Cancelled flight because of ATC

Old Jul 29, 19, 1:26 pm
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Cancelled flight because of ATC

In the past, communication on a cancelled flight with no alternatives resulted in some type of compensation. Recently I had the last flight of the day cancelled on me with no other options on AS and they said too bad because it was based on ATC, is this normal now or has been normal?
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Old Jul 29, 19, 1:56 pm
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I have sat on a plane due to an ATC hold, but never had one canceled unless the crew timed out due to the length of the hold (never happened to me). Was there a weather issue or equipment issue or did someone talk to you and threw the "ATC fault" at you? Out of interest, where were you flying from and to?
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Old Jul 29, 19, 2:19 pm
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Need more information. Not sure why a flight would be cancelled due to ATC. A delay due to ATC could certainly have other impacts such as crew time out or landing curfew.

But, seems that a CS gesture -- it's not compensation -- for something having nothing to do with AS is reasonable.
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Old Jul 29, 19, 3:44 pm
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An ATC hold or cancellation is not within control of AS any more than a weather delay. I doubt you will see any compensation from them, nor should you really.
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Old Jul 29, 19, 3:54 pm
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OP doesn’t state origin or destination, but nevertheless ATC is notorious for reducing slots at major airports (e.g., SEA, SFO, JFK, LGA, EWR, ATL) during poor or severe weather conditions in an attempt to maintain flow and spacing ... and in those cases, it’s up to each airline to decide which particular flights to delay or cancel
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Old Jul 29, 19, 4:33 pm
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Originally Posted by jsguyrus View Post
An ATC hold or cancellation is not within control of AS any more than a weather delay. I doubt you will see any compensation from them, nor should you really.
Although I would not suggest that AS is guilty of this across the system, probably every US airline has used the ATC Delay excuse incorrectly, and to a degree, unethically. First of all, ATC doesn't delay flights except for weather, volume, construction, special ops (such as A1) or some unforecast event like an accident/incident. It's very rare that ATC would tell companies that they have to actually cancel a flight. It's just so easy to point fingers at the mean-old ATC unseen/unknown curmudgeon, so airline staff will often use that. Companies might make a decision to cancel a flight based on a lengthy delay, but I maintain that it is almost always a carrier's decision to cancel, vs. waiting for the delayed departure, or "wheels-up" time.

Further, most of the time when there is a delay program in effect for an airport, it is well known by the system users in advance, hours if not more, that it's coming. Airlines typically get the option to decide which of their flights into a destination are delayed (IOW they can trade these delays from one flight to another), in order to manage their resources as best as they can. And, knowing about these things, an airline should be able to minimize cancellations due to crew rest, aircraft positioning, etc. But a less-than-optimal decision by a carrier's ops people is often attributed to ATC because it's easy. As a passenger, I've had to correct airline staff from time to time when I knew something they didn't, or if they chose not to explore further.

So - my point (finally!) is that a *cancellation* is almost always a company decision. *Delays*, somewhat less so, though there are limited ways to mitigate them if the company wants or needs to. I have received some compensation (when traveling in an unofficial capacity!) by pushing back on the bad-call-making which incorrectly quotes "ATC delay" as the cause, when it was really a cancellation decision by the airline.
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Old Jul 29, 19, 5:09 pm
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[QUOTE=RetiredSFOATC;31356267

So - my point (finally!) is that a *cancellation* is almost always a company decision. *Delays*, somewhat less so, though there are limited ways to mitigate them if the company wants or needs to. I have received some compensation (when traveling in an unofficial capacity!) by pushing back on the bad-call-making which incorrectly quotes "ATC delay" as the cause, when it was really a cancellation decision by the airline.[/QUOTE]

I understand what you are saying, however, if ATC says you are going to get a 4+ hour delay and/or have to reduce the number of flights to XXX due to weather, its still an ATC issue. The fact that ATC didn't specify a particular flight to cancel or due to an extensive delay the crew is going to time out, doesn't really make it an AS controllable issue. Having said that I think we all know all the airlines overplay the "weather" delay/cancellation card so they don't have to pay for hotels/food etc.
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Old Jul 31, 19, 10:20 am
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I was told my flight was cancel because of ATC by ticket agent at airport; but when I called customer service to ask about a reroute since ticket agent said I had no chance of going anywhere that day. They told me it was due to a ground stop in ORD. This was also with American Airlines so maybe it was different but could have been a miscommunication.
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Old Jul 31, 19, 10:26 am
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I had my AS flight delayed for 90 minutes "due to ATC/weather" while a flight on AA, same time and destination was not delayed at all. In fact the GA made an announcement to everyone at the gate to NOT attempt to rebook to the AA flight as they will be subjected to the same delay. I pointed the on time takeoff to them after it happened and they were dumbfounded...
The delay was actually due to low ceilings earlier in the day that backed up ATC. Although the weather had cleared and our flight was not due to arrive until 7 hrs later, we took the delay hit. As some responses to the thread indicates, it may have been AS's election to delay that flight in lieu of another.

Overall this is due to Seatac being overloaded to the point ATC gets backed up in the evenings even in the best of weather conditions. ... and a whole new terminal is planned to be built at Seatac??

