ATL - DFW delayed due to medical reason

Old May 16, 2024, 2:46 pm
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ATL - DFW delayed due to medical reason

I was on ATL-DFW yesterday evening that pushed back on time. Then after about 10 minutes, the pilot came on and said we were returning to gate to let off somebody who wasn't feeling well. Took about 10-15 minutes for the paramedics to come on and help her and her husband off. (not sure what the issue was - doesn't matter as they did the right thing to let her off before taking off) Then a few minutes later they let a couple standby passengers get on to take their seats.

My complaint/question is what happened next. It took close to another 30 minutes before we left the gate again. No idea what we were waiting on. I wouldn't have thought any special paperwork would need to be filled out since it wasn't a mechanical issue. Maybe just a new printout from gate agent that should have only taken a minute or two.

I was lucky as i had a long enough layover, but caused me to go from 2 hours in Admirals Club to walk fast and grab a crappy ham & cheese sandwich to eat on the plane and make it just as my plane was boarding. I am sure that a good portion of the plane didn't have connections, but would guess that most of them who did missed it & it would have been last one of the night. I am guessing AA wouldn't cover hotel costs in this situation, but seems like they should to me.
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Old May 16, 2024, 2:56 pm
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Originally Posted by ksucats
I was on ATL-DFW yesterday evening that pushed back on time. Then after about 10 minutes, the pilot came on and said we were returning to gate to let off somebody who wasn't feeling well. Took about 10-15 minutes for the paramedics to come on and help her and her husband off. (not sure what the issue was - doesn't matter as they did the right thing to let her off before taking off) Then a few minutes later they let a couple standby passengers get on to take their seats.

My complaint/question is what happened next. It took close to another 30 minutes before we left the gate again. No idea what we were waiting on. I wouldn't have thought any special paperwork would need to be filled out since it wasn't a mechanical issue. Maybe just a new printout from gate agent that should have only taken a minute or two.

I was lucky as i had a long enough layover, but caused me to go from 2 hours in Admirals Club to walk fast and grab a crappy ham & cheese sandwich to eat on the plane and make it just as my plane was boarding. I am sure that a good portion of the plane didn't have connections, but would guess that most of them who did missed it & it would have been last one of the night. I am guessing AA wouldn't cover hotel costs in this situation, but seems like they should to me.
Remarks only reference the medical delay. Courtesy of EF:

DFW 230P
ATL 8 T12 540P 631P T12
DFW C26 759P
4DFW/OUT1428 OFF1448 *1448
2ATL/IN1730 *1631
7ATL/AURA DLY FLT IN PROGRESS *1820*CRCYMG
3ATL/ETD1925 MED-DELAY DUE TO MEDICAL NEEDS OF A CUSTOMER-E *2043*HDQEU1
4ATL/OUT1925 OFF1949 MED-DELAY DUE TO MEDICAL NEEDS OF A CUSTOMER-E *2043*HDQEU1
2DFW*/IN2104 *2104

But ATL is a very busy airport. Perhaps when you miss your slot, you may not jump right back in ahead of everyone else. Just guessing, but I don't think AA is culpable here.
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Old May 16, 2024, 2:58 pm
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You probably lost your take off slot.
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Old May 16, 2024, 4:42 pm
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Originally Posted by ksucats
My complaint/question is what happened next. It took close to another 30 minutes before we left the gate again. No idea what we were waiting on. I wouldn't have thought any special paperwork would need to be filled out since it wasn't a mechanical issue. Maybe just a new printout from gate agent that should have only taken a minute or two.
Originally Posted by Madison Guy
But ATL is a very busy airport. Perhaps when you miss your slot, you may not jump right back in ahead of everyone else. Just guessing, but I don't think AA is culpable here.
Originally Posted by beachfan
You probably lost your take off slot.
I was on that flight, too. (I was one of the three people they let on at the very end before the first push, but more on that later...) The reason they gave for the extended delay was the ill pax used one of the oxygen bottles, so they had to replace it, and somebody had to sign off on the replacement. I don't know if that changes anything re: liability for missed connections or not.

There wasn't a slot missed (No slots at ATL ever, nor any flow control programs for DFW last night, at least not for that flight,) nor a long takeoff line. As soon as we pushed the second time, we nearly immediately headed straight for the runway. North Ground control had a bit of a jam-up that delayed us for a couple of minutes leaving the ramp, but once we worked through that, it was straight out to 26L, we were third in line, and took off with minimal delay.

As for my 'the rest of the story'... I was originally on the ~2100 departure to DFW. As 1051 was boarding, that flight got canceled. I ran up to the AC desk, and the AAngel advised me to run to the gate for the above flight, as it had open seats, but they were under gate control. I got there right as they were closing the door, and was first in line at the podium. One of the gate agents mentioned that they had 3 open seats, but another gate agent said they couldn't reopen the door. They were rebooking me (I was going to take what they gave, then go to the AC to improve, if possible) when an AA person wearing a 'Manager' hi-viz vest came up and told the GAs to let the first three people in line on the plane. I was astonished that we were in a localized IRROPs situation, and they were going to let a plane leave with open seats just to preserve D-0. Thank goodness for that Manager, and I'm glad they replaced the two pax that got off (for the sake of the people stranded in ATL last night. I hope the ill pax is OK, and certainly don't want to minimize their situation.)
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Old May 16, 2024, 8:56 pm
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Originally Posted by JBKettle
I was on that flight, too. (I was one of the three people they let on at the very end before the first push, but more on that later...) The reason they gave for the extended delay was the ill pax used one of the oxygen bottles, so they had to replace it, and somebody had to sign off on the replacement. I don't know if that changes anything re: liability for missed connections or not.

There wasn't a slot missed (No slots at ATL ever, nor any flow control programs for DFW last night, at least not for that flight,) nor a long takeoff line. As soon as we pushed the second time, we nearly immediately headed straight for the runway. North Ground control had a bit of a jam-up that delayed us for a couple of minutes leaving the ramp, but once we worked through that, it was straight out to 26L, we were third in line, and took off with minimal delay.

As for my 'the rest of the story'... I was originally on the ~2100 departure to DFW. As 1051 was boarding, that flight got canceled. I ran up to the AC desk, and the AAngel advised me to run to the gate for the above flight, as it had open seats, but they were under gate control. I got there right as they were closing the door, and was first in line at the podium. One of the gate agents mentioned that they had 3 open seats, but another gate agent said they couldn't reopen the door. They were rebooking me (I was going to take what they gave, then go to the AC to improve, if possible) when an AA person wearing a 'Manager' hi-viz vest came up and told the GAs to let the first three people in line on the plane. I was astonished that we were in a localized IRROPs situation, and they were going to let a plane leave with open seats just to preserve D-0. Thank goodness for that Manager, and I'm glad they replaced the two pax that got off (for the sake of the people stranded in ATL last night. I hope the ill pax is OK, and certainly don't want to minimize their situation.)
Thank you for that additional info about the oxygen mask that I had noticed, but didn't sink in. I saw the flight attendant doing something with them, but didn't realize it was anything more than him getting ready to have to do the safety demo again due to a couple extra passengers getting on. That makes sense that it would have to be signed off on. And I completely agree that it didn't have anything with losing a takeoff slot as I was watching the ground traffic on flightradar the entire time. There was never more than a couple planes waiting to take off at a time.
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Old May 16, 2024, 9:58 pm
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Originally Posted by ksucats
And I completely agree that it didn't have anything with losing a takeoff slot as I was watching the ground traffic on flightradar the entire time. There was never more than a couple planes waiting to take off at a time.
The are never takeoff slots at a departure airport other than first come, first served, unless they need miles-in-trail due to the same route. Any "takeoff slot" would have been because of arrival delays at DFW, not because of departure delays at ATL.
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Old May 16, 2024, 10:07 pm
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Originally Posted by zdcatc12
The are never takeoff slots at a departure airport other than first come, first served, unless they need miles-in-trail due to the same route. Any "takeoff slot" would have been because of arrival delays at DFW, not because of departure delays at ATL.
It sure didn't seem like that was the issue with everything going on. I believe it was the oxygen issue that caused the additional delay. Thankfully, I made my connection, but would be interesting to know how the airline handled those who didn't. I didn't stick around or try to talk to anybody else, because I had to hurry to my gate. Also, I had my headphones on and watched an entire movie before we took off so wasn't listening to the announcements.
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Old May 17, 2024, 6:25 am
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Once a passenger O2 bottle goes below its minimum for dispatch it either must be replaced or if permitted based on the total number of bottles on board placed on MEL. Either way it requires a maintenance sign off. It’s quite likely American in ATL uses contract maintenance. The sign off is quick but the call out time to get a contractor can easily be 30 minutes.
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Old May 17, 2024, 10:27 am
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As for my 'the rest of the story'... I was originally on the ~2100 departure to DFW. As 1051 was boarding, that flight got canceled. I ran up to the AC desk, and the AAngel advised me to run to the gate for the above flight, as it had open seats, but they were under gate control. I got there right as they were closing the door, and was first in line at the podium. One of the gate agents mentioned that they had 3 open seats, but another gate agent said they couldn't reopen the door. They were rebooking me (I was going to take what they gave, then go to the AC to improve, if possible) when an AA person wearing a 'Manager' hi-viz vest came up and told the GAs to let the first three people in line on the plane. I was astonished that we were in a localized IRROPs situation, and they were going to let a plane leave with open seats just to preserve D-0. Thank goodness for that Manager, and I'm glad they replaced the two pax that got off (for the sake of the people stranded in ATL last night. I hope the ill pax is OK, and certainly don't want to minimize their situation.)
I am under the impression random GA's no longer have the authority to extend boarding or reopen the manifest after boarding has ended, and it takes a manager to override. That was observed and discussed at some length here and in the travel blog world late last year, if not necessarily directly announced. While we were boarding Tuesday a couple of women ran up to the desk as the last few of us were getting on. They had tickets, but the "boarding closed" sign had just gone up seconds before. The GA's turned around in unison and verified boarding had closed, and then apologetically declined to accommodate them. It was specifically stated they could not reopen boarding.

