Where's the pilot? Hours of fun at CVG

 
Old Jul 12, 03, 6:04 pm
  #1  
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Where's the pilot? Hours of fun at CVG

I'll give the brief version of my story from Thursday, which was a tale of complete cluelessness (or even lies) by the staff at CVG.

I was booked on the DL Connection 17:35 flight. That flight was delayed about 30 minutes by a tire change before we boarded. When we got to the plane, the crew was surprised to see us - apparently there was a ground hold from ATC, due I think to weather en route. OK...back to the terminal.

Well, around 18:45, they announced a "position change" for our flight. Never bothered to announce what was on the sign-board at the new counter: "CANCELLED" Couldn't they have told us that? I sure am glad we looked at the sign!

Turns out, main line had a scheduled 19:00 departure, now delayed to 19:15. We were rebooked quickly, took the bus from Terminal C to A, walked the entire length of the terminal to A21. (We were hoping the flight was really there - it didn't show up on the monitors anywhere.)

At the gate, the agents told us that the flight crew would arrive "any minute," and then we would begin boarding. FAs arrived 19:30. Pilot at 21:00. First officer at 21:30. We finally pushed back at 21:45.

The "locally based" pilots clearly were not in the building and had not been heard from when the "any minute" lie was told. I honestly believe that the gate agents were just as clueless as we were, but were getting bad info from someone. But meanwhile, we couldn't go to the CRC (other end of the terminal) or to grab dinner, because we kept being told we would board "any minute!"

What the heck is going on at CVG?
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Old Jul 12, 03, 11:02 pm
  #2  
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Paulo, welcome to the wacky world of CVG
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Old Jul 13, 03, 8:37 am
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You're lucky you weren't flying to LEX or DAY. Since we're so close, whenever they need an airplane (for Green Bay or Grand Rapids or Greensboro, say), we get to take the bus. Ugh.
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Old Jul 13, 03, 9:50 am
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The agents were obviously lying and sometimes they do that to put the blame on us. Reserves have a 2 hour call out and if they were short pilots/flight attendants they have to make it in 2 hours. Some live far away, some live close. It also could have been that their flights were late and all the crews were scattered from different arrival points. No-one purposely (flight crews) did this. It is the worst feeling in the wold to have to come into A-1 in ATL and go out of D36 with the crowds lurking and the flight is delayed because of us having to run to our next gate and it is so far. The agent usually announces "Crew delay" and everyone gives us dirty olls as if we were shopping in the airport. Sorry this happened to you, but it is usually blamed on us because we are an easy scapegoat and NEVER there to hear the announcements.
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Old Jul 13, 03, 9:58 am
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<font face="Verdana, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif" size="2">Originally posted by vetteset:
The agents were obviously lying and sometimes they do that to put the blame on us. Reserves have a 2 hour call out and if they were short pilots/flight attendants they have to make it in 2 hours. Some live far away, some live close. It also could have been that their flights were late and all the crews were scattered from different arrival points. No-one purposely (flight crews) did this. It is the worst feeling in the wold to have to come into A-1 in ATL and go out of D36 with the crowds lurking and the flight is delayed because of us having to run to our next gate and it is so far. The agent usually announces "Crew delay" and everyone gives us dirty olls as if we were shopping in the airport. Sorry this happened to you, but it is usually blamed on us because we are an easy scapegoat and NEVER there to hear the announcements.</font>
The agent did insist to us that the crew was "locally-based" and not coming in from other flights - which doesn't quite mesh with the FA, who announced twice "New York-based flight crew."

Bottom line: Somebody was peddling falsehoods, and it completely flies in the face of the commitment made a couple of years ago (under public and Congressional outcry) to communicate accurately in the event of a delay situation. If there was a f***-up that delayed us, well, I still would be angry - but not nearly as much as after the 2.5 hours of lies. Somebody is to blame!
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Old Jul 13, 03, 10:10 am
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I had one of these there maybe 9 years ago, late night, after a flight back from Moscow. It was maddening.

Just tell us the truth, huh?

JP
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Old Jul 13, 03, 10:45 am
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<font face="Verdana, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif" size="2">Originally posted by vetteset:
No-one purposely (flight crews) did this. It is the worst feeling in the wold to have to come into A-1 in ATL and go out of D36 with the crowds lurking and the flight is delayed because of us having to run to our next gate and it is so far. The agent usually announces "Crew delay" and everyone gives us dirty olls as if we were shopping in the airport.</font>
I have NEVER, NEVER seen a flight crew hurry, run or even briskly walk when they were the reason for a flight delay.

Granted, their reason for being late in the first place is most likely not there own, but the assertion that they care about this is not consistent with my experience. Most often, when crew finally does arrive, they are talking, laughing, taking their sweet time. Many times, items in tow such as Starbucks or food indicate they have even stopped at concessions before proceeding to the delayed flight.

I have never witnessed any sense of urgency from FA's arriving late for a flight. The prevailing attitude seems to be " hey I'm going to spend the night somewhere other than home so I don't care when I get there."

