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JFK-BOS "Shuttle" - more E190 tales of woe

JFK-BOS "Shuttle" - more E190 tales of woe

Old Jul 17, 06, 4:53 pm
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JFK-BOS "Shuttle" - more E190 tales of woe

Chose B6 for a last minute trip to BOS this w/end, and it seems that there are a few kinks still being dealt with.

OUTBOUND - Fri - Flt 1016 - leaving JFK 18:40 - Apparently they fly the same E190s back and forth to Boston all day. Problem is that delays just compound as the day goes on - even with absolutely no adverse weather. In this case, the damage was not terrible, but inbound landed at about the time we were meant to depart. By the time we pushed back (about 30 minutes late), we had over 40 planes in front of us in the queue - that is prime time for transatlantic departures, and guess which planes get priortity? Not a little E190 going to Boston! Take-off was about 40 minutes after pushback.

Landed Boston approximately one hour late. Not dreadful, but that plane which landed at 21:15 was meant to be the 20:45 departure! I think they need to rethink this strategy, because if they cannot get their scheduled JFK departure out before 19:00 on a regular basis, then these late day flights are bound to seriously hurt the on-time record each and every day.

RETURN - Sun - Flt 1021 - leaving BOS 20:45 - This one was interesting. I got to the gate at 20:15 to find they 19:50 flight still posted. Checked the monitor and found that our flight was scheduled to depart before theirs! There was a complex chain of events here. Apparently 1014, which was supposed to be their plane, was delayed from taking off from JFK by a whopping 5 hours! (Don't know why, but I'm thinking something mechanical! No other JFK departures had nearly such delays.) Anyway, they were waiting on an IAD inbound which was going to serve as their sub plane, but IT was also delayed.

So in any event, they were going to let the 20:45 flight go ahead of the 19:50 flight. Well, that started a near riot in the gate from the pax on the earlier flight. (I don't know why they did it, but I guess ops has their reasons!) In the end, they did ask for 13 volunteers from the "later" flight to get pax with JFK connections onto the "later" flight, which would in fact leave earlier.

So getting the volunteers and stand-bys situated took a bit of time, and we finally pushed back around 21:30. Then the fun began. After pushback, they tried to start the engines and all of the power went out. It turns out that the auxiliary power unit blew. They got it restarted, but that caused the navigation computer to fail. They tried a "soft reboot" (which failed), then pushed us back to the gate so mechanics could come on board for a "hard reboot". That did the trick, and 45 mins later we finally pushed back AGAIN, to arrive 1h17 late at JFK (and still 30 mins ahead of the "earlier" flight).

Bottom line: It looks like there continue to be some lingering reliability issues on these pups, and with low numbers of equip, the ability to sub to stay on (or near) schedule is very minimal.

Interesting aside: I don't know if they are short on galley storage, but the FA stored a big bag of blue chips on a sort of shelf behind 25C. Result: The passenger tried (during the long delay) to recline his seat, but couldn't (he didn't realize why) and in the process crushed all of the blue chips, so we all ate crumbs! Really cool idea!
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Old Jul 17, 06, 4:59 pm
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Originally Posted by Paulo
Problem is that delays just compound as the day goes on - even with absolutely no adverse weather. In this case, the damage was not terrible, but inbound landed at about the time we were meant to depart.

Checked the monitor and found that our flight was scheduled to depart before theirs! There was a complex chain of events here.

And that's different than any other airline... how? Your experience is fairly typical of anyone who flies RJ's up and down the East Coast lately... what you're describing here are FAA/congestion/typical issues... nothing unique to B6.

At least B6 makes the otherwise painful delays somewhat bearable!
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Old Jul 17, 06, 5:16 pm
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Originally Posted by cptlflyer
And that's different than any other airline... how? Your experience is fairly typical of anyone who flies RJ's up and down the East Coast lately... what you're describing here are FAA/congestion/typical issues... nothing unique to B6.

At least B6 makes the otherwise painful delays somewhat bearable!
Couldn't agree more! Just a little note though: the E190 is not classified as a RJ - it has 100 seats, a greater range and is much more comfortable.

Anyone wanna make a friendly bet on how long before sulsk comments on this thread with something like "oy vey, another dreadful JFK-BOS delay on jetBlue"?????????

