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Flight changed to leave 25 minutes early on day of flight

Flight changed to leave 25 minutes early on day of flight

 
Old May 20, 09, 9:08 pm
  #1  
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Flight changed to leave 25 minutes early on day of flight

Interesting situation on Continental this weekend OKC-IAH, last flight on Sunday scheduled for 6:05 PM departure. Get to the gate, everyone boarded, and I look at the board and they have changed the departure to 5:40 PM. I look at my boarding pass, it says 6:05 PM.

Board the plane, and the pilot is thanking everyone for boarding early, telling us that they were leaving early because "they need the plane in Houston 20 minutes early." I logon to Continental, it still shows a 6:05 departure.

They close the door at 5:40, we pull from the gate and wait. A few minutes later they announce we have to wait for them to load some luggage. We wind up wheels up at 6:05 PM. Naturally with the pad in scheduling we do arrive in Houston early, as they allow 90 minutes for what used to be a 60 minute flight, and it was Sunday afternoon.

At any rate, found this to be interesting as it appears the people in OKC decided to get that plane out early, I'm thinking they had somewhere else to be, as this was the last flight out of OKC. This could have caused a problem for someone running late, as technically they were in the boarding area 15 minutes prior to departure, but by this point the plane had pulled away from the gate, so they would have been denied boarding, and the time on the board at the gate showed a 5:40 PM departure time. Don't know if anyone did show up late but the plane was totally full when it left. There were people waiting for seat assignments who boarded right at 5:40 PM taking the final empty seats.

It was an RJ, all you get out of OKC, so not a mainline Continental, but it irks me a little that they can move the departure time up by 25 minutes with no advance warning. One would think that they would have at least shared this information with Continental and their Flight Status would show this new departure time.
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Old May 20, 09, 9:27 pm
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I've had this happen on more than one occasion out of OKC. It does seem to occur on the ERJ's, as I don't remember it ever happening on the mainliners out of there. One time that I know of, it was because another plane in IAH became inoperable, and they needed ours to replace it. Most of the time we wound up having to wait on someone to arrive. So as far as I know, we've never left anyone behind.

I wouldn't think it had to do with needing to close up early, as four more flights arrive after that flight departs. 1 RJ from EWR, 2 RJs from IAH, and one 737 (most of the time) from IAH
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Old May 20, 09, 9:31 pm
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I don't understand the problem here. They wouldn't have just left a passenger behind if they hadn't arrived at the gate on time, they would have had to wait for them. You said yourself that you didn't know if anyone was late arriving. Are you seriously complaining that everyone got on the plane early and you left early, and then arrived early?

I really, really don't see the problem here. Would you complain if you departed on time and arrived late?

Edited to add - this happens on almost every early morning COEX departure at an outstation for me - very normal to leave 10-15min early if everyone is on board.
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Old May 20, 09, 10:21 pm
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Not true every time that they wait for all pax to board and leave early. I was running late for a flight on DFW-IAH and arrived about 10 minutes before the depature, but when I reached the gate, the plane was pulling away. Which means they must have closed the gate a few minutes earlier, which is more than 10 minutes. The next flight was about 3 hours later.

They claimed that they announced my name several times, but since I was not connecting they chose not to wait.
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Old May 20, 09, 11:00 pm
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Originally Posted by hyho61 View Post
Not true every time that they wait for all pax to board and leave early. I was running late for a flight on DFW-IAH and arrived about 10 minutes before the depature, but when I reached the gate, the plane was pulling away. Which means they must have closed the gate a few minutes earlier, which is more than 10 minutes. The next flight was about 3 hours later.

They claimed that they announced my name several times, but since I was not connecting they chose not to wait.
That is because Continental requires you to be at the gate 15 minutes early, not 10.
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Old May 20, 09, 11:09 pm
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Star_World: In an ideal world they wouldn't leave someone behind, but if the flight was oversold it would be a good way not to pay denied compensation. I also found it interesting that they would change the time on the board at the gate, but not share this information with Continental so that their Gate Status and Departure automated system could be accurate. This gives the appearance that Continental was unaware of the schedule change.

