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Is United quoting wrong reasons for delay? How is the reason determined?

Is United quoting wrong reasons for delay? How is the reason determined?

Old Apr 14, 2014, 10:29 pm
  #16  
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Originally Posted by DaviddesJ
Originally Posted by BH62
Last week (April10) UA 1145 SEA-SFO departed approx 3.5 hrs late because of "customer service" issues. Originally, this was said to be mechanical, but then it magically changed to customer service. So just what *is* "customer service" as the ostensible reason?
What difference does it make? I understand the concern about 'reasons' that affect compensation, but if it's not going to affect your compensation (or in a positive way---surely "customer service" means the airline is responsible) then who cares what they call it?
Do delay reasons get/have to be reported to the DOT? If yes, then if I could classify as many delays as possible due to weather and get away with it, you bet your hockey pucks I'd do it as weather delays in the strict sense do not require compensation
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Old Apr 14, 2014, 10:53 pm
  #17  
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Originally Posted by goalie
Do delay reasons get/have to be reported to the DOT? If yes, then if I could classify as many delays as possible due to weather and get away with it, you bet your hockey pucks I'd do it as weather delays in the strict sense do not require compensation
What does this have to do with the difference between "maintenance" and "customer service"?
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Old Apr 14, 2014, 11:06 pm
  #18  
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Originally Posted by goalie
Do delay reasons get/have to be reported to the DOT? If yes, then if I could classify as many delays as possible due to weather and get away with it, you bet your hockey pucks I'd do it as weather delays in the strict sense do not require compensation
Yeah I think it's safe to assume there is a benefit to the airline to classify the delay as caused by something other than mx, whether that be passenger compensation, reporting purposes, or something else.
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Old Apr 14, 2014, 11:08 pm
  #19  
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Originally Posted by Kacee
I think it's safe to assume there is a benefit to the airline to classify the delay as caused by something other than mx, whether that be passenger compensation, reporting purposes, or something else.
Can you explain what the benefit is? Or do you just assume there must be some benefit even though you have no idea what that benefit could be?

If there is a theory as to how this could benefit the carrier I'd be really interested to hear it. I can understand why they might prefer the reason to be weather (outside their control) rather than maintenance (something they control). But I can't think why they would have any preference between various things all under their own control.
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Old Apr 14, 2014, 11:09 pm
  #20  
 
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United quoting wrong reasons for delay

The benefit is not paying compensation for missed connections, hotels, etc
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Old Apr 14, 2014, 11:18 pm
  #21  
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Originally Posted by CO_Nonrev_elite
The benefit is not paying compensation for missed connections, hotels, etc
If the airline has to pay compensation when their plane breaks down and needs maintenance, then surely they have to pay the same compensation when their crew doesn't show up, or when they divert the plane to another purpose, or for any other reason that falls within their control?
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Old Apr 15, 2014, 8:58 am
  #22  
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Originally Posted by DaviddesJ
Originally Posted by goalie
Do delay reasons get/have to be reported to the DOT? If yes, then if I could classify as many delays as possible due to weather and get away with it, you bet your hockey pucks I'd do it as weather delays in the strict sense do not require compensation
What does this have to do with the difference between "maintenance" and "customer service"?
My comment is about delay reasons (n.b. reasons) and if they have to be reported to the DOT and the answer is simply put by CO_Nonrev_elite below

Originally Posted by Kacee
Originally Posted by goalie
Do delay reasons get/have to be reported to the DOT? If yes, then if I could classify as many delays as possible due to weather and get away with it, you bet your hockey pucks I'd do it as weather delays in the strict sense do not require compensation
Yeah I think it's safe to assume there is a benefit to the airline to classify the delay as caused by something other than mx, whether that be passenger compensation, reporting purposes, or something else.
Yup ^

Originally Posted by DaviddesJ
If the airline has to pay compensation when their plane breaks down and needs maintenance, then surely they have to pay the same compensation when their crew doesn't show up, or when they divert the plane to another purpose, or for any other reason that falls within their control?
And if the flight is diverted/delayed or otherwise irrop'd due to "weather" (n.b. the quotes) or in my example from above, a faux aircraft change?

Originally Posted by CO_Nonrev_elite
The benefit is not paying compensation for missed connections, hotels, etc
Winner ^
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Old Apr 15, 2014, 9:02 am
  #23  
 
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Originally Posted by DaviddesJ
If the airline has to pay compensation when their plane breaks down and needs maintenance, then surely they have to pay the same compensation when their crew doesn't show up, or when they divert the plane to another purpose, or for any other reason that falls within their control?
Simple answer is no they don't - especially if it is weather. Did you see OP first post - they were claiming they don't have to pay bc of ATC....
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Old Apr 15, 2014, 10:06 am
  #24  
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Originally Posted by bmwe92fan
Simple answer is no they don't - especially if it is weather. Did you see OP first post - they were claiming they don't have to pay bc of ATC....
Yes, of course. This is getting really strange. As I think everyone knows, weather is considered an intrinsic risk to air travel, airlines are not considered responsible for weather delays because those are factors entirely outside their control. There's nothing they could do to change the weather, and so holding them accountable financially can't accomplish anything. But service providers are held accountable for impacts on their customers that are under their control, which include mechanical issues, crew issues, "customer service", etc. These are all the same kind of thing and the airlines are held responsible for them which gives them an incentive to provide the best service reasonably possible.

