How truthful and safe is EVA?

Old Dec 1, 14, 11:58 pm
  #1  
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How truthful and safe is EVA?

I travelled on BR225/5 Nov from TPE to SIN, airplane landed and was taxi into gate D32 uneventfully. After the airplane was parked at D32, aerobridges were not connected and nothing happened. 5 minutes later captain came on PA and announced that we were waiting for tow-tug, which was puzzling because SIN is not LAX where airplane are towed into gate, not to mention that we were already at the gate. Tow-tug arrived 10 minutes later and airplane was pushed out of D32 and towed in D34!!! BR captain didn't offer further details on what happened, and the ground staff all said they didn't know what happened when I asked them.

So I wrote online feedback to EVA and CAAS separately. CAAS replied that BR225 was informed D34 but pilot made a mistake and went to D32. EVA, however, blamed it on miscommunication by SIN ATC for the wrong gate information. It seems pretty clear that it was EVA pilot who made the mistake and went to the wrong gate since all the departing passengers on BR226 were all waiting at D34. However, the airline kept blaming SIN ATC and pretended to be the innocent party. Very irresponsible of EVA management to push away all their responsibilities. If the pilot landed on wrong runway, maybe they will blame it on miscommunication by ATC again.

I tried EVA because it offers pretty competitive fares and schedule ex-SIN to US and the Elite class is a decent product. But for now, I'm staying away from EVA, just don't feel safe when an airline kept blaming other people to cover up their own mistakes, especially when it is safety-related matters. In fact for my upcoming trip, I'm paying more to take SQ Y than what EVA is charging for Elite class which is a better hard product.
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Old Dec 2, 14, 12:02 am
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You are overthinking this. Why couldn't it have been SIN mistakenly telling the pilot the wrong gate number? You have no evidence one way or the other.

Safe Travels,

Doc
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Old Dec 2, 14, 12:05 am
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Doc Savage is right. You do not have any choice. It could be a mistake.
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Old Dec 2, 14, 12:26 am
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Originally Posted by Doc Savage View Post
You are overthinking this. Why couldn't it have been SIN mistakenly telling the pilot the wrong gate number? You have no evidence one way or the other.

Safe Travels,

Doc

I have submit an official enquiry to CAAS, who is incharge of SIN ATC, and they responded "BR225 was informed of gate D34 upon landing by air traffic control but the pilot had mistakenly taxied towards gate D32 instead". I have no reason to doubt their official response. On the other hand, EVA has so far refused to provide written response to my feedback. Instead, they got their local SIN staff to call me and tried to pretend to close the case.
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Old Dec 2, 14, 1:39 am
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i'm curious... aren't there always ground crew with orange sticks guiding aircrafts pulling into gates? why would the crew guide the aircraft into the gate if the plane was not expected. Unless, of course, D32 crew was expecting another BR 777 at exactly the same time, or the pilot pulled into the gate himself w/o the presence of the crew?
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Old Dec 2, 14, 2:09 am
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You are seriously comparing taxi-ing to the wrong gate to landing on the wrong runway?
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Old Dec 2, 14, 3:05 am
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Originally Posted by 3TEN View Post
Very irresponsible of EVA management to push away all their responsibilities. If the pilot landed on wrong runway, maybe they will blame it on miscommunication by ATC again.
Well if they did it'll be the reverse of SQ Flight 006...
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Old Dec 2, 14, 11:27 am
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Originally Posted by 3TEN View Post
I have submit an official enquiry to CAAS, who is incharge of SIN ATC, and they responded "BR225 was informed of gate D34 upon landing by air traffic control but the pilot had mistakenly taxied towards gate D32 instead". I have no reason to doubt their official response. On the other hand, EVA has so far refused to provide written response to my feedback. Instead, they got their local SIN staff to call me and tried to pretend to close the case.
and what would you do if Eva replied saying there was a miscommunication on SIN ATCs part? Would you shy away from flying out of SIN and take your business to KUL or wherever? Whole line of thinking seems silly and far out of proportion to the perceived issue.

Anyway EVA is generally considered one of the safest carriers and I would not let some completely inconsequential gate mix up effect any ticket buying decisions one way or another.
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Old Dec 2, 14, 2:45 pm
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Cool

Originally Posted by 3TEN View Post
I have submit an official enquiry to CAAS, who is incharge of SIN ATC, and they responded "BR225 was informed of gate D34 upon landing by air traffic control but the pilot had mistakenly taxied towards gate D32 instead". I have no reason to doubt their official response. On the other hand, EVA has so far refused to provide written response to my feedback. Instead, they got their local SIN staff to call me and tried to pretend to close the case.
Something you need to learn about human nature is that if an ambarrassing situation can be blamed on someone else, it will be. You'll never know who is right here because 1) It is an incredibly minor thing and no one is going to waste time reviewing the ATC tapes to check on it and 2) the transmission might have have been slightly garbled as it came over the radio. Frankly, I don't see why you've got your panties in such a twist about it.

