Nonscheduled stop to refuel

Old May 27, 13, 10:48 pm
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Nonscheduled stop to refuel

My sister and brother in law were flying on United Express operated by Express Jet today from MKE to IAH. The pilots landed the plane in Springfield, IL with no prior explanation until on the ground when they said that they needed to get more fuel. As a result, my sister and brother in law missed their connection home to SFO. They were given food and hotel vouchers. Anyone have any other suggestions on how to deal with this? Should they ask for additional compensation? Thanks for the suggestions.
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Old May 27, 13, 10:55 pm
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sorry to hear what happened...i have experienced this 3x since last nov on the iad-cos skywest flight.....the upside was IT WAS ANNOUNCED PRIOR TO DEPARTURE and a few did elect to get off and go on the last flight to denver and call it even, since we were told of the extra stop in kansas city twice and wichita the last time i did not expect any compensation even though we were told by the folks in kansas city that we should go to ual.com/appreciation prior to the gate agent pulling the jet bridge(nice gesture on their part). ual should have announced it prior to departure to give them a opportunity to either rebook thru ord/den if seats were available or start fresh tomorrow....
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Old May 27, 13, 11:20 pm
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i would have to imagine this had to do with the large mass of thunderstorms moving across the central US today, but who knows. if you write in and mention the time loss and inconvenience you will probably get a voucher or some miles for each affected pax. i am quite surprised the plane didnt have the range to make this trip without the stop, unless the weather really got dicey between takeoff and landing, but based on the flight plan out of MKE it looks like the stop was somewhat planned.

the total distance traversed with the diversion was 735 to SGF and 690 from there to IAH.

ACEY 4163 for those interested in checking the flight path.
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Old May 27, 13, 11:56 pm
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Originally Posted by ddrost1 View Post
the total distance traversed with the diversion was 735 to SGF and 690 from there to IAH.
To spare some others from head scratching, also note that SGF is in Missouri, not Illinois.
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Old May 27, 13, 11:57 pm
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Originally Posted by Tonys1234 View Post
My sister and brother in law were flying on United Express operated by Express Jet today from MKE to IAH. The pilots landed the plane in Springfield, IL with no prior explanation until on the ground when they said that they needed to get more fuel. As a result, my sister and brother in law missed their connection home to SFO. They were given food and hotel vouchers. Anyone have any other suggestions on how to deal with this? Should they ask for additional compensation? Thanks for the suggestions.
Welcome to posting to Flyertalk. I always err on the side of empathy to passengers trying to use the system for maximal convenience and efficiency, as well as fairness. Sorry they got burned. But, I have a query: If they are in Milwaukee and hoping to get to San Francisco, why not consider splurging for the ground transportation to Chicago and getting on one of the dozens of flights to San Francisco (ORD-SFO)? United alone has 18 non-stops a day. American 7. Virgin 4. One could even go over to Midway and grab Southwest.

So flying on a pathway form Milwaukee--Houston--San Francisco? That's either a mileage run (in FT lingo---for miles) or a major economic windfall, perhaps from the internet, that is unfortunately balanced by the risk by donating one's time in transit and all the risks of what happened with connecting, etc.

Or there may simply be other factors in their routing decision that I am simply unaware of.

It's barely 70 miles from Milwaukee to O'Hare by Interstate 294. Something to consider in the future, I think. Still, I have sympathy for the problem that your relatives endured. Hopefully, their personal time spent in travel is worth effort in being spent in a less circuitous routing in the future.
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Old May 28, 13, 12:46 am
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Originally Posted by FullFare View Post

So flying on a pathway form Milwaukee--Houston--San Francisco? That's either a mileage run (in FT lingo---for miles) or a major economic windfall, perhaps from the internet, that is unfortunately balanced by the risk by donating one's time in transit and all the risks of what happened with connecting, etc.

Or there may simply be other factors in their routing decision that I am simply unaware of.
It shouldn't matter. Plenty of people, especially here on FT of all places, do not take the shortest distance between two points. There are a myriad of reasons why, from mileage run to price to choice of carrier to liking to fly and wanting to see the country from a RJ... whatever it is the fact remains that they were trying to fly from MKE to SFO and something went wrong. "Next time drive to ORD and fly" is certainly one piece of advice, but not really relevant to the query which is legitimate IMHO.
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Old May 28, 13, 1:01 am
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Originally Posted by FullFare View Post
So flying on a pathway form Milwaukee--Houston--San Francisco? That's either a mileage run (in FT lingo---for miles) or a major economic windfall, perhaps from the internet, that is unfortunately balanced by the risk by donating one's time in transit and all the risks of what happened with connecting, etc.

Or there may simply be other factors in their routing decision that I am simply unaware of.
Thanks for the input. As people who travel this route several times a year, I would imagine there is some rational to their flight choices.
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Old May 28, 13, 5:17 am
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Originally Posted by Tonys1234 View Post
My sister and brother in law were flying on United Express operated by Express Jet today from MKE to IAH. The pilots landed the plane in Springfield, IL with no prior explanation until on the ground when they said that they needed to get more fuel. As a result, my sister and brother in law missed their connection home to SFO. They were given food and hotel vouchers. Anyone have any other suggestions on how to deal with this? Should they ask for additional compensation? Thanks for the suggestions.
the diversion was actually to Springfield, Missouri (Ksfg)
the cruise level for the flight between mke-sfg and mke-iah was at 24,000 . lower than the planned 36000. something caused that. either strong winds aloft (very possible with the weather system over the central US or some mechanical consideration.

bottom line - poor communication on the flight crew's part

http://flightaware.com/live/flight/A.../KSGF/tracklog

Last edited by Wildfan88; May 28, 13 at 5:19 am Reason: added link
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Old May 28, 13, 7:32 am
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Based on the fact you went from Milwaukee to Springfield at 36,000 feet and the Springfield to Houston at 24,000 feet, if I was a betting man, I'd say that you had a pack failure (pressurization and air conditioning module) during the segment from Mileaukee to Springfield. That results in a service ceiling limit of 24,000 feet and on any plane, 747 down to Cessna, you have planned gate fuel on an 800 mile flight into headwinds and after take off need to cruise 12,000 feet lower than planned, you're going to struggle to make it with the fuel they loaded.
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Old May 29, 13, 3:24 am
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Originally Posted by FullFare View Post
Or there may simply be other factors in their routing decision that I am simply unaware of.
I wouldn't assume anything, .bomb offers really weird routing, often not even offering the most obvious, and most convenient routes sometimes. Or even when it does, the routing it offered via IAH may have been significantly cheaper.

-David
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Old May 29, 13, 3:29 am
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Originally Posted by LIH Prem View Post
I wouldn't assume anything, .bomb offers really weird routing, often not even offering the most obvious, and most convenient routes sometimes. Or even when it does, the routing it offered via IAH may have been significantly cheaper.

-David
.sux sure as hell does.
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Old May 29, 13, 4:17 am
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Originally Posted by Hammer0425 View Post
Based on the fact you went from Milwaukee to Springfield at 36,000 feet and the Springfield to Houston at 24,000 feet, if I was a betting man, I'd say that you had a pack failure (pressurization and air conditioning module) during the segment from Mileaukee to Springfield. That results in a service ceiling limit of 24,000 feet and on any plane, 747 down to Cessna, you have planned gate fuel on an 800 mile flight into headwinds and after take off need to cruise 12,000 feet lower than planned, you're going to struggle to make it with the fuel they loaded.
very plausible. too bad the flight crew did not try to help these passengers understand
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Old May 29, 13, 6:14 am
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Originally Posted by Hammer0425 View Post
That results in a service ceiling limit of 24,000 feet and on any plane, 747 down to Cessna
Almost any plane. The CRJ-700's 1-pack ceiling is 31,000 feet. Otherwise, I concur.
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Old May 29, 13, 8:02 am
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Originally Posted by DXjr View Post
Almost any plane. The CRJ-700's 1-pack ceiling is 31,000 feet. Otherwise, I concur.
I think the "747 down to Cessna" comment referred to the need for more fuel if flying at a lower altitude, as opposed to the 1-pack ceiling.
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Old May 29, 13, 8:28 am
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Originally Posted by Maxwell Smart View Post
I think the "747 down to Cessna" comment referred to the need for more fuel if flying at a lower altitude, as opposed to the 1-pack ceiling.
Not directly. The quote is in direct reference to the loss of the A/C pack, and operating altitude. The need for more fuel is indirectly associated with this, becuase if the dispatcher and captain both deemed that it was still safe to continue the flight under FL250 with the remaining fuel on board, then they would have continued, and not diverted for more fuel.
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