So what is unclear in this thread, and no one has given any real answer to, is why an airline would have any incentive at all to use one explanation rather than another within the set of factors under their control. It makes no difference to them because their obligations in those cases are the same. Perhaps there is some buck-passing from one group internally, to another, but that makes no different to customers and wouldn't affect them.
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Old Apr 15, 2014, 10:19 am
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You do understand that just because we would think it is "under their control" doesn't mean it is legally defined that way... For example, if a crew memeber for my flight is coming to ORD from MSP and there is a snowstorm in MSP and they can't get that crew member to ORD - even if the plane is there and the rest of the crew - they can cancel my flight for "weather" and owe me nothing - even though we may think crew scheduling at a hub airport should be "under their control"....
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Old Apr 15, 2014, 10:22 am
  #26  
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Originally Posted by bmwe92fan
You do understand that just because we would think it is "under their control" doesn't mean it is legally defined that way... For example, if a crew memeber for my flight is coming to ORD from MSP and there is a snowstorm in MSP and they can't get that crew member to ORD - even if the plane is there and the rest of the crew - they can cancel my flight for "weather" and owe me nothing - even though we may think crew scheduling at a hub airport should be "under their control"....
Are you talking to me or to someone else?

I already said that I do understand why the airline might prefer the reason "weather". What I said is that I don't understand why many people here think the airline has a secret reason to prefer one reason over another between those under their control.

I also don't think it's true that the airline can cite weather as a reason for a delay when the actual problem is the crew not available. But if you have a citation for that claim then I would be interested to read it and learn something. Are these rules published somewhere on the web?
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Old Apr 15, 2014, 10:55 am
  #27  
 
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Originally Posted by DaviddesJ
Are you talking to me or to someone else?

I already said that I do understand why the airline might prefer the reason "weather". What I said is that I don't understand why many people here think the airline has a secret reason to prefer one reason over another between those under their control.

I also don't think it's true that the airline can cite weather as a reason for a delay when the actual problem is the crew not available. But if you have a citation for that claim then I would be interested to read it and learn something. Are these rules published somewhere on the web?
Yes - that was for you sorry I used the quick reply...

I don't think anyone is suggesting it is a secret reason - but it is a financially driven decision. If you read the UA contract of carriage UA basically says that they owe us nothing for a "Force Majeure Event" - which they loosely define as anything beyond UAs control. And yes, last month I had my flight cancel because the crew was stuck somehere else due to bad weather there - and I was SOL and zero compensation.

While we may not agree with how UA codes the reason for flight cancellation - there is no doubt they have very broad parameters and can justify nearly any coding that they want to. I am also not saying that UA does this as a common practice - but just look at the OP's situation (or mine) and the fact that they coded it as ATC - which means no compensation due - even though we think the "real" reason was different...
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Old Apr 15, 2014, 10:59 am
  #28  
 
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United quoting wrong reasons for delay

Sometimes getting a screen shot of your flight status or even a photo of the departure monitor may help in your dispute.
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Old Apr 15, 2014, 11:01 am
  #29  
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Originally Posted by bmwe92fan
While we may not agree with how UA codes the reason for flight cancellation - there is no doubt they have very broad parameters and can justify nearly any coding that they want to. I am also not saying that UA does this as a common practice - but just look at the OP's situation (or mine) and the fact that they coded it as ATC - which means no compensation due - even though we think the "real" reason was different...
Sure. Like I said several times, that makes perfect sense to me. But several people have given other kinds of examples in this thread, where they seem convinced that UA is cooking the books even though in those examples there seems no benefit at all for UA.
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Old Apr 15, 2014, 12:05 pm
  #30  
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Originally Posted by DaviddesJ
Yes, of course. This is getting really strange. As I think everyone knows, weather is considered an intrinsic risk to air travel, airlines are not considered responsible for weather delays because those are factors entirely outside their control. There's nothing they could do to change the weather, and so holding them accountable financially can't accomplish anything. But service providers are held accountable for impacts on their customers that are under their control, which include mechanical issues, crew issues, "customer service", etc. These are all the same kind of thing and the airlines are held responsible for them which gives them an incentive to provide the best service reasonably possible.

So what is unclear in this thread, and no one has given any real answer to, is why an airline would have any incentive at all to use one explanation rather than another within the set of factors under their control. It makes no difference to them because their obligations in those cases are the same. Perhaps there is some buck-passing from one group internally, to another, but that makes no different to customers and wouldn't affect them.
Originally Posted by DaviddesJ
Sure. Like I said several times, that makes perfect sense to me. But several people have given other kinds of examples in this thread, where they seem convinced that UA is cooking the books even though in those examples there seems no benefit at all for UA.
There are certainly competing internal reasons for deciding on how to code a delay or cancellation. Perhaps Fastair or another employee can provide specifics, but I understand that different employee groups try to avoid the "blame" for delay/cancel as it can impact their stats...and perhaps even bonus.

I don't think they are customer facing reasons....assuming it is not different financial compensation issues...but different employee groups can fuss about how things are coded.
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