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Windy Cusco ??!!

Windy Cusco ??!!

Old May 30, 2016, 9:46 am
  #1  
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Windy Cusco ??!!

Just back home after a lovely trip to Peru. Flew in from CUZ and are very annoyed that our luggage was purposely not loaded by Avianca.

Luggage for ALL passengers was not loaded for that flight because of "wind factor". We were told it was the pilot's decision. I find this arbitrary decision weak to say the least. It was a sunny, beautiful day in CUZ with nary a breeze.

When Avianca flight AV 830 landed, it took just a few minutes for pax to deplane before we, Lima-bound pax boarded. I was surprised and remarked to my husband that we'd probably be on a less than clean plane! I did not think there would have been time for cleaning, for refuelling, etc.

Upon arrival in LIM, an airport employee directed us to carousel #4. While all pax congregated around the conveyor belt, an Avianca rep at a desk nearby, picked up a weak microphone and, speaking in spitfire Spanish, asked pax to come to her desk. She was barely audible and I figured I should go check it out. A male pax beat me to it and as I listened in dismay about what was transpiring, I beckoned to my husband who was waiting patiently by the conveyor belt.

The Avianca rep at LIM airport explained that the "wind factor" at CUZ causes frequent disruptions of this nature! BUT, there was no announcement by the airline prior to departure that our luggage would be deliberately left behind on the sole decision of the pilot.

As we left, the line to the Avianca desk had picked up but there were still quite a few standing by the conveyor belt. We dutifully informed them to join the other queue as nobody's luggage was on that flight.

Questions:

Has this kind of problem happened to any of you FT'ers?

Are you aware that CUZ is notorious for frequent disruptions of this type?

Can an airline legally leave behind checked passengers' luggage without first notifying them?
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Old May 30, 2016, 9:52 am
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I have had something of this nature before at TXL (Berlin), where luggage was not offloaded from the plane due to winds. Apparently this has something to do with the safety of the baggage handlers, since the hinges on the baggage hold doors are not secure at certain windspeeds and could blow off and hit them. Luggage was left on the plane overnight and eventually delivered to my home address.
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Old May 30, 2016, 10:56 am
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I just phoned Avianca office to check on the status of the luggage. I am now told the luggage was not loaded because of "WEIGHT factor"! As I said, it was a beautiful sunny day in CUZ.
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Old May 30, 2016, 11:17 am
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Out of interest, what was the operating a/c type, estimated passenger load, and more importantly, the ambient air temperature? CUZ is high altitude (3,310m ASL) so if it's hot, and wind direction isn't right, a/c may be weight limited on takeoff.

Same thing happens in JNB (which is at ~1/2 the altitude) and ME airports (which are at sea level) when it's hot, although generally to a/c operating long-haul flights.

Not quite the same experience as you but we flew CUZ-LIM-CUZ a couple of years ago. Outbound was fast (due to right wind directions at takeoff and landing), but the return flight seemed to chug all the way back to LIM (but our bags were onboard). Difference? A319 taking off at SL and A320 taking off from CUZ. The A319 has a better power/weight ratio than the A320 too.

Last edited by YVR Cockroach; May 30, 2016 at 11:25 am
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Old May 30, 2016, 11:39 pm
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Wow, definitely shocking to hear this. I hope it did work alright for you.

Have you tried asking for compensation? Unfortunately, rules for Avianca and other carriers are not that clear to me, because we don't even have a centralized agency that looks out for airlines (like you have the DOT in the US).
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Old May 30, 2016, 11:44 pm
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I was told they avoid afternoon flights due to higher temperatures and subsequent lift problems, but that was a few years ago.
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Old May 31, 2016, 7:13 am
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Originally Posted by YVR Cockroach
Out of interest, what was the operating a/c type, estimated passenger load, and more importantly, the ambient air temperature? CUZ is high altitude (3,310m ASL) so if it's hot, and wind direction isn't right, a/c may be weight limited on takeoff.

Same thing happens in JNB (which is at ~1/2 the altitude) and ME airports (which are at sea level) when it's hot, although generally to a/c operating long-haul flights.

Not quite the same experience as you but we flew CUZ-LIM-CUZ a couple of years ago. Outbound was fast (due to right wind directions at takeoff and landing), but the return flight seemed to chug all the way back to LIM (but our bags were onboard). Difference? A319 taking off at SL and A320 taking off from CUZ. The A319 has a better power/weight ratio than the A320 too.
It was an A319 with around 85-90% load - there were 11 of us in J Class, one seat being vacant. Temperature was around 20-21 C. (I believe the high for that day was around 22 C.)
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Old May 31, 2016, 8:33 am
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Originally Posted by MTC

Are you aware that CUZ is notorious for frequent disruptions of this type?
Yes it is, I had a crazy windy departure from CUZ, it has regular disruptions but so many flights that it is not really an issue. It is most unnecessary though for you to not be told. It's not like they did not know.

If the captain decides that he needs to depart lighter then that is good enough for me but obviously communication is key. For you to be directed to a carousel in LIM is ridiculous

Originally Posted by Doc Savage
I was told they avoid afternoon flights due to higher temperatures and subsequent lift problems, but that was a few years ago.
I don't think the A319 has hot and high issues as such. I was thinking about this at BOG a couple of weeks ago as I thundered down the runway on a long take off roll on an AA B738 that was half empty. "Never had this issue in Colombia or Peru on an A319" I thought to myself.
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Old Jun 1, 2016, 6:55 am
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Originally Posted by joseeantonior
Wow, definitely shocking to hear this. I hope it did work alright for you.

Have you tried asking for compensation? Unfortunately, rules for Avianca and other carriers are not that clear to me, because we don't even have a centralized agency that looks out for airlines (like you have the DOT in the US).
I am more upset by the way Avianca treated its customers. They have not been forthright. The decision to deliberately withhold our luggage should have been communicated to us. The duty of good airlines would be to take the hassle out of travelling, to make it an enjoyable experience.

Finally, when it comes to air travel, I am thankful I have a choice in carriers.
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Old Jun 1, 2016, 6:47 pm
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Originally Posted by MTC
I am more upset by the way Avianca treated its customers. They have not been forthright. The decision to deliberately withhold our luggage should have been communicated to us. The duty of good airlines would be to take the hassle out of travelling, to make it an enjoyable experience.

Finally, when it comes to air travel, I am thankful I have a choice in carriers.
What happened at the end? When did your stuff arrive? Did they bring it to your hotel, or did you have to go back to the airport?
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Old Jun 2, 2016, 7:43 am
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Originally Posted by KLouis
What happened at the end? When did your stuff arrive? Did they bring it to your hotel, or did you have to go back to the airport?
Delivered 2 days later.
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