Irregular ops happen all the time in the industry - fortunately, though, jetBlue handles most situations better than others. I was once on a SEA-JFK redeye and the flight was delayed 2 hours (not a big deal at all and definitely better to arrive JFK at 9am than 7am) but because it was mechanical - the crew at SEA handed out $50 vouchers to everyone on the flight...in addition, of course to the complimentary snacks and beverages set up by the gate area for everyone.
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Old Jul 17, 06, 6:59 pm
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Apologies for the 'RJ' slur. And I agree that irregular ops happen to everybody. But the fact that at least two of only about 15 E190s in the fleet had delay-causing mechanical issues yesterday indicates that the performance problems have not yet subsided.

Further, unlike the DL and US shuttles, B6 does not have aircraft in reserve to deal with these issues and save passengers from long delays and/or misconnects.

It is a comfortable aircraft. I won't deny that. But the performance issues continue to be a serious problem which is impacting passenger attitudes. (You shoulda heard the rage at BOS yesterday. Several pax just threw in the towel, cancelled their trips, and asked for refunds. I doubt most of those will be back.)
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Old Jul 17, 06, 8:29 pm
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Originally Posted by Paulo
Apologies for the 'RJ' slur. And I agree that irregular ops happen to everybody. But the fact that at least two of only about 15 E190s in the fleet had delay-causing mechanical issues yesterday indicates that the performance problems have not yet subsided.

Further, unlike the DL and US shuttles, B6 does not have aircraft in reserve to deal with these issues and save passengers from long delays and/or misconnects.
Again, you're comparing E190's to mainline US/DL service. While it has been noted here that 190's aren't considered RJ's... that may be true from B6's perspective, but I can assure you that as far as ATC is concerned, they'll hold an E190 to let a 737 go through.
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Old Jul 18, 06, 8:22 am
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Jet Blue does have spare aircraft around - but I don't think Boston is one of the cities where they are kept. I know JFK and FLL have at least one full time spare. Even the majors don't keep spares everywhere.

As for ATC holding back an E190 for a 737 - that is just odd. As long as there are no ground stops and the departure routing is fine, they are put into sequence as they call for taxi. I have never heard the tower tell a smaller jet that they are being held to get a larger aircraft out.
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Old Jul 18, 06, 10:45 am
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Originally Posted by kennedytower
Jet Blue does have spare aircraft around - but I don't think Boston is one of the cities where they are kept. I know JFK and FLL have at least one full time spare. Even the majors don't keep spares everywhere.
I know that they say they have spares. But it doesn't explain why 1014 JFK-BOS was delayed by 5 hours. Perhaps the spare was busy that day.
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Old Jul 18, 06, 12:33 pm
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There are only a very few amount of E190's in the Jetblue system, yet they are used quite heavily. If I'm not mistaken, the've been used on routes from JFK to AUS, BOS, BUF, BTV, MCO, RIC, and SYR amongst others out of JFK and BOS. Do they have any have any "spares" are this point?
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Old Jul 18, 06, 11:07 pm
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Originally Posted by Paulo
Further, unlike the DL and US shuttles, B6 does not have aircraft in reserve to deal with these issues and save passengers from long delays and/or misconnects.
Dunno about DL, but US stopped the spare practice when they stopped keeping a dedicated subfleet for the shuttle.
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Old Jul 19, 06, 3:43 pm
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The problem is that all of the 190s have to transfer thru JFK or BOS. Therefor if either city is having delays, which has been the issue this summer with the horrible northeastern weather, it will back up the entire system of 190s. We don't have a dedicated 190 shuttle fleet either. I believe that only 1 or 2 aircraft shuttle back and forth, the rest of the fleet that fly between JFK and BOS come in from other 190 cities.

Unfortunatly the maintenance problems associated with the 190s aren't completely solved. We are still working with Embraer to solve the necessity of a "full reboot" of the software after a power failure. Fortunatly those major issues are becoming few and far between. I'm very sorry your flights where extremely delayed It is truely not how we wish our operation to run. Hopefully we can come up with a better solution.

Unfortunatly with Tropical Storm Beryl making a B-Line for Long Island and the Boston Area, operations are possibly going to be majorly affected towards the end of the week.
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Old Jul 19, 06, 7:11 pm
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Unfortunatly the maintenance problems associated with the 190s aren't completely solved. We are still working with Embraer to solve the necessity of a "full reboot" of the software after a power failure.
It has certainly been taking a long time to correct this problem. We experienced an aborted take-off on a JetBlue BOS-JFK flight last OCT, due to a software problem. We had to wait an hour back at the gate for a phone call to Brazil and a reboot of the system.

We now take AMTRAK for Boston-NYC trips. We get to Penn Station faster than flying JetBlue.
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Old Jul 19, 06, 7:42 pm
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Originally Posted by lost*in*cyberspace
It has certainly been taking a long time to correct this problem. We experienced an aborted take-off on a JetBlue BOS-JFK flight last OCT, due to a software problem. We had to wait an hour back at the gate for a phone call to Brazil and a reboot of the system.

We now take AMTRAK for Boston-NYC trips. We get to Penn Station faster than flying JetBlue.
Impossible, because the BOS-JFK flights on jetBlue did not commence until 11/8/2005, so your flight could not have been in Oct. Also, jetBlue's first E190 was not in commercial revenue use in Oct either. And even if you were on an A320, they would not have called Brazil - maybe France.

Nonetheless, it has been taking a long time to correct this problem, but there is not "specific" problem. Most delays are due to terrible weather in the cities jetBlue serves, but for the delays that do have technical issues, it was known this would happen due to the brand new aircraft. JetBlue took on a big responsibility of introducing the E190 and along with all the excitement that comes with being a launch customer, comes some difficulties. However, great progress has certainly been made. It's taking a while...but there are many less of these issues today than say 5 months ago. Remember, "Rome wasn't built in a day!"

Sorry to hear about your delayed JFK-BOS flight. It's too bad you won't give jetBlue another chance...I find it to be A LOT CHEAPER and MORE COMFORTABLE and usually, if all goes well, FASTER and always SAFER than taking a train. At least give Delta or US Airways shuttle a try into LGA. I obviously prefer jetBlue...but either way, planes are faster than trains...and better too!
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Old Jul 19, 06, 8:29 pm
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Originally Posted by jetBlueNYFL
IMost delays are due to terrible weather in the cities jetBlue serves
That combined with the fact that B6 have very little slack in their schedules and/or very little reserve capacity. Thus, delays early in the day can easily cascade to very long delays by the end of the day.

planes are faster than trains
Well, that depends, and BOS-NYC is one of the few markets in the country where that's true. From Downtown to Midtown:

By plane, you need to budget at least 1 hour to get to Logan, through security, and boarded (and that's cutting it pretty tight), 1:15 flight time, and ~1 hour from JFK to Midtown (40 min from LGA).
Total time ~3 hours if you're very lucky with traffic from the airport.
Total for a random day in August (1 mo. ahead of time): $125 ($70 flight + $55 taxi).

By train, say 15 minutes to South Station, 3:30 on the train (during which time you can work), and you're there.
Total time ~4 hours, no worries about traffic.
Total price ~$80.

You can, of course, trade time for money here if you like (A train or M60 = < $, > time; helicopter = >>>$, <<time).

My point here is that for BOS-NYC, the train/plane question is not clear cut. Now, we're usually headed for Brooklyn which heavily tilts toward the plane...

Michael
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Old Jul 20, 06, 10:03 pm
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yes...

I agree that Jetblue still has a few problems with the EMB-190... I received another $50 voucher in June because of an EMB-190 running tech after heading all the way out to R/W31... finally a sub has to bring in.

I believe that Jetblue actually is keeping a few spare around, due to the continuous teething problems with EMB-190s... JFK definitely has a spare sitting out there, and sometimes I see an EMB-190 sitting at one of the empty gates at BOS. Last time in June, when my plane went mx, they were able to bring out a spare within ten and fifteen minutes. It is like 6pm on a Sunday night.

However, I agree that Jetblue really needs to push Embraer harder to get this issue resolved. $50 voucher is cool, but then being delayed for a few hours is not fun. When it happened the fourth or fifth time, it is tiring. If folks are catching International flights at either ends (BOS or JFK, and soon IAD), I recommend you allowing at least five hours bubbles... to avoid any unpleasant happenings.

Carfield
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Old Jul 21, 06, 6:00 am
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oy vey, another dreadful JFK-BOS delay on jetBlue????????


So, who wins the bet?

See, I have a sense of humor...
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