other things to do that can keep them busy/distracted.

As you note, this was a rare occurrence. Usually the pilots are there on time. Did one of them have a family emergency? Or were they on time but the shuttle driver at their crew hotel called in sick?

My sense here is that the answer is super mundane, not in Alaska's direct control, and not indicative of a trend...
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Old Aug 26, 18, 10:43 pm
  #21  
 
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Originally Posted by Tracer_SEA View Post
But it's not the gate agents' job to track pilots or replace pilots if they are AWOL...
Not being an AS GA, I cannot speak authoritatively about what their job is, but in my experience part of the GAs' job is to verify the ID of the crew members assigned to the flight as they arrive so they can be provided access to the jetway. My point, however, is not that the GA in particular was unaware, but that apparently everyone was unaware--I clearly overhead the conversations between the GA and the FAs that ops, dispatch, etc., etc., all had no idea. It also would seem common courtesy for the pilots to call somebody (scheduling, dispatch, whomever) if they are hung up. As I mentioned earlier, the crew was legitimately concerned for the pilots' health and wellbeing (they were speculating about major accident with the hotel shuttle, etc.,) so this was clearly unexpected for them as well.

In the end, no big deal, but a curiosity to be sure. Would love to hear the back story if anyone uncovers it.
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Old Aug 27, 18, 12:00 am
  #22  
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Originally Posted by Erasmus View Post
Really? You've had the GA close out the flight and say they are "OK to close" without any crew in the cabin? I've had pilots late for all kinds of reasons, but I have never before had an instance where the ground crew was clearly completely unaware they were not aboard the plane.
Specifically, I'm not sure. However I just realized one from earlier in the year- VX flight (pre-upgrades) and there was no flight crew to be seen. Fully loaded, we were waiting on the tarmac for what seemed like 20-30 minutes before the crew arrived.
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Old Aug 27, 18, 12:11 am
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Originally Posted by jrl767 View Post
huh? a cart would block a determined person from getting to the cockpit door for maybe six seconds ... besides, how would you secure a cart in front of the door for taxi, takeoff, and landing?
Originally Posted by Tracer_SEA View Post
But it's not the gate agents' job to track pilots or replace pilots if they are AWOL... Just like it's not their job to track the weather and make judgments about whether to board a flight based on weather conditions

They have a hundred other things to do that can keep them busy/distracted.

As you note, this was a rare occurrence. Usually the pilots are there on time. Did one of them have a family emergency? Or were they on time but the shuttle driver at their crew hotel called in sick?

My sense here is that the answer is super mundane, not in Alaska's direct control, and not indicative of a trend...
Let's compare rarities. Which event is rarer? I'd say the former. By severe orders of magnitude.
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Old Aug 27, 18, 12:42 am
  #24  
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Originally Posted by UpgradeMe View Post
You want compensation for a 39 minute delay????
If you read my post, I have received compensation for a lesser delay. Also asking for input, not saying I expect it.
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Old Aug 27, 18, 12:54 am
  #25  
 
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This happened all last summer on QX. OP: be glad it was only 30 minutes or so.

Also, you canít be on a plane without FAs. Pilots are ok as long as the APU isnít running. Sometimes on WN if thereís a crew swap and a delay, the outgoing crew will stick around and get the flight plan loaded and plane ready to go so the new crew can get moving a bit faster.
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Old Aug 27, 18, 1:27 am
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Iíve definitely been on flights that boarded and had no pilots. However, in those situations, it was known that the pilots were running late from a different inbound. As long as there is a full complement of flight attendants, boarding can commence.

As far as compensation, my flight to Seattle this morning was delayed 1 hr 45 min due to Air Traffic Control in Seattle, so I really doubt that providing compensation for a 39 min delay will be top priority right now.

Last edited by sltlyamusd; Aug 27, 18 at 1:18 pm
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Old Aug 27, 18, 1:10 pm
  #27  
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Originally Posted by jrl767 View Post
huh? a cart would block a determined person from getting to the cockpit door for maybe six seconds ... besides, how would you secure a cart in front of the door for taxi, takeoff, and landing?
That might be a bit dangerous, like that time famous dancer Nikolai 'Kolya' Rodchenko got hit with a cart during that emergency landing in Siberia, and was forced to live with an American Army deserter who was a good tap dancer
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Old Aug 27, 18, 9:21 pm
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SFO - LAX just sat for 1.5 hours with no flight attendants
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Old Aug 27, 18, 11:53 pm
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Originally Posted by Tankerman View Post
SFO - LAX just sat for 1.5 hours with no flight attendants
I think it's difficult to have FA's traveling through SFO, changing planes to other flights. If they're on a flight affected by ATC delays, it can have a huge domino affect on what happens downline. With all the ATC delays lately, I can't imagine the challenge crew scheduling has in making sure the flights timeliness is not affected. In this case, it seems like they were unable to shuffle people around so as not to affect this flight. There are so many variables when considering what to do if a crew is falling behind, but I know they work really hard to ensure this kind of thing doesn't happen if at all possible.
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