Come On, Alaska (Rant About Delayed Flight)

Old Jun 13, 19, 9:44 pm
  #1  
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Come On, Alaska (Rant About Delayed Flight)

So today I get a text saying my flight (AS1323) is delayed. That’s funny, how do you know so far in advance? I check Flightaware and find out that the earlier flights it’s doing are all 1 hour delayed. Okay, fine. sucks, but it’s only an hour. Then, two hours later, I get a call saying ‘Actually nope it’s going out on time.’ Okay, cool. I have to cut dinner with friends short but fine. Cut dinner short, get to the airport, we’re sitting at the gate but there’s no plane. Then they drop the announcement at boarding time that the plane that’s doing our flight “just landed” and has to be cleared by Customs since it’s an international flight. And this will cause...you guessed it...an hour delay.

Come on, y’all. This is penny-ante stuff. If you’re delayed, own the delay unless you know you can swap something else in to get the flight out on time. It’s just either super incompetent or petty to act like the flight is departing on time when there’s no way it will. I know i’m not privy to Alaska ops but they had at least 10 hours to figure it out or simply own the delay.

This is why I’ll only use AS for West Coast ops when I can buy P.

Last edited by FiveMileFinal; Jun 14, 19 at 6:43 pm
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Old Jun 13, 19, 11:17 pm
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An hour delay on SFO-SEA with some status information changing a few times? You're right, this is penny-ante stuff.

Some airlines only communicate delays when they know for sure (never know in a hub if they're going to swap aircraft or crew). That leads up to an ON TIME flight when they had a good idea all along it was delayed. That said, AS SFO does struggle with the International flights being towed over. It almost guarantees a delay.
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Old Jun 14, 19, 2:13 am
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Originally Posted by channa View Post
An hour delay on SFO-SEA with some status information changing a few times? You're right, this is penny-ante stuff.

Some airlines only communicate delays when they know for sure (never know in a hub if they're going to swap aircraft or crew). That leads up to an ON TIME flight when they had a good idea all along it was delayed. That said, AS SFO does struggle with the International flights being towed over. It almost guarantees a delay.
Basically Alaska did nothing consistent.
If communicating delays when they are sure, well, they did that for the final delay, because we all know when your plane is not there at boarding time it is not on-time.
Communicating delays when it might be true? Yes, Alaska also did that twice, before departure, saying first it will be delayed and later it will not be.

So, this is good practice?
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Old Jun 14, 19, 5:36 am
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Nothing is "sure." The information was correct when conveyed.

AS still requires one to be at the gate prior to scheduled departure. Thus, no need to cut dinner short. The only exception here is when you are certain of a delay, e.g., small outstation with only one inbound aircraft and you know it's delayed.
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Old Jun 14, 19, 6:47 am
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Airbus vs. Boeing

It still comes down to which side of the operation youíre on. The Boeing fleet still operates as it always have with delay posting being fairly accurate while Airbus either does what happened in your situation - delay really early despite lots of opportunity for things to change - or wait until departure time to post.

Iím on a 615pm Airbus flight tonight thatís already delayed an hour. FlightRadar shows the plane coming in from BUR at 625pm. Weíll see how this all pans out.
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Old Jun 14, 19, 8:33 am
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This happens all the time and it makes no difference if its Boeing or Airbus. I usually watch the aircraft my flight is assigned throughout the day (yes, I know only on Flyertalk). Its common for the plane to get delayed so much that there is no way my flight can be on time. AS will tell you it is right on time right up to boarding time. Conversely, they will tell you hours out that it is delayed and then as it gets close to boarding time it magically becomes "on time" only to be delayed by the original time period. The worst offender is flights to SFO, when you can see what the FAA delay is and AS acts like everything is fine, right up to an hour before departure.
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Old Jun 14, 19, 9:30 am
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Originally Posted by jsguyrus View Post
AS will tell you it is right on time right up to boarding time. Conversely, they will tell you hours out that it is delayed and then as it gets close to boarding time it magically becomes "on time" only to be delayed by the original time period.
Had an 800am departure on AS a few weeks ago where I got the dreaded "Your flight is delayed..." message two or three hours beforehand, but opened it up and saw AS was proclaiming a "delay" of 7 minutes. When I got to the gate the aircraft was there, no problems, we actually pushed a few minutes before 800a, and the on-time notifier never corrected. These messages are all software-generated and in my view most unreliable.
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Old Jun 14, 19, 10:10 am
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I appreciate AS telling me what they know at the time. I am sure sometimes they think they can get an alternate plane and things look better but then it falls through (that plane or crew may get delayed) and they have to change plans again.

