Notice of Delayed departure of 3 hrs, but.....

 
Old Feb 28, 12, 9:40 am
  #1  
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Join Date: Jul 2005
Location: Wayne, NJ & Boca Raton, FL
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Notice of Delayed departure of 3 hrs, but.....

Our flight (wife and I) is CO#1225 (FLL-EWR) scheduled for a 1:43pm departure today. This morning we found this email notification in our in-box:
---
At 8:53 AM 28FEB.
Continental Airlines flight 1225 FLL-EWR on 28FEB delayed.
Departure time now 4:45 PM from gate C1.
Arrival time now 7:31 PM.
Departure time may change, so please be at gate prior to original scheduled departure time of 1:43 PM.
Info subject to change.

---

Fort Lauderdale at the original departure time shows "Sunny 82" with no delays.

The weather reports for EWR for today show "Sunny 48 Snowfall 0 Chance of Rain 0% Wind 20mph". The FAA's ATC System Command Center reports arrival delays of "15 minutes or less".

Further research shows that CO#1225 is coming to FLL from ORD as CO#1716 ... with a departure delay from 8:49am (Local) to 12:10pm ... that's 3 hours 21 minutes in real time.

Chicago is showing "Cloudy 33" with no delays.

But wait!! I then learn that the ORD equipment is coming into ORD from PIT (also CO#1716) ... and that flight's departure has been delayed 3 hours 35 minutes due to "Maintenance".

------------

OK! ... I can live with all of this stuff ... no griping, no ranting, no perseverating.
But ... do I really have to show up at 12:43pm today (an hour before the original flight's departure time) to check in our luggage ... and sit in the PC scarfing down mojitos ... for 4 hours?!?!

What are the odds of them bringing in a replacement aircraft for the earlier flight time out of FLL? Has anyone had a similar "long mechanical delay" situation, arrived for the later departure time, and been met with an empty gate? ----"Sorry folks, your flight left three hours ago."
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Old Feb 28, 12, 9:52 am
  #2  
 
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I would go. There are many times they may move the flight earlier. Even the PC monitor/online may not show the updates. At least at FLL, the PC is very close to the gate and the gate agent will call the PC for an announcement if they are looking for you.
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Old Feb 28, 12, 10:06 am
  #3  
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Yup!

Thank you for echoing my own sentiments. Better safe than sorry, I suppose.

We have homes in Boca Raton and Northern NJ ... so we are constantly traveling through FLL ... to the point that the PC staff (especially the bartenders ) know us by our first names. (I am a Lifetime PC member.)

Incidentally, the FLL PC is one of the few UC/PC locations in the world that has bowls of chocolate mint (brown and green) candies instead of the usual white and red peppermint suckers ... we're hoping that doesn't change in the new United Club. Recently, I've been stuffing my pockets with these candies, stocking up for next winter.
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Old Feb 28, 12, 12:26 pm
  #4  
glx
 
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Also, if something goes wrong with the "maintenance" they may choose to do an equipment swap, which could get things going a lot quicker - better safe than sorry.
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Old Feb 28, 12, 1:07 pm
  #5  
 
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One time I was at the airport and they announced a three hour delay, so my colleagues and I went to the bar that was pretty far from the gate and settled in.

I am paranoid about missing flights, so I left to check the screens about 20 minutes later (pre-smart phone days). It turned out they did an equipment swap and our flight was leaving in 15 minutes. We had to hustle.
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Old Mar 2, 12, 12:15 am
  #6  
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Update

Well, CO#1225 ... originally scheduled for a 1:45pm departure actually left FLL after 5pm. Surprisingly, the PC was not overwhelmed with folks waiting for the late departure. Wife and I settled in at the PC with our Kindles ... and had a few Screwdrivers with Baileys chasers.

The actual boarding process was harrowing and rushed ... because the entire crew (cockpit and cabin) were almost timed out ... having been on the original flights from PIT to ORD to FLL. Nevertheless, the cabin crew were all friendly and efficient.

Of the 12 FC seats, only 4 were occupied when the doors closed ... even though the PDA seat map showed a full front cabin. I suspect that some of the Platinums had been lucky enough to get on earlier flights, thus freeing up the FC seats. During the boarding process, we had buttered up one of the FAs on the way to our seats. He called out our seat numbers (along with 6 others from a PDA Upgrade Waiting List of 20 or so travelers of which we were #19 & #20) as the last overheads were being closed ... so my wife and I found ourselves sitting together in FC ... calling for another round of drinks with our dinner.

This was originally a non-meal mid-afternoon flight ... but while boarding, we watched them provisioning the cupboards. The only main course selection was a chicken with pasta ... so we got to keep our "emergency" pastrami-on-rye sandwiches (which we always carry with us) for the next day's lunch.
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Old Mar 2, 12, 1:33 pm
  #7  
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Back in the good ole days when customer service actually meant something to an airline, I had a noon-thirty departure from Fla to Texas, but got done early so I was at the airport looking for an earlier flight at 8:30am. The 6:30am was in a state of repair and was quite late and they had booked all those passengers on other flights, so no flight was available to me except that 6:30am and my noon-thirty ticketed departure. They said the 6:30 would leave at 11:45, so I switched to that flight. Well both flights took off
at about the same time and there was 13 passengers on the flight, and we were told we could sit wherever we wanted. 3 weeks later, I got an apology and 20,000 miles from the airline for the 6 hour delay.---- an act you will never ever see again, because they just dont care, not even SMI/J
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