DFW was a weather situation Thursday with lengthy delays from mid-morning till at least late afternoon (and I suppose later before it was unwound). Thundershowers not thunderstorms (but still there goes the slot frequency). With some cloud-to-cloud lightning (so presumably still closed the ramp from time to time). Lots of cancellations and very long delays. (As a somewhat frequent flyer I can't help myself, and kept popping up FlightAware).

I understand why they took that decision out of the GA's digression. But good call by somebody with the authority deciding to override and not dispatching empty seats last night. The schedule was in the dumpster anyway and DFW has to be a rebooking zoo today.
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Old May 17, 2024, 11:10 am
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Originally Posted by jayer
I am under the impression random GA's no longer have the authority to extend boarding or reopen the manifest after boarding has ended, and it takes a manager to override.
[...]
I understand why they took that decision out of the GA's digression. But good call by somebody with the authority deciding to override and not dispatching empty seats last night.
I agree that's probably a good thing overall. OTOH, strategically, I wonder if they couldn't insert some sort of IRROPs override in there somewhere. 'Is the sun shining @ KDFW? If 'No', allow GA overrides.'

Tactically, I don't think this particular group of GAs really cared about whether or not anybody at ATL that evening was handled as efficiently as possible. At the least, I never heard someone say 'call a manager' or something like that. We just appeared to be SOL, at least initially. I will grant that I may have missed a conversation, phone call, text, etc. When the Manager came up to the podium, he appeared surprised that they weren't trying to get us on.

DFW was a weather situation Thursday with lengthy delays from mid-morning till at least late afternoon (and I suppose later before it was unwound). Thundershowers not thunderstorms (but still there goes the slot frequency). With some cloud-to-cloud lightning (so presumably still closed the ramp from time to time). Lots of cancellations and very long delays. (As a somewhat frequent flyer I can't help myself, and kept popping up FlightAware).

I understand why they took that decision out of the GA's digression. But good call by somebody with the authority deciding to override and not dispatching empty seats last night. The schedule was in the dumpster anyway and DFW has to be a rebooking zoo today.
FYI... The day in question from the OP was Wednesday. No weather issues at DFW as far as anyone can figure out. 'Hot and Sunny' as someone put it to me via text when I was trying to figure out what was going on.
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