Do you prefer the AA way of always telling you everything is fine right up to boarding time when no plane is even there yet? ...then dropping a 3 hr delay on you? ...or just cancelling it the day before with no apparent ability to get alternate aircraft or crew in the next 24 hrs.
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Old Jun 14, 19, 10:12 am
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Are we really starting a rant about miscommunications and an end result of a 1-hour delay?
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Old Jun 14, 19, 10:28 am
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Originally Posted by s0ssos View Post
Basically Alaska did nothing consistent.
If communicating delays when they are sure, well, they did that for the final delay, because we all know when your plane is not there at boarding time it is not on-time.
Communicating delays when it might be true? Yes, Alaska also did that twice, before departure, saying first it will be delayed and later it will not be.

So, this is good practice?
It's a hub. They can move or swap things and un-delay, or it could get delayed further. I would much rather have the best info available at the time rather than being told nothing until it's much closer and they have a better idea. The downside of that is there could be a bit of incorrect info sent, but it's the best info at the time.

I've been in line ready to board a posted ON TIME flight at boarding time on UA to find out the crew is still a couple hours away and haven't left their origin city. Technically they could have swapped crews, so are they right to hold back this reasonably known delay? I think something like that is more frustrating than what AS did here.

Originally Posted by UpstateDave View Post
It still comes down to which side of the operation youíre on. The Boeing fleet still operates as it always have with delay posting being fairly accurate while Airbus either does what happened in your situation - delay really early despite lots of opportunity for things to change - or wait until departure time to post.

Iím on a 615pm Airbus flight tonight thatís already delayed an hour. FlightRadar shows the plane coming in from BUR at 625pm. Weíll see how this all pans out.
Depends what the issue is. I've had Boeing flights un-delay and re-delay as well.
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Old Jun 14, 19, 10:31 am
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This happens all the time on pretty much every airline.
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Old Jun 14, 19, 11:05 am
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This is a pet peeve of mine--the insistence that the flight will be on time, when the only way it's possible is an aircraft swap. I watch my inbound flight too, but what to do? it's clear the inbound flight is in the air, and going to land 20 minutes after my flight is scheduled to take off. That's an almost certain 1 hour delay, and, Alaska maintains the flight will be on time. So, I go to the airport and wait. Flight delay notice usually comes during boarding.
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Old Jun 14, 19, 12:43 pm
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Woke up the other morning, grabbed the phone and it had a "notification" from Alaska Airlines. It was very straight forward, "Your flight xxx has been cancelled, please call....." Ugh! So I pull up the app and I get "Your reservation has changed" and it had, they re-booked me on another flight and in premium......I went back to sleep. Had a great flight as well.
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Old Jun 14, 19, 1:58 pm
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Originally Posted by dmodemd View Post
Do you prefer the AA way of always telling you everything is fine right up to boarding time when no plane is even there yet? ...then dropping a 3 hr delay on you? ...or just cancelling it the day before with no apparent ability to get alternate aircraft or crew in the next 24 hrs.
This has been exactly my experience with my past 3 trips on AA. First one, ATL-ORD, was cancelled the night before with no explanation and forced me to reroute in a lower class of service ATL-LAX in order to finally make it to Japan. The next one, delayed 3 hours ATL-DCA. Most recent one, ATL-ORD again, cancelled the night before and delaying our arrival in YVR from 12:25PM to 8:30PM.

Edit: Meant DCA, not IAD.

Last edited by EverGreen7230; Jun 14, 19 at 2:08 pm
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Old Jun 14, 19, 2:09 pm
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Heh, I had AA cancel on me and then charge me change fee and change in fare fee to rebook! After an FTC complaint they gave me back the change fee but still made me pay the change in fare fee because CS didn't feel they could get the "other department" to make the change.

Anyway, back to AS, last night we got a flight departure update that we would be 1 minute later than scheduled. It eventually did turn into about 20 minutes late but we made up all but 5 of that in air. Good recovery despite having to go around bad weather and the seat belt sign on for the entire 3h40m flight!
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