How does AS get a 90 min ground stop while AA, same time same route, gets none?
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Old Aug 1, 19, 7:54 pm
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Just to clarify: when ATC institutes a delay program the airlines are free to identify which of their flights are affected. Even though there's a ground stop it doesn't mean that absolutely no flights will be let in; it could mean a reduction by any percentage. AS, unfortunately, doesn't have a lot to play with at ORD. AA (and UA), on the other hand, will first cancel all the Eagle/Express/whatever-they're-called-this-year flights, then shorter domestic flights, then longer domestic flights, and lastly long-haul international flights (as a general rule). Also as a rule, the larger airlines, at least, have these situations planned out well in advance.

I have a copy of the SAG plans (don't remember what it stands for) for SFO and LAX from two or three decades ago, when SFO-LAX flights were every half-hour and PDX/SEA flights were frequent. These plans didn't address United Express, since at the time they weren't under UA purview in the eyes of the FAA, but the first flights to go would be the H:30 flights between SFO and LAX. Next would be every other SEA or PDX flight, then the rest of the west coast flights. Hawaii and transcon didn't even show up in the plan!
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Old Aug 3, 19, 2:33 pm
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Originally Posted by dliesse View Post
...Even though there's a ground stop it doesn't mean that absolutely no flights will be let in; it could mean a reduction by any percentage...
The formal action of a "ground stop" usually is a last resort when prior initiatives have not resolved the issue of too many airplanes arriving at an airport at one time. Ground-delay programs (GDPs) are better organized and planned-for (though sometimes not as useful due to rapidly changing conditions), airborne holding/vectoring as short-term sector-specific solutions. But when all else fails, or something completely unforecast happens like an accident or freak weather events, a groundstop will at least temporarily turn the faucet off until things can get resolved and reorganized. The aircraft departing airports closest to the subject destination are the ripest targets for a GS since they can provide the quickest relief to the volume problem.

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Old Aug 3, 19, 2:42 pm
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My only dealing of ATC issues on an AS operated flight, I was given full credit for future use.

JFK-SFO: boarded and sat on the plane still attached to the jet bridge. After about an hour, we were told at least another 2 hours due to SFO. AS allowed pax to deplane should we wished and unchecked us upon deplane. I called AS and got a credit. Went home instead of going to SF.
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Old Sep 10, 19, 2:03 am
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I just had a late flight to Seatac delayed, missed my red-eye connect to Dulles and was rescheduled for a flight twelve hours later. In a middle seat. Alaska offered.... Nothing. My flight landed at 9:23, the connect left at 9:19 - it was supposed to take off at 9:25.

They could have waited ten minutes. I get an extra hundred dollars on my bill, a terrible seat, and miss an entire day, but Alaska doesn't want to so much as offer me a sandwich because it's ATC delay? I don't have anyway to avoid this either.

Besides picking another airline. I signed up for Virgin America, not Alaska anyway.
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Old Sep 10, 19, 2:56 am
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Originally Posted by Laura3 View Post
I just had a late flight to Seatac delayed, missed my red-eye connect to Dulles and was rescheduled for a flight twelve hours later. In a middle seat. Alaska offered.... Nothing. My flight landed at 9:23, the connect left at 9:19 - it was supposed to take off at 9:25.

They could have waited ten minutes. I get an extra hundred dollars on my bill, a terrible seat, and miss an entire day, but Alaska doesn't want to so much as offer me a sandwich because it's ATC delay? I don't have anyway to avoid this either.
I don't think 2 minutes meets minimum connect time. I understand you are frustrated but should Alaska open up the cash register evertime something happens outside their control?

I had a similar experience with AA where I sat on the tarmac in F for just short of 3 hours at JFK heading to SEA after an electrical storm. We were #77 for takeoff, returned to the gate and the flight was then cancelled due to the crew time-out. We were reaccommodated to a Philippine Airlines flight JFK-YVR on a 777 both in a different middle section, middle seats in 10 across economy. The crew for that flight showed up 90 minutes after sceduled departure. We then misconnected in YVR for our flight to YLW and waited another 4 hours for a direct flight home via YYJ. 38 hours total from departing in paid J from VCE. What did AA do for us? Nothing..... other than a reaccomodation. If I wanted to wait for an F seat the following day, a hotel and food would have been at my expense. They don't control the weather nor the ATC.

Originally Posted by Laura3 View Post
Besides picking another airline. I signed up for Virgin America, not Alaska anyway.
Feel free to wait for the next Virgin America flight! Joking aside, it is a part of traveling. 98% of the time it goes as planned, 2% of the time it creates the memories we laugh about later. There is also trip delay insurance for those risk adverse. Are you perhaps covered?

James
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Old Sep 10, 19, 3:33 am
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I'm not covered - it never occurred to me that a 12 hour disruption wouldn't offer so much as a sandwich. Or that I'd need insurance on a domestic flight. And this is a regular occurrence at their main hub? Don't tell me they have zero control on that. They pick the plane that is delayed, they decide how many flights they offer, they hire people to work with ATC issues. That's not zero control. If they're overbooking the airport, why am I paying for it?

I don't usually care about delays, but one that requires me to buy a surprise hotel is too much. I wouldn't do it for an F seat either. If delays had you up to 38 hrs, then you were planning for nearly 30 in the first place? Yikes. I don't know that I could deal with that. I'd be a zombie.

Really, I'll take a sandwich at a comp. Anything at all. As it is, it feels like I'm being punished for something I have no control over. Sea tac overnights are certainly on my nope list now.

Isn't crew showing up late legally the airline's fault?
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