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Is De-Icing Really Considered 'Extraordinary Circumstances'

Is De-Icing Really Considered 'Extraordinary Circumstances'

Old Dec 11, 17, 9:13 am
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Is De-Icing Really Considered 'Extraordinary Circumstances'

Hi, did not want to clog up the Disruption thread so decided to create this one seperately.
All this mess at LHR could not be due to exceptional weather as I believe the weather seems quite normal for this time of year, just a bit of snow, so am amazed at the level of disruption.

Maybe this guy on Twitter Alex Macheras may have a point?
I will leave it to the experts on the forum to see what they say about this.

Is a bit of winter weather at LHR that has really impacted BA's operations really 'extraordinary circumstances'? I

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Old Dec 11, 17, 9:19 am
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A further update on this and quite interesting if true. LHR blaming this on BA and BA likewise? The blame game?

Joking aside, who is really responsable for the de-icing machines? British Airways? or London Heathrow?
BEcause if BritishAirways are responsible, then they should pay compensation to the affected passengers, as 'ice is normal for this time of year!
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Old Dec 11, 17, 9:23 am
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And as I posted in the dedicated compensation thread, as a lawyer Iíve spent much of my career arguing about causation. Whatever you can say about yesterday morning, at some point the causation gets attenuated and you have to blame BA systems and processes (or lack thereof) for the lingering delays.
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Old Dec 11, 17, 9:34 am
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Interesting - HAL tweeted this (somewhat ambiguous) message implying that BA were responsible for de-icing:

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Old Dec 11, 17, 9:34 am
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I thought CWS said in the main thread that at HAL imposed a reduced flow restriction that was an extenuating circumstance and therefore not covered. EU261 and the reason BA are affected the most is due to them being the major slot user... That said BA have chosen to cancel flights so could it be argued that they chose to cancel xxx flight to ABC when they could have chosen zzzz flight to XYZ?

I know flights are cancelled tactically eg with multiple rotations but still..
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Old Dec 11, 17, 9:38 am
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Check this out as well

https://www.flightdelays.co.uk/blog/...-in-our-favour

So there is precedent for this to be true.
If I were disrupted by this I would fight for a claim and try my luck.
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Old Dec 11, 17, 9:42 am
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This was my suspicion last night when Heathrow were pointing out (as is the case) that deicing aircraft is the responsibility of the airlines. (Heathrow has to take care of the runways and taxiways, and the stands necessarily end up as something of a joint effort). Meanwhile BA were complaining they couldn't do precautionary de-icing due to torrential rain in the early AM—which couldn't explain all the delays through the day.

The operation seemed to fall over yesterday because aircraft couldn't depart, thus clogging up stands and leaving arrivals with nowhere to disembark pax. This is a known failure mode for BA at Heathrow - it's exactly what happened with the IT issue.

BA can legitimately point out that Heathrow generally had reduced capacity and so some cancellations were inevitable. But it seems obvious (at least to me) that BA has been cutting proportionately much more of its schedule than anybody else.
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Old Dec 11, 17, 9:44 am
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Originally Posted by KeaneJohn View Post
I thought CWS said in the main thread that at HAL imposed a reduced flow restriction that was an extenuating circumstance and therefore not covered. EU261 and the reason BA are affected the most is due to them being the major slot user...
Plus there are added operational factors of a lot of aircraft having overnighted at LHR and therefore covered in snow and ice, making deicing essential (whereas some aircraft arriving into LHR may have got away without), and then there is runway/tarmac congestion making it difficult to keep it within holdover time (if you exceed the holdover time, you have to repeat the whole process!), deicing equipment issues, personnel and space availablility, and I'm not sure about LHR but for environmental reasons you can't just deice everywhere, etc, and there are often health and safety considerations when on the tarmac in snow, and it also require personnel to operate the deicing equipment.

Further, wasn't the runway closed for snow clearance at some point?

It's not helped by the fact that the snow was apparently not on the aviation forecast for LHR (TAF, terminal area forecast), so there is an element of weather forecast failure there.

Overall, it's not as simple as just spraying the aircraft with "antifreeze' or "deicing fluid" like a car and getting going, like it was alluded to in the first post.
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Old Dec 11, 17, 9:46 am
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Originally Posted by ahmetdouas View Post

Check this out as well

https://www.flightdelays.co.uk/blog/...-in-our-favour

So there is precedent for this to be true.
If I were disrupted by this I would fight for a claim and try my luck.
There are also plenty of cases where the airlines have won in similar circumstances. The CMCs unsurpsingly don't shout about those.

By all means try your luck, but don't take one county court judgment as a binding precedent. Each case is very fact-specific. There are good arguments on both sides in the present scenario.
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Old Dec 11, 17, 9:50 am
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Originally Posted by LTN Phobia View Post
Further, wasn't the runway closed for snow clearance at some point?
Yes, I think you are thinking of ATCO2's post here? https://www.flyertalk.com/forum/29156905-post178.html

Also some information on generally how it works from Heathrow Tower's post here https://www.flyertalk.com/forum/29157835-post301.html
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Old Dec 11, 17, 9:51 am
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What would really irk me however I s the way that irrops are handled eg if you go to airport and queue for 3 hours you will be rerouted on non OW carrier but not over the phone that’s when I’d be potentially inclined to challenge but then as I said the main thread I don’t proclaim to be an expert I simply see things differently as to how I would handle them wether that is true or not who knows
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Old Dec 11, 17, 10:18 am
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I believe the "Weather" related issue might've been the snow,

Furthermore I wouldn't trust anything Alex M has to say, he's an aviation expert with absolutely no experience of working in the aviation industry.
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Old Dec 11, 17, 10:57 am
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Originally Posted by Orange.Man View Post
Furthermore I wouldn't trust anything Alex M has to say, he's an aviation expert with absolutely no experience of working in the aviation industry.
Give the guy a break, he's only just out of his teens!
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Old Dec 11, 17, 11:03 am
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Originally Posted by Globaliser View Post
Give the guy a break, he's only just out of his teens!
I didn't even know he was in them....
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Old Dec 11, 17, 11:04 am
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Originally Posted by Orange.Man View Post
I believe the "Weather" related issue might've been the snow,

Furthermore I wouldn't trust anything Alex M has to say, he's an aviation expert with absolutely no experience of working in the aviation industry.
He'd fit right on FT then

Many of us lack experience of working in the aviation industry, but we still provide pretty expert advice.

M
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