Weather diversion - You're on your own if we divert

 
Old Sep 22, 09, 11:00 am
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Weather diversion - You're on your own if we divert

I have been flying in/out of SBA most of my life. Last week, I was flying SLC-SBA. The gate agent made a come gather round the gate announcement that said that she was given us a "weather warning". Due to weather (later determined to be fog), the plane might not land in SBA, but may be diverted to LAX. If we chose to get on the plane, and it got diverted to LAX, then we would be on our own at LAX, meaning that it was up to each person to get themselves to SBA...no AA codeshare, no hotel, nothing. This was the evening flight, which means that had we been diverted, we wouldn't have landed at LAX until around 11pm.

If one chose to not get on the plane, they would reaccomodate on the next day (though that flight wasn't until the following evening), but again, on your own for a hotel, etc. (I get this in a weather cancellation). Some chose not to board, rather than deal with trying to get to SBA from LAX, especially at that hour.

Is this normal DL/DL connection policy when diverted because of weather, e.g. you're on your own to get to your final destination? I know that this isn't UA's policy; several times I've been ticketed to TEX, and have been diverted to MTJ (usually due to weather/winds), and we were transported via shuttle back to TEX.

We did land at SBA without incident.
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Old Sep 22, 09, 11:10 am
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Originally Posted by TrojanTraveler View Post
I have been flying in/out of SBA most of my life. Last week, I was flying SLC-SBA. The gate agent made a come gather round the gate announcement that said that she was given us a "weather warning". Due to weather (later determined to be fog), the plane might not land in SBA, but may be diverted to LAX. If we chose to get on the plane, and it got diverted to LAX, then we would be on our own at LAX, meaning that it was up to each person to get themselves to SBA...no AA codeshare, no hotel, nothing. This was the evening flight, which means that had we been diverted, we wouldn't have landed at LAX until around 11pm.

If one chose to not get on the plane, they would reaccomodate on the next day (though that flight wasn't until the following evening), but again, on your own for a hotel, etc. (I get this in a weather cancellation). Some chose not to board, rather than deal with trying to get to SBA from LAX, especially at that hour.

Is this normal DL/DL connection policy when diverted because of weather, e.g. you're on your own to get to your final destination? I know that this isn't UA's policy; several times I've been ticketed to TEX, and have been diverted to MTJ (usually due to weather/winds), and we were transported via shuttle back to TEX.

We did land at SBA without incident.
Airlines are only obliged to comp you if the delay is their fault (MX or the like). That said, most will take care of Plat and sometimes Gold with hotel vouchers (or discounts) but yes, this is standard.
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Old Sep 22, 09, 11:25 am
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DL doesn't fly LAX-SBA on their on metal, so any diversion to LAX and they are at MQ's mercy. Of course American and American Eagle would accomodate their PAX first and then DL's. I think the warning is reasonable in case of a diversion. But who knows how LAX staff would accomodate the diversion? I'd hope someone would step up and get shuttles instead of a repeat of the ExpressJet/CO debacle in Rochester?
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Old Sep 22, 09, 11:42 am
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Situations like this explain why there should be more airline regulation. A 10-20 minute rain in Atlanta, Philadelphia, Newark, etc., often disrupts the entire day for connections, and there are never enough gates when you do land close to schedule.

The cost and competitive factor would balance out if all airlines were required to re-accommodate on any airline's next available flight, or by shuttle.

There is not a "contract" of carriage, but an "option" of carriage on the airline's part.

I have never had a problem getting re-routed on CO or US. Delta is always a battle. When there is a late arriving plane from ATL for your flight and there is no issue of an "on time" departure because the flight is so late, the DL agents seem to take their time in getting the flight out. And when the plane lands late in ATL, you get the last gate on the concourse.
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Old Sep 22, 09, 12:45 pm
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While one would not be entitled to compensation in the event of weather-induced delays, and while there is no guarantee when someone might make it to the final destination in the event of a weather delay, I cannot believe that an airline can just strand someone indefinitely/forever at an airport without eventually offering some method of conveyance to the final destination.

If this principle applied, it would mean that those stranded after 9/11 diversions were on their own to get back from Gander.

Even if it meant the passenger overnighting at LAX on his own dime and then flying standby to SBA via SLC the next day, or something similarly inconvenient, I think the airline would be obliged to eventually get you there if you wanted to go there.
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Old Sep 22, 09, 12:47 pm
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Originally Posted by BF263533 View Post
I have never had a problem getting re-routed on CO or US.
that's the one thing i really liked about ua- a couple years ago, when i no longer had status on united, my girlfriend and i were scheduled from bur to bos on a ua redeye (w/ a connection somewhere?). there was going to be a delay which would entail us flying out the next day.

i was traveling to go to my friends wedding, which i was in, and this would cause me to miss the rehearsal. i explained this to the ua gate agent, and she promptly (and happily) put us on a dl flight out of lax, and even gave us a voucher for the taxi. definately above and beyond.
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Old Sep 22, 09, 7:22 pm
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After the flight attendant told everyone to come gather 'round and announce the flight as being under weather diversion, that flight is off the schedule. It has become a "deadhead". From the point of view of passengers, it has been cancelled.

They gave the passengers the choice of taking it anyway and seeing how far it would go.

Meanwhile on the infamous 9/11, the flight(s) that had to land at Gander Newfoundland were already en route and passengers on board had no choice. Here the airlines had the obligation to get the passengers to their destinations eventually, or to refund the fares and return them to their origins.
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Old Sep 22, 09, 8:46 pm
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They can't strand you at some random airport and expect you to reach your destination on your own. However, since it's weather related, you'll probably be paying your own hotel & meal charges until the trip resumes.

The announcement sounds like very poor PR on the part of the gate agent.

Originally Posted by TrojanTraveler View Post
Is this normal DL/DL connection policy when diverted because of weather, e.g. you're on your own to get to your final destination? I know that this isn't UA's policy...
Actually UA tried to do just that about 2.5 years ago -- dumped two planeloads of Denver-bound pax at a backwater airport in Wyoming & left without them the next day. They almost got away with it until the episode received some national media attention:

'Abandoned' in Cheyenne

United vows to pay abandoned fliers
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