Weird AA Delay Today: LAS-JFK

Old Jun 16, 19, 7:48 pm
  #1  
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Weird AA Delay Today: LAS-JFK

Hi everyone,

I'm currently aboard AA 969, an L-US A321 from LAS to JFK. Shortly before pushback, the pilot came on to let us know that we would be stopping in Omaha to refuel the plane. He attributed this to four things: the current construction closure of a major runway at JFK, some weather at JFK, the gas required "to fly at the altitudes required to keep the flight smooth", and the fact that the plane was full. He said the options were either the refueling stop or to take 30 people off the aircraft to lighten it, so he opted for the refueling stop.

Does this seem a little weird to anyone? For comparison, there are two Jetblue A321's also making this exact same trip today, including one (B6 #648 ) that left just after our scheduled departure , did not stop for refueling and arrived in JFK on time per FlightAware. And I'm not positive but I think it was a non-Mint aircraft so likely comparable passenger load.

Why would our flight have all these conditions that necessitated an eastbound fueling stop (and concurrent delay), when the exact same plane on another airline did not? Would love if anyone could help this make sense!

Thanks,
Daniel
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Old Jun 16, 19, 7:52 pm
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Originally Posted by danwer930 View Post
Hi everyone,

I'm currently aboard AA 969, an L-US A321 from LAS to JFK. Shortly before pushback, the pilot came on to let us know that we would be stopping in Omaha to refuel the plane. He attributed this to four things: the current construction closure of a major runway at JFK, some weather at JFK, the gas required "to fly at the altitudes required to keep the flight smooth", and the fact that the plane was full. He said the options were either the refueling stop or to take 30 people off the aircraft to lighten it, so he opted for the refueling stop.

Does this seem a little weird to anyone? For comparison, there are two Jetblue A321's also making this exact same trip today, including one (B6 #648 ) that left just after our scheduled departure , did not stop for refueling and arrived in JFK on time per FlightAware. And I'm not positive but I think it was a non-Mint aircraft so likely comparable passenger load.

Why would our flight have all these conditions that necessitated an eastbound fueling stop (and concurrent delay), when the exact same plane on another airline did not? Would love if anyone could help this make sense!

Thanks,
Daniel
How many passengers -- and how much cargo -- were on the B6 flights?
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Old Jun 16, 19, 8:02 pm
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Originally Posted by guv1976 View Post
How many passengers -- and how much cargo -- were on the B6 flights?
If you or anyone knows how to get that information I'll be happy to check. However widening out the picture a little bit to every other LAS-JFK flight so far today (Delta and B6 included), there are no other refueling stops showing, and I think with one exception the flights have all landed on-time or early. So I'm just having a hard time believing this has something to do with the runway construction at JFK or the weather.

Especially considering this is an eastbound flight with tailwinds usually in our favor, are LUS AA A321's just not set up to fly cross-country nonstop if they are full with a good deal of cargo? Could that be the reason? Would love to get to the bottom of it!
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Old Jun 16, 19, 8:11 pm
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Originally Posted by danwer930 View Post
If you or anyone knows how to get that information I'll be happy to check. However widening out the picture a little bit to every other LAS-JFK flight so far today (Delta and B6 included), there are no other refueling stops showing, and I think with one exception the flights have all landed on-time or early. So I'm just having a hard time believing this has something to do with the runway construction at JFK or the weather.

Especially considering this is an eastbound flight with tailwinds usually in our favor, are LUS AA A321's just not set up to fly cross-country nonstop if they are full with a good deal of cargo? Could that be the reason? Would love to get to the bottom of it!
I doubt that any member of the general public has access to that information -- which is precisely my point. Without knowing how heavily loaded the B6 flights were, there's no basis for concluding that there's something "wrong" with AA's older A321s. (Delta did not use Airbus equipment on today's LAS-JFK flights, so Delta is irrelevant here.)
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Old Jun 16, 19, 8:19 pm
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Airbus made several performance upgrades to A321s. It's possible some of the LUS A321s were built before the upgrades became available.
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Old Jun 16, 19, 9:08 pm
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Originally Posted by Austin787 View Post
Airbus made several performance upgrades to A321s. It's possible some of the LUS A321s were built before the upgrades became available.
I am assuming this is what it is. Some of JetBlue's older A320s have problems doing transcon flights in the winter. It could have just been one of those days.
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Old Jun 16, 19, 9:27 pm
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Originally Posted by jackvogt View Post
I am assuming this is what it is. Some of JetBlue's older A320s have problems doing transcon flights in the winter. It could have just been one of those days.
Westbound. Eastbound is almost unheard of and almost certainly AA isn't being 100% truthful.
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Old Jun 16, 19, 9:31 pm
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Originally Posted by audio-nut View Post
Westbound. Eastbound is almost unheard of and almost certainly AA isn't being 100% truthful.
What would they possibly have to lie about? They had to get fuel...there is weather near JFK AND construction on the runway is messing things up. I don't understand looking in to this even more. The flight wasn't canceled and everyone made it.
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Old Jun 16, 19, 9:33 pm
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AA 969 today was operated by N539UW, a 2009 built A321. It's not a newer B6 A321 with sharklets but it's also not an early 2000's A321 with CFM engines either. Also most of the "performance" issues occur with Westbound routings.

