AA 2239 7/30 - 2+ hours on the tarmac?

 
Old Jul 30, 15, 9:49 pm
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AA 2239 7/30 - 2+ hours on the tarmac?

My friend was on AA 2239 today (7/30). She told me that as they landed into DCA from DFW, the aircraft stayed on the tarmac for two hours, until they finally located a gate.

She said a lot of passengers were upset, some even stamping their feet out of anger, because after the plane finally moved to the gate, they had to wait another 15+ minutes for the jetway to be connected. It was a hellish experience for her, and she was told by the AA call center to basically bug off and that there was nothing they could do, because they had to wait for a gate.

My question: how often does this happen? Is this the new normal? To add insult to injury for her, when she called, the AA call center had to put her on hold because "it was an US Airways codeshare flight." WTH? DFW-DCA is now a pmUS flight?

My friend is very curious about why this happened, and why they couldn't have found another gate, or even deplaned pax manually using a ramp and having security escort pax to the airport. She, among other customers, were very angry. Is she due any compensation?
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Old Jul 30, 15, 10:04 pm
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Originally Posted by MrAndy1369 View Post
Is she due any compensation?
I would think not. Unfortunate events and irregular operations happen when traveling. This is just one of those unhappy and rare events.
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Old Jul 30, 15, 10:41 pm
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Originally Posted by MrAndy1369 View Post
My friend was on AA 2239 today (7/30). She told me that as they landed into DCA from DFW, the aircraft stayed on the tarmac for two hours, until they finally located a gate.

She said a lot of passengers were upset, some even stamping their feet out of anger, because after the plane finally moved to the gate, they had to wait another 15+ minutes for the jetway to be connected. It was a hellish experience for her, and she was told by the AA call center to basically bug off and that there was nothing they could do, because they had to wait for a gate.

My question: how often does this happen? Is this the new normal? To add insult to injury for her, when she called, the AA call center had to put her on hold because "it was an US Airways codeshare flight." WTH? DFW-DCA is now a pmUS flight?

My friend is very curious about why this happened, and why they couldn't have found another gate, or even deplaned pax manually using a ramp and having security escort pax to the airport. She, among other customers, were very angry. Is she due any compensation?
Looks like your friend bought the ticket as a US Codeshare. Operated by AA but ticketed by US.

While 2+ hours sucks i'm sure, there's not really much that could've been done. Obviously there was a plane that was occupying the gate that your friend's plane was supposed to have and gates at DCA are hard to come by, so it's likely they were all utilized to the fullest extent.

As for why they didn't deplane on the tarmac and bus people, i'm not sure but that would have been logistically challenging to find a place to do that as well. Usually they don't do anything extreme like that until at least 3+ hours.
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Old Jul 30, 15, 11:38 pm
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AA 2239 7/30 - 2+ hours on the tarmac?

Lots of backlog in DCA tonight with a lot of airplanes waiting for gates. There was a huge line of thunderstorms that went through earlier that stretched from Richmond all the way up to Canada that caused a ground stop at DCA and lots of diversions. Later in the day there was a mass of weather south of the airport that stopped south bound departures and had airplanes sitting at gates that couldn't leave. The biggest problem with DCA is lack of space. When the weather is good it runs like clockwork but when it's bad it can wreak havoc like it did tonight. Deplaning on the ramp really isn't an option because of the narrow alleyways and nowhere to deplane safely. The shuttle must be on dedicated shuttle gates to utilize air stair deplaning; if those gates aren't available they deplane thru the front door only. I had a friend on that dfw flight tonight too.
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Old Jul 31, 15, 1:52 am
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Originally Posted by GalleyWench View Post
Lots of backlog in DCA tonight with a lot of airplanes waiting for gates. There was a huge line of thunderstorms that went through earlier that stretched from Richmond all the way up to Canada that caused a ground stop at DCA and lots of diversions. Later in the day there was a mass of weather south of the airport that stopped south bound departures and had airplanes sitting at gates that couldn't leave. The biggest problem with DCA is lack of space. When the weather is good it runs like clockwork but when it's bad it can wreak havoc like it did tonight. Deplaning on the ramp really isn't an option because of the narrow alleyways and nowhere to deplane safely. The shuttle must be on dedicated shuttle gates to utilize air stair deplaning; if those gates aren't available they deplane thru the front door only. I had a friend on that dfw flight tonight too.
I assume (based on OP's post #1), the pax were NOT informed told the reason for the delay--being told the info above would have been "nice".
[In general, while delays are annoying, knowing the reason makes them more bearable.]
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Old Jul 31, 15, 5:15 am
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Originally Posted by MrAndy1369 View Post
My question: how often does this happen? Is this the new normal?
I would hope this is not a serious question but just a simple attempt to be overly dramatic.

Originally Posted by MrAndy1369 View Post
My friend is very curious about why this happened, and why they couldn't have found another gate, or even deplaned pax manually using a ramp and having security escort pax to the airport. She, among other customers, were very angry. Is she due any compensation?
I'd say your friend doesn't travel much. To say it sucks to be stuck waiting for a gate is about the extent of compensation and empathy due for the situation.
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Old Jul 31, 15, 5:35 am
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DCA is something of a victim of its own success (or more accurately, a victim of IAD's failure). It handles more passengers than Dulles despite being less than one-tenth the size. As a result, there's very little slack when something goes awry; if there isn't an open AA/US gate that can accommodate your aircraft, you're in for a wait.
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Old Jul 31, 15, 6:42 am
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Originally Posted by DataPlumber View Post
I would hope this is not a serious question but just a simple attempt to be overly dramatic.
I meant 'is this the new normal?' in the context of the merger and more crowded slots due to DCA being a pmUS hub. Wasn't trying to be dramatic, and quite frankly, I've never (knock on wood) experienced a 2+ hour delay on the tarmac; in fact, the longest delay I've experienced was maybe 15 minutes or so? I've traveled to DCA many times, so I do have that anecdotal data.
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Old Jul 31, 15, 6:50 am
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Originally Posted by MrAndy1369 View Post
I meant 'is this the new normal?' in the context of the merger and more crowded slots due to DCA being a pmUS hub. Wasn't trying to be dramatic, and quite frankly, I've never (knock on wood) experienced a 2+ hour delay on the tarmac; in fact, the longest delay I've experienced was maybe 15 minutes or so? I've traveled to DCA many times, so I do have that anecdotal data.
To answer your questions:

1. No, "it is not the new normal". Your underlying premise is simply wrong and not backed up by facts. DCA is slot-controlled. AA cannot simply add flights without either cancelling others or obtaining slots from other carriers (not happening).

2. No, there is no compensation due. AA may toss a few miles as a customer service gesture, but it tends to be more rational than UA and DL and draws a distinction between things it could have done better and things which are beyond its control.

Bear in mind that the flight goes on to ORD, so it's not as though AA derives a benefit from all of this.
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Old Jul 31, 15, 7:45 am
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Originally Posted by Often1 View Post
To answer your questions:

1. No, "it is not the new normal". Your underlying premise is simply wrong and not backed up by facts. DCA is slot-controlled. AA cannot simply add flights without either cancelling others or obtaining slots from other carriers (not happening).
Okay. Geez. I was just asking if this is something we might see more due to the merger, that's all. I get it, it's not the "new normal."

Last edited by MrAndy1369; Jul 31, 15 at 7:53 am
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Old Jul 31, 15, 8:03 am
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Originally Posted by MrAndy1369 View Post
I meant 'is this the new normal?' in the context of the merger and more crowded slots due to DCA being a pmUS hub. Wasn't trying to be dramatic, and quite frankly, I've never (knock on wood) experienced a 2+ hour delay on the tarmac; in fact, the longest delay I've experienced was maybe 15 minutes or so? I've traveled to DCA many times, so I do have that anecdotal data.
You just haven't flown sufficiently if you've never been subject to ground holds prior to flight, stopping off at Lubbock for a wait on the Tarmac, parked in the penalty box, etc.

Given the delays seem to have been caused primarily by t-storms, no compensation is actually due ("force majeure" event the airline has no control over).

Originally Posted by GalleyWench View Post
Lots of backlog in DCA tonight with a lot of airplanes waiting for gates. There was a huge line of thunderstorms that went through earlier that stretched from Richmond all the way up to Canada that caused a ground stop at DCA and lots of diversions. Later in the day there was a mass of weather south of the airport that stopped south bound departures and had airplanes sitting at gates that couldn't leave. The biggest problem with DCA is lack of space. When the weather is good it runs like clockwork but when it's bad it can wreak havoc like it did tonight. Deplaning on the ramp really isn't an option because of the narrow alleyways and nowhere to deplane safely. The shuttle must be on dedicated shuttle gates to utilize air stair deplaning; if those gates aren't available they deplane thru the front door only. I had a friend on that dfw flight tonight too.
From the Conditions of Carriage:

Force majeure events

American may, in the event of a force majeure event, without notice, cancel, terminate, divert, postpone or delay any flight or the right of carriage or reservation of traffic accommodations without liability except to issue an involuntary refund. The involuntary refund will be made in the original form of payment in accordance with involuntary refund rules for any unused portion of the ticket. American will also reserve the right to determine if any departure or landing should be made without any liability except the afore mentioned involuntary refund.

Force majeure event means:

  • Any condition beyond American's control including, but without limitation, meteorological conditions, acts of God, riots, civil commotion, embargoes, wars, hostilities, disturbances or unsettled international conditions - actual threatened or reported. Also, because of any delay, demand, circumstances or requirement due, directly or indirectly to such conditions; or
  • Any strike, work stoppage, slowdown, lockout or any other labor related dispute involving or affecting American's service; or
  • Any government regulation, demand or requirement; or
  • Any shortage of labor, fuel or facilities of American or others; or
  • Any fact not reasonably foreseen, anticipated or predicted by American

Last edited by JDiver; Jul 31, 15 at 8:49 am Reason: add quoted post
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Old Jul 31, 15, 8:28 am
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Make sure the reason for the delay wasn't actually that AA lacked sufficient ground personnel to handle arriving flights. I've had way more arrivals delays due to AA (mis)management pinching pennies by operating skeleton ground crews than actual lack of gates.
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Old Jul 31, 15, 8:54 am
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Originally Posted by GalleyWench View Post
Lots of backlog in DCA tonight with a lot of airplanes waiting for gates. There was a huge line of thunderstorms that went through earlier that stretched from Richmond all the way up to Canada that caused a ground stop at DCA and lots of diversions.
Bingo. Big mess yesterday. And yep, as others have noted, there is zero slack at DCA. When they have to pull everybody in for lightning in the area it gets ugly real quick.
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Old Jul 31, 15, 11:16 am
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Yesterday noon from DFW BDL, we had a one hour delay tacked on shortly after boarding for a noon departure. They let people get back off for the hour. Those of us getting updates from AA on our phones had faster information than the crew.

At 1PM we taxied to the runway, and then sat for another 45 minutes. In both cases the pilot explained the weather at our destination.

The storms were fierce in the northeast, throwing off schedules all over. A look at the departure board and all the delays told the story.

I also heard an unconfirmed report of a small fire that cased a ground stop.

here it is, now confirmed:

http://dfw.cbslocal.com/2015/07/30/s...s-fire-at-dfw/
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Old Jul 31, 15, 12:52 pm
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Originally Posted by Thumper View Post
Yesterday noon from DFW BDL, we had a one hour delay tacked on shortly after boarding for a noon departure. They let people get back off for the hour. Those of us getting updates from AA on our phones had faster information than the crew.

At 1PM we taxied to the runway, and then sat for another 45 minutes. In both cases the pilot explained the weather at our destination.

The storms were fierce in the northeast, throwing off schedules all over. A look at the departure board and all the delays told the story.

I also heard an unconfirmed report of a small fire that cased a ground stop.

here it is, now confirmed:

http://dfw.cbslocal.com/2015/07/30/s...s-fire-at-dfw/
DFW-BDL-DFW is cursed for me. Worst was 90 mins on ground at BDL waiting for ATC to allow westbound flow around a massive wall of storms coming into the NE. We then flew up into Canada, over the Great Lakes and dropped down to the west of Chicago. Upon landing at DFW, after 5 hours on the plane... you guessed it.. lightning at DFW! Another 90 minutes.

Right at the 7 hour mark, we disembarked.
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