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BA DEL-LHR delayed 12 hrs, crew too sleepy to fly

BA DEL-LHR delayed 12 hrs, crew too sleepy to fly

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Old Apr 15, 07, 8:21 pm
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BA DEL-LHR delayed 12 hrs, crew too sleepy to fly

http://www.hindu.com/2007/04/16/stor...1603501200.htm

The plane was delayed an hour before takeoff, as the captain said the crew hadn't got the mandatory rest, they were kept awake due to construction noise at the hotel.
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Old Apr 16, 07, 7:40 am
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According to a passenger interviewed on Radio 5 lunch time news, he had to a share bed (yes a bed) with a total stranger. 80 odd pax bussed off to a hotel at 03.00, the hotel only had 40ish rooms free, the guy interviewed - who was booked in y- ended up sharing a bed with a chap from the national lottery who was booked in J.

Last edited by Alinlondon; Apr 16, 07 at 7:48 am
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Old Apr 16, 07, 7:48 am
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Kept awake due to too much noise - at least according to the initial reports.
What subsequent articles are saying is that the crew was up partying way too long, which was why they didn't get the mandatory 12 hours rest.
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Old Apr 16, 07, 8:11 am
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I was on the flight. It was chaos.

10 mins before boarding, the flight disappeared from the screens. No announcement. Passengers were informing themselves about what to do.

We had to rely on speaking directly to BA staff if we could find them, else other passengers.
We all realised that we had to leave the airport. We were herded onto buses by hotel staff, unaccompanied.

Then, all hell broke loose. We arrived at Le Meridien Hotel to be informed that we had to share rooms (with strangers) and to find a partner. There were no BA staff at the hotel. The poor hotel staff got such a hard time from some passengers, but people calmed down eventually.

So, I teamed up with a guy I met on the bus. We got our keys and found our room....One Queen Bed!!! So, we complained and got a twin, but some had to share a double bed with complete strangers.

The next day, we were woken up 15 mins before we had to leave.

Eventually we left with a 13hr Delay. Before boarding, the Captain gave a speech, apologising, explaining his decision to delay the flight. But he also told us that unless we boarded in an orderly manner, we wouldn't be going anywhere. We were told not to give the crew a hard time. But the emphasis was on our behaviour, not the apology. This really wound some people up.

The official reason was that the entire crew had been disturbed at the hotel they were staying in by noise (construction work and a wedding, apparently). Fair enough if this is the case, but the whole thing could have been handled so much better.

Anyway, every cloud, etc..... I was in J. At the gate, J seat was scrubbed out and replaced with F seat. Some compensation...but I am waiting to see what else will be offered! (Any guesses?)

The IFE wasn't working in my seat, but otherwise the crew were great, given the circumstances.

Last edited by richie_ja; Apr 16, 07 at 4:58 pm Reason: Editted for typos
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Old Apr 16, 07, 8:27 am
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From another pplace - noise from a cricket match and nearby railway...
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Old Apr 16, 07, 12:13 pm
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Correct....loud cricket match complete with music and PA system, combined with railway station and wedding...whole crew failed to sleep not just flt deck...as for partying....my other half knows skipper in question and says he just not that sort....still the right call IMHO...NLA
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Old Apr 16, 07, 12:24 pm
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Despite all the difficulties this caused passengers, I find it most encouraging to see a BA captain making such a difficult and expensive decision in favour of safety. I wish this were the case with every airline, but I suspect it isn't.
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Old Apr 16, 07, 2:15 pm
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Originally Posted by J-Class View Post
Despite all the difficulties this caused passengers, I find it most encouraging to see a BA captain making such a difficult and expensive decision in favour of safety.
I agree (though the handling of the hotel situation was clearly very poor). Unfortunately, you can see the blame game being played and this was reported in many papers as "yet another BA fiasco".

Meanwhile in other news... One of BA's PR managers has resigned from the company with no job to go to.
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Old Apr 16, 07, 2:42 pm
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Originally Posted by J-Class View Post
Despite all the difficulties this caused passengers, I find it most encouraging to see a BA captain making such a difficult and expensive decision in favour of safety. I wish this were the case with every airline, but I suspect it isn't.
It was absolutely the right decision, and the vast majority of passengers I spoke to weren't complaining about the decision to delay the flight at all. (OK, there were a few nutters saying things like "well, they have a co-pilot, don't they"). There were a few folk who got a bit carried away .... the "this is absolutely discraceful, I demand....." types.

The main complaint was about the handling of the situation on the ground, and in particular the need to share hotel rooms. The tone of the speech by the pilot was also not too well received, but this may have been in response to the few more emotive passengers who chose to get pretty angry with BA staff.

However, the lack of immediate explanation and communication from BA staff exacerbated the situation and this is partly why rumours start to fly. And, there were loads of rumours, from "There must have been a security scare" to "there's no aircraft at all " to "the crew got p*ssed".

Given the situation, overall the crew were fantastic. They too wanted to get home after all.

What was interesting was how passengers bonded into different groups - there were the UK back-packers, the US Washington group, the French, all gathering and socialising with each other - quite strange compared to the normal anonymous flight.

As several people put it…”This is like being on Lost”.
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Old Apr 16, 07, 9:48 pm
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Well, I pointed a reporter friend (she works for an Indian 24x7 cable news channel called NDTV / new delhi television) at this issue. That should help inject some facts into the local media, so far its all been angry pax claiming "the crew was drunk" and recycled quotes from a single BA spokeswoman who just cites safety regulations about mandatory crew rest times, doesnt cite reasons or name hotel names ..
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Old Apr 17, 07, 4:24 am
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It sounds as though it was handled appaulingly on the ground. Why the staff did not just face it out at the gate I don't know, it's not pretty to begin with, but people will calm down quicker if there are staff giving out information and options! It is difficult if the hotels are full, I suppose asking people to share a room is better than asking them to share an airport bench (but they should still get the choice).

Crew rest is also not an easy one, it tends to get the type of response that would cause a captain to be concerned about the reaction to the crew. Sadly it has happened and I appreciate that the tone may have sounded off to those level headed customers who can understand that the crew require minimum rest.
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Old Apr 17, 07, 6:44 am
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In todays Torygraph:
Misery can lead to strange bedfellows

Neil Thapar, the founder of City spinners Corfin Communications, was booked on that British Airways plane from Delhi to London over the weekend that the pilot was too tired to fly. The passengers were put up in Le Meridien hotel, but because there wasn't enough room he was forced to share a double bed with Mark Harris, chief executive of the National Lottery Commission. They had never met.

"I knew we were going to have to share a room," the PR man recalls, "but I didn't think we'd have to share a bed."

There was no snoring (or cuddling) according to Thapar, who eventually arrived home a day late.

"The least I would have expected was a phone call after all this," he fumes. That's from BA, not Harris.
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Old Apr 17, 07, 7:31 am
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Heres a view from a "Pilot" at PPRuNe

Who really cares what the media thought? A storm in a tea-cup. The Capt did the right thing, end of story.

None of those people will ever learn from the experience but the Capt looked after himself and his crew; all that really matters.

Having flown into/out of Deli and seen what the pax are like, you'd be hard-pressed to tell the difference between the "fuming" pax who missed their scheduled flight and the lot who flew out as per the plan on any other flight.

A pushier, nastier, grabbier, wanting-wanting, more demanding, ill-mannered, rude and irritating bunch of "passengers" (considered inserting a different adjective there) you'll not easily find.

Well done to the capt. The pax could kiss his .... They're used to being upset, outraged and disappointed whenever they retain anyone's services.



What a strange view this person has. It's not end of story if you have to share a room with a stranger. All I was angry about (along with most others) was the ground handling.

Anyway, as for the telephone call, I haven't had one and don't expect one right yet. I called them and BA promised me a call by the end of the week and a choice (possibly, TBC) between miles and vouchers.
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Old Apr 17, 07, 9:07 am
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Amongst the many things I have learnt from this Board is that if the brown stuff hits the fan look to your travel insurance to arrange your own accom rather than relying upon the airline (BA or any other). Far easier to get a decent room for a lone traveller or his/her family than to try to house an entire aircraft of pax. There was a recent post about a cancelled Tokyo flight where the pax would have been sent to a hotel 3 hours away from the airport.
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Old Apr 17, 07, 9:29 am
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Originally Posted by Halo View Post
Amongst the many things I have learnt from this Board is that if the brown stuff hits the fan look to your travel insurance to arrange your own accom rather than relying upon the airline (BA or any other). Far easier to get a decent room for a lone traveller or his/her family than to try to house an entire aircraft of pax. There was a recent post about a cancelled Tokyo flight where the pax would have been sent to a hotel 3 hours away from the airport.
only problem here is how to get notified when the flight will depart again .
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