Go Back  FlyerTalk Forums > Travel&Dining > TravelBuzz
Reload this Page >

Pre-emptive cancellations

Pre-emptive cancellations

Old Feb 25, 10, 7:34 pm
  #1  
FlyerTalk Evangelist
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Jun 2008
Programs: Formaldehyde Medallion DL DieMiles
Posts: 12,315
Pre-emptive cancellations

First, the disclaimers, so that I don't get slammed.

Yes, we have had some extreme and unusual weather this winter.

No, I don't want airplanes flying when it is unsafe.

Yes, I personally think that it is best that the airlines start canceling flights when it is apparent that certain airports with be significantly impacted by severe weather.

Yes, it is certainly better when the airlines put their weather waivers in place soon enough to allow PAX some opportunity to sanely look for alternative plans.

Now... to the question.

About a week ago, USAToday did an article on the weather, its impact on air travel, and the airlines' response.

The theme of the article was that the airlines are canceling an inordinate number of flights in response to the upcoming DOT tarmac delay rule and the significant fines that airlines are subject to for delays of greater than 3 hours on the tarmac... even though the rule is not in effect yet.

The implication that I believe the "reporter" sought to leave was that the airlines were seeking to show PAX just how much inconvenience the new rule was going to cause, so that PAX put pressure on DOT to reverse itself.

Those of you who have been in the trenches during the last several storms, do you see any reason to believe that the airlines are being over exuberant in their response to the weather?

I don't believe they have, but I'm curious to hear other opinions.

(Posted from home while I await the next foot of snow. )
StayingHomeIsBetter is offline  
Old Feb 25, 10, 7:42 pm
  #2  
 
Join Date: Jul 2004
Location: NYC
Programs: DL DM
Posts: 3,757
B6 cancels flights like it is going out of style...ever since they had the bad PR from that Valentine's Day debacle. Many times they cancel flights that really didn't need to be.

Personally, nothing is worse than a cancelled flight - especially if you need to get somewhere. I prefer to be 5 hours late than cancelled (assuming I need to be somewhere).

The waivers are extremely helpful, but if this fine system really comes into place all airlines are going to have to cancel way too many flights.
FlyAO2 is offline  
Old Feb 25, 10, 8:05 pm
  #3  
 
Join Date: Sep 2002
Location: ATL
Programs: DL SkyMiles, MR, HH, ICH/PC, Avis Pref., Hertz Gold
Posts: 2,897
Butja know, it must be working because there haven't been any "stuck on the tarmac" horror stories as in years past.

I was in the New York area a couple of weeks ago for the Wednesday blizzard, tried to get back to ATL on that Friday when they had their snowlet and I am currently in PHL anxiously awaiting the weather outcome to fly back on Friday. I have become pretty familiar with the situation.

Historically, if there have been a huge backlog of passengers after XLD flights, I have seen DL add extra sections to get things moving again.
keeton is offline  
Old Feb 25, 10, 8:05 pm
  #4  
 
Join Date: Sep 2009
Location: HNL
Programs: DL DM, BW DE (lifetime), HH DE, Marriott PE (lifetime GE), National Emerald Executive
Posts: 6,546
Originally Posted by StayingHomeIsBetter View Post
Those of you who have been in the trenches during the last several storms, do you see any reason to believe that the airlines are being over exuberant in their response to the weather?
Yes, definitely, from my experience with Delta earlier this month.

On February 14th at some unknown time (between 9am and 2pm) the February 15th morning 6am and 7am flights out of DCA to ATL were cancelled (as I understand were if not all then most flights arriving at or departing from ATL before ~10am that morning).

Why? Because of a light drizzle - a lit bit of rain - in ATL. The weather forecasts called for +1C or warmer (above freezing) weather and light rain, yet some hot-shot at DL decided to ground if not all then a lot of flights and make people miss connections.

This is a decision just based on speculation that it could get below 0 degrees that morning - may be, though so wasn't forecasted - and may be a light sprinkle of wet (melting in the air) snow, so let's shut down all operations out of ATL based on that remote (unlikely, but remotely possible) possibility. That's just a bunch of nonsense.

Yes, of course cancel flights if a well known confirmed storm is coming in and there is a high degree of probability of planes not being able to land or take off. But, don't do it just based on some remote possibility - based on just a light drizzle of rain.

DL (and I believe now other airlines also) is certainly being far too overzeaous in cancelling flights (but isn't it that DL has a long history of frequent, often unfounded or unexplained flight cancellations? at least, so searches and various posts online reveal).

And the worst part of it is how DL does not announce the flight cancellation at all. No phone call, no e-mail, nothing.

In my case, I had already checked into the 7am flight for Feb 15th on Feb 14th morning. I just happened to check at some 2pm that day my iteneary to see that the DCA-ATL flight was showing as cancelled, but no rebooking done, nothing. Took me two phone calls to get it set - via MSP (-14C and snowing like crazy, but all operating normally with just slight de-icing delays) was no go as full, but I got on the 8am flight DCA-ATL giving me some 40 minutes connection time. But, it was impossible to check in online or even for the agent to give me a seat assignment though seats were available and both I and the agents could see it. So, I just got on standby onto the 8am flight (what happened to priority standby for Platinums, I asked? they just laughed at me and said it's never been a real feature).

Same as online check-in no go upon reissued ticket (I was told it's a well known bug by "web support" and that "I deal with like a 100 of this exact problem each day" - that after checked in if any changes and ticket reissued, can not check in and print BP again). At the airport also no way to even print the "seat request card" from the machine and agents don't know how to make it work.

DL seems to be overly zealous to cancel flights left and right just upon a light drizzle of rain, yet it's IT is clearly not able to accommodate such things.

1. No way to change flights online (when I tried to do it, it would only allow me to change the ATL-HNL portion - thinking that I am in ATL somehow and have already "flown" the cancelled DCA-ATL portion, as was later confirmed to me: if a flight is cancelled and you were checked into it, the delta.dumb/DeltaManiac system will "think" that you have already flown it; also had the same problem with CPT-ATL was cancelled and no agent could help as they said that "you are already in Atlanta").

2. No way to check in online or even at the kiosk for reissued tickets due to weather/cancellations (or PU503 upgraded tickets or...). Need to line up for agents who are also not trained and don't really know what to do in such cases.

The whole system for DL seems to be designed on purpose to inconvenience the passanger as much as possible: no automatic rebooking, no even notification of flight cancellation, no online flight changes allowed (even for simple domestic itenearies), and no online or kiosk checkin if you were lucky and checked your iteneary and found that it is cancelled and got it reticketed by calling.

Truly worst in class.

This just compounds it and makes it far worse, but back to the original question: DL, at least from my (limited) experience earlier this month has been definitely overly zealous in cancelling flights based on speculative, questioanble and very distant probability of possibly unfavourable weather.

I would much rather be stuck in a plane for a few hours longer and be slightly late than have to get the rental car back, book extra night hotel and go through the hassle of having my work (or vacation) schedule all messed up (and likely also losing out on sleep and work). Esp. given that to a lot of key destinations DL only has one daily flight (sometimes even less than that), so when you miss it you really miss it by 24 hours; it's not like you can fly just sometime later the same day.

Now if DL feels the need to cancel flights overzeaously, then why not send more extra plane afterwards to accommodate all the passangers? I've never, not once, seen DL do it. Even if a flight is canceled and the next scheduled one on the route is 48 hours later DL won't even bother to add in an extra aircraft (or reschedule people on non-DL SkyTeam flights: apparently that is "not possible, the computer won't let us do that").

Last edited by RealHJ; Feb 25, 10 at 8:14 pm
RealHJ is offline  
Old Feb 25, 10, 8:16 pm
  #5  
Suspended
 
Join Date: Aug 2008
Location: SE US
Programs: Duke of Bombay, Delta Ham Sandwich tm, Delta's Glitch
Posts: 4,201
Originally Posted by RealHJ View Post

And the worst part of it is how DL does not announce the flight cancellation at all. No phone call, no e-mail, nothing.
You lose any credability with this statement....
Thomas Hudson is offline  
Old Feb 25, 10, 8:17 pm
  #6  
 
Join Date: Feb 2003
Location: HKY
Programs: DL-DM MM & RW, UAL- PS, Marriott Lifetime PLT, SPG-PLT, Hilton-Gold
Posts: 4,468
Originally Posted by RealHJ View Post

And the worst part of it is how DL does not announce the flight cancellation at all. No phone call, no e-mail, nothing.
Wrong. I have flown or tried to fly 4 to six segments a week, every week since the first of the year. I've hit every storm on the east coast and in every case I've received emails AND phone calls

