What is considered a "weather" issue?

Old Jul 19, 15, 11:45 am
  #1  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Mar 2015
Location: PIT
Programs: AA,UA,DL
Posts: 3
What is considered a "weather" issue?

Flight from PHL to PIT (Jul 18, 4626 at 1050PM) was cancelled due to "weather" condition, but both PIT and PHL are clear at that time. Any one on the same flight here?

The customer service at PHL B14 told us because the "crew" was unable to reach due to bad weather in mid west, it was ultimately the "weather" that cause the problem and refused to give hotel vouchers. Even worse, many passengers had checked bags and could not even reach them till next day. I ended up with rental cars to PIT.

I am just wondering what is considered a "weather" issue? Isn't this situation within the control of US? (They can just rearrange a flight from somewhere else where the weather is good)?
endernewton is offline  
Old Jul 19, 15, 11:58 am
  #2  
 
Join Date: Sep 2000
Posts: 507
It sounds like this was indeed a weather related issue. Weather yesterday was pretty bad on the East Coast, Chicago, CLT, MCO and out west (LAS/LAX/SAN) also.

Thunderstorms even a small one can reck havoc on the schedule, even more than a huge snow storm in the middle of winter.

Aircraft and crew utilization is high and there isn't much slack (extra crews and planes) to accommodate when things go downhill due to weather or operationally.
onic is offline  
Old Jul 19, 15, 1:22 pm
  #3  
 
Join Date: Nov 2005
Posts: 754
Anything that works in the airline's favor

On the serious side - crews don't stay with the plane all day and if the weather at the airport they are coming from is bad, ultimately it is weather related.
LowlyDLsilver is offline  
Old Jul 19, 15, 2:38 pm
  #4  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Mar 2015
Location: PIT
Programs: AA,UA,DL
Posts: 3
Alright, blame my bad luck then.. Thanks for the information!
endernewton is offline  
Old Jul 19, 15, 2:45 pm
  #5  
 
Join Date: Feb 2013
Location: DCA
Posts: 7,059
Honestly I do wish that this was something that could be tightened up through regulatory or other means. Last winter there were rampant anecdotes of AA clearly cancelling flights because it simply felt like it, then chalking it up to "weather". I noticed it several times myself - looking at the departures list for a given airport and seeing the status of AA versus other carriers' flights (even to the same destinations).
arlflyer is offline  
Old Jul 19, 15, 3:46 pm
  #6  
 
Join Date: Sep 2000
Location: DCA/IAD
Programs: AA - Platinum; 1W Sapphire; HHonors Gold; UA dirt
Posts: 6,085
I really have a problem blaming weather for what is clearly a staffing issue - especially if it involves weather from much earlier. Either staff your airline with sufficient personnel to deal with contingencies or cough up the vouchers.
IADCAflyer is offline  
Old Jul 19, 15, 5:33 pm
  #7  
 
Join Date: May 2005
Location: PHX
Programs: AA Gold, WN A+ & CP, HH Diamond, Hyatt Platinum, National Executive Elite
Posts: 3,108
Originally Posted by IADCAflyer View Post
I really have a problem blaming weather for what is clearly a staffing issue - especially if it involves weather from much earlier. Either staff your airline with sufficient personnel to deal with contingencies or cough up the vouchers.
How would that work? Even if an airline decided to add 10% redundancy (just as an example) into their staffing, how would you make sure that the extra crews were at the right airport at the right time when weather created a scheduling issue? On top of that, doesn't do much good to have a crew at the right airport at the right time but no equipment because it couldn't get from the other airport because you weren't as lucky and didn't have some of that 10% at that other airport.

You could have extra crews and extra equipment positioned strategically just in case but that's an expensive contingency. I'm only aware of one airline, possibly two, in the US that may do that and they don't fly people.
justhere is offline  
Old Jul 20, 15, 6:36 am
  #8  
 
Join Date: Feb 2013
Location: DCA
Posts: 7,059
Originally Posted by justhere View Post
How would that work? Even if an airline decided to add 10% redundancy (just as an example) into their staffing, how would you make sure that the extra crews were at the right airport at the right time when weather created a scheduling issue? On top of that, doesn't do much good to have a crew at the right airport at the right time but no equipment because it couldn't get from the other airport because you weren't as lucky and didn't have some of that 10% at that other airport.

You could have extra crews and extra equipment positioned strategically just in case but that's an expensive contingency. I'm only aware of one airline, possibly two, in the US that may do that and they don't fly people.
This is an example of the way that the airlines' one-sided contract terms and abuse have rotted the minds of otherwise intelligent people over years of exposure. They've brainwashed us. Now we're just happy to maybe get to where we're going or within a radius and within a couple days of when we booked.

"How would that work?" It would work how any other publicly-traded, for-profit corporation's operations work: they figure it out, they innovate, or they get eaten alive by competitors who are willing to do so. However, as long as there is still so much slack in the agreements that airlines make with passengers, there is no incentive to do so.

You answered the question yourself. FedEx doesn't make excuses about weather.
arlflyer is offline  
Old Jul 20, 15, 11:15 am
  #9  
 
Join Date: May 2005
Location: PHX
Programs: AA Gold, WN A+ & CP, HH Diamond, Hyatt Platinum, National Executive Elite
Posts: 3,108
Originally Posted by arlflyer View Post
This is an example of the way that the airlines' one-sided contract terms and abuse have rotted the minds of otherwise intelligent people over years of exposure. They've brainwashed us. Now we're just happy to maybe get to where we're going or within a radius and within a couple days of when we booked.