If everyone is on board then no, I don't have a problem leaving early, but what is the point of having a schedule? They closed the door 25 minutes prior to the scheduled departure. If this is acceptable, why not an hour early? What is the point of having a schedule if it is ignored?

I don't believe in arriving at the airport two hours prior to departure, especially at a small airport like OKC. I arrived at the gate 30 minutes prior to departure and everyone had already boarded, and they were figuring out where to put the people who didn't have seat assignments. My printed boarding pass said I had to be in the gate area 15 minutes prior to departure, and I was there 35 minutes prior to the scheduled departure.

Maybe this is how the airline business is run these days. I have never seen a concert, or sporting event start 25 minutes early because most of the people were in their seat, or because the team needed to get to the next city early. Perhaps if they could legally overbook their arena and could lock the doors to keep the people with tickets from entering if they didn't arrive an hour early this might be attempted.
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Old May 20, 09, 11:23 pm
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Originally Posted by ctuttle View Post
Interesting situation on Continental this weekend OKC-IAH, last flight on Sunday scheduled for 6:05 PM departure. Get to the gate, everyone boarded, and I look at the board and they have changed the departure to 5:40 PM.

Board the plane, and the pilot is thanking everyone for boarding early, telling us that they were leaving early because "they need the plane in Houston 20 minutes early."

...

At any rate, found this to be interesting as it appears the people in OKC decided to get that plane out early
If it was decided that the plane was needed in Houston, it's very unlikely that the people at OKC independently decided to depart early. You make it sound as if the GA on a whim decided to close out the flight early. Nothing like this is going to happen without coordination and approval by the dispatchers at HQ. More accurately, it's likely that the directives to do these things come from the dispatchers.

If the flight was full with confirmed passengers, then I don't see any problem with leaving early. If the flight was oversold and thus had more confirmed passengers than seats, then an equal number of them would have been denied boarding whether the flight left 30 minutes early, 15 minutes early, or on time.
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Old May 20, 09, 11:29 pm
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Originally Posted by okcitychris View Post
I've had this happen on more than one occasion out of OKC. It does seem to occur on the ERJ's, as I don't remember it ever happening on the mainliners out of there. One time that I know of, it was because another plane in IAH became inoperable, and they needed ours to replace it. Most of the time we wound up having to wait on someone to arrive. So as far as I know, we've never left anyone behind.

I wouldn't think it had to do with needing to close up early, as four more flights arrive after that flight departs. 1 RJ from EWR, 2 RJs from IAH, and one 737 (most of the time) from IAH
I dont recall this happening before but I have been flying in and outta TUL more lately than OKC.

Originally Posted by ctuttle View Post
Star_World: In an ideal world they wouldn't leave someone behind, but if the flight was oversold it would be a good way not to pay denied compensation. I also found it interesting that they would change the time on the board at the gate, but not share this information with Continental so that their Gate Status and Departure automated system could be accurate. This gives the appearance that Continental was unaware of the schedule change.

If everyone is on board then no, I don't have a problem leaving early, but what is the point of having a schedule? They closed the door 25 minutes prior to the scheduled departure. If this is acceptable, why not an hour early? What is the point of having a schedule if it is ignored?

I don't believe in arriving at the airport two hours prior to departure, especially at a small airport like OKC. I arrived at the gate 30 minutes prior to departure and everyone had already boarded, and they were figuring out where to put the people who didn't have seat assignments. My printed boarding pass said I had to be in the gate area 15 minutes prior to departure, and I was there 35 minutes prior to the scheduled departure.

Maybe this is how the airline business is run these days. I have never seen a concert, or sporting event start 25 minutes early because most of the people were in their seat, or because the team needed to get to the next city early. Perhaps if they could legally overbook their arena and could lock the doors to keep the people with tickets from entering if they didn't arrive an hour early this might be attempted.
I arrive at the one hour mark to the parking garage. I did have a close one yesterday when the garage was full and the parking shuttle was taking their time. I made it to the gate at 9:30 for my 9:55 departure.

BTW, perhaps we should have an OKC DO soon!
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Old May 20, 09, 11:57 pm
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It's a bit cynical to think that this would be done deliberately in the event the flight was overbooked. The situation would still be very simple though if I was booked on the flight and arrived >10min before departure time at the gate to find that the flight had departed. If I was denied compensation I would either have a CO employee at the airport make a time-stamped entry in the booking, or call the elite line and have them do the same. The odds are that I would win any resulting discussion.

Overall I think leaving early when everyone is on board is perfectly fine - and should be encouraged whenever possible. Far too often we see long, ever-extending delays so it's good to get a change from that.
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Old May 21, 09, 12:13 am
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Originally Posted by Scott6067 View Post

BTW, perhaps we should have an OKC DO soon!
That would be bigtime.
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Old May 21, 09, 1:32 am
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Originally Posted by ctuttle View Post

It was an RJ, all you get out of OKC, so not a mainline Continental, but it irks me a little that they can move the departure time up by 25 minutes with no advance warning. One would think that they would have at least shared this information with Continental and their Flight Status would show this new departure time.
Whether it is an RJ or a "big" plane....all schedules are set by CO...XJT just does what big brother tells them to do.
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Old May 21, 09, 2:14 am
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Originally Posted by star_world View Post
It's a bit cynical to think that this would be done deliberately in the event the flight was overbooked.
I'm not sure if you're responding to my post or not, but in case you were, let me clarify what I said:

If the flight was full with confirmed passengers, then I don't see any problem with leaving early. If the flight was oversold and thus had more confirmed passengers than seats, then an equal number of them would have been denied boarding whether the flight left 30 minutes early, 15 minutes early, or on time.
If the flight was oversold, then any passenger that was checked in and presented themselves at the gate for boarding no later than 15 minutes before the scheduled departure time but was denied boarding would be eligible for Involuntary Denied Boarding compensation (unless they voluntarily accepted another offer). This is true whether or not the flight has been closed out or departed.

So, let's say that 5 more passengers with confirmed reservations than there were available seats on this hypothetically-oversold flight showed up at the gate at least 15 minutes before departure. Assuming nobody volunteered, there would be 5 IDB passengers regardless of whether the flight left full 30 minutes before scheduled departure, 15 minutes before, or at the scheduled departure time.

As such, I don't see it as being cynical at all that they would depart 30 minutes early, as there's no benefit to CO as to IDB compensation for doing so.
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Old May 21, 09, 3:48 pm
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Originally Posted by Mr.Nuke View Post
That is because Continental requires you to be at the gate 15 minutes early, not 10.
I still disagree that CO chose to leave about 13 minutes early when a passenger has not yet shown up. They can easily wait until 1 or 2 minutes prior to departure. I have seen many times that they wait, especially for a connecting passengers and for passengers who are connecting. What is the point in having the departure time then.

They should leave early ONLY if all the passengers have checked in, otherwise they are obligated to wait. There is no hurry to leave early.
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Old May 21, 09, 3:52 pm
  #14  
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Originally Posted by Steve M View Post
If the flight was oversold, then any passenger that was checked in and presented themselves at the gate for boarding no later than 15 minutes before the scheduled departure time but was denied boarding would be eligible for Involuntary Denied Boarding compensation (unless they voluntarily accepted another offer). This is true whether or not the flight has been closed out or departed.
This is the way it should be, but don't count on getting IDBed in this situation, at least not without a lot of effort on your part. There was a thread on here a while back about exactly this situation, and the pax in question was treated as if he had simply missed the flight. He tried to follow up with CO for compensation later, and got the stonewall until eventually CO Insider intervened and made things right.
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Old May 21, 09, 6:07 pm
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Originally Posted by yad View Post
This is the way it should be, but don't count on getting IDBed in this situation, at least not without a lot of effort on your part. There was a thread on here a while back about exactly this situation, and the pax in question was treated as if he had simply missed the flight. He tried to follow up with CO for compensation later, and got the stonewall until eventually CO Insider intervened and made things right.

If I remember corectly that person was at the gate by or @ T-15, had they gotten there @ T-10 Im sure they would have gotten nothing in comparison to what they did if anything at all

Keep in mond people the cutoff is NOT the listed time of Departure but 15 mins before that. So getting there even 14 mins before has you there NOT in time
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