Again, this is only my experience (as a 6 year PM flyer) and is certainly no reflection on any specific individual.
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Old Jul 13, 03, 11:50 am
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Local flight crews were obviously called out on reserve and the flight attendants being NYC based means nothing except that they were not reserves based in CVG. They could have been rerouted, because the other crew was stuck somewhere. Hundreds of times showing up at the gate, I have never looked hurried or rushed. DL will never learn about leaving the flight crews on the same plane with the same crews all day! This would save valuable time when you block in at A2 and ned to go out of D34. You are so frustrated when you show up at the gate, you keep your cool and be professional. I don't know about crews showing up with food. That is unacceptable! Some people carry that Starbucks cup all day and keep refilling it. Also, crews carry their crew meals around for a while if they did not have time to eat. I am very sorry about your experience, and hope you continue to still fly with us. Crews have NO reason to delay your flight on purpose. It sound like from the time, they were going to their layover and the last thing they want is to be delayed when they have only 9 hours rest to your next flight. Sorry, but I have to stick up for the crews!
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Old Jul 13, 03, 11:57 am
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Airlines need more crew members such as you, vetteset.

Sometimes all I need is someone to explain the truth to me so that I know what is going on and can adjust accordingly.

Is that too much to ask?
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Old Jul 13, 03, 12:09 pm
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<font face="Verdana, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif" size="2">Originally posted by Canarsie:
Sometimes all I need is someone to explain the truth to me so that I know what is going on and can adjust accordingly.

Is that too much to ask?
</font>
I think that Jack Nicholson's role in "A Few Good Men" has worn off on the folks at Virginia Ave....

"You can't handle the truth!!"

Life imitating art....

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Old Jul 13, 03, 12:12 pm
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Thanks Caransie! You are too kind. You are 100 percent right.... If the agent would have told you that the reserve pilots live locally and had a TWO HOUR reserve call out, you would have went crazy. They blame it on the rews because they don't want you in their face. Why do you think we take all the oversize bags when you enter the aircraft? They don't want to deal with it. They put children and car seats in the exit row and we hold up boarding to MOVE them! If you knew about the call out for reserves, you would have demanded(with good reason) a meal voucher, right?? MOST gate agents are wonderful people, but some are really lazy and unkind. You should be told the TRUTH and I'm sorry we were blamed!
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Old Jul 13, 03, 1:04 pm
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Vetteset -

I'm a F/A for another airline, but basically we all experience the same types of issues where these things are concerned. Do you really believe that the agents lie to the customers so that they can spend the next two hours answering the same question, "When are we leaving??" - The agents generally tell the customers exactly what they are told by the folks in ops, or whoever makes those decisions at DL. It's because of attitudes like yours that there remains such a deep divide between these two employee groups. You really should walk a mile in their shoes before you start casting stones, and they too should walk a mile in your shoes so they know what you go through on a regular basis. It's not fair to blame this on the agents when, really, you don't have any idea what happened. Especially since the original poster never even mentioned which of the DL Connection carriers it was, and that would make a BIG difference as to whether they even had a CVG base. ASA, for instance, does not. ACA might, but I'll bet it's relatively small and they may have had to call on a reserve from another base or had to wait from an inbound Pilot from another flight to re-assign. Op's may very well have told the agents that a new crew was coming soon, having no idea themselves.
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Old Jul 13, 03, 1:19 pm
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I'll second AS flyer's comments. Vetteset, you are always quick to blame all Delta employees except flight attendants.

If you will think back, Thursday was a disastrous day with weather problems most of the day in ATL and throughout the southeast. I was on a plane 5 hours DCA-ATL. Only reason I made my connection was that the flight attendants were delayed coming from MCO on my connecting flight to MCO. I can imagine the grief those Gate Agents took explaining to thru passengers that even though they came in from Seattle on that same aircraft, they had to wait three hours for FAs.

I am not saying that someone didn't liein CVG. What I am saying is that things happen, and sometimes you don't have the rocket scientist working the particular gate you are at or maybe events were changing. They may have been give wrong ever changing information or maybe they made it up on their own. we just don't know.

Now, for a story about Song FAs....:-)

marc
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Old Jul 13, 03, 3:28 pm
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<font face="Verdana, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif" size="2">Originally posted by AS Flyer:
Vetteset -

Especially since the original poster never even mentioned which of the DL Connection carriers it was, and that would make a BIG difference as to whether they even had a CVG base. ASA, for instance, does not. ACA might, but I'll bet it's relatively small and they may have had to call on a reserve from another base or had to wait from an inbound Pilot from another flight to re-assign. Op's may very well have told the agents that a new crew was coming soon, having no idea themselves.
</font>
Original flight was Comair, but that is irrelevant.

The flight that was the problem - where the agents consistently told us that non-existent pilots would show up any minute - was Delta - which most certainly has a base at CVG! (That info was contained in original post.)
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Old Jul 14, 03, 3:07 am
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Really, when there are significant weather delays, aren't the op issues so freakin' dynamic, unpredictable and ever-changing that it doesn't really matter who to blame? If ever in a sig weather delay, I found it easier to just sit back, relax, take a valium or two and just chill.
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