"How would that work?" It would work how any other publicly-traded, for-profit corporation's operations work: they figure it out, they innovate, or they get eaten alive by competitors who are willing to do so. However, as long as there is still so much slack in the agreements that airlines make with passengers, there is no incentive to do so.

You answered the question yourself. FedEx doesn't make excuses about weather.
I'm not sure it's quite that simple. First, FedEx and UPS both do make excuses about weather, you just don't hear about it because there's no FT for packages. They are able to mitigate some issues, especially mechanical but sometimes weather related, but then so do the passenger carriers.

If you happen to be at a hub, for example, and your plane goes mechanical, there are times when they have the ability to swap equipment and minimize delays. Same for crew issues. If you happen to be where a crew is based, for example, the airline can bring a crew in and again minimize delays.

I'm not defending the airlines and I'm not saying they couldn't do a better job. What I am saying is that I don't think "one sided contracts" has much to do with it.

When you say that they need to innovate, no matter what they do, it really comes down to having crew and equipment in the right place at the right time. As there is no magic way to make that happen at a moments notice you have to schedule and anticipate as best you can what issues might occur.

The airlines could for example, look at which airports are affected the most by crew and/or equipment being out of place and then they could stage an extra plane and crew at those locations. Forgetting for a moment the cost of doing that, what happens when the second flight has an issue? Or if you have two planes and crews on standby, what happens when a third flight is affected?

The other thing to consider is that we generally only hear about the problems. We don't hear about the potential problems that were resolved because the airline was able to move equipment around and/or get a crew to work the flight.

Again, I'm not giving the airlines a free pass and saying they do everything right. I just think that it is a lot more complicated and I don't think you can really compare airlines to other business in terms of redundancy because of the logistics involved.
justhere is offline  
Old Jul 20, 15, 12:33 pm
  #10  
 
Join Date: May 2003
Location: Virginia
Posts: 1,558
What is considered a "weather" issue?

A few years ago my mom shipped some packages to me via FedEx about 10 days before Christmas. There was weather in the Midwest and everything was delayed. It finally arrived at the facility closest to my house and was loaded onto the truck for delivery 3 days in a row but was never delivered. Their reason: the driver timed out every day. I finally drove down to the facility (60 miles away) on Christmas Eve so my kids would have their presents the next day. Compensation? Nope! Reason? Weather!
If FedEx can't hire extra drivers during their busiest season then how does it make sense to hire extra crews to stand by in random cities year round?
GalleyWench is offline  
Old Jul 20, 15, 4:26 pm
  #11  
 
Join Date: Feb 2013
Location: DCA
Posts: 7,059
Originally Posted by justhere View Post
Again, I'm not giving the airlines a free pass and saying they do everything right. I just think that it is a lot more complicated and I don't think you can really compare airlines to other business in terms of redundancy because of the logistics involved.
It's definitely complicated, and I oversimplified to make a point. And you're right that, I'm sure, plenty goes on behind the scenes that we don't know about. But I have a nagging feeling that if there was a big more of an incentive for airlines to rectify these situations, and they weren't just protected in waving the white flag and hollering "Weather!!!", we'd probably see some innovation and results.
arlflyer is offline  
Old Jul 20, 15, 5:57 pm
  #12  
 
Join Date: May 2005
Location: PHX
Programs: AA Gold, WN A+ & CP, HH Diamond, Hyatt Platinum, National Executive Elite
Posts: 3,108
Originally Posted by arlflyer View Post
It's definitely complicated, and I oversimplified to make a point. And you're right that, I'm sure, plenty goes on behind the scenes that we don't know about. But I have a nagging feeling that if there was a big more of an incentive for airlines to rectify these situations, and they weren't just protected in waving the white flag and hollering "Weather!!!", we'd probably see some innovation and results.
Understood. I'm really not that familiar with the way it works in Europe but under those rules do you know if airlines have to provide hotels, etc for weather related delays? If so, I'd be curious what the consequences were, if any, when those rules went into effect. And by consequences I mean overall did it help or hurt the consumer?
justhere is offline  
Old Jul 20, 15, 7:50 pm
  #13  
 
Join Date: Feb 2013
Location: DCA
Posts: 7,059
Originally Posted by justhere View Post
Understood. I'm really not that familiar with the way it works in Europe but under those rules do you know if airlines have to provide hotels, etc for weather related delays? If so, I'd be curious what the consequences were, if any, when those rules went into effect. And by consequences I mean overall did it help or hurt the consumer?
I must say that I too am woefully unfamiliar with the EU rules in practice, but these are questions that would be fascinating to hear answers to.
arlflyer is offline  
Old Jul 21, 15, 11:49 am
  #14  
FlyerTalk Evangelist
 
Join Date: Jul 2010
Programs: AA
Posts: 11,251
Originally Posted by justhere View Post
Understood. I'm really not that familiar with the way it works in Europe but under those rules do you know if airlines have to provide hotels, etc for weather related delays? If so, I'd be curious what the consequences were, if any, when those rules went into effect. And by consequences I mean overall did it help or hurt the consumer?
In the EU, airlines must provide accommodation and food no matter the reason for the delay. The reason for the delay only determines if they have to provide compensation.
wrp96 is offline  
Old Jul 21, 15, 1:13 pm
  #15  
 
Join Date: May 2005
Location: PHX
Programs: AA Gold, WN A+ & CP, HH Diamond, Hyatt Platinum, National Executive Elite
Posts: 3,108
Originally Posted by wrp96 View Post
In the EU, airlines must provide accommodation and food no matter the reason for the delay. The reason for the delay only determines if they have to provide compensation.
Any idea if there were unintended consequences when those rules went into effect?
justhere is offline  

Thread Tools
Search this Thread
Search Engine: