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Smisek says he'll cancel flights before paying fines

Smisek says he'll cancel flights before paying fines

 
Old Mar 9, 10, 10:16 am
  #1  
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Smisek says he'll cancel flights before paying fines

Just hit the AP and Houton Chronicle:

"Continental Airlines plans to cancel flights rather than risk stiff fines under new federal rules designed to punish carriers for delaying passengers.

CEO Jeff Smisek said today the result will be that passengers will have more trouble getting to their destinations
."

"Smisek said many passengers on delayed flights “really want to go to LA or Mumbai, but the government by God says, ‘We're going to fine you $27,500.' Here's what we're going to do: We're going to cancel the flight.”

Take that gov'ment, thems fightin' words.

Is this a real attatude change, or just posturing?

FWIW
DLM

Last edited by dmunz; Mar 9, 10 at 10:40 am Reason: to add second quote and appoligize for spelling cancel wrong... :(
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Old Mar 9, 10, 10:29 am
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How difficult is it to let people off a plane before they spend 3 hours on the ground? At the 2:45 mark, head back to a gate (or holding area if no gate is available) and deplane the passengers. What am I missing here? What would CO do if there were a seriously sick passenger and no available gate? Let 'em die?
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Old Mar 9, 10, 10:38 am
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I like this part,

Because airlines have cut flights, leaving the remaining ones more crowded, passengers will have fewer chances to rebook on another flight. Passengers, he said, won't get to their destinations "for maybe days."



At least the CEO knows how bad they are in IRROPS.
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Old Mar 9, 10, 10:45 am
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CO (and the other airlines) want maximal operational flexibility. What I can't figure out is, you have a situation where you know what planes are going where, and how long it will take them to prepare to go. 3 hour + tarmac delays don't just "happen". At the most you need 10 minutes worth of departures ready to go, 20 minutes worth ready to close, and the rest can relax until ATC gives the go.
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Old Mar 9, 10, 10:52 am
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Originally Posted by entropy View Post
CO (and the other airlines) want maximal operational flexibility. What I can't figure out is, you have a situation where you know what planes are going where, and how long it will take them to prepare to go. 3 hour + tarmac delays don't just "happen". At the most you need 10 minutes worth of departures ready to go, 20 minutes worth ready to close, and the rest can relax until ATC gives the go.
Weather "happens". I've seen many threads where one circumstance after another ultimately led to a plane being on the tarmac for hours, even having to be refueled, or ultimately cancelled.

I especially like this part of the news story on msnbc.com: "Announced by the Department of Transportation (DOT) last December, the new rule runs 81 pages (emphasis mine) and seeks to enhance airline passenger protections on several fronts. It takes effect April 29."
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Old Mar 9, 10, 11:10 am
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The contempt CEO Jeff Smisek shows for his passengers is amazing in blaming the government for all of the problem. Perhaps the FAA should set up new fines for whenever flights are canceled without good cause.
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Old Mar 9, 10, 11:14 am
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Oh man...that's too funny. I hate delays as much as the next guy and I AM a consumer advocate but I just have to laugh when consumers and regulators think they know how to control a very complex and and constantly changing business model so as to penalize said company and supposedly suit consumer needs. Well, you push too hard or in an unreasonable manner and those being regulated might just say, oh yeah...well if that's the way you want it...

Bwaahaha! Gotta love bureaucrats, screwing us over again.
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Old Mar 9, 10, 11:15 am
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Originally Posted by RNE View Post
How difficult is it to let people off a plane before they spend 3 hours on the ground? At the 2:45 mark, head back to a gate (or holding area if no gate is available) and deplane the passengers. What am I missing here? What would CO do if there were a seriously sick passenger and no available gate? Let 'em die?
Once you get out of the departure line, you go back to the end of the ATC line. By returning to the gate, you lose your departure slot. At some airports this could be worth quite a bit of time. Blame ATC procedures for this, not the airline. An airline just can't bring an aircraft from the gate to the runway jumping the line when departures are queued up long.