This definitely wasn't "normal" by any stretch of the imagination. Maybe lots of cargo as well?
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Old Jun 16, 19, 9:38 pm
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Originally Posted by jackvogt View Post
What would they possibly have to lie about? They had to get fuel...there is weather near JFK AND construction on the runway is messing things up. I don't understand looking in to this even more. The flight wasn't canceled and everyone made it.
The pilot was throwing out excuses that make very little sense. There were no arrival delays at JFK tonight so why mention the construction? Something doesn't add up.
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Old Jun 16, 19, 9:39 pm
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Yíall hurt my head. The answer was given in the posterís first statement. The pilot told them exactly why - it was a combination of 4 items.

Címon people. There is nothing more to the story.
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Old Jun 16, 19, 9:51 pm
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At least you can start a log book with a OMA-JFK entry.

Maybe something was broken on the plane so it couldn't be fueled completely full?
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Old Jun 16, 19, 9:52 pm
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Originally Posted by danwer930 View Post
Hi everyone,

I'm currently aboard AA 969, an L-US A321 from LAS to JFK. Shortly before pushback, the pilot came on to let us know that we would be stopping in Omaha to refuel the plane. He attributed this to four things: the current construction closure of a major runway at JFK, some weather at JFK, the gas required "to fly at the altitudes required to keep the flight smooth", and the fact that the plane was full. He said the options were either the refueling stop or to take 30 people off the aircraft to lighten it, so he opted for the refueling stop.
Complete BS.

Runway construction at JFK? Weather at JFK? No problems landing 777's all day long but some bump-kiss A321 can't handle it? Wether was fine all day except for a quick afternoon shower. If they're going to make up excuses at least make them plausible.

This reminds me of a time I was on ANA JFK-NRT and the aircraft had to do a go around. The captain came on and told us this was due to being a "little heavy" for landing. Right... he was heavy for landing after burning fuel for 14 hours. No he had to do a go around because he screwed up the approach. (There's nothing even wrong with that!)
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Old Jun 16, 19, 10:53 pm
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Originally Posted by danwer930 View Post
Hi everyone,

I'm currently aboard AA 969, an L-US A321 from LAS to JFK. Shortly before pushback, the pilot came on to let us know that we would be stopping in Omaha to refuel the plane. He attributed this to four things: the current construction closure of a major runway at JFK, some weather at JFK, the gas required "to fly at the altitudes required to keep the flight smooth", and the fact that the plane was full. He said the options were either the refueling stop or to take 30 people off the aircraft to lighten it, so he opted for the refueling stop.

Does this seem a little weird to anyone? For comparison, there are two Jetblue A321's also making this exact same trip today, including one (B6 #648 ) that left just after our scheduled departure , did not stop for refueling and arrived in JFK on time per FlightAware. And I'm not positive but I think it was a non-Mint aircraft so likely comparable passenger load.

Why would our flight have all these conditions that necessitated an eastbound fueling stop (and concurrent delay), when the exact same plane on another airline did not? Would love if anyone could help this make sense!

Thanks,
Daniel
This is what was entered into SabreSonic:

JFK 825A 8 41
LAS D5 1104A 1211P D5
JFK 9 35 825P
3JFK/ETD0846 LAE-PREVIOUS DELAY OF THIS AIRCRAFT *0559
4JFK/OUT0848 OFF0914 *0814
1JFK/INTMD LNDG AT OMA PRE1650RMKS NEED FUEL STOP FOR ALL PAX TO BE ON
FTWDP BAIER *1339
2LAS/IN1139 *1340
3LAS/ETD1239 LAE-PREVIOUS DELAY OF THIS AIRCRAFT *1410
4LAS/OUT1229 OFF1246 *1446
2JFK*/IN2135 *2035
3OMA/ETD1740 ACF-DELAYS DURING A/C FUELING *1628
2OMA/IN1712 *1714
4OMA/OUT1742 OFF1758 *1758
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Old Jun 16, 19, 10:59 pm
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Wow I feel lucky that today on a B6 A320 I made it the 2,102 miles from GND to JFK without any stops vs the AA 321 needing to make it 2,248 miles. Certainly seems strange to me for an Eastbound 321 fuel stop.
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