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Why do flights leave early when connecting passengers will miss them?

Why do flights leave early when connecting passengers will miss them?

Old Nov 5, 22, 5:06 pm
  #1  
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Why do flights leave early when connecting passengers will miss them?

I was just on a flight that landed nearly half an hour late. The guy next to me, in first class, had 15 minutes to make a connection to an international flight, which was leaving from only 2 gates away.

I checked the status of his flight. It left 10 minutes early, so surely he missed it. (Its now scheduled to arrive 10 minutes early.)

Why would AA do that?

If the flight has left on time, a premium-class passenger could have made the connection. But since it left early, he surely missed the connection.
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Old Nov 5, 22, 6:10 pm
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Because of the Domino effect and amplification. Your seatmate may have had no luggage but the pax in back of the plane may have had luggage or seated in the last row.
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Old Nov 5, 22, 7:07 pm
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Originally Posted by Centurion View Post
Because of the Domino effect and amplification. Your seatmate may have had no luggage but the pax in back of the plane may have had luggage or seated in the last row.
Can you elaborate a bit? Not sure I understand this reply. If the flight leaves when AA represented that it would, the F pax makes it. If AA pushes the plane back ten mins early, the F pax misses it. I don't understand what the (hypothetical) guy in the back of the plane has to do with whether AA flies the route on the promised timeline or not?
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Old Nov 5, 22, 7:46 pm
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Your seatmate could have been carryon but if he has luggage for safety reasons it is best practice it needs to fly with him. Your seatmate could have made the connection but the people further back in the plane are just entitled to make connection. If anyone has baggage it needs to fly with them over the water or someone with bad intentions could engineer a missed connection on purpose with the sole intent to fly something bad in the bag hold. As to Domino effect you forgot about baggage and you hold one flight you hold the next and so and so until everything is out of schedule.
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Old Nov 5, 22, 8:03 pm
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AA boarding ends 15 minutes before departure time, apparently to ensure on-time departures. In some cases, that policy might allow a flight to depart early.

People can disagree about whether that policy is a sensible one, but it is AA policy.

https://www.aa.com/i18n/travel-info/...0travel%20day.
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Old Nov 5, 22, 8:44 pm
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Because the gate agents are not rewarded if they delay closing a flight in order to help out a couple of connectors. They are punished if they miss the departure time, unless the dispatcher instructs them to hold the flight.
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Old Nov 5, 22, 9:40 pm
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Airlines will delay flights if its to their benefit to do so (e.g. 30 connecting pax and easier to hold for 30 mins rather than rebook), or go on time, which is in their interests most of the time.
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Old Nov 5, 22, 11:13 pm
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The other side of the coin is if AA holds a flight it could cause passengers on the delayed flight to miss their connections and then what? It could be worse down the line. If you are going to start down that road you need something like United Airlines Connection Saver software that takes into account many variables throughout the system and computes a best case overall solution. A rogue gate agent holding a flight could cause more harm than good to the company and other passengers.

Airlines are strict about on-time departures because the government tracks their delayed statistics and showing more delays than your competitors could mean you lose business. If the government were to allow some limited exceptions to counting as a delay then you might see more gate holds for connecting passengers.

Just because AA allows you to book a 40 minute international connection does not mean you should. Your seatmate was rolling the dice on that one and they came up snake eyes!
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Old Nov 5, 22, 11:40 pm
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Originally Posted by Centurion View Post
Your seatmate could have been carryon but if he has luggage for safety reasons it is best practice it needs to fly with him. Your seatmate could have made the connection but the people further back in the plane are just entitled to make connection. If anyone has baggage it needs to fly with them over the water or someone with bad intentions could engineer a missed connection on purpose with the sole intent to fly something bad in the bag hold. As to Domino effect you forgot about baggage and you hold one flight you hold the next and so and so until everything is out of schedule.
So, why are airlines ok with bags that miss connections on international flights? They are still required to fly that bag to its destination without the owner. I'm pretty sure the baggage excuse is just that--an excuse.
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Old Nov 6, 22, 12:15 am
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There is a big difference between a bag that is not flying with its owner in a situation where said owner could have manipulated it versus a bag that is flying alone because the airline messed up. In June, when my bag was left at my departure airport I was not happy. It was flown to my destination a few days later. This delay was NOT what I wanted!
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Old Nov 6, 22, 12:22 am
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Originally Posted by awayIgo View Post
There is a big difference between a bag that is not flying with its owner in a situation where said owner could have manipulated it versus a bag that is flying alone because the airline messed up. In June, when my bag was left at my departure airport I was not happy. It was flown to my destination a few days later. This delay was NOT what I wanted!
How so? Bag and passenger are still separated so the supposed safety issue is still the same.
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Old Nov 6, 22, 1:34 am
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Originally Posted by skunker View Post
How so? Bag and passenger are still separated so the supposed safety issue is still the same.
No it isn't. The safety issue arises when a PASSENGER tries to ensure their baggage travels WITHOUT THEM. Thats a huge red flag. No passenger could predict when or if an AIRLINE problem or error would cause their bags to miss THEIR flight..thus the safety issue isn't present.
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Old Nov 6, 22, 4:42 am
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Originally Posted by skunker View Post
How so? Bag and passenger are still separated so the supposed safety issue is still the same.
Search Air India Flight 182 and youll see theres a difference.
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Old Nov 6, 22, 5:23 am
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To go back to the question the OP poses, the answer is that airlines set a gate closure time- this is before the departure time as it allows for things that need to happen once the gate has closed. This includes things like calculations for take off weight and safety checks on fuel loads. Some airlines allow for a certain number of pax to be missing (as it would essentially provide extra safety in that direction in most scenarios, but not all).

The fact that everything aligned in this case and the plane was able to push-back 5 minutes after the gate closed doesnt mean that full buffer isnt required in other scenarios. Late departures are costly for airlines, far more than the value of even the most frequent flyer by themselves generally.
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Old Nov 6, 22, 8:05 am
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If holding flights for connecting passengers is what you want, I would suggest flying Southwest, who does it all the time. WN would rather be late than strand pax; AA would rather strand pax than be late. I agree with AA.
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