You also make the assumption that a gate is available for an aircraft to return to. An aircraft just cannot return to any gate. It has to be one operated by the airline. If all of the gates are occupied, now what? Also, if you occupy a gate because of a delayed departure, where does an arriving aircraft go (at airports that only have a few gates)? That's right, it waits on the tarmac.

Returning to the gate is not necessarily the best option...
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Old Mar 9, 10, 11:16 am
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Well my favorite part will be when the Contract of Carriage is updated so that you can't get a refund or compensation if cancelled for this reason.
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Old Mar 9, 10, 11:29 am
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Originally Posted by Brick View Post
Once you get out of the departure line, you go back to the end of the ATC line. By returning to the gate, you lose your departure slot. At some airports this could be worth quite a bit of time. Blame ATC procedures for this, not the airline. An airline just can't bring an aircraft from the gate to the runway jumping the line when departures are queued up long.

You also make the assumption that a gate is available for an aircraft to return to. An aircraft just cannot return to any gate. It has to be one operated by the airline. If all of the gates are occupied, now what? Also, if you occupy a gate because of a delayed departure, where does an arriving aircraft go (at airports that only have a few gates)? That's right, it waits on the tarmac.

Returning to the gate is not necessarily the best option...
You forgot the part about how getting out of line and taxiing back to the gate may not be possible without significantly disrupting the flow or airplanes on the field, thereby causing even more problems.

The 3-hour rule sucks and Smisek is stepping up and stating the obvious: More flights are going to be canceled because of this and the carriers have no legal responsibility to make it up to their customers other than via refunding the original fare paid. Jeff's note in the front of February's Continental Magazine basically outlined this new policy - albeit with the angle that it was better for folks - and CO has already started implementing the policy. It happened a couple weeks ago at EWR with the snowstorm on Friday and EWR was a mess. Get ready for more of that thanks to unnecessary government regulations.

Originally Posted by RNE View Post
How difficult is it to let people off a plane before they spend 3 hours on the ground? At the 2:45 mark, head back to a gate (or holding area if no gate is available) and deplane the passengers. What am I missing here? What would CO do if there were a seriously sick passenger and no available gate? Let 'em die?
There is a difference between an actual emergency and an arbitrary rule handed down by the Feds. And a medical issue at that point would likely lead to a cancellation, same as with the 3-hour rule.
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Old Mar 9, 10, 11:41 am
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Originally Posted by pptp View Post
Oh man...that's too funny. I hate delays as much as the next guy and I AM a consumer advocate but I just have to laugh when consumers and regulators think they know how to control a very complex and and constantly changing business model so as to penalize said company and supposedly suit consumer needs. Well, you push too hard or in an unreasonable manner and those being regulated might just say, oh yeah...well if that's the way you want it...
And then the back and forth will continue. If they just start cancelling flights, the next thing to be regulated will be passenger rights in a cancellation.
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Old Mar 9, 10, 11:46 am
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Originally Posted by channa View Post
And then the back and forth will continue. If they just start cancelling flights, the next thing to be regulated will be passenger rights in a cancellation.
As it should be. I think the EU is far ahead of the US in regulating passenger rights. I don't want to see the industry re-regegulated, but I do want a basic set of rights for consumers when an airline (I'm not singling out CO) harms a passenger.
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Old Mar 9, 10, 11:54 am
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Originally Posted by bocastephen View Post
As it should be. I think the EU is far ahead of the US in regulating passenger rights.

You could have probably stopped after saying the EU is far ahead of the US. No need to qualify that further.
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Old Mar 9, 10, 11:54 am
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Jeff S. is sounding more & more like Glenn T. Not a good thing.
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Old Mar 9, 10, 11:55 am
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@:-)

Here's a thought...how about just fixing the antiquated ATC system...no wait...that would fix the problem...we don't want to do that...
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