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3rd Time’s the Charm? DL 559 Returned to gate twice so far....

3rd Time’s the Charm? DL 559 Returned to gate twice so far....

Old Feb 14, 20, 10:00 am
  #1  
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3rd Time’s the Charm? DL 559 Returned to gate twice so far....

DL 559 ATL-SJU on an A330-300 (!) which is cool. Less cool: after departure and doors closed, had to return and offload 2-3 pax who “didn’t have an open seat.”
Departed again, got in queue for take off. Then left the queue and were told we were returning to the gate for “weight and balance discrepancies”... now they’ve said we should end up about 90 min late. Luckily I’m in 2J so will still enjoy the flight but this is a first!
Wish us luck that we won’t return again to the gate for a 4th/5th departure!
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Old Feb 14, 20, 10:23 am
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Just curious, how could you have departed if there were pax without an "open" seat? Were they sharing a seat with another pax?

*This is not a sarcastic post.
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Old Feb 14, 20, 10:51 am
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I'm confused. What does it mean that passengers didn't have an open seat? Did they board the flight despite not having a seat assignment?
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Old Feb 14, 20, 10:52 am
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Originally Posted by eneq View Post
Just curious, how could you have departed if there were pax without an "open" seat? Were they sharing a seat with another pax?

*This is not a sarcastic post.
Happened to me once before too. Pax was in the bathroom when they did the count, then another pax moved into that pax seat to sit with his/her friend, GA/FA see one open seat and load on a standby at the very last moment.
Pax emerges from the lavatory as the plane is pushing back and tada - back to the gate.
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Old Feb 14, 20, 10:57 am
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Yes I overheard 3 pax didn’t have seats. So we went back and someone or a few got off (?) and then we left again. Not sure how they closed the door without the head count/ everyone seated- that delay only took about 20’ min— the weight and balance was more like an hour— but in the air now. About 80 min late. Should still get some beach time today in SJU!
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Old Feb 14, 20, 11:02 am
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Originally Posted by kyushuman View Post
Yes I overheard 3 pax didn’t have seats. So we went back and someone or a few got off (?) and then we left again. Not sure how they closed the door without the head count/ everyone seated- that delay only took about 20’ min— the weight and balance was more like an hour— but in the air now. About 80 min late. Should still get some beach time today in SJU!
I can see 2 passengers in the bathroom but 3 ...
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Old Feb 14, 20, 11:04 am
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Originally Posted by mayhem View Post
Happened to me once before too. Pax was in the bathroom when they did the count, then another pax moved into that pax seat to sit with his/her friend, GA/FA see one open seat and load on a standby at the very last moment.
Pax emerges from the lavatory as the plane is pushing back and tada - back to the gate.
I had the same thing happen years ago on KLM flying AMS-DTW, and I was the extra passenger. I had offered to get bumped and they boarded me at the last minute. We got back to the gate and the GA said "oh, its you".
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Old Feb 14, 20, 11:18 am
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DL5691 13 Feb didn't quite get that far

my son's JFK-RIC flight boarded close to on time for 0955 departure, but flight crew had a landing gear warning light that they couldn't resolve, so they decided to cycle power which meant everyone had to disembark (seems a bit odd, but they're in charge ...this was ~1030); reloaded pax ~1145 and the same thing happened

maintenance couldn't change the sensor without putting the airplane on jacks, so they had to tow it off to the hangar ... eventually ops found another jet, and they finally left ~1500
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Old Feb 14, 20, 11:09 pm
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Originally Posted by kyushuman View Post
Yes I overheard 3 pax didn’t have seats. So we went back and someone or a few got off (?) and then we left again. Not sure how they closed the door without the head count/ everyone seated- that delay only took about 20’ min— the weight and balance was more like an hour— but in the air now. About 80 min late. Should still get some beach time today in SJU!
This is puzzling, where were these people located during pushback/taxi? Even if someone went to the lav after boarding but before pushing back surely they would have gone to their seat first...just seems really odd that 2-3 people would head directly to the bathroom before their seat and only realize that someone else was in their seats after you leave the gate also you'd think that that the gate someone/computer would have noticed they scanned/boarded X pax for Y seats where X>Y.
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Old Feb 15, 20, 12:19 am
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When they say "open" could they mean a ticketing issue? And not an actual physical seat issue?
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Old Feb 15, 20, 1:02 am
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Originally Posted by mayhem View Post
Happened to me once before too. Pax was in the bathroom when they did the count, then another pax moved into that pax seat to sit with his/her friend, GA/FA see one open seat and load on a standby at the very last moment.
Pax emerges from the lavatory as the plane is pushing back and tada - back to the gate.
basically this will do it.

I will be completely honest. If I'm on the ground I am either going at the airport or I am holding it till the seat belt sign is off for this reason.
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Old Feb 15, 20, 1:39 am
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Originally Posted by Dawgfan6291 View Post
basically this will do it.

I will be completely honest. If I'm on the ground I am either going at the airport or I am holding it till the seat belt sign is off for this reason.
i do the same. But i can see a parent and a child going together as an emergency.
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Old Feb 15, 20, 10:23 am
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They were using door 2 to board, and I was in 2J nursing my 9am sparkling wine 🥂 so I’m not sure of the details. This only contributed 20-30 min of the 90 min delay. But I will say that, after the extra pax issues, when weight and balance discrepancies aren’t checked until we are in queue for take off, that’s showing me a bit of a mess at ATL. My pilot friend said 3 pax wouldn’t make much difference on a full A330 that can fly 10 hours, departing on a 3 hours flight. But maybe YMMV.
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Old Feb 15, 20, 1:26 pm
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Originally Posted by ryan182 View Post
This is puzzling, where were these people located during pushback/taxi? Even if someone went to the lav after boarding but before pushing back surely they would have gone to their seat first...just seems really odd that 2-3 people would head directly to the bathroom before their seat and only realize that someone else was in their seats after you leave the gate also you'd think that that the gate someone/computer would have noticed they scanned/boarded X pax for Y seats where X>Y.
I don't know if that's entirely foolproof either TBH; I did once see someone get a phone call a few noses ahead of me boarding while in the plane, immediately turn around and just left muttering apologies all the way: I don't know if he got back on the plane or not. I've been called away during boarding at least (stupid work rerouting, one of my coworkers walked off a client site and quit so off to Nashville I went instead of going home) so it wouldn't surprise me if this was a statistically relevant event.
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Old Feb 15, 20, 2:57 pm
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Originally Posted by ryan182 View Post
This is puzzling, where were these people located during pushback/taxi? Even if someone went to the lav after boarding but before pushing back surely they would have gone to their seat first...just seems really odd that 2-3 people would head directly to the bathroom before their seat and only realize that someone else was in their seats after you leave the gate also you'd think that that the gate someone/computer would have noticed they scanned/boarded X pax for Y seats where X>Y.
This. Even back in the dark ages when I was an agent (early 2000s, not at DL), you couldn’t close out a flight with more people on it than it has available seats. And if you start offloading randomly, you cause issues down the line. This is on the agent...unless...there was something at play like broken seats that weren’t blocked on the seat map.
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