Safe travels,

Doc
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Old Dec 2, 14, 8:42 pm
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Yeah it's a very minor issue, I wouldn't worry about it.
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Old Dec 3, 14, 12:40 am
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They're safe for sure.

As for being truthful, does it really matter in this situation?
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Old Dec 3, 14, 4:54 am
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2 and 4 are different even in Singlish

I think you should request Singapore ATC tapes to be sure. Make sure the chain of custody is not compromised and no alteration was made.

We really don't know what happened behind the scenes. In this case, I don't know whose story to believe.

The conventional wisdom is that EVA is an extremely safe airline and rated highly on the safety front. The Evergreen corporate culture is extremely disciplined and holds employees accountable for their actions. If the pilots did make a mistake, reports are written and they would be held accountable.

You have to feel safe when you fly. If you don't feel safe with EVA, fly someone else.

Occasionally, I have pilots in the US domestic routes reporting the wrong destination or time zone. I too wonder how focused they are.
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Old Dec 3, 14, 5:08 pm
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Originally Posted by 3TEN View Post
However, the airline kept blaming SIN ATC and pretended to be the innocent party. Very irresponsible of EVA management to push away all their responsibilities. If the pilot landed on wrong runway, maybe they will blame it on miscommunication by ATC again.

........

In fact for my upcoming trip, I'm paying more to take SQ Y than what EVA is charging for Elite class which is a better hard product.
The fact that you've chosen SQ over BR because you're concerned about a pilot using the wrong runway is quite ironic. It just so happens that SQs only fatal accident (14 years ago) was precisely this problem when the pilot attempted takeoff on a closed runway and the plane hit construction equipment.

I suspect there is a lot more to the behind the scenes with this story than you are aware of, pilots don't just taxi into a gate without assistance. Someone on the ground (rightly or wrongly) had to have guided this plane into D32.
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Old Dec 4, 14, 1:04 am
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Originally Posted by 3TEN View Post
I have submit an official enquiry to CAAS, who is incharge of SIN ATC, and they responded "BR225 was informed of gate D34 upon landing by air traffic control but the pilot had mistakenly taxied towards gate D32 instead". I have no reason to doubt their official response. On the other hand, EVA has so far refused to provide written response to my feedback. Instead, they got their local SIN staff to call me and tried to pretend to close the case.
Honestly, why are you making such a big deal out of this? Pilots and airports get gates wrong all the time. Have you flown around much in the USA? BR is certainly right in their case in not answering to a passenger who is petty. Have you tried getting such answers from say SQ?

At least its just a gate that is next to each other. BR pilot didn't park at the wrong terminal or flew to the wrong airport.

Take a breather. If its such a big deal for you, please go fly SQ. Oh wait.. they did take off from the wrong runway once upon a time ago. Have you forgotten about that?
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Old Dec 4, 14, 2:10 am
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The point that I was trying to highlight isn't just about the safety concern due to pilot taxi into wrong gate, it is about BR's management approach when things gone wrong. Most airlines are extremely safe until accident happened, eg Asiana was deemed as a safe airline prior to the SFO accident. If the management just brushed away safety concerns and don't implement checks, accident is going to happen sooner or later.

At Changi, pilots are supposed to taxi and turn into the assigned gate, and the ground marshaller will operate an electronic display (which is visible to pilot after airplane turns into gate) to guide the pilot on when they should stop the airplane and apply parking break. Gate D32 did not have any flight assigned to it as there weren't any staff and passenger at the gate. Even if there was a ground marshaller operating the electronic display at D32, it doesn't erase the fact that pilot has overshoot (you have to taxi past D34 to get to D32). BR could have responded that they acknowledge the incident and will implement additional checks to eliminate future occurrence. But instead, they blamed it on ATC. You wouldn't believe the initial response from BR on why the pilot continue to taxi all the way into D32 when it was the wrong gate, my jaw almost dropped. They said "our pilot continued to taxi airplane into D32 because he didn't want to block other airplanes".

Thanks Doc Savage, you are so correct about human nature. When I checked in at LAX, I have asked the check-in staff to move me to the bulkhead row for LAX-TPE and TPE-SIN. The answer was "both flights are quite full and no seats in bulkhead row are available". However, when I boarded the flights, load on LAX-TPE was 42/64 (4 out of 8 seats on bulkhead occupied) and TPE-LAX was 23/64 with entire bulkhead row unoccupied. So in the same online feedback, I asked BR why the LAX check-in staff wasn't truthful about the situation, the response was "Our check-in staff did not move you to bulkhead because you did not insist of changing your seat". Wow! Are they suggesting that I can insist on changing my seat even after the airline staff tells me that the flight is full?

BR seem to belongs to the category of airlines that "it is a good airline with good inflight experience if nothing goes wrong, but if something goes wrong, it is always someone else's fault and not due to the airline".

Thanks for the reminder on SQ006, it happened during bad weather and low visibility. SQ admitted their mistake, implemented additional procedures and moved on. While for BR, nothing is their fault and life goes on...
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