Originally Posted by RealHJ View Post
DL, at least from my (limited) experience earlier this month has been definitely overly zealous in cancelling flights based on speculative, questioanble and very distant probability of possibly unfavourable weather.
Ever heard the term "flow control" which is mandated by the FAA. If not try searching this forum for the term.
longing4piedmont is offline  
Old Feb 25, 10, 8:49 pm
  #7  
 
Join Date: Sep 2009
Location: HNL
Programs: DL DM, BW DE (lifetime), HH DE, Marriott PE (lifetime GE), National Emerald Executive
Posts: 6,546
Originally Posted by Thomas Hudson View Post
You lose any credability with this statement....
That coming from a poster with zero credibility.

One can argue the facts and try to pretend that the truth isn't true, but - newsflash - that does not change the truth.

The only notification I got was some 6-8 hours later getting the new flights saying "we rebooked you, these your new flights" type of a thing -- but that some 6-8 hours after I had to call to do that and there being no notification of the cancellation. The notificationly only comes a good few hours later after one calls to rebook.
RealHJ is offline  
Old Feb 25, 10, 8:52 pm
  #8  
 
Join Date: Sep 2009
Location: HNL
Programs: DL DM, BW DE (lifetime), HH DE, Marriott PE (lifetime GE), National Emerald Executive
Posts: 6,546
Originally Posted by longing4piedmont View Post
Wrong. I have flown or tried to fly 4 to six segments a week, every week since the first of the year. I've hit every storm on the east coast and in every case I've received emails AND phone calls
Delta seems to have two sets of standards then. Somehow "magically" everyone in and around ATL gets additional benefits and services that others (not in or around ATL) do not get. Seriously. As a non-scientific sample observation (personal, subjective) from FT.

Always the Deltaholics will somehow get the "features" that no one else gets, and those Deltaholics are typically in and around ATL predominantly.

Odd...and inexplicable to me. Seems like double standards and DL treating people who do not absolutely worship it and say that it's the best in every shape and form markedly worse.. or may be I am just reading into that too much, but it sure seems like it. (That to get some basic services and features that on any other respectable airline every customer gets, one has to worship DL in order to get it. Anyone who has an independent mind and constructive criticism and opinions that do not absolutely worship DL seems to be automatically disqualified and treated worse. And I note yet again: subjective, seems so by reading FT and the Deltaholic vs. the general FT members posts.)
RealHJ is offline  
Old Feb 25, 10, 8:53 pm
  #9  
 
Join Date: Feb 2003
Location: HKY
Programs: DL-DM MM & RW, UAL- PS, Marriott Lifetime PLT, SPG-PLT, Hilton-Gold
Posts: 4,468
Originally Posted by RealHJ View Post
That coming from a poster with zero credibility.

One can argue the facts and try to pretend that the truth isn't true, but - newsflash - that does not change the truth.

The only notification I got was some 6-8 hours later getting the new flights saying "we rebooked you, these your new flights" type of a thing -- but that some 6-8 hours after I had to call to do that and there being no notification of the cancellation. The notificationly only comes a good few hours later after one calls to rebook.
Wrong again.
longing4piedmont is offline  
Old Feb 25, 10, 8:56 pm
  #10  
 
Join Date: Feb 2003
Location: HKY
Programs: DL-DM MM & RW, UAL- PS, Marriott Lifetime PLT, SPG-PLT, Hilton-Gold
Posts: 4,468
Originally Posted by RealHJ View Post
Always the Deltaholics will somehow get the "features" that no one else gets, and those Deltaholics are typically in and around ATL predominantly.
You would do well to leave the inflammatory comments out of your post. No one is defending DL in these post....just stating the real facts and not looking for a scape goat behind every issue.
longing4piedmont is offline  
Old Feb 25, 10, 9:07 pm
  #11  
Suspended
 
Join Date: Aug 2008
Location: SE US
Programs: Duke of Bombay, Delta Ham Sandwich tm, Delta's Glitch
Posts: 4,201
Originally Posted by RealHJ View Post
Delta seems to have two sets of standards then. Somehow "magically" everyone in and around ATL gets additional benefits and services that others (not in or around ATL) do not get. Seriously. As a non-scientific sample observation (personal, subjective) from FT.

Always the Deltaholics will somehow get the "features" that no one else gets, and those Deltaholics are typically in and around ATL predominantly.

Odd...and inexplicable to me. Seems like double standards and DL treating people who do not absolutely worship it and say that it's the best in every shape and form markedly worse.. or may be I am just reading into that too much, but it sure seems like it. (That to get some basic services and features that on any other respectable airline every customer gets, one has to worship DL in order to get it. Anyone who has an independent mind and constructive criticism and opinions that do not absolutely worship DL seems to be automatically disqualified and treated worse. And I note yet again: subjective, seems so by reading FT and the Deltaholic vs. the general FT members posts.)
You continue to lose credability....
Thomas Hudson is offline  
Old Feb 25, 10, 9:20 pm
  #12  
 
Join Date: Sep 2009
Location: HNL
Programs: DL DM, BW DE (lifetime), HH DE, Marriott PE (lifetime GE), National Emerald Executive
Posts: 6,546
Originally Posted by longing4piedmont View Post
You would do well to leave the inflammatory comments out of your post. No one is defending DL in these post....just stating the real facts and not looking for a scape goat behind every issue.
Right, that is what I am doing. Stating the real facts - as I said from my one experience. Exactly how it happened.

As you are saying "wrong" then clearly it can be only one thing: you work at Delta and have proof that you (Delta) actually sent the e-mail and called me, though I never got any such e-mail or phone call (not until some 6-8 hours after I called to rebook after noticing it myself and had to call a few times to get it reticketed). OK fine. Then please present what you are basing this "wrong" on, as clearly (based on what you say and how you say it), you are a Delta employee with access to see what e-maile have been sent out and calls made.

But unless you have some evidence to prove what you are saying, and if you have nothing constructive to say and just make a fool of yourself disputing the facts and providing some alternate universe theory (though you have no proof of what you are saying and it's all just in your head), then perhaps just try not to say anything.
RealHJ is offline  
Old Feb 25, 10, 9:24 pm
  #13  
 
Join Date: Oct 2006
Programs: AA EXP
Posts: 1,612
Originally Posted by RealHJ View Post
the Deltaholics
those Deltaholics
Deltaholic vs. the general FT members posts.
Isn't name calling and labeling a lot of fun?
dickinson is offline  
Old Feb 25, 10, 9:30 pm
  #14  
 
Join Date: Sep 2009
Location: HNL
Programs: DL DM, BW DE (lifetime), HH DE, Marriott PE (lifetime GE), National Emerald Executive
Posts: 6,546
Originally Posted by dickinson View Post
Isn't name calling and labeling a lot of fun?
It is apparently on FT, esp. when some have had far too much of the proverbial Delta Koolaid. And also by frustrated real customers.

Let's look at some of the commonly used terms here:
delta.dumb (#1 by far)
DeltaMoronic
DeltaTragic
SkyPiles
SkyPesos
ZimMiles (newly introduced)
...and so on and on.
RealHJ is offline  
Old Feb 25, 10, 9:31 pm
  #15  
 
Join Date: Feb 2003
Location: HKY
Programs: DL-DM MM & RW, UAL- PS, Marriott Lifetime PLT, SPG-PLT, Hilton-Gold
Posts: 4,468
Originally Posted by RealHJ View Post
But unless you have some evidence to prove what you are saying, and if you have not hing constructive to say, then perhaps just try not to say anything.
I'm going to suggest again that you research the term "flow control".

You also do not understand that it cost Delta millions in lost revenue and additional cost every time one of these events occur, with planes out of position, crews out of position, extra man hours, etc.

So again, before you continue to suggest others do not have the facts, you would be well served to research before posting.

And one more piece of advice. It is apparent others are getting notifications. if you are not, there is a reason as it could be in your profile or other reasons. Your time would be well spent contacting Delta to inquire as to why that is rather than spending the time posting here.

Originally Posted by RealHJ View Post
Then please present what you are basing this "wrong" on, as clearly (based on what you say and how you say it), you are a Delta employee with access to see what e-maile have been sent out and calls made.
And just for the record you could not be more wrong again and comments like these really do impact your credibility. Resorting to name calling and wild actuations with no basis in fact do not serve you well.
longing4piedmont is offline  

Thread Tools
Search this Thread
Search Engine: